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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m 65. My husband and I have been married almost 5 years after my 30 years prior and his 35 years prior. We dated almost 1.5 years and lived separately because we were an hour apart. He really swept me off my feet! But it’s not been an easy 5 years. He always closes down when I want to talk about an issue. I get the silent treatment which infuriates me. He’s not an angry or jealous man which I’m grateful for as was my ex. He’s very talkative and silly which is good but sometimes excessive. He’s sometimes a mr know it all and insensitive to others including his kids and me.
I got annoyed that when it’s trash day he frequently takes it out but doesn’t take any of the inside trash out. I reminded him of it and asked that he get the kitchen as I was in the middle of a project. Later I find it still there. I was annoyed and took it out myself saying. I got it! I return and he’s gone upstairs. He works and I’m alone all day so we usually relax together in the evenings. I texted him and said yes I was annoyed but it wasn’t that big a deal. It doesn’t have to wreck the whole night. He eventually comes down and says nothing. I finally say, how can we avoid this in the future? Hoping we can just talk. He says you can ask yourself that. I don’t have to deal with that kind of talk. I was aggravated but had said very little and hadn’t yelled which I reminded him of. It was garbage day so I thought he’d get the garbage as I’d reminded him about the kitchen.The problem becomes more about him clamming up, getting defensive, not talking to me, no attempt for resolution. He’s never understanding or sensitive towards me or comforting. I’m tired of feeling alone and unsupported. I know I’m not perfect but at this point I just don’t know how to continue. I ended up saying “I’m done”.This was last night and nothing else has been said. He slept in the other room. I just feel hopeless, alone and afraid. He’s just so disconnected emotionally, defensive and the silent treatment hurts more than an argument to me. What do I do?
 

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It sounds like it’s really not about the garbage, that just seems to be a symptom of something deeper. The straw that broke the camel’s back had many straws that piled on before it.😔

Sometimes counseling can help but have you tried explaining your feelings to him as you’ve done here?

It’s hard to be with someone who is emotionally detached, I wonder if this is a byproduct of his first marriage. Maybe this is his way of dealing with conflict, to not deal with it. I understand your frustration but hopefully, you both can talk things out and meet each other halfway.
 

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I was around your age when I divorced after a very long marriage. I slowly began dating again and then had a relationship with a man who was very much like your husband. He wanted to get married but my alarm bells were constantly going off and for once I listened to them and didn’t marry him. His refusal to discuss anything of substance and use of the silent treatment when I tried to talk to him about anything that wasn’t trivial convinced me our relationship wasn’t going to work and I ended it.

The odds that your husband’s going to really change aren’t very good at this point. You can continue to try to get through to him but I think this is who he is and communicating on a real level will likely always be an uphill battle. What is his age? Do you know why his prior marriage ended?

P.S.
It’s not a good idea to threaten that you’re done if you aren’t. Maybe you really are but when you say you are and then you aren’t you have to backpedal and that sends a message that he can continue and you’ll put up with it.
 

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Your problem is not about getting annoyed that he didn't take the kitchen trash out. With the little information you gave, and reading between the lines, it seems that he just can't open up. he must not feel comfortable, nor probably knows how to do it. if you're 65, I gather that he's around your age, consequently, he's not changing, if that's what you're seeking. Can't teach an old dog a new trick. very seldom old people change their ways. You are trying to change him, that's for sure, that's why his response:

He says you can ask yourself that. I don’t have to deal with that kind of talk.
did you know this about him when you guys were dating? did you think that it was OK, but that you'd steer him right after marriage? are you willing to put up with his ways? if not than, get out, because, once again: he's not changing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It sounds like it’s really not about the garbage, that just seems to be a symptom of something deeper. The straw that broke the camel’s back had many straws that piled on before it.😔

Sometimes counseling can help but have you tried explaining your feelings to him as you’ve done here?

It’s hard to be with someone who is emotionally detached, I wonder if this is a byproduct of his first marriage. Maybe this is his way of dealing with conflict, to not deal with it. I understand your frustration but hopefully, you both can talk things out and meet each other halfway.
Well I was aggravated about the trash. I mean it’s trash day! I was annoyed since I reminded him but it wasn’t a fight, I wasn’t yelling but yes, he knew I was annoyed. Am I not permitted to ever get annoyed??? But it’s what happened after that brought me to total frustration. And to telling him I’m done! I’m so tired of this lack of communication and compassion and no attempt for resolution. We’ve had some counseling via BetterHelp so not in person and typically not together and usually it’s just me. His detachment may be the reason for his first marriage failing. 5 children, he worked a lot and she ended up depressed, on meds, drinking, violent outbursts and affairs. No excuse for her, she left her children except for the youngest who she pretty much kidnapped and hasn’t been seen for nearly 8 years. He tried connecting with him in the beginning but nothing since. His oldest daughter has cut off communication with him and it appears most of the other siblings. His oldest son deals with anxiety and recently very depressed . He wanted to tell him to pull his big boy pants up and knock it off. I was able to console his son and encouraged my husband to show more compassion at a difficult time.
How do I proceed? I know I made the finalized statements. Out of frustration, anger, hurt! I take it he’ll say nothing. And if he lets me go, I go. Which he will because he doesn’t seem to care. I guess I was hurtful. I hate him sometimes or the lack of passion and connection. I’m feeling pretty hopeless. Thx for your response and understanding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was around your age when I divorced after a very long marriage. I slowly began dating again and then had a relationship with a man who was very much like your husband. He wanted to get married but my alarm bells were constantly going off and for once I listened to them and didn’t marry him. His refusal to discuss anything of substance and use of the silent treatment when I tried to talk to him about anything that wasn’t trivial convinced me our relationship wasn’t going to work and I ended it.

In my case, he was very set in his ways and had zero interest in compromising. The only resolution to an issue was me giving in because he wouldn’t budge. As long as I didn’t try to have a serious conversation with him things were great but the moment I initiated a conversation about something that needed addressing he totally shut down and the silent treatment began. That would last from a few hours to a few days. Unfortunately, I think you’re dealing with a similar type.

The odds that your husband’s going to really change aren’t very good at this point. You can continue to try to get through to him but I think this is who he is and communicating on a real level will likely always be an uphill battle. What is his age? Do you know why his prior marriage ended?

P.S.
It’s not a good idea to threaten that you’re done if you aren’t. Maybe you really are but when you say you are and then you aren’t you have to backpedal and that sends a message that he can continue and you’ll put up with it.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I wish I would have been strong enough to back out when I was uncomfortable with this type of reaction from him. He’s 64, about a year and a half younger than me. As I said in a earlier response he rather swept me off my feet! We had a great time together, laughed and spent quality time weekends together. I was thankful he wasn’t an angry or jealous man as was my ex. I agree with you that I shouldn’t say I’m done if I’m not, but at the time of total frustration, anger, hurt, I felt no need to continue this effortless attempt of getting more from him! But yes, at this point I don’t know what to do.
 

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Well I was aggravated about the trash. I mean it’s trash day! I was annoyed since I reminded him but it wasn’t a fight, I wasn’t yelling but yes, he knew I was annoyed. Am I not permitted to ever get annoyed??? But it’s what happened after that brought me to total frustration. And to telling him I’m done! I’m so tired of this lack of communication and compassion and no attempt for resolution. We’ve had some counseling via BetterHelp so not in person and typically not together and usually it’s just me. His detachment may be the reason for his first marriage failing. 5 children, he worked a lot and she ended up depressed, on meds, drinking, violent outbursts and affairs. No excuse for her, she left her children except for the youngest who she pretty much kidnapped and hasn’t been seen for nearly 8 years. He tried connecting with him in the beginning but nothing since. His oldest daughter has cut off communication with him and it appears most of the other siblings. His oldest son deals with anxiety and recently very depressed . He wanted to tell him to pull his big boy pants up and knock it off. I was able to console his son and encouraged my husband to show more compassion at a difficult time.
How do I proceed? I know I made the finalized statements. Out of frustration, anger, hurt! I take it he’ll say nothing. And if he lets me go, I go. Which he will because he doesn’t seem to care. I guess I was hurtful. I hate him sometimes or the lack of passion and connection. I’m feeling pretty hopeless. Thx for your response and understanding.
I’m sorry to hear that things have been rough. And of course, you are allowed to feel anything you want. Just from what you’ve shared here, he seems “checked out” when it comes to conflict resolution. He just doesn’t seem interested (or capable?) of handling anymore conflicts when it comes to relationships. He doesn’t seem to only be this way with you, and this might be as good as it gets.

Interesting how you say he “swept you off your feet,” and now you’re dealing with a guy who is nothing like the person you married. But it doesn’t strike me that he’s purposefully trying to hurt you, he is just over arguing and if you don’t like it, he doesn’t care.

So, going with all of that, you should think about moving on and what that may look like. I have a feeling if you start getting serious about leaving, he may act like he cares and “sweep you off your feet again,” but it likely will go back to the way things are. Change is hard.

It takes two and you can’t be the only willing party to make things work. But for whatever reason he has become detached from emotions and the desire to want to resolve issues, he has to want to change.

There are other stories like yours on here so maybe check them out to gain some different insights.
 
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Thank you for sharing your experience. I wish I would have been strong enough to back out when I was uncomfortable with this type of reaction from him. He’s 64, about a year and a half younger than me. As I said in a earlier response he rather swept me off my feet! We had a great time together, laughed and spent quality time weekends together. I was thankful he wasn’t an angry or jealous man as was my ex. I agree with you that I shouldn’t say I’m done if I’m not, but at the time of total frustration, anger, hurt, I felt no need to continue this effortless attempt of getting more from him! But yes, at this point I don’t know what to do.
I know too well how all that goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I talked to him. I asked how he proposed we deal with this. He asked me the same. I told him I wasn’t sure. I guess we’ll have to sell the condo, the boat, our rv and get a lawyer. We rehashed the incident over the trash, how I thought it could be easily resolved even if I was aggravated. He said he was mad and decided to leave rather than fight with me. It seriously didn’t have to be a fight but I obviously can’t show him I’m aggravated because he can’t just apologize and move on so he detaches and ignores me and does not talk or try to resolve anything. That is why I then got angry. He admits maybe he has a character flaw and can’t give me what I need. So I said I’d contact a lawyer and we’d go from there.
so here I am literally sick to my stomach. Im scared and feel like a loser and my husband doesn’t love me enough to actually try, to ever comfort me.
Im sorry, I just had to get it out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow! Usually I do and I did! But I got busy and asked him to earlier so I was annoyed and probably overreacted! Not a major issue really. It’s the way I get ignored, no attempt to resolve any issues or even permitted the response he’d give to a customer that was aggravated about something. As his wife, I’d think it would be nice!
 

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Sorry to read this latest update. But you aren't a loser and you aren't a fool or anything for having picked this guy. Time and again on this site there are tales of people who are fooled by their partners months or years into their relationship. And I think sometimes you can wave away some of these issues at first but then they compound over time. You aren't a loser for the relationship ending the way it did. If anything, your husband is the loser for throwing away a relationship because he is not willing to have a conversation or change at all. But that is often an overriding theme you see here too--people who are unwilling to do the basics.
 

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Im scared and feel like a loser and my husband doesn’t love me enough to actually try, to ever comfort me.
Your husband behaves like a stereotypical passive-aggressive. From what you've reported thus far, it doesn't sound like you're losing much when/if you divorce. This is his basic approach to life. He's not going to change. And, like it or not, it doesn't sound like he's particularly emotionally invested in the marriage.

And this is about a helluva lot more than who takes out the trash. Seriously.
 

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Well I was aggravated about the trash. I mean it’s trash day! I was annoyed since I reminded him but it wasn’t a fight, I wasn’t yelling but yes, he knew I was annoyed. Am I not permitted to ever get annoyed??? But it’s what happened after that brought me to total frustration. And to telling him I’m done! I’m so tired of this lack of communication and compassion and no attempt for resolution. We’ve had some counseling via BetterHelp so not in person and typically not together and usually it’s just me. His detachment may be the reason for his first marriage failing. 5 children, he worked a lot and she ended up depressed, on meds, drinking, violent outbursts and affairs. No excuse for her, she left her children except for the youngest who she pretty much kidnapped and hasn’t been seen for nearly 8 years. He tried connecting with him in the beginning but nothing since. His oldest daughter has cut off communication with him and it appears most of the other siblings. His oldest son deals with anxiety and recently very depressed . He wanted to tell him to pull his big boy pants up and knock it off. I was able to console his son and encouraged my husband to show more compassion at a difficult time.
How do I proceed? I know I made the finalized statements. Out of frustration, anger, hurt! I take it he’ll say nothing. And if he lets me go, I go. Which he will because he doesn’t seem to care. I guess I was hurtful. I hate him sometimes or the lack of passion and connection. I’m feeling pretty hopeless. Thx for your response and understanding.
I would feel empty and alone too.
I could never be with a man long term who didn’t show compassion and make effort to discuss how he feels about difficult situations. And even more so —-> how to resolve conflict without angry responses.
That would never work for me!

he needs tons of counseling help (individual) - if he isn’t committed to going every week for a year - to prove he is making progress to resolve conflicts appropriately - and to show love and compassion to people close to him… I’d leave him.

life is way too short to stay in any relationship that causes me to feel empty and alone.

Will he do long term counseling that shows results?

make a decision - act in that decision.
 

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really? She DID ask him to take out the trash.

it’s not HER fault he acted like a passive aggressive selfish jerk who runs and hides when he’s caught being lazy!

if you can’t count on your partner for the “little things” = you definitely can’t count on them for the big things!

being alone is better - mainly because there is less disappointment when a partner sucks.
 

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I talked to him. I asked how he proposed we deal with this. He asked me the same. I told him I wasn’t sure. I guess we’ll have to sell the condo, the boat, our rv and get a lawyer. We rehashed the incident over the trash, how I thought it could be easily resolved even if I was aggravated. He said he was mad and decided to leave rather than fight with me. It seriously didn’t have to be a fight but I obviously can’t show him I’m aggravated because he can’t just apologize and move on so he detaches and ignores me and does not talk or try to resolve anything. That is why I then got angry. He admits maybe he has a character flaw and can’t give me what I need. So I said I’d contact a lawyer and we’d go from there.
so here I am literally sick to my stomach. Im scared and feel like a loser and my husband doesn’t love me enough to actually try, to ever comfort me.
Im sorry, I just had to get it out!
No one who hasn’t been through it really understands what it’s like to have someone you love refuse to communicate and pretend you don’t exist until they decide you’ve been punished enough. It’s early yet so your husband may decide to backpedal but one thing he’s unlikely to do is change so if you decide to stay with him you’ll have to accept that you’ll very likely be doing all the compromising.
 

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Part of his problem may be him having thin skin.
This is that long-term, and imprinted reflex/response.
He brought that old baggage in with him

His former wife may have been a nag.
His response to her nagging was to shut down and do the minimum asked.

He has given up on fully cooperating.

Yes, that old dog, not willing to learn, or do ANYTHING.

To him, your asking most anything, even something reasonable is seen as that micro-managing to him.

As we age, we lose a lot of patience for others and their needs.
Many get cranky and rebellious in their old age.

He sounds fixed-in-place, and set in his ways.

Think about it.....
It takes energy to be patient.
Energy to do anything, even think clearly.

It takes a certain energy level and mindset to be generous, kind, and attentive.
Aging is often anathema to these mental states..

The old body is tired and achy all the time.

Men lose muscle tone, lose testosterone and its effect on drive and endurance.
Every move is a chore.

They do not want to do anything, that seems.....extra.

Ugh.

This is real.

Yes, women suffer from similar maladies and can become energy depleted, chair-bound and cranky filled.

I am a Martian and have Natural Immunity to much of this.

Uh, right.



Are Dee-
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Your husband behaves like a stereotypical passive-aggressive. From what you've reported thus far, it doesn't sound like you're losing much when/if you divorce. This is his basic approach to life. He's not going to change. And, like it or not, it doesn't sound like he's particularly emotionally invested in the marriage.

And this is about a helluva lot more than who takes out the trash. Seriously.
You are so right on all accounts! The trash was just me being aggravated. Everything else is him checking out and being emotionally detached. Guess he just doesn’t care enough! But maybe it’s all me after reading someone’s response that I should do it myself! I seriously though could handle if he just would try.
 
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