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is this typical MO for BS and WS

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gettingintune posted 11/17/2017 10:00 AM

When my H tells me he avoids it and doesn't think about it, I hear compartmentalization and avoidance. That doesn't feel safe enough to me


gettingintune posted 11/17/2017 10:05 AM

part of this that scares me the most is that I'm with someone who is lacking in empathy.

my wife never struck me as someone w much empathy.
yes, we realize now, that her undiagnosed ADD can explain quite abit about her inability to function well socially, but it can't be used as the be all end all excuse to treating people horribly thru out most of your adult life.

I read descriptions of SAs...and I think...yep..that fits
I read descriptions of NPD...and I think...yep that fits
I read descriptions of BPD and BiPolar 2 and I think..yep that fits...
traits and characteristics from all of those personality disorders.... I see now, and have seen thru. out our relationship

many people who met her before the affairs would say she seemed rude eye contact...blurting out in the middle of another conversation, not paying attention to the conversation...interrupting... and this stuff is classic ADD stuff for inattentive type...

her approach to working on ADD since it was Adderall.... thats support books..nothinig more... renew the Rx foe Adderall.... and that is how she is "working her ADD"

I remember the first time I met her...I honestly thought she was the most rude person I had ever encountered in my life...

always had a problem with everyone work...her was always someone

she doesn't have any friends...really never had adult friends.... has burned friendships because of her behavior..... only until she becomes BFF w someone is an SA and most likely Sociopath....

and thats the type of person she ends up becoming best friends with?

couple friends called her on her behavior...her response was to come home..complain to me "you won't believe what XYZ said" ... (meanwhile im thinking...XYS is 100% spot on!) ...and then she'd just erase these folks from her life.

and her new job...she complains about one of the chefs...saying the chef is a a sociopath...describes this person behavior...and I think "holy are describing yourself...why can't you see that???"

she is convinced that she is right. that her way is the right way....

what do you call that?

[This message edited by gettingintune at 10:10 AM, November 17th (Friday)]

sisoon posted 11/17/2017 10:06 AM

Avoiding grief, anger, fear, and shame is the opposite of 'working on yourself'.

I'm a follower of Eric Berne and many of his students. Berne is the inventor of 'I'm OK. You're OK.' IMO, 'OK' means 'loving, lovable, and capable.'

OK does not mean perfect. In fact, part of TA's common wisdom is that making mistakes is part of being human.

OK does not mean we don't have to repair the damage that results from our mistakes. It means the opposite - we need to accept responsibility for our mistakes and make the best amends we can.

OK does not advise avoiding one's feelings. It advises facing our feelings and choosing the right actions to process them.

Lots of therapeutic modalities teach essentially the same thing - feel all our feelings, do the right things to process them.

I really hope your W finds a good therapist, faces herself, and finds real joy with you. That would be win-win for both of you.

gettingintune posted 11/17/2017 10:13 AM

Avoiding grief, anger, fear, and shame is the opposite of 'working on yourself'.

but she has convinced her self that doing that is actually doing the work, because if she avoids all of that, then she is no longer in the past, and if she is not in the past, she is in the present and therefore , she is in a good place

but she still...has not truly delt with all the underlying baggage...yet , she truly seems to believe she has.

nekonamida posted 11/17/2017 11:57 AM

GIT, everything you listed is a good action plan. What strugglebus recommended is good too. She definitely needs to undergo some testing if you believe she fits into many possible disorder categories. Personally, aspergers would be on my short list which includes a lack of empathy and not realizing social cues. She needs to get this sorted out before she can get to a place to help you heal if she is even capable of that.

moralhighground posted 11/17/2017 12:42 PM

I didn't read all the responses right through but I wanted to answer your original question.

When my H first tried to explain to me that he lacks empathy it sounded like an easy fix to me: pay attention. Pay some fucking attention to what other people are saying and then just literally imagine how you would feel if you were them.

For anyone who DOESN'T struggle with empathy like, of course, right?

I think the two situations you are describing are both problematic because what neither spouse is doing is working through the problem.

I want to put up walls, yes. But it doesn't help in the long run, so even when my husband was not a safe partner and I KNEW he wasn't, I still shared my feelings with him as clearly as I could. Sometimes this manifested as yelling or sobbing but as much as possible I worked on speaking his language: Here is the situation. I want this. I did this and this to try to get it. You responded in this way and that made me feel this.

If I lose my composure, he just mentally hides from it.

If I don't share, yes, I'm wallowing. This is like being stuck in a loop. You get to the most intense part of this feeling and instead of doing something about it, you just start the feeling over again and again and make yourself sick. Wallowing or marinating in this feeling is just making it easier to find the next time I go back. Talking it out helps me to move on from what I can.

That brings me to the next thing I do which my husband and his IC both think is insane: Recreating situations, visiting places, going over details from the past. When I start wallowing and don't feel like I'm making progress, I go over my information. What are the things that are still bothering me? How can I break them down into smaller pieces and put some of them aside? I could never forgive and forget the whole affair at once. But recently there was an event we missed because the affair was ongoing when we were supposed to RSVP. Leading up to the event I was angry that it was one more thing I couldn't do because of the affair. Once it was over and past, I started to feel like it didn't matter anymore. So I went to my husband and explained "I was mad about this. But I'm ready to forgive you for this." He didn't know I was mad before I forgave him. But it helped me to put the final lid on it. If I don't ask myself how something makes me feel and define that as narrowly as possible, it just lingers and sours everything.

The opposite end of this spectrum is the "just don't think about it" and I fully agree with you that this is just a way to get back into trouble. I think our WSs did enough "not thinking about it" when they were out cheating on us and ignoring how much their behaviour would hurt others. But the answer isn't wallowing. It's just considering.

I have never done this but I read about this exercise where the two people calmly sit together and the one talks about their feelings, and the other person can't argue, explain or deflect, but just listen. Look at the person talking and the only response is "Thank you for telling me", no matter what the other person says. Once it's all completely done they take a break to be quiet and then it's the other person's turn. I don't know if it helps but it certainly can't hurt. She needs to think about her actions and how to avoid repeating them. She needs to think about your feelings and how to support you. Lots of the books and strategies everyone brought up will help with this.

I hope your communication improves. I really want to believe that ours will. Some days that is exquisitely overwhelming, to have someone I have loved for half my life telling me that he has no feelings. Apparently I was just here all by myself, living out my life talking to myself, and he was all along just wondering if there was anything good on TV.

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