Need advice about emotional shutdown

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Neverstoplearning

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Need advice about emotional shutdown
« on: February 12, 2018, 04:41:58 PM »
My first post on a topic in the forum (not welcome mat), so here it goes...

With my husband 14 years, married 11, and we have one child together plus pets.  In other words, a fully invested life.  Over the past year in therapy and on my own I realized my husband has uNPD.  We went for four sessions of couples counseling Oct/Nov but it went poorly.  The therapist was enmeshed with my husband and obviously having transference issues of some kind with me.  Anyway, it was bad enough that even my husband saw it and was willing to change therapists.  We have been to one appointment with a new one who came highly recommended by my therapist.  I asked for years to go to couples counseling and my husband refused (it was always my problem, not his) so it was a big deal that he agreed to go.  Only after divorce was seriously discussed, of course.  I don't hold out much hope for couples counseling, but not sure what else to do besides just keep working on myself in therapy and books and here, of course.

Soooooo, Saturday my husband came in to talk to me and said when is our next therapy appointment?  It's on the calendar, so I knew this was just a ploy of some sort.  I went with the charade and told him let me check the calendar, I did, and gave him the date/time.  Then he really told me what it was about.  Something I said in therapy had really bothered him (keep in mind it had been 2 weeks) and he wanted to know what I had meant.  Turns out that was just a set up for the real conversation, which was a repeat of the same argument he's held onto for years.  You'd think I'd have seen this coming, but no.

Side note - ever since my realization of his PD I've been working really hard on myself and understanding my role in things.  I read "Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcisissist" and it was just excellent.  I always knew I was part of the drama but couldn't figure out my part until I read this book.  So as he's talking I'm thinking in my head to breathe, stay calm, don't JADE, don't become a victim/rescuer/persecutor, etc etc.  He kept talking in circles, blaming me, playing victim, etc., and I was doing pretty well. 

So to explain - his issue is our sex life, or lack thereof.  I apologize for the TMI here, but this is the deal.  Over the years as his abusive behavior (emotional and verbal, not physical) got worse and worse, it killed my desire for him.  At first I thought it was exhaustion after our child was born.  It was a tough time for a lot of reasons, some of which had to do with his utter lack of support.  Then it seemed hormonal, also related to stress and exhaustion.  Then it's like I shut down.  I just didn't feel like touching him or being touched.  He never once acknowledged or accepted his part in it.  Still doesn't.  Anyway, that is the gist of it.  I could go on and on and on... but this post would be a bigger book than it already is.

The argument this weekend was about this same thing again.  This time I told him I wasn't going to talk about it again, this is why we're in counseling, if he wants to get in sooner to our therapist he can call her and set up a time.  I reminded him that it's taken us YEARS to get here and it will be a while to get better, if it's even possible.  This was not acceptable to him.  He wants what he wants and he wants it now.  He had the nerve to tell me he's easy to figure out.  I actually laughed.  I told him that may be his experience of himself but it certainly isn't mine.

Here is my question - given how he's treated me I simply don't want him touching me and I feel very little need to touch him.  Is there anything I can do?  I know other people have dysfunctional relationships and have a "normal" sex life (whatever that means), but I just can't see how to do that.  For the record, all physical causes have been ruled out.  This is emotional.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 05:01:00 PM by Neverstoplearning »

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coyote

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Re: Advice about emotional shutdown
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 05:05:02 PM »
Neverstop,
I am glad you feel comfortable with posting. Your question is not new here and you will find many that are or have been in the same boat. I think often, especially with ladies, that the emotional part is huge when one talks of sexual attraction. I don't know if time and counselling will help or not. I know though that your H will need to be patient and the more he pushes you the more he runs the risk of pushing you away. I hope the counselor talks to him about this.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

“The only person educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”  Carl Rogers

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

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LightOrb

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Re: Advice about emotional shutdown
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 05:05:33 PM »
So to explain - his issue is our sex life, or lack thereof.  I apologize for the TMI here, but this is the deal.  Over the years as his abusive behavior (emotional and verbal, not physical) got worse and worse, it killed my desire for him.  At first I thought it was exhaustion after our child was born.  It was a tough time for a lot of reasons, some of which had to do with his utter lack of support.  Then it seemed hormonal, also related to stress and exhaustion.  Then it's like I shut down.  I just didn't feel like touching him or being touched.  He never once acknowledged or accepted his part in it.  Still doesn't.  Anyway, that is the gist of it.  I could go on and on and on... but this post would be a bigger book than it already is.

Here is my question - given how he's treated me I simply don't want him touching me and I feel very little need to touch him.  Is there anything I can do?  I know other people have dysfunctional relationships and have a "normal" sex life (whatever that means), but I just can't see how to do that.  For the record, all physical causes have been ruled out.  This is emotional.

Neverstoplearning, your post is the one I could have written 2 years ago, had I not been blind from the FOG. My ex was never verbally abusive, seemed to love me and worry about me, and yet

TMI
I was just a sex doll. He probably is a porn addict, so I got treated as if I was a thing. That killed my desire for him. All the things he did to me, without even worrying if I wanted to do them or they hurt. He wanted what he wanted and would pout and get sullen if I dared to say no. At the end, I said yes all the time but my desire was dead. But differently from your husband, he cheated on me with his cousin, so I left.

I don't think there is anything you can do. The problem is not you. To have a good sexual relationship you need to have a good relationship. Of course, it's possible to have good sex without nothing else, but 'nothing' is different from a history of 'abusive behavior'.

Are you in individual therapy? In my own experience, it was very damaging to keep having sex with him. Granted, it gave me time when he was quiet and peaceful, but at the same time he used everything against me, and called me horrible things at the end when he realized I was gone and I was going to tell his Mom what he did and with whom. I don't even know if I will be able to recover from all of this, and I am just 41. Don't push yourself into this.

:bighug:

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DancingRain

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Re: Need advice about emotional shutdown
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 07:14:21 PM »
Welcome to the forum!  Your shut-down is totally understandable.  I think many of us can relate.  My desire is completely gone, but I still do it, because it makes life easier than not.  (I’ve tested this theory). That being said, my npdh still finds time to complain.  My h would be easy to figure out too, if I was all over him all the time.  Even then, he wouldn’t be satisfied or fulfilled. 
Our sex life is his favorite topic of discussion.  My stomach sinks when he asks questions like “what do you think about sex?”  Last night, in the middle of the night he kept me up for over an hour literally sobbing about our sex life.  That continued into the morning. 
Like you h, he cannot see that his constant groping, crassness, and subsequent complaining, isn’t going to help him in this area.  Not to mention the damage done from all of the abuse done throughout the years.   

Can you bring it up first in counseling, and kind of lead the discussion?  Maybe it would be more productive that way.  Any chance you can talk the the T on your own?  Is he/she aware of your husbands issues?

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LightOrb

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Re: Need advice about emotional shutdown
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 07:55:11 PM »
My h would be easy to figure out too, if I was all over him all the time.  Even then, he wouldn’t be satisfied or fulfilled.

Because it's never about the sex anyway. In the beginning of our relationship I was all over him. I wanted to know what to do to satisfy him. And you know what? He never answered my questions or helped me in any way. It was never about US having sex. It was about, and that's what he's looking now: the fantasy of the stud who can get a woman to climax en 5 seconds just by standing in front of her. Or the woman willing to climax from anything he does, no matter how degrading or hurtful. It is only about him and what the porn has taught him to wish.

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DancingRain

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Re: Need advice about emotional shutdown
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 08:10:53 PM »
My h would be easy to figure out too, if I was all over him all the time.  Even then, he wouldn’t be satisfied or fulfilled.

Because it's never about the sex anyway. In the beginning of our relationship I was all over him. I wanted to know what to do to satisfy him. And you know what? He never answered my questions or helped me in any way. It was never about US having sex. It was about, and that's what he's looking now: the fantasy of the stud who can get a woman to climax en 5 seconds just by standing in front of her. Or the woman willing to climax from anything he does, no matter how degrading or hurtful. It is only about him and what the porn has taught him to wish.


 :yeahthat:
Sad, but true.

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grizzled

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Re: Need advice about emotional shutdown
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 08:42:27 PM »
Male perspective here. 
My uNPDx treated me like an object.  Constantly groping my crotch in public, that sort of thing. It seemed that she wanted to insure that I was turned on and wanted her, but that was pretty much it.  She would make blatant, often wildly inappropriate sexual innuendos and actions (public crotch grabbings, comments in front of the kids, etc.) in what seemed an effort to gauge my sexual interest but would universally do it at a time or place where actual intimacy was not a possibility.  Then when the opportunity actually arose (alone in the house, bed time, etc.) all interest was gone and I would be met with comments like "Just so you know, I'm not fucking you."
  Our sex life, such as it was, was almost utterly devoid of intimacy.  When we would have sex, immediately after she would jump up and say "Are you better now?"  I quickly reached that place where I was just not interested in sex because (oddly enough as a guy) it just felt so devoid of intimacy and connection. To be perfectly crude, if climax was all I was getting out of it I didn't need her.  My lack of interest just made her mad and no amount of conversation would help her understand it.  The emotional crap quickly makes it basically impossible to have any desire to be physically present with no intimacy.  It becomes repulsive.
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LightOrb

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Re: Need advice about emotional shutdown
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 08:57:26 PM »
I know I'm not the only one, but I was dissociating during sex, grizzled. It was beyond repulsive, it was traumatic. Of course, I didn't know it. My PD parents could get an award for how well they trained me to ignore myself, accept anything and call it love.

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MeFirst

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Re: Need advice about emotional shutdown
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 11:02:52 PM »
My OH uses it as a weapon cause he knows I love intimacy, time and attention. He withholds sex. Plus he is in a hating me phase so seems to be repulsed by any advance from me at the moment. He always only just wants oral sex too (for himself). Its like he's not interested in anything else but thay. Maybe another way to avoid intimacy and any actual closeness??

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DancingRain

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Re: Need advice about emotional shutdown
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 12:12:06 PM »
Male perspective here. 
My uNPDx treated me like an object.  Constantly groping my crotch in public, that sort of thing. It seemed that she wanted to insure that I was turned on and wanted her, but that was pretty much it.  She would make blatant, often wildly inappropriate sexual innuendos and actions (public crotch grabbings, comments in front of the kids, etc.) in what seemed an effort to gauge my sexual interest but would universally do it at a time or place where actual intimacy was not a possibility.  Then when the opportunity actually arose (alone in the house, bed time, etc.) all interest was gone and I would be met with comments like "Just so you know, I'm not fucking you."
  Our sex life, such as it was, was almost utterly devoid of intimacy.  When we would have sex, immediately after she would jump up and say "Are you better now?"  I quickly reached that place where I was just not interested in sex because (oddly enough as a guy) it just felt so devoid of intimacy and connection. To be perfectly crude, if climax was all I was getting out of it I didn't need her.  My lack of interest just made her mad and no amount of conversation would help her understand it.  The emotional crap quickly makes it basically impossible to have any desire to be physically present with no intimacy.  It becomes repulsive.

A lot of this is pretty similar with my npdh. There is almost never any foreplay, unless you count grabbing my parts agressively. Usually at inappropriate times and places. No intimacy and connection... just a means to an end. And so he can brag that we have sex frequently, because we all know how often you do it defines how good you’re marriage is.  :wacko:

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Beachgirl

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Re: Need advice about emotional shutdown
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2018, 06:18:32 PM »
My uNPD is very good at intimacy. When I couldn't block his years of abusive behavior from my awareness with enough alcohol to have relations with him, I told him he would have to work on himself before he could touch me again. He complains sometimes, or tells me I turn him on, or a couple of rather unnerving times he told me playfully that he would just take what he wanted. I went cold and told him straight up that that was not funny and brought back bad memories. It's immature like a teenager. He says sometimes that intimacy could still be fun without love. He's also the type that tries to mildly harass me and push activities on me that I don't feel comfortable trying out. I really enjoy relations. I realized the other day that if I were going have it without love and affection, it would definitely have to be with someone who hadn't abused me or raged at me or lied to me, etc. I have some standards lol. :stars:
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