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He doesn't look me in the eyes


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#1 muggs59

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:20 PM

Have any of you ever noticed that your H or exG doesn't look you in the eye when talking to you?

It just dawned on me that my H (we're separated) never ever makes eye contact with me. When I asked him about it, he told me it was because he felt too guilty about all his past abuse.

But now I wonder if it was often that way and I just never took note because of all the other bad stuff that was going on. Not saying he never looked me the eyes -- he always did when he was in a rage.

But now, there's nothing, no eye contact. I find it very unnerving and wonder if it's another form of witholding or distancing.

I suppose he's angry at me underneath it all because I left, but to never ever make eye contact???

#2 SteffieB

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:57 PM

My xbf made penetrating eye contact with me, which was really intimate and sexy in the beginning, and intimidating by the end. He would look his ex-wife and his kids in the eye. He wouldn't look anyone else in the eye, though. I don't believe that I ever saw him make eye contact with another person the whole time, including my parents and kids. I always thought that was very strange.

#3 SteffieB

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:04 PM

My xbf made penetrating eye contact with me, which was really intimate and sexy in the beginning, and intimidating by the end. He would look his ex-wife and his kids in the eye. He wouldn't look anyone else in the eye, though. I don't believe that I ever saw him make eye contact with another person the whole time, including my parents and kids. I always thought that was very strange.

I'll be damned...that's a sign of a psychopath, lol. Figures. http://masksofsanity...beneath-it.html

#4 pattycakes57

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:24 PM

Hi Muggs,

Stbxh only avoided looking at me in the eye was when I busted him on something or other. I asked him about it and he said, "If I look at you I'll lose it!" (cry)

I believed him only because of the context of the conversations we had when he would avoid eye contact.

Your h. may very well be distancing, as you suggest. Or he could be lying, nervous, doesn't like you or thinks that you're 'beneath' him and don't deserve eye contact.

Hard to tell.

Pattycakes

#5 SteffieB

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:17 PM

Muggs, did he make eye contact with you before you split?

#6 claudifred

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:00 AM

My ex always made direct penetrating eye contact with me. It was very intense and painful.
But now, he barely looks at me at all. He tends to look past me or at his feet when he talks.
I can't help but feel a little smug about it. After all he put me through, I WON. ;)

#7 ktc

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:42 PM

In the beginning, and certain times - yes I think so. But during certain intimate conversations where I wanted to talk about me or something going on with me, I don't think he made eye contact with me, it made me feel like he did not care about what was going on with me. But doing escalated fits in the end , when he needed to prove or say something to me, he made glaring eye contact with me.

#8 muggs59

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:13 AM

Thanks for the responses. I was at our house assisting him with something yesterday and the same thing happened -- wouldn't look at me. Also admitted he'd been an awful husband and didn't want to cause me anymore pain.

Maybe it's shame? Or anger? Or both? Who knows - he's aways been the one person in my life I could never understand.

I've been in intensive therapy with a new counsellor and based on what I told her about H and our lack of a sex life (decades of no sex at all) she says he must have a same sex attraction. SHe says nothing else would explain a man being happy without sex from his wife for the entire marriage. She says that given his upbringing he may have always had it but never wanted to act on it -- hence he married me. She says I now must ask him about this.

My head is in a whirlwind again. And what does it say about me that I lived this way most of my life???

Edited by muggs59, 05 May 2012 - 08:14 AM.


#9 Kris

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:14 AM

(((((Muggs))))) I so much wish you could find some peace -- my impression is that you keep getting so caught up in trying to understand why he thinks what he thinks and why he does the things he does that you are forgetting to take care of yourself, to realize that in terms of your own life it is more important what you think and how you feel. I guess that's what my therapist was trying to get me to realize that I was doing for so many years; it doesn't feel that way when you're in it. But I can certainly see in your case as I'm looking as a neutral observer from outside what it was my therapist meant! All of this seeking to try to understand certainly "feels" like it is what you need to do in order to be able to move on when you're "inside"; but from the outside I can see how it just keeps you stuck in the same old patterns.

But I do understand the feeling that if only you understood it better, then you could move on. I think his unwillingness to look at you stems from his own reluctance to deal with the problems so he is trying to avoid them. Maybe it helps him a little to not see your pain as much if it does bother him, maybe it helps him to feel like if you don't look directly at each other he won't be as likely to feel "caught" and having to justify himself, maybe his not looking at you is simply selfish because he's not interested in you so you are irrelevant to him. It's hard to know. Maybe he knows that as long as you have all of these doubts and unanswered questions you will keep caring for him, trying to understand what has really been going on all of these years. So he thinks that "preserving the mystery" is his ticket to keeping you hooked and basically waiting on him as you do. Maybe he is afraid that to have eye contact will reveal too much about his own self, and maybe he feels flawed and inadequate.

Especially I could imagine if your new therapist's theory is correct, he probably doesn't feel very good about himself. I'm assuming his religion is the same as yours, and if so he has certainly had it hammered into him from Day 1 that to be attracted to the same sex is a sin and he will burn in hell for it. So he may very well hate himself more than you can ever realize if he is actively aware of his feelings and urges. On the other hand, he may have done such a great job at suppressing those urges that the fall-out was that he suppressed all other feelings and emotions as well. So the problem is that you have only been dealing with a shell of the man he really is all these years, that he basically numbed out his feelings so much that he simply wasn't capable of having even a cordial relationship with you. There was just too much inner turmoil and conflict, so he basically withdrew.

I am not a therapist and have no training in this area. But my gut feeling is that I truly cannot see any purpose to confronting him. What would that accomplish? If he is in denial, I think that would only make things worse. Or does your therapist envision that he would be relieved that you are aware of it so he doesn't have to pretend anymore? But I think that scenario is so unlikely relative to so many others. In my own admittedly totally uninformed opinion, I think that kind of information ought to be conveyed by his own therapist if he would seek out counseling.

What would the chances be if you were to put your foot down and say that you will be happy to continue caring for him as you do, but only on the condition that he meets with a counselor. Whether he actually works on himself or not is nothing that you can control, but it would at least give him the opportunity to open up if he has been harboring such a secret all these years, and in any case it might help him just to have a sounding board to talk to even if he won't go there. I can't remember now if you ever brought up asking him to go for counseling -- I'm sure you have, but I can't remember what his response was.

(((((Muggs))))) You ask, "Why did I live this way all my life?" Partly because you are a loving, generous, caring person who didn't want to give up on your marriage, maybe partly because your religion severely discourages divorce, and maybe partly because you've never really understood that your own welfare is the single most important thing in your life -- that a happy and healthy marriage is best achieved when both partners are taking care of themselves and know their own inherent worth. I hope your new therapist can work on this last point for you.... I do think for you that's the most important thing right now!! :heart:
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#10 Maddie_NY

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:56 AM

Well said Kris!! I once asked my xbf if i no longer was attractive to him because he would not have sex with me. He said yes!! It ruined my self esteem and image. In reality he had a sex addiction of which i had no idea at that time. Muggs, whatever is going on with your husband is his issue and has nothing to do with you. If it did, you would have heard about it a long time ago because no doubt he would be very unhappy. Before you make a decision whether or not to ask him about it, think why this is important and what it will accomplish. Chances are that it brings you more pain, regardless of what his response may be. (And it may or may not validate your therapist's theory).
From what you write it seems that he cannot give you what you need right now (not even an eye contact), and perhaps this is the most important piece of information to keep in mind. It will help you move on in any direction you choose, whether to give him a chance to do better with some help, or to move on yourself if you so decide.




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