Interesting article…. Made me think…John Gottman calls it stonewalling and he says it is one of the four horsemen. The four horsemen are four things that he sees in relationships that are indicators that these couples are risk of not staying married. Those four horsemen are stonewalling, criticism, contempt and defensiveness. I am guilty of stonewalling, because I don’t like to fight and hate conflict, so I become silent and stew about it. I need to work on that. I think I do the others pretty well, I should ask W he would know. 🙂
I have read a couple of books lately…one called “When Good People Have Affairs” the other called “Will he Really Leave Her for Me.” I am going to post a blog on each, but I want to address one part in the book “When Good People Have Affairs” where she talks about the 17 different types of affairs. I am not married. I am single. I am not a married person having an affair, I am the third leg of the affair. The book is written for the married person having an affair. I purchased it after looking at a sample on Amazon. After I got half way through the first chapter I realized that it wasn’t written for my particular situation, but nonetheless I kept reading. It was almost like looking into my man’s head (we’ll call him W). The author was saying things that I have heard W say. I was starting to see the affair through his eyes and not just my own. For the first time I understood what W was going through on his end. I immediately recommended he read this book. I felt it would be good for him to gain some perspective. He agreed, but didn’t purchase it right away.
One day after some disagreements between us and many frustrated texts going back and forth I get a text…It’s a picture of him holding the book.
So…He begins reading the book. He tells me it has been eye-opening and he is getting a lot out of it. He gets to the part about the types of affairs and he tells me he has narrowed it down to three (you can have one type of affair or a combination of affairs). The three are un-met needs, see-if, and trading-up affair. The un-met needs not being desired, not feeling loved, feeling ignored and not important. The see-if…to see if he is desirable, he is lovable, he can be happy in a relationship. The trading-up well…I don’t know her, but I’m sure he is looking at her through the lens of hurt, anger, and frustration.
As he is talking about how his needs aren’t being met at home, and how I fill those needs that haven’t been met in years…I had an ah-ha moment…What about my needs? My needs are definitely not being met in this relationship. Sure, he meets many needs, but not nearly all of them. My need for a full relationship, where I am a priority. My need to have a companion by my side. My need to feel loved and important. My need to have a family. What exactly do I get out of this? I have been meeting his needs, but he hasn’t been concerned about my needs. I wonder if his wife feels/felt that way. I wonder if this is why she appears to have given up.
Relationships are like a bank account. If somebody always makes withdraws, and deposits aren’t made, there is nothing left to give them. Perhaps that is what has happened in his marriage. I know it is taking a toll on me.
I have been so caught up in trying to meet his needs, I have in turn neglected my own, and have given him permission to do so as well.
At times he seems so starved for love and affection. Like a man who has been in desert without water for so long, and I am his water. He drinks from me, but if he is not careful to put some water back into the well, it will dry up.
I’m feeling sad today, but I know this will pass.