Hey Liquid Gusto! Thanks for dropping by. What you described is exactly how it is for me and Hulky. I am the one that feels the threat & Hulky is the one that can generally drop out of argument mode in an instant. I think it helped a lot when my therapist explained that it feels like I am being attacked when nothing happens. Her comparison was getting attacked by a bear may produce the same physical response in your body as hearing your partner say they want to end the relationship, out of the blue. Your life isn’t REALLY going to end, but it feels that way! He said that it was really helpful to have someone else explain it. I know I don’t do the best job. I’ll probably see if I can find anything for him to read, but it may be that having the therapist explain things from time to time will be enough for him to understand what he needs to do. I’m glad to hear you have found something that works for your fiancÚ and you .
NK, I think having Hulky understand why I need time to calm down & think about it (because of “flight mode” in my brain) will be key here. It still drives me crazy sometimes that there’s no particular reason why I am the way I am except for neurochemistry. I experience “shut down” too. For me, during those times, I am exhausted, I can’t think straight, and I become physically hypersensitive. I just need time to recuperate or direct my brain onto something specific. I think Hulky does have mental issues, but then again, I think most people do. I think that as people get to know him deeper (and most of our friends don’t even know him this way), they might think he is somewhat uncaring except when it comes to me. He is a very reflexive person. I think that he has plenty of feelings, he just hasn’t been taught to recognize them and avoids it because they are scary. I was very happy (and told him so!) that he felt comfortable at the therapy session & shared something very helpful for both of us. It was actually the perfect example to use to start us off.