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#68418 - 11/17/03 04:35 PM coldness, insensitivity - how to deal?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Hi - I need serious help on this issue:

(stuff snipped from this quote from Lloydy but these are the key points I want to discuss)

Quote:



Survivors are notoriously difficult to form a relationship with, we're selfish and screwed up for a start. Add things to the list as you go along.

But the risk to my marriage was from me being detached from my wife, me being an arse, me not caring, - again add to the list, ask my wife what I was like - no don't, I don't need reminding.

I think that the only time we as survivors make anything of our relationships is when we fully accept ourselves for what we are. And we have to deal with the crap of the abuse to get to that point.

How the hell do we deal with this crap? Case in point: Lately I've been suffering from a very weird illness and have needed SERIOUS support from my partner to get through life this weekend.

This weekend I had to ask him to pick up my car from the shop, to buy groceries, to ensure I was fed, to help me carry my laundry to the laundromat, bascially to "take over" and be the boss of my life because I have not been able to do so (I have some kind of freaky virus that has affected my brain/motor skills/thinking/emotions/reasoning) and has left me with painful arms and legs, a recurring itchy skin rash, and no energy. This illness has been plaguing me since Hallowe'en.

On friday the mental/neurological symptoms were so bad I could not walk, I could not work, I could not think, I was on my way to the doctors (on the bus) and fell off my seat when the driver took a steep corner (did not have the strength/coordination to stay seated on such a slippery surface) I must have looked really freaky (I pretty much looked like I had a bad case of parkinson's disease) because the bus driver called an ambulance... I was really really scared -and still am bcause it has not gone away yet. For the most part - my fiance came through and really did a lot of the physical stuff for me but when I really needed some comforting and needed some emotional support, he turned into a serious asshole and was totally cold, rude and condescending to me. He just said to me "I need my sleep I can't be there for you I have done so much for you and I cannot do any more".

Holy shit!

I have a serious problem with people who cannot even be nice when someone is really needing support.

I dont know what the hell to do about this trait he has. Its part of who he is and it just sickens me that he can turn on me and be a total rude asshole when I'm most vulnerable. I practiaclly threw him out on Friday, and asked him to take back my engagement ring becuase I dont want to be with someone who cannot be "there for me" when I am at my sickest and most weak. We didnt actually go through with the "removal of the ring" but fuuuck.. I dont want ot be with someone who thinks that me being sick is me "taking advantage of him"!!

Sorry abotu all the cursing but I am really frustrated and still quite sick.. so I apologize.. but I do need some help to point out to my partner that he is being really really really in the wrong here and for me to ask him to "step up to the plate" and try to comfort me when I am sicker than sick is not something unreasonable, nor am I deliberately trying to "take advantage of him". How do I let him know that behaviour is totally selfish and inappropriate and that most "normal" people find being kind and supportive just a matter of course? And how do I do that without crushing some already crushed self-esteem?

PAS


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#68419 - 11/17/03 05:45 PM Re: coldness, insensitivity - how to deal?
Wifey1 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 380
PAS,
First of all a HUGE HUGE HUG for you! How absolutely horrible to be so sick and it must be absolutly TERRIFYING to be so sick. SO BIG BIG HUGS for you.
I think in this case it really isnt so bad to "crush a little self esteem" even if it is already compromised. You've been a huge help to me in reminding me that hubby2 has to respect my needs also in this. AND just from my own selfish healing point of view.. sometimes I need to have my self esteem smacked down when my behaviors are so rude/crude to another. ESPECIALLY my CORE family (hubby2 & girls). Its all so minor compared to what has ALREADY happened and keeps me from hurting others who are in pain also.
You are absolutely right in being pissed off about his behavior toward you. THERE is NO reason WHY he cant put his needs on hold for awhile until you heal from this. Jeeze it sounds very very life threatening.. what in the hell does he think he would do if you werent around for him when he will need you? Maybe he is scared you could die? Maybe this is a first realization that that is a very real possibility? That doesnt matter he needs to put his crap on hold to support your immediate needs. AND THEY "ARE" IMMEDIATE NEEDS! You're in a "critical state" now, not unlike being in a critical state of reliving abuse. EXCEPT this is NOW and HAPPENING NOW!! How he handles this situation now can truly effect and make change in the situation. It is not a matter of going back and trying to re-do the outcome. THERE is power in making this process of being sick and healing now ... its not an option to "go back" and think about what he can or should have done at a later date.
You have a right to be pissed off about this! It is insensitive and not caring... the only way I can identify some of your experience that you've shared so far (yes even some with the neuro disorder).. is that when I found out that hubby2 had sex with prostitues, came home & had sex with me AFTER he knew very full well I have a compromised health life and death with the heart disease.. jeezus i dont think i can ever stop being totally pissed off at him for having placed MY health at risk! AND that is what your BF is doing ... he is placing YOU and YOUR HEALTH at risk possibly life & death with the seriousness of this illness you have. ITS NOT A LITTLE THING OR JUST THE DAMN FLU! You have a virus that has effected your BRAIN! It doesnt take a fucking rocket scientist to know that is VERY SERIOUS! All this really screams out how he is going to be able to handle a future if you should get sick again? NOT a pretty picture after all the invested time & roller coaster of healing process that the 2 of you have worked together on. Not only is he abusing himself by not being more active in caring FOR you, he is in effect abusing you too. The BEHAVIOR is abusive in itself..(neglect) even if its not intentional??? which is crap he knows he can and will SURVIVE without too much pain/anguish from a "temporary sleep deprivation". THATS a bullshit excuse and probably more than knows it. Errrrgghhhh!
PAS, I know you feel like absolute shit, I couldnt imagine you NOT feeling like shit being this sick... I dont know if there is any ONE right way to present this to him. He hasnt "gotten it" by you telling him WHAT you need.. so as I told my oldest daugh last night sometimes it's ok to totally throw a hissyfit tantrum to wake him up and demand what you need. Both attempts at getting him to listen and ACT on helping you take a LOT of energy on your weakened state. But it doesnt make the situation "moot".. It means HE needs to get his head out of his ass for awhile and HELP YOU!
I hope you do have someone who can be with you during this time. There are volunteers available who are "buddies" for this type of illness/situation perhaps your local hospital has the access number or your neurologist/ docs. Please try to take care of yourself a little bit and ask your doc to help you get some REAL help during this. Even if it is visiting nurses / homemaker services if you have health insurance generally the insurance will cover the cost of this if the docs simply order the services for you. Dont be afraid to tell doc that he is not supportive to helping you during this time.. YOUR DOCS want you to be taken care of too! Its complete bullshit that this is even a service that is needed but YOU deserve (as all of us do) to have help and to be cared for during this time..
BIG HUGS and Lots of Prayers for a speedy recovery for you.
Peace & Love, Sammy


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#68420 - 11/18/03 11:07 AM Re: coldness, insensitivity - how to deal?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Originally posted by WhyMe:

>>>I am sorry you are so ill PAS. No one should have to go through that kind of exprience. When you are so sick and distraught, that is not the time to be making (permanent) decisions about important relationships. Wait until you feel better physically and emotionally before making any decisions or laying down the law to anyone.

Yeah - I know this virus has affected my brain and emotions which was the hardest thing for this situation..

>>> dont know what the hell to do about this trait he has. Its part of who he is and it just sickens me that he can turn on me and be a total rude asshole when I'm most vulnerable.

>>>>Does "trait" mean he does this on a regular basis?

Yes - this is not the first time this has surfaced. There have been several times when all I have asked him for was a supportive word or a hug or some time with him and he not only cannot give it to me, he is intensely rude and condescending and cold with me when I ask. Not a good way to be when I'm already feeling somewhat distraught. I have to admit that his behaviour is starting to cause me to turn elsewhere for support - not a good trait to try and build closeness, intimacy, a marriage.

>>>Or did this behavior just surface during this crisis? Many men are like little boys and need their women to be strong. Often, when a woman is in distress, the little boy becomes like a little lost puppy dog. It doesn't mean the man loves the woman any less, but he has lost his stability when the woman can't support him.

See, this is something that I am suspecting and to see it here in black and white makes me even more angry. Its not possible nor do I want to be always strong. Who the hell gave me that job? I already carry a lot of the weight in this relationship - main $$ earner, car owner, etc. and I just cannot do EVERYTHING nor do I want to.

Its totally unfair, unreasonable and an unbelievable amount of pressure to have that kind of expectation placed upon me - especially when I am sick and can barely walk and think let alone work! Can you understand the pressure I am under -- my mind is going through the "what if this never goes away" "what if I have permanent disability what the hell will happen to us as he does not have great earning potential, etc. etc."... It would be hard enough to be dealing with this alone let alone with the added pressure of someone depending on me - I dont want that from a relationship - I would be better off alone than with that extra crap! Why the hell am I in a relationship so I can financially support someone and get no emotional suport in return?

>>Obviously some men are worse/better than others in regards to this. But under certain conditions, the more dependent a man is on the stability of a woman, the more independent she needs to be of his stability and support for her. It's not fair. It's not right. It's just the way it is.

And its a major source of why a lot of women are not happy in relationships. Right now I'm asking myself what I am getting out of this and why the hell do I need this??????

>>>For the most part - my fiance came through and really did a lot of the physical stuff for me but when I really needed some comforting and needed some emotional support, he turned into a serious asshole and was totally cold, rude and condescending to me.

>>>Many/most men are not efficient at providing comfort and emotional support. It can be very difficult and stressful for them, especially if they don't know exactly what they are expected to do or say. (Remember men need things spelled out to them.)

That's a hard thing to do when I can't walk, think or speak very well. Fuuuck.. what if I was paralyzed or in a coma something? What would he do then? Scream at me to "wake up and tell him what to do"?

>>I am not sure of the exact sequence of events. But if he were asked to provide the support at the end of the day or after doing a lot of physical tasks (or unusual for him) that were very tiring to him, maybe he had already exceeded his mind and body's quota for what it could do or process before some refreshing. Men need to be "at their best" when tackling something as terrifying as emotions, so whenever possible, try to time asking for support when he is fresh and energized.

Ok point taken - but does that give him an excuse to be RUDE and condescending when telling me he cannot be "there for me"? To me there are two issues - if he can or can't be there for me that's one thing, but if he cannot be there for me, I certainly do NOT accept him telling that to me in a rude and mean way. If he just can't do it I would appreciate an explanation WHY and leave it at that.

>>Try not to back him into a corner because he may come out fighting. Also, maybe he has been helping out for 2 or 3 weeks (Halloween) and is just plain wasted and needs someone else to help him assist you.

Maybe he should get some help then because I certainly am in no position to even think my way through getting myself some help....but that will have to be something he has to do for himself.. i certainly am in NO position to help someone help himself to help me (do you see the weirdness here?)

>>>Perhaps he was scared ****less by your illness and has no way to express that and it is really tearing him apart to see you hurting so much. But he has no way to communicate that.

But when did this become about him? I have an immediate problem that needs attention - I understand he has his own abuse issues to deal with but as Wifey1 says - lets look at immediacy/priorities here. I'm the sick one who can't walk a straight line.. who suddenly finds herslef amused by the changing colours on a street light (honest to god I stared at a streetlight for 30 minutes one night and was totally amused) to be honest in this situation I NEED him to be the strong one as I am not sure what the hell is happpening to me.. I sure as hell cannot be strong here!


>>>How do I let him know that behaviour is totally selfish and inappropriate and that most "normal" people find being kind and supportive just a matter of course?

>>>Please don't compare anyone to the "n" word. Matter of course? Are you talking about women here or men?

I realise the N word is a loaded one which is why I put it in quotes - but in reality I"m not talking about men or women - I'm talking about people. I dont give anyone an "excuse" for not being kind just because of their gender.

>>>Kind and supportive? If the real world were these things, then people would not be abused in the first place. If the real world were these things, then he would have already received the support that HE has needed to be equipped to give you the support that YOU need now.

Well considering I'm an abuse survivor too and
can "be there" for people, including him, any time of day or night, I have a really hard time accepting that just because he was abused that they have an "excuse" to be rude and condescending and shit all over people who are sick and needy. I was abused too and that has really honed my abilities to see when people are hurting and it really motivates me to try and help them becuase I really understand what it feels like to feel down and defeated and how much I woudl have appreciated that kind of support when I was suffering all my abuse.. or during the days now when I'm having PTSD episodes or anxiety attacks... I know all to well how much a kind word or some kind of encouragement would help and it just boggles me that my fiance cant understand that.

>>>His behavior may be selfish and inappropriate. That doesn't mean he was trying to hurt you. He is just human.

But the end result was that I was hurt and scared and kicked when down... and this is not a new occurrence. He has done a real number on me a few times when I have really needed his support. He has even attacked me at my most vulnerable and even blamed me for my abuse on one occasion.

>>>But I am not saying that just because he is wired as a man that his behavior is justified.

Bravo. I have a brother who I turn to when this kind of crap happens, and he has ALWAYS been able to "be there" for me whenever I needed him.. and yes both my brother and I are abuse survivors too... he's not always good with the right words which I can recognize as a "guy trait" but at least he's not rude and condescending and mean when I ask him for support!

>>>>Is his behavior a trend or a recent popup? If it is a trend, is it getting worse or better?

See thats the problem - it is a long term trend.. and its not getting any better or worse...

>>>I am not saying anything is right or wrong about this situation. But men are different then women.

I understand that. And even when I turn to my brother for support he does not have the same abilities as my girlfriends or my mom. But the one thing that differs between my brother and my fiance is that when my brother is struggling with "what to do" he is NOT mean or rude about it. He just kind of draws a blank and kind of pats me on the head or something less than what I need but at least he tries and at least he is not an inconsiderate jerk - I dont think I have EVER seen my brother be an inconsiderate jerk to me during my times of need - and man I have had some doozies (homelessness, job loss, broke, dumped, badly injured, etc).

>>>It isn't a matter of is he good or bad, right or wrong. All that maters is do you love him? Do you want to stay with him? Do you think there are any humans that could better satisfy your needs? Only you can know that.

See that's the hard part - we are planning our wedding and I'm putting everything under a microscope. To me, emotional support when it seems that everything in your life is falling apart is one of the top three things that I need in a relatonship (the other two are faithfulness and commitment). I need to know that if I for some reason become disabled, or sicker than I am now, or if our kids are sick or hurt, or some other horrible things happen (we get robbed, ripped off, my brother dies, our house burns down, I lose my job) that he will "be there" and be able to provide some emotional support and encouragement, just as I would do for him. I am very afraid of how he might be if something WORSE happens!

>>>Whether he will be crushed or not depends a great deal on your approach to confronting him about his behavior.

However if you are dealing with someone who sees everything that you do as an attack becuase he has horrible self-esteem, how can you win? If he continues to frame everything from HIS point of view and cannot step outside of him to look at how this might be affecting me, why bother? I can try everything I can to get him to understand that this is about my needs and what I need and that I believe he can do this for me and if all he interprets is "bla bla bla you suck you are a horrible person you are inadequate" how can you win?

>>>However, if you approach him with an open mind that perhaps he was not out to get you, and you are bringing these issues up to improve your relationship (not just to punish him), you will stand a much greater chance of salvaging the relationship, and his self esteem.

For me I dont see this as him being out to get me. I dont attribute anything but a sheer inadequacy in his part or a lack of ability. I am slowly coming to the realization that this is "just the way he is" (for whatever reason - either his abuse or his parental upbringing or just something he never learned to develop) and why should I bother trying to get him to change?

If this is who he is and this is something that has been happening for a while now, is it really within my power to change? Hardly. Is it something that I really have the right to ask him to change? Not really - I dont think anyone has the right to ask someone to change, I think you either accept the person for who they are at the moment or you don't. And if I dont accept him, then why am I with him? I should probably just walk.

Sorry to be souding so negative again my cognitive abilities are still quite impaired but as I said this is not a new situation and I do not have the energy nor do I want to spend the energy trying to "change" anyone. All I can do is make a choice to stay or to leave. And right now I'm not sure what to do because this is SO important to me.. and I am really in a bad way and really need to have some support through my illness.. and when its not there in the critical times.. what am I in this relationship for??

PAS


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#68421 - 11/18/03 07:18 PM Re: coldness, insensitivity - how to deal?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
PAS
Take care of yourself, and help that process by not stressing out - easier said than done I know.

Quote:
If this is who he is and this is something that has been happening for a while now, is it really within my power to change? Hardly. Is it something that I really have the right to ask him to change? Not really - I dont think anyone has the right to ask someone to change, I think you either accept the person for who they are at the moment or you don't. And if I dont accept him, then why am I with him? I should probably just walk.
None of can be dragged kicking and screaming to that 'better place' that our partners or friends know is there, I know I couldn't have done this much recovery unless I wanted to do it.

In 1994, long before I'd even heard the word 'recovery' or knew that what happened to me was 'abuse' my Mother in Law died, and like my Father in Law who I've talked about this week she was a wonderful woman that I loved dearly.
She died on a Thursday night. Friday night I was loading my competition 4x4 onto my trailer and Saturday morning I was over the hills and far away.
"I'll get out of your way love, it'll be better."
Yeah, right !
I returned late Sunday, and went to work all the following week.
And that was pretty much how I dealt with my wifes grief, I didn't 'show' one scrap of emotion.

This week's been a lot different, Linda's said so for a start.
And I know that I'm sharing our grief over her Dads death, I know I'm trying to be there for her and support in any way I can. I don't doubt there's things I could be doing better, but I know I'm trying, and asking what to do.
As Jeff rightly points out, we need instructions at times - in big writing with no big words please.
We won't be offended. But it seems that you've tried that with no results.

The difference for me is my feeling of self worth, self esteem and self respect.
In 1994 I felt as though I was a worthless shit who didn't matter to other people, so why should I make an effort, who cared ?
I had no idea that people wanted me for anything other than what they could get from me, with nothing in return.
How times have changed ?

I did that.

If I hadn't Linda would have moved on, we have no doubt about that. She would have left me, not me leave her - I wouldn't have bothered back then, hey - she cooked and cleaned, what more could I have wanted ?
The truth is that back then I didn't know what else there was that I could expect out life, marriage, friendships or anything. I was conditioned to accept what I got, so I did.

A strange series of events took place that are unrelated, certainly unrepeatable, that sparked off a tiny thought that maybe I wasn't the useless shit I thought I was. I began to question who I really was, and I f*****g hated him once I saw him.

As a survivor I have had to overcome a lot of crap, but I know for sure that as I lose mine, I stop sharing it with those I love.

Take care.

<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#68422 - 11/19/03 10:27 AM Re: coldness, insensitivity - how to deal?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by WhyMe:
There is only one word that comes to mind that adequately describes the way you talk about him -- venomous.

This relationship sounds poisonous to me.
Dont read that much into this - dont forget that I'm not totally "here" with respect to my cognitive abilities.. and I'm sure my virus is not helping my emotional state....

All I know is that I am really scared by what I see in this one particular personality trait in my fiance. And I'm not sure whether it is going to change or not... however:

Last night we had a big talk about this whole thing and he *did* share some really good points -I was totally amazed:

He told me that since his abuse he's spent a lot of time and energy suppressing his emotions and trying "not to feel". He has employed all kinds of substances (drugs and alcohol) and behaviours (sexual acting out, self abuse, self denial) to keep his overwhelming feelings at bay. So now I am dealing with someone who has never learned how what to do when difficult things (i.e. being scared about my serious illness) come up. So he just shuts down and goes cold and thats why he acts the way he does. He then went on to indicate that I should not interpret this as him not caring - on the contrary - he indicated that he cares about me and my feelings very much but he is just so overwhelmed by scary feelings that he just doesnt know what to do with that he just shuts them off - something he has learned to do very well since he was abused. Hence his weird and cold and insensitive behaviour.

Since our major run-in last week he has found that he has opened up his feelings and has not been able to shut them off. Since that time, I have seen a very different person - one who's more "real", who's in touch, who's acting and reacting more like you expect someone to - not so much like a robot but someone who laughs at funny things, feels sad about sad things, etc. etc... he's more physically relaxed (I can see it in his movements) and he's making a real effort to keep me "informed" about what is going on inside him.

So.. this does a lot for me in the anger department.

Again I apologize if I made this sound like I was completeley venomous - I'm sure that part of my intensity was due to my fear about my ongoing illness and my frustration and inablity to choose the right words to say what I wanted to say.

PAS


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#68423 - 11/19/03 10:43 AM Re: coldness, insensitivity - how to deal?
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
>>>>Take care of yourself, and help that process by not stressing out - easier said than done I know.

Definitely - I am still pretty confused and tired... and frustrated that I just cant communicate like I used to. Hell - even typing is now hard - I used to be able to type 70 wpm with few mistakes but man.. not now - so I apllogise in advance for all the typos but I just dont ahve the time to go back and fix them all...

>>>>>Noone of can be dragged kicking and screaming to that 'better place' that our partners or friends know is there, I know I couldn't have done this much recovery unless I wanted to do it.

I know that all too well. I just hope that my fiance keeps wanting to do something about what is going on. I do worry that sometimes his recovery will not be fast enough to stop the damaging things that are still going on in our relationship, and I worry that I'll get so hurt in the process that the relationship will need serious repair work or it will fall apart.

>>>In 1994, long before I'd even heard the word 'recovery' or knew that what happened to me was 'abuse' my Mother in Law died, and like my Father in Law who I've talked about this week she was a wonderful woman that I loved dearly.
She died on a Thursday night. Friday night I was loading my competition 4x4 onto my trailer and Saturday morning I was over the hills and far away.
"I'll get out of your way love, it'll be better."
Yeah, right !
I returned late Sunday, and went to work all the following week.
And that was pretty much how I dealt with my wifes grief, I didn't 'show' one scrap of emotion.

This sounds like something my Fiance would do!!!

>>>>This week's been a lot different, Linda's said so for a start.
And I know that I'm sharing our grief over her Dads death, I know I'm trying to be there for her and support in any way I can. I don't doubt there's things I could be doing better, but I know I'm trying, and asking what to do.

This sounds great Lloydy.

>>>>As Jeff rightly points out, we need instructions at times - in big writing with no big words please.
We won't be offended. But it seems that you've tried that with no results.

Yeah thats the problem - I dont think I'm going to win any popularity contests with my fiance if I try to convince him to "get better" in order to help me. I know that recovery can only go as fast as the survivor is able to go, and that one can only heal really for the survivor's own benefit. I do make a point of trying to keep my partner informed about how his behaviour affects me, but I guess I'm pretty frustrated at the fact that this particular damaging behaviour pattern still keeps cropping up. I am an abuse survivor myself and I have my own baggage that this just falls on top of... it kind of reinforces my own beliefs about myself being not worthy of love, deserving all the shit and crap in the world, and I'm sure that is also not helping my "venomous" writings lately (I think a lot of my previous post in this thread was a vent...)

>>>The difference for me is my feeling of self worth, self esteem and self respect.
In 1994 I felt as though I was a worthless shit who didn't matter to other people, so why should I make an effort, who cared ?
I had no idea that people wanted me for anything other than what they could get from me, with nothing in return.

And thats the hard thing in all of this. I know all too well the thought processes that go on in the mind of someone who's self esteem has been crushed by abuse. I am there myself some days. And I just know that there's only so much you can say to someone and there's only so much feedback on difficult things you can give to someone with self esteem issues without them interpreting it as yet another element of "proof" that they really are a piece of crap. So some days I am at a total loss of how to explain the effects of my partner's cold, aloof and insensitive behaviour has on me.


>>>As a survivor I have had to overcome a lot of crap, but I know for sure that as I lose mine, I stop sharing it with those I love.

Good to know. I just hope that my fiance can someday start to clear the suppressed anger and the grief over what has happened to him. Not once in the whole time I've been with him have I ever seen him express anger at the man who molested him, nor at his parents who helped create a naiive, desperate kid who was taken advantage of. I've seen him vent anger at just about everyone else in his path - especially me. And yes, I will definitely admit that some of this behaviour, both the anger and the coldness has generated some resentment in me that I am still wrestling with.... but thats for another day and another post.

PAS


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#68424 - 11/19/03 02:31 PM Re: coldness, insensitivity - how to deal?
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
PAS,

First, let me say also I’m so sorry you’ve been ill. It sounds really rotten & I hope you are recovering!

I thought of a few points as I was reading this thread.

1) Re: the fact that he was unable to meet your need & then became rude & condescending. Men (pls excuse the generalization everybody…) don’t know how to say no. Especially if it is something that they can’t do, not just won’t do. If they don’t know how, aren’t able, etc, saying ‘no’ is a huge scary sign of that ‘failure’ being put out into words in a way that somehow seems worse to them than admitting their limitations & telling you “I wish I could, but I can’t, lets find someone who can”. I remember someone pointing this out about my ex husband one time. I was pressing him for a very simple answer to something – like ‘are we going to the store now’ – his response was no response & I was getting really frustrated. My friend said ‘haven’t you learned yet that no response means ‘no’?’ After that I started paying attention & realized it was not uncommon among all of the men in my life. They don’t like to say no, especially to a woman, especially to a woman they care about.
2) You cannot decide about marriage based on some litmus test of his behavior & putting it under a microscope most likely results in it becoming worse. Marriage is an act of faith. Now, I’m not saying that you should marry someone who makes your life worse instead of better, nor that you should waste your time with someone who is abusive, cruel or just not right for you for whatever reason. Testing things is a concept that seems like it makes sense – I’ll see how he reacts to this or I’ll use this/these situations as the empirical ‘proof’ of his character – but it generally is based on a focus on one issue, memories of those situations that connect to that & current behavior on your part that probably creates more negative reactions or fear from him. The end result is not really ‘proof’ of anything. You probably aren’t going to be in a frame of mind where you remember any exceptions to the pattern, even if there were some.
3) Your primary goal right now should be to get the support and caring you need for yourself. Take what you can get from him & get what you can’t from others. Wait and see how you feel about his contributions a little further along. It is too easy to feel disappointment about the part that wasn’t done & overshadow the good parts. You obviously love him, so take him for who he is with all the warts & appreciate that stuff. Then later you can see if he is ‘good enough’ to be your husband – if not, it doesn’t make him a bad person, right? And it doesn’t mean you can’t take the help that he does have to give right now while you need it…
4) You compared him with your brother & his ability to support you emotionally. There is a HUGE difference between brotherly love & a romantic relationship. Your brother may have the same abuse issues to overcome, but he doesn’t have the same concerns in dealing with you as your fiance does. My ex can be fabulous with his sister. He hates to deal with people crying, but her crying doesn’t send him off the deep end, where mine sometimes does/has. He’ll run away rather than deal with my emotional stuff, but he’ll go over & check on her when she is down & make sure she’s ok. Its just different with siblings.
5) We all tend to make our problems about someone else. You are sick, he is unsupportive. So you examine & question his support which is an issue relating to your illness, but not quite as scary as looking at the illness itself. I know that my ex is very supportive when I have something to talk about regarding my issues. He isn’t good when I’m upset & trying to figure out what they are. So I try to remember not to get caught up in deflecting my own processing into a witch-hunt against him (not trying to say you do that, I just know sometimes I get off track & turn my frustration & confusion into a big trial & conviction of him for not being huggier, more sensitive, loving, caring, warm or whatever else & want/need at the time). What I really need is to get a clear understanding of what I’m upset or afraid of & he can’t always do the processing with me. Once I’ve done the initial stuff, however, he can be great. Then I’m able to express the emotions clearly & he can deal with that – he can handle me saying ‘I’m scared about moving’ but he can’t handle the ‘AaaaahIdon’tknowwhatswrongwithmewhydoIfeelthiswayhelpmeIdon’tfeelgoodIdon’t want to move. Oh, yeah, I do want to move but I’m really scared right now. Wow, I feel better” Which is how I get there! But it scares the crap out of him! And when I reflect on the situation & the intensity of my emotions I can see why. And in the process if I get a bad unsupportive response from him I can get off track entirely & start in on ‘whyaren’tyoumoresupportivethisishardformeyoumustnotcareaboutmeWAAAAHHHH’

As Sammy said, sometimes you have to let it all out & they need to see it, but realistically you can’t expect to get what you need without asking for it clearly & people don’t learn what their mates need in those situations for years, if ever sometimes!

I disagree with whyme as to the venom in your posting, but I think that is the perfect example of what I’m talking about. You are expressing these emotions & frustration & questioning things & I think processing what you need to emotionally so that you can be more relaxed in dealing with this particular stress in your life. It comes out in a way that many men read as too much poison to recover from (meaning very scary for them & probably not worth confronting or putting energy into). It comes down to you needing to process the emotions you are going through & your fiancé having some limitations in that department. Don’t worry too much about it, just get better & when the sun comes back out see if you still want him there for the next 50+ years. If not, that’s ok too. Just remember there is a lot more to life than you being sick!

Take care & get well!
-BB.


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