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Is this what it's like?

StepOn posted 4/27/2020 22:41 PM

My husband and I aren't able to discuss the affair yet (DDay Feb 8). We both went to IC when this first happened and his counselor said they couldn't talk about the affair until they talked about him because he has no emotions. He has been working with a counselor to connect to his emotions and so far he's really only been able to connect to feeling sad for his brother and sister at some point at the dinner table in his childhood. He says he has never discussed the affair with his counselor beyond the first time they met.

I feel afraid to say this because I don't want to call down a s*** storm of comments but this is not new since DDay. He has been like this ever since I've known him. Nothing REALLY bad has ever happened to us so I always explained his lack of emotion away due to our relatively uneventful lives and was surprised to get little to no emotional rise out of him over my affair. He did call me names when he first found out but that was it.

We are in a place where we do not know if we want to be together. He has his reasons and I have mine. It's almost 3 months gone by with a few forced discussions by me which didn't go well. We cannot have a discussion about the affair until his emotional work he is doing in IC is completed. We are unable to discuss our marriage until we get through all the discussions about the affair. We aren't moving until his IC unlocks something.

I was reading in the FAQ's about prolonging the beginning of the R process with separation or indecision. Doesn't seem like it reinforces R. I think it's both affecting us, our new situation is just becoming the new normal.

There is obviously a lot more but anyone out there have this experience?

Sanibelredfish posted 4/28/2020 07:58 AM

Your situation is unusual, but your lack of patience in light of the shit storm youíve created in his life is mind boggling. If the two of you arenít sure you want R, maybe you should separate.

StepOn posted 4/28/2020 09:07 AM

Trying to have discussions or actually get support on this forum is just such a waste of time.

Zugzwang posted 4/28/2020 09:49 AM

So, what are you looking for? He has lacked showing emotions since you knew him? Yet, you married him hoping he would what? Be a different person? Change for you? Are you both sure he isn't suffering from some other medical diagnosis? Aspbergers or just plain pathy of some sort? Be honest with yourself. Why did you marry someone that showed no emotion?

Trying to have discussions or actually get support on this forum is just such a waste of time.

you should also work on why you get so upset and defensive over what a complete stranger thinks. If you act this way with strangers judging you....what do you do with the people you actually come into contact with on a daily basis do?

DoinBettr posted 4/28/2020 09:54 AM

Lately, people have been less active on here because with the shelter in place, things in most marriages have changed a bit.
The detachment (emotionally numb) is probably him trying to not hurt you in return. It is a defense mechanism.
You said you hurt him in an earlier post and now post that he is emotionless. Did something change?
I worry you may need to see this as your time to look inward and are instead shifting focus to him to stop looking.
Why would your healing the hole inside of you require your husband to heal first. It sounds like you want to know if he is staying in the marriage before you double down and try to fix yourself. Just my take because that is standard wayward thinking. You won't put all the effort into fixing things if you won't get a marriage out of it. Yet, you broke the marriage. Lots of BS see this and get frustrated and say they haven't left, when they have every right to, but the WS expects more.
He hasn't left and he isn't cheating back. He isn't lashing out at you. Can you just adjust this back around. If he cheated on your with someone prettier and younger, how would you feel? Have you offered him that card to play? If not, why not? (Quiet down SI, this is so she can see she is trying to control the narrative in the marriage, which is why I don't post in WS often).
Lots of WS feel they were denied something. It is how they justify the cheating. Love, attention, time, emotions, money, romance. Whatever it is, it is a lie. You have been denied nothing. Instead you take what you want, hence you had an affair. So why didn't you as the one with emotions fix your husband earlier? Why weren't you 2 in counseling earlier?
These are questions for just you, not him. Answer some of these and try to think about his side. Be him and write yourself a letter explaining what he needs. You will see quickly, it is all about you and less about him. He has emotions, he just feels unheard. Now his emotions are just anger and pain. He doesn't want to share that because he doesn't think you deserve it. You want it because then it would make you feel better as if either A) It justifies why you had the affair or B) It evens the relationship because now you have both hurt each other.
Do these questions help or is this not what you need, self reflection?

Zugzwang posted 4/28/2020 09:57 AM

I also second what was said that you are pushing him to discuss something he isn't ready for right now. It has only been since Feb. At that you also didn't handle NC very well. If you are still giving off vibes to us that you blame the marriage. You bet it comes across to him too. Why would he open up to you about that? He doesn't feel safe or trust you. A stranger on the street is safe than you right now. Do you get that? You have proven to be an enemy. You have proven to be cruel and hurtful to him. Why would he pick up where you chose to leave off? Why would he open up. Right now he is questioning where he failed. Yet, he knows it isn't about him either. Or the marriage. It is about you and where your character lacks maturity. Which he has suffered from. You intentional choices to fuck him over in order to feel good about yourself. Do you get that? You regret it all right now because you imploded a already bad marriage and now you feel worse than you did before. I doubt you really see him right now. What you see is yourself and how inconvenient this all is and you want absolutes that the work you will be doing on the marriage will be worth it...because you want a guarantee in return you will benefit from it. We keep telling you to leave him alone and focus on yourself. Any work you choose to put forth to benefit you will be worth it for your character as long as you aren't doing it with the motivation to win something (like your husband as an object).

[This message edited by Zugzwang at 9:59 AM, April 28th (Tuesday)]

Zugzwang posted 4/28/2020 10:00 AM

You don't even trust yourself. Why the Hell would he trust you and open up to you.


That is a huge takeaway for every WS. Remind yourself of it constantly.

leavingorbit posted 4/28/2020 11:43 AM

Focus on fixing you. Get in IC. Your marriage doesnít have anything to do with why you chose to cheat and I think on some level you get that. Also, there isnít a marriage right now and itíll take time before youíre a safe partner. I know itís hard.

Could you try to look at things like this? Keep redirecting back to you and your choices?

- Heís been like this ever since youíve known him. Whatís wrong with that? Why did you stay married if it was such a big problem for you? Why get married in the first place?
- Why are you so focused on him?
- Why do you feel the need to control or change him?
- What would happen if you focused strictly on improving yourself? Being kind? Feeding your own happiness?

Ownership and self reflection need to come before critiquing your husband and marriage. He was like this before, why would you choosing to self destruct change that?

hikingout posted 4/28/2020 13:17 PM

I am going to come at this from my own experience. It may or may not be true for you.

I think that you still have feelings for your AP. This is not at all uncommon, we go through a lot of justifying when we are having an affair.

I told myself stories that made me feel entitled to the affair. Things that focused on the negative aspects of my marriage. I also told myself things that made the AP seem better, like it was star-crossed soul mate, meant to be type stuff. These are stories that make it easier to do something we know to be wrong.

When you come out of the affair, there is a lot happening.

1. You feel flat because you are used to getting a lot of high feelings from the affair. The things that were making you unhappy before the affair are staggeringly worse, and you may feel like you can't even connect with your heart. You choose to keep escaping the situation by continuing the stories that are in your head about the situation. Keeping the fantasies and high feelings from the chaos flowing.

2. You continue to look for valid reasons to leave because you are still blaming your spouse or their attributes and tell yourself the story that it's impossible because it doesn't look like the other story you are playing in your head.

These are delusions. We see in our AP what we want to. We see in our spouses what we want to. And, I too couldn't deal with my perception of his lack of emotion. Most of the time what we are seeing is our own projection on the situation. The sooner you realize that your thoughts are distorted, and that some of what you are projecting are things you want to be there in order for you not to have accountability over your actions. It doesn't seem to be true, but I am telling you it is.

Read the article published by Dr. Frank Pittman called "romantic infidelity". Google it. The reality is he can predict with certainty the way a limerant affair goes because it's a typical psychological response to being in an affair. Your situation is not unique, or special. It's actually clichť and has been experienced by many people who walked your path.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to focus on working on yourself. The person you are right now will carry into your next relationship or into the marriage you are currently in should you decide to fix it. And, there is a lot there that needs fixed. Start with why you are unhappy, and what your responsibility to that is. Other people are not responsible for our unhappiness. We create our life and it's purposes. You lost yours but you can find it.

I am telling you this from the bottom of my heart, because I was you. A couple months out of the A, we were very much struggling and I felt really flat towards all of it. I worked on myself and learned that I held the keys to everything all along. That I needed to have boundaries so that I could protect my own happiness, and that I also didn't have to spend all my time trying to make others happy all the time. It goes way deeper than that, I am trying to keep it simple at this point.

I left this forum shortly after I came as well because I didn't feel any support. The support you will get from this forum is a dose of reality and maybe you aren't completely ready for it yet.

By the way, after working on myself, and believe me I was ready to run, and I thought I was head over heals for the AP....I am very happy in my marriage. It took a lot of work and dedication, but I feel like we both changed for the better. And, I feel like I was the one who really needed to change the most after all of it. I had to decide around the time you are at now to go "all in" and that meant aligning myself with a decision. I don't think the betrayed have to make a decision at the same time, I think my H was really a solid year before he decided that he would try R for real, but if it has any chance of working the person who cheated has to put all their chips in. And then align all the work, thoughts, behavior to go with that goal. The grass is greener where you water it.

But, if you can't do that, then let him go now.

[This message edited by hikingout at 1:18 PM, April 28th (Tuesday)]

RedGlass posted 4/29/2020 10:24 AM

Lately, people have been less active on here because with the shelter in place, things in most marriages have changed a bit.
The detachment (emotionally numb) is probably him trying to not hurt you in return. It is a defense mechanism.
You said you hurt him in an earlier post and now post that he is emotionless. Did something change?
I worry you may need to see this as your time to look inward and are instead shifting focus to him to stop looking.
Why would your healing the hole inside of you require your husband to heal first. It sounds like you want to know if he is staying in the marriage before you double down and try to fix yourself. Just my take because that is standard wayward thinking. You won't put all the effort into fixing things if you won't get a marriage out of it. Yet, you broke the marriage. Lots of BS see this and get frustrated and say they haven't left, when they have every right to, but the WS expects more.
He hasn't left and he isn't cheating back. He isn't lashing out at you. Can you just adjust this back around. If he cheated on your with someone prettier and younger, how would you feel? Have you offered him that card to play? If not, why not? (Quiet down SI, this is so she can see she is trying to control the narrative in the marriage, which is why I don't post in WS often).
Lots of WS feel they were denied something. It is how they justify the cheating. Love, attention, time, emotions, money, romance. Whatever it is, it is a lie. You have been denied nothing. Instead you take what you want, hence you had an affair. So why didn't you as the one with emotions fix your husband earlier? Why weren't you 2 in counseling earlier?
These are questions for just you, not him. Answer some of these and try to think about his side. Be him and write yourself a letter explaining what he needs. You will see quickly, it is all about you and less about him. He has emotions, he just feels unheard. Now his emotions are just anger and pain. He doesn't want to share that because he doesn't think you deserve it. You want it because then it would make you feel better as if either A) It justifies why you had the affair or B) It evens the relationship because now you have both hurt each other.
Do these questions help or is this not what you need, self reflection?

Wow. DoinBettr, you rock!

As a BS, I've just started reading here, it was too painful before, and I've never posted here.

Excellent talking points for StepOn to ponder and/or answer.

Devastated673 posted 5/4/2020 07:02 AM

Iím curious. You seem to indicate that he is a generally emotionless person. Did you have the affair to evoke something out of him, or because youíre not in love with him?

Westway posted 5/6/2020 12:30 PM

I will go one step farther and ask, what was it about your husband that you found valuable enough to want to marry him? People generally don't change, so I assume your husband has always been emotionally non-demonstrative?

Why now is his lack of reaction and emotion so valuable to you if it wasn't that valuable before? Did he lose all those great qualities that outweighed his annoying stoicism? You know, many people internalize their emotions. Just because your husband doesn't outweardly show emotion doesn't mean he's not being torn apart inside.

And his lack of response may be an intentional thing. He may be of the mindset "So you want to hurt me? Well I won't give you the satisfaction of seeing me cry or flip out. You don't get that from me."

[This message edited by Westway at 12:31 PM, May 6th (Wednesday)]

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