| | Re: How to become more intimate?
No probs OMG. Emotional barriers are a bit like “house rules”. “No Smoking”, “No Drugs”, “No Stealing” that sort of thing. There are many rules for driving and so many other things but some of us don’t have rules for ourselves, emotional barriers. Without them we are at the mercy of others’ abusive behaviour.
People who’ve been abused often become abusers themselves and the only person who can change that is the abused. My wife just brought the emotionally abusive behaviour she’d learnt as a child into our marriage. It was a part of who she was at her very core, not an attitude but a trait. And the only person who can change a trait is the person who has it. To change a trait there has to be a massive need to change, there has to be a reason to change.
I’m a “big strong man” physically, it took a hell of a lot for me to accept that I was being emotionally abused. Maybe you are the same, maybe you cannot, as yet, accept that you are being emotionally abused. Our emotionally barriers are in a way how we get to know ourselves better. Unfortunately we get to know ourselves after we’ve been abused by declaring what behaviour we will no longer tolerate. “I will not tolerate lies” for example. Says a lot about ourselves that. “I need complete authenticity and fidelity in my marriage, without it I’m finished with our relationship” etc.
To understand how difficult it is to change a trait, all you need do is take a look at yourself. You’ve analysed yourself, discovered what you’d like to change and you’re going ahead with it. Not easy is it! Your wife doesn’t have a reason to change. Why? Because her life is working for her right now, she is getting what she wants out of her life, out of being alive, living.
It is easy for me to talk. I was in a somewhat similar situation to you, different reasons but it was “in my face”. At the time our two sons were under ten years old so I got through it. It’s massively different now both sons are adults, no mortgage or debt that type of thing so it’s “easy for me to talk”.
Looking back though I really wish I’d known about emotional barriers and put them up a long time ago, would have saved a lot of heartache and so much else.
Here’s a thought for you. Your wife could well be bringing up things from the past, her “resentment”, to attack you and keep you on the defensive. While you are on the defensive you are looking at your behaviour and it takes the focus off of hers. You are giving so much and getting very little back.
Here’s a question for you. Have you considered “failure” as an option? Failure in that you are never going to get what you need from your wife. If you haven’t maybe it’ll be a good thing to spend some time thinking on. What happens if you never get what you need let alone want? Do you stay? If you do what does your life look like in the future? If you leave, what does your life look like in the future?
Last edited by AFEH; 06-18-2010 at 02:41 AM.