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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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Old 12-02-2005, 09:39 AM
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Default Spousal Withdrawal

If you find your spouse in complete Withdrawal emotionaly whereby spouse does not talk to you, resentment, hatred and they just plain cannot stand you and have said "I dont love you anymore" or "I need my space" and other remarks, read on ...

Note: A person has both a giver and a taker in them at all times.

Hubby.



Reason would dictate that demands, disrespect and anger are not the way to resolve conflicts in marriage. But with the Giver and Taker as the only instinctive alternatives, reason doesn't play much of a role in marital problem-solving. Instead, mood is almost everything, and after a fight, most couples do not feel much like going back to the rule of the Giver.

So they leave the Taker in charge, and the Taker adopts a new approach. In the state of Conflict it's strategy is fight. But in the state of Withdrawal, it's strategy is flight.

When you're in the state of Conflict, your Taker tries to force your spouse to meet your needs, making demands, showing disrespect, and threatening your spouse with angry outbursts to get its way. But if that doesn't work--if your spouse does not meet your needs--your Taker suggests a new approach to the problem: Withdrawal. It tries to convince you that your spouse is not worth the effort, and you should engage in emotional divorce.

In the state of Withdrawal, spouses no longer feel emotionally bonded or in love, and emotional defenses are raised. Neither one wants to try to meet the other's needs, and both have given up on attempts to get their own needs met by the other. One becomes two. They are completely independent, united only in living arrangements, finances and childrearing, although they often have to keep up appearances for neighbors and friends.

When one spouse enters the state of Withdrawal, the other usually follows. After all, what is the point? If she is meeting none of his needs and rebuffing every effort he makes to meet hers, he might as well give up, too. The thoughtless behavior by each spouse toward the other becomes too great to bear, so they stop caring. Trust is a faint memory.

Emotional needs can be met only when we are emotionally vulnerable to someone who meets those needs. When we are in the state of Withdrawal, our emotional needs cannot be met because we've raised our defenses. Even when a spouse tries to meet an emotional need, the defensive wall blunts the effect to prevent any Love Bank deposits.

Couples in Withdrawal are really in a state of emotional divorce. When they've been in Withdrawal for any length of time, they will sleep in separate rooms, take separate vacations, and eat meals at different times. They will not communicate unless they must. If that doesn't work, they either separate or obtain a legal divorce.

I've already explained that the states of Intimacy and Conflict discourage negotiating. But in the state of Withdrawal there isn't the slightest interest in it. In Intimacy, couples must only ask in order to receive. In Conflict, they fight to try to get what they want, and the bargain is usually less than intelligent. But in Withdrawal, there is no discussion, no bargaining, not even arguing. In that state, a spouse is unwilling to do anything for his or her spouse or let the spouse do anything in return.

When a couple is in the state of Withdrawal, the marriage seems hopeless. There is no willingness to be thoughtful or to meet each other's emotional needs, and no willingness to even talk about the problems. When both spouses are in the state of Withdrawal, at that point in time, it really is hopeless, because neither are at all interested in saving the marriage.

But the state of Withdrawal doesn't usually last very long. Sooner than most couples think, at least one spouse has the presence of mind to try to break the deadlock. When that happens, it's possible for that spouse to lead the other all the way back to the state of Intimacy. But it's possible only if the Giver and Taker are relegated to the back room.
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
But the state of Withdrawal doesn't usually last very long. Sooner than most couples think, at least one spouse has the presence of mind to try to break the deadlock. When that happens, it's possible for that spouse to lead the other all the way back to the state of Intimacy. But it's possible only if the Giver and Taker are relegated to the back room.
Im not sure if it would lead back to intimacy - do you mean when people have already divorced or are still in the relationship?

Interesting article though.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:25 AM
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Default Stop doing it

It is certain actions and behaviors that ultimately lead one spouse to withdrawal.

You have to stop doing those action/behaviors first, to allow that pent up anger to slowly drain from them.

Once drained and they slowly go into conflict mode, you can begin doing things that pleases them ... meeting their needs.

Eventually the party that is in withdrawal, is the first to enter intamacy ...

At least thats my understanding.
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Old 12-11-2005, 12:52 PM
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If one person is involved in an affair, they typically withdraw from the spouse and often announce that they are no longer "in love" with the spouse. I believe at this point, the withdrawal continues indefinitely so that they can pursue the other relationship with as little guilt as possible. I don't believe there is any possibility for renewed intimacy when the pull of another person is involved. It is just too strong.
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Old 12-12-2005, 08:52 AM
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Default Their is hope when affair at hand

Hanging on,

Many couples have been able to bounce back and have even stronger and happier marriages after an affair.

So what is an affair. Basically, at its' core, an affair commences because a 'need' is not being met in the relationship. Period.

The needs of both couples must be met and continually fed to have the relationship thrive. Its similar to a plant. Stop giving a plant, water and sunshine and eventually, it will die.

There are books and such that one can get to inform themselves on what can be done.

Hubby
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Old 12-12-2005, 09:46 AM
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I know...I know. I've read all the books, went to counseling ect...but my husband says he isn't interested in any of that. I was shocked but also deeply saddened when he told me what he had been going through the past couple of years, watching me focus on the kids and bitch at him. He is right. I did this. But I have to say that he did little to help the situation - did not help with the kids while I worked AND took care of the kids and home. Sure I was pretty cranky (and this is really not the kind of person I am, I lost myself). Needless to say I told him that I forgave him for his affair and was willing to change or do whatever we needed to do to have a great relationship and love and trust each other again. I saw it as an opportunity. I was actually excited at one point because I felt a much deeper love and commitment to him in the initial stages of me finding out. But he says it is too late. That he looks at me and does not feel love anymore. If you read my other posts you will also see it is a bit more complicated because he still visits the woman in question and her teenage son once a month (he is sort of like an uncle to the troubled boy) and he denies anything is still going on. Everytime he leaves I feel like I am going to throw up. He is so wrapped up his own world right now there is not reaching him. Maybe it is just the way guys handle things but I will never understand this as long as I live....
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Old 12-12-2005, 09:49 AM
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Sorry when I reread that it was a little longwinded and too personal for the discussion but my point is, sometimes there is nothing you can do when the person has decided to withdraw permanently
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Old 12-12-2005, 09:57 AM
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Default It will be short lived

Hanging on,

Affairs normally lose their luster after about two years. Apparently, this is a mother nature thing. This is when your spouse will start to see the imperfections and faults and may come to the realization that 'the grass was not greener' on the other side.

Your posts are fine, let it out.

Hubby
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Old 12-12-2005, 09:34 PM
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Hanging On,

No need to apologize for your posts. Everyone's allowed to vent. That's what were here for. You need to decide that it is time to move on. No one should be in a relationship when one partner continues to see another person.
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