For one thing, I have to accept that perhaps he IS disgusted and in pain - he says he is, so perhaps he is. I have to take on board that just because he is not displaying his emotions in a way that fits in with my expectations, doesn't mean he isn't having emotions. His emotions have never been as "on display" as mine are!
(One of the problems WH and I have is that we speak different languages when it comes to emotions. I am all "out there" - if I am pissed you can SEE I am pissed, you can HEAR I am pissed, there can be NO DOUBT. WH is completely different, he is not great at displaying emotions (FOO issue here!) and sometimes his body language and what is coming out of his mouth are at odds... it's very confusing!)
WOW! I totally get this!!! IC sessions concentrated on this differenc in my wife as well...my wife is like your husband and I am like you.
My wifes AP was more like her....kinda quiet, subdued....it is what attracted my wife to him (as well as a whole lot of mirroring and projecting of course).
It is a bit frustrating and confusing for me as well.....my wifes love language is "quality time"....something that only takes place when she is "open" to it. She was very much closed off to me pre-A...and most of our M. She was as open as her FOO issues would let her, so I am not blaming her....but the fact is her issues contributed to our disconnection and intimacy issues. On my end of this equation, my own FOO issues allowed this to be perfectly fine....again, IC helped me see how unhealthy my ways were, where they were born, and how to process past those. I am still very much a work in progress! So neither of us were intentionally withholding or mean to the other...our coping mechanisms simply played off each other and created a very unhealthy, unsatisified relationship. I say "simply"....seems like there is nothing simple about this painful experience.
Funny how things that attracted us to each other turned out to be things that kept us apart....my jump in with both feet, highly expressive with my emotions and her restraint and calmness with regards to life.
Truthfully, since my wifes A I have fantasized about being with a woman more like me....how fun it would be to be with a girl that jumped in with both feet....showed excitement and enthusiasm at the level I enjoy doing....and showed frustration and upset like I do as well. Me thinking it would be "easier" to bond with a person like that....going as far as to think about how different sex would be with a girl like that. Ultimately I believe a woman more like me would show appreciation and love in ways that fill me more completely.
BUT....this is unhealthy fantasy thinking. It is one of the ways my wife found to adultery.
It is unhealthy because it speaks to "external validation". I think my wife and I married, in part, because of what we each lacked and what the other "owned". I believe we thought "Well, since he is the life of the party I can live through him and not have to mature that part of me...and I dont have to feel uncomfortable. Well, since she is calm and even-keeled I dont have to mature that part of me....and I dont have to feel uncomfortable."
In a way we were both looking for another to "complete us" WITHOUT having to do any work...we avoided being "uncomfortable"! Man we were so niave for so long!!!!!
The truth, as I have come to know it, is that M does serve to "complete us"...but not in the way I assumed. A healthy M is meant to help us grow and mature in areas where we are immature, incomplete.
Early on my wife and I were talking about our parents and their respective divorces. My wife asked "Do you ever think your Mom let your Dad down?" (my Mom D my Dad). It was a profound question as I always thought my Dad caused my parents D (money issues throughout their M, then my Dad committed adultery). I have come to appreciate pain this past 14 months....I have seen substantial growth through my pain. Strangely, I feel more complete today then ever before in my life. It is an odd feeling....been thinking about posting about it....but havent got my hands around it enough to do so. It seems......odd?
In our sitch my wife will always be more calm and even keeled, and I will always be more enthusiastic and showing more emotion......but what this year has shown me is that I need to mature. And, more importantly, I CAN mature and become more "whole" on my own. My wife can do the same thing.
It is very uncomfortable....but not as uncomfortable as NOT changing.....so change is occurring. Change happens when the pain of same exceeds the pain of change.
To be sure....I love my wife. I have had VERY improper thoughts this year and have leaned hard on my accountability partner to keep me from acting on those thoughts. I am forever grateful for refraining from some of the actions I was contemplating doing....would have had dreadful results. This is just one example on how my reaction to something does NOT mean I have to put into motion actions tied to that reaction...make sense? I can sit on it for a while....and it feels good to be developing this control!!!
I believe my wife loves me as well.
Her A was not a deal breaker for me.
It is hard to look at myself and see parts that I don't like, parts I never knew were a part of me, see my actions of the past 15 years in a more true light and am shocked I did not see the obvious earlier then I did or in the absence of the trauma that my wifes A brought to me.
Itsaclimb....I am relieved to hear I did not discourage you. I enjoy watching your journey as I do 5 other specific SI members. You encourage me regularly and desire to do nothing but return the favor.
God be with us all.