I have a huge, monstrous, inescapable need to be understood. It is not a wish or a desire – it is a need. Sadly, I am struggling with this constantly. As an abuse survivor, yes certainly, but I think mainly just as a human, and hugely as a wife.
Here’s a great blog post I found http://sleightmind.com/2007/04/19/our-need-to-be-understood/
My marriage has been distant from the start – from my point of view not his – since I was not real when I got married. No, I was not somehow fictional or imaginary, but I was still under my abuser’s power at that point and acting out of fear and survival, and honestly not over a previous relationship. I married as an escape, searching for security. I feel I had no business getting married so young and fragile, before I knew myself, or anything about love. Hubby knows all this now. But I don’t think he really understands.
My husband loves me. I love him. That part is true. But we don’t understand each other, and I don’t feel a satisfying emotional connection to him. I’m grateful for him. I appreciate all he does. The thing that bothers me most here, is that Hubby has no NEED for me to understand him. It is infuriating to me. Boggles my mind. See, I’m an analyst – partly from past abuse and partly from just who I am. I do something – I analyze it. I feel something – I analyze it. I experience something – I must analyze it. I must understand.
Hubby seems tired of this analytical process. He never initiates it, never asks questions, but is always “willing” to do it. His willingness seems forced to me, like he is also willing to have a cavity filled by the dentist, and sits patiently until the process is complete. He is unable to analyze without judging or feeling judged. I can’t explain why I need to go over every minute of my life in instant replay, to see cause/effect, to see pros/cons, to categorize and process. I’m much better at living in the moment, but I still have this need to relive those moments, either in writing or discussion. I can do it alone in my thoughts, but then well, I am alone in my thoughts, and we all know it is not healthy to stay there too long. And so enters the feeling of disconnect, and the need to be understood by Hubby.
I don’t know how to get past this.
I forced Hubby through a session of analysis last night, and feel less understood than ever. I wanted to discuss a recent family event, and put everything into place. I am still following the 3 day rule for fighting fairly. He brought up times over the past few months when I was nasty to him. He is not telling me when he feels hurt, because he thinks he can’t add to my pain. He doesn’t understand that my biggest source of pain right now is feeling isolated, and that I can feels his walls of apathy. He is confused and hurting, and so am I.
I told him that I feel more understood by many random bloggers that write and comment. He showed me some anger, and revealed that he is jealous of my blogging, and hates that I talk to everyone here more than him. Sigh. He has been invited to this blog. He chooses not to read it, and rarely responds to any of it, other than “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Well, I’ve had enough of him feeling sorry. Yes, my childhood sucked, and yes, I still have pain from it. But offering me sympathy alone will not get me closer to the authentic me I am trying to be.
I’m so sad to be back in this place, after being so hopeful and making so much progress. Our family is much more peaceful than before I rocked the boat. Anger still comes up too often, but it is not the first reaction any more. But those deep resentments seem to be in there on both sides. I think I have let go of mine, to give him the “fresh start” he asked for, but it seems he is still unable to even air his resentments of me. He thought he was protecting me, but learned to not be real to me, and we resent that. And what scares me most now, is that he does not seem to like the real me. The me that needs processing, analysis, emotional venting and closure. He doesn’t need that, and feels bothered and attacked by it. Is it enough to share that analytical part of me with bloggers alone? Can a marriage continue that way?
Now I’m not giving up, still in counseling, still fighting the good fight, but I do dream of a day when I don’t have to fight. I am concerned that Hubby has stopped his own counseling. That he only went to a few sessions to satisfy me and shut me up. I don’t feel like he wants to keep working on this, he is content to sweep it all under a rug and go on with no changes. Well, that won’t work for me.
How do I get what I need without annoying Hubby or putting too much pressure on him? It seems my needs should not be annoying. And yet he feels inadequate, which is not entirely incorrect, since I feel like I need more from him, but can’t for the life of me explain what it is, since it is not concrete, not something to do, but something I need him to feel, and I fear he may not have it in him. And I fear where else I may go to find what I need.
- The progression of “feelings”…arise, abide, dissolve….. (pocketperspectives.wordpress.com)