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Anyone have a silent man?

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KonaGal posted 6/13/2019 15:58 PM

This is DH and a huge thing that I hope we can address in IC/MC. His entire family is just awful about discussing hard topics and he's actually not the first to have an affair (I didn't know this prior to getting married). I would imagine poor communication skills would be really common for a WS. There are many ways to handle dissatisfaction in a relationship and they choose the one with the least amount of upfront conflict.

My husband still entertains the idea that we're just a bad match in terms of communication style, but I truly believe no woman would be happy with his.

whatisloveanyway posted 6/14/2019 13:49 PM

I have one of those. It's frustrating and feels cruel, as if he doesn't care, but he says he does, so we have been working on it. His explanations are I don't know what to say, everything I say gets thrown back at me, you accuse me of lying no matter what I say, nothing I say is helping, only hurting, you are overwhelming me with your anger and crying, and because I'm at a loss to help you, I say nothing.

It took me a while to realize how emotionally overwhelmed he was in his uncompartmentalizing process, actually beginning to feel emotions and understand how to handle them, all while dealing with the collapse of his house of cards and his broken wife. So I helped him understand a few things to say and do to help me. He's a smart man and he can learn things, like get me a tissue if I'm crying, hug me if I'll let you, tell me you are at a loss for words, or overwhelmed too, tell me you are sorry, that you are trying, and for the love of God tell me the truth from here on out. Ask me what's real right here and right now and try to make me feel safe, tell me that you believe we are worth this effort. Say something, anything, but not nothing. Try hard, and then try harder and you're still trying half as hard as I am right now. He is trying, I see progress.

A lot of my questions don't have good answers, or answers I want to hear or have already been answered and I'm fishing for details. I read somewhere that a lot of my questions are too soon in the process, I want them all answered now, as they pop into my head, and some of these big discussions and growth will take time. Patience has never been my virtue.

We have tried written communication a few times and that has helped. My WH is a man of few words in any forum, but the ones he has written to me are the ones I use to get me through.

In addition to silence, we have both have issues with anger, defensiveness and emotional flaring when pushed, and we have started trying to recognize it, give it a number on a 10 scale, how I'm feeling, how you're making me feel, and trying to keep those numbers and our heart rates low. Heart rate under 100 to keep the cortisol from cranking.

Good luck to you. Communication was always the weakest link in our relationship, and having to make these adjustments under pressure and change years of bad habits on both our parts is hard.

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