Welcome to relationship purgatory!
I had a hard time figuring out what to write today, not because I did not have any ideas but because I had too many. I am not sure yet how this post is going to go but I do know that I feel like we are stuck.
This week has been very busy so we have had virtually no time alone or even anytime to see each other. I know that adds to our feeling but there is also a lot of other things that also add to it. Some are my insecurities and her insecurities, it could be my lack of understanding on what being emotionally open and vulnerable means. Maybe it is the ever present feeling that she will decide I am not worth it in the end or worse yet she decides she is not what I want and I cannot convince her of that. All of these things are playing into what has gone on this week.
I talked in my last post how she did not think she could be what I wanted and that I can never get the same high with her as I got with the other woman. She also said she did not know if she could open up to me again because she is afraid of being hurt again. These were big things for her and she thought that it might be best if I don’t stay so that I can be happy.
I know this shocked me and I keep replaying the conversation over and over and my view on it. Too me, she is asking me to leave because she does not think she can get past the trust and faith in me that I destroyed. I felt like I am a constant reminder of her failures and so I will hurt her every time we are together. Ultimately, she cannot be happy with me. This was all my take on the conversation. We did not have much time on Monday to go into great detail so it was kind of left it out there.
Tuesday we were both still a little off and especially me. So we found a little time to get together and talk about it again. I tried to be expressive about how I felt without filtering them. I told her that I understood why she felt like that and I am grateful she told me how she felt. I told her I was not feeling good about us because if she has not been able to open up to me, what have these last 6 months been about. Has she been just letting me see what she thinks I want to see? Has she been faking it. I told her all this and she said that I misunderstood what she said.
So she tried to explain it again. She explained that there are all these things that I did with the OW that she does not want to do and probably won’t do. If these are things that I really want to do then she could never be what I want. She also said that she is holding back because she does not know if she can put herself out there again.
To me and maybe my little brain, it all sounded that same. She cannot open herself emotionally to me and she does not think that she can be what I want. This is where I told her that I don’t even know what I want because I don’t even know who I am. How can she say that if I don’t even know it? I don’t need or want exactly what I had and did with the OW but there are some activities I did enjoy and would have enjoyed without even meeting her. But now because she is attached to them they are now off limits. I told her I was not worried about that and the high I got from her is possible to achieve because it was not the sex that I was really there for it was the attention. When my wife does a good job paying attention to me then I feel better feelings than I ever got with the OW. I also know that I needed to do the same for her. I was as bad or worse in the last year in giving her any type of attention. So I am not thinking this is a one sided problem.
Well this carries over to yesterday. I have now not had any more than 3 hours of sleep a night for about 6 out of the last 7 days and it is finally catching up with me. So we try and have the conversation again because I still don’t get it. She can’t love me, that’s what I hear whenever she says it. All of the conversations come down to her not being about to open up and she is not what I want which I equate as a passive way of saying she does not want to be with me and cannot love me anymore. It may seem stupid but that is all that made sense to me. Finally, as we were talking she said that it is no different than what I said to her months ago. That I did not think I could ever open back up to her ever again.
Okay, that hit home. I know what she means, I think. At this point, it does not seem possible to open back up to me and she may never open back up to me as fully as she used to be. She will always hold back some to protect herself. This I got. I am in the same boat. I know after years of not feeling valued and rejected it is really hard to open yourself completely back up to that possibility.
I know people have commented on here that I still have to put in the effort to make her feel wanted and I understand that, but I have never figured how to do that in my current state. It would make things so much worse if I tried and was rejected. Even now it is hard because I am not top on the list most of the time. I know that at times other things will take priority and I am okay with that but as long as that is the exception not the rule. I hope I have the same standard for how I treat her. I want to give her attention and she has acknowledged that she has seen me making an effort, but that is also why it is so hard for her. I am working hard and she does not feel like she can.
I know a lot of you are saying I am the one who cheated and I need to do the work. The burden is on me, well, I will tell you that it does not work like that. I recognize that I have a lot of repairing to do associated to the affair and I will take those issues on by myself if necessary, but it is the relationship issues that were present before the affair that we both have to work on. The hard part is there is so much overlap. I don’t even know where to go, what to do, what to say. In therapy today they said I need to show my reactions and explain how I am feeling. I said that I cannot do that. Not because I don’t want to, no, because I do not understand how I feel most of the time. I don’t know what the jumble of feelings that are inside of me mean. I have no idea and they want me to tell them immediately. It is not possible. So now I am stuck a little bit. They said saying I don’t know is an okay answer but how many times can I say that before she gets frustrated. I don’t carry my emotions on my sleeve. I pack them in a safe, tucked inside a locked trunk, tied up with chains and locks. So it takes a while to find them. It also means sometimes I misinterpret what she meant, which then means I have the wrong response because the information is interpreted wrong.
So right now we are stuck. She cannot open up to me, I cannot open up to her and I cannot display the emotional responses that she wants. So we sit here in relationship purgatory, waiting. For what? I wish I knew.
You ought to be thankful a hole heaping lot, for the places and people you’re lucky you’re not! – Dr. Seuss