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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here is my first try at a post here.

Give so history here. I am from a family that does not hug, does not show emotions and does not say they love you. When my father died when I was a kid my mother took my to the coffin showed me my father, had me sit there until he was sealed into the family crypt and told me he was gone. I was not to cry after that, he was gone and was not coming back. Showing pain, showing emotions was a sign of being nothing but weak. My mother was a very abusive person and everything was delt with in anger. On my 18th birthday I joined the Army and really never looked back. I went Spec Ops and my lack of emotions made me very good at it. I have been a medic since I have been out pretty much (done a lot of part time jobs for extra money but main carreer has been a medic). Again, the lack of emotions has served me well at being a medic. I have a very poor bed side manner but anyone that has worked with me has always said if they were ever hurt it would me that they would want carring for them. It was always me that would climb in the burning car, climb down the hill side and care for the person and it was something I was always pround of. From the time as a kid and Army I have broke most of the bones in my body, I have broke my back three times which brings me to now.

All the abuse to myself caught up a few years back. I woke up and my left leg no longer worked. I have now had three back surgeries and was forced to retire (I am currently 45). I am able to walk and do things again but live my life in pain every day. I am on narcotics every day and will be for the rest of my life.

My way of dealing with this after the first surgery was to completely shut down. Tell everyone I was fine, never ask anyone for help and become angry at anyone that would even ask if they could help. And this meant my wife and my kids knew I had to be hurting but if they tried to be there for me in love I returned nothing but anger to them.

By the time the third surgery had come around I had returned many times to work and made things far worse. I now have had a section of my spine removed and a device put in my that is wired to the nerves so I can block the pain signals from the nerves on top of the narcotics.

I became worse mentally truely needing my wife and my kids but was afraid I would be viewed as weak and useless if I said anything so I didn't. I also did not look at the needs of my family. I have ALWAYS worked as much as I could to support my family. I figured me working and supporting my family is the true way to show my family my love for them and how wrong I was. When I was forced to retire I just got worse figuring I was dead weight to the family and useless to anyone.

Things where bad in the marriage because of me not saying what I needed. My wife was shut out and so where my kids. Once I was told I had to retire it just got worse. My wife met a guy and he gave her the attention she should have been given from me. Things turned into a EA with her and this guy and I found out about it. She has cut all contact with this guy and we are working on things. I think she is doing her best to fix this but its me not knowing how to fix this. We started MC and that is helping some.

Because of the surgeries I have lost 50lbs and honestly hate the way I look. I was someone that could run with full pack for 20 miles and so on. I have always made over 6 digits a year and worked 70 to 80 hours a week. I love my wife with all my heart but for lack of better words feel like nothing but a Second hand Lion.

Yesterday to show her my love for her I asked her to marry me again. Time for a new start and a new chapter in our lives. I can not think of a life without this woman in my life. I have always told everyone how truely lucky I was to have this woman as my wife and my feelings on that have not changed. Her mistake was the EA, mine was closing her out and making her feel unwanted. Neither is worse then the other, both are very hurtful.

She is doing her part to fix her mistake, I am just not sure how to fix my side. How to not feel useless to my family and to learn how to say I need help. Anyone have suggestions on which road I should be looking?
 

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So here is my first try at a post here.
Her mistake was the EA, mine was closing her out and making her feel unwanted. Neither is worse then the other, both are very hurtful.
Crashandburn,

I'm glad you seem to be on a path to R. You've sure had a hard go of it.

One thing I would caution you on. It appears you are trying to rug sweep your wife's EA. I disagree with you that her EA is on the same level as your behavior as a husband. There is no excuse for an affair. None. Whether it be EA or PA, it's all 100% on her, regardless of the marital issues. Your wife had a choice to work on the marriage, divorce or have and an affair. She chose the affair.

Make sure that she understands this and stop blaming yourself for causing it. You need to put things in place to lessen the possibility that this happens again. She needs to show complete transparency and demonstrate true remorse (you say she is and I hope that's true) - or you may very well end up in a false R.

If she will do that, then get some individual counseling for yourself and work on being a better husband. Marriage counseling may be a good next step.

Thank you for your service by the way and best of luck.
 

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Just do it! Start asking for help from time to time. Everyone needs to feel needed. Allow her to feel needed. I have been down this road with my wife and found she is happy when I ask her to help. S just make a decision to do it and begin today!
 

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Give so history here. I am from a family that does not hug, does not show emotions and does not say they love you. When my father died when I was a kid my mother took my to the coffin showed me my father, had me sit there until he was sealed into the family crypt and told me he was gone. I was not to cry after that, he was gone and was not coming back. Showing pain, showing emotions was a sign of being nothing but weak.
Damn... I'm not squeamish at all, but that was hard to read! Must have been really horrible that...
 

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Crashandburn,

I'm glad you seem to be on a path to R. You've sure had a hard go of it.

One thing I would caution you on. It appears you are trying to rug sweep your wife's EA. I disagree with you that her EA is on the same level as your behavior as a husband. There is no excuse for an affair. None. Whether it be EA or PA, it's all 100% on her, regardless of the marital issues. Your wife had a choice to work on the marriage, divorce or have and an affair. She chose the affair.

Make sure that she understands this and stop blaming yourself for causing it. You need to put things in place to lessen the possibility that this happens again. She needs to show complete transparency and demonstrate true remorse (you say she is and I hope that's true) - or you may very well end up in a false R.

If she will do that, then get some individual counseling for yourself and work on being a better husband. Marriage counseling may be a good next step.

Thank you for your service by the way and best of luck.
I agree - it's not the same level at all. I did have a choice.
 
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You need help on many levels and communication is so necessary for dealing both with your W's EA & with your own feelings about your changed self-image.

You do a very good job of writing things down - this post is heartfelt and clear. Would you consider beginning to write as a means of communication? Letters, notes, journal entries to your W, yourself, your children. You can write to them but just for yourself if you need to.

Just as an aside - I grew up in a home where my parents loved me, but never said 'I love you.' When my children were babies, I decided I would not do that with them. I forced myself to tell them that I loved them every night before bed, even though I was choking on it in the beginning. After a while, it became completely natural; the feelings were real & I had trained myself out of my parents' habit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Badmemory, I am not really good at writing and expresses things so maybe I came across wrong. You are right, my actions give zero excuse to her actions but this is the way I have looked at life.

Is it my mothers fault that I was being arrested by age 13 or was in juvi by age 14? NO, I made the choices and made the wrong ones just as my wife did.

Can I change my wife? NO, she needs to make those changes in herself. The only person I can change is me and I need to seriouly take a hard look at myself to better me as I did when I was 18. I need to do it for ME and to be a better person for my family.

Is my wife truely sorry and remorseful for what she did? By all means YES. She has become completely transparent. We are talking about what happened and I mean talking, not fighting. You can truely see the anger at herself and the remorse when we talk about the hurt she has caused to me.

Has she added to the pain I am already trying to figure out how to deal with? OH YES and she knows that.

The only thing I am completely in control of is myself and that is why I am asking the question here. I am truely trying to figure out how to bring this to a new start for both of us. I have no idea how to move forward with ME. I am trying to figure out how to be a better person with the emotions and trying to figure out how I can express to my wife I need help and truely need to sometimes just have her hold me even knowing I am pushing away and not feeling weak because I do say something. Most of all with all of these very crushed feelings, how do I say I need to feel wanted and needed without me feeling like I am being a whiney little B**ch?
 

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Welcome to TAM Crashandburn. I am a former WW, and my husband is DevastatedDad. We both post on here, and it's been very insightful for both of us. He has been able to share things on here that wasn't able to say in person. We're doing a bit better now and talking more, and I think TAM was one of the things that has helped move us in that direction.

As for your question, I agree with badmemory that individual counseling can help with the issues with showing emotions and opening up. From your past, it's obvious where these issues come from, and your lack of emotion has served you well for many years, but now it's not. Counseling can help you identify the feelings you have and teach you how to express them in appropriate ways. And you have to convince yourself that leaning on your wife and showing emotion does not mean you are weak. I know she is wanting to be there for you, so allow her to be.

Oh, and congrats on the re-proposal! I think that is awesome. Wishing you and redhead a much happier, closer chapter from here on out.
 

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Make sure you know everything about the affair, not just what she thinks you "need to know" or what you found out on your own.

I'll wager a guess that she didn't come up to you one day and apologetically confess to everything, rather you found out about it and you confronted her and she confirmed what you already know and not much more than that.

That's typically how it works, and as another poster pointed out, you may be too quick to just assume she's told you everything, it was just an EA, it's over and now let's move on with our lives.

There may be more to it then you think.
 

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I am trying to figure out how to be a better person with the emotions and trying to figure out how I can express to my wife I need help and truely need to sometimes just have her hold me even knowing I am pushing away and not feeling weak because I do say something. Most of all with all of these very crushed feelings, how do I say I need to feel wanted and needed without me feeling like I am being a whiney little B**ch?
The answer: Practice it.

I grew up in a home environment much like you did. I've suffered with many of the same things in regards to emotional detachment from my own wife and son. Through counseling over the years, I've learned that having the will to change is a start, but it's not enough.

You need to go to a good counselor, learn about yourself, and follow a "nuts and bolts" approach he/she will provide you to recover intimacy. This will involve getting out of your comfort zone and will feel disgusting and counter-intuitive at first, and for a while. But you have to practice it until it feels like second nature.

I know it's hard. I still struggle with emotional detachment. But in my humble layperson's opinion, that's your best chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No Kindi, I will say the early point of this you would be correct. Getting any info was fighting tooth and nail. And because of my military background I was having no problem catching all kinds of lies. So then it went to we don't talk about it at all, if it came up we would fight and that was it. Then after we got into MC she would bring it up and was able to tell me from start to finish even knowing how much it hurt. I have no idea what all the text said to each other but due to a online storage file I do know what all the pictures where (wish I didn't, hard not to see those pictures over and over in my head). Its been 16 months now, I think its time for a new start with both of us. I think its time for me to learn to say what I need and what I want. My largest problem to overcoming this will be the trust issue. In my life there has been ONLY three people I have trusted in any way, first is myself, second is a friend that has now passed away and the third was my wife. I have no idea how I am going to be able to rebuild that one. But do I think everything I have to figure out and work on will be worth it at the other side of this, yes I do. She has not only been my wife, the mother of children but has also been my very best friend and will be worth the work it takes to move on from this. What I am saying in a very long way is I honestly think she has come clean now, she has been transparent now and I do see the effort on her part. I am just looking for roads to take to get over this and to be able to move completely forward.
 

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Just for clarification, for those that don't know, TCSRedhead is his wife.
 
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By C&B
I think its time for me to learn to say what I need and what I want. My largest problem to overcoming this will be the trust issue
What I am saying in a very long way is I honestly think she has come clean now, she has been transparent now and I do see the effort on her part
You do have some trust left. I say this because of what you said above and the fact that you are going to remarry your wife.

Building trust after an affair takes years not months. What your wife does for the next 5-20 years can build a whole lot of trust. You do not have to trust your wife 100% to have a good life. I say this because you may never trust your wife 100%. You can have a good marriage at 90%


Your emotions have taken a real beating because of the events that have happened in your life including the affair and your physical condition. As for the affair, your wife can be a huge help in repairing that to a high degree by doing the rights things for years. As for your physical condition, as a man I know that is a loss. However, as you get older you will find that your emotional and spiritual strength will be what your family will benefit from the most. You can again be a special opp in emotions and spiritual strength but this time with helpful emotions.


You are 45 and you just will learn that the physical part of man will fade with a disability or without a disability. You just will learn that a few years sooner than the rest of us older men. I have to have my boys do some very physical stuff for me now and then. These are the boys that watched their father win several athletic events when they were young and thought that their dad was superman. With a bad back, sometimes my wife has to do some lifting.


I have learned to be an emotional and spiritual help to my family and that has been more bonding than my athletic trophies. That is not just my thoughts but my wife and children’s words!

I do not know your wife but I have read several of her posts. I think that she is a real straight shooter. On her post I said the following:

By C&B wife
Yesterday, he asked me to marry him all over again
You husband is a real man and very strong!

He has been hit very hard in life yet he is still standing and even taking steps forward.
I am impressed by him
 

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Sometimes in life you just get butt ****ed. Learn to deal with it and move on.

Couple thoughts. It isn’t really that you are emotionally retarded, in fact I’d say you are quite advanced about it. You obviously “feel” the full emotional spectrum... but you have the ability to box them and blow past. So... there are ramifications to it because it squeeks out in other areas like self-loathing, feeling ‘un-useful’, etc. You can work with what you know and “modify” your coping method...

First things first; This is entirely about you. Do not worry or try to be what you think your wife wants out of you. Do not try to be what you think would please others. Look inside instead and figure out ‘who you are’ and deal with that guy. Work on things you want to change about yourself. Accept your own reality.

I think you may have some of it like me: So, you feel sad, but accept ‘reality’ and know it is uncharted territory and not at all how you envisioned your life. You sort of take that sadness, and turn it toward depression by focusing on what is lost and can’t be regained. You can control what to do with those emotions once you figure out your process for handling emotions.

What it basically comes down to is you recognizing the pattern and interrupting it. So.. As I feel my thoughts go toward what I’ve lost, I basically remind myself that nothing will change it, so dwelling on what I can’t change or control is pointless. It is just gone now; Grieve or whatever you need to do to close that chapter and don’t shed another tear. Then I shift my thoughts toward “what am I going to do about it?” and start down a new thought process about my future and what I want to change. Keep your eye out for positive signs. Once you start actively looking for them, like the things that give your eye a twinkle, you’ll find they are all around you.

I can find a simple pleasure in the sound of the secondaries opening up on my old V8. Maybe it’s in the giggle of my little girl as she torments her brothers. I look and look. After a time, it becomes second nature. And... You’ll also notice you find your pride and ego restored because while you might be right now focused on ‘how useless’ you feel about a SAHD, if you can interrupt those thoughts and find your ‘happy moments’ you’ll also start associating ‘happy things’ with the various things around that new role. You won’t feel useless... You’ll feel you are succeeding and enjoying this new turn in your life.

Don’t feel as though you need to ‘express’ this to your wife. She’ll see you happy or she’ll see you sad. She isn’t in your head... share what you want or feel she needs to understand about you. It’s you who is in control of how you get where you want to go.
 

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Crash&burn (please change your name to something more positive)
You are a classic survivor. To emerge from such a childhood to be even half the man you turned out to be is just utterly amazing and a reflection of your inner strength. We truly don't know what we are capable of enduring until we do. I humbly offer my deepest admiration. You said:
...When I was forced to retire I just got worse figuring I was dead weight to the family and useless to anyone.
...I love my wife with all my heart but for lack of better words feel like nothing but a Second hand Lion.
Given your upbringing this is completely understandable. You are not a second hand anything!
Not at all. Not even!

You also said:
I am just not sure how to fix my side. How to not feel useless to my family and to learn how to say I need help. Anyone have suggestions on which road I should be looking?
You have a huge heart. Take your heart to counseling. Look around for a counselor who is experienced in PTSD. Walk that road with your family by your side.

They are eager to see you return to be the success you've always been.
 

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Have you though about starting a consulting firm in line with your expertize...maybe security or even trama care?

My point is, in this time of age when folks can commute to work electronicly and many are now working from home...you at 45 still have alot to offer.

So start your own business or find a company that could use your experience. Physically you are limited, but you mind is full of valueable knowledge that can be accessed from your own home.

I'm thinking once you start getting up and doing something you will feel better...especially if it brings in some money.

Get out of your funk brother, your mind still works so use it. teach others...thats it....get into teaching thats another option that is not physically demanding. Hell, now a day you can go to school on line.
Not only can you get a degree and learn on line you can then teach online.

Something to help you get your self worth back.
 

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No Kindi, I will say the early point of this you would be correct. Getting any info was fighting tooth and nail. And because of my military background I was having no problem catching all kinds of lies. So then it went to we don't talk about it at all, if it came up we would fight and that was it. Then after we got into MC she would bring it up and was able to tell me from start to finish even knowing how much it hurt. I have no idea what all the text said to each other but due to a online storage file I do know what all the pictures where (wish I didn't, hard not to see those pictures over and over in my head). Its been 16 months now, I think its time for a new start with both of us. I think its time for me to learn to say what I need and what I want. My largest problem to overcoming this will be the trust issue. In my life there has been ONLY three people I have trusted in any way, first is myself, second is a friend that has now passed away and the third was my wife. I have no idea how I am going to be able to rebuild that one. But do I think everything I have to figure out and work on will be worth it at the other side of this, yes I do. She has not only been my wife, the mother of children but has also been my very best friend and will be worth the work it takes to move on from this. What I am saying in a very long way is I honestly think she has come clean now, she has been transparent now and I do see the effort on her part. I am just looking for roads to take to get over this and to be able to move completely forward.
A lot of people have seen Redhead "come clean" here, and she's done an outstanding job.
 
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C&B, I was medic during the Tet Offensive. I feel a kinship with you. I too have read many of your wife's posts to others. She has frequently stated her faults and expressed remorse for her behavior. All of it rings true.

Your painfulf past - literally and figuratively - along with your military experience are going to be things that help you get through this. But the MOST important part of your recovery - the reemergence of your trusted wife - is already in place.

Peace
 

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I am just not sure how to fix my side. How to not feel useless to my family and to learn how to say I need help.
You doing it right now. Look down, your walking the walk.

Now just keep putting one foot in front of the other my friend.

When you start hurting or getting tired, lean over a little. Your wife and family are right next to you.

Someday they are going be be tired and hurting, they are going to need you to be there to lean on. So keep walking.
 
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