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#234571 - 06/30/08 08:10 AM Emotional numbness
riviera Offline

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 59
Loc: Spain

I have not posted here in so long. More than 2 years I think. And here I am again, almost 4 years now since my boyf started his recovery. And so grateful there is a place like this to come to and people like you to talk to and share with. thank you for being there \:\)

The current situation is extremely difficult for me. We have gone through everything, good and bad. And still are. We have overcome many obstacles together and I have stood by him (no matter what), helping him to regain himself. And he has made such amazing progresses.

However, it feels now like I have to let him walk on his own. I cannot keep holding his hand. For one main reason: he has gotten to a point of feeling almost numb emotionally. This routine of not showing emotions, his fear to come out of that place where he feels safe, where heprotects himself emotionally. This is killing me.

I am starting to question us.

I understand why hehas difficultiesto express/show emotions. I have tried to help him but I feel he has to make it happen and stand up for himself, he has to make the final step. I need to see him promoting and acting positively in regard to his emotions about me and other passions in his life.

His emotional numbness is making me a cold person towards him, I am not expressing my feelings to him since I do not get the attention and reciprocity .. This is against me, my nature!!Anyway, the latestmeans a lot to me. I am craving emotional attention.. and I have been blind to this for so long.

We have spoken, we have considered all possibilities of why this is happening. Maybe we (I) have been concentrated in his recovery so much that we (or more I) forgot about me. Maybe this is another stage of his recovery I just have to keep being patient. Maybe that was it, we were meant to be together so that he could find himself, now the job is done and we have to walk different ways...

I am confused and questioning whether I will keep waiting or just give up and leave. I need to be emotionally stimulated and feel his emotions as I make him feel mine. I don't want to end up like so many peopleI know, in a numb relationship, living a numb life. Besides there is always apossibility of a third person crossingmy life and giving me that emotional attention and I don't want to end up being unfaithful at all costs..

And I am feeling so guilty and selfish, for asking him to reach his emotions, to gain his passions, to believe in himself, to show me his affection...I am feeling terrible for almost demanding all these and making him feel as if he is failing us...


Edited by riviera (06/30/08 08:13 AM)

#234573 - 06/30/08 09:50 AM Re: Emotional numbness [Re: riviera]
Suzy Offline

Registered: 06/30/08
Posts: 1
Loc: maryland
Thanks for your post..I was feeling very isolated by the same emotions. My husband is not yet begun his recovery from childhood abuse. He is just now trying to end his desturctive behaviors with alcohol and drugs. I don't believe he is ready for anything more just yet. I do love him, but the lack of intimacy in our relationship is just killing me. I feel unwanted and unloved and although I am trying to be a good and faithful wife, my own needs are strong. I know I should ( and I do ) take care of myself , intimacy requires another soul to connect to. The thought of it is depressing as I do truly love my husband. He doesn't want to talk to me about my own needs and shuts down if I express my hurt and sadness, he may even start a fight to protect himself, so I rarely speak of it. It feels so unnatural and also against my nature. I wish you luck, if recovery has begun and honesty and love can prevail, you stand a good chance of reaching your goals. Pray and hang in there.

#234679 - 06/30/08 06:14 PM Re: Emotional numbness [Re: Suzy]
Junefriday Offline

Registered: 06/06/08
Posts: 113
Loc: Canada
I can definitely relate to that. I know it is really hard to continue where there is little emotion and intimacy. It is a vicious circle of wondering if you should do what makes you feel good to be close to him, but then worry that it will drive him further away. Then there is also the thought that if you don't show how much you care, he will think that you, like everyone else has abandoned and rejected him. Crazy!!

You need to take care of your needs. But, you need to decide which ones are most important to you, which ones you can squash for a bit, and what you are prepared to live with. I know for me, I am really, really wanting to feel close to someone emotionally and physically. I can get the emotional aspect covered through family and friends. The physical side crosses a line though. I've thought about it, but I know at the end of the day, I wouldn't be proud of myself if I crossed it. That is just a personal decision and you need to do what is right for you. If the need becomes too great, treat him as you would like to be treated if the tables were turned.

If he has started his recovery, try to hang in. If he hasn't, see if there is a way to increase the sense of urgency. It is hard and my heart goes out to you.

"Love comes to those who still hope even though they've been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they've been betrayed, to those who still love even though they've been hurt before.

#234786 - 07/01/08 01:49 AM Re: Emotional numbness [Re: Junefriday]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey

Welcome back. I remember you from when I first started coming here.

I'm tired and can't seem to convey a coherent thought at the moment, but I want to tell you that NO - you are not selfish, you're human and humans need physical and emotional satisfaction. Without it, we wither and die, or worse, we shut down and simply survive life without enjoying it. You deserve more than that. The two of you have been fighting for a long time. Maybe things have stagnated and it's time to up the ante again.

ROCK ON......Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#234849 - 07/01/08 07:16 AM Re: Emotional numbness [Re: Trish4850]
riviera Offline

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 59
Loc: Spain
Thanks for your very helpful posts. Thanks Trish, I also remember you \:\)

We talked yesterday for hours and got to the conclusion that similar to what Trish has pointed out, the way our relationship is going is not fulfilling any of us. We got trapped in this emotional routine, this unusual interaction, almost like a therapist-patient one, that grew between us. It has been tremendously beneficial to defeat the trauma, in fact we are able to talk about this with honesty and maturity thanks to all the work we have been doing together for so long (we could not have even dreamed that few years ago. But time has come now to let go of his hand and let him walk the path to his inner self on his own. I can't keep leading his recovery or even worse, I can't keep feeling responsible for his recovery!!

(Maybe this is the reason why he can't reach his emotions, cos he has not taken the lead of his recovery yet)

So we have realized that after all the hard work, we are now left with a relationship that is unable to cover our romantic/emotional needs. It feels as if, either we start from scratch as a couple (romantically speaking) and reconquer each other hearts (in order to achieve this we have to break completely "patient-therapist" old habits; or this is the end, we were meant to be together so that I could help him get better and he could reward me with his successful recovery. The reality is that he is much better thus able and ready to function on his own, yet unable to show emotions.

Now I have finally realized how much effort, patience, sacrifice, support and unconditional love I have put into this that I've completely forgotten about me. It feels as if I have sacrificed myself in order to see him achieving his recovery. Totally unselfish yet unable to satisfy my emotional needs... very painful realization.

We are now reconsidering our relationship. At least we are still fighting together.

Big challenge... again

Edited by riviera (07/01/08 08:30 AM)


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