Anna26
Okay gang, I want to throw a question your way about connecting on an emotional level with your spouse.  My husband has always had great difficulty in talking about things in an in depth manner.  It's just not his thing to get all emotional and and he has great difficulty showing his feelings about most things.  He would rather keep things to himself and work them out in his head without bothering anyone else with his problems. That is how he is and I've learned to live with it but it makes for a difficult life sometimes. I'm quite an emotional person, and when I have a problem I tend to offload to whatever poor unfortunate trusted friend comes my way first. I believe I've learned to do this because most of the time, when I've approached my husband with a problem, or even if I just want to generally have a bit of a grumble about any irritating occurences from my day, I  just get the 'Mr Fixit's Everyday Problem Solving Potion', thrust at me and instructions to take 10ml  four times daily.  Okay, so I'm being facetious there, but really, he just tries to 'fix' what he thinks is a problem for me, whereas I just want to talk and have him connect to me on an emotional level, and he just doesn't or can't do it.

And now, after the affair, the situation is even worse.  How do I get round this? How do I get him to open up about things and talk to me in a way that I know would be good for both of us? Is it possible to actually recover from an affair without really ever talking about it?  I can see that if you don't talk, you are not really solving any problems you may have tucked away in your marriage, but what are you supposed to do when you don't seem to have much of an option? Surely there isn't only me on this planet with this kind of problem!
When the last affair happened, I didn't have so much support then, and everything kind of got covered up and muddled through. I don't want that to happen this time, but anyone else been through this?  All I can see at the moment is that 'if' he commits to coming home, we just end up 'carrying on regardless'.

Also his current indecisiveness is causing me a problem in that I'm beginning to get so discouraged with waiting around.  I keep thinking maybe I would be better off on my own and a fresh start.  You know the feeling, when you get that little nagging voice in one ear yelling at you to just cut your losses and give up, and then the one at the other side is whispering, hang on, just give it a bit longer, be patient.  How much time is enough time?  I know quite a few of you are probably thinking, have you talked to him about it, but that's just my problem isn't it?  How?

Well, I'm really sorry because you seem to have got more than the one question but I've been having a confusing and disillusioned few days, so I guess I've been having a bit of a rant...thank you for letting me. [smiley-think005]
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Shayla
Don't really have any advice. Just wanted you to know I understand. My husband isn't much of a talker and isn't good at showing emotions. He likes to avoid and hope problems go away. I like to talk, probably too much at times and I'm a "fixer". So I guess I'm probably not too good at just listening. My husband is a great listener. I might not get much out of him but I know I can always talk to him. I know he does actually listen and care, even if he doesn't say much at the time or show much emotion. There have been several times when I've talked with him and gotten frustrated because of the lack of response, to have him text me or call me the next day and tell him he heard me and had been thinking about what I said and then offer his input. I know this isn't the ideal way to have a conversation, but it works for now.

I also get the not knowing what to do. One day I'm looking up self help books and googling recovery strategies and the next day, I'm trying to figure out how to make it as a single mom. Not because that is what I want but because I'm not sure he can or will change and I too wonder how long I have to wait. 
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Anna26
Shayla wrote:
Don't really have any advice. Just wanted you to know I understand. My husband isn't much of a talker and isn't good at showing emotions. He likes to avoid and hope problems go away. I like to talk, probably too much at times and I'm a "fixer". So I guess I'm probably not too good at just listening. My husband is a great listener. I might not get much out of him but I know I can always talk to him. I know he does actually listen and care, even if he doesn't say much at the time or show much emotion. There have been several times when I've talked with him and gotten frustrated because of the lack of response, to have him text me or call me the next day and tell him he heard me and had been thinking about what I said and then offer his input. I know this isn't the ideal way to have a conversation, but it works for now.

I also get the not knowing what to do. One day I'm looking up self help books and googling recovery strategies and the next day, I'm trying to figure out how to make it as a single mom. Not because that is what I want but because I'm not sure he can or will change and I too wonder how long I have to wait. 



Thank you Shayla, I appreciate your thoughts.  I think my husband does listen, but he doesn't seem to absorb what I'm saying properly. A friend would say, he listen's but he doesn't HEAR!  Your comments have made me wonder if either of us are actually listening to each other at the moment, or if we are both so wrapped up in what has happened that we can't even think straight right now. I know that I feel so tired of thinking about everything right now, but it's like my brain is tired and nothing else.  The only time it stops is when I sleep and then I get the weird random dreams.  It's like the stress seeps through into my dreams somehow. wouldn't it be great if we had an off switch and you could just flip it to off for a while.

And I understand too about how you are trying to figure out how to make it as a single Mum.  When it all first came out I was a bit manic, trying to find out about finances if we split up, where we would live, could we afford it, it went on and on.  I was looking too far ahead and I see that now but at that point panic seemed to have taken over and it was all I could think of. Now, I think it was a kind of coping mechanism, and I was trying to reassure myself that I would be okay whatever happened.  And I've read lots and researched things, but it only helps you so far.  Sometimes I've found too much information overwhelming.

Once again, thank you for your reply!
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TimT
Anna26 wrote:
My husband has always had great difficulty in talking about things in an in depth manner. It's just not his thing to get all emotional and and he has great difficulty showing his feelings about most things...
I'm attaching an article (The Emotionally Distant Husband) that may be of some help. Also, the book How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, by Pat Love, has some interesting insights into this as well.
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Anna26
Thank you Tim,

Will have a look at this information and chase up the book, appreciate your help.
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Kalmarjan
Shayla wrote:
Don't really have any advice. Just wanted you to know I understand. My husband isn't much of a talker and isn't good at showing emotions. He likes to avoid and hope problems go away. I like to talk, probably too much at times and I'm a "fixer". So I guess I'm probably not too good at just listening. My husband is a great listener. I might not get much out of him but I know I can always talk to him. I know he does actually listen and care, even if he doesn't say much at the time or show much emotion. There have been several times when I've talked with him and gotten frustrated because of the lack of response, to have him text me or call me the next day and tell him he heard me and had been thinking about what I said and then offer his input. I know this isn't the ideal way to have a conversation, but it works for now.

I also get the not knowing what to do. One day I'm looking up self help books and googling recovery strategies and the next day, I'm trying to figure out how to make it as a single mom. Not because that is what I want but because I'm not sure he can or will change and I too wonder how long I have to wait. 


I thought I had answered this yesterday. I guess I forgot to press send or something.

One book that helped us out a lot was the Language of Love by Gary Chapman. It's a pretty short read, but a lot of things resonated with me and my wife about our life and such.

You may find it helps to decipher his love languages. If you could do it with him, (or at least take the test) then you will find it helps a lot.

My language of love is touch and intimacy followed by quality time. My wife's are acts if service and quality time.

For both of us, gift are practically meaningless. In fact, we usually end up spoiling surprises when it comes to gifts.

Once we found that out, things became a lot easier to understand.
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TimeToFly
Anna26 wrote:


And now, after the affair, the situation is even worse.  How do I get round this? How do I get him to open up about things and talk to me in a way that I know would be good for both of us? Is it possible to actually recover from an affair without really ever talking about it?  I can see that if you don't talk, you are not really solving any problems you may have tucked away in your marriage, but what are you supposed to do when you don't seem to have much of an option? Surely there isn't only me on this planet with this kind of problem!
When the last affair happened, I didn't have so much support then, and everything kind of got covered up and muddled through. I don't want that to happen this time, but anyone else been through this?  All I can see at the moment is that 'if' he commits to coming home, we just end up 'carrying on regardless'.

Also his current indecisiveness is causing me a problem in that I'm beginning to get so discouraged with waiting around.  I keep thinking maybe I would be better off on my own and a fresh start.  You know the feeling, when you get that little nagging voice in one ear yelling at you to just cut your losses and give up, and then the one at the other side is whispering, hang on, just give it a bit longer, be patient.  How much time is enough time?  I know quite a few of you are probably thinking, have you talked to him about it, but that's just my problem isn't it?  How?

Well, I'm really sorry because you seem to have got more than the one question but I've been having a confusing and disillusioned few days, so I guess I've been having a bit of a rant...thank you for letting me. [smiley-think005]


Hi Anna,

I had something similar with my ex-husband. I was always the one it seemed that wanted to talk about things & I did more of the talking. He on the other hand would say very little & often give me his famous "I don't know" line. 

I don't think you can fully recover from an affair if things aren't completely talked about because there will continue to be too much uncertainty. To me you have to work out some type of "system" where you will each have an opportunity to talk about things & listen to each other & then respond accordingly. If you don't have something in place I'm afraid it will be a very one-sided conversation & that can become frustrating. 

I think the waiting around is hard & I would tell you to listen to that inner voice you are hearing. That is one of my biggest regrets...not listening to what I was thinking & hearing. I kept trying to rationalize things & in the end it just hurt me more. If your husband doesn't want to work harder on communication then going forward might prove to be a real challenge. I remember finding myself working a lot harder at the marriage & yet it was my ex who had the affair. Something doesn't seem right with that picture!

Hope this helped a little....
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Anna26
Kalmarjan: 

I've actually read this book and done the tests.  I can't actually remember what the results were though so maybe it's time to redo it.  Have to say though, that I can't actually see my husband sitting down and working his way through it, but it could be worth a try.  I found the book very informative and really easy to read.  Thanks for the nudge...


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Kalmarjan
Anna26 wrote:
Kalmarjan: 

I've actually read this book and done the tests.  I can't actually remember what the results were though so maybe it's time to redo it.  Have to say though, that I can't actually see my husband sitting down and working his way through it, but it could be worth a try.  I found the book very informative and really easy to read.  Thanks for the nudge...




Hey, no problem. I think Oprah has the test online... http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
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Anna26
TimeToFly wrote:


I think the waiting around is hard & I would tell you to listen to that inner voice you are hearing. That is one of my biggest regrets...not listening to what I was thinking & hearing. I kept trying to rationalize things & in the end it just hurt me more. If your husband doesn't want to work harder on communication then going forward might prove to be a real challenge. I remember finding myself working a lot harder at the marriage & yet it was my ex who had the affair. Something doesn't seem right with that picture!

Hope this helped a little....




Hi TimeToFly,

Just wondering which inner voice you meant, as I have one in each ear right now, both saying the opposite!  I'm trying to go with my gut feeling which is saying be patient, while the pragmatic side of me is saying just give up.  Maybe I'm just in a really dark spot at the moment, but waiting around for someone else to more or less decide what happens in your life is so difficult.

I don't think it's a case of my husband not wanting to work harder on communication, but more that he doesn't know HOW to do it.  He's never been a person that has shared his innermost thoughts and feelings and I honestly don't think he would know where to start.  Perhaps I'm just being more than a little pessimistic when I say what is the point ( and I mean generally speaking) of bringing together a woman who needs the emotional depth and feeling from a husband (and this one would literally put the world to rights by talking about it if she could, I should have been a philosopher) and a man who mostly cuts to the chase, doesn't see the point of going from 'A' to 'C' via 'B' if he can possibly avoid 'B' and mostly views things in black and white, with no recognition of the twilight bits in between.  Sorry guys, I'm not trying to tar you all with the same brush here, as there are some men who are really in touch with their feelings (just not mine at the moment!)
Seems to me both sexes are on a bit of a loser to start with...oh quick...someone pass me the tissues, I'm feeling sorry for myself again...
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Anna26
Kalmarjan wrote:
Anna26 wrote:
Kalmarjan: 

I've actually read this book and done the tests.  I can't actually remember what the results were though so maybe it's time to redo it.  Have to say though, that I can't actually see my husband sitting down and working his way through it, but it could be worth a try.  I found the book very informative and really easy to read.  Thanks for the nudge...


Hey, no problem. I think Oprah has the test online... http://www.5lovelanguages.com/



Hi Kal, thanks for the link, just done this online...main love language, words of affirmation,  which just about confirms what I'm saying about the emotional connection doesn't it, then closely followed (all same score) by acts of service, physical touch and quality time.  No wonder I am confused! [smile] Lol...

Now to get the other half to do it...
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Kalmarjan
My pleasure. I liked the books. I first read them on audible, then I bought the kindle and paper versions. Both have a great place on our bookshelves.
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Shayla
I have the 5 Love Languages on my kindle. I read it after the second affair and tried to get my husband to take the test. He wasn't in the right frame of mind at the time and we didn't finish it. He wanted to give the "right" answer instead of what he really thought. I remember him saying it was stupid, who would rather their wife wash their car than hold their hand.

I might can have him take the test now. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the book to him again, when he was asking me what I needed him to do. I explained the book to him a bit and told him that honestly I didn't know what would make me feel loved right now. Prior to the second affair I had always been Quality Time/Touch after that didn't really make me feel loved and gifts/acts of service were more my thing. I'm not sure if your love languages are suppose to change or even if they really can, but anyway its a good book. I had read prior to that His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by William Harley. Also another good book and I felt like the two books really go well together.

 

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TimT
I created this couple's exercise, based on my adaption of the His Needs, Her Needs book. Use it with your spouse, if you want to.
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Shayla
TimT wrote:
I created this couple's exercise, based on my adaption of the His Needs, Her Needs book. Use it with your spouse, if you want to.



Thanks, I like that.
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