Emotional Response to an Unemotional Person

Over the last 25 years – before I knew he was a fucking liar and cheater – The Player wasn’t overly mushy. He’d say the regular I love yous but he wasn’t overly communicative about his feelings. Every anniversary, birthday and holiday (mostly) he would give me a card (which he saw as a lot of pressure to pick out, whatthefuckever) and he would write 1-3 sentences. Nothing lengthy but very nearly the same in tone and feeling. I can recite a few of his sentiments because he repeated himself.

“Thank you for being in my life and loving me.”

“I am lucky to have you in my life.” 

“Thank you for helping me be a better person.” (cough cough)

“I love you. I can’t imagine my life without you.” 

My personal favorite: “I know I don’t tell you enough how much you mean to me and how much I love you, but I hope my actions everyday tell you how much you mean to me.”

Like I said, not overly emotional or lovey dovey, which I was absolutely fine with because, wait for it… he showed me in his actions everyday. This morning I had to explain to The Player that since I don’t have that anymore (his actions said something but it wasn’t love for me) and I have to depend on other emotional connections from him and I’m not feeling it. I told him his regular old way of telling me and um, “showing” me isn’t working for me. It’s not complicated actually. I want him to be more emotionally communicative and more physically comforting, I want him to be in tune with me when I am struggling and provide comfort both in holding me and reassuring me with words. I had to fucking spell it out. I need more.

I explained over and over what I need. I was clear. I was very, very specific. I then followed up with how I think maybe with the revealing of his destructive behaviors against me and our marriage and the fact that I no longer view or value him as a person of character and integrity that I am looking for other ways he can tell me and show me.

He always goes back to all the work his is doing, which he does reminds me quite often, as if to think he had to tell me because I don’t notice the total of 10 hours during four days a week he’s at therapy and group and 12-step meetings and dinners with sex addict friends. As if I don’t know he’s missing dinner,or putting more household work and child care on me. I told him I was done hearing that. I told him each day I am here or each week I am here, I don’t remind him that I’m still here and still hanging on despite his best efforts early on after asshole discovery to fucking break us to smithereens. I figure he can see that because I. AM. STILL. HERE.

The thing I finally spoke to try to communicate what it is that is lacking in his emotional connection with me, was to talk about his last affair partner and his behavior with her. I read thousands of text messages of his courting, I watched him try to break up with her multiple times, only to find out he “couldn’t let her go” and that he “still wanted her, badly” and how he would find a way “to be with her somehow, someway.”(side note: I know it wasn’t about her but the fantasy). I asked him if he remembers one of the break ups (2nd? 3rd?) where he did it and sat on our bed and wept. I sat with him because I knew it wasn’t her. It wasn’t love. It wasn’t anything but the fantasy he was sad he had to let go of. It turned out there were a few more break ups he I would have to endure until it finally took place for sure, two months after their affair his the light and brightness of day. I think he might have understood better.

I told him it pained me to admit that he was more emotional, more desiring, more forward, more sure, more whatever with her. I told him I realized it was all based in fantasyland and I realize that we aren’t going to have that new, just-met-you, getting to know you relationship but he really worked hard to show her his interest. I asked him about that, he said, “I did that to keep her interested, that was all. I did it because I wanted to have sex with her, nothing else.”

Excellent.

I said, “What about doing some of that so you can keep me and keep our marriage and our family together. Would that be so hard? You are in your recovery doing your thing and there’s a sacred circle around you. I am not in it. I feel like you are taking advantage of my presence. I don’t expect you to bow when I enter the room or peel my grapes, but I do expect some reaching out to me with more than a, “I know it must be hard.” Here’s the thing: I know he’s sincere. I know he is trying. I know he wants to heal the marriage. But. But…

Maybe we’re just not a match for each other anymore. Maybe he can’t be the emotional person I need after such a betrayal. Maybe I can’t be the fake, plastic, reassuring whore he needs to fill the hole in him (which he says with the awareness of why he did what he did, the hole is closing up because truth and authenticity is taking it’s place.)

I told him I don’t know if this is going to work, even if that is my heart’s head’s desire. We just might not be a good fit anymore, not matter how hard we try or how hard we want. We can’t just magically be different people.

So that was that.

Remind me to tell you about a part in the conversation when he said he felt guilty about the money he might spend on the (free) whores, that’s why he never spent a lot of time with them. He said he needed to dive into something he realized, he felt guilty about the money he would/could be taking from his family to spend on his affair partners, but didn’t have an ounce of guilt for fucking them.

That wasn’t received well by me.

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12 thoughts on “Emotional Response to an Unemotional Person

  1. Glad your husband is getting help for his addiction. Are you both going to counseling as well? My husband isn’t emotional either and it’s very hard to communicate with him how I feel. Unfortunately I keep a lot in because of this. Sorry you find yourself in the club none of us want to be a part of.

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    • We are but it is a little bit like we are flying beside each other with no breezeway. He’s very much on his own “path” and much of that doesn’t include me. He shares a lot of what he is going through and learning because he hopes that will help me see how much he is learning/changing.

      I am also seeing someone alone. His is a CSAT and we see him sometimes together.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t think I even got comments of that length in my cards over the years. In fact I had to tell him that he did have to get me cards for Valentine’s Day, and so imagine my delight when I found out he got the whore a card, called her pretty girl in it, and wrote some crap about how he wished he could give her what she deserved (funny, me too!).
    I have also told him that I may have accepted that he was uncomfortable expressing affection and emotion, but the whore got a nickname and he betrayed my trust, so I’m unwilling to have a husband that cheated AND has trouble communicating. We are working on this but he struggles too. He told me that he called her pretty girl because she seemed to appreciate it. Apparently I am either unappreciative or since he’s never bothered with pet names, he doesn’t know how I would respond. Either way, I hate him for that as much as having sex with her.
    I don’t have any answers on how to change the dynamics because we have been this way so long – but now I know what he is capable of, both good and bad, and I want more. I don’t know if I will get it from him. Thank you for expressing the exact frustration I’m going through now (one of a thousand, to be honest). xx

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  3. This lack of an ability to “go the extra mile” is something my SA H has as well. He would text her 1000 times a day, send pics and videos (so go to the effort of “content creation,” ) and when she broke it off with him, pursued her relentlessly for six months for “one last time,” (until her new bf threatened to kick his ass). But somehow he can’t “find the time/energy” to text me loving msgs (the time he was good at it was when under orders from our MC who he reported to every night and was then given his needed quotient of “atta boys” for the day, once that stopped so too did the tone of any texts), plan a date or something special for me, etc. Mostly because he’s off to SA every weekend (in a city 2.5 hrs away, so he gets up at 4am to make an 8am Sat meeting), so he’s exhausted or gone every weekend. How come he can’t find that same level of motivation to plan a date, work on our intimacy, or try to repair the damage he’s done??

    I’m slowly but surely learning…it doesn’t matter. I create my own happiness. He can jump on the joy train and join me in happy town, or he can focus only on his SA recovery. But, as the train pulls away, he may find its not there to jump on when he finally deems it important enough to do so!

    Do you find that as glad as you are for the support that the “fellowship” of SA gives him, and as much as you know your marriage won’t survive without it, that you’re also resentful as hell that it’s always interfering with life?

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    • I do have resentments I am working on about the time and energy (and he reminds me of this a lot) that it takes for him to remain focused and sober (ugh) not to mention hundreds of dollars a month.

      It pains me to think that I have a husband who has to work so hard on himself to be someone I thought I had and deserve.

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      • I get that too. Why is it so much work for them just to be a “good man?” This was an argument my H and I had in the early days. After an SA meeting, he said they all sat around saying that they are still good men, with bad behaviour. Um…no. If you are (still) doing bad behaviour (as many still were), you are NOT good men. You don’t just get to wear the mantle because you were born. It’s a deliberate act of choice. Choose to be a good man and you can be. Don’t “try” and fail. I recently found a website called “The Good Men Project” with the subtitle “having conversations no one else is having” – and there was an article stating what 5 things a man needed to do to be considered a “good man.”. I agreed with all of the first 4, and only balked a little at the 5th which said “be a good provider” (my inner feminist raged). Would rather see it – do your share financially, and provide a stable financial atmosphere.

        The article is here: http://jaycradeur.com/am-i-a-good-man-5-questions-i-ask-myself-lets-be-honest/ (I chose the authors site to post from as the mobile version of Good Men Project is unwieldly).

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  4. I really appreciate you sharing these painful details. You’ve really helped me put a previous relationship into proper perspective. I hadn’t considered my player’s childhood neglect. It’s like, a child who was starving with their birth family now hoarding food in a new foster home despite having full access. Instead players hoard affection. Forget the problems it causes others, they can only focus on avoiding their own perceived starvation. I sincerely hope things work out for your family.

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    • Thanks for saying that. He is sharing a lot as he learns it but really I had talked to him about many of his childhood things over the years because I also had issues I worked through in my twenties. So I knew he was screwed up but he played the game so well. To some degree the he just lived two lives. I’m trying to reconcile that he was “in” the marriage just not truly authentic with HIMSELF let alone me although he tried.

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  5. *sigh* I remember saying to my husband, she got the better part of you, the hopped up on your drug, excited like a teenager, I can go all night (because in her mind he was SO in to her 😣), never sick, never hurting, just hot for the whole thing guy. We got the tired, over”worked” dad and husband. Now I know the sex addiction was balancing him out so he could survive under the circumstances. What we have left is a broken down addict. It’s getting better, slowly, but I fell in love with an unrecovered sex addict. Will I even like this new guy? The one that is left after his sex addiction ravaged him, and after recovery has normalized his once passionate personality. When he was first in recovery, it was love notes and bending over backwards to “make it up to me” (not possible). Now he is wiped out by recovery and trying to get his life in order. Maybe time will normalize all this. Maybe not. One day at a time… but it is all about him. An unbalanced scale, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I have seriously narrowed my focus and my expectations. I know things are better than they were seven or eight months ago, by leaps and bounds. I am better able to deal with my new reality, he is better able to manage his recovery. Time is helping us. I totally understand wanting more…

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