I have come to believe that the numbness is a method our minds adopt to help us cope.
You say ‘I know he feels bad’ and I feel this is a guilt that you should put on one side. You have felt bad for so long and whatever the reason for your husband’s multiple problems – you were not one of them.
A long time ago I wrote to another member and I said that I believed my CG had become estranged from me to allow me to be free. I didn’t know until then that he had ever read anything I had written but I received a phone call. He told me that he had not left for my sake and that he had not cared about how I felt – he left, he said, because I could no longer enable him, I was broken and had no further use. He believed he could do better without me.
I don’t tell you this in the hope you think your husband cold and indifferent but to stop you wasting your energy worrying about his feelings when it is ‘you’ that requires all your energy to keep you healthy and able to cope. As you know my CG has changed his life and with that change has come an empathy I could never have dreamt existed so what he felt, when his addiction was powerfully in control, is in the past and not relevant in our present. I do believe it is so important for F&F to look after themselves because the CG’s thoughts are solely for themselves and their addiction. I would be more surprised if you were to write that you did welcome a kiss and a hug from someone whose behaviour had hurt you so much.
Your husband’s behaviour does appear to be changing, he does seem to be trying to live a better life and I do so relate to what you have said – even with regard to the dishwasher. However if he is truly changing you will not and cannot a massive explosion of understanding and loving feelings to wipe away all that has happened to you – you are not a robot that just needs re-tuning so that everything becomes brighter.
Your husband is saying the right things and I am glad he is putting you under no pressure. Only time make a difference I’m afraid. Maybe you will find you want his kiss and hug but maybe you will not. It is the biggest gamble a CG makes when they gamble with the feelings of the person who loves them and I cannot tell you what your outcome will be.
All I can do is try and shed some light for you when you walk the dark road because I firmly believe you will reach a decision that sits right with you. You are doing all the right things to make your life better and in doing so will come clarity.
Stand back from what you ‘think’ he feels – and deal with what you know ‘you’ feel. If you give in to what you think he wants, in my opinion, you will struggle. Give yourself time and you will know what you want – if what you want is the same as your husband then you will have spent your times wisely – if it is not, then you will still have spend your time wisely.
Face to face would indeed be terrific but I can hold a light from here and will continue to do so