I'm a bit confused. Help? Anyone?

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by IamGold, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    My husband hasn't PMOd in about a month now.
    He's been more open to conversations about our relationship and the hurt he's caused over the years. I can see that his trying hard most of the times.

    I'm not sure if the reason why he's been able to show some empathy is that I've been rather easy to deal with lately. Meaning that I haven't had the need to express my hurt and in our conversations, I've talked very matter-of-factly.

    So things have gone smoothly and he's (or we've) made progress. Perhaps that's the reason I'm feeling secure enough to start showing emotions rather than just talk about them. This is where I usually hit a stone wall with him. He's urged me to open up but when I do, he shuts me down.
    He sort of freaks out if I express any kind of negative emotion. He gets all spooked and steals the show by making my emotions his problem. Then he expects me to be there for him.

    I'm confounded. He's said that in theory, he knows how he should act. He knows that he should just listen and understand me. But in practice, he just doesn't and things always end in him crying.

    I need a little help here... Is there some point in recovery where something like this happens? Is this "normal" for someone who's been clean for a month?
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
    Katrina Rose likes this.
  2. Sam_ba

    Sam_ba Fapstronaut

    Congrats for both of you for walking the talk
    Took me at least a year to change my attraction to P and my constant objectification
    Healing together is not easy
    Listening is not easy
    But with time they get easier
    How can you help him?
    What does he need?
    What do you need?
    IMHO thiere are the most important questions.
    A great Indian master once said to love is to give ease. And someone who is trying not to escape in P really does need ease so thank you for your understanding and patience and support.
    When he will be solid enough he will be able to listen more but he needs more praises than.blames for now
    In the meantime you are asked to be solid to by being your own best friend

    If this seems odd to you I can erase io course

    Thanks for your sharing and understanding
  3. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    Thanks for your message.
    Yeah, healing together is not easy.
    I think my husband has it pretty good at the moment.
    I've been supportive, understanding and kind. He's had my shoulder to cry on when he's needed it.
    But who's shoulder could I cry on ...
    Katrina Rose likes this.
  4. This dynamic is my husband and I!

    Yes, it's horrible. You finally share, and then they shut down. It's because they are making it about them, which is less of a threat than hearing your pain. It also could be a self-destructive/self-punishment thing happening.

    Yes, this is a dynamic not to fall into! My therapist said what I should do when this happens is not encourage this behavior but rather say, "I am here for you when you need me" and stay near him and do my own thing. You're expressing your love and concern but not letting them fall into the pity/self-destructive mode where they can forget the pain they caused you. It's tough to switch... but worth it. When my husband gets down I say, "I am here when you need me" or "I can see you're starting to fall into a pity state, I hope you'll reach out when you need me" or something along those lines.
    IamGold likes this.
  5. And my husband has been clean for 2.5 years... so yeah addicts who are clean can act that way
    IamGold likes this.
  6. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    I'm glad that I'm not the only one dealing with this kind of situation. I mean... Not glad that you're experiencing the same thing, it totally sucks, but it's comforting to have someone who understands.
    Yes, I can see how this could work when his mood starts to go down and I will definitely use this.
    But what to do when I'm trying to show my feelings and he's making me more upset by stonewalling me? I don't want to be there for him at that moment.
    I know that I should maybe just leave him be when that happens, but that's his response every time and I'm feeling like I'll never have a chance to express myself. It makes me so angry at him.
    ...Perhaps I should say something like "I was hoping that you would hear me out, but I can see that you're going through something right now. Maybe you could come to talk to me when you're ready."
  7. @IamGold I get that. For me I've learned to just take some space and wait for him to come to me. He then acknowledges the pity mode, apologizes and I can express myself then but it took over a year for that to happen
    IamGold likes this.
  8. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    I guess I need to rethink my boundaries and consequences and learn to stick with them. I think this is happening because I haven't been consistent.
  9. @IamGold Yeah sticking to boundaries and consequences is important! But I still to this day struggle with some so I've ditched the consequences that were too painful for me to endure. I want to go to the guestroom at times but know the pain it causes me, so the couch is what I can handle (and even then it can be damn hard! haha).

    So getting to know yourself and your limits is part of this.

    For me, I've learned that divorce and the guest room are too far out of my comfort zone so they aren't conseuqnces right now.

    I've learned that my natural consequences that I do without thinking:
    Distance myself emotionally if he is not following recovery
    I don't have sex with him because I don't feel safe with him becuase he isn't working recovery
    I don't get cuddley and affectionate because touching him makes me sad when he isn't working recovery
    If things get real bad and I am absolutely crushed he sleeps on the couch

    All those things are things that are greatly important to him ironically
    Jennica and IamGold like this.
  10. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    @AnonymousAnnaXOXO Yeah, the reason why I started slacking with my consequences was that they made me feel worse and didn't feel natural to me. So back to the drawing board.
    This is really helping me a lot. :)
    Jennica and Queen_Of_Hearts_13 like this.
  11. phuck-porn!

    phuck-porn! Fapstronaut

    maybe i can add a couple random thoughts...

    so 30 days clean is great, really great. but it's also almost nothing. it's everything in terms of him engaging, and rebuilding trust, and showing you he's serious - but it's almost nothing in terms of his brain being different, and the two of you creating new ways of relating and working things out. at least that's my experience - ymmv

    also, something that I feel sometimes gets lost is that both people in the relationship are hurting. your trauma from all the crap, and the betrayal trauma is completely real, and PAs need to understand that and learn to empathize since they largely created it. What is sometimes lost is that the PA is also hurting - the PA is there to cover some hurt, maybe in the distant past, maybe still going on. as the PA quits medicating, he is left with the pain and no medication. in addition to just the withdrawals, and acknowledging the pain he's caused his wife, he is now facing the root hurt possibly for the 1st time.

    This is not to elicit some "poor guy" response from you - only to remind you of what you already likely know. he is in a land and he has never seen before, he is seeing issues he has only dealt with poorly in the past. guys have a hard time asking for help, and anger is a frequent coping mechanism.

    it's why the initial few months can be such a shit-storm. everyone is hurt and in unfamiliar territory and acting weird.

    so all that to say a couple things (you've been around for a while so I know you already know all this :) ):
    1. maintain low expectations for his relational abilities the first few months. he needs to work past the addiction without new stressors that would normally drive him back to the addiction
    2. acknowledge your own hurt and work on that. find a counselor, go to COSA meetings, talk with somebody
    3. find some peace and serenity in life somehow (have you tried a diffuser with lavender oil?)

    HTH some. I feel your pain and angst. best wishes :)
    vxlccm likes this.
  12. NeedingAnswers99

    NeedingAnswers99 Fapstronaut

    My boyfriend and I go through this same thing all the time. I Express my emotions, and it turns into being all about him, and how hes feeling. I'm left invalidated and feeling worse than I did before expressing the emotions.

    Our therapist has suggested that he expresses his emotions during the time he is actually upset, rather than waiting to Express how he feels when I'm doing so.
    Jennica likes this.

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