Although the initial catalyst to our coming back together was expressed verbally and we managed to talk and explain things that helped us understand, further talking us not helpful. My husband finds it excruciatingly difficult to express his emotions verbally, although he feels them very deeply. I, on the other hand, will talk forever, examining each feeling and motivation minutely.
For years I've tried to get him to do that too. But I've recently realised that he hates it so much it's counter productive; I know him well enough to improve things for him without him having to expressly ask; he actually values any change I make much less if he has to ask for it; and the main thing he needs is to feel totally loved, safe and that he can trust me with his inner life.
So I've changed things by myself. I am trying to open myself fully to him, as he is now, not judging or wishing he was different or more like he used to be. I'm not going to ask anything of him emotionally, I'm just going to love him as purely and constantly as I can so that he can feel I'm a safe person for him again.
This hit me so hard yesterday... I read this and just burst out crying (I don't cry... almost ever) because I suddenly realized why it is my wife's behavior at times hurts so badly and she probably has no idea. And I couldn't stop the flow or quit sobbing for quite a while, till I finally managed to get my mind off and away from it.
That bold part... From the time I was probably 8 years old, my parents always "took over" things I got interested in. As in, directed, controlled, but not "just supported".
By the time I reached my teens, I had "learned" to keep anything that really, REALLY mattered to me to myself. That way I could not be mocked, teased, or have it taken out of my control by my parents (especially father). My dad thought that if you got emotional over something, the way to deal with it was to mock you for doing so, so you'd learn to toughen up and 'be a man'. Or, if you got really interested in something, or really wanted to do something he didn't think was either a path to work or earning money or other "adult" thing, he mocked and ridiculed it.
When I met my wife, and got married, for the first time, I had a relationship in which I could confide, and it never, ever be used or referenced in any way that caused me pain.
I can't say when, exactly, because it's been over a number of years, but my W has done that. I don't think overtly, but in small ways, which triggered the same behavior... Anything I care deeply about, I keep very closely and carefully hidden, so I can't be vulnerable over it. And, of course, my wife has come to realize that I just don't share anything that has any emotional impact, don't talk about it, don't ever touch the subject. To her, it's rejection. To me, it's self preservation - my defense against pain.
I don't know how to deal with this. Or what to do. I've tried to explain it to her, but she just mocks the idea and gets angry and defensive. Probably because I don't communicate it well.
I don't know what to do or how to deal with this. I can't tell you the number of times I wished I had someone to start over and have that "safe place" again, even if it meant someone else. But, it's something I poison my own relationships with. I don't think that divorcing and trying ( that would seem futile, I have the hardest time on earth establishing a romantic relationship, it's just too hard to be that vulnerable) again is the answer... I need to fix me and the relationship I'm in...
What to do here? I have no idea... I need help...