Well...we had our joint counselling session yesterday. We discovered how some of our previous relationship "baggage" affects how we argue...and how things escalate..from there
We feed off each others reactions ...
1) if he thinks I'm being distant...
......then he backs off
2) he backs off.....then I feel distant
His x tortured him with constant cold shoulder/silent treatment/being distant/ HE can't stand it....He feels totally unloved/abandoned/alone..etc.. he has a hard time dealing with it (I didn't understand the depth of his feelings on this)
3) when spouse shut him out ....then he would hang out with daughter
That's his comfort place...where he knows he's loved...
4) But.. Him ditching me to hang out with daughter(her first me second)...makes me feel shut out more..and triggers my X issues
5) I felt shut out by my X...(buddy's first me & kids second)...then I go to that place in my head...where who needs this crap ....I am VERY distant
I felt that If I feel so alone all the time I might as well be alone...I won't have the expectations..It's my way to avoid the pain..that comes with disappointment when my expectations aren't met..
.......and so it goes!
I have my triggers.....feeling abandoned
He has his triggers....feeling unloved
That's why little things....can blow up into such big things...so quickly..and we react so intensely...because of all these hidden emotions that get stirred up.
She had us face each other ..and tell each other ..what qualities we love in each other.
YA KNOW...it's not as easy as you would think. It's not something we think of or think to verbalize... he has a million qualities I love...but to sit across from him and express them. We couldn't do it without crying...it's like a forgotten art..something that used to happen so naturally..but it got lost in day to day life.
We say love you, hold hands, kiss, snuggle, all the time..but this went deeper. It's a re-connection on that 'you give me butterflies' level we all once had with our partners.
I challenge you all to try it...with your spouse!
The other thing we're going to try is 'dating' and not the same old..go to a movie..our favorite restaurant..etc. Once or twice a month..something different!! He picks one ..I pick the other. Like when we first dated and went new places..did things new or out of the ordinary for our previous daily lives. Discover things together....