View Full Version : Male lack of emotional involvement.


Free to Fly
01-19-17, 12:31 AM
Not just a comment thrown out in a fight, but looking seriously at what I am doing to the woman I think I love. Has anyone with ADD read this book and what did you think?

Stop Hurting the Woman You Love: Breaking the Cycle of Abusive Behavior

sarahsweets
01-19-17, 05:08 AM
Are you abusing her?

Free to Fly
01-19-17, 11:24 PM
Yes, non-physical. I didn't really get it, whatever searching I tried before was not helpful, but I found an on-line assessment and scored much higher than I ever thought possible. Then I found an article on Psychology Today that really grabbed my attention.

Following is a quote that my wife could have written:

If you answered yes to any of the above, here are some things that your wife or girlfriend probably says about you:
•He's so moody.
•He doesn't see or hear me.
•I feel like I'm his possession.
•I can't be myself; I have to think, feel, and behave the way he wants.
•Nothing I do is good enough.
•I feel like I'm walking on eggshells.


I never thought I was doing this to her, even though I was hearing those words in our discussions.

Author info:

Steven Stosny, Ph.D.

Anger in the Age of Entitlement

Don't know if relationship can be healed. Not an easy fix, some information I have read strongly suggests stepping away, and repair can take decades.

dvdnvwls
01-20-17, 02:04 AM
Sometimes, "walking on eggshells" is code for "He's truly abusive and any little thing will set him off". Other times, the comment about eggshells really means "He has ADHD, I don't understand his behaviour, and I've decided not to bother trying - I'll just blame everything on him, because seriously I don't have time to get to know the person I'm in a relationship with".

Don't ask me how I know this. :(

icantbelive93
01-20-17, 05:39 AM
Have you thought about seeing a therapist? It's great that you're able to admit your wrongs and try and change for the better. That takes strength. I don't really know what to say but I hope it works out for you and your wife.

kilted_scotsman
01-20-17, 06:42 AM
Seeing a therapist is a good idea....

The reason is that the relational behaviours in a relationship are "co-created" by the people in that relationship.... once people are in a relationship there's a feedback process that is positive, negative or neutral for particular behaviours.

we get into relationships where people have complementary/interlocking "ways of being" in relationship. In some forms of psychotherapy these subconscious relational behaviour patterns are called "Games".

A good therapist will help you work out what your "Games" are..... everybody has them....it's not something pathological. Knowing one's own preferred games is an important step toward true intimacy with people...... because one is aware of when one is falling back into the pattern and can do something about it.

Drewbacca
01-20-17, 08:24 PM
I wouldn't put too much stock into an online psych quiz until you talk to a therapist. Print out the list of questions and discuss your behavior with a professional, so that you can objectively determine if you have any unhealthy behavior that needs to be addressed. Lots of relatively healthy relationships can develop things like walking on eggshells and feeling like you can't be yourself... and the underlying problem could be poor communication habits and things that can easily be unlearned behaviors with proper guidance.

Also, you're in Seattle... have you looked into any of Dr. Gottman's work on relationships at UW?

Little Nut
01-21-17, 01:51 PM
Never read it.

ToneTone
01-22-17, 02:35 PM
I'll echo others: if you really wanna get on top of this issue of your behavior, find a really good therapist.

Now I'm going to back up one step. Make sure this is someone you WANT to be with. One thing I learned through years of experience is that I used to treat partners poorly because I really didn't want to be with them. Now that sounds nuts, I know ... and yes it is ... But for some reason, I used to date people I thought I SHOULD date ... or I felt I didn't have a choice about dating.

Big mistake.

I have been on both sides of this problem, and the truth is ... if we don't REALLY want to be with someone, it is nearly impossible to treat them well. Our ambivalence will come out in all sorts of little nasty, unpleasant ways. And again, I've been on both ends of this.

One of my favorite writers on relationships has this phrase ... If the answer to whether we want to date someone isn't a loud, visceral, primitive "F ... YES!" ... then really the answer is no and we ought to move on ...By the same token, if the other person's reaction to wanting to date us isn't an "F ... YES!:" ... then we also should move on ....because they will struggle to treat us well.

Don't know if this applies to you. But thought I would put this out there. One way my ADHD impaired me was in basic social skills, and this was one of those social skills I was slow in picking up on: it's OK--and indeed it is the KIND thing to do ... to not date someone we're not positively crazy about ... and there is no faking it. You can't talk yourself into it.

Good luck.

Tone

aeon
01-22-17, 02:50 PM
I have been on both sides of this problem, and the truth is ... if we don't REALLY want to be with someone, it is nearly impossible to treat them well. Our ambivalence will come out in all sorts of little nasty, unpleasant ways. And again, I've been on both ends of this.

One of my favorite writers on relationships has this phrase ... If the answer to whether we want to date someone isn't a loud, visceral, primitive "F ... YES!" ... then really the answer is no and we ought to move on ...By the same token, if the other person's reaction to wanting to date us isn't an "F ... YES!:" ... then we also should move on ....because they will struggle to treat us well.

So true, so true.

It seems a simple truth, but if you don't learn it early, you learn it eventually after some number of mis-steps and heartache.


Never Settle,
Ian

Free to Fly
01-22-17, 03:59 PM
Have you thought about seeing a therapist? It's great that you're able to admit your wrongs and try and change for the better. That takes strength. I don't really know what to say but I hope it works out for you and your wife.

I cancelled my appointments, the issue of my spending money and her not seeing results became a huge bone of contention in our last blowup.

Free to Fly
01-22-17, 04:02 PM
Seeing a therapist is a good idea....

The reason is that the relational behaviours in a relationship are "co-created" by the people in that relationship.... once people are in a relationship there's a feedback process that is positive, negative or neutral for particular behaviours.

we get into relationships where people have complementary/interlocking "ways of being" in relationship. In some forms of psychotherapy these subconscious relational behaviour patterns are called "Games".

A good therapist will help you work out what your "Games" are..... everybody has them....it's not something pathological. Knowing one's own preferred games is an important step toward true intimacy with people...... because one is aware of when one is falling back into the pattern and can do something about it.

If I understand the gist of the comment, it would involve both people going. No matter how hard I try, I cannot accurately fill in her side.

Free to Fly
01-22-17, 04:08 PM
I wouldn't put too much stock into an online psych quiz until you talk to a therapist. Print out the list of questions and discuss your behavior with a professional, so that you can objectively determine if you have any unhealthy behavior that needs to be addressed. Lots of relatively healthy relationships can develop things like walking on eggshells and feeling like you can't be yourself... and the underlying problem could be poor communication habits and things that can easily be unlearned behaviors with proper guidance.

Also, you're in Seattle... have you looked into any of Dr. Gottman's work on relationships at UW?

Agreed, there is a reason for the letters behind a persons name on the door. However, to see comments in the review that she could have written, was eye opening. It wasn't the only place I looked, and we went thru an assessment together, online, sitting side by side. That too was very descriptive and informative. If we stay together, I will restart with my therapist.

And I am very familiar with the 4 Horsemen, they visit here often, sadly.

dvdnvwls
01-22-17, 11:42 PM
A partner whose expectations include a non-impaired level of progress from a person dealing with an impairment...

Think about that for a second or two.

Free to Fly
01-23-17, 01:23 AM
A partner whose expectations include a non-impaired level of progress from a person dealing with an impairment...

Think about that for a second or two.

I cannot fault her for not being involved with me anymore.

Free to Fly
01-30-17, 12:31 AM
And we are taking some small steps towards each other. I ask for prayers, if you pray, and good thoughts at the very least. I have learned some rather unpleasant things about my self in the past week. Huge perspective adjustment, I am not always the good guy I make myself out to be. Props to her for not letting me stay in my bubble.

sarahsweets
01-30-17, 05:14 AM
And we are taking some small steps towards each other. I ask for prayers, if you pray, and good thoughts at the very least. I have learned some rather unpleasant things about my self in the past week. Huge perspective adjustment, I am not always the good guy I make myself out to be. Props to her for not letting me stay in my bubble.

Make sure that this new knowledge doesnt turn in self loathing.
Try putting the bat down- youve beaten yourself up enough already.

Free to Fly
02-04-17, 05:41 PM
Well said Ms. Sarah, I intend to maintain a positive perspective.

Lloyd_
02-19-17, 03:42 AM
Not just a comment thrown out in a fight, but looking seriously at what I am doing to the woman I think I love. Has anyone with ADD read this book and what did you think?

Stop Hurting the Woman You Love: Breaking the Cycle of Abusive Behavior

Start treating her like a princess and see how long the relationship will then last. ;)

Nelson1967
02-23-17, 08:58 PM
Time u rid him he will not change ever at u need to read why does he do that and why dad hurts mom remember hurt people hurt others it will only get worse
Mine gave me a TBI so now I'm on SSI thanks to his selfish actions and our kids ditched him too one reaps what they sow

Free to Fly
02-27-17, 01:51 AM
Start treating her like a princess and see how long the relationship will then last. ;)

If something that simple would make a difference, we wouldn't be on the verge of being done. She doesn't have to work, I pay for trips she may want to take, I support her charities, and although we are not flush right now, we aren't hurting for $$$. Problem being that all this was done under my rules. Go read the second (I think) post in this thread, I am in an educational and transitional phase right now. Hard for her to see a way out of this, and it is reasonable based on what I am reading.

Free to Fly
02-27-17, 01:53 AM
Time u rid him he will not change ever at u need to read why does he do that and why dad hurts mom remember hurt people hurt others it will only get worse
Mine gave me a TBI so now I'm on SSI thanks to his selfish actions and our kids ditched him too one reaps what they sow
What the ....?

sarahsweets
02-27-17, 07:16 AM
:umm1:What the ....?

20thcenturyfox
02-27-17, 01:26 PM
Start treating her like a princess and see how long the relationship will then last. ;)

If something that simple would make a difference, we wouldn't be on the verge of being done. She doesn't have to work, I pay for trips she may want to take, I support her charities, and although we are not flush right now, we aren't hurting for $$$. Problem being that all this was done under my rules. Go read the second (I think) post in this thread, I am in an educational and transitional phase right now. Hard for her to see a way out of this, and it is reasonable based on what I am reading.

Think again. Being attentive, appreciative and emotionally generous will cost you more but will likely have a bigger payoff in the quality of your relationship. If she is a quality woman and a compatible partner, can you really not spare a few minutes every day to listen, empathize and encourage and compliment her?

Free to Fly
02-28-17, 01:19 AM
Think again. Being attentive, appreciative and emotionally generous will cost you more but will likely have a bigger payoff in the quality of your relationship. If she is a quality woman and a compatible partner, can you really not spare a few minutes every day to listen, empathize and encourage and compliment her?

Yes, certainly....but the trust has been broken....what I missed for so long...and what was totally inappropriate on my part....was all the 'good' things I did were designed to put her in the place I wanted. For lack of a better description, she was a bird in a gilded cage. So, for years, I was the good guy, and she was 'not good' if she didn't appreciate everything I did.

What I am learning, is that there was a hidden cost to everything I did, and that has been debilitating to her personal worth.

How can she trust me now to be doing the right thing, to value her as an individual, to be empathetic, sympathetic, and supportive, when it looks like what I was doing before?

dvdnvwls
02-28-17, 05:52 AM
OK... I'm pretty confused by what you've written in this thread... It sounds "fishy" to me.

Not that I think you're lying or anything - far from it. But I'm starting to think that you may have been carefully trained by her to view not just ADHD but all difficulties in the relationship as moral failings, all of them conveniently attributed to you alone. You sound like you're spouting that line right now, and I'm not convinced by it at all.

I may be drastically wrong, and if I am then I apologize in advance.

Free to Fly
02-28-17, 08:57 AM
OK... I'm pretty confused by what you've written in this thread... It sounds "fishy" to me.

Not that I think you're lying or anything - far from it. But I'm starting to think that you may have been carefully trained by her to view not just ADHD but all difficulties in the relationship as moral failings, all of them conveniently attributed to you alone. You sound like you're spouting that line right now, and I'm not convinced by it at all.

I may be drastically wrong, and if I am then I apologize in advance.


Check out the book I referenced, I would have, and did maintain that thinking, but my perspective was off. Not whacking myself over the head, just reading and learning.

Free to Fly
03-03-17, 11:12 PM
I am giving a one sided view of our situation. It would be grossly unfair to her to be critical in a forum she doesn't visit. To clarify, we are in this mess because of behaviors on the part of both of us. She is very open about her contribution.

I think what may be unique about us is that when we are not fighting, we are a good team. We can and have, handled some situations that lesser folks might crumble under.

I appreciate that I can come here, vent a bit, and get some perspective, and dive back in. I am usually the one to encourage folks, and it is nice to be on the receiving end.