Post by snowman12345 on Dec 9, 2020 21:48:52 GMT -5
Today my wife learned that her brother is seriously ill. Following surgery today he was sent to ICU and seemed pretty bad. Not COVID related, but due to hospital rules she was not able to go see him. She is very upset and rightly so. She actually reached out and tried to touch me, wanted some reassurance that I would comfort her. I feel a bit guilty for pulling away and backing out of her embrace. It was the first time she has reached out for me physically in 8 or 9 years. I was surprised by it, but also by my reaction to her touch. I feel bad for her (and worse for her brother). I just don't seem to have it in me to care about her needs anymore. We live in the same house. Sleep in the same bed. Eat the same meals and love the same people. But we just seem to pass each other by with a wave and a nod and go about our days. Life is full of fucked up surprises.
I think that - if someone has been treating you with indifference over a period - it is just about guaranteed that you'll eventually start to withdraw from them. Probably out of self protection as much as anything else. And that, is pretty likely to become your "normal" after a while.
I dunno too many people capable of the rapid gear-shift that would be involved in the scenario you describe. Going from 'largely ignored spouse' to 'supportive spouse' is a bloody big leap. Particularly when you know that when the dust settles and life moves on, you'll be relegated back to 'largely ignored spouse' as soon as its' convenient.
This is completely understandable. After so many years (or decades) of withdrawing as part of a self-preservation effort I would also find it difficult to suddenly flip the switch back on. My wife doesn't really accept comforting anyway so it would really shock me if she sought any in any form.
She wants a hug, it's not too late to give her one. It doesn't need to be heartfelt. I wonder if she felt guilty when she decided to no longer give you hugs. You decide what is good for you, and be good to you.
On the other hand your reaction is quite normal. I agree with everyone, we withdraw and at some point don't even want their hugs any longer. She wants to be comforted but has pushed you away so much that she's a stranger that you no longer recognize.
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