"Broadly speaking, working on important things typically requires having good skills for tolerating uncomfortable emotions." This is from an article about work that I just read. It makes me think of my ex, who strenuously avoids uncomfortable emotions. Some important things he didn't work on because of avoiding emotions included looking for jobs, talking about financial issues, and engaging in therapy for ADHD and other mental disorders.
one reason ADHD results in so much relationship difficulty
Submitted by PoisonIvy on 07/12/2018.
My H is the same way
Submitted by Brindle on
Absolutely yes to what you said (with the caveat of job-related stuff for my H).
So much so that even if he has deeply wounded someone and they say so, he cannot even deal with it. He won’t admit he’s done wrong, he won’t express sorrow that they are hurt, he won’t do anything except push it away. He sometimes even says in the middle of that conversation that he hates emotions and doesn’t want to deal with them. He can only tolerate good emotions. Which plays out in our family like he’s the only one who can be angry. He seems to be stuck at the emotional level of, say, a 10 year old in some ways because he’s never worked at developing any emotional skills.
He is especially hard on our sons if they cry. I’ve taught them that crying is ok. We are working on them learning self-control and knowing that adults of both genders don’t need to cry about everything, but that crying is a normal human thing when the situation warrants it.
H is “working on getting himself officially diagnosed” but so far, his plan is to pop a pill and that’s it. I seriously doubt he will ever do more than that because therapy means facing his problems and solving them himself. I shared with him how hard his behavior is on our relationship, and I even gave him Melissa’s book about the effect on marriage. He won’t read it, ever, I truly believe. It’s too risky to figure out the damage he has done. So why read it at all? Just keep avoiding and telling me that the real problem is that *I* am too distant.
Combine that with his inability to remember events from our past, and I will never get emotional closure from him. Actually, since he avoids the emotion, maybe that’s part of why he can’t remember. He wants to forget and so pushes it out. Either way, I think there is no hope for closeness.
Submitted by jennalemone on
"So much so that even if he has deeply wounded someone and they say so, he cannot even deal with it. He won’t admit he’s done wrong, he won’t express sorrow that they are hurt, he won’t do anything except push it away."
Jenna & brindle....
Submitted by c ur self on
That's part of it....My wife isn't comfortable (at all) asking for forgiveness....(I may get a simple sorry from another room or door way, but, never a look in my eyes heart felt apology, that expresses true repentance, and creates intimacy and trust)
I'm not sure why there is no (or limited) ability to repent and feel sorrow about their actions, and then express it....I know pride can cause it, but, it seems like its deeper with some minds...Brindle is correct (IMO) It's almost impossible to get closure, when avoidance and and justification is all you get from them....Indifference is the opposite of love....My wife has some wonderful Christian lady friends who have very healthy marriage relationships...And she will go to breakfast with them at least once a week...But she has never shown me she has any desire to be like them....(healthy marital attachment)
To me it all comes down to one thing (add or not)....Ownership!....Without ownership, denial, blame, avoidance, sarcasm etc...etc...will be a person's go to....(IMO)..It takes a heart that can be touched...And a heart that can be touched is usually one that is being tenderized by the Holy Spirit.....
If a person can openly sin against another one w/ no remorse, that person probably isn't someone you want to marry...Or even be around....
Submitted by vabeachgal on
Same to all of you. My ex seemed to only want positive emotions and had zero tolerance for anything negative. Aaannnddd... he viewed most "regular" problem solving conversations as negative.
Dr. Barkley's videos describe the slower growth curve regarding maturity. We all know the importance of emotional maturity and intelligence. It's critical for getting on in life. It makes sense that ADD'ers may have trouble developing emotional maturity. My children are now 20 and 23. I realized two years ago that they are more mature than my ex on many levels and have now surpassed him on many more.
Be careful about wanting "closure". I thought I wanted it (real apology) until I sort of got one and I no longer cared. I haven't posted much about this, but it's worth figuring out how you can get closure on your own, without him. It's important.
Anyway, YES. So much of my ex's behavior and reactions had to do with avoiding negative emotions. In fact, I realize that our marriage was pretty darn good until I expected a partner and things got "negative". I think it made him feel bad about himself and inadequate and he shut down... a long, long time ago.
Yes, many many very important things were neglected or avoided because they were uncomfortable. I once described the difference to him. If I feel uncomfortable in some way, I try to figure out why and change it and see what I can do to make sure it won't happen again. Versus avoidance..... I'm not holier than thou, it's just that my experience was that avoidance comes back and bites me in the ass and I don't like that.
How does a person get closure
Submitted by Libby on
How does a person get closure on their own? Especially if you are still in the muck of it all.
I had to learn to move on
Submitted by vabeachgal on
I had to learn to move on without closure and accept that this is who he is and that it didn't have a lot to do with me. It's an imperfect process. I'm still working on it. I had to accept that there would never be a recognition that his actions affected me and that I was a bit of a non-entity in his mind. When I finally did receive an apology and an inkling that he recognized that he had caused damage and their were consequences, I no longer needed that validation. Of course, I will point out, that he didn't come to that realization until the consequences also negatively impacted him in a way that could no longer be ignored. I don't have specific advice because it's individual to each person, I think. I googled something like "when you don't get an apology" and went from there. There were a few passages that I found that I actually carried around in my purse and reviewed each morning. The primary reminder I needed was that it had nothing to do with me. That was important to me because I had internalized all of the rejection and neglect to the point where I felt unlovable and undesirable. I felt like something was wrong with me because this person who was supposed to care for me couldn't and it seemed like that wasn't the case for the rest of the world. I mean, there are so many happy couples and so many adored women.... I'm not advising my way for everyone because at the end, it meant a level of emotional separation that was death to the marriage. Even now, after the divorce, it's tough.
I'm going to add that a lot of my angst and need for my ex to realize that he hurt me is because I wanted him to validate that I was the wronged party. That wasn't healthy. I was wronged in many ways but it didn't need to define me and I didn't need him to admit it either. I just needed to accept it as part of my history. He didn't see what was wrong or what was happening until our son got older and more aware and he could see that our son was seeing him through different eyes. He didn't see it until I could pin him down with irrefutable proof. Anything other than that was just blah blah blah on my part. He wouldn't admit he had done some unpleasant things until that point - I could prove it and he could see that others (friends and family also) could see it.
I had a lot of the same feelings as vabeachgal...
Submitted by CaliforniaGirl on
I felt abandoned, rejected, not good enough... I had to really work hard to recover from all the insults, blame, criticism, screaming anger, disregard, dismissal of my feelings and needs.... and so forth.
It may seem cliche but I have found that time has helped me see that the issue was not me... Since I have remained in touch with some of my ex's family members, I know for a fact that the state of his world has not changed. When we split up he screamed at me that he was going to go get everything done ... "you'll see!!!" ....And yet, he is still married, his adult children are still living at home, the house is still a mess, he hasn't addressed his healthcare and it's a pretty solid bet that his finances are not resolved either... Instead he is off running around at weekend music festivals and taking trips and spending money and over-drinking ...same as he ever was.. just with a different woman in his company. That woman would have been me, had I continued to accept the behavior, and we still would have been stuck in the same spot, now two years later.
He texted a friend of mine the other day with all kinds of grandiose ideas about how he is "thinking of doing this and that"... which will likely not get done. JUST like none of them ever got done when he was with me. When the friend asked him "Is your divorce done yet?"... the same old parade of excuses began... JUST like he did when he was with me.
And all around me other people have accomplished so much... Purchased new homes, remodeled old ones, gotten married, gotten divorced, had major surgery and recovered, changed jobs... you name it. I've even met and began dating someone else.. who is where he says he's going to be and does what he says he's going to do. Life keeps moving forward and change keeps happening ...for others. Not my ex.
For me, I think removing my emotions from it all (which is no easy feat) and looking at the facts was key in helping me get that closure.
I hope that helps.
This is a very important aspect of life for so many PI...
Submitted by c ur self on
The fear of sensitive conversations for one mind, that is easily discussed for a another.
I think so many arguments come about in our marital relationships because of this one aspect you've pointed out.....When my wife is in avoidance mode about something that I think should be open between us, and easily discussed...Income/Salaries, and spending habits or two good examples here....
What has happened in these situations with us in the past is the open partner (myself) see's this as secrets and hiding. When the other person (her) turns avoidant and dismissive of what I view as simple sharing between husband and wife....Things that keep us out of the dark, and on the same page....
But so many do not trust their emotions when difference's are identified....But it's a catch 22...(IMO)...Because the huge difference between the two realities, creates its own negative emotion...Especially if I press for openness and full discloser....
This is one of those things I've learned to accept to avoid conflict....It's also one of the things that has caused me to set boundaries that limit sharing of finances or bank accounts....If my spouse is so protective of her independent privacy with in our marital relationship...(No matter why)...Then wisdom tells me to not trust my well being to a person who needs to hide and protect important information that we should both be privy to....It's not just one person's life that is effected....This is a perfect example of one of the things that drive us apart, and hinders the ability to have a healthy attachment....
The question I have is why the uncomfortable emotions?? Usually you don't have to do anything but observe their habits to get that question answered....Shame can make us all emotionally uncomfortable....adhd or not...
Fear of uncomfortable emotions
Submitted by dedelight4 on
Yep, this fear seems to be a massive issue with many folks. Dealing with emotions is not always pleasant, but avoiding them can be disastrous.
DH has always prided himself by saying "I'm not an emotional person". This makes me laugh because his first "go to" is always anger/frustration, which IS an emotion. He gets defensive immediately, and even though I've been patient a LOT with it, lately, I'm not as patient any more. It's hard when the spouse stays in denial about their symptoms, and the fear they have keeps them in denial.
Most of the non spouses here would be thrilled, (I think) if their ADHD spouse could even take a chance at dropping the wall of fear and denial for a time, so that hopefully some breakthroughs could take place. But, how to get to that point? Dont know yet. So, its up to the non spouse to change what we can, disengage, or whatever, to live in a lopsided world.
I want DH to understand his ADHD symptoms SO bad, but I can't make him sledgehammer the wall. He has to do it. And so much of it is fear of what he will find. I see it as a brave new world, filled with more possibilities, and gaining strength instead of feigning strength. Anyway.
Submitted by c ur self on
Denial comes about because of the pain of true self reflection....Our true selves (the fleshly state) can make cowards out of us all....So we give ourselves a lollipop or put a band-aid on it, (self help talks, how to books, etc) until it happens again....Only truth can free us...But truth has to go where the pain lives, expose it, and wash away the shame and hurt of it....Only then can the death grip of denial be released....
Truth is a person...