men and emotions

A place to help from being limerent again and how to cope with limerence in future relationships.
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L-F
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men and emotions

Post by L-F »

A new direction and one that doesn't feel comfortable.

SO and I have what appears the perfect relationship. And in most part, it is. Respect, kindness, care and love. Every phone call, every text, every time someone leaves the house or returns, a "I love you" is shared and sealed with a kiss. This of course started when we were young and deep in NRE, but has been our norm for the past 30 years.

When hit with LE, I shared this with SO out of respect. LE was a godsend in a way. It highlighted our codependency. It highlighted my childhood wounds. It highlighted many things.

But. Even though out of the fog, and dare I say it, entering the forgiveness zone (relating to childhood trauma), SO and I are entering what appears to be a non-codependent zone. One where we are learning to be authentic. And here is the part I'm uncomfortable with.

Yesterday SO has a thought 'FUCK! I LOVE L-F!' (he shared his aha moment with me when he came home), and this is where I'm not entirely sure I'm comfortable with listening to, or engaging in, his emotions. I felt lost for words and didn't know how to respond. He then went on to say that he felt pleased he was going on holiday with me. Me! He felt pleased and proud I was going to be by his side.

This of course is nice to hear. My question to the guys is, how do I handle a man's emotions who has never been emotionally open or available? I'm baffled and kinda want to stick my head in the sand but know that it isn't going to help the situation.
"LF, why do you weep for the inner child of your abusers?"
"Because I'm not like them."
JohnDeux
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Re: men and emotions

Post by JohnDeux »

L-F wrote: Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:01 am My question to the guys is, how do I handle a man's emotions who has never been emotionally open or available? I'm baffled and kinda want to stick my head in the sand but know that it isn't going to help the situation.
HA!....What a great thread to start here!

I'll start by saying something that will chafe with many....I cringe when I'm around those whose phone calls always end with "I love you....!". Now, I can trace this back to many things, including a childhood where that phrase was heard uttered in our home....oh, maybe....NEVER! (I'm serious!) Now suddenly with the Reaper knocking at my father's door, he's all "I love you...." at the end of phone calls. (I'm trying to reciprocate most times...but...) But I recall getting that under-ripe plum sensation in the mouth when he was all lovey-dovey with his new wife and it was all "I love you.."s after each phone call between them. Seems they dropped that interaction after about 10 years and the more recent 10 years have tended to replicate the bitter disappointment of his first marriage to our mother. Big friggin' surprise. Main point: If it works for you, who am I to complain? But it seems to denigrate the sentiment when it gets over used. Just my humble and hot-headed opinion.... (rant over).

The question now you asked: "How do I handle SO's new found voice for his emotions?" In many ways, be glad he's found it. But the downside is that if you chose him more for his silent, manly-man character, this will be a shock to both of you. His expressions at times may appear to be that of a 5-year old because he's having to learn emotional discourse for the first time. And even though you've had kids, you've never had to approach 5-year old discourse coming out of a decades-old partner. It's new territory it seems. It actually seems like both you and SO have made it over the high mountain pass.....I think I join many who see becoming that 5-year old emotionally-bursting geezer as too risky or too embarrassing to reveal. It will depend much on the desires, maturity, and acceptance of one's partner....something you and SO can possibly be thankful that you have in each other. So I guess my answer is to be prepared to maybe field some of his comments like you would with that of a 5-year old....not hiding your own contrasting view at times, but also showing some acceptance at his newly expressive self. If you feel he was being sincere with his effusiveness over the up-coming vacation, just express in some way "I'm glad you feel that way!.....I have not seen this side of you before, but I'm really glad that is what you are feeling....". As an aside, my SO has flatly stated that she would have run at full speed AWAY from any man who was emotionally open when she was choosing a partner....and now realizes that in many ways, she's paying the price for that side of her own brokenness. Hope things keep improving L-F and that your vacation is enjoyable!...
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain...."~ The Wizard of Oz
Havb
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Re: men and emotions

Post by Havb »

L-F, girl, what a problem, no, LoL? An emotionally available man! Try to let yourself bask in it if at all possible. I have a man who thinks that too of me, and I continually resist it. It can be overwhelming. But you deserve every bit of it! @};-
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” -Samuel Beckett

There is always more work to be done.
mamasita
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Re: men and emotions

Post by mamasita »

L-F, I can so relate! My DH was unavailable emotionally for many years and I was used to it...my father was very much the same unless he was mad. I welcomed the rare moments of raw emotion from DH because he was being real and authentic, something I didn't trust out of most people.

Now, many years later, he is ALWAYS open, showing his vulnerabilities, fears, anxiety, wounds. And (surprised me too), I get uncomfortable at times with it. It's too much. I feel like I have to reciprocate with just as deep or loving words, whether I feel it or not. So I think the problem is (again) with me, feeling like I am obligated to respond certain ways. I am just barely getting comfortable with silence or sometimes responses to his loving words in kind. What do you know, the thing all women want, I have, and I don't always want it. :-?? It goes back to being comfortable with me. Take me or leave me, and he always chooses to take me. Even though he will readily say that I seem like I'm running from him at times. (I'm not)
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David
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Re: men and emotions

Post by David »

I have many and mixed thoughts and feelings :)) on this subject. Im going to sleep on this and post more in the morning.
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mamasita
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Re: men and emotions

Post by mamasita »

David wrote: Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:22 pm I have many and mixed thoughts and feelings :)) on this subject. Im going to sleep on this and post more in the morning.
I can only imagine /:) :))
CrushedSO
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Re: men and emotions

Post by CrushedSO »

Are you uncomfortable in him sharing emotions, or just flattering emotions like “I LOVE L_F SO MUCH”?

If it’s the former, I have no clue. The common denominator for women in LTRs is the complaint of their male spouse being emotionally unvailable (that was me with SO 100%, she wanted emotional closeness and connection, so did I, but it was unbeknownst to me). Do women want some emotional connection, but not too much? I don’t know, I’m not a woman. As a man it does feel really good to be emotionally open and available with SO. We each get to share. To me, it would be a huge step backwards if SO said to me that she is uncomfortable with me sharing my emotions all the time. It took a long time and a lot of work to get to where we are and if I can’t share it with her, who am I to share it with? I guess we’d have to try to figure out what part of it makes her uncomfortable.

If it’s the latter I’d say it probably has to do with a self-worth thing. Do you feel worthy of that love? I know you’ve done a ton of work L_F so I’m just throwing it out there.

Really interesting thread!
crushed1234
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Re: men and emotions

Post by crushed1234 »

For me, I’d say it’s the opposite. Once SO and I started to be emotionally available to one another we have gotten so much closer. I always had this notion that SO was so strong, whereas after 14 years together I’ve finally got to see the sensitive side of him. But he’s NOT a pushover. He never let me walk all over him before and wouldn’t let me do it now. Just as I would not let him walk all over me. Could it be that it’s your narc side is miss interoperating him opening up emotionally for weakness? I know SO and I were both hugely triggered by the poster Steven for not asserting himself – totally a narc trait we both have.

With LO, he was very vulnerable with me. He showed sides to me no one else got to see, making me feel even more special. Here’s this accomplished man who’s got this perfect life on the outside, in tears in front of me pouring his heart out. It also gave me a sense of power – I knew I had him wrapped around my finger (and I was equally wrapped around his). Oh man, what a shit show that was…
Havb
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Re: men and emotions

Post by Havb »

Men do emote so differently though, so true. My husband lost his parents within six weeks of each other this summer, and I saw him shed only a few tears! Hardly any for his Dad, a few more for his Mom. He and I went for long walks this summer during which we talked about it, and the heaving sobs, the heavy grief—just not there! He had individuated well from his parents—they provided the appropriate distance for him to do this, and I think he was ready. I suspect I will be a mess, for my relations with my parents continue to be a burden.
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” -Samuel Beckett

There is always more work to be done.
L-F
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Re: men and emotions

Post by L-F »

I don't mind the 'I love you'... its what we've always said. And its what we've felt or known even without the 'i love you'. For example, if I go away with the girls, or vice versa, we don't contact each other. No big deal, we know we're loved. We also say it to the boys because its a normal part of our day. But here is the real reason we say it in every call, departure, etc... because WE WANT THOSE WORDS TO BE THE LAST WORDS SPOKEN SHOULD ONE OF US DROPS DEAD OR IS KILLED :) we say 'i love you' to create a memory of positive last moments, though we do actually really love each other.

He's happy so I'm happy :)
Last edited by L-F on Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
"LF, why do you weep for the inner child of your abusers?"
"Because I'm not like them."
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