There And Back Again…

I have been away for some time and I am not sure what to make of all this time away.  I have been told to come back here because it is therapeutic, but the problems caused by my writing far outweighed any help I may have been getting.  Yet, here I am. Back again after 5 months and I am not sure why.  I don’t know if I will continue, but I have to try and sort out my brain a little.

It may be that I have lost my compass or at least the base for which I base a majority of my current life.  So I feel like I am a lost wondering soul again and not exactly sure where I am going to end up.   How did I get here?  Who the hell knows?  Every time I feel like I am getting things going in the right direction another string gets unraveled and I have to grasp at anything just to keep from spinning out of control.  I would just like a small break, just for a moment to breath.

I agreed to begin individual counseling again and began seeing and new therapist upon a recommendation from our marriage counselor.  I am still not sure what to think of the guy.  I have been trying to do what I can with him but it will take some time.  I guess that is how it is with all counselors.  Until I really figure him out, I don’t know what I can fully share.  He is trying to be sensitive and not pry too much yet, but I know it is coming.  It is not like I am purposefully holding back, it is just how I am.  I am just not open.

vulnerable-perceptions

We have been talking about being vulnerable and the need for me to be vulnerable to my wife ( I am sure he wants me to open up to him as well).  He thinks that she needs to see everything; my flaws, hopes, dreams, successes failures, strengths and see me break down in moments of weakness.  I know this is something we have been working on in couples therapy, but when he laid it out like this it was a little more concrete.  He then asked me who I have had in my life that ever was able to fill that role.  It didn’t take long to answer, no one.  I have never had anyone that I would share those things with openly.  Someone who I could discuss goals and life, ask for advice and listen when I need to vent – Nope no one.  I have allowed my wife glimpses of those things but never open access and the access that was granted was very little.

So that got my brain working of course.  If I have never let her in, why does she stay?  Why does she love me?  How can she love me if I have never let me in?  Doesn’t that mean she doesn’t know the real me (Hell I don’t know the real me!)?  Do I really need that level of vulnerability to have a good healthy relationship with my spouse?  What is it anyways?

All I am doing by being this open person is giving her access to reasons not to love me or want me.  I am showing her I am not what she thought I was and maybe she could do better.  I am also opening myself up to being attacked.  I know this is why this was shut from the beginning.  If it is not out there then you cannot get hurt from it.  Why put the temptation out there?  Do I believe she would do any of these things?  No, but still it is in my head.  Not consciously, but there all the same.

Then I think of the other side and what I expect from her.  Do I expect those things from her?  No, I don’t expect them, but she gives them to me anyways.  She is not all the way open, but much more so than I am and it allows me to know that she doesn’t mean me any harm.  It allows me to let her have those glimpses that I do give her.  If she does it for me, why can I not do it in return?

See I am right back where I left off, spinning in circles, seemingly going nowhere. At least I think she is going nowhere fast with me.

 

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About bac4sccr

I am just a run of the mill, ever day father/husband who is just trying to navigate my way back to where I want to be. Unfortunately there isn't an "Easy" button or a "Reset" button or I would be hitting them repeatedly. This is just my journey from my perspective.
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32 Responses to There And Back Again…

  1. Hey, thanks for this insight into your thinking process. I’m the spouse here, whose husband is unable to be open, vulnerable, emotionally unavailable. I see you have your own set of questions of why’s (why she’s staying, why she’s not hurting you, why open up if that means she can attack you, etc) – and I’m sure you are aware of our why’s (why he’s not opening up, why he’s not a real partner, why he’s so scared of us). It has been really hard for me to understand my husband’s thinking, or rather his completely different approach to things but the posts like this one above help me tremendously. I now realise he has a very different starting point. You do, too. You never had anyone to be vulnerable with, you probably tried and got hurt when you were a kid, and you carry this fear of being hurt, humiliated, left behind. I’m not here to give advice – it seems you have a great therapist and a loving wife for that, but I just want to tell you: it is okay to just try vulnerability. It is really scary I know, to show her your true self, but I promise you you will not die. I promise you that even if you get hurt (although chances are you won’t), the hurt would pass with time. The upside? Freedom, true joy and true intimacy with your wife. I know these sound super cheesy, but I think in your world these seem unimaginable, no? Also, the answer is yes, you do need this level of vulnerability if you want to have a real good relationship with your spouse. That doesn’t mean many people have it, it just means many people are stuck in a shitty marriage because they lack vulnerability. Why not have the real stuff, instead of living in a fake world of hurt and shadows, I’m thinking? Sorry for the long post.

    Liked by 5 people

    • bac4sccr says:

      Long comments are what this site lives on. I wish it was as easy as saying, hey I am going to be vulnerable today. Even if it was I don’t know I could even still do it.

      The whole argument for it makes perfect sense but what about if you have been burned in the past? What about if you have been burned by them in the past? Or you have burned them? Or worse, as I think in my case, both? Then all the reasoning to hold back makes sense, even when it doesn’t because you know this is what led to it being a problem in the first place. I just don’t know if it will ever be possible for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sigh, indeed, it’s really tough. Good point on it being even harder when you’ve been burnt already by the partner – and fair to realise you’ve burnt your spouse – big time -, too, so her being vulnerable (or willing to consider) is a really big thing. I, too, find it extremely hard and scary to be vulnerable, even to want to be vulnerable with my husband now, after finding out what he’d done to me. So I get where you are coming from. But, honestly, what’s the worst that can happen? Can you be any more miserable and lonely than you are now? I say this without any malicious intentions and maybe more to myself than to you, so I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. The downside is: you might get hurt again (but you already know you will survive it and move on), the upside: you may experience true intimacy, love and friendship, all those things that may be so foreign to you. I assure you they do exist 🙂 Anyhow, it’s not my place to persuade you – and I couldn’t even if I wanted to – just hope you’ll find what you are looking for. Or at least you find out what it is you are looking for 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. KC says:

    I hope the new therapist helps; give him and yourself a chance. And don’t give up on writing even if it’s not here. If it helps then continue.

    I cannot speak for your wife but, I doubt she will love you any less if you open up to her. You let her in and show her what you keep locked.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. afloressss says:

    Being away for 5 months it seems as if you’ve gained a little bit of clarity. Even if you don’t see it. It’s evident in your writing. Take your time being vulnerable it’s not something you just give out.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Suqui says:

    I found myself answering many of your questions as I read. While I’d love to say that she wouldn’t hurt you, it is possible, unlikely since she is still around, but possible. I don’t say that to be discouraging, but to say this. In my opinion the whole point of a marriage mate is to say “He is mine to the end.” That is what you both promised eachother. She seems to be willing to continue fulfilling her end. So LET HER. You seem to be willing to do the work, so do it. You are already tethered to her. Do the hard shit to make the rest of the ride better than it has been.

    Now for the cliche part. There is a song by Robin Thicke- Lost Without You. My favorite line is “she loves me with all my dirty”. That is marriage, leaving all your dirty (and some of us have a lot of dirty) in the hands of your mate, and them returning the favor and loving you anyway.

    The woman still loves you after you betrayed her. That is a pretty strong woman honor and respect her choice by showing her she can handle your hopes dreams and fears too.

    End rant here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bac4sccr says:

      I can do it when I force myself to slow down and share things with her. The problems is when I get lost in my own head and can’t find a way out. I cannot be open with anyone at that point.

      But I get what you are saying and I am trying. There is more to it, as with everything, but I am working with her to be more open.

      Like

      • Suqui says:

        You are right there is always more to it.

        Though, those moments when you get lost in your own head, might those be the moments you unload on her? Might SHE be your way out?

        I wish you the best.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. ifonlymommy says:

    I’m sorry and I understand. It’s impossibly to trust anyone when you’ve been hurt before. To be that vulnerable and open leaves me feeling exposed and unprotected. I think you have to take risk sometimes to grow and I would suggest taking baby steps. Expose little by little slowly and hopefully the outcome will be better than anything you’ve ever known. Easier said than done. Right?

    Liked by 2 people

    • bac4sccr says:

      Much easier said. Plus, she is in the same boat. I hurt her (probably worse) so why would she want to open up to me? Why risk it again? At least not until she…..??? It just makes my head cloudy.

      Like

  6. I completely relate to this. Good luck with the new therapist. It took me a good few months of battling with mine before I finally let her in and allowed myself to be vulnerable with her, and at that moment my life changed. From then on I was able to allow others in, little by little. It’s still a struggle everyday, but you can do it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. My heart breaks for you. For you to acknowledge that you’ve never had anyone in your life that you truly opened up to- that which you shared your hopes, dreams, get advice, goals, weaknesses etc. is heart breaking. What about your parents? Your mother? Did you ever have a good close relationship with her?

    I love my son more than anything and I’m sure your mother loves you too. My son is only four but every day, I look at him and tell him with every ounce in my heart, just how special he is to me. And he tells me his fears. Recently, he will recount some scary noises he is adamant he heard in the night. And I do everything I can to listen intently, to talk him through that and reinforce I am always here to protect him. I know this may sound trivial to share but this vulnerability starts now-when kids are so young. They are so precious at this age and I can only imagine, you were this age too (and just as loved and adored by your parents).

    I would do anything for my son. I will certainly feel crushed if later in life, he feels as if no one ever “got” him. Or that he could never share his hopes and fears with anyone.

    Do you really honestly feel this way? 100%?

    Liked by 2 people

    • bac4sccr says:

      I actually do, unfortunately. I have zero contact with my side of the family. I didn’t get the loving supportive environment I am making for my kids. Instead, I got a lot of great lessons on how not to parent.

      If I shared anything as a kid to my parents or siblings it was just used against me later on. It became a tool for ridicule and belittlment.

      It took a while for my wife to believe but now she understands and sees the things they have tried in just the small amount of time she has known them.

      Like

      • Sounds like this is something you have acknowledged and accepted about your family. I’m sorry you don’t have that loving and supportive family. On the plus side, it’s shaped you as a parent wanting that for your own children. I have no doubt you will provide that for them too.

        In the meantime, how to begin to unravel a lifetime of learned behaviors? How do you begin to open up to your wife, sharing your true self with her?

        One step at a time…

        Liked by 1 person

        • bac4sccr says:

          One step… then another… but I know I am walking in circles until I can figure out who my true self is to share with her.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s one thing not to open up with others, but to not know yourself…truly? Why do you think you lack a strong sense of self? Do you have likes, dislikes, dreams aspirations? What makes you happy? What do you enjoy to do in life? Travel, friends, a hobby? These are part of us, as well as other character traits. I’m sure there’s a true self lurking underneath there somewhere.

            Who is he? And why the disconnect?

            Liked by 1 person

            • bac4sccr says:

              I don’t know where the disconnect came from because I never used to be this way. I remember when I was much younger, I knew what I wanted, who I was and how I wanted to get there. I also can remember thinking why can’t people just be happy. All you had to do was choose to be happy. I grew up in one of the worst situations and as long as I wasn’t home I was a pretty happy person.

              Now, it is like I am watching myself in a movie. Everything is distant and dark. I don’t know where I am going, partly because I don’t even know where I am at. I feel like my whole life is in a state of flux and so I can’t ground myself until the shifting ends. Everything I used to like now seems to just bring back shitty feelings and not being the most outgoing person makes trying new things difficult. So what do I have left, an empty shell of a person who works too much and buries himself in anything that will take the focus off of himself.

              I don’t even know if I want to connect with my old self or if that will be too many constant reminders of my past. Which means I am stuck trying to reinvent myself. So is my true self lurking in there somewhere, yea but I haven’t decided if I am trying to help him get out or I am the one hunting him down to finish him off.

              I wish it was easier…

              Liked by 1 person

  8. Daemon says:

    I say: Take care of yourself and forget everyone else. The one you call YOUR wife is not yours and never was. Your only true partner is none other than yourself. Let go of her.
    (But don’t listen to me, apparently I’m possessed.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I, too, am back after a long absence that was due to work. However, as I sat and read this entry, I could not help but understand why you close yourself off. Not only was any vulnerability used to ridicule and belittle me, but it became a weapon that was razor sharp and used to attack me when I began to get the upper hand and get away if not give some of the mental and emotional abuse right back. It has been pounded into my head that showing emotions is a weakness that can and will be exploited, and to some degree today it is still used only it is rarely effective by the one parent I still keep in limited contact.

    I’ve blogged about this, but there was a time when I needed my husband’s emotional support desperately. He failed me, and failed to even respond with basic human kindness. I learned a very powerful lesson that day. I refuse to be vulnerable again, and I am having a hard time getting the joint therapist to understand that I don’t trust my husband with anything emotionally now and it will take a long time before I can begin to even think about cracking that door open.

    I often question whether I should just cut him loose and live on my own. I know I’ll never trust anyone else with anything even remotely emotional. I question why he stays. He says he loves me, the joint therapist pointed out neither one of us respects the other, and right now I’m not sure what is going on but he is trying. I’m just sitting back, quietly and patiently waiting for him to swing in another extreme direction. Swinging to the other extreme just makes me shut down completely and hurts me deeply than anything he could do to me. And he’ll never understand.

    I don’t know what love is. I do know what love isn’t. And I know that I don’t feel loved, no matter what he says or does. I’m lost and not sure if I want to be found. You aren’t the only one going in circles, my friend. Just make sure your circles stay in the open field and not deep in the dark forest. I’m in so deep I don’t know if I can ever make it out to the clearing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bac4sccr says:

      I often wonder how my wife sees this and if I am so delusional that moving in circles is the only thing keeping me standing. I struggle to understand why she stays after everything I have done and the more she tells me about how she has viewed our marriage the more I wonder why she stays with me. I think for me I am stuck in the situation where I question why she loves me because of my insecurities and lack of understanding. She says she loves me and I say in my head “Why would she love a cheating bastard who has lied to her and hurt her?”. I really think that my insecurities have a huge part in why I cannot let her in, but it isn’t the only thing. As you pointed out, it only takes a few times before you block yourself off to keep from letting it happen again.

      My circle may be out in the open, but I don’t think it is any less lonely. Instead of the darkness as a comfort, I get surrounded by people who don’t know I exist unless they need something. I think I would rather have the darkness and the quiet of the trees, than the fakeness of people.

      Like

  10. Let go says:

    For those of you who suffered emotional abuse EMDR is a powerful tool to help bring up bad memories and diffuse them.
    Studies have shown that emotionally healthy women use each other for support. Men only have their wives. Don’t know if is cultural or genetic but men cannot bear to appear vunerable. You wife should be there to let you know, even if you are being a jackass, that she is in your corner. If your affair shut that down you will need to use MC to be open to her. Under the surface I am sure a part of her does not trust you. You cheated. That is a body blow of epic proportions. The fact that she is willing to stay and work things out says a lot about her character.
    Midlife crisis, poor self esteem, whatever I am guessing you suffer from chronic depression. I haven’t gone back and read your blog again so I don’t know if I mentioned this but…….sometimes the euphoria from affairs staves off the depression but it always comes back. Men hate taking medicine but you probably need that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bac4sccr says:

      You sound like my wife. She did EMDR and pushed to get me to try it. I haven’t but I know she thinks it really helped her. No matter what it sounds like in my venting and dumping of my thoughts and emotions, I do love her.

      I would say I suffer from chronic stupidity, but since they don’t make medicine to cure that, I went with the antidepressants and a host of other drugs they gave me. I have pretty much stopped taking everything but the antidepressants. I hope those can be gone soon as well.

      I just want things to be good again and I know a pill isn’t going to make that happen.

      Like

  11. Hey back its been a while and your post is as cyclical as ever.

    Do you have any strategies to help yourself when your thoughts go like this? Lets start with some easy, hard facts. Or at least, core beliefs to hold onto when your mind takes you for a spin.
    – Do you love your wife?
    – Are you committed to this relationship, marriage, and family.

    If the answers are yes to both, then make sure you tell yourself that and don’t even change your answer. And don’t let your thoughts pull you away from this. Thats the most important part first.

    As to being vulnerable, no one likes to be vulnerable. And no one likes to be hurt. And it seems that you’ve been hurt and burned in the past by your wife. And you’ve burnt her. Why in the world would she want to stick around? My friend – do you have any idea what love is? Have you thought about what love really is? Because I think your wife really does love you. And you know that. But you just can’t figure out what that is. Maybe stop figuring out why she loves you, and accept it. Trust it.

    Is it possible that you forgive her for the past hurts she’s made towards you? And to start fresh in your mind and open up to her? To have faith that she won’t burn you. And if she does – can you muster the love and strength to take it and keep trying?

    She really loves you. And I think she wants to love you the way you need her to. She might not have seen all of you – but thats part of love too isn’t it? People age and grow over time, and the person you fell in love with isn’t the same person now. At the same time, it’s love that drives you to want to know each other, to fall in love over and over again as you both change. To be tolerant of each other’s flaws, yet driving each other to be the best you can be.

    You’re right in that maybe you’re changing. You don’t have to go back to the “old” you. I would be surprised if after all these experiences and reflection you’d be the same person you were. It’ll take time, but you’ll find yourself. Just make sure as you find yourself, you keep your wife and family as an anchor. Just maybe, maybe, this new you would be more open to being loved, and to being more vulnerable. I don’t know.

    Just take it day by day. Accept what you don’t know for now. Focus and have faith in what you do know – is that you love each other. And endure this process day by day, and don’t give up.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. fairytalefailure says:

    Guess who else is back after a long, self-imposed break! You are the first blog I came to for an update. I’m glad there was a bit of one. I just posted “wherever I go, here I am” and sounds like that fits you too.
    I don’t really have any insights for you. Just glad you’ve checked in. Thinking of you and your wife and hoping you’ll keep doing the hard work. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • bac4sccr says:

      I just read your post and while you still hurt it sounds like things are getting better for you. I am happy for you. I know it isn’t anything like what you wanted but any little bit of better helps.

      I know we both focus a lot on the past and what has been done. So just remember that you can’t rewrite that part of the story of your life. But you can always start a new story and write it how you want. The beginning may be hard but maybe that will make the rest of the story that much better.

      Like

    • bac4sccr says:

      I know for us it is difficult to deal with trust. It is obvious that she would have trust issues with me but I have them as you have noticed with your husband. I believed that she didn’t love me anymore, I lost trust in us and trust that she loved me anymore. Then after, I have very similar trust issues wondering how she could love me anymore after everything I have done. However, I have to work so hard to help her rebuild trust in me but at the same time I question any trust I have in myself or us. It is one of the hardest parts and most frustrating.

      Like

      • fairytalefailure says:

        Yes. That’s exactly it. Again, both fighting for the same thing. And even for each other, but sometimes it’s just a bit off. I’m a touch too proud to try to convince him to trust my love (after everything and having never really given him reason to doubt, that I can see) and he’s a touch too proud to be vulnerable. He is, however, doing all the right things to earn my trust right now. It really is hard. And it really is frustrating. I need a crystal ball. Or a time machine. Though I still don’t think I know what I would do in either case….

        Liked by 1 person

  13. exoticnita54 says:

    Heyyyy.. you are over thinking..
    Over analyzing. …
    overly presumptuous. Trying to think 💭 you know what and how your wife should think..

    You have to stop ✋ beating yourself up..
    and stop convicting you…
    you are your own Judge.. and jury..
    please try to move beyond that one mistake that put you here..
    you are just human…
    The mere fact that your wife is still with you.. says so much.. about you..
    you must be worth loving.. and you must be one amazing man that she choose to stay..

    Liked by 1 person

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