connection is important to me. in all aspects of my life. our marriage counselor caught on early and has had to redirect dh a few times when it comes to lack of connection or emotional detachment on his end…when we had to have a hard conversation about *him* and the connection, she did a good job of facilitating as it wasn’t to hurt dh but to explain how and why and why it’s so critical. dh struggled as he admits he just doesn’t understand nor does he get that connection has always been important to me but that for many of our 25+ years, i went without for a myriad of reasons, one of which was not wanting to ask anymore because he always refused. last week, our counselor asked about my prognosis, my health, the future for our kids, especially our son with special needs. looking to me, dh knew that i’m the planner and have started the work long ago. she shook her head and asked him why wasn’t he partnering with me on this difficult work and he had no answer, as if knew me but didn’t. this week, during the “sticky wicket” part of our session in which we both are to talk about current transgressions/issues she asked again about connection and why did i think “he” knew me, even better than dh at times? without thinking and without any ill intent, i mentioned cloud atlas and how it took me a few viewings to “get it”. but that “he” had mentioned to me that he almost cries when her speech comes up near the end. i never asked him about that. i understood why the other day when i casually mentioned i finally got the movie. and he simply typed out “duh. i cry everytime because her mannerisms, her beliefs, her love reminds me of you” *gasp* to me that’s connection. knowing someone knows you better than you even know yourself sometimes. as dh says he still thinks it’s a dumb movie our counselor looks at him. then at me. then at him again. before saying “clearly, there is so much more work here than you realize. especially if the intent is to remain married.” huh, ya think?
I don’t know how you are so composed when responding to her. She seems to troll on other sites I follow, some similar to yours, and often I find her comments deliberately judgmental or inflammatory. Ironically, I am more like her than you in terms of experiences and my own views on infidelity and the deep belief that I will never cross that line. And yet, I feel as if I understand your journey and can learn from it. I don’t judge you or your choices, even if they’re vastly different than mine. I just wanted to tell you I appreciate that you post and leave your blog open instead of private.
I agree with Smitten. If what Nephila says is true, than maybe her relationship with Paul only comes from staring at each other for what is probably far too long
It’s sad that Nephila has the only comment here….
I think it’s great that you are trying to work on things with DH, even if it does help you understand what you need from a relationship. XOX! Keep up the good work ❤
😉 thank you
What an outright mean comment. It always baffles me that people find pleasure in stepping on others, no wonder there are 50 or so wars going on. I do agree though that two random people will probably connect if they both have the same need to do so at the exact same time (why else would they stare into each other’s eyes and say intimate things). There’s the pushing of buttons, and there’s the allowing for your buttons to be pushed. In infatuation it just happens due to chance and an urgent need that’s not filled elsewhere – in a loving relationship which has gone beyond infatuation it needs work, and it needs effort, and both need to acknowledge the needs of the other. That’s the foundation for a truly shared life, not just a life lived in parallel or in the same house. If that work stops, from either party, both will suffer the consequences.
It’s not mean it’s just true. It was a scientific study and they deliberately put random strangers together and told them to stare into each other’s eyes and tell intimate things. Presumably they were all at different points in their lives, and yet many reported feeling in love by the end of the study. That’s infatuation. That’s how affairs are built. The reason an enduring marriage is different is that it has to move out of that phase. And no matter much an OW claims her affair did that, it can’t.
This is built on the false premise that every affair involves just staring into each other’s eyes and no real life whatsoever. It’s pretty hard to stay “infatuated” for four years, spending over 12 hours a day together, 5 days a week. But go ahead and keep telling yourself that’s all it is and it never involves real feelings. I’m sure it makes you feel better
I just feel it’s a bit rich to expect anyone you cheated on to do connection building. That’s for the cheater or else it’s totally unfair and another injury on him. And outright comparison to fantasy lover boy?? Seriously? How offensive! Why would this man stay married to you if that’s how he’s treated? I don’t get that unless he’s still in shock.
I don’t have much truck with these perceptions of connection given that there’s a study that shows 2 random strangers will feel love and connection if they stare into each other’s eyes long enough and tell each other intimate things. In other words, anyone can trick your brain into chemical responses if they’re manipulative enough. If he’d had to put up with the less attractive parts everyone has over years, maybe he would have stopped that connection too.
you know, it may be hard to believe but dh and i have a long history with some very strong components in the foundation. as this is my blog, of course it’s biased and just my side of the story and truthfully, just my side. outside of a few posts here and there or references, i don’t air our past too much. however, you ask a good question and one I’ve asked myself, asked dh and we’ve talked about it in counseling. we also talk a lot about our 25-years together through some of the ups and downs that are expected in a relationship as well. slogging through the mundane etc. and i’ve been asked the question as well; especially in light of the *multiple* affairs dh had early on in our relationship and the one that almost ended our marriage twelve years ago. i am not excusing my single affair, not at all, but rather we are both working with our counselor to understand how each of us got to that point in the first place. i take complete ownership of my role, my behaviors, myself when dh sought his version of connection in the past. what i failed to see or perhaps didn’t want to see was his own disconnection and challenges over the course of the last few years that manifested in an even greater reliance on our own coping mechanisms. over the course of time, my usual behavior of always being there, seeking his connection as i’ve done without fail for 23-years turned away. so indoctrinated to rejection and distance that it didn’t seem prudent to beat my head against the proverbial brick wall over and over again. and truthfully, i didn’t expect him to care. not based on everything we’ve experienced together when it came to emotional connection or avoidance if you will.
i can easily answer why i have remained married to dh, through thick and thin and everything in between. i can’t speak for dh and part of our work in counseling is for him to answer that question for himself. and for clarity-i’ve told him that i don’t think my recurrence of cancer is a reason to remain together. ever. we are blessed to both be career minded and employed by an amazing employer with such amazing medical benefits that i recently turned down a position with an upcoming pre-ipo company. i battle cancer by myself most of the time and will have to do so whether or not i’m married or not.
i can say that we have a very good partnership in all things regarding our children, our extended family, the various charities we support and are active volunteers in our community locally and internationally, individually and as a unit. whether we are truly suited to remain married and maybe lovers again remains to be seen. but we are both committed to figuring that out. in our own timeline.
i’m not sure why you continue to read my posts, it’s clear you and i are of different mindsets and opinions. even if we share the similar experience of being cheated on. but that said, i appreciate that you take the time to comment, even if i don’t always agree, your opinion is your opinion and i do leave this blog open for that reason.
But it’s not a similar experience we share because you went on to so that to someone else, where I’d rather die than do that. That’s a huge difference and really negates any sympathy for that experience in your past. I’m not sure why you’d mention it except to try to get sympathy. I am curious about women in affairs, but mainly married women, because of the apparent total lack of remorse. And I’m sorry to say but you have that too. Sure there’s a type of man with a total lack of remorse, and they’re reviled, but it seems almost universal in women. I’d have thought based on my own experience that facing mortality would make that remorse come out. So I keep reading just in case there is a skerrick! I’d be interested to know if you counsellor reads the blog because the way you write about your husband is universally contemptuous (in fact if he read it I would question why he’d stay). I wonder if your counsellor has an agenda even if you say you don’t, that they’re trying to keep you together because there doesn’t sound like there’s much holding you to account for the affair and is that because they think you’d give up if you got put on the spot.