Wow. Just wow. I just finished Chapter 10 in NJF and I can read my WH in almost every word.
As I've read on SI and in other books, I've certainly been putting together so many of the pieces of this puzzle. Today, I was able to piece together so much of the picture that makes up him... What led him to where he is now. And, boy, is it frightening me.
I've already figured out that he has some narcissistic traits (although not a true narcissist). Seems like a lot of WS's do from what I read. He has childhood learned beliefs about A's from his mother's justifications for being the WW & OW several times. He was sexually permissive before M and early in his life. He has entitlement feelings, especially as he gained career success and admiration. He has guilt and shame. (OMG - it says shame can generate a cycle making recurrence even more likely... if there is no true remorse.) He has good values in the abstract (is super generous with time and money to charity, is a good friend, yadayada) but didn't let his values override his behavior. He has such an extreme need for admiration, external validation, and for sex. He is "running on empty" for his own reasons and needs an adrenaline high as an escape. He has the "Starving Ego". He is a "Type-T Personality" - high risk adventures, high intensity activities -- seeking stimulation and high arousal. (He loves bungee jumping, race car driving, skydiving, his newest passion is adventure racing like the Tough Mudder and the Spartan races.) This personality type is often very successful careerwise (ding ding!!!)
Then, NJF describes alexythymia. First I've heard of it. A persistent desire for excitement and thrill seeking, difficulty naming emotions (he's an emotional brick wall) other than anger (oh yeah!). "Lack of sensitivity toward suble emotions makes his somewhat impervious to feeling the gentle warmth and contentment of a stable relationship. Only the intense blaze of a new passion reaches his high threshold for detecting emotional states. He likes 'hot' sex and being 'in love' and strive for intensity instead of intimacy." (Did Dr. Glass base this on my H?)
OMG, not to bore all of you with more insights, but this chapter scared the bejezzus out of me. There's so much of him on these pages, even before we get to the "why is he like this". After reading this, I don't see how it's even possible to get out of these lifelong mindsets and behaviors.
It also makes me even more suspicious that this was not his first A (as he insists). I DO think it was his first PA that turned EA, which is why it is traumatic for him. I know most WS won't confess to anything they think they've already gotten away with. But all these indicators lead me to believe that it is doubtful that he exhibited self-control for 17 years... KWIM?
I am just so sick. I don't know if there are any words of encouragement in Chapters 11 and beyond, but for right now, I'm feeling like this is just hopeless.
While he's worked hard to improve our M (which can be really wonderful), he doesn't want to dig deep and examine himself. He doesn't want to admit that there actually IS something wrong inside him and his thought processes. I think it's easier for him to walk away and find his next thrill. Try to keep his KISA shiny and reflective. Although seeing the destruction he's caused in me and our kids is making it hard for him - he knows he can't just walk away and pretend he's still just that awesome. He's in a struggle for his life over who he is and who he wants to be. He doesn't know how to fix it, but he also doesn't want to do the deep introspection necessary to make it happen.
Sorry, this was long and rambling... Just needed to get my thoughts out there. Thanks for listening. Any of you see your WS in these words?