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I Can Relate Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Reconciling with the "Emotionally Unavailable"
weepy
♀ Member
Member # 8790
Default  Posted: 8:49 AM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My WH thought that if we disagreed about ANYTHING we were getting a divorce.

Does it count if he would say things like "If you don't like it then you know where the door is" or "Take it or leave it". HE was always the one saying he could leave at any time. I know that played on my fear of abandonment, but he never seemed to think I would divorce him.

He always tells people what they want to hear.

Yep. He's quite the chameleon. Except with me, then he's more like cruel and tactless. I think his 'truth' comes out only when he's angry. He'll tell you what he really thinks then.

He completely disassociates himself from how his life is. So if something isn't working for him, he never looks to see what he did to make that happen. He looks OUTSIDE himself. He looks to see what others are doing to him and blames them for his unhappiness. (You know the guy blaming the person who wrote the directions when he can't put the kids toys together)

Always. He even does it for other people. If I realize I've done something wrong or take responsibility for something that's gone wrong, he'll even make excuses for me, blame something else. (as long as it's not HIM )

How about negativity guys? Or conspiracy theories? Or knowing exactly "what someone else did wrong"? Do they find flaws in others, yet can't see them in themselves? or if they do, minimize and justify them?

We were talking about our sports team. The quarterback is out with a sprained ankle. Millions witnessed it on tv, the medical staff confirmed it... yet my H is POSITIVE he didn't play because he didn't want to be the one who lost to the NE Patriots. I started to argue with him, then realized that nothing I said was going to sway him from his "assumption". Even the games on The Amazing Race last night were "fixed" according to him.


Dday: 9/12/05
M: 29 yrs( me anyway )
BS(me): 55 And I'm ok with that
FWS: 57- Multiple PAs, LTA 7? yrs.

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. -- Yoda


Posts: 9340 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: SE PA
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 9:51 AM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Does anyone believe an emotionally unavailable person can become emotionally available? And what would it take?

Posts: 5589 | Registered: Jul 2002
weepy
♀ Member
Member # 8790
Default  Posted: 10:00 AM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Does anyone believe an emotionally unavailable person can become emotionally available? And what would it take?

An M-80 up the butt?

It's up to us to decide what level of unavailability we can tolerate. I know if my H hadn't made at least attempts at being compassionate or empathetic, then I would have been outta here.

It's frustrating to watch and live with them getting angry at everything, everyone but themselves. And we can choose to live or walk away from a habitual liar.

But it's going to take THEM willing to change, willing to be vulnerable, willing to risk failure and pain.... how far they're willing to go is a tough call.


Dday: 9/12/05
M: 29 yrs( me anyway )
BS(me): 55 And I'm ok with that
FWS: 57- Multiple PAs, LTA 7? yrs.

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. -- Yoda


Posts: 9340 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: SE PA
Lost Heart
♀ Member
Member # 11515
Default  Posted: 11:20 AM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

At the risk of sounding really dense, how would I know if H is "emotionally unavailable"?
Is there a checklist?

Thanks.


Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine

Posts: 2471 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: London
Brass Ring
♀ Member
Member # 10727
Default  Posted: 12:04 PM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Did your EU WS "emotionally open up to" the AP????

Sorry to add to the list of questions here but I am really tortured by this one.

My WH did, big time. He said he had "feelings about her" that he's never had in his life before (that's the way I would have described it when we first met), he confided all sorts of personal stuff (about himself, our M) to her that he's never told anyone (including me). And I don't think it was just to get her sympathy (although on a subconcious level I am sure that was there). He just felt that she was "the one" and he could talk to her and open up to her.

This is the the very hardest part of the A for me to get past. It torments me. Anyone else?

Brass Ring


Me: BS 54
Him: WS 54
Married 17 years, two beautiful D's, 10 and 13.
D-day 5/10/04
Trying to pick up the pieces after my H's infidelity derailed our M.

Posts: 230 | Registered: May 2006 | From: East Coast
weepy
♀ Member
Member # 8790
Default  Posted: 12:21 PM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Did your EU WS "emotionally open up to" the AP????

My H admitted in MC that he has kept 75% of himself hidden from the world. And that I am probably the person who knows him best of anyone, that he's told me the most, opened up the most to.

and I haven't got a clue as to who he is.... so does that tell you?

He swears he never got into anything personal with the OW (5 year LTA, right!) that if she asked something personal, he'd put her off or lie to her. No, I don't think he opened up to her.


Dday: 9/12/05
M: 29 yrs( me anyway )
BS(me): 55 And I'm ok with that
FWS: 57- Multiple PAs, LTA 7? yrs.

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. -- Yoda


Posts: 9340 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: SE PA
survivingslowly
♀ Member
Member # 14214
Default  Posted: 12:28 PM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Lostheart; No question is dense, especially in this forum. I personally don't know of a checklist, just more of a pattern of behavior or way of *being*. Alot of us on this forum have also posted about our spouses being passive aggressive, or big time conflict avoiders and people pleasers. So not sure but there may be a tendency for some of these to go hand in hand.

We started this thread in I Can Relate from a thread in the R forum because there seemed to be many of us in very common circumstances.

There is some links posted in previous posts on this thread that provides some articles. You may want to check them out.

Initially, I just googled Emotionally Unavailable Husbands and found some, but very limited links. Don't google Men instead of husbands because that seems to focus more on the dating scene as opposed to dealing with husbands.

You can also read some previous posts and see if you *see* your H in there. Good luck and keep posting if in doubt.

Brass Ring; (((hugs))). That seems brutal to be tormented about that.

Ya know what? I never asked my WH that question. Oh God, more stuff to learn!

I do know that on their final *goodbye* moment, she apparently told him *I love you* and he responded that *he loves her too*.
He later said that he probably did love her at the time. I think I need to folow up on this with more questions and get more understanding.


BS-me
FWH-him

dday#1-March/07

Fully reconciled. Life is really good!!


Posts: 310 | Registered: Apr 2007
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 12:48 PM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My husband did intiate an "emotional" conversation with his girlfriend. He has rarely done that with me. I am trying to get him to leave me. Obviously, she was more comfortable for him that I am. He was with me 35 years and rarely did that--knew her 3 months and did. That, to me, is very telling.

Posts: 5589 | Registered: Jul 2002
howdigethere
♀ New Member
Member # 8516
Default  Posted: 1:22 PM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Did your EU WS "emotionally open up to" the AP????

Yes. and I too have been tortured just knowing the level of communication he had with her.

About 10 months after their A was over, I figured out his password to 2 E-Card accts. These accts. had records of all E-Cards he had sent her for the last year. It nearly killed me reading them the first time. But I believe it has made reconciling extremely difficult knowing he was able to give her a part of him I have never been given.

And on some other level I know that part of that is because we have known each other since we were 13 and started dating at 15. I have never been "new and exciting"

He completely disassociates himself from how his life is. So if something isn't working for him, he never looks to see what he did to make that happen. He looks OUTSIDE himself. He looks to see what others are doing to him and blames them for his unhappiness. (You know the guy blaming the person who wrote the directions when he can't put the kids toys together)


This is my husband to a T. Everything, I mean EVERYTHING, from how he is dressed, to weather we go do anything or not, to how our children behave, BUT the BIGGIE being how I'm responsible for if he is happy or not. Pathetic, yes. Changable? at this point in life, doubtful.


BS-Me(41)
WS-H(41)

M-16y(1990) Together-22y
DD#1-April 16,2004
DD#2-July 6,2004
DD#3-Sept 24,2004
Started down the road to divorce Sept 04-H decided in Nov 04 not to file
Reconciling


Posts: 38 | Registered: Oct 2005
sunlil
♀ Member
Member # 6312
Default  Posted: 7:08 PM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Does anyone believe an emotionally unavailable person can become emotionally available? And what would it take?

I believe it is possible but as for what it would take, that would probably depend on the reasons the person is emotionally unavailable.

In my husband's case, I firmly believe growing up in a house where any emotion was penalized shaped him into who he is today. He was physically abused, as was his mother. He learned to shove feelings down, to not behave in ways his father would declare "weak" then try to beat those feelings out of him.

I think my H would benefit from therapy, but he's opposed to it. Probably because a man seeking counseling would fit into the "weak" category.

I have seen improvements in my H recently. Maybe he realizes I'm not going to kick him to the curb when he's "weak" and feels safer? I don't know but the changes seem genuine and I like them, a lot.

[This message edited by sunlil at 7:09 PM, November 26th (Monday)]


Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. - Lucille Ball

Posts: 2518 | Registered: Jan 2005 | From: Central Nevada
sunlil
♀ Member
Member # 6312
Default  Posted: 7:15 PM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Did your EU WS "emotionally open up to" the AP????

I was not privy to much of their communication so I can't say for certain.
However, because it was a long-distance EA with no face-to-face encounters I don't think he could be truly emotionally available.

Their relationship was conducted via cell phone and instant messages. He could portray himself as he wanted to portray himself and not be called on it. She doesn't have a clue what he's really like, only what he wanted to be like.

With that said, when he apologized to her in his NC e-mail it pissed me off. (I didn't get to see it, he just told me what he wrote. I hadn't found SI at that point so I didn't know better!)
He never apologized to me or the kids unless it was over something inconsequential. "I'm sorry I stepped on your toe."
To know he apologized for leading her on or whatever hurt me a great deal.

[This message edited by sunlil at 7:17 PM, November 26th (Monday)]


Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. - Lucille Ball

Posts: 2518 | Registered: Jan 2005 | From: Central Nevada
Frogger
♀ Member
Member # 15442
Default  Posted: 7:49 PM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

How about negativity guys? Or conspiracy theories? Or knowing exactly "what someone else did wrong"? Do they find flaws in others, yet can't see them in themselves? or if they do, minimize and justify them?

Ugh!! Don't get me started. He felt bad for OW because her BH would go hunting and "ignore her" Meanwhile I almost delivered our 1st child without him because my WH went hunting the day of my Dr appt after I was on bedrest for a week--only allowed to get up to pee. I had to DRIVE myself to the appt, then to the hospital and couldn't get a hold of him because he was out of range of his cell (And he had told me the day before he would be out of range) BUT poor OW is all alone for a day when her BH goes hunting. WTF????? He TOTALLY did not see the similiarity there. He also onced called a coworkers boyfriend a loser because he never came to her office parties--guess who NEVER came to mine either?


But the kicker is this one. He "can't get anything done" at work because OW won't work with him anymore. What is poor little ole him to do? How unfair is it that he is expected to go around her and do extra work because she won't help him like she used to during the A? WTF??? I can not believe him sometimes. Its like he had nothing to do with the fact that she is mad at him and avoiding him because they had an A. I mean he is truly mystified that she won't bend over backwards for him anymore and he wants ME to come up with a solution. Because of course he had nothing to do with creating that situation.

Whew so there was a ramble


Love isn't enough, you need respect and trust. -Jimi40

Posts: 2296 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: Florida
gibbonsrose
♀ Member
Member # 16280
Default  Posted: 7:51 PM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

((((frogger)))) Let it out, girl.


Me - Befuckled
WH - Limber at limbo *sigh*

Posts: 5040 | Registered: Sep 2007 | From: mountain transplant
Frogger
♀ Member
Member # 15442
Default  Posted: 7:57 PM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Did your EU WS "emotionally open up to" the AP????

I actually was upset and worried about this one because WH portrayed the whole thing as an EA. I spoke with OW a few weeks ago and said something about a HUGE personal event in WH life that I figured she knew about. She was in total shock. Had NO idea. So I think he was closed off from her too. (In fact I think it really pissed her off that he had not shared that with her )

My WH tells me that when she would ask him questions he just won't answer. She has inadvertantly confirmed that as well. HOWEVER I am POSITIVE that they talked about me and my feelings about their relationship and to me that conversation had to include his feelings for me and for her.

I do think though that the fantasy of it makes it easier for them to open up to someone. My WH said because she was such a horrible mother he felt better complaining about the kids to her--revealing his frustration to her since she wouldn't judge him on that. She also obviously would not judge his sexual tastes since she was okay with cheating on her own H and with him cheating on me. And she shared lots of bizarre sexual things she had done too. So the two things he was the most ashamed of he could talk to her about. Does that make sense? And the lovely stuff was just part of the fantasy of it all I think.


Love isn't enough, you need respect and trust. -Jimi40

Posts: 2296 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: Florida
gibbonsrose
♀ Member
Member # 16280
Default  Posted: 8:48 PM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So the two things he was the most ashamed of he could talk to her about. Does that make sense?

Yes. Ever hear that saying -- water settles at the lowest level? (Or something like that.)

Your H was confiding that stuff to the OW because he knew that she was at the "lowest level" one could sink to too.

For my WH, I called it "bottom feeding". He wasn't feeling so good about himself at the time of the A, so needed a willing partner to make him feel good about himself. That whole mirroring thing. He found someone even more shallow and emotionally stunted than himself. Go figure. Made him feel smart.


Me - Befuckled
WH - Limber at limbo *sigh*

Posts: 5040 | Registered: Sep 2007 | From: mountain transplant
Brass Ring
♀ Member
Member # 10727
Default  Posted: 9:27 PM, November 26th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Well, I don't think that my H **really** emotionally opened up to her but he thinks he did or that he "could have" in a way he couldn't with me. He told her he wasn't happy in the M (I never really delved into this. I don't think it was about how "bad" I was. Just that I wasn't "right" for him.)

Just the fact that he talked about our M to her in a way that he NEVER talked to me makes me feel so violated. And the fact that he claims he "just felt numb" until he met her and that she was a "catalyst" for all these wonderful feelings within him.

We had a home, a sweet family, I moved across the country to marry him and had to leave behind my successful career and start all over again and it seems as though he had a more emotional investment in this short term, one-sided **A** with a girls half his age (who dumped him pretty darn quick) than he ever had with me.

Sorry, I'm just venting. This part still hurts. And every time we talk about it he gives me this look like "Sorry. But I just am telling the truth about my feelings."

I liked the post about it all being wrapped up in the fantasy. I think that's true. But it bugs the shit out of me that he still hasn't really accepted that viewpoint.


Me: BS 54
Him: WS 54
Married 17 years, two beautiful D's, 10 and 13.
D-day 5/10/04
Trying to pick up the pieces after my H's infidelity derailed our M.

Posts: 230 | Registered: May 2006 | From: East Coast
survivingslowly
♀ Member
Member # 14214
Default  Posted: 12:07 AM, November 27th (Tuesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Brass Ring; Your dday was quite some time ago....and you believe that he still hasn't *got it*?

I'm just curious about that because it seems like you've been struggling with this for a long time. How is the *quality* of your R? to you? him?

I just get the feeling by your posts that he's just *going along* for the ride...and you are settling for less than what you need.

It sucks. I feel for you. I would just hate for you to be just *ok* with the quality of your R rather than really good with it. And if this is what you have now, I fear that *this* is *as good as it gets*. What do you think?

Our situations are somewhat similiar in that my WH is now 51 (I'm 42) and we have 3 girls (4, 5, and 7). But the ages of our WH's are similiar (or at least that was the age your WH was at the time of the A). However, so far, it would seem that my R is more *meaningful* if you kwim.

With my WH, he has gone to IC and he does recognize (and accept...even minimally) the labels of EU, and PA, and even people-pleasing and conflict-avoiding. So, at least, acceptance, is a big first step. And I've seen alot of progress....its just whether I trust this progress....that is the issue.

But I fear that with your WH...this is not the case.

I have to honestly wonder...does your WH feel that his lot in life is to truly mourn the *love that never was*? Does he really think that she was *the one*? And if so, how has this affected the quality of his R with you?

I dunno, have any of you really (and I mean *really*) wondered about your future? I mean, things are going pretty good with WH right now, but I question his ability to sustain these changes......but here's my scenario that I can foresee:

I stay in the M (for my kids, and only for them), but develop a potential LTA with someone until the kids are at the age where I can leave comfortably (them come with me, of course)...leave....and live happily ever after.

I would never tell WH that but the thought has crossed my mind. Anyone else?

With all due respect Brass Ring....I don't want to be where you are right now (by your posts only) in 3 or 4 years. I DO want to be happy.

I *have* had thoughts about other men......I think my *availability* screening process has changed a wee bit since dday. I'm not meaning for it to, but it just seems that now, if the situation is just, oh so right, I just might, maybe just do it. Crazy, I know. And I don't ever *want* to become a WS, but this whole thing has changed me....( I'm *seeing* all kinds of possibilities where none existed before) Anyone else? Please, tell me I'm not alone...the only freak out here!

[This message edited by survivingslowly at 12:22 AM, November 27th (Tuesday)]


BS-me
FWH-him

dday#1-March/07

Fully reconciled. Life is really good!!


Posts: 310 | Registered: Apr 2007
runoverbytruck
♀ Member
Member # 11752
Default  Posted: 12:56 AM, November 27th (Tuesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Did your EU WS "emotionally open up to" the AP????

I wouldn't know because he "can't remember".

But this is what I do not understand. I would think another woman would be the LAST thing these guys would want. Someone else to hound them about what they are thinking or feeling, etc.

It doesn't make sense to me that they would they want this.


LTA BS

If you think the grass is greener on the other side, it's because it's fertilized with bullshit.

The best protection a woman can have is courage.~Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Posts: 6814 | Registered: Aug 2006
Lost Heart
♀ Member
Member # 11515
Default  Posted: 3:42 AM, November 27th (Tuesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you survivingslowly. I think I will stick around for abit.

Some things mentioned here hit home, whilst others dont.

I wanted to make a comment to howdigethere.
My H also sent OW ecards and made her beautiful powerpoint presentations. I didnt get anything...even after DDay, I begged him to show me some of this romance, but nada.

Anyway, he later explained to me how he could do that for her and not me. He said it is so easy to pick any ecard and send it.It is so easy to create documents..just cut and paste. He said that in an A, you dont have to mean any of it, because you know you wont exactly get called on it.

So he did those things for her because that was his payment.It fed her ego, and he got what he wanted.

Shallow, cruel but true.
Can you see that about your H?

And so thats why he wouldnt do that for me. For him, it means nothing..empty words. He would rather show his love for me now in actions.Make any sense?


Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine

Posts: 2471 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: London
14thebooks
♀ Member
Member # 12661
Frustrated  Posted: 3:48 AM, November 27th (Tuesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I hope it's ok to join in here. I am reading this thread and I am fascinated. I am the WW and the (I guess EU one ) So many of your situations describe my BH and I. (Such as BH co-dependency issues).
I don't think I am as EU as some of your WS...some seem really off the charts. But on a scale of 1-10, I would say I'm about an 8 (and working on it!). My H and I always said I was more like the man in our relationship and him like the woman. He cries at sad movies and even some commercials I, OTOH, can't hardly tolerate that stuff. Watching the Home Makeover show (I don't even know the title) where they move the bus at the end....torture for me. This thread is long, and I haven't read it all...but what I have read is really, well, just fascinating. Someone said they are on A/Ds now which has helped with their Co-d issues...my H too. It's made a huge difference in our relationship. I truly think, after so many years of marriage to a Co-D (and alcoholic btw) my EU just became a necessary evil. It was a survival technique. But I am sure I could learn alot from you guys.
I hope you don't mind a WW joining in.

ETA: Survivingslowly..just read your post above mine. You sound JUST like my BH...same doubts and fears. You are not alone. If I can shed any insight...please feel free to ask.

[This message edited by 14thebooks at 3:54 AM, November 27th (Tuesday)]


48 y/o WW
50 y/o BS
Married 27 ys

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