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User Topic: How do I fix this? Need your insight.
breakingpoint
Member
Member # 40963
Exclaimation  Posted: 6:31 PM, December 29th (Sunday)

We are good at so many things. We are good at kids, budgets, church, and Christmas. We are good at being a great family.

We suck when its just us.

There is little "connection". This was true pre-A and it continues now. Its hard to describe, but I will try. If interactions were either deposits or withdrawals in a person's account, I am a withdrawal from my H's. Whether it is sex, talks, day-to-day intimacy, he in general has little left by the time its my turn. Work comes first, then the kids, then me.

I like my alone time, I have my own friends, but the time that is "us" is clearly not enough to me. My husband loves me very much in that he wants me to be happy. But I don't know that he likes me very much. If he had little or no contact with me, I think it would feel like a burden lifted rather than something positive removed from his life. To clarify, I am not a horrible miserable person to be around. I am fun-loving, and my only general complaint is that we don't have enough fun, sex, or time together.

I am in IC and have talked to her extensively about whether or not I am too "needy". She doesn't think that my need for intimacy comes from an unhealthy place or is an inordinate amount of validation. She thinks I have a normal desire for a connected relationship, and that my husband doesn't have that same desire. Just who I am and who he is.

But when I even think about being apart from him, it is too much to bare. I love this man. He is fabulously wonderful. I love our family so much. Our children are beautiful perfection, and when I see their little faces, I think, "I would do anything to give you the best."

So how could I leave a wonderful man? How could I divide the lives of my precious kids? For what? Some imaginary relationship with more connection? Its too high of a price to pay. I love them all too much to rearrange their lives for a fake fairy tale.

But then, how do we make it ok? I have done everything under the sun to get more attention from my H. To have more closeness.... a friendship. He is smart and aware of the costs of his detachment. If he could be more connected, he would be. But that is not who he is. I don't know if he is just an extreme introvert, or has a true detachment disorder because of his fucked up childhood. Its probably somewhere in between.

So I want to just accept him for who he is. And learn to get my closeness from other appropriate relationships. Maybe I won't have the ideal relationship, but he is just too good and our family is just too good to dismiss. Its too important.

But is this possible or realistic?

Any insights, are greatly appreciated.


Posts: 115 | Registered: Oct 2013
Brandon808
Member
Member # 35619
Default  Posted: 7:37 PM, December 29th (Sunday)

I can''t speak for your BH but as a BH and introvert myself I can only relate my own struggles.

My ability to connect with others in the way they understand and want is challenging (nicest way to put it really). That doesn''t mean the connection isn''t there for me. Introverted personalities find it very taxing dealing with social situations and expressing emotions. It feels forced because we tend live inside our own heads a lot. Just as an example when I hear a song that I find very moving I tend to move/dance even less. I process it more internally. I think you''d be genuinely surprised at how much, how often and how intensely your BH thinks and feels about you.

Let me ask you a few questions about your BH.
Does he flinch when someone unexpectedly makes physical contact with him?
Does he get dislike music/tv being too loud?


xBH
D final 8/2012

Posts: 3668 | Registered: May 2012 | From: southeast
SlowUptake
Member
Member # 40484
Default  Posted: 8:08 PM, December 29th (Sunday)

Has he always been this way?

I'm reminded of an old saying, which I have found through the years rings true.

"Women marry expecting their husbands to change, men marry expecting their wives not to".

I would suggest you're looking to your husband to fill a void within yourself that you previously tried to fill by cheating.

Perhaps your IC is missing the mark.

Just something to ponder.YMMV.


Me:WS,50+
Her:BS,50+ (WantToWakeUp)
Married 33yrs
Dday Dec 2009

"Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few." Pythagoras

There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.


Posts: 367 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Limbo in Oz
breakingpoint
Member
Member # 40963
Default  Posted: 9:49 PM, December 29th (Sunday)

Other than when I was being wooed in the first year or so, he has always been like this. (Been together 12)

He doesn't mind loud noises, but yes he would probably flinch if he wasn't comfortable. He doesn't flinch from me, but he rarely enjoys hugging, cuddling, etc. He more just complies with my wishes. Now I have stopped "initiating" because he doesn't want to feel pressured to give me attention, we hug or are sweet every now and then. But he is also not always interested in sex when I am, so that still remains a difference between us. '

My perception: We are lacking majorly in the affection department.

His perception: We have enough affection, and this needy lady is never happy.


Posts: 115 | Registered: Oct 2013
Brandon808
Member
Member # 35619
Default  Posted: 11:04 PM, December 29th (Sunday)

Ok, jmho opinion but he needs to get away from calling you "needy".
For me personally as an introvert the problem wasn''t acknowledging that was who I am and I was never averse, or reacted negatively, to attempts by my SO to be affectionate. He was able to do so when he courting you so it sounds like more than simply being introverted.


xBH
D final 8/2012

Posts: 3668 | Registered: May 2012 | From: southeast
Prayingforhope
Member
Member # 41801
Default  Posted: 1:46 AM, December 30th (Monday)

I read this and I think you should try marriage counseling sessions. Not to replace your own IC, but as a way to have a space for the two of you to connect better and build new connections.

Even better if you bring this idea to him as a way to be proactive in fighting for your marriage.


WH 41
BS 40
D-Day Oct 28th, 2013
Together 18 years
Three amazing boys 12, 9 & 6
Praying for hope daily

Posts: 260 | Registered: Dec 2013
swizzlestick03
Member
Member # 30102
Default  Posted: 2:17 AM, December 30th (Monday)

Have you read the book "The 5 Love Languages" by Chapman? You need to learn to speak his love language and he needs to do the same for you. It can be very uncomfortable and feel very fake at the beginning, but you have to stick with it.

For example, I am a person who loves getting gifts. Naturally, I love giving gifts as well. I often would pick up things for my WH that were great, meaningful, fun, Etc and he would be less than enthused. In turn, he is words of affirmation and would often write me very long, sweet emails, letters, etc. I felt very unenthused by this, because it isn't my love language. Since taking the quiz and reading the book, we have both made a conscious effort to speak each others love language. This has helped us tremendously in building a much stronger connection.

May be worth a try, just to take the quiz!


Me: BW-32
Him: WS-31
D-Day #1: 16 August 2010
D-Day #2: 16 January 2011
One small kiddo.

Posts: 558 | Registered: Nov 2010
BaxtersBFF
Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 7:03 AM, December 30th (Monday)

I'm curious as to whether your IC is really the right one for you. As with your views of things pre-A, leading up to your A, during, and after d-day, your own view may be skewed. for a long period post-A, things I thought were "wrong" in our M were not as wrong as I was making them out to be. Just something to consider.

While this may seem contradictory to the previous statement...R takes two, and in many situations, that means that it isn't just the WS that is making the changes. There are M's were the pre-A situation is exacerbated by the actions or even the normal day-to-day routines of the soon-to-be-BS (please don't think I'm saying your BS plays any part in your choice to have an A).

But, post-A, it is often the case that disparities are brought to light. In this case, it does sound like your BH has some things that he needs to deal with. Does he recognize this about himself? Has he ever given any indication that he wants to work on it? A major thing to factor in though is how far along he is in his healing from your A. It may be too soon for him still. And to that end, you need to make the decision to suck it up for now. As things become clearer for you and you focus more on why you have allowed yourself to stay in this relationship for, what is it...11 years, without enough intimacy...maybe your own introspection might lead you to a different understanding of why your BH is the way he is, and has remained that way for so long despite you doing everything you can to let him know that you need that connection.

My BW and I both felt we had told the other our own needs and how we felt things were missing. Well, we did, and we both can see it now, but at the time, especially on my side, I really didn't say anything at all. I just expected my BW to know. Apparently she can't read my mind, which was quite a revelation to me post d-day. In the same way, There have been a few "a-ha" moments for her post d-day where she can see now that what she thought she was telling me wasn't really what she thought she said. Does that make sense?

Take your time and really examine things objectively here.


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6097 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 8:26 AM, December 30th (Monday)

@breakingpoint

It's as though I could have written the exact same post. We are living pure parallel lives.

My H and I are a great team. Excellent in fact. Somewhat over achievers in many respects. Many people comment on our teamwork when it comes to kids, social stuff, family, work etc.

But.. as a couple.. we are stuck.

One thing I haven't done is this:

I have done everything under the sun to get more attention from my H. To have more closeness.... a friendship. He is smart and aware of the costs of his detachment. If he could be more connected, he would be. But that is not who he is. I don't know if he is just an extreme introvert, or has a true detachment disorder because of his fucked up childhood. Its probably somewhere in between.

I also think my H may not be capable of an intimate connection but I guess I'm scared to find out. I need to try harder. The effort has to come from me. The fog has been an obstacle. It's lifting slowly but surely. I'm always fucking tired. Exhausted.

I have begun to think it's just the lifestage that we're in. We are parents to two young kids. My H is single handedly running a family business that usually requires many more people. We are dealing with his brothers cancer diagnosis. I am starting work after 6 years of practically being a SAHM. My DD just got chicken pox. It seems like there's so much going on and never any time for us. I know this is life and I know we have to MAKE time but we're always so exhausted.

Anyway, I wanted you to know, I understand exactly where you're coming from.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
breakingpoint
Member
Member # 40963
Default  Posted: 8:33 AM, December 30th (Monday)

Thanks for all of your replies and for giving me food for thought.

We are looking for a MC and hopefully can get in contact with one today and start very soon.

My IC doesn't think my choice to have an A was healthy in any way, and through a lot of talking and thinking, I think the root of my failure here was anger. I voiced my needs countless times and after a while I became blindingly angry at my H and gave up on the marriage. I didn't have empathy for him. I didn't appreciate his great qualities and I focused on what I was missing. I convinced myself that he didn't care. These were 100% my fault. Distorted thinking. I think where she thinks I am healthier is in my original desire for connection. My reaction is where the unhealthy stepped in. I don't mean to belittle my bad choices, but I do want to focus on the preA issues so that we can quit rug sweeping and have a stronger marriage.

I really don't think I am rewriting history, because for years I have tried to address this void.

My H says he wants to work on these things and is in IC, mostly dealing with childhood issues. He was neglected and built huge walls to keep people out as a way of protecting himself. He is slowly working on talking about his feelings, etc, and being more "authentic". As of now, he doesn't feel the authentic desire for affection the way that I do.

We have read the 5 Love Languages, and he has attempted to show more affection, but it is always short lived. In our most recent discussion about it he countered by naming two times that he showed affection. One was on the 13th of December, the other was on Christmas Day. I loved when he was loving those times, but two times a month isn't really enough for me.


Posts: 115 | Registered: Oct 2013
bionicgal
Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 8:37 AM, December 30th (Monday)

If he could be more connected, he would be. But that is not who he is. I don't know if he is just an extreme introvert, or has a true detachment disorder because of his fucked up childhood. Its probably somewhere in between.

I challenge this. Are you in MC? Is he willing to work with you to be more connected? If not, why?

Sorry, but this line of reasoning sounds fraught with danger and possible rationalization-fodder.


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1768 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
BaxtersBFF
Member
Member # 26859
Default  Posted: 8:41 AM, December 30th (Monday)

What is behind the anger you felt? I ask because, as I've learned from another member here, fear is usually behind anger.

Taking into account your BH's FOO issues, his childhood experiences, how does that fit in with your past? I believe that we tend to marry our parents. I believe that we do this in an attempt to fix the wrongs in our own past, and usually we end up failing in this effort and then blaming our spouses. The reaction is to become angry and resent our spouses, when really it is just another failed attempt at getting what we think we need from someone who isn't really aware of our "request" for them to fill that need. Does that make sense? Can you see this in your own situation?

So, what are you afraid of? What was the anger masking?


WH - 44
BW - gerrygirl

Posts: 6097 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Boise
Trying33
Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 8:48 AM, December 30th (Monday)

I am in IC and have talked to her extensively about whether or not I am too "needy". She doesn't think that my need for intimacy comes from an unhealthy place or is an inordinate amount of validation. She thinks I have a normal desire for a connected relationship, and that my husband doesn't have that same desire. Just who I am and who he is.

I went through the same thing. I didn't know myself anymore. was it me? Am I asking for too much? Am I being unreasonable? I had no baseline.. no perspective.

I didn't know whether it was ok or "reasonable" to ask my H to come home early one night from work to be with me and the kids. So large was the disconnect I was constantly second guessing myself on whether I was nagging/being needy.

My H thought I was always asking for "too much". I had started to believe him. My IC gently helped me understand that actually I wasn't.

I had lost all perspective.


Posts: 361 | Registered: Mar 2013
Brandon808
Member
Member # 35619
Default  Posted: 9:01 AM, December 30th (Monday)

He was neglected and built huge walls to keep people out as a way of protecting himself.
As an introvert this is something I can relate to. I was judged and criticized so much when I was younger for being introverted (only I was called a lot of things except "introverted" that I built my own armor too. Feeling safe is a very big deal in shedding that armor.

he has attempted to show more affection, but it is always short lived.
I would ask to consider it from another perspective. It was short-lived by your standards, but did it last longer by his? In other words was it progress for him?

I loved when he was loving those times, but two times a month isn''t really enough for me.
My advice would be to focus on the appreciation aspect and not how it isn''t enough because coming out the shell is hard for an introvert. To do that and feel like it was still not enough feels like a failure and a "what''s the point?" attitude can set it. Think about it in reverse for a moment. Assuming you''re an outgoing person and you''re at a party with your closest friends, favorite music, the works. Then you''re asked to just sit quietly away from everyone the majority of the night. Would you imagine you''d feel frustrated? Drained maybe? For an introvert it is the opposite. Being quiet and off to ourselves comes naturally.


xBH
D final 8/2012

Posts: 3668 | Registered: May 2012 | From: southeast
breakingpoint
Member
Member # 40963
Default  Posted: 9:32 AM, December 30th (Monday)

I really really hope that we can resolve this difference between us. MC is def the next step. Nothing would make me happier, I really would do anything to save all that we have that is so great.

H admits that his efforts were short-lived. I think I was/am so angry because I feel like he is not living up to his promise to love me. Love as a verb. To like me. To participate in this marriage with me. And because I asked and asked and asked, and I felt like he COULD try but just didn't. For a long time, I felt like by choosing this relationship I was choosing no relationship at all.

He is just like my dad. Pragmatic, logical, provider to overcome unstable childhoods. Very Freudian.

But then I imagine us being amicable co-parents. And I see how in love with him I am. He is like I said, wonderfully fabulous. I don't know how to let that go. I love the man, hate our dynamic.


Posts: 115 | Registered: Oct 2013
so_lost
Member
Member # 7726
Default  Posted: 2:32 PM, December 30th (Monday)

He told me I was the "needy" one. He was the one that had difficulty expressing his feelings. I only saw him shed a tear on D-day. Funny thing...I wasn't the one to stray, he was!

I definitely want more now post D-day but can we really ask our spouses to change their inherent personalities. He's better at expressing his emotions post D-day but is no where near what I would like. In a way, I need to suck it up. I married the guy (as did you) knowing full well what I was getting. Now that the rose colored glasses are off, I wonder what I was thinking prior to marrying him. As the cliché goes, love blinded me.

But, like you, I now have a family to think about. I am not going to break that up because I'm not blissfully happy or in love. (Tough thing to accept!) We do have a great thing in many respects but I don't have the fairy tale...or the perfect spouse. Who does?

I don't know how far out you are but it might be a little much to ask your spouse to show more affection so soon after cheating on him. I'm quite a ways out from D-day and still find it hard to give my H 100% of my heart and affections:( I think it's my way of protecting myself from being hurt so badly again. If he had trouble with intimacy prior to your A, I think it's going to be even harder for him now IMO. I hope not for your sake...all of us BS are so different.


D-day April 2005, R.
Me-BS 37
Him-FWH 37, 8 month EA/PA with coworker. Married 2 yrs at the time.
2 kiddos after D-day, Married 11 years.


Posts: 262 | Registered: Jul 2005
plainsong
Member
Member # 37826
Default  Posted: 3:48 PM, December 30th (Monday)

I am an introvert myself, as well as having childhood issues that led me to build huge walls to keep myself safe. As an introvert, I did not think relationships with peers would ever be possible, and because of my parents' issues they were not emotionally available to me as an infant. I appear to have decided very young that my desire for intimacy was never going to be met, and my true self would never be acceptable to others. This is despite my husband being very loving and accepting of me throughout our marriage. In many areas we were close and loving, but I could not let him see the real me in in total intimacy.

Based on my difficulties, I would say if your husband is in IC, working on FOO issues, sees the problems caused by his detachment, is an active partner in seeking MC, and has used your love language twice in one month!, he is doing great. I couldn't get outside my walls at all until the third year post Dday.

To understand the different ways of experiencing life between introverts and extroverts, I would highly recommend The Introvert Advantage, by Marti Olsen Laney. It has clear and compassionate descriptions of both orientations, as well as suggestions for dealing with partners or children of the opposite type.

It sounds like you have lots going for you in your marriage. If you are both committed to working on/with your differing personality styles and the needs you developed from your childhood experiences, you can move forward. MC is a great way to do this.

Good luck to you both.


Me,WW,69;
Him,BH,69 - about to be 70! Happy Birthday!
Dday,12/22/2010
I use capital letters for emphasis, not yelling!

Posts: 61 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Chicago area
breakingpoint
Member
Member # 40963
Default  Posted: 5:46 PM, December 30th (Monday)

Plainsong, thank you so much for your insight and words of encouragement. My H's past sounds similar to yours. You are all right. Look at what the positives are and what progress has been made.

Posts: 115 | Registered: Oct 2013
Topic Posts: 18