there were lots of nuances about what worked and what didn't to push my buttons in the right way. When he said "I like that dress" it came across as self centered and judging in a bad way, but "you look great in that dress" it conveyed that he was finally seeing ME. There was a lot of struggle and confusion about this as we worked it out--it took a while before I could really identify and articulate what was going on.
So when your wife asks for flowers (as in PhantomLimbs example), you may think, "Well that's silly, I do x and y and z (your LL things) to tell her I love her". And because they are your LL things x, y and z seem large, and buying flowers seems small." Small things have a way of seeming unimportant, dismissible, petty, and since you don't understand the need for them, they are dismissed. And since the actual act of buying the flowers is small, and actually very easy to do (I mean, you were already at the store, had to walk right passed them in the produce section), but you chose not to buy them anyway way, you end up 'speaking' volumes to your W. she hears, "Your needs are small, petty, dismissible, unimportant; invalid.
if spouse brings back flowers from the grocery or favored snacks or a show to watch together those are not seen as gifts (I've actually seen grocery store flowers derided regularly on this very forum) but as failures to provide.
We've talked a lot about GIVING of self, and touched on problems RECEIVING gifts and affection.
Not much talk about resilience.
No doubt, rejection is painful. I wonder how often we have the emotional intelligence, as BostonGirl says, to "identify and articulate what was going on."
And for the partner to listen, learn ... and try again.
I've got a job. When my relationships start to look like jobs, they stop being interesting and just become more work.
My emotional needs were not met either, by my spouse, however, I did not cheat. Upholding my commitment to my wife, my marriage, my kids, my family, and to myself was more important than procuring emotional needs from an outside supplier. Instead I compensated through my hobbies (which were limited) and my children. I was content, but not at full happiness, but still committed.
The more I gave during the marriage, the more my wife wanted and expected. Her emotional needs was a black hole. This was the problem.
[This message edited by still-living at 8:09 AM, August 16th (Friday)]
Recovery is building a pyramid of inference from which to climb and see clearer, and heavy usage of the reflexive loop.
Tell her she is beautiful, it has been too long. Tell her she is sexy, I mean isn't she? Tell her how her smile lights up your world, you remember don't you, when you couldn't wait to see her? Bring her some flowers. Kiss her like you mean it. Make out in the car like teenagers, hold her hand. ... It might take a little effort, you may have to open your heart.
Sounds like she very much has emotional needs.
I hope her H makes the effort, even if re-learning romance feels like a "job."
My emotional needs were not met either, by my spouse, however, I did not cheat.
That speaks to resilience.
How do we gently approach our partners to ask for more?
Its a bonus not a requirement, like frosting on a cake. Let it be known what you like, don't demand it, as it should come naturally through knowledge and communication when else is well. Work on the else, then frost it.
[This message edited by still-living at 9:03 AM, August 16th (Friday)]
That stopped being true when she had begun to heal and remember how to self-soothe. I'd caution anyone thinking about emotional needs in the aftermath of infidelity to recognize that how you feel about your spouse's needs right now is temporary.
The fact is, as a new BS, you probably don't give a shit about their needs--and frankly, they've been double-dipping for however many months or years and should have some fat stored up to sustain them through the lean months ahead.
In general, with regards to needs, having them, and meeting them in non-crisis relationship modes, UOPretty much said everything I,d say, so I'm just going to say WUOS.
By letting go of control of the outcome and understanding expectations rarely, if ever, line up with reality - and establishing the fortitude to observe and respect our own boundaries.
I have Pretty Marines stuck in my head now so I blame wal for this t/j:
[This message edited by StillGoing at 10:45 AM, August 16th (Friday)]
I think for me the important take-away is the hole in the bucket concept. If you're not playing with an emotionally healthy partner, the normal rules don't work. If you yourself (yes, even as a BS) aren't a healthy partner, the normal rules don't work.
I now realize that I spent a lot of time doing what StillGoing mentioned that his wife did - assigning my own interpretation to my husband's words, assuming I knew what he was thinking about me (and it was ALWAYS the worst). If I was walking around assuming that he was thinking I was an ugly troll, of course his lack of compliments hit me harder.
I just realized I don't really have a point. I hope everyone has a great weekend!
You might prefer these wal:
Also, I apologize for going there and will resume responsible co-habitation of this thread with the appropriate levels of solemnity and grimness. If I can. Sorry.
I just stumbled upon this blog. It's relevant to the discussion and I wanted to share.
I now realize that I spent a lot of time doing what StillGoing mentioned that his wife did - assigning my own interpretation to my husband's words, assuming I knew what he was thinking about me (and it was ALWAYS the worst).
It is up to you to meet your own emotional needs - not your spouse, fiancé, girl/boy friend, or anyone else.
Emotionally, if you are incapable of standing on your own, then you are a classic self-loathing codependent who seeks happiness and SELF-worth in OTHERS and because so, are guaranteed to NEVER be happy and NEVER have self-worth.
This isn't rocket surgery.
You really don't need 2 analyze it any deeper than that. Because, people don't have affairs because of unmet needs, they have affairs because they don't protect their marriages from their own susceptibility 2 temptation.
Even in marriages not dealing with infidelity, it's NOT your spouse's responsibility 2 meet YOUR so-called emotional needs (which is an oxymoron). The best marriages are between 2 emotionally healthy individuals who come 2gether because they want 2 share themselves with their partner - not "complete themselves" with them.
Your wife made an excuse 2 make herself feel better for leaving you. You are better off.
[This message edited by 2long at 10:24 PM, August 16th (Friday)]