He is an emotional black hole.
He just sucks in any and all emotion, his and mine. He drains my energy.
He’s always cheerful, just like a little kid without a care in the world.
And no matter what he says, it’s all delivered the same way. I don’t mean mono-tone. I mean, “I saw a tractor on the road” is said exactly the same way as “The neighbor down the road died.”
“I love you and you mean so much to me” is said with just as much emphasis as “What’s for dinner?”
And no kind of emotion is ever discussed. He never says (and I do mean never), I’m upset about… or, …. made me angry, or I’m sad because…. or any other emotion that could possibly be expressed. It just isn’t said. At all. Period. Ever.
His mother has cancer. One day he cried for a few minutes. I put my arm around him to comfort him. But in all the time his mother has had cancer, except that one time, he hasn’t expressed anything, except facts. “My mom went to the doctor today….” (And the day after I tried to be comforting to him, he acted like a jerk. Just couldn’t take my compassion. see post.)
And when I express emotion – happy, sad, excited, whatever, somehow he pulls it away from me. I get criticized, condemned, cut down. Yes, it is in a very subtle, back-handed way, but the criticism is still there.
This isn’t exactly about emotion, but this is an example of how it goes:
One night, my daughter and I watched Men In Black. I hadn’t seen it before and my daughter wanted me to see it. He sat down to watch it with us, but my daughter didn’t want him to (she hates him because he has nothing to do with her), so I told him that just the two of us were going to watch it together. He left the room.
Afterwards, he asked me if I like the movie. I told him, yes, that Will Smith is hilarious. He said, Will Smith is a prima donna.
In case you didn’t catch it, him criticizing Will Smith is his way of criticizing me for liking Will Smith, for liking the movie, and for watching the movie with my daughter. His criticism actually wasn’t really about Will Smith. It was a covert criticism of me. I know it sounds far fetched, but trust me. I’ve seen this kind of thing many, many times in him.
If I tell him about something I am excited about, he will find an off-hand way to criticize it, no matter what it is.
He sucks the energy out. I don’t know if you’ve ever been around somebody like that, but if you have, you know what I mean. I find it hard to explain, but somehow, it’s like they don’t give out. They are there. Maybe they are speaking or maybe they are not, but they are not giving anything. And just their presence pulls away the peace and creates tension.
And then there is the stress of trying to protect myself from this emotional black hole, too.
It’s all very draining.