Topic: Hi I'm new here. Anyone in a relationship?

English Alexithymia Forum > Personal Experience

Hi I'm new here. Anyone in a relationship?
18.07.2020 by User93628E24

I just discovered today what alexithymia was after I got into a huge falling out with my fiancee, who I've been with for about 5 years and currently live with. Most of our fights revolve around my inability to read my own emotions and hers and they've been happening more frequently in the past couple of months.

I love my fiancee very much but I really feel that my alexithymia is sabotaging our relationship. I tried everything to resolve it. I went to therapy, I started meditating, etc. I also tried communicating with her in her love language more (something I've had trouble with for a long time) to let her know that I'm on her side. Even though I have trouble reading my own emotions, I genuinely feel that this relationship is right for me but there's a voice in the back of my mind telling me that I don't deserve her because I have tremendous difficulty responding to her emotions and I feel defective when I have these thoughts so it becomes a never-ending thought loop that has been destroying us. Even if she does tell me what she feels, either it doesn't register or I think she's overreacting.

Is there anyone here who actually maintains a healthy relationship? Do you have any advice for me? I'm not interested in ending our relationship because I consider her my best friend and I want us to improve.

22.07.2020 by Jaredfromsouthdakota

Thanks you so much for sharing. I’m new here also And am facing the same situation. My partner and I got into an argument about a month ago, and he stated that I was “so unemotional....etc.” something clicked that day and I started really analyzing myself. Low and behold he was correct. When I was googling all sorts of stuff I came across Alexithymia & everything made sense. I’ve been reading these forums and researching ever since. After 35 years I finally found an answer.

I have faith that we can overcome this and we can live a more meaningful, emotional life.

If you need someone to talk to let me know.

I’m at a loss & feel your pain.

24.10.2020 by User87801K22

Maybe sharing my story will help you. My husband has alexithymia. We’ve been married five years and have six children. We both wanted a big family. I am a very emotional person and he is not. Right now we are working on how to communicate better. So when I’m expressing myself I use statements like “I feel when _ because__”. I ask him what he thinks about why I feel the way I do instead of how it makes him feel. That way he can logically understand what caused that emotion for me and resolve the situations that precipitated a negative emotional response. I can’t expect him to be a mind reader so I have to be open about sharing that logically rather than depend on him to pick up on it. Rather than asking for empathy I focus on asking him to consider my emotions as an important part of me and to respect and acknowledge them when I share them. I ask him his opinions, what he thinks, how he is doing mentally and stress wise rather than how he feels. We talk about our priorities and goals rather than on feelings. When we are talking about something difficult and he is experiencing physical sensations caused by an unidentified emotion, he sometimes describes the sensation and I suggest what the emotion likely is. We are so busy with kids and work that our new goal is making each other a priority. So checking in on each others thoughts more often. Making time for physical intimacy. Our needs are very different so talking about them openly is how we are finding a level where we are both comfortable. He has been working on empathy on his own for awhile because it helps him evaluate his world view and how to be a better parent. Things are tricky right now because of covid, like with so many couples. We are at home all the time with kids learning at home and him working at home. It’s really put a spot light on how much work we still have to do but we are a team and I see this as an opportunity to grow stronger. He has supported me through multiple bouts of post partum depression, PTSD from my own past trauma. His alexithymia does not hinder his ability to support me emotionally and mentally through my toughest moments. I’ve known couples in “neurotypical” relationships who don’t have that kind of support from their significant other.

I think I’m more at ease with our Neurodiversity than others may be. My stepfather has alexithymia and I have two very close relatives with Asperger’s. I would never want someone to demand they change so I don’t expect my husband to change either. I don’t know if I would be happy if he did. I fell in love and was supported and grew a family with him as he is. Why would I want to change that? As long as we both respect our differences and work to meet each others needs in the best way we can. It’s not easy. But it’s possible. My parents marriage is a happy and long one and I don’t think they will ever divorce. They rely on having interests, hobbies, and emotional/mental support outside of the relationship to meet their different needs.

If you want to work on your emotional literacy for your own desire or needs that’s absolutely fine. But a healthy relationship isn’t necessarily built on that prerequisite. There are tons of unhealthy toxic relationships where both partners don’t have alexithymia. I would encourage you to consider ways you can bring value to your partners life. What are you willing to give and what do you need to receive? Do those align with theirs? I feel like there can be so much stress on what the neurotypical person needs and not enough on what the partner with alexithymia needs. That isn’t fair. My husband absolutely has needs. Wouldn’t it be great to have someone who understands the way your brain works? Your world view? Your unique perspective? Someone who respects your interests and is patient when you have differences? It sounds like you are putting in a lot of effort and I commend you for it. I would recommend not immediately assuming she’s being overly reactive though. Do you have a person who is very emotional that you can ask for perspective? If she can communicate her feelings in a different way perhaps you can understand the cause and what kind of solution you can reach. It goes both ways.

That little voice telling you that you aren’t enough is not serving you. You are worthy of partnership and it can work. If it doesn’t, at least you leave will with a greater understanding of what type of things in a relationship you want.

02.09.2021 by Userc3939L35

I’m just discovering this for the first time. I had a similar situation. My fiancee, relationship of 5 years left me. I now know because of my emotional blindness. My current girlfriend does a similar thing to the above. When I upset her, she explains why what I did was upsetting and gives me a chance to explain that that was not my intention.

TL;DR You can build a loving relationship, it just takes talking and understanding.

21.08.2022 by Joseph22

So, I am currently in a long term relationship to my fiance, we have been together for 3 years and almost all of our fights are caused by my lack of understanding, emotions and lack of empathy. Now, I know I am like this. When we fight usually it's very one way. She's angry at me (understandably) and I cannot communicate what is happening on my side back and I am usually just silent as I have no words to say. I feel negative feelings but don't know what they fully are and how to say them. She recently told me she is struggling mentally with how everything is at the moment and I said that I don't always know what to say or do to help her. In fact, I very rarely know what to say or do and I usually make it worse. Anyway. She took this very badly and thinks I really don't care about her which is not the case. I deeply care about her and how she feels but I no matter how hard I try I can't show it. So after this recent fight the biggest we've had, I came across this condition. It seems I may in fact have it. I do have autism but as this isn't understood itself it's hard to get help with it. So this lack of empathy and emotional understanding is causing a huge strain on our relationship, I feel very run down and disconnected. Depression is really making all this worse as I am losing will power. So I am not sure how to tell her all of this in a way that she will understand that I am trying but I really am not able to be of real help. I don't want to add to her problems. But I am and it really is showing. I don't want to lose her but I fear if I cannot communicate with her, like a normal person, then I will.

So that's what I am experiencing with this alexithymia. Reading through this section it would appear that I am not the only one.

20.10.2022 by dee401

@User87801K22 said

"I ask him what he thinks about why I feel the way I do instead of how it makes him feel. That way he can logically understand what caused that emotion for me and resolve the situations that precipitated a negative emotional response."

I really wish this was how people, especially my partner, would talk about emotions with me. I can understand their feelings on a technical level and I know how those emotions can affect their actions, words, etc. but it's sometimes not possible for me to understand on a deeper level than that.

23.12.2022 by ItIsMe

Hello all,

so I am completely new to all this alexithymia thing. I finished a test and it seems that I tick a lot of boxes. I am yet to see a psychologist regarding this topic, nonetheless I feel that I should.

Anyways, I am a 28-year old male in an almost 3-year long relationship and I feel that a lot of times I find myself unable to understand the emotions of my partner. Before entering into a relationship I was completely emotionally blind: "everything can be understood by logic" kind of person.

So back to the relationship issues - our disagreements were always very vehement and at the start of every fight we both tend to be angry at each other until one of us snaps into an "emotionally overflow" state. We then find emotional release in physical contact (touching, cuddling, kissing, caressing) after the quarrel. After this physical release we try to adopt "I feel _ when you _" approach described by @User87801K22. It is worth mentioning that after each of these fights I have this "emotional hangover" that last for about a day or two.

Also, we try to discuss about feelings on day-to-day basis but we often forget to do it as this is exhausting (at least to me).

I know it might sound like a weird/toxic pattern to a lot of you - however after those 3 years I can understand and express my own emotions more clearly. I laugh more, I cry more, I feel ashamed more. And I see myself as a better person every day.