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User Topic: I'm all over the place and need help communicating
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 2:56 AM, June 15th (Saturday)

I have been digesting this article for a few days now.

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

It's as though Dr Carter has been a fly on our wall for the last 10 years and is describing the dynamics of my marriage to a tee. I cried whilst reading some parts.

Whilst going through the article I had many a-ha moments and other emotions ranging from hurt, hopelessness, resentment (see, it's not all in my head) to optimism, "maybe it is all my fault but I can change" to "this is all hopeless and we don't have a chance".

As usual, my head is all over the place and my emotions and thoughts on a roller coaster. I feel so unstable. One day, I'm super enthusiastic and happy, so grateful for all that is my life etc. Other days it's all doom and gloom and I just want to run away from my M as it's the cause of all my unhappiness. I know. Typical WW thinking.

I'm beginning to think there may be a biological component to my psychological ups and downs? I have tried to identify external triggers and there are some but none so vast that would induce such mood and thought swings. It seems to be all internal.

Anyway, as always the case and as many always end up pointing out to me, it has to start with me and my stuff. Of course this is true.

In short, to improve your own satisfaction and happiness, a major step is to put your own house in order. You may find that the improvement in your life is just the catalyst your spouse needs. And even if you do not experience the adjustments in your mate that you have hoped for, you will still be a more stable and content individual. Are you willing to start with your own hard, inward search?

The emotionally eager wife will say, “Yes! Of course.” But then she amends that with a but. “I’m willing to adjust, but my husband needs to change.” Whether or not you are correct to say this, you are basing your happiness and responses on someone else’s behavior.

Your willingness to work on your own issues will be the key for finding personal peace, then potentially, success in that most important relationship, your marriage.


No point dealing with the marriage right now until I'm psychologically stronger and have sorted out my own complexes that I have carried around for many years.

Namely;
Never feeling good enough
Always seeking reassurance and acknowledgement
Feeling like people look down on me which was further magnified when I married a man who is from a privileged background whereas I'm from a working class background. Knowing people thought I only "married him for his money" when this wasn't true
Feeling entitled
Having problems sharing
Feeling abandoned every time he travels although I know this is his job. Have never fully reconciled with this.

And the list goes on and on, albeit surface, I can identify another 10 things that have always bothered me. At this point I'm worried people will judge me and think I'm a lost cause (always trying to please and impress people?) I'm also feeling terribly indulgent for talking so much about myself.

My H and I discussed IC for me a few days ago. It came following him asking me if I'm committed to making this M work. Funny question for him to ask as I'm the one that went outside the M, but he's obviously processing his own stuff right now too. I replied I am committed but lack the necessary skills to stop the cycle of blame and resentment. I always tend to feel lonely. Nothing back from him. Silence.

Between now and September, we are moving countries and travelling and won't be in any one place for more than three weeks at a time. I will eventually find an IC in September so that I may have continuity with him/her.

In the meantime, I want to start doing some work on myself but don't know where to start. I find I do great for a few days then snap again. It could just be all the stress with the move and I'm not particularly good with endings.

This probably sounds all jumbled. My head is a bit jumbled. I get so overwhelmed with it all and it consumes me.

Any thoughts, suggestions or practical advice on how to start addressing some of my stuff?

Right now, I want to communicate better with my H.

I'll give an example so people can help specifically.

Last night our DD was running a high fever and a terrible cough etc. H is away on a business trip. As I stayed awake and nursed her all night, I started recalling all the times I've done this alone and he's never been around. I started feeling angry and messaged him a rant. Needless to say, he didn't respond. So, the mature healthy way at that moment would have been to hold back and communicate this to him in a calm and rational manner when he returns from his trip. But I had to release the built-up anger. In this scenario, what were my other options with dealing with the pent up frustration at that moment?


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
Zayda1
Member
Member # 35387
Default  Posted: 7:06 AM, June 15th (Saturday)

Do you journal? I write down my frustrations. Seeing them on paper does sometimes help me see that they aren't rational. It also helps to look back and read older entries and see if there is a pattern to my feelings.

I also workout to help air out my anxiety/frustration. Boot Camp has been a good way for me to get my energy out so I don't release it on WH.


Married 9 years, together for 11 years
2 children (7 years & 4 years)
Discovery of PA 04/15/12 (It only lasted a "couple of weeks" but it still shattered my world.)

Posts: 453 | Registered: Apr 2012
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 7:58 AM, June 15th (Saturday)

Could you be feeling confused because you're finally relinquishing control over the situation? IMO that is a great step for you, to acknowledge that you lack those skills. You can't fix yourself till you admit you're broken.

I had my first IC appointment on Thursday, and it was great, I can't wait to go back. I encourage you to start IC now, even if you need to find a new C after the move. She could help you identify your internal issues, and recommend some self-help techiniques, books, etc. And starting IC may prove to your BH that you are committed to changing.

Did you apologize for the rant?

To echo Z1, I started a blog, and have been emailing my parents about all this. Writing is very cathartic for me.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1008 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
WalkinOnEggshelz
Member
Member # 29447
Default  Posted: 8:46 AM, June 15th (Saturday)

I replied I am committed but lack the necessary skills to stop the cycle of blame and resentment. I always tend to feel lonely. Nothing back from him. Silence.

Trying, this caught my attention because if I were a BS I feel I would be hearing that you are only committed if he stops making you feel lonely, if he works on those things that you blame and resent him for. When you are truly committed to working towards R there are no 'buts''. You either are or you aren't. There is a big difference between telling him "I am committed to R. I am committed to working on those things that compromised my character and caused you pain. I am concerned about this blame/resentment cycle I get into and I want to work on that very much so we can build a healthy relationship" and "I am committed but I lack the skills necessary". To me, it screams I will try but don't blame me if I still resent you, it's not my fault.

It feels to me that in a roundabout way that you are trying to put some owness on him. This the lonely part. Because he travels a lot, I can understand that your feelings of loneliness can be valid. Have you asked how he feels about traveling so much? There is a possibility that he feels that he is making a great sacrifice for you and DD by working so hard. Perhaps he hates leaving you so much and feels as if he is missing out on valuable family time. Maybe he missed you terribly every time he leaves but he tells himself that it is for the greater good so he can provide a nice life for his family. So when he is making this sacrifice and missing you and he is given anger and bitterness in return, how should he feel? How should he respond?

I think it's vital to work on your own issues. I've learned through my own experiences that I had a tendency to blow things out of proportion or twist scenarios to suit my needs. Rewrite if you will. It wasn't until I bothered to take the time to ask my BH how he felt about things that I realized my resentments were unjust. So before you get angry, resentful, or defensive stop for a minute and ask 'How does he really feel about this?' Don't make assumptions. It may help stop the cycle.


Me: WS 42
Him: BH 43(HoldingTogether)
M: 18years, together 22
2 Daughters: 13 and 10
D Day: 7/24/2010; TT to 10/17/10
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

Posts: 589 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Texas
tooanalytical
Member
Member # 22306
Default  Posted: 11:36 AM, June 15th (Saturday)

Totally this for me.
Have you asked how he feels about traveling so much? There is a possibility that he feels that he is making a great sacrifice for you and DD by working so hard. Perhaps he hates leaving you so much and feels as if he is missing out on valuable family time. Maybe he missed you terribly every time he leaves but he tells himself that it is for the greater good so he can provide a nice life for his family.

I wanted off the fast path treadmill of work and traveling but thought she wanted the lifestyle for her and the kids. In fact I asked several time if I should find a local job, but told her we would need to scale back the lifestyle. Response - crickets each time asked and then eventually I was rewarded with betrayal.

The frustrated rants while I was away were the worst. What could I possible do when I just landed somewhere hours from home. Helpless feeling which left me speachless.

[This message edited by tooanalytical at 11:39 AM, June 15th (Saturday)]


Me BH 44
FWW 44
Married 21 years
D-Day Apr 29, 2008
Children: 19,17,14
EA/PA - 1 year
Status: R

Posts: 275 | Registered: Jan 2009
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 11:04 PM, June 15th (Saturday)

Could you be feeling confused because you're finally relinquishing control over the situation?

20, I've totally backed off him and quite frankly am leaving him to his own healing. He knows he can ask me anything and I'm sure he will when the time is right for him. In the meantime there are many things I need to figure out. The cycle that we find ourselves in mentioned in the article needs to be addressed. I sent him the article. Don't know if he's read it. I'm not going to badger him about it. But I'm hoping he has. Even if he hasn't, it's not my place to shove it in his face. I gained a great deal from it and want to learn from it.


Walkingonegg;
It probably sounds this way because I think there's still parts of me that feels like this.

It feels to me that in a roundabout way that you are trying to put some owness on him. This the lonely part

I am generally lonely here and depend on him for a lot so when he's not here my natural default position is to blame him for my lonliness. We have actively planned to change this by moving to our home country where I will be around friends and family and have a wider support network. We are taking a huge risk with this decision and I hope it works out the way we planned.

I wanted off the fast path treadmill of work and traveling but thought she wanted the lifestyle for her and the kids. In fact I asked several time if I should find a local job, but told her we would need to scale back the lifestyle. Response - crickets each time asked and then eventually I was rewarded with betrayal.

The frustrated rants while I was away were the worst. What could I possible do when I just landed somewhere hours from home. Helpless feeling which left me speachless.

The travelling was nearly a dealbreaker for me a few years ago. It was so far from my frame of reference of what a M should be. I expressed this to him and he scaled down the business trips a lot.

He of course thinks I'm being unreasonable and has often said "I stop him from growing". The victim bit in the article really resonates here for both of us. At this point I feel unheard, I withdraw, feel like a burden and not good enough to be able to support him enough in the decisions he makes.

All I hear him saying is "why can't you just be like all the other women I know and let me work and grow my business. Get your own life. Stop being obtrusive and being an obstacle for my evolving". This is in my head of course. He doesn't directly say this but then again he doesn't directly say anything.

The A for a while was a convenient distraction for never feeling good enough.

And as for asking him how he feels, well it's pointless. I never get an answer. It's always something like "I don't have a choice". "It's obvious isn't it". Feelings are never spoken about.

The travelling is a part of our lives and always will be. Has been since I met him. I either deal with it or not. Simple as that.

My plan is to get myself a life


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 11:13 PM, June 15th (Saturday)

Too analytical;

I read your profile and something really jumped out at me. The bit about you putting a key logger and a gps system on her car. I don't know why but my gut tells me my H may have done the same which is why he appears so calm and relaxed.

I don't mind as whatever works for him. I don't blame him if he needs proof to show what I'm saying is true especially when he's not here.

I remember a few years ago pre A, a friend of his told him in front of me, jokingly, that he has started to sell these tracking devices as so many guys are suspicious of their gf's/wives. He offered my H one and we all laughed thinking how hilarious the suggestion was. It's all a bit fucked up really.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
Finally10
Member
Member # 36900
Default  Posted: 5:37 AM, June 16th (Sunday)

And as for asking him how he feels, well it's pointless. I never get an answer. It's always something like "I don't have a choice". "It's obvious isn't it". Feelings are never spoken about.

Having read the article myself and just spent an entire IC session discussing this (I did), you must realize that there is a reason for his emotional distance, right? What do you think that might be? Is he modelling one of his parents? Overly close with his mother to the point that those emotions felt "wrong" to him so he closed them off? He has to want to find out for himself and hopefully the article or maybe the book will help him see what he needs to fix to address these issues if he wants to. You cannot force him to, but you can provide a safe place for him to work through it if he wants to. As you probably know, I have followed your story and perhaps you can channel your own emotional awareness in his direction for a while and instead of thinking how all this affects you, you can instead apply some empathy to what you now know may be a bigger issue than him just shutting down in the face of your emotional states or being unwilling. Remember the article on shame; issues such as those described in the Emotionally Distant article can be a great source of unresolved shame.

If he is like me in any regard, asking him how he feels is like asking a 5 year old how an internal combustion engine works...it's unfamiliar territory, and quite frankly terrifying at times. If he has Mother/son issues as I do, your seeking an emotionally intimate discussion with him pushes a lot of uncomfortable buttons so he evades the discussion and leaves you feeling frustrated. He's not doing it to frustrate you, he's doing it because he is taken right back to the place he was when he first learned about and developed emotional feelings and was taught they were wrong, felt them inappropriate, teased, belittled, criticized about them or whatever happened to him.

Regardless, focus as you have said on the issues you have identified in yourself, but be mindful that to get the emotionally intimate relationship you want, you have a pretty good idea of what hasn't worked so try something different, make your relationship a safe place for him to try out what feeling is like. You might be surprised.


Posts: 113 | Registered: Sep 2012
Finally10
Member
Member # 36900
Default  Posted: 5:52 AM, June 16th (Sunday)

I am generally lonely here and depend on him for a lot so when he's not here my natural default position is to blame him for my lonliness. We have actively planned to change this by moving to our home country where I will be around friends and family and have a wider support network. We are taking a huge risk with this decision and I hope it works out the way we planned.

Not really trying to question this decision, but I guess I am... Moving likely means that he will have to travel more to maintain his business, at least temporarily perhaps. My question to you is why can't you develop friends, activities and a support system of friends where you are? Moving seems a huge risk to solve what sounds a awful lot like a codependent situation where you derive your happiness from him. Having supportive friends and family may simply confirm what you want to hear, that being that he should be home more to support you, when that really isn't the answer, is it? I can understand loneliness when you move away from your comfort zone and all that, but what stops you from engaging new friends and activities from which you derive satisfaction?


Posts: 113 | Registered: Sep 2012
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 8:25 AM, June 16th (Sunday)

We live in a very transient city right now. An extremely fickle and shallow place in terms of making friendships or quality relationships. Since I've lived here, some very close friends (who actually become like family in an ex pat community) have moved away and I don't feel like investing any further in friendships.

Furthermore, I feel like my career is stagnated here. Life is a bubble here and it's not real. I'm not stimulated. I also genuinely believe the move will be good for our kids in the long run and he agrees.

I know I'm taking myself with me and my issues will still be there. They will not miraculously disappear just because I move. My marriage will not automatically become fulfilling just because I move. I'm smart enough to realise that.

What I am hoping is that I will have more access to a stimulating environment. I'd like to go back to studying (no decent Universities where I live now). Yes, I could do an on-line course and yes there are tonnes of answers that can be given to my reasons for moving, but it feels right and I believe it's worth the risk. My H is in agreement with the move (although has admitted feeling nervous, well so am I).

I have to do some drastic changing. I just need to find a way to stop reacting.

Also, as a side point, I have absolutely no rights here where I live right now. I am legally a dependent of my H and his family. I cannot drive, work or have bank accounts without their say so.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
WalkinOnEggshelz
Member
Member # 29447
Default  Posted: 9:56 AM, June 16th (Sunday)

Trying,
I don't blame you for wanting to move. Having family support especially when you have children is comforting. If your husband agrees, then it sounds to me that he is trying to take your feelings into consideration and make compromises for your well being. That doesn't sound like someone sans feelings. Yet this is what you are thinking
"why can't you just be like all the other women I know and let me work and grow my business. Get your own life. Stop being obtrusive and being an obstacle for my evolving"

What exactly has given you evidence that this is how he feels?

Unless he has said that directly, you are assuming an awful lot. The real question is why are you automatically assuming the worst of him? Other than travel and not be much of a talker has he given you concrete reasons to give him the best of intentions? You say he comes from a privileged background. I am sure that doing well for himself is of great importance for his pride. Showing his feelings and demonstrating vulnerability may equate weakness to him. That will be his own to work on, but it is yours to try to empathize with him before having knee jerk reactions.

You say you have tried talking to him with little or no return. Before and even during my affair I thought I had tried talking to my BH regarding his drinking. I would bring it up and he would shoot me down. I would walk away and tell myself "I tried". I really didn't try all that hard. Had I sat him down and explained to him just how it was impacting my life and how concerned I was for him, without yelling or accusing tones, things could be very different today. But I kept saying 'I tried' and I kept saying that he didn't care and I kept building resentments. And I couldn't. have. been. more. wrong.

So it concerns me when you say

My plan is to get myself a life

Because isn't that what you were trying to do when you had your affair in the first place? There is a difference between improving yourself and distancing yourself. To me it sounds more like you are planning your life as if you were separating. Which is fine if that is what you want. Just be honest about it. Don't keep him around just to get your ducks in a row.

Try giving him the benefit of the doubt. It may help you stop your reactionary cycle with him. He just may begin to open up to you if he feels that it is safe to do so.


Me: WS 42
Him: BH 43(HoldingTogether)
M: 18years, together 22
2 Daughters: 13 and 10
D Day: 7/24/2010; TT to 10/17/10
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

Posts: 589 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Texas
Finally10
Member
Member # 36900
Default  Posted: 1:46 PM, June 16th (Sunday)

Also, as a side point, I have absolutely no rights here where I live right now. I am legally a dependent of my H and his family. I cannot drive, work or have bank accounts without their say so.

Sorry, I didn't realize you we're an ex-pat in a foreign country. Special circumstances indeed. Consider my post retracted. Moving sounds like the right thing for you guys.


Posts: 113 | Registered: Sep 2012
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 2:50 AM, June 18th (Tuesday)

What exactly has given you evidence that this is how he feels?
Unless he has said that directly, you are assuming an awful lot. The real question is why are you automatically assuming the worst of him?

Walking, it's not him it's me. I have huge insecurities about our class differences. It still bothers me after all these years. This whole not being good enough and "they think they're better than me" scenario that goes round and round in my head. It's been there since day one.

The only thing I have to go on in terms of why I think this way is he never sticks up for me and leaves me to fend for myself. If someone says something mean or alludes to something, he will see I'm struggling but won't dive in to help me. This makes me feel even more alone. But this is classic H avoiding confrontation or conflict.

We've had a good few days. Talking a lot more rather than getting pissed off with each other. We seem to be caring more for each other.

Silly example but I have a severe eye infection and he's offered to pick me up and take me to the Dr's. Usually, I'd be fiercely independent and go alone, "don't need you, I can manage alone" attitude. He eventually stopped asking to help me. My resentment built cos he "didn't care". I can see the cycle. The A fuelled the cycle. I never "needed" him cos I had AP to give a shit.

My A was all about my internal anger.

Walking, I read your story. Sending you lots of good wishes for your R.

ps. BH has agreed to read the Emotionally Unavailable man by Patti Henry. Has anyone else read it? I sent him a synopsis of the book and he thinks it may be useful as there's a section for the man and the women.

Also, he read the article. I casually asked him if he did (couldn't resist asking!). He said he did, thought it was a lot of bullshit... BUT.. some bits made sense. I laughed. He laughed. I think we're moving in the right direction.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
Topic Posts: 13