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Author Topic: My Story Reconnecting The Heart Behind The Hurt

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My Story Reconnecting Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#10: April 02, 2021, 04:14:13 PM
Standing I thought your post was one of the best posts I have read on Barbie's thread.

I hope you get something positive from his post, Barbie.

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A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#11: April 02, 2021, 04:49:32 PM
Dad will never get the appreciation and admiration he needs because Mom won't allow him to do good in her eyes........
But is it because Mom "won't allow him to do good" or because he purposefully or unconsciously "doesn't do good" because he is really NOT doing what she is asking for? It sounded like you you were saying if Dad does ANYTHING, he needs a pat on the head, even if it is not what was asked for or maybe even agreed upon.

Example from my house. I asked for a archway to grow grapes on. Gave the size and dimensions, explained what I wanted it for, and XH said he'd build it . Didn't happen. Didn't happen for two years, so I bought a substandard one to have something for my grapes to grow on. Then he decides he's going to build one (insisted S help him with it). So he built a bench with an archway over it, in the wrong dimensions that won't even fit where the grapes grow and was too heavy for me to move myself.  It was beautiful, and I said so. But it did not fit where I needed it to and could not be used as what I wanted so I asked if we could put it somewhere else, where it's beauty would not go to waste. When I asked for it to be moved to a place it would fit, H was angry because I wasn't using it for the grapes and he would not move it. That beautiful bench is still sitting where it was built to this day, on the edge of the patio in a ridiculous location because I cannot move it and he would not.

So maybe sometimes what looks like an act of "service" to someone on the outside might only be service to the individual doing it to make them feel good about themselves. Or it might be an act of defiance doing it their way, not your way because "you're not the boss of ME". Or it might be something that the other person likes just fine, but it isn't what they need.

You father may not be some poor man who cannot do "right". He may be a man who chooses to do something different than what he was asked to show he's not "whipped" in a passive aggressive way. Or your mother may be a shrew, I don' t know them. I just know that things are not always as an outsider would interpret them.

You can give and give and give everything that you think someone wants, and if they choose to be unhappy or just do not like or want what you have to give, you cannot fix it unless you choose to ask what the other person wants, do EXACTLY that, and if they still aren't happy, it's not on you. And on the flip side, why would you continue to accept things you don't want if you never get what you do want because the other person thinks they are "giving"  what you want, when it is really what they want?

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« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 05:07:30 PM by OffRoad »
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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#12: April 02, 2021, 05:36:36 PM
I often feel that " avoidants" win . Meaning we have no other options ( short of the choice to divorce) but to live the way they want to live. And I feel like that is the way it is in this marriage . All of it goes "his way".   He does not want to engage in un-safe conversations, talk about relationship issues, read or watch videos or work on the marriage . So we don't .  I cannot force him to talk.  I wanted all those conversations and live to learn more .  He will not talk about anything of importance to me.  He refuses to tell me or discuss anything from his counselling sessions. So, we don't .  He gets it his way again...when I desperately want to have those introspections and talks of connection.   He shows no true interest in the books I read, the courses I take online ..he asks nothing that makes me feel seen, heard or respected. If he was to ask anything...it could lead to conversations that create extreme fear and shut down in him. So he doesn't.  I recognize that his actual "triggers" are intimacy and vulnerability . So for me ...we live "his way".   I saw a quote ( Brene Brown ) that said " To avoid conflict is to avoid connection".  Absolute truth.  So , this is a man that has been thru MLC, a staggering betrayal by having an affair, leaving his family , financial betrayal etc ....and nothing has changed in him. He is perhaps even more avoidant . He did not have this massive shift or become anything other than what he has always been.  He got a "free one"... an affair .  This is my reality . Silence ( avoidants) have control in many many ways...you are forced to live their way . Of course you have choices ...you can leave, you can divorce , you are not a victim. I do have choices and options open to me .  Because of so many unmet needs and yearnings for connection , I no longer respond to physical intimacy. I have no interest and after many rebuffs, he no longer pursues this . And he will not discuss any of it either . Wish I had an adult show up in my marriage. That would be nice.  I am lonely , I have deeper connections with girlfriends ( that I rarely see anymore) and have a deep sadness knowing that this will not change for me . He is a man full of fear and seemingly is OK with that.  On the days he attends counselling , I stay away from him when he comes home. Detach . I am so hurt by his "secrets" ( that's what it feels like) and the inability to ask "how did that go?"  and actually have a conversation . For several days I stay away from him and lick my wounds and hurts . There is no chance any deeper connection will ever happen ... he knows not what he does. Or he simply does not care about what I need.  It hurts and many many times I feel "stupid or foolish" to continue ...why would any women accept an affair or attempt to "get past it" , for this superficial marriage ?.  These are men that "stockpile" resentments, unmet needs, complaints etc...because they are avoidants and everything is always "fine"......until they explode . Could he have another affair?  Why not?  The circumstances are the same . I wonder about that. Swears he NEVER would as it was the biggest mistake he has ever made . I guess time will tell. Maybe his MLC is not over . How would we know.  Its just sad .
This entire paragraph lays it all on the table.
You believe you have no other options (short of divorce)
You are not getting the emotional connection you want and/or need.
Without emotional connection, physical connection it of no interest to you.
You are lonely.
You feel left out (his "secrets")

I don't believe avoidants "win". There is no win in this situation as it stands, and it doesn't help when part of your emotional support (your daughters and grandchildren) are not available to you in an in person way. The only choices we have are to accept what is, change ourselves, or change our situation. Accepting what is seems untenable for you. Is it? 

If he is so afraid that something he has done will make you think less of him that he makes you think less of him by withholding that information, what kind of Hell do you think his mind is going through? That if you know, you will hate him, or might leave? If his mask falls, you will see all that he is and it isn't perfect? That if he reveals all, he cannot put the worms back into the can and pretend like he "can manage just fine"? That YOU will get to judge everything that he is? I cannot imagine the terror that someone might feel to think actual reality might escape and they'd have to face it all if they have been avoiding all of their life.

If you thought of your H as a man terrified of his own memories and thoughts, what would you say to him?
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« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 05:41:00 PM by OffRoad »
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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#13: April 02, 2021, 09:24:23 PM
Ohhhhhh OffRoad.....those were two really awesome posts....... that tickles my brain  ;D

Small lesson in men, and maybe it will be applicable to Barbie's sitch as well......
I can't talk for the younger generations (they seem very different to me in many ways), but Gen Z'ers and before...... I know and understand this type of man (the good ones, not the losers..... and I don't think any of the LBS's had losers before they broke).
"Working men", that is to say, men who are wired to be providers (which is most good men)..... a lot of them don't understand much beyond this act of working. I was this way for a long time. My father is the hardest worker I've ever known in my life.... and that aspect (as a man) I admire very much. He literally will work himself into the grave, I have zero doubt about this. So many men and mentors I was fortunate to know thru my life were the same way...... most of these were what some would consider heroes: War vets, builders, makers, good and great men. Men who built things and did things. Men that had values, defended, stood for and weren't cowards about things. Oh how I miss these men and how I didn't understand or appreciate what they taught me in my young years. Now they are gone, and I doubt anyone besides me can remember what they had to say.
These "working men" as I like to think of them..... they were very deep men, but also men of few words. They didn't wear their emotions on their sleeve, but were easy to rouse to action. I remember they were fiercely defensive of their W's, but do I think they were saints? No, certainly they weren't. Some had done terrible things, most had witnessed terrible things..... but they were men, real men, and they ALL had regret. As I am older now, I can see that look on their faces: regret. It has a weight about it. It's a look I've seen on MLC'er faces when they have opened up about what they have been thru, and what they have done. It is a sad face, one that can't be undone..... not ever.
And so..... while someone could do something for themselves and not really be about the other person (building an arch, putting in cooler or heater, or whatever else it is), what I see is atonement. This is a very manly, or rather a very male behavior. For those who only know how to work, it really is their only expression. Looking back, I remember at the time, the men were running too and fro (seemingly) and the wives didn't seem to move much at all. I was young and thought they were lazy or just old or something...... but understanding now...... those ladies were very smart. They knew men. You see, they let their men work and be productive, and I distinctly remember several of them getting praise from their wives. These were small things, helping setup a banquet table, moving items for the church, or even working to mentor a young boy (me)....who would want to do that? Weren't there better things to do? Was it the value of doing good things (atonement), or was it something else? I know the wives volunteered their husbands for things nonstop, I remember that vividly....  Oh how wise these women really were. They were making their husbands feel useful, and appreciated. I never heard, in years and years a single snide comment between any of these couples. To a man, to a "working man", this praise is worth more than gold..... especially from the person they love most. And they were happy..... the men were. I don't know if the wives actually were impressed by what the husbands were doing, but they loved the attention and affection which was showered back upon them for it. You see, a pat on the head is exactly what a man needs. It does put a bounce in his step, because his work, his effort, is him. To reject that devalues him, makes him feel worthless, makes his efforts futile...... and yet a "working man" will continue because it is all he knows..... but he will be diminished, tired, and sad (I've known many of these men, haven't we all? They are easy to spot). To heal a man, to get thru to a man, and to get him to respond, is to show him a modicum of appreciation without a "but", "or if", "could you", or anything like that. All of that is attaching failure to a hollow "thank you", and it builds resentment in men..... until they believe they can do no right, eventually they are defeated, crushed, broken and unable to rise again.... and yet, they will continue to work in a half hearted manor (like zombies).... it's all they know, it's all they can express. A kind word can rejuvenate a man on the inside like you wouldn't know. Better yet, when you encourage a man such as if he builds you something: tell him you love it (even if you don't), that it is perfect, better than you could have hoped for, and place it somewhere important so he sees you value it. This is precious to a man, and will make him want to do it again. When a man comes to believe his is worthless, he stays there. A rare man can heal and get back up eventually, but not most. No, most need fuel, which is encouragement. What inspires most men to do their greatest work? Most of the time, at it's core...... it's a woman.
This is true for the non-MLC man, why would an Ex-MLC/Post-MLC/Emerging-MLC man be any different? It's just a man...... only broken..... which means he's in need even more.

Women do not understand the power they wield over us, but they also don't know that when a man is sufficiently destroyed that power is lost.

-SS
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« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 09:26:51 PM by Standing Strong »
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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#14: April 02, 2021, 10:06:35 PM
SS, part of me thinks that is all so sad. That a woman cannot ask for what she wants if it is different from what the man wants to give. That she will be thought of as unappreciative because she needs a grape arbor and was given a bench that could not fit. That she could truly appreciate the effort and craftsmanship of the item and that would not be enough if she dared say "My goodness this is so beautiful. I can't see a way to make it fit, have you any ideas? Maybe we could put it somewhere else then." And in his mind, all of his work was for naught because it wasn't a unconditional pat for doing something that wasn't what was asked for and literally could not go where it was needed.

How sad that in this example, a woman needs to stuff her wants and needs to make a man have a bounce in his step, and who cares what makes her step bounce.

I hear what you are saying. I have seen many men and women do the appreciation dance, for it is a dance. Mr Flirty at work would give me anything I wanted, when no one else could get him to do anything because I understand the appreciation dance. The more a woman appreciates, the more a man wants that appreciation "hit", at least by general standards. The trick though is that each party not only  needs to give what the other needs, not what they themselves need, but they also ought not to be required to stuff their own needs in the process.

And as a side note, my mother griped her way through life, and my father just shook his head and smiled. No matter how many times she berated him, he knew he'd done right. Because he had done his best and that's all he could do (definitely not a passive aggressive man).  I learned a lot from him.
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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#15: April 03, 2021, 12:34:42 AM
I hope that Barbie does not mind us slightly hijacking her thread.
I don't know if this discussion is useful to her and I presume she will join in to tell us what she thinks if she wants to.

I recognise a truth in what you posted about men, Standing. I'm not sure I like it much, but it is familiar enough to be recognisable. Maybe not all men, but quite a few. I have no idea what is chicken or egg....if this is something innate or something about how we socialise men in our cultures. Or if it is different between generations. I suspect some of those questions only men are equipped to answer. But it sounds as if your experience is that men need to feel appreciated for what they do more than who they are, and that women play some big role in affirming their value in their own eyes?

At the same time, I am concerned that our wider society seems to have a lot of angry, resentful men....men who 'need' women but also feel a level of what can only be described as rage or contempt towards them. And a lot of women who feel afraid and shortchanged by what seems to be acceptable in male behaviour writ large.

I guess what struck me most was two things.

Men who cede this 'power' to women to affirm their sense of self so much are, of course, exactly the kind of men who find other women (and/or other external stuff) to feed that need. And standard ow types seem to be better at trading affirmation for accountability, attention for control perhaps. Or perhaps it is just the difference between the level of attention or affirmation in a less mature relationship with less 'adult' responsibilities, idk. But it often seems as if MLC spouses simply transfer the 'power' you describe to another person. Which I guess works for them until or unless it doesn't.

The second thing is that many LBS here genuinely seemed to value their pre MLC spouse highly. And to carry a bit more than the fair share of adulting perhaps without necessarily receiving the same level of affirmation or 'go you'? I don't know if that crosses genders, if the male LBS experience is similar. But what seems self-evident to me is that, when a spouse does things unilaterally that fundamentally change the landscape of the relationship, that break trust and safety in it, necessarily all those issues of affirmation and appreciation change too. And that there is something potentially very unhealthy about trying to affirm someone who is devaluing you. (I think Chump Lady calls it a 'b!tc# cookie' lol, when we roll out a parade for someone doing the bare minimum of decent human adult regardless). Which is why the landscape is so different in reviving an essentially healthy relationship with things like Love Languages as opposed to working out what to do with a profoundly broken one that you did not break. My ability or honesty in giving positive strokes to a husband who built me an imperfect arch, say, is rather different in the context of him having stolen marital funds or had an affair or hurt my children or jeopardised my wellbeing without apparent concern than it was before I experienced those things.

At the same time, I recognise that for anyone trying to rebuild a decent marital partnership after such chaos there must be some need to rebuild some respect and appreciation for the person in front of you, just as you say. And I guess the extent to which you feel respected and appreciated as you are too. Which must be rather hard bc I guess the old equations have been upended....ones perspective on the normal flaws and strengths we all have...bc the context is so different. Perhaps that is as true with new relationships as well, idk.

Why do you think so many men might have this 'need' from the women in their life, Standing?
And what do you think about what women 'need' from the men in their life? And reciprocity?

My sense fwiw - and I might be wrong - is that Barbie is struggling less with a fear that her h will do these things again and more with a sense of feeling profoundly unseen and unheard by her h while he requires her to keep doling out the b!tc# cookies. That it is much more about reciprocity and respect than love or fear. Jmo.
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« Last Edit: April 03, 2021, 12:40:06 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#16: April 03, 2021, 01:59:01 AM
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I cannot believe that I have not seen 4 of my grandchildren and 2 of my daughters in almost a year and an Easter without kids is just not the same. And no true end in site to get excited about .  I miss my daughters beyond words and nothing is right about living this way . But , we have to do what we have to do.

This does not help how you feel as OR says - you need connection of all sorts and face to face is always the best option. 

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He does not want to engage in un-safe conversations, talk about relationship issues, read or watch videos or work on the marriage . So we don't .  I cannot force him to talk.  I wanted all those conversations and live to learn more .  He will not talk about anything of importance to me. 

I understand your frustration - my H is the same.  However I have realised that you cannot push a rope; you can only pull one -gently one inch at a time.

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He refuses to tell me or discuss anything from his counselling sessions. So, we don't .  He gets it his way again...when I desperately want to have those introspections and talks of connection.   
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I am so hurt by his "secrets" ( that's what it feels like) and the inability to ask "how did that go?"  and actually have a conversation . For several days I stay away from him and lick my wounds and hurts . There is no chance any deeper connection will ever happen
I wouldn't want to ask; My H doesn't want counselling; he did have early on in the crisis and he volunteered the counsellor advised him that he had to do what was right for him and that meant OW - sigh!

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He shows no true interest in the books I read, the courses I take online ..he asks nothing that makes me feel seen, heard or respected. If he was to ask anything...it could lead to conversations that create extreme fear and shut down in him. So he doesn't.  I recognize that his actual "triggers" are intimacy and vulnerability . So for me ...we live "his way".

This ....
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If you thought of your H as a man terrified of his own memories and thoughts, what would you say to him?

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he knows not what he does. Or he simply does not care about what I need........Maybe his MLC is not over .

Maybe it isn't - maybe he is still in depression.  This crisis exploded much more than just an affair and financial betrayal - it exploded all of his FOO issues and maybe just maybe he is in so deep that he chooses just to function because he is afraid of putting a foot wrong again with anyone. He gambled a lot of your money away if I am correct - he is tantamount to a recovering addict.

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This isn't about acts of kindness or encouraging words, it is about Barbie's healing. Which brings her to a difficult choice: "If my husband won't take the steps to help me heal, then why stay in this unconnected marriage?" Barbie's h is back in the home, but he is not back in the marriage
That's the tough choice especially when Barbie's BD was so long ago (similar to mine of 8 years). It would be natural to assume and to hope that by now after such a long time home her H would have shown some sense of truly connecting with her. 

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You can give and give and give everything that you think someone wants, and if they choose to be unhappy or just do not like or want what you have to give, you cannot fix it unless you choose to ask what the other person wants, do EXACTLY that, and if they still aren't happy, it's not on you.

And on the flip side, why would you continue to accept things you don't want if you never get what you do want because the other person thinks they are "giving"  what you want, when it is really what they want?

It comes down to honest detached communication but we tend to get emotionally invested in what we want and so orur wants become demands.
There's a huge difference between saying " I want you to build a wall this way"  to " Let's talk about how to build the wall so that we're both happy with it."

or " H I want you to share with me what you do at counselling" or even "How did it go?"  - this implies control and demand which for a fearful person becomes a non action/response.
instead " H -  I'm listening when you want to talk" - hands over control and creates safety.  Challenge with that is of course - the H may never want to talk. So what does the LBS do then?

This is possibly exactly where you are right now Barbie.

There is still a lot of fear and hurt in you Barbie.  Until that is resolved for you by you, perhaps working on the marriage is still something that cannot take place.  Maybe your H senses your hurt and fear and doesn't understand (not because you haven't probably explained to him every which way) but he too is hurt and afraid.  Two islands set apart by a huge river of doubt, hurt and fear.

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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#17: April 03, 2021, 06:34:39 AM
[I had wrote this last night but didn't hit post until after hearing from Barbie that this is ok - and sorry Barbie for any hijack]  ;)

Hey OffRoad,

Your father sounds like a very special man, those are rare indeed (I've met a couple of those, not many).

That is a very unique perspective, I think I understand what you're saying. I think that depends on the person, and what their frailties are. Some can take more direction than others, and some can't.... and some need their self-worth and self-perception built up before they can function in a two-way manor.
When someone is weak, anything which can be interpreted as criticism wrecks the whole thing..... but when someone has been built up and has self-value, then positive constructive criticism isn't something which is threatening. I find this in women and men. In the case of this man (me, LOL) one thing which used to be hurtful (but isn't anymore - and I know other men who have voiced frustration with this) is when you work on something (without help) and then it gets shot down. Now I'm a little different in that I like to work on projects as a team (me and W), but most of the time there would be no interest on her part (even if it was her idea) and I'd be left alone to do my best, guess what was desired, and then get blown out of the water once it was all done. This is a very inconsiderate way to treat someone, but I also understand that many men would rather work alone and hope for the best outcome at the end..... maybe they think it'll be a grand surprise and then get let down when they get blown out of the water (LOL!!!).
The takeaway for me is: Good things beget good things, and we're always learning and trying harder for the next time so long as there's a reason to...... but there HAS to be a reason. There HAS to be a motivation.... sick, broken or healthy. Maybe it is a carrot, or a appreciation hit....... is that really a bad thing? I remember how when I was 1st married, W would joke about "training me"..... HAHAHAHA... I know there's nothing special or unique about that. Don't leave dirty underwear around, don't leave the toilet seat up, clean..... you know, all those things us men are famous for not paying any mind to until there's a woman we love. And we change don't we? Is that a carrot? For me, I don't think it was. It was understanding what someone wanted, and willingly adapting to show appreciation and love. In time, this was no longer a thing because we had moved on to bigger and better things to work on........ She appreciated, and I responded. Now if she had been ugly about it, or didn't appreciate it at all and just demanded it..... I would not have been so eager or maybe even compliant. Maybe I would have made messes just to push her buttons if I interpreted her comments as trying to push mine. Everything is reciprocal..... and you know what? I liked being trained. I wanted to be better...... and I wanted the same from her in return. For a time, that's how it was, and it was loving and beautiful. You see, us (men) do want to please, it does drive us. A good man will move mountains for his lady, but does he want something in return? Of course he does.

I was talking to my IC a while back and we were having a fun conversation about all the husbands which come thru his door...... and he asked me what it is that all those men wanted most from their wives. I was curious....... what could it be? The stereotypical suspects: Affection, respect, sex, peace, admiration, validation? No, it was none of those. It was companionship. I thought about it, and nodded my head...... ahhhhh, yes...... wow, how did I miss this? When you boil it all down........ past all the things we want, it all comes down to that. Everything else falls in it's place naturally when you have that.... true, companionship. That's what men really want..... a friend and lover. THAT is what we sign up for when we M. THAT is what we think we are getting.  No arguing, no fighting, no secrets, no damaging barbs, no defenses. I enjoy you, and you enjoy me. I think back to my good years with W, and I see that very clearly....... when you enjoy someone just by being near them and sharing. Companionship. I'm pretty sure she thought it was pretty grand too and had all her needs met and then some.  Then I think about what gets layered on as time progresses and life happens (or MLC)..... resentments, hurts, miscommunications, distance, damage, all of which erode, companionship (or sever it). And so I ask myself, "how do you get back there?". What "blocks" that? I don't know what blocks it in women, but I do know what blocks it in men. I also know that women want an emotional connection with their men. There is no emotional connection with men while they are down. They have to be strong to be emotionally available..... maybe a better word would be healthy. Does a woman have to nurse her "regular man" back to health? Yes ladies, you do. Sorry. Men typically only have one person they confide in and put their trust in. One. Now that's a non-MLC man, what about the MLC one? I was talking to a close guy friend who went thru MLC, and burned up his M, burned up a second M, and finally settled down in M #3. Wasn't wife #1 or #2's fault......... #1 wasn't going to put up with the breakdown, #2 didn't realize she married a madman, and #3 he credits for healing him. One of these days I'm going to ask him what was it that she did, maybe it was just his time to exit the tunnel but I find it fascinating that in his mind, it was a woman who pulled him out and saved him. Interesting. Or maybe he saved himself "for her". We do like being superman, and given the chance with the possibility of success, sometimes we are. We are much more predisposed to save someone else rather than ourselves. I just don't discount the power of women and the magnetism they can have over us...... and I don't think this is exclusive to some "new" R...... I think men desperately want to connect with their W..... MLC or not. They only give up when they think it is impossible (their fault or not). Man (with a few exceptions) will not live without connection: he'll sacrifice almost anything for it. If this one is deemed impossible, and another is deemed possible, he will move towards the possible. I guess most women and men are the same in that aspect (MLC or not).

-SS   
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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#18: April 03, 2021, 06:46:31 AM
I found the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (1992) written by American author and relationship counselor John Gray, explains the differences quite well.
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A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#19: April 03, 2021, 06:50:15 AM
My therapist wrote this to me last week and it it true for all of us:

I also hope that you know it is my wish for your needs of the heart to always be met with the utmost care, exquisite kindness and devoted attention that I believe they deserve

I see the pattern in several members of the inability of our loved one to express feelings, avoid any talk that isn't superficial....I don't know if they feel anything inside or not.

I have had two huge losses in the last 2 weeks, my dog and my sister. The outpouring from my friends and family and the words and expressions they impart are "real"...they have compassion and emotion and a collective "understanding" because we have all lost someone we love and the feelings of grief are understood.

His contact is totally different. Clinical, the appropriate words but void of any feeling.

Mermaid wrote a great deal about anhedonia, she too lives with her husband and was often frustrated by his lack of ability to meet her needs.

I tried to make sure I was spelling it correctly and this page details briefly what anhedonia is.
https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/anhedonia#symptoms

All the occasions where we know there should be something beautiful, like Easter, is clouded by something we want and cannot have, a connection to them that we cannot "feel".

The article talked about the difficulty of "treating this" and maybe it just can't be.

I wonder, if they cannot express or shown true feelings...are they somehow in them anyway and if so...where do those feelings go?
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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

 

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