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emergent8

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

Alexithymia - Difficulty identifying and expressing emotions

Administrative Professionals Day is coming up and my husband's workplace is planning some sort of slideshow or video to thank/show appreciation for the support staff in the office. The people organizing this have reached out to my husband to ask him to write a little appreciation blurb for the staff that he works with. These are people that help my husband out daily/constantly. He is endlessly grateful to these people. So all in all, not a hard assignment, right? Wrong.

My H came downstairs this morning (we are both working from home today) and begged me to help him write this 3 sentence paragraph with him because he's been putting it off all week and needs to get it done. This kind of thing is his worst nightmare. He's a very smart guy and a good writer, but the man would would rather write a 7 page technical report than a single paragraph expressing his emotions. It's not that he doesn't have emotions, he definitely does. He just really struggles to identify and talk about anything other than "mad, sad, frustrated or stressed." Talking about other people's feelings can be difficult for him too - he is able to sit there and nod in agreement or express empathy when someone is talking about their feelings but loses his words or gets nervous when it is his turn to share.

This has always been an issue for him. We had joked about it pre-D-day. It really became apparent post D-day though - MC and IC was a struggle at times. It was also a problem because his A came on the heels of him having a lot of overwhelming stressful/negative feelings due to various life events that he never really worked through properly. In short, he felt like garbage and instead of coping in a mature and healthy way, the A was a really shitty, selfish, attempt to emotionally self-regulate. As a result, we spent a lot of time working on identifying and expressing his feelings post-A. It's still something that he has to work at though - in a way that would never have occurred to me had I not witnessed it with my own eyes.

This morning after I had quickly dictated some sort of blurb for him expressing appreciation for his various staff members, he thanked me, gave me a sheepish smile and jokingly wondered aloud, "I wonder if I have some sort of disorder or something." Out of interest, I googled "difficulty identifying and expressing emotions" and came up with articles about Alexithymia. It's not a disorder or anything, a "sub-clinical finding" and my husband probably wouldn't be considered a severe or even moderate case or anything, but a lot of it (certainly not all of it) fits. Obviously it doesn't change anything and I'm not looking to pathologize him, but its interesting to see it written out in plain terms. Does anyone else here have any experience with Alexethymia or a person that exhibits these sorts of traits?

ETA: Before anyone asks, he's nowhere near the autism spectrum and isn't a sociopath or anything like that. He is extroverted and has no difficulty making friends.

11 comments posted: Friday, April 22nd, 2022

Admin - help please - I cannot respond to posts

I'd love to respond to the thread in general about the same topic but unfortunately, I'm having the same issues Dragn is and cannot respond. Yesterday I couldn't respond to anything on off-topic (it would always redirect me to start a new thread) and this morning I'm having the same issue everywhere (cannot respond, every time I go to do so it redirects me to start a new thread). This issue is happening on both desktop and mobile. I have logged in and out.

I'm also having difficulty viewing anything other than the first page of a thread (i will click on a subsequent page number and it keeps returning me to page 1) - this issue is a little more intermittent.

EDIT: I am adding an edit to avoid having to start a brand new thread again, but Wifehad5 - I did all the things you suggested without any success. Still cannot send responses. I should also add that I cannot click into threads from the main forums page. I need use the drop down menu to choose the forum and then click into the thread from that forum's main page.

17 comments posted: Friday, February 25th, 2022

5 years

Today is the 5 year anniversary of D-day for my husband and I. 2-5 years seemed unimaginable back then, both because it was SO LONG, but also because the hurt was so bad I couldn't imagine it ever not being there. I think I was 50 % healed at a year. Maybe 75% at 2. By 3 I was 95% of the way there. At year 4 I forgot entirely. I'm not sure when I healed, but I'm healed. I wouldn't think about the A most days if I wasn't regularly posting here. It doesn't hurt me the way it used to. Now it's just a thing that happened.

I texted my husband to remind him when it occurred to me this afternoon. His response:

Ugh... f*ck. I'm so sorry honey. I love you so much. How are you feeling? Sometimes I can't believe I did that. I mean, I know I did, I am just ashamed to have caused you that much pain. Thank you so much for sticking with me. I didn't deserve that and I am so, so grateful for you and our family.

When I didn't respond right away he called to make sure I wasn't upset. I wasn't - I was busy with work. I told him he was right, he didn't deserve me back then. I'm glad I stuck around though. He does deserve me now.

9 comments posted: Saturday, February 12th, 2022

A Christmas Miracle!!!

Tonight is my husband's annual work holiday party for work. Because my husband and his former COW still have the same employer, they are both invited to attend. It is a spouse free event.

The first two years pre D-day, my husband simply did not attend. Year 3 he did as I felt comfortable with where we are and I was tired of "letting her have" these spaces. As with every other work event they have had to attend, everyone kept their distance, he texted me throughout the night to make me feel comfortable and it was fine. I have zero concerns there is any ongoing A or contact that is not absolutely necessary. Last year, due to Covid, it was a non-issue. This year, I gave my H the go ahead again months ago - he was in charge of organizing a portion of it this year. At the time, I kind of figured OW would not be attending as she is on mat leave after having twins this past fall, however my go-ahead wasn't contingent on that. Unfortunately, he let me know a few weeks ago that he had seen her name on the "yes" RSVP list. He confirmed I was still okay with his attendance. I was.... mostly.

I guess I've triggered lately as tonight has approached. Triggers are far more low-grade this far into R I suppose. Intellectually, I know I have nothing to worry about but yeah, I have been thinking about OW and the A a lot more in these past few weeks than I'd like and it kind of sucks. I haven't posted anything about it because a) I am truly not actually worried; b) I know I can handle it (I had plans to have a fancy cocktail and bougie takeout after my kids are in bed tonight and let myself feel sorry for myself); and c) every time I post about my situation, someone inevitably shoots off some quick insensitive/ unhelpful remark about how my husband has to quit his job immediately or that I should ask to get OW's DNA tested even though everyone has been happily in R for almost 5 years. (So if that's your instinct here, please just scroll on by!)

Anyhow, my husband texted me a screenshot of an email he received this morning which indicated that OW had cancelled last minute because she is sick. Yay!!! A Christmas miracle!!!!

1 comment posted: Thursday, December 16th, 2021

A Christmas Miracle!!!

Tonight is my husband's annual work holiday party for work. Because my husband and his former COW still have the same employer, they are both invited to attend. It is a spouse free event.

The first two years post D-day, my husband simply did not attend. Year 3 he did as I felt comfortable with where we are and I was tired of "letting her have" these spaces. As with every other work event they have had to attend, everyone kept their distance, he texted me throughout the night to make me feel comfortable and it was fine. I have zero concerns there is any ongoing A or contact that is not absolutely necessary. Last year, due to Covid, it was a non-issue. This year, I gave my H the go ahead again months ago - he was in charge of organizing a portion of it this year. At the time, I kind of figured OW would not be attending as she is on mat leave after having twins this past fall, however my go-ahead wasn't contingent on that. Unfortunately, he let me know a few weeks ago that he had seen her name on the "yes" RSVP list. He confirmed I was still okay with his attendance. I was.... mostly.

I guess I've triggered lately as tonight has approached. Triggers are far more low-grade this far into R I suppose. Intellectually, I know I have nothing to worry about but yeah, I have been thinking about OW and the A a lot more in these past few weeks than I'd like and it kind of sucks. I haven't posted anything about it because a) I am truly not actually worried; b) I know I can handle it (I had plans to have a fancy cocktail and bougie takeout after my kids are in bed tonight and let myself feel sorry for myself); and c) every time I post about my situation, someone inevitably shoots off some quick insensitive/ unhelpful remark about how my husband has to quit his job immediately or that I should ask to get OW's DNA tested even though everyone has been happily in R for almost 5 years. (So if that's your instinct here, please just scroll on by!)

Anyhow, my husband texted me a screenshot of an email he received this morning which indicated that OW had cancelled last minute because she is sick. Yay!!! A Christmas miracle!!!!

9 comments posted: Thursday, December 16th, 2021

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