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You call holding his hand ‘stupid crap like that’??!

So he’s asked of you to show your love a certain way, because to him it makes him feel loved... so I guess he’s affection and acts of service and you think that’s stupid crap... it sounds like he’s been expressing his needs for a while and you’ve not listened, even gone as far as to call it stupid.

Ouch.
 

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Well I divorced a man much as you describe after 27 years married. He wasn’t who I THOUGHT he was. I’ve never regretted divorcing him - I just wish I had done it many many years sooner!

he never intended to change and never wanted to be decent. He was abusive and unkind. And then things would sometimes be amazing. They had to be so I’d stay for another long period of him being an a$$hole.

life is way too short! Divorce him. He’s had enough time to change but he hasn’t and he won’t.
Tell the court you’re fearful of his temper.
I got into a daily habit of texting my kids every morning first thing when they were with their Dad. It allowed me to be sure they were ok - and opened the door to them telling me if they were concerned about anything.

as adults in their 30’s now - they still text me every morning first thing... even when they are busy at work. It’s been a great way to stay connected each day.

don’t live in fear. Don’t live an unhappy life.
Being on my own... I have way more peace of mind than when I was married - he stole my peace of mind every day - in so many ways.
 

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You call holding his hand ‘stupid crap like that’??!

So he’s asked of you to show your love a certain way, because to him it makes him feel loved... so I guess he’s affection and acts of service and you think that’s stupid crap... it sounds like he’s been expressing his needs for a while and you’ve not listened, even gone as far as to call it stupid.

Ouch.
Yeah, if you are getting THAT from my post, you haven't read ANY of my other posts, and you have no idea what point I was making...OR the type of marriage I was in.

The part I bolded is the complete opposite of what happened.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Haha!!! Thank you for saying that, but I was actually thinking how strong YOU were, when you said you had divorce papers drawn up at one point! I thought, "Wow!! I wasn't even ready to do that last year!"
Also, I doubt I looked very strong crunched into a corner of my room, crying my eyes out into my pillow (many times)!!! Sometimes I feel like the "strong" thing would have been to walk away from EVERYTHING and just start over from scratch somewhere else, instead of staying to try to protect and recoup the money I've invested in our life together...staying, putting up with his attitude, tolerating him, has made me feel so powerless and like I'm stuck in quicksand sometimes!!!! I have NOT felt strong at all!!

The reason I have given so much thought to this is because I've been putting up with it for quite awhile - I think anyone would tend to get introspective and analytical with enough (wasted) time going by in the same situation - it would have been much better if I had left 2 years ago, instead of lowering my expectations and HOPING the man I married came back...so make sure you don't look at my way as anything noble or courageous. Looking back, it's my biggest regret, and seems cowardly and WEAK.

I have three children (from my first marriage) that he's been like a father to since they were all tiny (under 10), who are all now in their early 20s...and that's the hardest part for me about staying, and something that I didn't predict - how badly it has affected THEM, even as adults. So DO NOT think it will get easier when they are older...in some ways, it could make it worse.

And oh boy, your husband saying that your problems are primarily from YOU "holding grudges" is almost exactly what my STBX used to say to me ALL the time -- and all he's trying to do is deflect, misdirect, and weasel out of any responsibility for his actions, and to call YOU unreasonable for holding him accountable for being a mature, caring partner!!! My husband used to say, it wasn't HIS LYING that was the problem, it was that I called attention to it and couldn't let it go, that I wouldn't "trust" him, even after catching him in lie after lie after lie, about anything and everything. And to him, it was MY problem that I didn't TRUST him!!!! He told me I was unloving for confronting him when I caught him lying to me, because I was ruining our happiness by "starting a fight".

In HIS mind, the responsibility for our marriage being happy and loving didn't fall on HIM to be honest and follow through on what he said, and to be unselfish at least some of the time - it all fell on ME to ignore how he was deceiving me and to only care about HIS needs, while he consistently refused to care about any of mine.
Your husband is trying to ignore your needs to resolve issues before you can just get over them, because he probably doesn't enjoy that process (who does?)...but it's a necessary part of being WITH YOU. He needs to know this and do it for you.

It makes sense that the day-to-day stuff isn't too bad - he isn't challenged at all by you during those times. But day-to-day marriage stuff is NOT the important stuff that keeps a relationship together - what that means is you guys have only the most superficial relationship, with none of the GLUE that is needed to stay connected and keep love alive. DO NOT beat yourself up that that's not enough to satisfy you - it's not supposed to be!!! And it's NOT sustainable without the deeper stuff...so it's actually GOOD that you recognize there is a problem, because your marriage is NEVER going to last the way things are.

What you have now is a marriage that has been (probably) slanted to meeting your husband's needs, and not so much YOURS. It's not really meeting his either, it sounds like, but he's more dismissive about your needs than you sound about his. Either way, what is needed is for BOTH of you to be actual caring partners to eachother, BOTH of you desiring to meet the needs of the other -- NOT devaluing those needs, and questioning them...actually seeing there is a need and CHOOSING to meet it.

It CAN be done, it just takes so much communication and unselfishness that very few people seem to actually succeed at it, unfortunately. But THAT is why you guys need counseling - it's NOT a "crutch"...it's a guide!! It's NOT for finding fault in either of you, it's for learning relationship skills and holding you BOTH accountable to your mutual goals for your marriage. You might want to tell him, you don't see much hope for the marriage at all without SOME help...because his behavior is TOTALLY unacceptable. Once he's moved the bar for allowable anger responses and given himself permission to start breaking things, he's only going to escalate further and further...and even screaming and throwing and breaking things is frightening and manipulative, and basically an adult temper tantrum. And he needs to know, you WILL NOT tolerate that. There is NO excuse for a grown adult who knows better allowing himself THAT way of expressing his anger.
It’s funny how other people see us versus how we see ourselves. Thank you for your kind words and your insight. Hearing your story and the perspective you’ve gained from it is extremely helpful. I can certainly relate to crying in my room, crying myself to sleep, etc. I wake up most mornings feeling like I don’t have the energy to make such drastic changes in my life. As the day goes on I usually gain that confidence again but the cycle starts over the next day. You are correct that we have a very superficial relationship. I long for the deeper understanding and communication. I will say he’s been there for me in some pretty bad times. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease while we were engaged and have been hospitalized twice, once after surgery to remove part of my intestine. He’s very patient and accommodating during those times and I don’t take those things lightly. But there are issues that run deep and you are spot on that he doesn‘t want to dive into those. That’s on me and my grudges. I’m emotionally and mentally exhausted because I don’t feel that I have anything left for the marriage in terms of a romantic connection. I know some say love matures and becomes more of a companionship, but then I look at the lack of support and respect and I don’t see consistency there either.
 

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It’s actually easier to be happy when there isn’t a (absent) partner by your side betraying you and working against your happiness.
 
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