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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! I am new to this website and forums so I don't really know how it works but I was hoping to connect with people in similar situations, or who may have some insight.

My husband and I have been married for 3 years and have been together for 5. We are in our late twenties. For the most part, we are very happy and in love. We have a great sex life and have fun together (although we pretty much only do things he likes to do). We rarely fight anymore, but this is because I've been working on my own anger issues and have decided I want to be happy no matter what.

Recently, we've had some serious issues surface. For one, he told me he doesn't want kids and I do (given the right circumstances: money, a house, stable jobs etc). I asked if he think that might change in the future and he said he doesn't really know. The other issue is he NEVER talks... he never opens up about ANYTHING personal, emotional, intimate. He'll talk about work, the gym, our dog, his day etc..but nothing else.

When we had the discussion about kids, I told him we should seek counselling because I didn't know how to go about this problem. He said he wouldn't talk (which is true) and it would be a waste. Later on I told him we were on very rocky ground, that I couldn't keep sacrificing my desires and future goals for him. I basically told him he needed to show me how he felt and he needed to make more of an effort with his actions if we were to get through this problem without him talking or going to therapy. So I said, for our anniversary and my birthday, you need to show me how you feel.

Well... suffice to say, he didn't. He didn't do anything. And it wasn't in a malicious way. I assume it was in a lazy, passive, or just plain stupid way. I was sad. And for the first time, I slept on the couch. Neither of us have ever gotten to this point. The next day he woke up like nothing happened. Went out shopping with his friends.. came home empty handed and didn't say anything??

I again asked him to open up..his thoughts on what happened. Nothing. I expressed my desires to separate and then, he cried...for the second time in our marriage I saw him cry. The first was when he had to leave the country and we thought we had to break up. And suddenly, his crying just shook me. It made me realize that he does love me in his own weird way.

I decided to sleep on the couch again because I'm so confused. I don't know if I can live my life sacrificing all of my desires, goals, and needs in a relationship for him.

Is a happy marriage enough? Is love enough?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Haha, yes :(. It should have. But here's the problem...

Since he DOES NOT talk, and in the beginning there was a language barrier, our conversation about this was heavily one-sided. I told him about my dreams and goals, he listened. Whenever I talked about our future kids, he smiled and said nothing. We went on this way for awhile until one day he said he didn't want kids. I asked him why he had never said anything and he said he thought his silence was obvious.

To be honest, I'm not sure if I ever directly asked him. I think I just assumed he wanted them because he never said anything and that was just his personality.
 

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Yea, speaking as a dude who tends to do more listening than talking, silence doesn't mean agreement.

Also, I don't know you or your situation- so I'm not trying to attack you. However, the way you describe the situation where one person is doing all the communicating sort of reminds me of my wife. She's got a husband who's nice enough to listen to her talk all the time, but doesn't really show much of an interest as to what he's thinking about what she's saying.

So, if you're in a situation where you're talking at him and not in a real conversation, you've got to slow that up. It may have already gotten you into a situation where you just assume everything's OK but you didn't give your husband time and space to express himself.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your reply. I don't feel attacked at all :). I appreciate your feedback.

The problem is, most people can't fathom what it means when I say he doesn't talk. By that I mean he really does not talk. In our conversations, I often say "How do you feel?" "What do you think about this?" "I want to hear your opinion.". I often stay silent, look at him and then avoid eye contact. I've tried everything to make him feel safe but he's got the highest walls built and I have no idea why.

When I ask him why he won't tell me anything or participate in the conversation, he says "that's how I am. you know me. I don't talk."
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi William...I'm so sorry to hear! That sounds really traumatic. It pains me to hear you have a partner who doesn't talk either, but a part of me feels less alone.

Do you talk about your feelings? How do you deal with this lack of engagement? Clearly you both have been proactive in some way...my husband won't even consider therapy. The other thing that confuses me is that there are no apparent signs of trauma. It truly does seem like a personality thing because his father is the same. It's very confusing to me because it's not simply "he doesn't like to talk" it's honestly "NEVER talks" as I'm sure you understand with your wife.
 

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Yes, this may just be the way he is but can you spend the next 50 years with his type of love? And that doesn't begin to address the issue of children -- that's another story.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OpenMinded, you ask a good question and I've asked it of myself. Part of me says I can, because I have already adapted so much to him. When he initiates sex or tries to make me laugh when I'm sad, I understand he loves me and I feel so close to him. The other part of me says I can't do it too much longer, it hurts too much..

It doesn't help that I reconnected with a high school friend who I immediately felt close to again. Within just a few hours of talking we opened up to each other about some very real **** and I felt so close to him. That only served to make things more confusing though because I realize I can't just "switch one for the other" and live happily ever after. I realize that the conversation only highlighted our marital problems and made me feel sadder about our lack of intimacy.

The kids thing...I'm still in denial. Not sure when I will finally realize that "I don't want kids" doesn't mean "I don't want them now because we're poor."
 

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Discussion Starter #11
William, wow...that sounds very challenging! You are a very good husband to work through that. You are very resilient. Clearly you saw something in her and the marriage to work so hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
An interview? How smart! Haha, I wish I had thought of that. I was 23 and in love. Thought that nothing beyond our love mattered. So naive :p.

I have been to counselling before but not for this particular situation. I think maybe that is a good place to start. I seem to think my answers will just come to me but I don't think that's how it works.
 

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Sorry this happened to you, but you chose this man. He won't change. Introverts stay introverts and rarely do they come out of their shells. If you cannot come to a parity with him it would be better to end the marriage so both of you can find compatible mates.
 

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You probably have a fallacy about your husband--you think he has a similar emotional landscape as you and that he's withholding everything from you. But that's probably not the case. He probably has very few emotions are they are more muted. So if your emotions are like a landscape with mountains, streams, forests and rich, purple sunsets, his landscape is more like flat farmfields as far as you can see with flat light from the noon-day sun.

Is he an engineer or a technical person? It's common for people like that to have a very low emotional side to them.

Anyway, this is likely something that he cannot change. You're asking him to talk about feelings he doesn't have. It be like if he asked you for your feelings about something you don't think about at all. (e.g. "Purple, why don't you ever share with me your feelings about model trains?")

You should carefully consider your future with him. He may be a great man and husband, but this will likely always be a very significant incompatibility between you too. The kids issue is also significant. Unless he's truly enthusiastic, don't have kids with him.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Bandit, thank you for your kind words. I am an introvert. He is an introvert but to an extreme. He's absolutely closed. Unlike anyone I could have ever imagined. When we first met, I was closed too so I could understand his closed nature. I guess what changed was I began to trust him and open up...and he has stayed the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wilson, I laughed out loud at your response. Sooo funny and very, very accurate. I guess my name on here shines a light on that. I do feel that way and I think that is my husband. He is a very technical person and could talk forever about something related to fitness or video games :p. When it comes to emotions, life, deep problems, philosophy, he's ouuuttt.

Perhaps I am projecting...thinking that he should open up about things because I am but perhaps there's nothing to open up about. However, on a more practical note, when we have real relationship issues like the kid discussion, he barely talks or gives insight to his answers. He thinks "I don't want kids" is enough and that the rest will resolve. So does that mean it all falls on me? As an indecisive, loyal, and stubborn woman, I find it hard to walk away over something he hasn't even clarified fully. He used to say he didn't want kids until we had enough money. Then he said he didn't want kids because it would take away from his free time. As a 28 year old man, that is to be expected. I understand. I feel the same RIGHT NOW, but I know I won't in a few years. The problem is, he doesn't know how he'll feel in a few years. He says he can't predict the future. I'm not sure what to do with that?

I also can't imagine why the man who loves me would do absolutely nothing for our anniversary and my birthday. I don't care about expensive things or extravagant dates... I would have been happy if he made me breakfast and cleaned the dishes, instead of waiting in the bedroom for me to do it all. It makes me feel like I'm not worth the effort.
 

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It doesn't help that I reconnected with a high school friend who I immediately felt close to again. Within just a few hours of talking we opened up to each other about some very real **** and I felt so close to him. That only served to make things more confusing though because I realize I can't just "switch one for the other" and live happily ever after. I realize that the conversation only highlighted our marital problems and made me feel sadder about our lack of intimacy.
Talking to other dudes you'd like to 'connect' with ain't gonna help the situation with the dude you married.
 
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