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Reconciliation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Revelation about Communication
peoplepleaser
♀ Member
Member # 41535
Default  Posted: 10:59 PM, April 20th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So, one of the problems in the relationship was my ability to "dump" my emotions on WS. There is much more background into that, which I will not go into at this time, but I want to share what we learned recently in spite of the other underlying issues.

When we first decided to R I walked on eggshells with communication. I promised no more emotional outbursts. This was very difficult for me, especially since our definitions of "outburst" differed. I kept my vulnerable emotions to myself and focused on constructive conversations that had a goal of productive resolution. Over time, my emotions began to show in a minimalist way, thought the discussions remained goal directed toward improving the relationship or discovering things about ourselves individually that impacted it. Many of them began to shift toward discovering what was happening at the times of the EAs and exploring WS's susceptibility to them based on FOO issues. Keeping those conversations emotionally safe was important, so we continued the same. I began to journal my intense emotions to vent, then journaling second time to constructively discover what need I had so I could present it to WS for a conversation. This worked well, too.

As we worked toward creating this safe environment, it seemed that the actual pain and anger from the EAs reemerged. I think that the focus on understanding each other was a process that removed layers immediately important to R that eventually unearthed the damage done by what happened. So last week I began a discussion by saying that I just needed to share how I felt. That the sharing wasn't something I needed to process and might not even be rooted in rational or logical thought, but I needed to express it. So I did.

WS's initial reaction was to tell me my thoughts were wrong or justify her actions against my thoughts associated with the pain. My response to this was feelings of hopelessness and then uncontrollable crying. At one point I looked at my WS who was asking what I wanted or needed and saw such despair and a bit of floundering. When I couldn't respond she grabbed me and held me while I cried. She told me she was sorry that she made me feel so bad and think these things. She held me for about 30 minutes. I felt better after.

We haven't processed my thoughts, but realized something important. We are growing in our ability to communicate and respond to each other. While I was holding the feelings in and attempting to identify a need associated with improving our relationship we were overlooking the importance of sharing the emotions. Now we have identified two different forms of communication we need to have with each other. One is rooted in the need to improve our relationship. The other is to share how we are feeling and find solace in the experience of it without attempting to "fix" it. Both of them help us to understand each other and remain genuine in the relationship.

For her, she has begun to share information and process her thoughts with me. This NEVER happened before. She is allowing my perception of our lives, interactions, and my independent thoughts and intentions to influence her decision about how I feel about her and our relationship. Recently she began to ask for times to talk, which also NEVER happened before. She's begun to share her feelings in these conversations, too. Again, sharing her genuine feelings NEVER happened before.

With this new realization, I look forward to the day when she comes to me to share how she feels without looking for a resolution, but just needing me to hear her and provide comfort. I'm so filled with hope for our future right now.


WS: 39--2 EAs
BS: 39--me, faithful
DS: 6
9 year relationship in R.
DDay #1: September 6, 2013 EA for 5 weeks August 2013.
DDay #2: January 2, 2014 EA for 6 weeks summer 2011.
"I am still learning." -Michelangelo

Posts: 608 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Midwest
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 5:39 AM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((Peoplepleaser)))

So, one of the problems in the relationship was my ability to "dump" my emotions on WS.

Did you dump emotional feelings on her or did you passionately express your thoughts?

Reason I ask is that I did the passionate thoughts thing....and we both mistook that for me being the emotionally feeling one.


We have learned through much effort and expense, that I was also guilty of not expressing my feelings. Wife and I both developed in our childhoods to not stay in touch with our feelings.

We are learning to feel our feelings and express them in safe ways.

Last night my wife shared just her feelings on something. A strange thing happened.....I got very aroused. It was strange because I never saw it coming, didn't even think about it.....I just felt what she shared. And it felt wonderful.


I pray you both are finding the occasional good feeling too.


God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:40 AM, April 21st (Monday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
RipsInMyChest
♀ Member
Member # 41166
Default  Posted: 8:30 AM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I hear you! I am the passionate, "emotional" one...and my H has always had difficulty with me expressing deep or intense feelings. He is now learning how to just stand in the title wave and FEEL it with me. No fixing, just empathy and the connection of shared emotion.

The work we are doing and the changes we are making will creat a much more connected M. Glad to hear its happening for you as well!


Me: BW 41
FWH 41
Together 21 yrs, M 18, 2 kids
DDay: 12/11/12 ONS with CW
Used condom, got chlamydia anyway.

His betrayal of me was not because I didn't shine brightly enough, but because he chose to put on blinders.


Posts: 256 | Registered: Oct 2013
peoplepleaser
♀ Member
Member # 41535
Default  Posted: 2:50 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am a passionately expressive person. I was brought up Italian, and we are loud and emotionally rowdy. I always had trouble rubbing people the wrong way because of it and the last two years I began to realize that my passion comes across as aggressive. I've been working on that everywhere but at home because I was duped into believing that my WS "knew" me and was ok with it. I was wrong, apparently.

It's two-fold, though. It's not just about me dumping the emotions, but it was also about her receiving any and all emotions as an attack. So the answer to what I was doing in the relationship lies somewhere in the middle. It's taken time to find that middle ground for both of us, as I monitor my expressiveness and she explores becoming more expressive.

You mentioned something important, though, blakesteel. It was perceived that I was the emotional one and she the stoic one. In actuality that only described our outward appearance. As we go through this process of exploring our communication styles and understanding each other better, we are discovering that she is just as sensitive as me, if not more sensitive than I am. It changes how I perceive her, how I approach her and how I receive her information as much as it helps her recognize how her feelings affect her thoughts and reactions to me. It's been very helpful. Good call on that!


WS: 39--2 EAs
BS: 39--me, faithful
DS: 6
9 year relationship in R.
DDay #1: September 6, 2013 EA for 5 weeks August 2013.
DDay #2: January 2, 2014 EA for 6 weeks summer 2011.
"I am still learning." -Michelangelo

Posts: 608 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Midwest
blakesteele
♂ Member
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 3:52 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Good call on that!

Yep....you too can have this wisdom.....just 21 months after discovering your wife has had an affair, $7-8K in therapy and weekend retreats, 30 plus books read and lots of soul searching and praying!

Ok...enough of my lame sarcastic humor. Sarcasm is a love buster....been enough love bustin' around here without me contributing to it.

I, too, see my wife in a brand new light. She had walls up to mimic a "stoic person"....had walls up since her childhood to protect that sensitive side. Surprise to me.....I had walls up too, but my enthusiastic passionate nature hid that from others...including myself!

Coping mechs learned and applied as a child have a very short shelf-life of usefullness....don't they?

I have more compassion for her now than I ever have now that I have seen more of her. I have more compassion for myself now than I ever have since I have seen more of myself!


If this wasn't so dang painful....it could actually be defined as exciting! But if this trial wasn't so painful....I would be the same old blakesteele of 22 months ago. And THAT thought is very unappealing to me....like drinking vinegar when I am dying of thirst.


I have new thirsts awakened in me....and am finding healthy fountains to quench that thirst. One of those fountains is my wife....and I am loving sipping her they way I am learning to do NOW.


Peace.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 4:09 PM, April 21st (Monday)]


ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not

Posts: 3635 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
peoplepleaser
♀ Member
Member # 41535
Default  Posted: 6:07 PM, April 21st (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's interesting what you've discovered about yourself, blakesteel. It makes me pause as I notice I've begin on a roller coaster of my own with regard to myself.

At first I started to see myself through WS's misperceptions. This goes back to FOO issues, as my mother always called me selfish (projection). Actually, once when discussing it with my mother (and telling her everyone has called me selfish, but when she asked who I didn't say she did--wasn't worth it at the time) I realized that those who have labeled me selfish were engaging with me in ways that negated the judgment, as they were all projecting. A more accurate description is that I know myself very well and assert my wants and needs in life. So, anyway, I let her gaslight me I. The beginning about how horrible I was in the relationship.

The truth is, I wasn't. I never made any decision without checking with her. I always thought of her first, even when resentment was building because of her distance, though at times I dismissed what I thought of her during that time.

While I can freely admit that I held back on full vulnerability in the relationship due to just coming from a verbally abusive one, I'm struggling with accepting the blame she expects me to shoulder for our relationship problems. I wasn't that broken in the beginning. When I look back I realize that as I came to a place of being able to be fully vulnerable I held back because she wasn't fully there. I knew she wasn't relying on me emotionally. I knew there was a void. We all have some issues following us from childhood, yes, but I had engaged in therapy several times during our relationship to address those issues. We even went to couples therapy (during which time she had her first EA) and I was completely vulnerable and working hard while she held back and have up. She chose to not allow my work to change her perspective, and then began looking for reasons I was not good to justify what she had done. Ooh, I'm getting angry as I write this...

So I am struggling with accepting the things she still clings to that project me as this careless, selfish person who haphazardly ignored her feelings. I can think back to countless times I reached out only to be rejected, even. And it's done if those times she still uses to say I was not there for her (though other times she admits that she refused me). It's maddening. I can't get a clear picture right now about what really happened, as she goes back and forth.

So overall, I could have done more to make her feel special, but what I did do was ignored. So where is my accountability in that? Wouldn't anyone stop doing what they are doing instead of doing more in that situation?

I guess what I'm asking is if you were in this place at some point and then later realized you had more culpability.


WS: 39--2 EAs
BS: 39--me, faithful
DS: 6
9 year relationship in R.
DDay #1: September 6, 2013 EA for 5 weeks August 2013.
DDay #2: January 2, 2014 EA for 6 weeks summer 2011.
"I am still learning." -Michelangelo

Posts: 608 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: Midwest
Neverwudaguessed
♀ Member
Member # 41884
Default  Posted: 12:10 PM, April 23rd (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The truth is, I wasn't. I never made any decision without checking with her. I always thought of her first, even when resentment was building because of her distance, though at times I dismissed what I thought of her during that time.

While I can freely admit that I held back on full vulnerability in the relationship due to just coming from a verbally abusive one, I'm struggling with accepting the blame she expects me to shoulder for our relationship problems. I wasn't that broken in the beginning. When I look back I realize that as I came to a place of being able to be fully vulnerable I held back because she wasn't fully there. I knew she wasn't relying on me emotionally. I knew there was a void. We all have some issues following us from childhood
,

o

I am struggling with accepting the things she still clings to that project me as this careless, selfish person who haphazardly ignored her feelings. I can think back to countless times I reached out only to be rejected, even. And it's done if those times she still uses to say I was not there for her (though other times she admits that she refused me). It's maddening. I can't get a clear picture right now about what really happened, as she goes back and forth.

My husband and I have talked about this too. I actually think that it is really hard to analyze the dynamics of the marriage pre-affair and relate it today because, at least for my husband, the WS is so different, so aware of his inability to cope with life's uncomfortable situations as well as the big stuff, so out of touch with anything to do with a feeling, so full of walls. How I interacted with that man, because of al the brokeness is very different from how I interact with the open, communicative, affection husband he is today. How do you figure out how things would have played out if the WS had been able to work within the relationship with an understanding of their upbringing and how that upbringing affected their entire view of intimacy and human interaction? For me, there is only little value in spending much time back there once the Wayward had figured out and worked on their foo issues...


BW: 44 Me
WH:48
DDay1 9-9-13 (18th Wedding Anniversary) 6 wk EA, 1 wk PA
DDay2: 10-25-13 EA/PA with same OW 12 1/2 years ago for 3 months
OW: XGF Predator who never stopped pursuing WH
DS 13
DD 11

Posts: 528 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: New York
Topic Posts: 7

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