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Author Topic: My Story Reconnecting The Heart Behind The Hurt

C
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My Story Reconnecting Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#20: April 03, 2021, 09:41:17 AM
Now I am going to say something that may not seem especially kind at first. I say it with love because it helped me.

You cannot change other people.

My expectations hurt my feeling more than anything else. I could not make rational decisions about my life or marriage while I was in my feelings.

So I did this back and forth examining over and over all the ways in which my H was failing to meet the “bare minimum” that was in reality my own expectations.

I couldn’t see the emotional vulnerability that was being handed to me because it wasn’t the emotional vulnerability I wanted. I couldn’t see the love care or concern that was being given to me....because it wasn’t in a form I understood or saw.

To see it I had to get to a point where I gave up all my expectations of another person and grieved them. On the other side of that grief and acceptance was understanding and an ability to see all that I had been looking for.

My advice.....every time he does something that upsets you, disappoints you or isn’t what you need or want.....tell yourself “I cannot change other people” then journal.....find that expectation you were holding whatever it is (being listen too, having a conversation, your words having an affect on other people ect) write down over and over and over that you can no longer expect that from your H until it sinks in and you begin to grieve that. Let yourself grieve the loss of that expectation. It is only your ego that is wounded really anyway.
Then bring the focus back to yourself. If this is true (I can no longer expect xyz from H) then I must give it to myself. How can I give xyz to myself?

IT SUUUUUUUUUUCKS! I hated it. I hated every minute of that work. It was hard. It hurt enormously. But can you trust me when I say there is so much freedom and love and joy on the other side of all of that work?

Anyways.....that’s my suggestion. Deal with the emotions first then you can make accurate and Untriggered decisions about the situation.

Send you love Barbie.

❤️ Courage ❤️
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« Last Edit: April 03, 2021, 09:42:34 AM by Couragedearheart »
Me 37
H 37
S16
Wallower/Chaos kid
EA discovered 3/31/2019
BD March 31 2019
He left 10/6/2020
Status: I’m done. Stbxh remorseful, texts and apologizes a lot, is in therapy and several treatment teams.
“God allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of his.” C.S. Lewis

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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#21: April 03, 2021, 09:44:28 AM

Hey T  ;D
Super awesome.... love your thoughts and questions. So deep.

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?
YES!! Men are what they do (many men, not all) and it is who they are and what they are. This is how they identify. "This is what I do, this is what I am". notice how in men who retire, many struggle with it. To transition into just being themselves, many can't do it. We measure our worth by the value we bring others. When that value is questioned, rejected or unable to be provided, then our reason for existing comes into question: "Do I have value? What use am I?".   To go from having value, to not (for whatever reason) is an enormous blow to men.

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.
Oh you are hitting the nail on the head. This is rearing it's ugliness in so many ways. What you are seeing is men rebelling. I've studied this in-depth as I saw a (male) poster refer the the MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) movement which is gaining steam, and is SOOOOOO destructive.
Here is what that is, and a man doesn't have to identify himself as a MGTOW or "red pill" (as they call themselves) to grab on to that these people are espousing.: A man tries and gets burned by a woman, and he checks out, he quits. He is defeated. These people are broken and ruined. They believe in becoming lovers of themselves and turning from what constitutes a good man and embracing what a bad man (a loser) is. They become users of women, and glorify self...... all under the guise (and pain) of being hurt. They embrace their own pursuits, pleasures and work simply because their own efforts (work) bring them satisfaction and safety (without the danger of being hurt/rejected again). They cease being men under the illusion that now for the 1st time they are men. Nonsense. Such a lie. I am ashamed that men have fallen so much...... but they are not solely to blame..... you see, their "shift" has everything to do with women. Whatever pain that laid them low, it always, ALWAYS has it's genesis with a women. They seek to break the magnetic attraction we have for women, and in turn only seek to serve themselves. Such danger, such self-indulgent destructive garbage. It is the destruction of society and the family unit: when men abandon their abode because it no longer provides what it needs. How is this fixed? The solution is with women...... it always has been. Women have changed so much in the last 50 years, some would say for the better and I would say "in ways" but also in terrible ways as well. You see, once a man is not needed, then he has no value..... he becomes disposable. What a man needs, is to be needed. What happens when women "don't need no man"? He loses value, and a man without value, doesn't value anyone else. He turns inwards because their is nothing to turn to outwards. In this, women are losing men wholesale.... and women are getting angry about it. I hear at work (nonstop) where did all the men go? They're quitting, and it's only getting worse...... but the answer is not with men, it's with women.       

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.

Nail on the head again (you are so very smart T)  ;)
Men seek connection and companionship. It is a need, not a want. Just as important as food or air, and we starve without it (I'm guessing this is the same for women, but I don't know - I'm not one).  I'm not an MLC'er, so I don't directly know what is in the head of the MLC-man or the intensity of feelings an MLC-man has. What I do know is what a man feels for a woman and how clouded we get. It makes complete sense to me that an MLC-man would connect or rather falsely connect to someone when he doesn't have connection elsewhere (his M). Men are easy to confuse when it comes to emotion. We aren't really good at it, and I can't say enough about the need to be needed. For all the W's with their men in the throws of MLC, I'm so sorry. They really are totally lost while in the middle of it and I say that because I know, I know that I would be lost if I was in the middle of one. Extremes of emotion (real or imagined) and a man gets stupid really quick....... but, when he is receptive (in moments of clarity or if he is coming out).... oh the power you have. You have no idea. Why? Because what he wants, what he needs, is you. Why do MLC-men come sniffing around as they emerge? Com'on ladies, you know the answer..... don't you?


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.

I have not read a single thing from Chump-Lady, but I have heard of her.
To me (and I could be wrong) this is the female version of MGTOW..... a hurt and damaged person who "checks out" in bitterness. It's understandable, but pitiful.
Just as men have the obligation to be men, so too do women. Either side that abandons their station brings down the whole structure.
Can one side be wrong? Absolutely. Does this excuse a situation where the other side cascades into calamity? Absolutely not.
I mean, my W could spin off into destruction at any time. It's possible. Does that give me a pass to quit, cease being a good man, and turn into a dirty, rat-filth, loser? No of course not.
I think there's a big difference in timing, of when to "reach out".... and that is important when dealing with someone who "devalues you". If someone is in the middle of MLC..... detach. Nothing else really to do (although paving the way is a great idea). When they're coming out, have exited or are having moments of clarity..... now that's a different story entirely.


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?
Because that is how we were made. It is how we are designed.
I know some people are not religious, and I don't mean to offend but maybe this will illuminate a point in way that makes sense (for the LBS-W) on the construction of man......  and how we are different:
Adam lost a rib to make Eve...... something was taken from him, to construct her. Nothing has taken from Eve to create Adam. Note the difference.
Man is commanded to love women.
Woman is commanded to respect man. Note the difference.
What does this say? You can see it in your everyday......
Man is incomplete without woman. Hence we seek to impress, to get validation from, to "earn" affirmation from, and get commitment from. That's men. Incomplete. You think a rib was the only thing that was removed? It wasn't.  Incomplete is man.
Woman by contrast didn't have anything removed. The fairer of the sexes does not have the "incomplete" void that man does. What is her attraction for man? The answer is: For what he is. By extension also, what he does.
See the need for his behavior? See how this is changing in women, and what effect it is having on man?
People think that women yield to men because they are physically weaker, this is not true. Men yield to women because they are inherently incomplete and what has removed was the emotional complexity or rather emotional processing/reasoning ability. Why do men attach solely to one? Because she and only she can regulate his emotions and help him understand emotion itself. In this, he gives trust and becomes vulnerable in a way he will never be with anyone else. Companionship. Why do women have a need and desire to have an emotional connection with their H? Because their function at it's core is to connect with man and grab on to his emotions which he can't handle himself. Companionship. Just as he has a need to directly impact her life thru his work, she impacts his life directly thru her work. One physical, one emotional...... both equally necessary for the other to be healthy. Thus both benefit and are satisfied. 


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.
I don't know..... but if he is coming out, or is out, or something like that...... then I know he is a puddle, a blubbering mess, a broken shattered man. Any post-MLC'er man will be this, right? After reintegration has to come healing, and I think the potential groundwork for healing can begin even before this. Some can get up on their own, and most can't. Is it fair? Nope. It is right? Nope. Is there any justice? Yes. A good person only becomes more good as they continue to do good. The bad, the broken, the scared, the shamed...... they know what they are and what they did, forever. Not one day will pass without it crossing their minds at least once. If we love them, then we help them (if we can). It is mercy to forgive that which society says we can never forgive. It is love to forget and forgive that which is unforgiveable and unforgettable.
"Love is patient, love is kind...... It does not envy, it does not boast.... it is not proud. It does not dishonor others... it is not self-seeking.... it is not easily angered.... it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS perseveres."

-SS
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Together 25 years, M 23
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Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#22: April 03, 2021, 09:53:02 AM
I sooo appreciate this conversation. I am reading and taking it all in , processing and will add my feelings about it all.  So much to say .  This is not a hi-jack to me , this is wisdom being shared with me .  I just need to think and absorb this wisdom before I respond. I thank you all so much .
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Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

Anger is like a candle in the wind ... it blows out the light of all reason.

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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#23: April 03, 2021, 10:01:44 AM
Wow a couple wonderful, insightful posts here, I hate you are at the end of your thread, Barbie.

You can bring them to your new thread if you'd like.
I would hate to have them overlooked.
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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."

C
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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#24: April 03, 2021, 10:05:11 AM
To the other conversation that is happening here.....

In a partnership based on love from both parties....there are going to be lots of moments where your spouse does not meet your expectations. Now you are choosing what is more important....my expectations being perfectly met....or responding in love to the effort of my partner?  The answer is not going to be the same for every incident.

If the balance is in responding with love for the most part....then you will get a more gracious response when you need to say “hey....it actually has to make expectations this time”.

This isn’t a black and white issue.

I know a woman who is happily married to the most disaster prone man I’ve ever met....he can literally break things he hasn’t even touched yet. She is appreciative of his effort, his ideas, his creativity and she joyfully giggles at the disasters.....because if you are going to be creative you will have to have a certain amount of failures factored in.

For some people....they cannot handle that. It’s not wrong of them that they can’t....it’s just their comfort level with lack of control.

You have to know what sort of person you are....and then make choices for yourself that aren’t going to have you tolerating things that are intolerable to you.

Men look for approval and praise, and live in a society that tells them there only worth is what they can produce, money, building things, or achievements. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.
Women are taught to accept the bare minimum. To put everyone else’s feelings before their own. To make themselves small and pleasant and to find their worth externally.

A woman in her power is calm, she receives graciously and with love and warmth and openness. She is confident within herself, she cares for those around her without overextending or breaking herself, she knows how and when to delegate. She is the emotional stability in her home.
 A man in his power is protective, he provides...it is his joy to attend to her needs. He thinks of others, not just self protection. He knows when to delegate and it does not diminish him to do so. He is consistent, forthright and honest....he provides the physical stability in a home and can be counted on.

Most of us aren’t in our own power. We aren’t as healed as we want others to be. But our own healing has a ripple effect in our social circles. And we only heal when focusing on ourselves and our own growth.

Just my opinion....for what it’s worth.

Courage
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Me 37
H 37
S16
Wallower/Chaos kid
EA discovered 3/31/2019
BD March 31 2019
He left 10/6/2020
Status: I’m done. Stbxh remorseful, texts and apologizes a lot, is in therapy and several treatment teams.
“God allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of his.” C.S. Lewis

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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#26: April 05, 2021, 10:17:36 AM
I'm here too!

Welcome to your new thread!
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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."

t
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Re: The Heart Behind The Hurt
#27: April 05, 2021, 10:22:30 AM
Hello barbiedoll and all, I’m just checking in and catching up. Great sidebar on appreciation, etc.

barbie, back to the conversations you’ve had with your h’s brother — I served as the protector of my siblings too. It took decades for me to unhook from that role, and I was surprised and stunned and glad to, finally. And it was only just a few years ago that I did.

I’m wondering if on top of a native consideration to shield his younger siblings and not trouble them with whatever he faces or feels, it might also be that your husband feels or perceives that his siblings (at least this one younger brother) are still dependent on him for something. They shouldn’t be, really, but old family dynamics and roles are difficult to step down or away from. Not saying it’s something that needs to be addressed or that isn’t being addressed in its own way; just reading this part of your story with one of my own filters.

When I think that my own h might ever return, I strongly suspect there won’t be much discussion about “what happened”. I’ve seen him do many minor atonement actions prior to the latest hard separation, so I know those humble, ordinary, consistent actions are part of his ask for my forgiveness and trust repair. My own atonements were mostly written or verbal, or gentle touch or to receive affection; at present, I’m overwhelmed and at a loss, so my “atonement” now is to leave him alone. I don’t know what I would even say; there’s way too much to be said.

I can see us living in silence a lot, with nothing really explicitly explained except by those measures. And it isn’t the same as before, and also isn’t what I previously thought ideal. In my case I am pretty sure it was words that started the trouble between us, so in some way, I am ok if the solution turns out to be not so verbal.

I know maybe that doesn’t sound ideal to you either. Those of us who have a lot of words deserve to be heard or read and understood when we put them forward, especially when full of feeling or unanswered questions. We all deserve to have especially our most vulnerable questions answered, or at least acknowledged. It sounds to me (through my family filter) like your h may be still operating in an old protector role, sort of mixing it up so that he shields (or shields from) “everybody”, including himself.

That’s got to get old. He may not realize he’s still carrying that assignment, or how. Anyway, if any of it rings true for you, I can tell you that the protector role is really isolating, and for me it took my siblings establishing their own might and independence, for me to realize I hadn’t had to watch over or worry about them in some long time, and didn’t need to anymore. I guess what I’m saying is it sounds like your BIL has some dependency issues or some area in which he hasn’t taken the lead in his own life. And if that perception is correct, I hope there will be healing in other parts of your and your h’s family so that his focus can return to self, you, your marriage enjoyments, and your kids.

For sure, I am always hoping the best for you. (((HUGS)))
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The Heart Behind The Hurt
#28: April 10, 2021, 07:30:00 AM
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I don't think so, they may get the early victories, but they lose the internal battle because they never process their issues. Never open up about their fears, their mistakes, and what makes them human.
 Your h has his own demons eating away at him and while you overtly examine the marriage, he covertly tries to bury what he should openly own..

Yes. It is entirely possible that he may never process his issues. Period. If a person is extremely skilled at compartmentalization, perhaps they can “box up all issues” and never take the lid off. What a waste of a crisis. What was the point of it all then? . IF my H has “demons eating away at him” , he is brilliant and masterful at hiding this. To be fair, our marriage counsellor emphatically told me the same…he is in much internal pain, guilt, anguish etc about the things he has done and things he cannot address or talk about. Surely these are very “unsafe” man as I see none of that in our daily lives and interactions. This is why so many LBS suffer such extreme shock when life explodes…we saw nothing of the internal storm brewing…until it blows up our lives.
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Your h is aware that you know he is not the person they all perceive as the "great" guy. As you have said, his lack of openness is driven by fear. To be discovered as weak as all those around him, worse yet, as weak as his father.

I am certain my H would be suicidal if he was to become his father. Nothing would or could ever be worse. His number 1 driving force his entire life has been NOT to become his father . It was extremely difficult for my H to have made mistakes ( huge mistakes) and they became public knowledge.  It’s a huge fall off that pedestal . But I believe he neatly compartmentalizes this mess into a mental box and does not then need to feel it or deal with it.  I only know he detests anything similar to his father because he told this to the counsellor in my presence..more than once .

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Fwiw, I think what 'avoidants' 'win' is some level of control....well, perhaps a negative control. They get to control what they don't get, I guess in order to feel safe in some way. But I'm not sure they get much positive control, to get what they most want....to really feel safe...or any of the really good human stuff of life.  Walls keep lots of stuff out, don't they? Not just the scary stuff. I'm not sure you would see this as a 'win' in your life.....although I can understand why you might feel that he is 'winning' more than you in the current situation. Do you want to 'win', Barbie? Is that important in some way to you? And if it is, what kind of 'win' do you want for yourself?
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I'm sorry that you are facing another lockdown and that it is creating distance from those you love and miss, Barbie. Normal healthy humans find it hard, don't we? X


They “get to control what they don’t get”…this is very interesting to me. My H does not “get” a lot of things from me . Living with someone you see as avoidant does not bring out the warm fuzzies in a women.  It creates distance from me …and isn’t that what avoidant want?   How very interesting this statement is.  Yes, walls , secrets, silence absolutely keeps out all the good stuff too. Seems OK with them , otherwise something would change ( one would assume) . When I say “win” it really is meant to describe my deep frustration and a kinda throw up your emotional hands in defeat . You win because I quit . I quit ( detach) because it is far too painful, it ignites rage, it exhausts me and I made a decision to look after ME rather than keep knocking on all your closed doors.  Zero expectations for change at this point .  I need to rest in every way imaginable .  It is important to also recognize that the “pursuer” in me ( I have an anxious pre-occuppied attachment style) has left the building. I have done years of work on myself and I can say with total honesty that the need to pursue is gone. I believe I have healed many wounds that kept me in that role for a very long time. I simply no longer am driven by that any longer.

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She asked what we could talk about and suggested some things (like a trip we'd like to take, he poo pooed that saying "there is no way we can have a conversation like that")

So, then she said "well, what can you talk about?" He said "normal stuff and then named some benign PRACTICAL crap like the new gym memberships and the AC guy calling to do the yearly check up"     
You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

No , you cannot make it up . Thanks for this.  It is in fact that avoidance/pursuer dance is common in a lot of marriages ( so I am told ). Avoidants do not marry avoidants etc etc.  .  Sad but true. We are certainly not alone .
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Worth trying?  There are numerous seasons of "Married at First Sight" for streaming. Though a contrived show, the couple dynamics are gems for conversation starters and in your case could remain in the "safe space" of talking about the show and not getting into your own relationship but... you would be cracking open the door to those conversations. Could you see yourselves watching it together and talking about the episodes?

No. I am done trying to talk . We have read / listened to atleast 50 books, watched 100’s of pocasts, been to every kind of counselling etc….and never has he entered into a conversation on his own . I stopped doing all of that last year because it never resulted in conversations, sharing thoughts or opinions, likes or dislikes or anything else . Silence.

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So you want connection? That's good!! I am curious as to what you perceive that he wants? Well, besides avoiding that is.   
I see he put in a heater for you..... that's nice. Why do you think he did that? To be nice? To give you a safe space? Just curious if he is trying, and if he's trying in an area that is not "what you want”

My H has been extremely clear from the start about what he wanted and still says the same. He wants to “fix what he broke”, he wants his marriage desperately , wants his family …no matter what it takes or how long it takes . He has never said differently .  My H will do anything for me , and I do mean ANYTHING.  I could make a list but it would take up the entire post as to the things he does for me.  If I even mention something that I like…. he finds it, builds it or buys it. There is nothing he cannot build , fix or renovate. Last week I said what a pain it is to search for the bedroom lamp in the dark . There is no ceiling light.  There is now!   And as much as I am grateful and appreciate this , it is not what I wanted. I just wanted him. That’s it . To talk to me , to show up, to be honest and open, to share , to be vulnerable and present. When I say that …he blankly stares at me and gets emotional.

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how often does this happen? Could this be (part) of the case here?

I have a theory, and it could be wrong..... could be very wrong    but I wonder if we have to learn where to meet our spouse and appreciate what they have, what they give, and then work to bring them forward from there. I know in Mom's case, she has the need to be shown that Dad cares. His need is to be "useful" and to be appreciated. He (I'm sad to say - because I love my dad) feels like a failure because he can do no right, no matter what he does and in his mind mom can never be happy and that translates to mom will never be happy with him. That is his fault, and he knows it..... she reminds him every day.  Mom on the other hand wants to be loved, and never will feel the love she wants because her list of expectations will never be fulfilled by the promises he made to her and the ones she placed on her list (herself) and a laundry list of resentments. They are too advanced in age to accomplish all the things they wanted to, probably never was enough time even 30 years ago to accomplish it all. And so they BOTH avoid...... and both are blind to the others avoidance (fascinating).
Some truths in this story. My H has said that the affair – OW made him feel very appreciated . I asked him “ for what ? what did you do for her ?”.   He could not think of 1 thing .  He felt appreciated in some twisted way by how “happy” she was when he showed up. Wow!.  My H love language is words of affirmation.  Sounds like the distancer/pursuer dance is alive and well in your parents marriage and perhaps not giving the other what they need instead of what they want to give each other .  My H appears to need to be “celebrated “ for every nice thing he does. Exhausting.  My H feels judged and criticized by me . He has extreme reactions to criticism , it is a huge shut down trigger . But he can twist everything into a criticism .   I truly do avoid ( I will call it detach) at this point in my marriage. 
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do you think he would see avoidance in you?
Very likely he does . He has never said..likely never would. He is just happy for “peace” at any cost , so he would never do or say anything to change “peace”.   He is mistaken of course . When a women stops talking or interacting  she is either done or very close to it. 

The stalemate has to be broken by us
Many things I have read say that the “pursuer” ( me ) needs to change.  Has to “go 1st”.  That is just sick, trust me ..it is just unacceptable in everyway. But that is the advice given

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How to Avoid the Pursuer-Distancer Pattern in Your Relationship (gottman.com)
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But his departure and affair shifted her reality and the marriage

Yes. This is absolutely true. I can tell you that when BD happened , he repeatedly told me that I “settled” for him, that he could not make me happy. Why did I settle for him, he asked over and over. I denied “settling” …even though in many ways , I did. And he must have been aware of this. Now I am not able to “settle” for less than a real connection, for openness and vulnerability.  I am not sure what will ever happen if I cannot achieve this . I do not believe it will happen . Then I have some massive decisions to make. I have told him all of this.

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Maybe I'm getting stories mixed up, but I thought that Barbie's H has either gotten thru MLC or is somewhere in a latter stage....... trying in some way but not the desired way. If I remember correctly, he started with talking but ended that way too fast which isn't allowing the healing Barbie needs. Like he can't face his guilt and shame..... and now he is shut down (in that area)....... which has to be infuriating, frustrating and extremely hurtful.

I think maybe he went back into the “tunnel”  or , he just gave up. There was a change from talking , reading etc and back to “shut down”  emotionally. He “triggers” more than I do …according to our therapist . My triggers are messy and loud and his reaction to triggers is to shut down . He is “flooded “ apparently , but this “shut down “ is a trigger response. A defence mechanism from FOO. My presentation triggers him….I turn into his dad. It is no secret that I have been enraged for a long time. I am aggressive , blunt and can swear like a sailor if pushed far enough. He needs “ Tinker-firetruckin_belle , and I am not her. He turns into my mother …cold, disconnected, dismissive and emotionally abandoning and that is my triggers. I have healed many many parts of this and am not nearly as reactive …but I sure was. I am not “safe”.   He is full of shame . Not just from his affair…but deep shame from childhood.  Again, I only know this because the therapist told me .   I gave him an article to read . It was about what it was like to live with an avoidant person. It was about ME and my experience and how I feel.  He took it as 100% criticism and a list of all the things he “does wrong”. Conversation over.
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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?

Question of the year right here !. I ask myself this many times.
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?

I accepted who he was and how he was likely 20 years ago.  I did not know the reasons he shut down ( like I do now) . I did accept it and stopped pursuing that from him. I “settled” and got on with it .  I sometimes felt guilty for doing that …maybe that’s why he had an affair . ( my thinking at BD) . Marriages with little emotional connection are vulnerable to affairs afterall. Accept it again??.  Hmmmm ?  It is curious that a person ( my H and other avoidant men) avoid or are not capable of true vulnerability or connection, and then THEY become unhappy with their marriage . Huh?.  At BD he had a 100 complaints about his marriage . It was staggering .  I fully understand that his MLC, his shut down , his defences are NOT and never were about me or my marriage and accepting that fact set me free from blame and guilt. I don’t want to accept it again.  I just can’t . So for now I am involved with only ME .

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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.

Thank you Offroad . This is what it is all about really . If he is tormented, full of shame and terror…I don’t see it. Period. He spent a lot of money …a lot.  He was caught in a casino many many times while he was gone ( I had access to his bank account online) . I had no idea . Trust me ..none. He has refused to offer a full explanation of where this money went. He admits to gambling . But when? For how long has that been going on? Why?  How did you not know that a day would come when you have to explain?   Why would you do that to us?  A million questions that he will not answer. Shame and guilt , I have been told by therapists and he is in much internal pain as a result . Tormented . I have actually been told to “leave it alone” as it could result is some “physcological break”.   So I have .  BUT there is nothing right about accepting a man who refuses to be accountable or explain or show remorse for what he has done.  In fact if he is pushed ..he will blame me. Are they not red flags to any self respecting women?   The pile of bank printouts he needs to explain has been on the corner of his desk for years . The therapist is “working on this” with him.  Sure.
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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?

It would be something I would have to “know” myself.  If I tried to talk to him from this point of view , he would deny it. Then I am not sure of myself. I believe it is true…but I would need to remind myself and remember. It’s a helpful state

I am tired . Exhausted and flat . I have more to comment on , trust me , but it is overwhelming and I will come back to it later. I so appreciate everyone.  We were placed into an "emergency brake" lockdown.  And all health officials and those in the "know"  felt it was far too lenient . So now we have new restrictions. Ontario is under a state of emergency with a stay-at-home order . It will be enforced with fines etc. ALL non-essential services closed and all items deemed non-essential have been roped or blocked off in stores . No restaurants open period.  Only 5 people outdoors and NO one allowed in your home. Its tight...its scary at this point . This is the 3rd time and getting harder and harder to do.   My daughters were born in Jan, Feb, March , April and May. ( imagine?) . This is the 2nd year I have mailed a birthday gift and not been able to see them .  I cannot see an end .

I picked-up the cream for this skin cancer ..516.00 dollars. Holy!  . Now its a big scabby mess . Ugh!.  So I am careful now with sunscreen and a baseball hat ( no where to buy a cute girlie sunhat!) , hair tied up and out in the greenhouse. I tell you , I am one sexy looking garden pixy today !   Had enough of it all.   The slightly good news is that H's counsellor called to say she was still permitted to see him and set an appointment for him. She had to change offices to accommodate the "rules", but he is to continue to attend.  That surprises me...but its good. Onward we go ...
  • Logged
Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

Anger is like a candle in the wind ... it blows out the light of all reason.

b
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  • Gender: Female
The Heart Behind The Hurt
#29: June 25, 2021, 06:37:36 PM
Hello my friends . Been awhile since I updated my story although I have attempted to several times.  I find I am very easily overwhelmed and left with an inability to find the words to express myself clearly.  It is very frustrating to me as I have always been the opposite , always felt sharp , on my game and easily described emotions etc. Not so much anymore and I am not really sure why that is. Regardless, the last string of conversation was overwhelming and I have just bowed out for a bit and looked for ways to find myself again. A little lost perhaps . What I do recognize internally is my own journey of "transition or "mid-life crisis " ( if you will ) , a need to be alone , a need to just be quiet and reflective.  Alone with my own thoughts is where I am most at peace it seems.  I have been rather inactive here on HS as I have felt very little to offer at the moment ..but I do read along at times.

Life for me right now is spent in the garden or busy at some crafty idea on the porch .  I am content with my own company . I often listen to Ted Talks, books or videos that help me continue to figure out who I am and what I want to do or accomplish as I move forward. Funny, being in lockdown has been rather good for my tired soul . I have done some online courses, talked with my therapist occasionally and been ...for the most part...content.  I no longer believe I am a crazy "pursuer" , in fact the exact opposite . I have no more questions, I have very realistic expectations of what he is and is not capable of  and I have come to a place of acceptance of who he is and why he did what he did. I think I understand now ...although it does not erase the pain, the anguish and the deep breech of trust. But I understand.  And I simply do not "fight it " anymore.  In many ways I am aware that I will not get all of my needs as a women met .  I am very aware and perhaps that is what much of the thinking is about.   The reality is there is not 1 person that can meet all your needs anyway...maybe I need a village too. But specifically , the need wives have to feel safe, to feel heard, to feel desired and to be a safe place.....none of that will be available to me in this marriage .  Hard to say out loud...but in many ways an incredible relief to stop pursuing those things .  I no longer feel any need to do that . It is simply gone.  My rage that kept me stuck for years is also simply gone.  And I had the deepest rage ever imaginable ...ever. For a very very long time. I understand that now as well and it has resolved and left me some peace. Atleast I hope so . Hopefully it is not still lurking somewhere and re-visits because it was indeed killing me and anyone that tried to come near me.  I am in some period of change internally and hopefully it leads me to some happiness , gratitude and calm acceptance.

I have been listening to the Empowered Wife . I have not finished nor do I have a final impression on what I think.  Since I frequently feel like spitting, and have several times told this book to firetruck off and I hide it from my daughters ...its not looking good.  It frequently makes me feel like if I can act like some kind of firetrucking dumsel in distress it will bring out the rescuing hero in my husband and all will be well in the world.  Sounds like the act the OW presented  and my Knight In Shining Armour took the bait. So it worked for her...just saying.  I taught my daughters none of this.  None of these ways of rather manipulating a man to get what you want. To lower yourself etc etc.  However, having said all that , there are some truths in this book as well so its rather a bag of mixed emotions. She talks about who men have a high need to have a "happy" wife.   I cannot tell you how many times my husband has said " I could not make you happy".   Many women ( including my brilliant , independent , career friend) say it saved her marriage.  Hmmmm?  Anyway, I will finish the damn book.  Much of the previous conversations  were similar to what this book is about. 

My H continues in therapy with our marriage counsellor. Even thru lockdown, she has seen him.  She says I will be "invited to return" when she thinks he is "ready". So far it has been a year.  She will see a change in me as I have no doubt she has never dealt with such unpredictable rage as she witnessed with me .  She asked him to read  Recovering From Emotionally Immature Parents  by Alison Gobsin so we downloaded it and listened to the entire book. Eye opener...could have been written about my H word for word.  His idea to listen , he downloaded it and he brought it into the den several times a week to listen to ...I am done with pushing any of it.  It was a great book and answered so many of my questions... another step to acceptance of who he is and why.   He ( of course) says nothing personal or insightful . We listen to a chapter and he disappears.  Always dodging interactions or opportunities for connection. So what he thinks or feels about this book....no clue.  He is a man with a broken voice.  It was broken by his father who was far more than just emotionally immature. I think he beat the voice out of him.  I have no control over whether or not he will ever find his voice .  He has asked me why I am so quiet ... I told him " you have told me a million times that I am not safe. I believe you now ".   And I carry on.  That confuses the hec out of him ... but it is the truth.  And a further truth is no one is safe to him. He has never experienced that .

He appears happy. He has lost 25 lbs and has decreased his his insulin and finally has his horrible diabetic problems under control. He is cancer free. He has a hobby for the 1st time in his entire life that is not about me and kids . He spends quality alone time and has improved his selfcare ...that he previously knew nothing about. He will do anything for me, he seems to follow me and sit close by ....in silence .  He can sit is silence  beside me for an hour and just watch .  Odd . But I am finally ok with this . He is behind at work as he has not been able to travel due to covid ...so he has been home 99% of the time . He will be a busy man once he can fly.  All is well ...at least externally. He has many internal secrets  I suspect.  Broken voices do that.

I am hopeful to see my counsellor soon as well but we are the only region that will not be entering Phase 2 as a result of an outbreak and cases of the variant increasing.  So I still cannot see her for a bit . I have much to talk to her about and was hopeful things were easing, but no such luck.    I continue on my journey and he on his . They are not tightly intertwined anymore . I am separate from him and learning more about ME and not so much about us.  Perhaps not ideal in terms of reconciliation , marriage, intimacy etc....but it is my reality. And I am OK.
  • Logged
Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

Anger is like a candle in the wind ... it blows out the light of all reason.

 

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