Alexithymia

Hello. This is my first time joining an online group. I have been married for 10 years this past October, and we have had many ups and downs. The biggest thing is our communication difficulties. Very rarely do I express myself, and when I do it has been difficult to get my feelings out. Within the past 2 weeks my wife asked me to fill out a questionnaire which showed that I likely have alexithymia which basically means having difficulties expressing, understanding, or having feelings. I'm looking for help, someone to talk to, someone to provide insight. Thanks.
grither51 grither51
31-35, M
2 Responses Dec 5, 2012

Hello grither51 :)
My boyfriend has this personality trait. If I may explain my personal story, this might help you see it from the other persons perspective;
We knew each other for years. Through school he always adored me, but he never showed it. It was only years later when we were older we developed a relationship. I thought because he had only ever had a 'crush' on me that we would have a deep meaningful relationship. However, he remained disconnected. I thought this was because he was shy, but it continued. It felt very lonely for me. We love each other so much, but I could never work out why he seemed so 'cold'. Even his hugs seemed robotic. It felt very lonely for me. He told me he loved me often, but it seemed like he 'had' to say it (I knew this wasn't true though). He also had random fits of rage which I simply could not work out, because it may have been a reason like 'the bookshelf didn't go together properly'. He would rant and rave at the bookshelf as if it could hear him (he is in no way violent or abusive, he would just stomp around complaining at something so trivial!). He would later apologise profusely for his behavior and was confused by it.
Then I met his mother and brother!
She asked him to invite me around for dinner. So he knocked on the door to her house. She opened the door, didn't even say hello. She put her head down, walked to the table, sat, ate, didn't say a word. Didn't acknowledge either of us. My man tried to make conversation between us because he knew I was uncomfortable. But she replied with nothing. His brother (a 27 year old who lives in his bedroom and has never had a job) wolfed down his food and went to his room. Later on that night I burst into tears. Since then I've noticed several things; She doesn't say hello. They've never hugged, never said they love each other. She speaks only of neighbourhood gossip. For example, she made his brother a birthday cake and put it on the bench in silence. He came out of his cave/room took a slice in silence and scurried back to his room without a word. HUH! I worked it out. His up-bringing!
So I became the person to love him. He slowly came out of his shell. He was terrified of meeting my friends, but now he acts like any happy fun-loving guy to them. He got himself a job and surprised me at how much of a hard worker he could be when encouraged. He could have been just like his brother, but now he is like any normal guy! I am so protective of him that when he got accepted into University, he proudly told his mother. She sat on that damn couch of hers and stared into the TV and said nothing. It drove me crazy! How dare she?

Anyway, my point is my beautiful man was never loved (or... was he?) by his mother. He learnt this. And now he un-learns it with every hug and kiss we share. I have said many times that I feel lonely even in his presence, because I want to feel as if he desires me by showing it. The conflicting thing is, I know he does! Just deep down. I would love things to be more affectionate but he is improving every day. It has been years, but we'll get there :)
...I think the day we have a child he'll hold it and all the emotions will just burst out.

All you need to do is pinpoint if there's a reason why this has happened to you and listen to your partner. Every day! If she says 'hold me' just hold her! Try to learn feelings; you see them on TV everyday, you hear them in songs. Listen, really LISTEN to music. Music is what is on the inside. Tap into it!

Good luck, and remember to take care of that partner of yours. Show her all the love you can :)

...sorry I write a lot, I'm good at expressing my emotions a little too well lol!

I think you expressed yourself well here,so perhaps you are better at doing when writing. Try writing her. It gives the advantage of getting the wording just right, and getting it all out without interruption.