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User Topic: Reconciling with the "Emotionally Unavailable"
HurtingInDenver
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Member # 15974
Default  Posted: 5:06 PM, November 18th (Sunday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

LostGal, from IC I too realized I was/am the perfectionist type. IC also told me I have to let that go (WW mentioned it to). For me, it was a lot about being "in control". And the in control patten is a symptom of co-dependency.

Last night I actually told WW that I was frustrated and angry about the "slow" progress and her apparent lack of participation. As we talked about it, I remembered my IC saying that the participation level of each spouse typically alternates through the process. Rarely are both contributing at the same level and inevitably one feels like they are working harder than the other.

Then I remembered something from another post where a FWS told me that he was in the Fog the first 5 months after DDay. He told me that while he was 100% committed to R from the get-go, he admitted he really didn't put forth the level of effort his BW did during that time. He did say however (and his FBW later confirmed this) that once he came out of the Fog his level of effort shot through the roof. That story keeps me going on rough days.

Then last night, I was re-reading a chapter of "His Needs, Her Needs" and the author specifically said that the BS should not expect the same level of effort or to even notice ANY changes in attitude from the WS in the beginning. He basically attributed it to the residule feelings WSs have for APs. This was confirmed last night for me when WW told be she was still "in love" with POS.

And I agree Weepy, I've also been living on crumbs.


I'm flat out spent, this woman she been driving me to tears
This woman so crazy, I swear I ain't going to touch another one for years -B.Dylan


Posts: 781 | Registered: Aug 2007
tater
♀ Member
Member # 12272
Default  Posted: 6:57 PM, November 18th (Sunday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have read most of this thread. I too think I am trying to R w/ an emotionally unavailable person. I keep telling myself that I'm having the same issues that I had pre affair. I guess part of me just doesn't know if he is really NC w/ her and that's why or if he is just emotionally broken.

I don't see evidence that he is not NC, but he certainly doesn't seem bothered by the fact that our M is in the toilet and he doesn't want to do anything to fix it. He says he doesn't have time. But, he makes time for what is important to him.

I also had a thought after reading some posts. It seems that several of the WS had been involved in LTA. Maybe that it part of the emotionally unavailable.

Anyway, I know I am rambling. I just wanted to stop in here and say that unfortunately I am in this column.


Me: BS 40 (Yikes)
WH: 40 (LTA)
3 children 12, 7 and 5

Posts: 1125 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: emotional rollercoaster in the midwest
HurtingInDenver
♂ Member
Member # 15974
Default  Posted: 8:15 PM, November 18th (Sunday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

tater - you can't deny the similarities of everyone here. I also contiually question if WW is really NC with POS. Everytime I ask her I get a "yes", but I feel like it is a sheepish "yes". Maybe I'm just imagining things. All I know is that lately my gut has been telling me something is going on and my gut hasn't been wrong this whole time.

Also, like you I get the whole "I don't have time" shit. I told her last night I realize we are both busy, but this is ouf fucking M and 13 years of our lives. Seems to me this should be the most important fucking thing on her plate right now. (sorry for f-bombs, I'm in full-swing of th anger stage right now).


I'm flat out spent, this woman she been driving me to tears
This woman so crazy, I swear I ain't going to touch another one for years -B.Dylan


Posts: 781 | Registered: Aug 2007
burnt_toast
♀ Member
Member # 16891
Default  Posted: 8:24 PM, November 18th (Sunday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I belong here too. Count me in.

My WH hides his EU very well behind a wall of lies and a seemingly outgoing personnality.

The outgoing, project-making side would serve him to keep busy at all times with trivial things to avoid intimacy and quality time with me at all costs.

He's also a people pleaser like survivingslowly's. My compliments were never enough. He seeks validation compulsively.

He's so obsessed with how pepole will perceive him that it blinds him from other people's feelings. For instance, he'd boil inside when i'd share my insecurities and make it a "she doesn't trust me" issue...

Whenever I start expressing discontent or pain, he either mirrors it, get angry, or end the conversation (or all at once).

He could never admit being into porn even when faced the evidence (c'mon, like I care about you gazing at inflated tits!).

He's a procrastinator, well trained into all forms of passive resistance. Would take on a diet (on his own will), start like a lion, dispaly ridiculously excessive "commitments", and end up cheating from week 2...eating fries in his car...

Ok, I'll stop before this turns to a full force vent...

IYO, is R really possible with such a man???

How can I believe any NC promise from someone so out of sync w/ his own emotions and needs? Will I catch him "eating his fries in the car" after the NC letter will be sent?

I wonder...

[This message edited by burnt_toast at 8:26 PM, November 18th (Sunday)]


It is what it is.

Posts: 4681 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Quelque part
tater
♀ Member
Member # 12272
Default  Posted: 9:54 PM, November 18th (Sunday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hurting - The hard thing is knowing whether or not the unemotionalness (is that a word?) is due to their personality or is it because they are still involved?

My H didn't change his personality during his A. He wasn't really sweet then changed like a lot of people that post. So how would I know?


Me: BS 40 (Yikes)
WH: 40 (LTA)
3 children 12, 7 and 5

Posts: 1125 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: emotional rollercoaster in the midwest
HurtingInDenver
♂ Member
Member # 15974
Default  Posted: 10:59 PM, November 18th (Sunday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Well tater, I just got the answer to your question.

Confronted WW about an hour ago. Told her my gut has been telling me something is going on. She admitted that she broke NC last week to tell POS "not to wait for her". Said she needed closure with him. What-the-fuck-ever!

My gut says to believe her, but how the fuck do I trust anything I hear from her anymore! I'm glad she told me, but what the fuck am I supposed to do now? I'm too tired to deal anymore; I'm going to bed.


I'm flat out spent, this woman she been driving me to tears
This woman so crazy, I swear I ain't going to touch another one for years -B.Dylan


Posts: 781 | Registered: Aug 2007
runoverbytruck
♀ Member
Member # 11752
Default  Posted: 11:14 PM, November 18th (Sunday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I also had a thought after reading some posts. It seems that several of the WS had been involved in LTA. Maybe that it part of the emotionally unavailable.

tater, do you think it is possible that it is easier for it to become a LTA due to the level of emotional unavailability? If they were capable of showing "signs" of shame like normal people, we may have been able to tell something was amiss. But since they have the same face for every emotion, we couldn't tell anything was wrong or different and that allowed it to continue long term. This is my theory anyway. Feel free to debate.

She admitted that she broke NC last week to tell POS "not to wait for her". Said she needed closure with him.

Personally, I don't happen to buy into this. "Closure" is an illusion and an excuse. She had a moment of weakness. Why? Can you get her to be honest about what she was feeling at the time she called him?

I think it was easier for her to tell you that, but there's more than likely something else she was feeling at the time. Closure comes with a closed door. You don't open it to tell someone it's closed.

How did you handle it? Did you give her a safe place to be honest with you? Conflict avoiders will lie and decieve if they believe they are not "safe" in divulging information. And are there consequences in place if it happens again, Denver?


LTA BS

If you think the grass is greener on the other side, it's because it's fertilized with bullshit.

The best protection a woman can have is courage.~Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Posts: 6814 | Registered: Aug 2006
pioneerspirit
♀ Member
Member # 14751
Default  Posted: 12:05 AM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This topic started, I had been off these boards for a while...

R has been stagnant, no remorse shown yet...what can I expect from an emotionally unavailable man? I told him I was moving out last week-end (with another single-mom). And he started talking about his thanksgiving plans. Fourteen years over, and that's his response. Knowing him, a part of me expected that, but it still hurt. And I cried. And I asked how he could care so little, even for our kids sake.... and he just asked me about money. How did I think I was going to make it out on my own.... I asked why he hasn't left yet ... he said because he didn't want to....

No "I love you", not for a year. NO, "I'm sorry" -- even for giving me Herpes (which I'm in excruciating pain with one week out of every month). No telling of the truth after a year and a half.... And since I told him I'm moving, no other talk or reaction....

I know he most likely has a disorder, but I can't live like this anymore. It's killing me.

I'm spending thanksgiving with the single-mom friend, out kids will be with their dads....


Me: BW 39
WH:35, srryntrying
D-day: June 6, 2006
Day he gave me GH: my birthday, 2006
Married 8 years-together 13
2 children (5 & 7)
OW: not sure yet, happened across the country, where he has to go regularly for work

Posts: 99 | Registered: May 2007
sunlil
♀ Member
Member # 6312
Default  Posted: 3:38 AM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just read through this thread and saw a ton of similarities to my own marriage!

My H is "emotionally unavailable" and yes, he did have a crappy childhood.

I have never really seen any remorse from him for his A. He apologized a few times for hurting me and he even apologized for his inability to feel empathy but that particular apology didn't make me feel any better.

He also completely sucks at offering reassurance. When I expressed fear that he'd get lonely and be unfaithful while he's in Iraq, he reassured me that there are "like no women over there" and that "wasn't going to happen".

I know the anger and defensiveness that trying to talk about "uncomfortable" subjects brings up and I've been hit (verbally) with horrible remarks.

In 16 years of marriage, I have never ever seen him cry. I've never seen him get choked up over anything. He will bend over backwards to avoid emotional situations.

One example of avoiding a potentially emotional situation happened when I was pregnant with our daughter. I'd been having fainting spells and we were at a doctor's office trying to find out why. I passed out in the office and woke up to find my H had left the building. Sure, there were doctors there to take care of me but I wanted to see him when I came to and he wasn't there! I passed out and he took off!

Another time, he had a cancer scare. His mom and I were worried sick and he seemed completely unfazed by it. He never expressed any fear that he might have cancer, nor did he express any relief when we found out he didn't! During the whole ordeal he behaved no differently than he did on any other day. It seemed to have no impact on him at all.

He can be very sweet and has become a better husband and father over the past few years but he is still emotionally unavailable and seems incapable of meeting some of my emotional needs. Even after I've told him what specifically to do.

He's said he can't do them. He's said he lacks empathy. He's said he doesn't feel regret and doesn't know what remorse means. He understands the words in the dictionary definition but can't process them emotionally.
He does not engage in self-reflection. (he's admitted this)

However, he will not go to MC or IC. He doesn't "believe" in them.

It is so hard to reconcile sometimes. I see a glimmer of hope here and there but then I see the disconnect and wonder if there can ever be a true reconciliation with a partner who is disconnected in this way.


Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. - Lucille Ball

Posts: 2518 | Registered: Jan 2005 | From: Central Nevada
weepy
♀ Member
Member # 8790
Default  Posted: 5:40 AM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

IYO, is R really possible with such a man???

In my opinion, yes, it's possible. But they have to be willing to address their shut down emotions and we have to accept that they will never get to where we think we want them.

We fell in love with these EU people. They didn't "change" to have an affair. They were like that. So what did we see in them that grabbed us so tightly?

According to Imago theory, we were searching to "fix" our own FOO issues. By latching onto someone who might have had one trait that the offending parent in our past didn't have, we thought that we could be remedied. But it turns out they had all the same bad traits as our FOO parent too.

My father cheated on my mother. The only difference, he left for his OW, or rather my mother tossed him to the curb and he had no where else to go. She refused to even consider reconciliation. Of course their M had been rocky for years, even evident to us kids.

So we chose these people. We can expect certain changes and ask for our needs to be met, but don't expect miracles.

The FWS we see on here are anomolies. Notice none of our spouses are here.


Dday: 9/12/05
M: 29 yrs( me anyway )
BS(me): 55 And I'm ok with that
FWS: 57- Multiple PAs, LTA 7? yrs.

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. -- Yoda


Posts: 9340 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: SE PA
survivingslowly
♀ Member
Member # 14214
Default  Posted: 9:51 AM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Well, another challenging weekend with my people pleasing, conflict avoiding, passive agressive emtionally unavailable WH!

He basically stayed here for the weekend. Most of it was OK, but some old patterns crept up fairly early and easily.

He wanted to get the x-mas lights up, fine.

There was also an opportunity to get pics. with your pet with Santa which i wanted to take the puppy and kids to.

I started by being kinda *whatever* about it....as in if he wants to stay back and do lights, that's fine with me.

He decided to stay and do lights but asked me what I thought. I said "What are you asking? What I think about your decision?"

He said, "I guess I'm going to see Santa." He switched his mind immediately, without even hearing my thoughts, but he must have figured that doing the lights was the *wrong* answer and immediately changed his answer. AAARRGGG

I know it seems soo small, but its what it represents that makes it bigger.....in that, he still trying to do the *right* thing by what he thinks *my* definition of right is. Never mind what he *really* wants to do. When I brought it up, he immediately gets defensive and has a tone in his voice. Then he deflects the conversation, trying to avoid the discussion by focusing on how much he feels like he's on trial by me.....so once again, we get away from the topic at hand and it now becomes about me and how mean I must be to him to be making him feel like he's constantly on trial.

Its such a pattern, its ridiculous.

Anyway, I found another interesting article which I e-mailed him the link to:

just wait....I can't find it in my browser, be right back.


BS-me
FWH-him

dday#1-March/07

Fully reconciled. Life is really good!!


Posts: 310 | Registered: Apr 2007
survivingslowly
♀ Member
Member # 14214
Default  Posted: 9:55 AM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Here it is:

http://www.marriagemissions.com/the-emotionally-distant-husband/


BS-me
FWH-him

dday#1-March/07

Fully reconciled. Life is really good!!


Posts: 310 | Registered: Apr 2007
weepy
♀ Member
Member # 8790
Default  Posted: 10:56 AM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

OK. Read the article. But what I don't see, what I've NEVER seen is

When your emotionally H attacks and uses YOU as a "reason" for his unhappines, frustration, whatever.... WTF are we supposed to do? Stand there? Walk away? What is the response? Change what we do, fine, but into WHAT?????


Dday: 9/12/05
M: 29 yrs( me anyway )
BS(me): 55 And I'm ok with that
FWS: 57- Multiple PAs, LTA 7? yrs.

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. -- Yoda


Posts: 9340 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: SE PA
survivingslowly
♀ Member
Member # 14214
Default  Posted: 11:15 AM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

weepy; I was thinking the EXACT same thing when i re-read the article for like the 5th time.

I still have a hard time understanding how we're supposed to change.

I, personally, have a hard time seeing *my part* in all of this. Is this arrogant or what?

I mean, am I supposed to relate to WH at his level? In this case it would be with very few words, no emotion, and back away immediately if it gets too close.....let him process what has shallowly been said.....and then kinda maybe hint at the solution.

Am I never going to be *allowed* to communicate in my natural way again?

The article says that we, as the eager spouse, can have an overbearing way of communicating. But I feel like I was not like that before meeting WH.....its like it evolved over time due to the fact that he seemed like he never heard me, or wasn't interested in what I was saying, or *gasp* fell asleep while I was mid-sentence. OK, so maybe I can go on and on a bit at times, but come on....falling asleep?


BS-me
FWH-him

dday#1-March/07

Fully reconciled. Life is really good!!


Posts: 310 | Registered: Apr 2007
gibbonsrose
♀ Member
Member # 16280
Default  Posted: 12:10 PM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

That article made me mad.

Where is the accountability for the man to step up? Where are the directions/steps for the EU man to work on himself?

Basically, the author's intent was to state "that's just the way men are." So the solution is for the woman to suck it up, and change herself?

I protest!!!!

ETA -- OK, I'm calmer. I'm going to read it again; perhaps I am missing the jist of this article. But damn it, being EU is abusive!

[This message edited by gibbonsrose at 12:21 PM, November 19th (Monday)]


Me - Befuckled
WH - Limber at limbo *sigh*

Posts: 5040 | Registered: Sep 2007 | From: mountain transplant
gibbonsrose
♀ Member
Member # 16280
Default  Posted: 12:42 PM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I read the article again. And I'm still a tad mad. Author suggests the following for dealing with EU spouse:

Quit assuming responsibility for your spouse’s imperfections. He may well say, “You make me this way with your constant [nagging, whining, whatever].” That’s not true, even though he may think it is. He would be acting the same way if he were married to someone else.

Ease up on your persuasive efforts to convince your mate to fit your mold. Coercion will only make the problem worse. This is hard to do when you desperately want change.

So, in other words, just take it and shut up?

Am I missing something here? Help?


Me - Befuckled
WH - Limber at limbo *sigh*

Posts: 5040 | Registered: Sep 2007 | From: mountain transplant
HurtingInDenver
♂ Member
Member # 15974
Default  Posted: 1:04 PM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Someone asked if you can R with an EU spouse.

I have to tell you all, once we got into MC (and once I got on ADs) I realized that I became EU over the past several years leading up to WW first A. I had always been a little gaurded with WW, but the last few years it got extreme, It lead to a slow spiral of drinking and some other bad habits. This all started BEFORE the As and contributed to creating a crappy M environment, leaving us both vulnerable to an A (I'm not taking responsibility for her As, just acknowledging my part in the problems leading up to it.).

Anyway, after I came to that revelation (I didn't even realize I was becoming emotionally distant at the time) I started IC. That's when I opened up all the other issues. However, I've figured out that my EU over the last few years was stress related.

Around the time I started withdrawing, we had jsut found out my WW was pregnant. It was planned, and we were excited, but the reality of it set in quick. I new my life would change, but all the responsibility freaked me out.

At the same time, I also got a big promotion at work. I was considered a rising star in the company, and at lot of expectations and responsibility were laid on my shoulders.

And, about a year earlier, WW and I had just bought a bigger house (to start our family in). It was older and needed a lot of work, so I was trying to juggle that into my schedule.

Long story short, the stress of all these changes started to weigh me down that I started withdrawing from WW and becoming very EU.

The EU came easy for me becasue I am a graphic designer. I am conditioned to have "thick skin" because your work is constantly being critiqued and "bashed" by others (e.g. clients, bosses, co-workers, etc.) It's jsut part of the job. So I had to put my emotions aside when I was at work all day. Eventually, it just became part of who I am.

Through MC, we've learned that one of the big issues in our M is that there is no affection between us anymore. I think since I was so EU leading up to this, it created a lack of affection. Plus, it was something carried over from my FOO.

Another thing that lead to our/my lack of affection is trust. Being a conflict avoider, I never really showed WW my negative feelings. This created a lack of trust between both of us, thus no affection.

Since I've been in IC and since we've been working on our M, WW both agree that even though things have gone to shit between us right now, our relationship has actually gotten deeper.

It's left us both scratching our head wondering how we spent 13 years like this.

So I guess the point of this very long-winded post is: I think an EU can change. It takes a lot of self-reflection, IC, and work to identifiy the patterns and then try break them. But I feel confident it can be done if the EU is willing to do the work.


I'm flat out spent, this woman she been driving me to tears
This woman so crazy, I swear I ain't going to touch another one for years -B.Dylan


Posts: 781 | Registered: Aug 2007
weepy
♀ Member
Member # 8790
Default  Posted: 1:09 PM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The article says that we, as the eager spouse, can have an overbearing way of communicating. But I feel like I was not like that before meeting WH.....its like it evolved over time due to the fact that he seemed like he never heard me, or wasn't interested in what I was saying, or *gasp* fell asleep while I was mid-sentence.

Right, we were being intimate, they don't like that. So don't. I find myself giving one word answers. I really listen to his questions. If I dont' understand what he's looking for in the conversation, I tell him I'm not sure where you're going here, or I don't know what kind of answer you want here.

For instance, he'll ask me what time I'll be home... and I'll say "Well, Joanna need to be picked up at six, and if the traffic isn't heavy, I could be home at 6:30 or so.

He'll say "6:30 is all I needed)

Quit assuming responsibility for your spouse’s imperfections. He may well say, “You make me this way with your constant [nagging, whining, whatever].” That’s not true, even though he may think it is. He would be acting the same way if he were married to someone else.

Ease up on your persuasive efforts to convince your mate to fit your mold. Coercion will only make the problem worse. This is hard to do when you desperately want change.

So, in other words, just take it and shut up?

No, that's how it speaks to me too, but I don't think that's what he meant. He mean to stop internalizing THEIR problems. And stop trying to turn them into the perfect spouse.

I think we ALL can be better than we are, but I don't think ANY of our S can make the quantum leaps that we expect them to.


Dday: 9/12/05
M: 29 yrs( me anyway )
BS(me): 55 And I'm ok with that
FWS: 57- Multiple PAs, LTA 7? yrs.

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. -- Yoda


Posts: 9340 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: SE PA
weepy
♀ Member
Member # 8790
Default  Posted: 1:36 PM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just got a crumb from H

Texted me... his first phone text.

"I miss you. It's cold here. Come home and warm me up. I love you"

Aaargh! You know how that makes me feel? I want to cry. I want to run home.


Dday: 9/12/05
M: 29 yrs( me anyway )
BS(me): 55 And I'm ok with that
FWS: 57- Multiple PAs, LTA 7? yrs.

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. -- Yoda


Posts: 9340 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: SE PA
SAMEWOMAN
♀ Member
Member # 16902
Default  Posted: 1:47 PM, November 19th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Posted: 12:33 PM, November 19th (Monday)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dday was 10/14/07,went to visit W/H, slept in same bed,had more contact with him this time than we did prior than Dday lots of holding me and lying close to each other like were reconnecting, is it wishful thinking? made good love,he is still thinking about what he wants, our family back or his liberty.still has phone contact with the O/W and he says he cant promise us no contact with her, he will soon be moving to Georgia to live, says lots of things that gives me hope of us coming down soon or again wishful thinking, if i mention callf from her gets mad,other than than that he sems happy to be with us and see us. wish i knew what was going on in his mind is he playing with my mind,is he really thinking about it, he says he praying and so am i what does everyone think about this any comments or ideas i really want my marriage to work AM AFRAID TO THOUGH.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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