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User Topic: The bumpy road of R
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 11:01 AM, July 9th (Tuesday)

I've noticed when H and I spend quality time together we tend to bond and feel closer. Even just a few hours of one on one time, when he's not distracted by work and when I'm relaxed, can make all the difference.

This may sound simple and obvious but for us it's kind of new as we start to get to know each other again.

But I feel it's always ME that initiates this QT. When I do, he's happy to oblige and goes along with any suggested plans but he never initiates. I've tried explaining that sometimes it would be nice if he planned a few hours for us to be together. It would make me feel special and wanted, however, he never does.

I am doing all the heavy lifting and I understand this is needed but if we have committed to R, is it not fair to expect some enthusiasm from him?

I feel like we have a great few weeks and then I start feeling low again. Neglected. Lonely.

I'm just so tired being the one doing all the planning and organising. This may sound trivial but after a week of any real alone time together I'm feeling disconnected again.

I'm worried because surely a busy week and little time alone should be ok?

It shouldn't lead me to feel the way I do.

Lately, he's also been using the kids to avoid me; let's go to the park, lets have family dinners, activities etc. This is great as he's an amazing dad, but I know him well and I know he's focussing massively on the kids to avoid any real interaction with me.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 3:03 PM, July 9th (Tuesday)

Maybe I'm over-simplifying, but in one sentence you say he's happy to spend QT with you, and in another you're implying he's showing zero enthusiasm. Both can't be true.

I totally get that you want him to initiate sometimes, but if you crave QT and all you need do to earn it is make plans he's certain to accept--then why are you letting a week pass, and disconnection creep in? Simply because "doing all the heavy lifting" violates your sense of fairness?

Would you rather be right, or happy?


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: 1109 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 3:16 PM, July 9th (Tuesday)

Hi 20,

He's happy to spend time providing I make all the arrangements. He wants to know where and when to show up. I worry because previously this has contributed to my resentment.

I don't know why I feel so sad about this. Maybe I'm just having a bad day but I feel taken granted for.

I know he see's this as trivial and maybe it is a little stupid but this is my language that shows love and care. I know his language is space and time to focus on his work etc and I am doing everything in my power to show him that his needs are important to me.

It's all so hard sometimes and I feel like giving up.

Today I burst out crying as I sat alone and realised that this craving for attention and connection is exactly how I was feeling when xAP first came on the scene.

I'm feeling the same vulnerability. This time obviously I have better insight and skills to deal with these feelings.

Posting on here is a lifesaver.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
20WrongsVs1
Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 8:49 PM, July 9th (Tuesday)

Hang in there. Wish I had some magical sage advice. Your anguish is palpable.

Your "love language" is QT, and you're saying his is...being given space to focus on his work? Hmm. Must admit, if I truly believed that, I'd say maybe he should marry his work! Do you feel loved by him? How does he show it?


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: 1109 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
WalkinOnEggshelz
Member
Member # 29447
Default  Posted: 9:53 AM, July 10th (Wednesday)

I just want to pint out a few things that you mentioned that seem like red flags to me:

It would make me feel special and wanted, however, he never does.


I feel like we have a great few weeks and then I start feeling low again. Neglected. Lonely.

Today I burst out crying as I sat alone and realised that this craving for attention and connection is exactly how I was feeling when xAP first came on the scene.

I'm feeling the same vulnerability.

So what I get from these statements is that if he doesn't start making you feel special, you are vulnerable to another A? Or at the very least disconnecting from the M?

Why is it his job to make you feel special? You are just five months out from DDay. It is my humble opinion that it is far too early to ask this of him. At this point what is that you are doing to make him feel special? What are you doing to make him feel safe?

So your love language is quality time. You state that he is more than happy to engage in activities with you and the kids. Why is it so hard to do the planning? Sure it would nice if he were to do some planning too. But don't you think it's nice that he has decided to attempt at R?

I think that this early on expecting enthusiasm from him is highly unfair. He may not be sharing his feelings with you well but I can tell you that it will take time for him to heal from this. He can not trust you and the things you tell him. And I can guarantee that saying things like unless he starts making plans and spending QT with me I will feel lonely and vulnerable, most likely appears as a threat. At the very least insensitive. Put yourself in his shoes. You just found out he had an A. He says he just felt lonely all of the time and wants you to spend time with him. Kinda blame shifty, huh? Then complains when you aren't "enthusiastic" about making him feel special when it was him that had an A.

I'm glad that you understand that your love language is quality time. It will help you understand your feelings and needs. But there is no such love language called 'space and time to focus on his work'. Which tells me you really don't understand what his love language is. Quality time may not be it for him. But there are four more: Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Perhaps if you take the time to get to know his, he would be more willing to return the favor. But keep in mind that providing you your love language will not be easy for him. My love language is Words if Affirmation. How could I possibly have expected my BH to provide me with words if affirmation just 5 months after DDay? I couldn't. I had to learn to provide them for myself. I had to learn that sometimes I needed too much. And we have been healing and working through things, we are finding a balance. But that takes time.


I have learned that a relationship is not just about what I am getting from it. There is much to be said about what you give to it as well. And when you do give, quite often you receive as well.


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: 649 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Texas
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 11:34 AM, July 12th (Friday)

So what I get from these statements is that if he doesn't start making you feel special, you are vulnerable to another A? Or at the very least disconnecting from the M?

Yes. It's immature and I'm so embarrassed about this but it's how I've always dealt with my low self-esteem ie validation from the man I'm in a relationship with. If he shows me and tells me he loves me then I must be lovable. If he doesn't then he doesn't really want to be with me.

This is such fucked up thinking as all things would indicate that he does love me, but the minute circumstances prevent us from bonding I start to panic as I think something is wrong between us.

I can't just BE and this really worries me. The origin of all this is low-self esteem and self-worth but I have no idea where this comes from.

As a child I was prodigal, I decided to take it on myself to be the one to never disappoint my parents. My siblings gave my parents a hard time and it seemed that it was my job to be the "good" one. So I did whatever it took to make them happy and proud. This in turn was rewarded with praise and lots of adoration and pride.

Maybe I've become used to it? I don't know really but I hate this trait about myself and it always comes between us. It comes across as whiney and needy which is a huge turn-off for H or for anyone for that matter.

My initial post was a tantrum. I need to stop them as they do not help and set us back. All I can say is I'm lucky my H tolerates them but obviously his tolerance level is decreasing day by day and he's not taking my shit anymore (rightly so).

Is this entitlement?

I need to understand why I feel so unloved when all things would clearly show that I am.

I have learned that a relationship is not just about what I am getting from it. There is much to be said about what you give to it as well. And when you do give, quite often you receive as well.

I totally agree with you but where I get stuck is the reasonableness. I never know when what I'm asking for is being a spoilt brat or if he's withdrawing and being neglectful. It's all so confusing.

Anyway, we've had a good talk about it and you're all right. If I want to spend QT with him and have to be the one to plan it, so be it.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
JustDesserts
Member
Member # 39665
Default  Posted: 12:16 PM, July 12th (Friday)

This is a good thread. I hope you will be able, Trying, to take to heart some of the advice and observations provided. I've been so caught up on the "me part" of my mess 99% of the time that I've ended up baffled sometimes at how my BW is feeling and processing what I did to myself, her, and us. It's just wonderful...my affair's cost while in progress to all of us. And now the aftermath's ongoing costs. I've rung up quite the bill.

Maybe one thing you could do, as for the moment you're "stuck" in the initiator role, is to plan something that is 1) completely NEW to both of you and 2) for JUST the both of you (no kids). It would be a way to show him, through an action, that you care about him, being with him, and creating new connections with him. It is YOU doing something to make HIM feel special. And I'm thinking, just maybe, by doing so you'll feel special, too. Just a thought.

I do hope you'll get some relief from how you're feeling.


2 year EA/PA. DDay 3/12. Broke NC 6/13 w/one stupid 5 line e-mail (which brought me to SI). Me: WH, 50. Her: BW, 49. Married 19 years. Two kids. Dog. Reconciling...together.

Posts: 403 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: Suburbia, New England, USA
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 1:04 PM, July 12th (Friday)

Today I burst out crying as I sat alone and realised that this craving for attention and connection is exactly how I was feeling when xAP first came on the scene.

This is a brave thing to admit to and hopefully a good realization for change. Where will you go from here? When you find yourself in this place, what is the behavior or pattern you would like to have that's healthier than the old one?


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.


Posts: 3902 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
KBeguile
Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 6:41 PM, July 12th (Friday)

Trying33 said:
Is this entitlement?

I have a problem differentiating what is "entitlement" and what's genuinely something I can reasonably expect. That said, generally speaking, "entitlement" is the feeling of deserving something you haven't earned through hard work and dedicated effort and generally stems from narcissistic feelings of being "different," "special," or "privileged" in some way.

Tantrums typically are expressions of a feeling of entitlement, because they are an immature reaction to not getting one's way as well as demonstrating that the person has no other reasonable argument.

That last bit, the part about "no other reasonable argument," might be a good test for any situation. If you can justify why you have earned whatever it is that you want, then it isn't necessarily "entitlement." If you have no justification other than "well, it's what I wanted," or "well, he just owes me," then it's probably entitlement.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 794 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 6:04 AM, July 14th (Sunday)

This is a brave thing to admit to and hopefully a good realization for change. Where will you go from here? When you find yourself in this place, what is the behavior or pattern you would like to have that's healthier than the old one?

Totally different from last time. This time I talked to my H and if he doesn't listen I talk again.

My communication with H may need a lot of working on but I'm not going to give up on despair this time. I'm going to keep talking and seeking help here on SI until both our needs are met.

After all, an A isn't the answer, hurt aside, it solves absolutely nothing. It isn't a solution, it's just an escape. The same old problems are still there once the A ends which it always will.

It's time for me to acknowledge and understand that a M is hard work and there are no shortcuts.

It's difficult but I'm ready for it. No running away this time.

That said, generally speaking, "entitlement" is the feeling of deserving something you haven't earned through hard work and dedicated effort and generally stems from narcissistic feelings of being "different," "special," or "privileged" in some way.

Tantrums typically are expressions of a feeling of entitlement, because they are an immature reaction to not getting one's way as well as demonstrating that the person has no other reasonable argument.

That last bit, the part about "no other reasonable argument," might be a good test for any situation. If you can justify why you have earned whatever it is that you want, then it isn't necessarily "entitlement." If you have no justification other than "well, it's what I wanted," or "well, he just owes me," then it's probably entitlement.

Thank-you for these points KB, they are really helpful.

I think for me, it's not so much "I think I'm special", it's more of a "it's not fair, I do all these things for you and you can't even do this". It's whiney and it's almost as though for me, the amount of effort he puts into the M is a correlation of how much the M means to him.

It's always nice to know that someone is reciprocating but somewhere here I'm a bit stuck because I think I need this reciprocation more as a confirmation of my value and worthiness.

The problem lies between our interpretation of what is "effort". He believes that providing for the family by working hard and spending time raising the kids is enough effort. He always asks me to looks at the bigger picture and believes THAT is more important.

He doesn't believe what I need is important and views it as irrelevant and superficial. To him, why should it matter who initiates or makes plans. When he says this I feel stupid and belittled. Often dismissed. Sometimes crazy.

I have learned that a relationship is not just about what I am getting from it. There is much to be said about what you give to it as well. And when you do give, quite often you receive as well.

I feel as if I have given so much to the overall him. Meaning, adapted to his and his family's way of life, that to some extent have compromised on my own internal values. This has led to a lot of resentment as I feel none of it has been appreciated.

I guess what I haven't done as much is really invest in HIM and HIM as a husband and a man. It's mostly been about the unit as a whole.

I don't think, from what I'm reading, it's so much of an entitlement thing. It's more a need for external validation and approval in order to feel accepted and wanted.

When I feel this doesn't happen my reaction is inappropriate and immature.

Sometimes it's warranted and other times it's not. It's often unclear when it's me being unreasonable or him being neglectful.

My plan is to keep checking in with myself, my H and others as to where it all stands.



Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
KBeguile
Member
Member # 38348
Default  Posted: 9:14 AM, July 14th (Sunday)

Careful, Trying33:

I think for me, it's not so much "I think I'm special", it's more of a "it's not fair, I do all these things for you and you can't even do this". It's whiney and it's almost as though for me, the amount of effort he puts into the M is a correlation of how much the M means to him.

It's always nice to know that someone is reciprocating but somewhere here I'm a bit stuck because I think I need this reciprocation more as a confirmation of my value and worthiness.

The problem lies between our interpretation of what is "effort". He believes that providing for the family by working hard and spending time raising the kids is enough effort. He always asks me to looks at the bigger picture and believes THAT is more important.

He doesn't believe what I need is important and views it as irrelevant and superficial. To him, why should it matter who initiates or makes plans. When he says this I feel stupid and belittled. Often dismissed. Sometimes crazy.

I raise a red flag because I want you to carefully think about what you've just said. Are you projecting? I know that I minimized everything that my BS did for our family and over-inflated what I did for the family in order to justify a lot of my bad behaviors.

This is actually a scenario where the 180 can come in handy for the WS. If things are really as bad as you say, then if you put forward more effort - for yourself, mind you, not with the intent of doing it "for him" or "to get his attention," because that will only contribute more resentment - and he STILL continues to behave in the same manner, then you might have grounds for something.

If, on the other hand, you decide to do things out of your own heart for your own reasons and he notices, - perhaps offering to help you or doing other things of his own that you have wanted him to take notice of - then it might just have been you projecting all along.

Have you talked to him about your feelings of being marginalized, belittled, and dismissed as "irrelevant and superficial"? ... I'm talking about something that's discussed in a way that isn't attacking him or trying to make him feel as small as you feel. Trying to even this playing field isn't going to help anyone or anything.


Me: fWS 32
Her: BS 35 (HeartInADustpan)
DS: 4yo
M: 7 years
DDays: 2012/11/14, 2013/02/05, 2013/03/09
-
"Everything that happens now is happening 'now.'"
"What happened to 'then'?"
"We passed 'then.'"

Posts: 794 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: St. Louis
July73
New Member
Member # 37426
Default  Posted: 11:04 AM, July 14th (Sunday)

Trying33... I have a lot of the same thoughts as you do. By working in IC I have found I have a lot of cognitive distortions that make me feel this way. The all or nothing thinking comes up, as well as personalizing your feelings. This sometimes makes the need for validation override any positive thoughts you may have. This makes it feel like it is all about you and what you are doing, never seeing that if we wouldn't have done xyz then we wouldn't be where we are now. Just some thoughts.


WH Me 41
BW 39
M 18 yrs.
LTA 1.5 yrs.
D-day Sept 21,2012. Worst day of my life... can not imagine how it must have been for my loving wife. I am so sorry.

Posts: 38 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Alberta,Canada
Finally10
Member
Member # 36900
Default  Posted: 1:50 PM, July 14th (Sunday)

I feel as if I have given so much to the overall him. Meaning, adapted to his and his family's way of life, that to some extent have compromised on my own internal values. This has led to a lot of resentment as I feel none of it has been appreciated.

SO... you want him to say effectively that he understands and appreciates that you compromised yourself to be with him and his family and that he really appreciates that you made the sacrifice to be with him? Is that about right?

Can you not see the feelings of entitlement expressed by this sentiment?

I know he see's this as trivial and maybe it is a little stupid but this is my language that shows love and care. I know his language is space and time to focus on his work etc and I am doing everything in my power to show him that his needs are important to me.

I think perhaps you need to revisit the "Love Languages" book and analyze some more. There is no love language that is "leave me alone". The important thing is that you understand the difference between how you perceive you are loved by his words and actions and what you do to tell him that he is loved by your words and actions. How you hear and how you speak love are two entirely different things. I just don't know how he/you possibly got "leave me alone" from the love languages quiz.


Posts: 113 | Registered: Sep 2012
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 3:59 PM, July 14th (Sunday)

Finally, sorry, when I said that bit about love language I used the wrong terminology. I wasn't referring to the official quiz or book. It was an expression I was using to communicate what he needs from me.

For example, he has requested headspace when he returns home from work for a while until the kids are in bed and when we can talk quietly and not to bombard him as soon as he enters the door.

He has requested that I not give him such a hard time when he travels for work. He has requested that I understand that he may not return a call straight away during the working day if he's in a meeting (unless it's urgent).

So, I was just trying to relay that perhaps his interpretation of love is when I can do those things and I used the wrong terminology. Sorry for the confusion.

He is yet to take the quiz.

Are you projecting? I know that I minimized everything that my BS did for our family and over-inflated what I did for the family in order to justify a lot of my bad behaviors.

KB. good point, but I don't think it's the case. In my culture it's kind of expected for the woman to give up more than the man, and I did so happily, it's kind of how I've been raised and it's not a big deal. It's just that sometimes I'd like some recognition.

Have you talked to him about your feelings of being marginalized, belittled, and dismissed as "irrelevant and superficial"? ... I'm talking about something that's discussed in a way that isn't attacking him or trying to make him feel as small as you feel.

Yes, we talk about it and he explains it as, in his mind, it shouldn't matter as it doesn't to him. I've explained that to me it demonstrates something. It's a measurement. His answer "why do you need to measure my love for you, you know I love you". It's true, I know it intellectually so why am I always testing him?

The all or nothing thinking comes up

I can definitely relate to this.

SO... you want him to say effectively that he understands and appreciates that you compromised yourself to be with him and his family and that he really appreciates that you made the sacrifice to be with him? Is that about right?

Can you not see the feelings of entitlement expressed by this sentiment?

What I would appreciate is some acknowledgement that things have been hard for me and that he's noticed and appreciates my hard work and yes it's largely due to the fact that he's thrown me in the deep end with his life and family.

I just would like a "well done" from him. Is that so bad? Why is it so needy to want someone to tell you you've done a good job?


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 4:29 PM, July 14th (Sunday)

After reading my last post again, what I'm really wanting from him is an admission/apology that he hasn't been the most supportive husband to me in the past.

I just want to know that it's not all in my head and that things really did happen.

This is why I think I need the recognition, that despite his support etc I still managed to deal with the circumstances that I was placed in.

Does any of this make sense?


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
BostonGirl
Member
Member # 33930
Default  Posted: 9:31 PM, July 14th (Sunday)

<i>He doesn't believe what I need is important and views it as irrelevant and superficial. To him, why should it matter who initiates or makes plans. When he says this I feel stupid and belittled. Often dismissed. Sometimes crazy.</i>

<i> he explains it as, in his mind, it shouldn't matter as it doesn't to him. I've explained that to me it demonstrates something. It's a measurement. His answer "why do you need to measure my love for you, you know I love you". It's true, I know it intellectually so why am I always testing him?</i>

Gently: no wonder you feel so disconnected and lonely, when your husband treats you with such blatant disrespect.

It matters to you because it matters to you. You are telling him what you need to feel loved and he it's foolish and unnecessary. WTF? Is that how a loving spouse is supposed to behave?

I am NOT saying that being married means that one is slave to the desires of one's spouse. Sometimes one partner really wants something that the other partner really can't give. But in those situations, people in a healthy loving marriage at least accept the request respectfully and try to find a compromise, or at least understanding.

John Gottman's great book, the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, has a chapter on dealing with "unsolvable problems". The recommendation is that partners dig into what's going on *behind* the request. In this case, what does it mean to you that he doesn't initiate and reach out? What does it mean to him to need space? If the two of you can really understand and respect what is driving the others' need/request, you can work to lovingly address them one way or another.

Wouldn't it be great if the world worked that way? The first step of that process is for one partner to state what they need and why it's important, and for their spouse to honor that. You've started that process and your husband hasn't respected you enough to do the second--nor returned the conversation in kind. He's shutting you down when you make a request, and shutting you out by not making requests of his own.

Yes, he's been hurt by your EA--but I recall this has been his longstanding pattern.

No wonder you're lonely.

Not good. Not loving or intimate.

MC, MC, MC!!


It'll all be OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end.

Posts: 133 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Boston
Topic Posts: 16