A couple weekends ago M planned to take our oldest two kids hunting several hours away. Because I was in a cast and unable to walk he didn't feel comfortable leaving me home with the rest of the kiddos. So we decided that we would all drive to his parents the night before and then he and the older two and his dad would go hunting the next morning while the rest of the kids and I hung out with grandma.
The day that we were planning to leave M did something that triggered me and left me feeling unsafe emotionally. For a while I wouldn't answer his calls because I knew I wouldn't react well. I finally answered and told him that I felt lied to because of how things were handled. He said "You shouldn't feel that way." Instead of validating my feelings he went straight into minimizing them and justifying his actions. Once again, my feelings didn't matter.
He came home to prepare for the weekend and to talk. The thing I am realizing is that we can't talk about any of this. I admit that I have handled it poorly, VERY poorly, in the past and that I didn't handle this "talk" any better. However, even when I try to share my feelings without blaming my feelings are minimized. His shame comes to the surface and he can longer hear what I am saying. He only hears what he thinks I am saying, what he tells himself over and over in his head.
I told him that I was not going with him for the weekend. I didn't want to pretend to the kids or his parents that everything was perfect and happy. Because it so wasn't.
I guess he told him mom that we were having some problems and that was why I didn't go. Her response to him was "Fix it!"
Here we are two weeks out and he isn't working to fix it. I have told him what I need from him to help heal our marriage, transparency in ALL things. Every time he says "Ok. I will do it." And then NOTHING. No change.
M doesn't understand that while he is helping with dishes, kids, housework, and all that it doesn't help build trust. I so appreciate his help, however he was helpful while in his addiction so doing them now isn't a huge visible change. I recognize and appreciate his efforts in being more open with me about the feelings and frustrations that he shares with me. Again though, venting about work, his calling, the kids was something he did when he was in his addiction. It really frustrates me that I have to ask "What is wrong" before he will share with me. What is the most frustrating and what I need the most right now is for him to be open about his struggles, what he is doing at work, where his mind is in regards to his addiction, to recovery. This has always been that secret part of his life and it continues to be the secret part of his life. Being open and transparent about his thoughts in this regard is where he will begin to build trust. This is where he will begin to FIX IT.
A week ago M said to me that he felt as though I didn't want him close, that I didn't want him to cuddle with me. And the truth is, I don't really. I am starving for an intimate connection with him. Not the physically intimate connection that he wants. I want/need to feel the emotional, intimate connection before I want the physical connection. And I am not getting that. I want to have a conversations about our feelings. I want, I need, to talk about something more than the weather or the kids. I shared these feelings with him and still nothing. You want to being to fix it? Here is another jumping off point.
What M doesn't seem to realize it that repairing the trust and the damage is his responsibility to fix. I know that I have areas where I have caused serious damage and I need to do all I can to fix those. These things mentioned are some areas where HE needs to put the effort to rebuild our marriage and despite being told what is needed he continues to avoid them because it is uncomfortable, he doesn't see the point, he doesn't see what good it will do, etc.
Until he is willing to be transparent in all things--addiction, work, everything; our marriage can't be fixed.
Until he is willing to connect in an emotional way I really don't have the desire to be physically close and our marriage can't be fixed.
I hope one day M will decide to do everything needed to FIX IT.