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I Can Relate Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Reconciling with the "Emotionally Unavailable"
chelle1966316
♀ Member
Member # 4969
Default  Posted: 7:54 AM, December 6th (Thursday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I found the list somewhere online.My H fits it to a tee.He doesnt think thats how things were before my A,.but I disagree.
Thats exactly how it was and how it is now.
He comes home from work,I am lucky to get a hello or kiss and heads off to the bedroom to play his games on the computer or do course work for the Navy online.Totally absorbed somewhere else.

The other night we had a snowstorm and he had to work longer hours because of his job.Loader operater for the City.Its a good thing to have him gone once in a while and I know what hes doing.
I was actually looking forward to him coming home,cooked a nice dinner for all of us and what did he do?Off he went to the room and didnt even eat.I give up,pretty much.
The hurt of rejection sucks and he knows how I feel.Its hopeless to try.
So he will think I am up to something,as usual because I am not bowing down and kissing his ass.I dont understand this whole stupid tail chasing circle I am in.
You know you get to the point of just giving up on the whole situation even if you love the person.
And thats another thing.The love for a person like this.What is wrong with me here?


I am WS from Feb 2004-April 2004 first then a BS.
Together since 1981,married 1987 to present.Divorced,March 2012,for financial reasons, but still together until end of October 2012.Now hes having a midlife crisis and living away from home.


Posts: 4625 | Registered: Jul 2004 | From: Maine
megmegryry
♀ Member
Member # 10740
Default  Posted: 3:47 PM, December 7th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just found out my biological grandmother died. I had not seen her since I was a child and had not spoken to her in years. She herself was a WS and abused my father physically and mentally. But I started to cry when I read the obit. I called my H to tell him you could tell he sounded like he felt bad for me, but he did not even say "I'm sorry".

Posts: 663 | Registered: May 2006
unicornsearcher
♀ Member
Member # 912
Cool  Posted: 4:18 PM, December 7th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Does anyone else worry that their EU spouse will contaminate them to the point that we no longer let ourselves feel things / let things get to us the way they seem to be able to exist? So that instead of you being able to create a safe enough place for them to allow a healthy emotional life to exist that instead you will nurture numbness so the anguish of their way of being doesn't crush you permanently & irrevocably or become just too much to bear?

[This message edited by unicornsearcher at 4:33 PM, December 7th (Friday)]


11/02 Busted WH 4+ cheating yrs, 11/06 Busted [Month Long Lustfest]. 2/1/08 admits false version of betrayals, so no full disclosure / "whole truth" yet. '09 Together, great work in progress. '12 Still gladly united.

Posts: 14209 | Registered: Jan 2003 | From: Calif
ithastogive
♀ Member
Member # 16208
Default  Posted: 4:28 PM, December 7th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Unicornsearcher,

Sadly I think that was where I have been the last 2 yerrs!

I have often said my A was an exit A because I had become so numb and some frozen in place. I couldn't imagine breaking up my family to live alone but I couldn't give any more to him. He emotionally bankrupted me.

It sucks. The suckier part is he is still stealing from me emotionally as I have tried to free my life of the lies and the bullshit he has made no emotional stance one way or another. You can see my profile to understand what I am talking about.

It is sad and I am now working to make me healthy and make my life good and to hell with him. I cannot force emotional availability onto him and he does not seem to be willing to help himself.

Of course he has this EA going on and she makes him feel good without having to be emotional with her

Oooh, I am sound a bit bitter here tonight. Sorry about that I guess that post really struck a nerve with me

THanks again for everyone who posts in this thread it has given me so much even though I am not R.

THank you, thank you, thank you!


Me-WW/BW 34
Him--BH/WH 37
Heading for Divorce and know its the right thing to do.


Posts: 268 | Registered: Sep 2007
survivingslowly
♀ Member
Member # 14214
Default  Posted: 3:22 PM, December 10th (Monday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

just bumping us up to check in and see where everyone's been hiding.

Update from me: I think I was pretty pissy last week. It just seemed that every little trigger just snowballed into something bigger and bigger.

From that e-mail that I had posted earlier, WH responded kindly and lovingly.

His IC had told him about "the mankind project". Anyone ever heard about it? Kind of a weekend "warrior" thing for men to get in touch with their feelings/beliefs/values etc. I do kinda remember something about it when it first broke the headlines back in the 80's. Anyway, he's really into it and is looking for the next weekend date (in Canada). He's trying, I mean, really trying. He's reading a book called "the seven levels of intimacy" and seems to be getting it.

For me, I think I still need to vent, so told him that its better for me to do that in e-mail form b/c if we talk about it....its just too big...and there's never a resolution....so for me, all I need right now is to vent through words right now, no response necessary. That seems to help for right now.

Anyway, feeling better this week, trying to keep negative feelings away and just focus on the holidays etc.

Anyone else?

[This message edited by survivingslowly at 3:24 PM, December 10th (Monday)]


BS-me
FWH-him

dday#1-March/07

Fully reconciled. Life is really good!!


Posts: 310 | Registered: Apr 2007
sunlil
♀ Member
Member # 6312
Default  Posted: 5:30 AM, December 11th (Tuesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Well, just when I thought we'd made progress, I find out I was mistaken.

Our D-day was 3 years ago this month. In general, I hadn't given it much thought but I started having nightmares about it and I was struggling a bit.

I told him about the nightmares and said "I could really use some words of comfort and reassurance right now."

He said he didn't know what I was asking for.
So, I explained to him what specifically I meant by "words of comfort and reassurance". I even offered examples.

He said, completely pissed off, "So, you just want me to blow smoke up your ass?"

I explained that I only wanted him to say those things if he felt them.
And he said, "I'm not going to lie to you and say things I don't feel. It seems like you just want me to lie and parrot what you said."

He said he wasn't sure what I was looking for, so I explained it. I didn't expect him to read my mind, I told him what I wanted and he got pissed off at me for it!
I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't! And no matter how I approach a subject or word things he ALWAYS feels attacked.

He felt bushwacked by the conversation, accused me of trying to start an argument and then told me if I don't like it to leave.
It's been a long time since he threw out the "Then leave" response. So, we've gone backwards?!

He also got in digs over my being overly dramatic, how everything is a life-ending catastrophe to me (I was suicidal post d-day and was diagnosed with clinical depression years before d-day) and that I make everything into a tragedy.

Cripes, all I asked was for a some comfort and reassurance while I was triggering!!! That's all I fucking wanted! Instead I'm up at 3 am seething and crying over a huge argument while he snores away.

Am I crazy for finding his responses insensitive and hurtful? Am I over-reacting by being upset about this conversation?


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
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 8:31 AM, December 11th (Tuesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I used to hear from my husband, "tell me what to say." The point wasn't the words, but wanting him to have the feelings. He didn't have them. Your husband doesn't either.

Sometimes I wonder if the lies would have been better. I needed to hear certain words from him. Maybe the same way we're told to "fake it until we make it," they should do the same.

Maybe aside from being emotionally unaavailable, they are stupid, too. Absolutely, they can't change their personality, but they certainly can learn to change their behaviours unless they are true morons.

My husband is a true moron.


Posts: 5586 | Registered: Jul 2002
puddles
♀ Member
Member # 13324
Default  Posted: 8:46 AM, December 11th (Tuesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

WOW! I did not know there were so many others out there dealing with a P/A spouse. I am not alone!


BS (me) 44
WH 42 (LTA:5 years, OW#1)
Married 18 years, together 23
3 beautiful kids
4 Offical D-days (OW#1 6/2004 & 8/2006, OW#2 3/2008 & 6/2008)
FALSE R: Separated (10/30/07)

Posts: 826 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: Eastern PA
sunlil
♀ Member
Member # 6312
Default  Posted: 5:18 PM, December 11th (Tuesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I needed to hear certain words from him.

Me too and it is very hard for me to understand why he wants to be married to me, if he doesn't feel those things.

His comments that "he's just being honest and don't I want him to be honest?" (said snidely) upset me as well.
He's only honest when it suits him and only if he can wield that honesty as a weapon.

Why is it that his honesty is always about what a bitch I am and how miserable I make his life?

I am the root of all evil and I have made his life practically unbearable.

He was happy until I brought up my nightmares. I ruined everything! (How the hell could he have been happy if I am such a miserable bitch?)

I brought the nightmares and triggers up, rather than stuffing them down, because I'd seen progress, because I felt I could, that he wouldn't react angrily and defensively. Now it seems there really wasn't any progress, that I was mistaken.

I'm right back to where I was a few years ago and I do not want to be here.
I don't want to feel like everything I say is wrong, no matter how hard I try to phrase things nonthreateningly.
I don't want to feel like I can't share my feelings because it will end up like this.
I don't want to walk away from conversations with my husband feeling worse about him and about me, without any resolution.

I don't want to bang my head against a brick wall anymore.


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
chelle1966316
♀ Member
Member # 4969
Default  Posted: 6:36 PM, December 11th (Tuesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have already been contaminated with his bullshit.I feel out of place at work because of it.Everyone is so happy with their spouses or others and I keep my mouth shut.

I also believe to some point the A I had was because of this bull I have been putting up with from him for so long.I felt like crap.The way I have felt unloved and just something pushed aside for so many years for something more important,like tv,a bar or just getting shitfaced and passing out.


I am WS from Feb 2004-April 2004 first then a BS.
Together since 1981,married 1987 to present.Divorced,March 2012,for financial reasons, but still together until end of October 2012.Now hes having a midlife crisis and living away from home.


Posts: 4625 | Registered: Jul 2004 | From: Maine
sandpaper
♂ New Member
Member # 17358
Default  Posted: 6:41 PM, December 11th (Tuesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ladies, help me to understand. I'm a man and I don't understand emotional availability or why it is so important to so many women.

Posts: 7 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: Cincinnati
chelle1966316
♀ Member
Member # 4969
Default  Posted: 6:53 PM, December 11th (Tuesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Having someone that is willing to talk even about the weather is better than being married to Mr.Potato Head.


I am WS from Feb 2004-April 2004 first then a BS.
Together since 1981,married 1987 to present.Divorced,March 2012,for financial reasons, but still together until end of October 2012.Now hes having a midlife crisis and living away from home.


Posts: 4625 | Registered: Jul 2004 | From: Maine
sunlil
♀ Member
Member # 6312
Default  Posted: 2:10 AM, December 12th (Wednesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ladies, help me to understand. I'm a man and I don't understand emotional availability or why it is so important to so many women.

Just so the guys don't feel left out, there are men with EU wives too.

chelle posted a list of characteristics of the EU partner but I'll elaborate on it, to the best of my ability.

*EU partners are emotionally distant and extremely remote, except when courting.

My H and talked all the time about any and everything while we were courting.
After we were married, that changed.
Gradually he became less and less willing to communicate about anything, whether it be important or mundane.
He didn't want to tell me about work, answers to questions were either one word replies or very noncommittal vague answers. He often left me feeling as if I'd asked for state secrets, something secret and private I was not allowed to be privy to anymore.

He became "The Unknowable One".

* They're too busy, sick, tired or preoccupied with other things. Their energy, time and life-force are all taken with other priorities.

* They frequently work a lot , and don't have quality time to spend with you.

* They're not responsive. They ignore you and your requests, and they don't try hard to make a relationship work.

The partner of the EU spouse begins to feel like an afterthought or as if they're invisible.
The EU spouse often lose themselves in other activies and does not engage with their spouse any more than absolutely necessary. (and they get to decide what necessary is)

For example, rather than sharing our days, my H would come home from work and get online. He'd stay there until bedtime. He wouldn't interact with me or the children unless we forced ourselves on him.
Then he'd lash out and attack, verbally, because he wanted to be left alone. He'd say anything to get us to leave him alone.

He never willingly gave us even 5 minutes of his day.

* They don't, won't or can't commit to a relationship.

It feels like once we were married, my H felt his job was done and no further effort should be necessary to maintain a relationship.

So, when we've hit rough patches his response hasn't been to work on the issues but to instead tell me to leave. Divorce seems to be what he thinks should be the logical outcome of any problem, regardless of what that problem is.

Even though he has not taken any steps to start the divorce process, it is impossible for me to feel that he is committed to our marriage when he refuses to work on our problems in a constructive manner and consistently throws "Then leave!" in my face.

(As for why I haven't just left, that's a topic for another day.)

* They may be extremely critical and judgmental, so you may have a hard time doing anything "right" in their eyes.

I think that one is pretty self-explantory.

I don't know if others here have this experience but it seems related.
My H never notices things that are done, he only notices things that are not done.

For example, he was recently out of town for two weeks. While he was gone, I had my hair cut, bought new glasses, decorated the house for the holidays, cleaned and reorganized the house & garage, finished as much of our xmas shopping as possible, took care of all xmas cards, stocked up on his favorite coffee, made sure he had a fresh pitcher of tea waiting for him when he came home and my daughter baked him a cake to surprise him when he came home.

Did he comment on any of that? No.
He did have a cussing fit over the lack of milk though. I forgot to pick up milk and that's what got his attention.

End of Part I.


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: 2:28 AM, December 12th (Wednesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Part Deux: Electric Boogaloo

* They may flirt with other people, and may not value monogamy.

Well, we're on survivinginfidelity.com. I think that covers that one.

* They may watch TV or sports a lot, read, work-out, or otherwise be preoccupied with something or someone that routinely interferes with their
ability to be with you.

* They may be addicted to some substance, such as alcohol, drugs or food, which renders them incapable of being present and truly available to another person.

For my H, his life centered around the computer. He devoted every possible moment he could to it. Spending time with his family was not a priority, it was rarely done.

* They do not place a value on acting with honesty, honor or
integrity in their relationships with others. They're full
of excuses as to why they can't be with you, do things with
you, or be available for you.

Again, I think that we're on SI answers this one, to some extent.

Often the reasons my H gives for these things are related to me. Everything is my fault, in his eyes.

He does not engage in self-reflection to see if perhaps he played a part in how things have turned out. He does not see that he does play a part. He cannot connect his behavior to what has happened in our relationship. He feels he bears no responsibility for our problems.

So, he does not apologize for anything meaningful. He will apologize if he accidently steps on my toe but he will not apologize for any emotional wounds he may have inflicted.

I am not saying I bear no responsibility. I know that I do and I'm on a constant learning curve trying to understand my role in things and how to make amends for the things I have done.

However, he also does not accept apologies. He brushes them aside with "Don't worry about it."

He does not give compliments, comfort or reassurance. He claims that doing these things makes him feel uncomfortable and like he's being patronizing.

Nor does he accept them. He's gone so far as to tell me to stop complimenting him or praising him for anyting because it makes him uncomfortable.

The only emotion he ever actively emotes is anger.
There's almost no emotional give and take with him.
_________________________

For awhile, he did seem to have become more open and was actively participating in our relationship.

Then, last night, all the old behaviour came back and I don't know where things stand at this point.


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
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 8:24 AM, December 12th (Wednesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I thought my husband was emotionally unavailable when I started reading this thread.

The more I read, I don't believe he fits this term. I think my husband is emotionally retarded. I think he stopped growing emotionally around the age of 11.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize all this until he was in his fifties!


Posts: 5586 | Registered: Jul 2002
usedup
♀ Member
Member # 11701
Default  Posted: 9:25 AM, December 12th (Wednesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

so far I have read and copied and pasted a huge amount from the first 8 pages and no wonder my head is crowded,you all are in my head.Weepy I often have to double check your posts to make sure I didn't write them,brassring..you take words straight from my pain and my feelings,lostheart,run,etc..ya'all do the same.
Hello-I am UU,I am a former doormat,a codependent woman trying to R a life that has been spent with an EU/p-a H that had a lta,and I can't finish the other pages right now since this is more than I can absorb for now,I have a huge reading list and yes my H did most anything that has been written on any of these pages and I have felt almost everything that has been written and it is astounding that we all married the same man..and yes you bet it cut my heart out that he opened up to that huz,but really he didn't,I intellectually know that ,it seemed that he opened up--what he actually did was *justify* his A and she agreed with him,that isn't opening up..if he'd said "I'm a pos out in this car taking a bj with you and not home playing with my kids and loving my wife"--then that might have been opening up to the huz...I am hurt by the *romance*,but as stated earlier here,it was "payment" my H's exact words
"I didn't have to back anything up,I didn't have to 'show' her anything,just say shit"....

I thank each of you that have posted here and I may read more than post as I am new to seeing how really really void my H has been...no wait..I have "seen" it all along,I am NEW to accepting it..that is a big difference.
Each of you have contributed something very real and substancial here and I thank you for this and the mods for giving it a special space,it is a bizarre world to live in,and it is not normal..but in reading here,it is not unique.UU

[This message edited by usedup at 10:17 AM, December 12th (Wednesday)]


Posts: 15831 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: found
JitterbugRag
♀ Member
Member # 17294
Default  Posted: 10:22 AM, December 12th (Wednesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If I were to base my H's "emotional unavailability" on the list, he wouldn't fit. Yet he *is* emotionally unavailable to me. I'm wondering if it just manifests itself in different ways, or if it's compounded and camouflaged by yet another problem(s).

He seems desperately afraid of his emotions, which I guess, in essence, means he's desperately afraid of *himself,* no?

There's something so guarded about him. When I ask him specific questions about his emotions, he talks and talks and talks, but in the end, he's not really *said anything." It's like watching someone weave an elaborate tapestry out of nothing but air. There's lots of motion, but in the end, there's no substance, nothing tangible.

I sometimes wonder if it's all just a display for my benefit, to appease me, at least partly because I've caught him in so many lies that I can't be sure when, if ever, he's spoken from his true heart.

Good grief. I have NO idea what I'm getting at here or what, if anything, I'm looking for in the way of a response. I just want to understand all of this. Maybe I just needed to write some of it out.


Posts: 490 | Registered: Dec 2007
Lost Heart
♀ Member
Member # 11515
Default  Posted: 10:28 AM, December 12th (Wednesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi
I am trying to read all the posts but some of them are just so hurtful (due to their relevance)to me, that I have to skip them.I want to say that this is not my H, but it does sound more and more like him.

I am a little confused though and wondered if you guys could help me out.

First: H acts like he is emotionally available sometimes. He can say the right things and even do the right things, and I let my guard down, and then WHAM!He goes back to being cold and distant, mocking and just darn horrible.Do you have a H that seems to seesaw like this? How do you cope without truely believing that you are crazy?

Second, dont know if this has been covered before, but has there been a WH who addressed this issue in IC and overcome it? Is it possible?

Third,

instead you will nurture numbness so the anguish of their way of being doesn't crush you permanently & irrevocably or become just too much to bear?

I think I have spent the btter part of my M like that.I think it started slowly, and each time he did or said something that hurt, a pebble of ice formed in my heart.

I dont know if this makes sense, but on dday#1, some of that ice melted, and when dday#2 hit, the rest of it started thawing.

Now I cant handle anything. Anything.I used to be a very strong, capable, organised, slightly highstrung, but very efficient person.Now I am a mess.
And it makes him very angry that I am still dealing with this crap, that I havent moved on...after over a year.

So now I think maybe one way of coping would be to "nurture numbness" again.


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
usedup
♀ Member
Member # 11701
Default  Posted: 10:54 AM, December 12th (Wednesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

as in "he wants me and acts like it till he gets me then he withdraws like his head is on fire"?anything like that?
that seesaw is maddening,my H wants something,me in particular till he feel he has it and then he just stops like a fainting goat..it is driving me nuts,when I respond he quits..it's like he really doesn't want me,but he does,he is afraid that we get close...uuuhhggghh

Posts: 15831 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: found
ithastogive
♀ Member
Member # 16208
Default  Posted: 11:00 AM, December 12th (Wednesday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My therapist and I discussed this yesterday. I just wanted to throw out there that her perspective is that if these E/U people were forced to get in touch with their emotions, they would seriously feel like they are dying.

She keeps referring to how when people finally change something painful in their lives they go into the "death layer" and feel like there are only two choices...dying or changing.

I don't know but thought it was fitting to this thread.


Me-WW/BW 34
Him--BH/WH 37
Heading for Divorce and know its the right thing to do.


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