Elbow: The Balancing Act of Fear

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Balancing Act of Fear

I had a frustrating weekend. I have been trying to be honest and courageous in response to the rumination of turmoil that I have been experiencing, but it is not easy. I am paralyzed and full of fear. I don't know where it comes from, but I feel it healthy for me to recognize it and to try and understand its origin.

This is especially frustrating, because last week I had such a good talk with my therapist about starting to feel safe, and letting myself be vulnerable in order to get to a place of honesty and integrity. Where has that courage gone? I guess in summation, I need a lot of attention too. I am feeling unsafe and incapable of taking care of own emotional needs.

I am tired of feeling anxiety.


Blogger Dave said...

I can't comprehend why you would want to stay in that situation that causes you such fear and sadness. Your feelings for men aren't going to go away, so I don't see how your situation can change unless you get away from your wife.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Van said...

Wow, where do we get the idea we have to be everything for our spouse/significant other? It isn't your job to fulfill your wife's emotional needs, and vice versa. As long as someone is stuck in black/white reasoning, there is little communication possible. Is she getting counseling too?

3:09 PM  
Blogger CatchingWaterfalls said...

True love is being supportive when it is needed and doing what is best for the other person, You have been as supportive as you can of your wife and tried to do right by her, it's her turn to support you and do what is best for you. If she wont then you need to do it yourself. You know that being with her is not what is best for you. Look out for ourself, you've done what you can for her.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. That's an intense bit of writing there. I'm sorry this relationship is so rough on you... Have you considered seeing a Marriage Counselor with your wife? Not with the aim of "fixing" your marriage, but just with the aim of making your relationship a little more healthy? Regardless of how things end up eventually, it seems like a relationship counselor could help you guys smooth out the obvious rough spots...

I know it can be hard to get another person to go for therapy, and it seems like based on your descriptions here it might be difficult to get somebody as inflexible and unwilling to budge as she is to get in there, but if you do end up getting a divorce, it seems like the relationship counselor might be able to help you smooth out the rough spots in that process too, and maintain some semblance of the relationship you had pre-marriage...


3:41 PM  
Blogger Dave Walter said...

I think you need to focus on your own emotional well-being, without feeling guilty about being unable to provide your wife with the attention and support she needs.

I recently had an experience that's psychologically similar to what you're going through. My therapist rather firmly told me to "take a break" from my intense desire to help someone experiencing an emotional crisis. I felt guilty pulling back, but I realized my therapist was right. I was experiencing enough stress and anxiety as it was; adding more of the same was the last thing I needed.

You're in a fragile state right now, and the extra anxiety related to meeting your wife's needs is taking its toll. Try to take a break...

1:33 AM  
Blogger DCTwistedLife said...

My wife is cold when it comes to my issues of same sex attraction. She expects a lot from me than what I can give. I am trying to be at full force, but need time in order to get to where she wants me to be.

This is unfair. You told her about your tendencies... whatever you wanted to call them. You thought you could get past them, because you were/ are doing everything right. Everything 'should' be okay. But right now its not for you. And she has to understand that. She needs to understand that the narrow view of the church simply doesnt work for everyone like they say it does. She must understand that you are going through a lot, that you need her support no matter what. I feel bad that you dont have that from her, especially since you seem to really care about how she feels. I dont know about u and ur wifes dynamic, but sometimes tough love is good for waking someone up...it sounds like she is not being considerate of your feelings. She needs to learn that this is not something you chose, or that other people choose. Its not disgusting, its not some horrible thing. There are ways to help her understand. Being open, and frankly blunt, with her may be one way. Don't be afraid of her, she is your wife, not your father. You are supposed to be equals.....just a suggestion.

Take time out for yourself to try and relax, to do things you enjoy. Whether its taking a bubble bath, running, painting or going for a long drive. Small things like that help me to relieve my anxiety. It doesnt solve the problem, but suspending reality for a while never hurt anyone :)

8:45 AM  
Blogger -L- said...

It isn't your job to fulfill your wife's emotional needs

Ummm, yeah, kinda it is. That whole marriage thing means being as concerned for the other person as you are for yourself. That's not to say it should be at the expense of yourself, but married people are or should strive to be "one".

It's a fine line avoiding selfishness and still appropriately taking care of yourself.

I agree with catchingwaterfalls that it's about mutual support. Sorry you haven't been getting enough support, but I wouldn't go so far as to say you've done what you can for her, it's all on her now, and being with here isn't best. I don't know if it is or not. But since I haven't seen many comments reflecting my view, I'll take the minority role and recommend increased patience as you move toward a mutually satisfying resolution. In the mean time, remember the ideals of traditional wedding vows: "...for better or for worse...".

I'm sorry for your pain. I've been in a similar place. And it didn't last forever.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey y'all: Just duckin' in to point to this url which is a story about mixed-orientation marriages and the various outcomes of them in the New York times. How timely, eh?

Click here for the story

Try bugmenot.com for a username and password if it asks you for one.


12:54 PM  

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