Cookies on SurvivingInfidelity.com®

SurvivingInfidelity.com® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

more information about cookies...

Return to Forum List

Return to Wayward Side

SurvivingInfidelity.com® > Wayward Side

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Blocked feelings

ChanceAtLife35 posted 8/26/2019 16:54 PM

I am really struggling with what feels like "blocked feelings." This happens when she is triggered, when I am asked about anything painful or uncomfortable or when she is expressing feelings and thoughts about her pain and hurt. If anyone has experienced this, how did you overcome it?

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 8/26/2019 17:24 PM

Are you saying that you have difficulty engaging with her and expressing your own feelings? Particularly when she is triggering or asks specifically about them?

Is it shame you are dealing with? In those early days when my husband was expressing his pain to me I had a tendency to turn inward and get lost in my own shame which only looked like radio silence to him. He used to say ďsay something! Say anything! Even if itís wrong, itís better than nothing at all.Ē He just needed to know that I thought about my affair too. That I was in this with him.

Between the shame and the push against allowing myself to be vulnerable (and really understanding what that meant), I started pushing through it during my morning commute. I had an hour each morning to think by myself. I would sit at lengthy traffic lights pounding at the keyboard on my phone spilling out what I was thinking about at that moment. Anytime I was alone and something came to mind I would text him. If I put it in writing, it gave me a chance to think about what I wanted to say with some clarity and it gave him an opportunity to process what I was saying to him.

Texting may not work for you, but there might be other ways to express yourself. Journaling, email, letters, any written form. Eventually you will be able to express yourself more openly in person. The key is to turn towards her rather than away when she is in pain. Comfort her. If you donít know what to do, let her know that you want to do something and ask her if she knows what can help.

Another great platform for discussions were topics here on SI. I would read something or he would read something and we would begin by just talking about that post or thread and it would evolve into talking about us.

You are blocking your feelings because you are afraid of them. At this point there is no wrong answer because in the end you need to turn over every rock in order to figure out if you two are capable of getting on the same page.

Iamtrash posted 8/26/2019 18:52 PM

I shut down. Easily. It has been a very hard habit for me to break. He wants and needs to talk about it, even the embarrassing, painful details. Even though he has the whole story, he still needs every single detail. It took me awhile to open up. After a lot of unnecessary distress and defensiveness, I realized that my shutting down was hindering his healing. I am not completely overcoming my shut downs, but I am fighting about 95% of them. Sometimes I will request a moment but I always return to whatever he needs answered. I am seeing a difference in our communication. We can talk about the most terrible stuff, but calmly and rationally, as long as I cooperate.

I need to face my demons and defense mechanisms if I am going to help make this work. Itís the least I can do.

smf5175 posted 8/26/2019 21:40 PM

So, it has been a long, long while since I have posted on here. But after reading this, I felt the need to reply.

I am still having some of the same issues with "blocked feelings" and stilted communication with my BS. But we are working through it. We have both agreed to counseling, finally. Habe an appointment set up on 9-4, actually looking forward to it.

My advice, share your feelings, no matter how insignificant you think they may be, no matter what it is about. You BS wants to know you are "in it" with him. He just ◊ants to know that you are feeling or thinking about his pain or even about the situation that you have put him in. And he wants to talk about it. And as my BS has said to me, bring it up first. Don't wait for them to bring it up...be the first to broach the subject.

It does matter. Trust me. It has started many an argument between myself and my BS over who should start a conversation.

I'm 6 years out and still having some trouble. But I am not giving up. I'm going to keep fighting for my marriage.

Communication...it is the key.

gmc94 posted 8/26/2019 21:56 PM

^^^^^^^^ a thousand times this.

You BS wants to know you are "in it" with him. He just wants to know that you are feeling or thinking about his pain or even about the situation that you have put him in. And he wants to talk about it. And as my BS has said to me, bring it up first. Don't wait for them to bring it up...be the first to broach the subject.

It does matter. Trust me. It has started many an argument between myself and my BS over who should start a conversation.
Yup. My CH won't start a conversation about ANYTHING - and guess what? We are S.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 9:59 PM, August 26th, 2019 (Monday)]

Zugzwang posted 8/27/2019 08:58 AM

Remember in the moment that what you are doing is an immature way to communicate. You are acting like a child. My wife held me accountable for that, so when I did that she would call me out in her teacher voice. Eventually with enough practice, and with owning it-it stopped. It also helped that she said either learn how to do it or get out. She wasn't going to be married to a child or raise an adult one.

ChanceAtLife35 posted 8/27/2019 13:29 PM

Thanks all for all your responses. Very very helpful and useful to overcome what I call a huge barrier which not only hinders our processes to heal but it also blocks my BS's feelings. It comes off selfish in a way at times. Like hey you hurt me and you did all these things by choice. I was of course feeling a lot of things and thinking a lot of things, but most of it was irrational and very painful. Which is why I build up to what I did. Yes, I do feel like a child when we are discussing her pain and feelings almost like I can't move and something is gripping my throat and stomach to keep expressing my feelings. I did notice that It could still be shame to an extent because when I am talking to my sponsor or sharing in my 12 step meetings it comes out like lava. And I can't tell you how I better carry some damn pen and paper around to journal my feelings as now I allow my feelings to swirl their way through my body. I can use "notes" in my iPhone and just send her things as they come to mind. She deserves my complete openness, to be present, to attach my heart to hers and imagine that I am a part of her experiencing the indescribable pain that I have caused her.

This is an attack to her being, mind, and body. She is a human being and I caused so much damaged to her. I do care, but with the way I react with my "blocked feelings," I appear shallow and cold I look at her and I am just fallen a part inside for what I did to her. I have to voice what I am feeling no matter what. She has been unaware of things that I have known for years, so I have to catch her up as I am her only source. This already isn't fair and she has to heal pain that I put there. YES, communication is very critical. I was able to "talk" my ish up to use and manipulate people so I sure as hell better be able to own up and let it all out. I actually had to cut ties with my current therapist because I felt he wasn't guiding me in digging deep in my feelings so I am looking for someone else. THIS is so important this tapping into my feelings because I always shut them down and put them in a black box until It was too late and I eventually caused destruction to myself and others.

Yes, BS gets quickly escalated when I sit there and say nothing or show any lack of emotional support. She has done a great job of being calm but I end up jacking it up. I know what you guys are telling me will help. Keep you posted.

SO all very good advice...Initiate, be forthcoming...OPEN THE HECK UP...THANK YOU...

FearfulAvoidance posted 8/29/2019 19:16 PM

This was a hard one for me. My body would literally start to shut down: my eyes would close, a 3 ton weight heaped on my shoulders, my chest would tighten, and I couldn't speak, even though inside my head I was screaming. And then I would actually start to fall asleep.

We had a great many fights purely about my shutdowns, as you can imagine.

I had 2 therapists tell me it was shame, and if I talked about it it would help. And it did help some. It kept me from full out falling asleep, but still the rest of the body sensations were present.

What I found really helped me was finding anyway to get my body to move and being cold. Get the ol' vargus nerve activated. That and CBD oil. Mood stabilizers have also helped a ton. Basically anything to get your brain to slow down and your body to speed up.

Keep writing in that journal and keep sending her notes. Any form of communication is better than nothing!

DashboardMadonna posted 8/30/2019 01:37 AM

Hi chance,

BS here...dont worry no 2x4s, hon. I thought I would weigh in. I honestly think a BS (with no judgements) might be what you actually need. It seems you have a good understanding as to why you do it and that is a huge step. The bigger step is in flushing your pride, I mean this is all sincerity.

Serious question: why is she "triggered?" ("Floods") A vast question, I know...EVERYTHING DOES, it seems.

I ask this because in my experience (my husband shows no remorse) there seems to be this perpetual cycle caused by my husbands actions, or lack there of.

When I "trigger", he deflects (gaslights), yells or worst of all, he runs away, to wallow in self pitty/guilt/shame...LETS MAKE IT ABOUT THE DRAMA QUEEN...anyway...It always ends with him running and hiding, no words of comfort. Completely nothing. It is a way to control me and the situation.

This is the same exact behavior hes always displayed-manipulative wayward behavior. What this actually means to a BS is that it's the same behavior that is witnessed during the affair(s), which tells her you are either still "in it" or you will be, in a matter of time. It is a very insecure feeling. It is fucking frightening...being real.

So when you stonewall, it makes her feel invalidated. In my personal situation, it means my WH went off to punish me and pursue his bullsit with other women. It is a cycle, that perpetuates the wayward thinking "she didnt love me...shes gonna divorce me anyway, so why not"... Us betrayed have literally picked this shit apart trying to psychoanalyze this way of thinking. I have, anyway.

There is a pretty good chance your wife knows you better than you do, based on self reflection (ironically enough) and being the one that feels the need to do damage control. BSs have a way with that. Usually how this plays out, makes it that much more of a burn. We dont like playing the role of "mother" (fathers) and why it comes to an end, unfortunately.

All that said, My husband turns into a coward (its easier) hides and sleeps in his man-cave, while I am devistated. Extremely selfish (a game) and it perpetuates these thoughts for me to start digging through emails, phones, etc.... you're quiet, so in your wife's mind it means you're pursuing something else. These literally keep the triggers going, because all-in-all it shows a lack of remorse and empathy.

Everytime you shut down, she feels invalidated. She believes you dont care. If what you have done has not killed the marriage, this definately will! I am being very honest.

She triggers, DO NOT RUN AWAY OR SHUT DOWN! You are at a loss for words okay, so admit that...yes, she will lash out. Do not stop trying. She tells you to go away, come back in a few minutes...half the time she means it...usually when she says it, it's because of how you have been reacting. She sees no remorse. What she really wants is to be held. She wants to feel secure....I cannot put more emphasis on that.

Dont tell her you're sorry, tell her why you are sorry. Tell her what you have been doing to be a better husband and prove it. Offer the information, DO NOT make her ask...she never will because communication is a HUGE part of your recovery. You have to get over your shame/guilt and prove to her why she is worth more than your vanity. If that means offering to expose yourself, then you do it.

When/if she becomes receptive, DO NOT think things are okay and recess back into turtle mode. Odds are, there is a lot of therapy needed. Do not take advantage of her good graces/better judgment and believe things are "better". It isnt something she will ever "get over". From this point foward, it is pretty likely you will be taking the weight of the marriage. You have to ask yourself if this is something you are capable of. It is not of spite, it is out of distrust. She will always feel discarded.

I honestly hope this helps. I really do. I am filing for divorce, he just couldn't do it. He is more important...nothing new.

[This message edited by DashboardMadonna at 4:39 AM, August 30th (Friday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 8/30/2019 11:28 AM

My body would literally start to shut down: my eyes would close, a 3 ton weight heaped on my shoulders, my chest would tighten, and I couldn't speak, even though inside my head I was screaming. And then I would actually start to fall asleep.

We had a great many fights purely about my shutdowns, as you can imagine.

Wow - falling asleep. My WH did this and basically said the same thing - that he also would fall asleep fast as a child to avoid being punished or further punished (beaten - although strangely he still advocates for corporal punishment of children and says what it parents did was fine - but doesn't ever do it to his own child like at all, ever). It used to piss me off to no end - nothing like someone falling asleep when you as a BS are taking about something so personal and so hurtful. I honestly didn't believe him - his explanation similar to what you said above - as I thought it wasn't possible. Wild.

gmc94 posted 8/30/2019 15:23 PM

Personally, the big thing that I've needed is VALIDATION, and one big problem that CH and I have run into is his denying the basis for my feelings / getting into a semantic argument (something some therapists actually discuss and advise against). For instance, if WS says will be home at 7pm, shows up at 7:45 and BS triggers and says WS was "an hour" late - the response should never be "I was not an hour late, I was 45 min late". The point is not who is "right", the point is validating how she FEELS about being late - whether it's 5 min or 5 hours.

It's important to recognize (and it may be really hard for a WS mired in shame) that at a trigger, the BS' executive function has basically gone offline. Her lizard brain has taken over the ship. Ideally, a WS could recognize that and use that knowledge to avoid getting too mired in the emotions the BS is releasing via the lizard brain.

And, of course, there's always the empathy piece. The BS needs to feel the WS "gets it" and showing that during a trigger is a great OPPORTUNITY to build intimacy and healing.

And at the end of the day, maybe that refocus could go a long way - that every trigger can be viewed not as an impending shitstorm of doom, but an OPPORTUNITY to build intimacy and healing. An OPPORTUNITY to show the BS that they are not crazy, that their feelings are valid, and that the WS has the ability to attune to the BS by focusing SOLELY on how to make her feel understood and validated. Because they really are opportunities - triggers are going to happen no matter what - the BS of the most remorseful empathetic and attuned WS will still get triggered. So the WS can see it as something to fear and an onramp to the rabbit hole of shame.... or the WS can see it as a chance to show off their newly honed skills, a chance to provide the comfort and support needed by the BS, and a chance to rebuild trust and intimacy that's been shattered.

FWIW, my CS still sees triggers as something to avoid and an onramp for shame. I suspect part of that is because he's feeling the impacts of not only the A aftermath, but also that he's broken the promises he made AFTER dday. So at this point, while validation and empathy is important and still an opportunity, his asking "what can I do" is usually met by me saying I need him to follow through on all the post-dday broken promises, and off he goes into the paralyzing rabbit hole of shame.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 3:29 PM, August 30th, 2019 (Friday)]

FearfulAvoidance posted 8/30/2019 19:55 PM

I honestly didn't believe him - his explanation similar to what you said above - as I thought it wasn't possible. Wild.

Regardless of if it is possible and a real thing that happens, that doesn't excuse a damn thing. But yes, it happens and when you're in it it feels impossible to fight. Especially if deep down you are looking for an escape.

My IC likes to say that our body will get our "needs" met one way or another whether we are aware of it or not. We are masters of survival. All we can do is be aware of what our bodies consider "needs" and try to get them fulfilled in a healthy way.
I have had a deepseeded "need" to avoid uncomfortable situations most my life which when extreme mimics disassociation. The only way I've gotten past it is to rewire my brain over and over to convince it that when it feels fear, avoiding it will only make the thing it's trying to avoid worse. As avoidance generally does.

Sorry for the t/j!

FearfulAvoidance posted 8/30/2019 20:17 PM

It's important to recognize (and it may be really hard for a WS mired in shame) that at a trigger, the BS' executive function has basically gone offline. Her lizard brain has taken over the ship. Ideally, a WS could recognize that and use that knowledge to avoid getting too mired in the emotions the BS is releasing via the lizard brain.

Yes. This.

The BS is in a state of trauma, which in a lot of cases expresses as PTSD. Generally when one is working through PTSD triggers they are not actively living with the perpetrator of the trauma. If our BS chooses to attempt R, they are choosing to live with, and love, their perpetrator every day. They are choosing to have their perpetrator be the one to try and soothe them as they ride through a trigger.

The BS is a freaking warrior, and every WS given the gift of R would do best to keep that in mind anytime they have the opportunity of riding out a trigger with them. Because as stated above, it is always an opportunity.

ChanceAtLife35 posted 9/2/2019 14:15 PM

I feel what has been the driving force behind my blocked feelings and oddly enough the discovery occurred while reading a book called The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov, PH.d.. Arthur is a world-renowned psychologist who has worked in psychotherapy, child psychology and psychiatric social work. To back track, my BW has told me many times that i cannot help support her especially with her triggers until i help myself. I hear this, but it takes me a while to eventually "get it" and understand it to do what is needed to overcome it. Janov is the creator of primal therapy, a treatment for mental illness that involves repeatedly descending into, feeling and experiencing long-repressed childhood pain.

Typically on my off days, my BW and i will wake up and talk about our dreams and anything related to what we are going through. Yesterday was to me a life changing experience. We were talking about experiences with a clinical psychologist that we both had IC with post D-day, but due to costs, BW is the only one currently seeing her for now. We talked about what we learned from therapy and where we were mentally and emotionally compared to now. The therapist help me initially discover some of my deepest pain. She couldn't believe that i wasn't aware of how much pain i was holding. Yesterday, my BW was very kind in guiding me into prying that pain to open up completely.

She helped me discover that while the main issue i had always had was abandonment - one major coping skill I developed as a result was that i would always go into character to protect myself. I was myself for the first 2 years of my life with someone that i thought was my mother (my oldest sister) and when she left, i was inflicted with pain. I thought my mommy had left me. My actual mother and father were never around to guide me with that. I remember roaming the halls of what seemed like the biggest house while crying and looking for someone to pick me up or feed me or care for me like my sister did. No one showed up for me. After being deprived of those needs, i became a character to hide the "the real me." Because as my BW helped me understand - I hid the real me so that no one would leave me again like my sister (who i thought was my mother) had. This behavior carried on until now. My BW's words in regards to this seemed like the needle that poked the biggest ballon in side of my body that was filled with this pain I had held since i was 2. I let out this scream that vibrated through the walls and i became that 2 year old literally screaming for my Mommy and Daddy while the memories flooded my mind of me wondering through the halls of the house. I remembered the smells, the colors of the walls, how empty it was inside, no pictures on the walls, no sign of life at all. I made sure to do so, as my BW had pointed out how disconnected I am with my own five senses. I was running looking frantic feeling so scared and alone looking for my Mommy to pick me up and hold me and love me. But she never came. I yelled with so much pain "Why didn't you come for me!" "Why didn't you pick me up!" "I needed you!" "I was a good kid!" "Why did you leave me?!" My BW held and comforted me for what seemed like several minutes. I laid there gasping for air and i swear so much pain and weight had lifted away from body.

I realized just how often in the past when i was journaling and trying to sit through my feelings that i hadn't actually hit the root of the pain yet. I know that once I relive all my trauma, cry it out, or whatever i need to do to get it out and heal from it, i can be there for my BW like i need to. I am beyond grateful for this experience and know the importance of letting all this out no matter what. Blocking my feelings has been a way to protect myself because if people knew how i felt, they would leave me. But i now know that is not true.

DashboardMadonna posted 9/3/2019 13:25 PM


She claims that your healing is the only way help her heal (and she is correct), but she is going to therapy, while you are not. That is completely counterintuitive. There is no way this will happen, without the help of a professional, on your part, if I am to be honest. While IC isnt 100%, it is your best shot at recovery and Reconciling.

You have now thrown the role on your wife and this is not fair to her and this will only fuel the resentment in that she feels she has to pry information out of you, in regards to your past. Your childhood issues can only be addressed by a professional and it boils down to how receptive you are to therapy.

I empathize about the financial aspect of therapy. I am not going and part of that reason is because of affordability, fore I have physical health issues, that take precedence. With that said, WH supposedly goes to therapy, when it is "convenient" for him to do so. It is so intermittent that I do not see any headway, in terms of bettering himself. In his situation, I doubt there is such a thing.

There are other ways your spouse can heal, without therapy (unless shes suicidal-another thing entirely), like support groups and daily STRENUOUS exercise. I trail cycle hills and that helps me more than any therapist has. Walking does not have the same endorphin effect that strenuous activity does, for an hour to 90 minutes a day. Outdoors is always best. Taking up hobbies or getting involved with more social activities may help her as well.

All therapy is designed for in terms of BS (besides being a good ear about marriage childhood blah blah) is get them motivated to address the things I stated above or sometimes it helps the indecisive spouse come to terms with addressing the future of the marriage or coming to the decision to divorce.

In all the years of IC (before DD), I have found therapy is designed for the patient to be introspective, while promoting self realizations. Therapists can address how you react to stress and create exercises/diversions, in terms of coping. Some find it helpful, while others do not. I happen to fall in the latter and that is because I am extremely introspective and I dont find therapy provides the direction in acquiring the tools necessary, in terms of my situations. There is also the fact that there is only so much they can do and as the saying goes "you can lead a horse to water...".

[This message edited by DashboardMadonna at 2:03 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday)]

ChanceAtLife35 posted 9/3/2019 13:52 PM

Dashboard Madonna,

I appreciate your detailed response. I was seeing a therapist for several months until about 3 weeks ago. We were not seeing eye to eye as I felt my childhood issues are a big concern that need to be addressed and healed. I brought up the Aís too, the triggers, among other concerns to receive support and guidance, but SI seems to be the most helpful. I kept bringing up childhood issues to my therapist, but he kept steering me away towards other things such as emotional and inaccurate thinking. I am currently looking for another therapist right now. Therapy is extremely important and helpful in this process as I know not receiving this type of support would be hindering and detrimental to myself and our healing process.

To add, your previous response was head on as it hit a lot of key points that my BW could relate to. Thank you again for your insight.

DashboardMadonna posted 9/5/2019 12:48 PM

Hey chance,

Sorry, been a minute.

You seem sincere in wanting to be better and I really hope things work out. Don't give up!

There are a lot of ho-hum councelors out there and sometimes it takes a few, to find the right one. I totally understand the financial issues, it sucks.

I am well beyond introverted, but I am a talker (BIG surprise), when comfortable, and I feel I do best with more feedback than councelors seemingly provide. While, I dont see them as a friend, I still require some level of reciprocity or feedback. When they sit there and watch, I start to feel like a science experiment.

Return to Forum List

Return to Wayward Side

© 2002-2021 SurvivingInfidelity.com ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy