Hi and thank you for the request.
The only way you can really address this is to do some inner reflection and find out the true reason you keep hurting your wife and others. My professional opinion would be that it is something from your past that is causing you to continue with this behavior. It is most likely be something that was taught to you as a child, a parents abuse and/or behavior you were forced to model in order to survive.
You also may want to examine why others are not as important to you as you are to yourself. Understanding empathy and selflessness must come from deep within. It is the ability to understand someone else's pain, and feel sympathy. In order to do that, you must practice putting yourself in their shoes. Changing things from your perspective may not be enough. This may take some "cleaning house" or cleansing of your motivations and behavior in order to make enough change to make a difference in your relationship.
You also need to give change and trust time. People cannot trust instantly. They need time and especially evidence of trust in order to be able to let go and trust again.
I hope this helps you,Kate
I appreciate your candor. I do have a past that is filled with abuse from my mother and others. I think more than anything that my feelings are a part of a pattern of learning to cut off others so that I do not feel the pain and hurt that they potentially could give me. Hurt first, then worry about consequenced. Although it is protective, it is pathological, and extremely painful to others, especially my wife. She is the one who gets hurt when I do this and I do want to stop doing this at all costs. She has lost her trust in me.
Truly, she doesn't trust what I say, and for good reason. I do grasp this and wish to give her time and space. Do you think that would help? I do want to not be the way that I am and am willing to look as deeply as I have to go, even though in the past I have not been able to do so. Thoughts?
I will pay you...
I think what would truly help is working on what the real issue is. This pattern you have created is very damaging to other people. And it puts you first in everything, which pushes everyone else out. There is no chance for anyone to trust you if you are looking out for yourself in every situation.
You have to learn to accept pain as part of your life. You are going to feel pain, just as everyone else does. But instead of accepting that, you avoid pain by causing it in others. And then you stand back and allow them to deal with the consequences. It is a very destructive way to handle relationships and it is no wonder your marriage is having problems. It is also a very self centered way of coping. You need to ask yourself what makes you special enough to avoid pain and therefore cause it, when everyone else must deal with it?
Find a way to deal with this destructive tendency in yourself. Therapy, self help and other trusted family and friends are all great resources to help you overcome this problem.
Sounds good! My best to you,