Speaking my heart in relationships

I’ve had a hard childhood where I ended up suppressing my voice a lot. Keeping in expressions that should have been spoken. Had an older brother drug addict causing all kinds of tragedy and hurtful consequences to our family. I went quiet into the background. Swallowed my pain. In order to not cause more upset to my family I stayed quiet and remained supportive and did my best.

But now in hindsight I see how many times I should’ve spoken up. How his actions affected me, I should have been angry with him. But I just couldn’t. I suppose I feared losing his love. Losing a relationship if I told him how much he hurt me with his choices and drug lifestyle. He hurt my mom and grandma, and many other friends. With divorced parents, and alcoholic Father, my older brother became like a father figure, but became a worse addict than my actual Father. Bringing a tornado of tragedy and pain. His gf overdosed of Heroin, and when he came home I was the first person he told, he cried on my shoulders and I had to be strong for him. But I died inside knowing he experienced such a tragedy and played a role by doing H with her. I couldn’t express anger towards him for being involved in such dangerous high risk deadly activities. But I really should have had ongoing therapy for going through such terrible events. I never went to support groups or talked out my feelings with anyone. It was kept inside and came out in different ways.

Now in my marriage I see the core beliefs that formed, and how very hard it is to be as verbally communicative as she needs and deserves. I keep in the negative feelings, but as a result of the “cork” on my throat - a lot of the positive expression is also suppressed. It’s not easy to assure her of my love, though it’s so strong. Many of my past actions and my own behavior addictions have hurt my wife. Therefore I feel like my words " I love you" don’t mean very much. I have a hard time forgiving myself for some past ongoing porn viewing and lusting behaviors that really hurt her when she found out. I am recovering lust addict and I’m now clean and free from those behaviors.

I show by my good actions and changed behavior that I’m a better person and I’ve built up new healthy coping strategies that don’t involve cheap dopamine rushes. I also have ADHD meds which help stimulate the parts of my brain that are weak from that mental illness. Self regulation and impulse control has been difficult my whole life. And my “inner world” and “being in my head” has been a long time state. I retreated into my arts, my music, my creativity, my math/numbers…as safe spaces where I could exist.

My goals for self care are to become more verbally expressive with my wife. To assure her regularly of my love and admiration of her. Writing down my feelings is easier than out loud. But I’m getting better with practice. I can instantly feel the positive fruitage after expressing appreciation for her qualities, for her hard work in our family, as a mom and wife. It’s about intimacy. Emotional intimacy. Somehow in childhood I developed a fear of intimacy. I developed a false belief that intimacy was dangerous and unsafe to show my vulnerability. Because mom and brother often ended up hurting me despite loving me, I’m still trying to make sense of it all. To grow to be the healthiest version of myself.

I also have some goals to do more singing work and throat strengthening hobbies. To help reinforce my effort to give myself permission to speak out. It’s hard for me to understand why speaking my voice negatively and positively is so hard. I can talk facts, logic, information and surface topics very easily and enthusiastically. But when it comes to talking emotions, fear and anxiety grips my body.

Thanks for listening.

Some thoughts that scare me are:
What if expressing ( abc ) makes me cry uncontrollably?

What iceberg is underneath this feeling?

Is it safe to say this?

Will she judge or accept my feeling?

Will my voice be honored and understood?

Or will it be judged and condemned?


From: twixremix

hey friend, thank you for sharing your journey with us. i’m sure this wasn’t easy to write out as you share past trauma but i hope it helped to get it out there - i’m so proud of your vulnerability. i’m also proud of how you’re working so hard to be more verbally expressive to your wife and for staying clean from your addiction. these are huge steps that you’ve taken to not only better your life but to also be a better partner to your wife. through all of the goal-making, it’s really cool that you can also identify the fears that come from it all. while the answers are something only you can personally work on and discover, the best thing you can do is to do your best, think before you say to fully articulate a point, and to remember why you’re doing this - building emotional intimacy with your amazing wife. it’s hard to be verbally expressive especially after all the trauma and silencing yourself for years has done… but you’re giving this your all and for that, you should be proud of yourself. i believe in you, my friend. love, twix


From: eloquentpetrichor

Hello again, SuperConductor! It’s good to hear from you again. It sounds like you’ve had a lot in your life that’s silenced you. I’m really glad you are trying to find your voice and I’m proud of you for working to better yourself and work through things with your wife.

I wish you all the best as you work on finding your voice and making sure it’s heard. And crying can be helpful and cathartic even if it feels never-ending :hrtlegolove:

“When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.” -Shannon L. Alder
(This quote felt like it may be helpful for you)



Hi friend, I’m so proud of you for trying to be more communicative with your wife. I think there is one thing you should remember. When you are married, it means you 100% should trust your partner and respect them. It should 100% feel safe, unjudgmental, honed and respected. If you cry, it’s ok because your wife will see how much this effects you. It’s a good thing to let yourself cry because it shows her that you trust her with your vulnerability. Maybe you need to find the “iceberg” too and talking about everything with your wife could be therapeutic. I hope you find your peace. ~Mystrose


From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hi Friend, Thank you for opening up here and sharing so much of how you feel. I am so sorry that you have had such a tough time, no child should every have to experience a childhood that causes ongoing trauma and the fact that you did hold everything in has clearly affected you greatly. My encouragement for you would simply be to go and have the therapy that it would have been advisable to have had a long time ago, there is no time limit on therpy, there is no point when its too late, I would also suggest that after a while depending on what the therapist suggest it would be an idea to bring your wife into the sessions so she can get a much better understanding of what is happening, how you feel and it will also assist you in how you do open up to her. I I really think it would go a long way in helping you in everyway and you deserve to find that voice that you have hidden for so long. I wish you luck friend. Much Love Lisa. x


Thank you all for your encouraging replies! I’ll treasure these comments.

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