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User Topic: Emotionally Unavailable Men
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 2:21 AM, August 17th (Saturday)

I'm hoping to get some guidance and thoughts from women who have emotionally unavailable (EU) husbands and men who have identified themselves as EU or who have been told by their wives that they are EU.

Yesterday, my H and I got into a downward spiral of communication that eventually led to the whole thing breaking down.

It started because I was sparked by some things that have been said lately on SI. Things are fine. We are coasting and fire fighting other daily activities. It's good. We barely fight and I guess you could say we are in the "let's not rock the boat" camp right now.

We're careful not to piss each other off. Gentle and considerate. I guess you could say it's pleasant and we are both mindful of each other and being kind.

BUT essentially nothing has changed. I still don't feel like we've talked about anything. There's still a huge elephant in the room and he doesn't want to address it. Like I've said in the past, I respect his wish not to talk about my A but we aren't getting any closer.

Yesterday, I snapped because I perceived him as being unsupportive of a work matter. I had a meltdown when I've been doing so well. Told him I still feel lonely and just because I don't "complain" anymore it doesn't mean everything is hunky dory and we continue as though it is.

After some talking and attempts at communicating we concluded I need to be more articulate on WHAT I want him to do in order for me to feel more closer to him. According to him, everything is fine and he is very optimistic (I question that tbh) but the fact that I expect him to mind read and do things to make us closer is unfair.

I don't really know how to articulate this to him. I feel lonely, I feel like he doesn't find me or my life relevant or interesting. I feel his work/life always takes precedence over mine. YET, he is massively kind to me, thoughtful in many ways, has been helping out a lot more, is amazing with the kids.

How do you tell a man who is generally a good man that it's still not enough? That there's still a gaping hole in the marriage?

We do date nights and he expresses his feelings about things such as kids, work and family but rarely about US. he skirts over the affair and still alludes to it whilst being sarcastic.

To ask him to take an interest in my life and be supportive is way too abstract for him He needs direction.

What could I say? Where do I start?


Posts: 362 | Registered: Mar 2013
silverhopes
Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 3:21 AM, August 17th (Saturday)

I feel lonely, I feel like he doesn't find me or my life relevant or interesting. I feel his work/life always takes precedence over mine.

That's a hard place to be in. We want to connect with, share our lives with our spouses. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to tell him how you feel, that it's important to you... And then to let yourself find interest in your own life. To be passionate yourself about those things. In time he might come to notice them too, or your passion for them, and learn to share them with you, but in the meantime you can keep being happy about your life.

YET, he is massively kind to me, thoughtful in many ways, has been helping out a lot more, is amazing with the kids.

Remember this. He might not speak the exact love language you want but he does love you and cares for you.

There's nothing wrong with asking for what you want. He should know how you feel and that it's important to you. But don't be disheartened if it takes a little while, or if he doesn't understand at first. It doesn't mean he doesn't care. Does he think of himself as emotionally unavailable?

Like I've said in the past, I respect his wish not to talk about my A but we aren't getting any closer.

Are you two in MC? From what I've heard from other couples on here (and in our own experience being madhatters), not talking about the infidelity can cause problems for both people.

How do you tell a man who is generally a good man that it's still not enough? That there's still a gaping hole in the marriage?

If this hole couldn't be filled in your M, then what are some good tools you could use to fill it in yourself? How can you take care of yourself?


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 3911 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
brokensmile322
Member
Member # 35758
Default  Posted: 4:45 AM, August 17th (Saturday)

No stop sign...BS here....

Are you in MC and/or IC? What you are describing sounds like a very normal marriage problem that could be worked through with the help of a skilled MC.

Also, I worry about your BH locking your A away. I know you worry about this too. Perhaps a MC or IC would help him see that he does need to deal with your A even if he doesn't get all the details. Some people don't need details, but they do need to process the betrayal and the hurt. Sounds like you know this, but I think he needs to come to this on his own. A MC might be able to get him to see that.

Have you read the 5 love languages book? It is really good at identifying how each person feels loved. When you know your partner's love language, it is easier to meet those needs. Truly eye opening. (I believe you can take a mini quiz online that will identify your love language.) The book and the quiz might be worth a read.

Your husband might be content with the status quo because he doesn't know how to speak your love language. From his point of view, he may be thinking he is doing a stellar job. Likewise for you.


Me BS 42 Him WS 44
OW Coworker DDay April 7, 2012
EA on a slippery slope...

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor Frankl

"When you are happy, you can forgive a great deal."


Posts: 1565 | Registered: Jun 2012
WoundedOpus
Member
Member # 39521
Default  Posted: 6:02 AM, August 17th (Saturday)

I'm so sorry Trying33, I can completely relate to everything you have said, although I am the BS. It is extremely hard, if not impossible sometimes to explain how EU people behave and exactly what it does to a spouse and the marriage, it is anything but a normal marital problem I'm afraid.

My FWS and I just had a fight about this yesterday as well, we are getting nowhere and I am at a loss as to what to do about it. I just posted about this in General (Emotional Abuser to an EU Husband, page 2). I am lonely and have been for a very very long time.

We have read the 5 Love Languages, it is a great tool when for a man (or woman) who simply has a hard time expressing their emotions, but I'm afraid does little for a couple where one is completely closed off to emotions altogether or too afraid to let anyone in. Some people it seems have little in their background to point to as a cause for this, but for most it stems from major childhood trauma, it is a defense mechanism that they develop very early in life and only therapy will help them find another way.

I found an amazing article the other day about this, really helped me put so many of our problems into perspective and points out all of the reasons I'm not crazy to feel the way I do. I suggest you do a lot of research on this and then share these things with him. I have a very hard time getting my FWH to understand what I'm saying, understand what I need, and understand how what he's doing (and not doing) is hurting me and hurting us. It is THE core 'why' of his affair, he sees that, but can't face it and is unable to do the work needed to repair the damage done and in turn safeguard and rebuild our marriage.

I feel for you Trying33, I wish I had some advice but I'm struggling just as much as you are. It is not enough to know your self-worth and be validated elsewhere, I need a true partner in my marriage, not a nice buddy to share my time with. I've spent years trying to make myself be happy with what I have, but it's not working. He can be so sweet, goes out of his way to do little things for me. He can be a great dad, and a great date and great in bed. When the times are good, we laugh and spend time together and enjoy each others company. While I know that sounds good, there is a whole other piece missing from this picture. It never goes deeper than this...he is a friend with benefits. There is a wall between us higher and longer than the Great Wall of China, I can't get in, and he's not tearing it down.


Me: BW 37
Him: WH 38
(DDay: 2/2008)
13 years, 5 kids...Six years of Limbo

“I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." ~ Diane Ackerman


Posts: 178 | Registered: Jun 2013
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 8:03 AM, August 17th (Saturday)

What you are describing sounds like a very normal marriage problem that could be worked through with the help of a skilled MC.

It is extremely hard, if not impossible sometimes to explain how EU people behave and exactly what it does to a spouse and the marriage, it is anything but a normal marital problem I'm afraid.

How do you know the difference between the 2? I'm really hoping mine is more the former than the latter. That with MC (that we are yet to start) we will start to learn how to relate better.

While I know that sounds good, there is a whole other piece missing from this picture. It never goes deeper than this...he is a friend with benefits. There is a wall between us higher and longer than the Great Wall of China, I can't get in, and he's not tearing it down.

This. This. This.
No one understands this. Not my parents, not my friends, no-one. To them he is the most perfect man in the world because of

He can be so sweet, goes out of his way to do little things for me. He can be a great dad, and a great date and great in bed. When the times are good, we laugh and spend time together and enjoy each others company

Why is this not enough? Why can't I just be happy that he doesn't whore around or abuse me or be cruel? Plenty of women live with men like my H and they are happy. Not to mention my privileged and charmed life.

More often than not, when it gets too despairing all I can think about is wanting out. Going it alone. It's not what I really want but it just seems like so much hard work and I don't know if I have it in me.


Posts: 362 | Registered: Mar 2013
ReunitePangea
Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 10:04 AM, August 17th (Saturday)

Trying - your description of your BH sounds much like me. I read your post I fit so much of what you say. My WW would describe me as a good husband, awesome with the kids, help out all the time with the house, work hard to provide for the family, not wanting details of her LTA, we rarely fight and I say everything will be fine. I am sure she also finds me as emotionally unavailable too now, I don't think she has put that in words I have fully understood but I can see her saying exactly what you describe.

I don't know what your BH is feeling but I can assure you that he has feelings too even if he can't fully describe them to you. I think you may be expecting him to process all of your needs too quickly - expecting him to step right in and fill those type of needs that your AP was likely providing you is unrealistic expectation in my opinion until he has the time he needs to process it all. Where you emotionally unavailable to him during your LTA because you were giving yourself to your AP instead?

In my case my WW had a very long LTA - we are not yet a year out yet. I'm getting better over time, I try my best to keep up a positive attitude and keep working forward but it is hard. I had to protect myself first - that means making sure I find my individualism again and make sure I am taking care of my own needs. I am sure I have some co-dependency issues - I would always sacrifice my own needs for my family. Finding out that while I thought I was making sacrifices for her and my family, that instead my WW was out having fun filling her selfish needs is difficult - becoming emotionally unavailable afterwards until you are able to heal from it is not an unexpected response. My WW took another 6 weeks to break NC after I found out, that further makes it more difficult and just adds time to the healing. Was NC immediate for you after DDay, did you TT him?

You are not wrong in what you want for your needs, it is not unrealistic for you to expect those things from your husband, but I think the time frame in which you expect them is not realistic. Many BS will tell you it can take a couple years to recover and yours was a LTA which can make the time even longer. At only 6+ months out I think you have a very high expectation of what you want from him given what he is having to deal with. I know I am watching actions of my WW, I have no intent to fully give myself emotionally to my WW until I see actions over a long period of time to know I am safe.

It is such a roller coaster, on some days things are just great actually, others I think what she did and just have such a loss of respect / anger for what she did. I try to not over express how I feel on any given day. I feel my WW watches my mood and actions too much and over reacts to how I am feeling in the moment so I don't want to send mixed signals on any given day. We might have a small disagreement over something none A related, a small disagreement we likely would have had before the A, but I know now she thinks that I punish her for her A and the small disagreement is how I do it. To her it is not small, to me there is so much conflict avoidance on her part something that is small gets blown out of proportion. With all of that it just makes being emotionally unavailable even easier, I don't want to send the wrong message. I am sure it is a vicious cycle in that when I am emotionally unavailable she looks for even small signs of where I am at.

Maybe your BH has similar type thoughts that I do, maybe his are very different, but you need to let him have time to deal with it all - if you are committed to R, then you owe him that in my opinion. If you would counter with he was EU before DDay, I would counter with when you were in your A you were likely EU with him on some level so why would you expect him to be different in return at that time.

Sorry, I don't mean for the above to be too harsh, like I said above, I related so much how you described your BH. If he is a good man and is remaining by your side in some of the hardest of times realize that most men would not have the emotional strength to deal with that. He maybe more emotionally there for you then you give him credit for.



BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 489 | Registered: Nov 2012
Brandon808
Member
Member # 35619
Default  Posted: 10:16 AM, August 17th (Saturday)

BH here and I can only speak from my pov. I won't get into the details but I've taken some personality tests (like MBTI) and it revealed some interesting things. It gave me some insight into myself and other personality types.

The wall may not be a wall at all. He may not emotionally unavailable as much as you and he do not speak on the same wavelength. My guess is he speaks more with his actions than you realize. I firmly believe you would be stunned at the depth of his emotions, the intensity of what he feels. It is that deep intensity that makes openly addressing feelings difficult. You have to go slow and gentle and be prepared for a lot of false starts before it can happen. In his heart he (imho) may be feel like he is showing you tremendous love and forgiveness and cannot understand why it isn't helping. Not talking about the A may also be driven by a fear of losing you. Think about it, the "let's not rock the boat" camp is for people who fear the boat may sink and are holding for dear life to prevent that. That is a good sign. It means that he is deeply emotionally invested in you and the M.
My advice...do not approach it as fixing something that is wrong but something you want to improve.

You ask yourself why isn't it enough? I think it's because you sense these depths within him and you want to connect with him on those deeper levels. That's going to take patience. It's going to take a very loving patience because he's been like this his whole life and being misunderstood and guarded about his personality has become second nature. Guarantee he is probably not really conscious of it at this point.

Like I said I can only guess at this from the indirect knowledge here.

[This message edited by Brandon808 at 10:18 AM, August 17th (Saturday)]


xBH
D final 8/2012

Posts: 4007 | Registered: May 2012 | From: southeast
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 11:04 AM, August 17th (Saturday)

It is not enough to know your self-worth and be validated elsewhere, I need a true partner in my marriage, not a nice buddy to share my time with. I've spent years trying to make myself be happy with what I have, but it's not working. He can be so sweet, goes out of his way to do little things for me. He can be a great dad, and a great date and great in bed. When the times are good, we laugh and spend time together and enjoy each others company. While I know that sounds good, there is a whole other piece missing from this picture. It never goes deeper than this...he is a friend with benefits. There is a wall between us higher and longer than the Great Wall of China, I can't get in, and he's not tearing it down.

I could have written that word for word.

My WW would describe me as a good husband, awesome with the kids, help out all the time with the house, work hard to provide for the family, not wanting details of her LTA, we rarely fight and I say everything will be fine. I am sure she also finds me as emotionally unavailable too now,

This is my husband. He is a major conflict avoider, never rocks the boat. He rugsweeps. I'm 4-5 years out and have focused on myself and my own healing and growth, in the belief fixing me would fix the problems in the relationship. In the beginning, I've been like a few posters I've seen here, so in love, so grateful, so overwhelmed by his love and forgiveness and gift of reconciliation. My self loathing and prostrating didn't allow me to see that he had such major problems with conflict and emotional connection.

I gave time, didn't push him to deal with things on my terms, but his. I initiated conversations to take pressure off him having to do so, I did the research and read the books and reported back to discuss my findings and light bulb moments. I filled my own buckets of gaping holes of need, I found hobbies, I have found pleasure and fulfillment in the simple things in my life, I have worked on me and tried to address my own failings. But as more and more time goes by, I've realized this is the furthest from reconciliation as possible. I'm alone in this, it's just me.

I have faked it, that this is love, sustaining love, but I know that we do not share real intimacy, that there is still a vast chasm between us. And I don't think that it's just him that is the problem. I have trauma that I know fights against healthy intimacy. Last year, I rocked the boat and started bringing things up to talk about, affair related, we hadn't discussed it in a long time and I just wanted to check in on him. Huge blow outs that I was trying to "purposely pick fights and ruin the week/weekend," was I "trying to piss him off"? Unresolved anger much?

In many ways, I've found myself emotionally detached now myself, giving up the hope he'll be someone he's not, and while he seemingly flourishes in that environment, I feel like I'm slowly dying each day. Maybe FWB is as good as it gets, but I often long for a true partner.

I've made a major realization that I married him for all the wrong reasons. We dated 7 years before marriage, but we were just kids, not fully developed mentally and emotionally. And he provided such an alluring alternative from my painful and abusive life. You know, the fault really lies with me for rushing into things, for using him as an escape. I am very torn with how to amend the situation. I find it awfully cruel to repay his kindness with rejection.

You have hugs and support from me, I really understand what you're going through.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jun 2010
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 12:10 PM, August 17th (Saturday)

(((Casper's)))

I could be your husband in a way. I never reacted to many things that would be expected to elicit a response of some sort.

It may not be that he's a conflict avoider. I don't know what his childhood looked like. I know for me it was about perception. When some have been through some fairly significant shit, running out of gas in the rain doesn't generate the same "is there no God???" response it may to another.

I think I can be thought of as pretty cold. Those that know me know I'm not. At all.

I'm sorry you're struggling with this.

I find it awfully cruel to repay his kindness with rejection.

I know.

Don't repay it with just tolerating and detaching either.

I will say, I don't think the descriptions in this post are honestly emotionally unavailable. More like just wired emotionally differently than "you".

True emotionally unavailable people are quite a bit different, in my experience. Actually more like some waywards. Collectors of people. Hot cold push pull. Never honest. Never really interested in much more than the chase, the hunt, the challenge. Only register your presence when it's sparked by your absence.

That to me is EU.


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
Finally10
Member
Member # 36900
Default  Posted: 12:48 PM, August 17th (Saturday)

Trying;

EU can be mistaken easily for self protection. In your early posts on this site you described that you had previously had a fairly volatile personality and from what I read ("don't rock the boat mode") you are stuffing that tendency and resentment is building.

Gently, I suggest that perhaps you trained your BH in this don't rock the boat mode long before now. Frequent emotional outbursts as you described early on has a tendency to do just that as he sought shelter from your emotional storm. He could feel by "not reacting", he was not providing additional fuel to your particular fire, which you perceive as emotional unavailability. That may not be the case at all. He may indeed feel deep emotion, but simply have difficulty expressing it. Men typically have more difficulty with this than women.

To second what Brandon88 said, I would suggest you look into the personality type issue, take the online quizzes for both of you and then ask him to take it for both of you. When you see the results, and can study the traits and behaviors of the various type, you may find some things that help you understand him and he you. This type of thing is much deeper than just a love languages disparity and understanding how you and he process thought and manage conflict resolution may be immensely helpful.

F10


Posts: 113 | Registered: Sep 2012
WoundedOpus
Member
Member # 39521
Default  Posted: 1:33 PM, August 17th (Saturday)

True emotionally unavailable people are quite a bit different, in my experience. Actually more like some waywards. Collectors of people. Hot cold push pull. Never honest. Never really interested in much more than the chase, the hunt, the challenge. Only register your presence when it's sparked by your absence.

Based on that Uncertainone and these markers below, I feel very safe to say that my FWH is in fact EU (along with all of my other research). The ones I marked with (**) below are the behaviors that (along with many others unlisted) he was exhibiting during our years of his emotional abuse. The last few years the more critical/angry behaviors are less and less, but the others (***) remain solidly in place. And he is the wayward in our marriage...

** Do you get angry a lot with your mate, even over small things?
*** Do you tend to be mistrusting, only to discover that your mistrust is largely groundless?
** Are you frequently sarcastic?
** Are having an affair, or do you have a history of affairs?
*** Do you tend to focus on your mate’s shortcomings or bad traits more than his/her good traits?
** Do you berate your spouse for making mistakes, and do you use mistakes as leverage against him/her?
*** Do you have the tendency of pushing away intimacy and closeness when it’s offered to you, but then wanting it when it’s not offered?
*** Have you been accused by your partner—or by a previous partner—of being emotionally unavailable or remote?
** Are you insecure?
*** Do you have a difficult time trusting?
*** Do you tend to be emotionally hidden in your relationships, fearing that you’ll be discovered as somehow inadequate or fraudulent?
*** Do you not have close friends other than your spouse or family?
*** Do you have a fear of being controlled, of losing your identify or your “selfhood”?
*** Do you have a fear of getting rejected, abandoned or betrayed in a relationship?
*** Do you tend to put your mate in second or third position a lot?
** Are you very critical or judgmental?
** Do you take constructive criticism from your mate poorly?
*** Do you have a strong fear of being negatively judged or criticized?
*** Do you have a fear of being too vulnerable in a relationship?
*** Has your mate ever described you as emotionally standoffish, armored or hard to be close to?
** Do you have a history of repeatedly getting involved with emotionally standoffish, disapproving or angry people?
*** Do you tend to get mean, punitive or vindictive when you’re upset?
*** Do you tend to give money or sex to show your love, instead of compassion, friendship or emotional closeness?
*** Do you have a pattern of not emotionally risking a lot or of not giving your intimate relationships a whole lot of effort?
*** Do you have a pattern of withdrawing or emotionally withholding yourself a lot?
*** Do you tend to put work above all else?
* Do you drink too much, watch too much TV, worry too much or have an addiction to any substances, including food?
*** Do you sometimes push your partner away because you don’t wish to be dependent or beholden?
*** Do you have the vague sense that you repeatedly sabotage love?


It may not be that he's a conflict avoider. I don't know what his childhood looked like. I know for me it was about perception. When some have been through some fairly significant shit, running out of gas in the rain doesn't generate the same "is there no God???" response it may to another.

This is always an option for some as well, makes sense. My FWH does have valid reasons for his 'is there no God' meter to be very different from my, but I think (in my situation) it would only account for a very small percentage of the issue. He has very little problems running hot, no one (except for those that know him best) would ever think he may be 'cold'.

Trying33, I very much hope that he is an emotionally distant husband and that it is something you both can find help with in MC. No matter what label it has, it's still lonely and I hope you find some peace.


Me: BW 37
Him: WH 38
(DDay: 2/2008)
13 years, 5 kids...Six years of Limbo

“I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." ~ Diane Ackerman


Posts: 178 | Registered: Jun 2013
womaninflux
Member
Member # 39667
Default  Posted: 8:11 PM, August 17th (Saturday)

It sounds like even though you are coasting and getting along ok on a day to day basis, at least one of you is repressing things. You have to learn constructive ways of communicating this kind of information to your spouse. This is what we are working on in therapy:Communication. It was a big problem in our marriage. My SAWH is definitely EU and this is how his parents' marriage was. They literally led separate lives but lived in the same house. I never knew the reason but now I do because it came up in our MC sessions (a major conflict/event happened when my H was about 8 or so...and it was not dealt with in a healthy way between MIL and FIL nor with the kids - just rugswept. To this day my H is not exactly sure what happened). So you can see what we are battling against - FOO issues and our own A and SA issue.

Are you in counseling? Maybe you can ask the counselor to give you some communication exercises and tools to use when conflict DOES arise. The only way to get better at communication is to communicate and learn through failure.

My H and I aren't there yet but we are talking more in the last 5 months than we did for the past 13 years.


BS - mid-40's
SAWH - mid 40's
Kids - 2 elementary school aged
Getting tons of therapy and trying to "work it out"

Posts: 910 | Registered: Jun 2013
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 2:00 AM, August 18th (Sunday)

Thank-you so much for all the contributions to this thread. I would like to re-read every one again before I comment as they are all massively loaded with great advice and pov.

The thing that strikes me most is that from the clinical explanations of EU, he is not that and I feel so relieved to see that. Like Finally10 and Brandon says, a lot of it is to do with the way I've conditioned him and it's self-preservation on his part.

casperswish, I think you and I are living parallel lives but I feel scared that despite all your efforts with him you still feel alone and unfulfilled in your marriage. On my doom and gloom days, I see the same fate for me but when I'm churpy, I feel confident that with the right training and counselling we have a fulfilling future ahead of us. The thing is he's motivated to try and so am I (most days).

Yesterday, I told him my fear is he doesn't have it in him. I know, that's mean of me to say and I have to stop being such a bitch. One of my patterns is to try to get a reaction out of him, even a negative FU one, because some reaction is better than none.

I realised yesterday, that my H, really has no emotional language. I have been so self-absorbed I never even took the time to analyse is he being a dickhead or is it that he really doesn't KNOW how to communicate feelings.

This was our convo;

Me: babe, I'd like you to try and tell me how you feel about me and our marriage
H: I feel like you're over-reacting
Me: and when I over-react, how does that make you feel?
H: it makes me feel like you adding stress to our marriage for no reason
Me: but what emotions does that evoke? I mean what do you feel when I do that?
H: what do you mean?
Me: I mean do you feel scared or angry or happy or what? what do you feel?
H: I feel scared you're going to make the wrong decision and break up our family. That half the time you don't know what you're saying and you think life is all rosey
Me: what else are you scared of?
H: nothing

It's exhausting.

When we got home, my H sent me this article to read. I think he was trying to make me laugh as he sent it with a wink. He likes to tease me and it's cute! Was an interesting read.

http://healthland.time.com/2013/08/16/the-key-to-happy-relationships-its-not-all-about-communication/?xid=rss-topstories&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+time%2Ftopstories+%28TIME%3A+Top+Stories%29

(sorry can't find the shortened version of the website address but it's an article from Time magazine in the relationships section entitled The Key to Happy Relationships? It’s Not All About Communication | TIME.com)


Posts: 362 | Registered: Mar 2013
brokensmile322
Member
Member # 35758
Default  Posted: 3:01 AM, August 18th (Sunday)

One thing to just think about....

My IC and I were discussing my WH during my last session. You see my WH has a difficult time expressing what he feels. I wouldn't say he doesn't feel things, he is very passionate about life in general. I would say that he doesn't express feelings the way I do.

Interestingly, my IC said that when doing work with couples, she always starts with feelings and identifying them. She said alot of men don't have desciptor words for everything they feel. If she asks both people to list feelings on a sheet of paper, the woman will most likely have 20 at least, if not more. Alot of men have fewer than 5 and some only two- happy and anger.

I guess what I am saying is that just because he cant identify them doesn't mean he doesn't feel them. KWIM?

Gently, I also think you are very recently past dday. I would guess you are doing alot of mourning over what you shared with your OM right now. I would guess there could be alot of comparing going on. I would also guess, that since the the OM is now gone, you are feeling a void you have not felt in a very long time. I don't know if you are in IC, but it may benefit you. Just a thought...

[This message edited by brokensmile322 at 3:03 AM, August 18th (Sunday)]


Me BS 42 Him WS 44
OW Coworker DDay April 7, 2012
EA on a slippery slope...

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor Frankl

"When you are happy, you can forgive a great deal."


Posts: 1565 | Registered: Jun 2012
uncertainone
Member
Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 3:11 AM, August 18th (Sunday)

It's exhausting

I bet. Just reading that interaction was.

I have read today of a few people that have said things just to get a reaction even if they knew what they were saying was shitty and painful. You do realize what that does, right? It erodes love, caring, respect.

I think NPD is thrown around pretty loosely here. That said, I honestly can't think of many better examples of it. "I'm going to say something painful and vicious to you to get a reaction so I can feel better"

And he's the one with emotional connectivity issues?

He may not know how to communicate his feelings but you don't know how to respect them.


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
caspers1wish
Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 11:22 AM, August 19th (Monday)

UO,

I think you are correct in that it doesn't really sound EU. Gosh, does someone have a list for conflict avoidant? *tongue in cheek* Because maybe I don't really have a grasp what that means either.

I used to think my BH had a great childhood, but you know, we all have real issues and problems in even the best of families. His mom was also sexually abused, which we found out well after we were married, and has never dealt with it. She has a lot of suppressed rage and it bleeds out, all over us, the kids, the dog, her husband, unexpectedly, and I have learned, as I can clearly see he has, to walk on eggshells around her. She doesn't call names or degrade, she just gets very snipey, very emotional, over the top mad, screaming and yelling, and then a bawling puddle where we are left having to comfort her after she just exploded on us. Her emotional needs always came first, his secondary.

And in the beginning of our relationship, through the early years of our marriage, I was mad as hell at the world, and acted the same way. I was taking out my anger on the wrong people, when I could recognize that, it was like taking a huge breath of clean, fresh air. I'm not surprised he ended up with a CSA survivor.

Trying33, I think like another poster, my husband has a difficult time expressing himself, and maybe that's why I interpret it as a lack of connection. Most days, things are fine, but to me, mostly on the surface, but probably my own perception, his communication style, self protection mode. *shrug*


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 787 | Registered: Jun 2010
stilllovingher
Member
Member # 29959
Default  Posted: 12:07 PM, August 19th (Monday)

This was our convo;

Me: babe, I'd like you to try and tell me how you feel about me and our marriage
H: I feel like you're over-reacting
Me: and when I over-react, how does that make you feel?
H: it makes me feel like you adding stress to our marriage for no reason
Me: but what emotions does that evoke? I mean what do you feel when I do that?
H: what do you mean?
Me: I mean do you feel scared or angry or happy or what? what do you feel?
H: I feel scared you're going to make the wrong decision and break up our family. That half the time you don't know what you're saying and you think life is all rosey
Me: what else are you scared of?
H: nothing

It's exhausting.

it seems that you were trying to coerce a very specific answer out of him and since that is not the answer or response that he gave, then what he did say must be wrong/lame/not good enough.

He told you how he felt, it seems you just tossed it aside.
he said he was scared that you would decide to break up the family.
THAT is actually about as root level as it gets! By asking if it makes him angry, you are actually moving away from the issue.
of course it makes him angry, but see, he has already addressed the anger and found the source>>>fear of loss, which he shared with you.
He also, in the same breath, shared that he doesn't trust you, you would've had to have been listening carefully(not waiting to talk) to catch that one.

read UO's post again, I strongly agree with it.

it's exhausting

no doubt.


The only difference between a butt kisser and a brown noser is depth perception.
I'm sure WAL would agree.

Posts: 2407 | Registered: Oct 2010 | From: still BFE, but now BFE, CA
tired girl
Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 1:05 PM, August 19th (Monday)

I feel scared you're going to make the wrong decision and break up our family. That half the time you don't know what you're saying and you think life is all rosey

As SLHer said, this was a huge confession from him, why did you not catch it and acknowledge this? He tried to share with you and you just kept right on going as if you didn't hear him. This problem is two fold, you aren't hearing him.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 5091 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
Later
Member
Member # 39375
Default  Posted: 1:34 PM, August 19th (Monday)

To ask him to take an interest in my life and be supportive is way too abstract for him He needs direction.

What could I say? Where do I start?

Well, if you don't know how to communicate your needs then how is he supposed to know? It sounds like he was right about you expecting him to be a mind reader.

It concerns me that you are speaking in terms that indicate that what he is providing is not enough. That sounds an awful like someone who is thinking they can fill their needs outside of the marriage. I would especially be careful about suggesting that there is a gaping hole in the marriage that needs to be filled.


Posts: 385 | Registered: May 2013
7yrsflushed
Member
Member # 32258
Default  Posted: 2:35 PM, August 19th (Monday)

BH here and my WW could have written your post. Your description of your BH sounds like how my WW used to describe me. In our case, the gaping hole in the M was actually a gaping hole in her. No matter what I did it was never enough and she also always had a hard time articulating what exactly the problem was.

I don't know if that's the case for you but ask yourself this, if you walked out the door tomorrow or your BH walked out the door tomorrow what would you do to resolve the feelings of loneliness and unfullfillment you are having right now?

ETA: I meant to add if your not in MC or IC you should go. They can help you and your BH with the communciation issue and do it in a nuetral way. Even though I am getting a D, I still use the things I learned in MC and IC to help me communicate better with my children. I couldn't keep filling the hole in my WW but I could make sure that I was able to better the communication between myself and my children.

[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 2:39 PM, August 19th (Monday)]


D-day 5/24/11
BH = Me
2 children
The first true sense of calm I felt in YEARS was when I filed for D...
Divorced 9/2/14 and loving life!

Posts: 1912 | Registered: May 2011 | From: VA
Topic Posts: 20