I'll be able to sense that something is bothering him, and he'll tell me everything is fine. I'll push and tell him how important it is for him to be honest with me, and he'll tell me how he's feeling. And then I'll feel upset at whatever he said, which kind of teaches him to not share his feelings I guess.
Another problem lately is that I feel like I have to reassure him a lot of my feelings for him and wanting to be with him. An example is that I'll invite him over, and he'll saying something like he thinks I don't actually want to see him and I just feel obligated to ask him. Or another example is that he'll say that he feels sad because I'm going out with my friends and don't want him there.
I want him to share these feelings with me, and I want to encourage him to talk to me. But I'm also feeling exhausted from the fear of what happens if he doesn't feel happy with me. I feel like I have to reassure him, and that makes me angry because he's the one that slept with two other women.
I don't think he's intentionally doing it to make me reassure him. He used to keep everything silent to avoid fights, and it's become a problem in the past month because I started insisting that he be more open and honest with me, and I kept telling him that his feelings are important to me.
How do you balance this?
As far as him needing reassurance and expressing sadness over you going out without him, it might be partly manipulation, partly trying to "say the right thing" (like he thinks you want to hear that) and partly true. I don't know...you are only 5 months out from DD...that is not very long in terms of getting back on the right track. He is the one who should be doing everything he can to reassure YOU that he is on the right track and that you are his #1 priority. To make you think otherwise is just another form of minimizing and blameshifting. I struggle with this in my SAWH, too, and it's one of the reasons why I think we are not going to make it.
he'll tell me how he's feeling. And then I'll feel upset at whatever he said, which kind of teaches him to not share his feelings I guess.
I don't want to tell my WS what to say to me. Because if I tell him what I need, then it's not real when he does it. I want him to do it on his own. I want him to know me, and I want him to say these things on his own. For example, last night, I was upset at him. He said that he would give me space, and then didn't talk to me for over 2 hours. I finally blew up and sent him a mean email about it. He said that the email upset him, because I could have talked to him if I wanted to talk. And yes, I know I could have talked to him. But I wanted him to call me and say that he's sorry that his asshole actions caused me to be depressed. That he's sorry he got involved with a whore that ruined my life. I don't want space. I want him to admit how much his actions destroyed me. And the words "I'm sorry" are not enough. I want descriptive words about how horrible she was and how much I'm better.
DD's dad cheated on me with multiple OW's- but his "main" OW was a woman that he dated for four years and then broke up with 2 years before I started dating him. They lived together and wanted to have a baby. It was a HUGE struggle because when I demanded that they end it- this person had been part of his life for 7 years. She was in all of his old family photos. She knew his family well. She was friends with his sister.
He would get sad sometimes, and I would ask why. He would be honest with me and say that he missed her. She was a huge part of his life for a long time and he had feelings for her. It really hurt to hear, and we would end up in these big fights. Finally, he did stop being honest with me about his feelings- because all his feelings did was hurt me.
I'm not sure I have a great answer for how to handle this. But I do think that him with-holding feelings from you will cause nothing but resentment and problems.
At least the current man "only" cyber-cheated.
"Love means never having to say you're sorry."