Yes, nomore, my husband was always “like that”. He seems to be unable to express emotions . His reactions are and always were inappropriate, as I understand “normal” emotional reactions to be . I know there is a wide range of expressions and some people, especially men, never cry -or at least they are expected not to cry in many cultures. I would think fear and denial played a big part in my husband’s life but of course if I ever broach the subject of thinking or feeling he becomes very uncomfortable and accuses me of trying to “be smart” , “set him up” or of “controlling him”. He displays his feelings in practical terms, of deflects from issues, and never asks how I feel or what I’m thinking. If I try to express myself he takes it personally and becomes either very petty , saying “you’re always criticizing me” or even boarder line paranoid, where he would explode and walk out refusing to discuss the issue. This would be for very minor things such as discussions regarding the children growing up, plans for family events, holidays, whatever. These occasions always ended in tears or in some sort of spoiled fun . His mood was never appropriate. And I would never know when he was going to “flip”. I think it could be described as “incongruity of affect” in psychiatric terms . For example, when I went for gambling counselling the counsellor wanted to see the two of use together. Or see him alone. The wonderful gambling Industry offered six free sessions. (Big WOW !”Free”!) This threatened him deeply. He began to say “it’s all a plan to drive you back to gambling”. The irony was, they didn’t need any plan because on the way home from my own sessions, I was going to the casino regularly. How weird is that!
Of course I never really blamed him for my gambling. He enabled me all the time. He provided reasons (which I chose to justify) He either ignored me when I begged him to help me to stop or he would comply with an alternative arrangement eg go for a meal or to the cinema instead of gambling, but by golly, would I suffer ! In short, I think for some deep rooted reason, it suited him better when I was gambling and that gave me an ideal opportunity to indulge my addiction. I would have loved him to “go into therapy” because I know he has past issues that were never dealt with but he would never have agreed. I was the source of all his grief. I was always the person he blamed when things went wrong . If it hadn’t been for me, our family would have had no problems!
Maybe he was right!
I do know that loneliness and rejection are common traits in CGs. I saw lots and lots of middle aged women treating “their” slot machines like “toy boys”, stroking them, coaxing them, talking to them, whispering sweet nothings and all the while, feeding them their last dime! If that’s not sublimation or displacement, what is it?
Yes, living in an emotional void can be lonely.