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Surely there must be some other way for me to deal with this problem- whether it's saying things in a way I didn't think about or trying something different, so I'm on here, looking for advice.

My husband and I have only been married about 2.5 years. For almost that long, he's been unable (or unwilling) to follow through on most things. In his defense (ours, I guess) we've had a rough 2 years (house issues, job issues, money issues, etc.). Our stress levels are through the roof.

His way of coping with things is to get quiet. He buries his head in the sand when things get tough. And that leaves just me to deal with everything. He's a good guy, he's not a jerk, but I feel overwhelmed dealing with everything on my own. I tell him over and over- in all sorts of ways- that I need him to start communicating more, follow through when he makes a promise, and help out/participate more, in general.

I'm just getting sick of him promising to try to do this or that, to remember things, to try to communicate, be more involved in what's going on with us and then a week or two goes by and he does nothing. It comes to a head about once every week or two because something will come up. During that time, he's had several opportunities to make a change or do something- be proactive about something- but I get 'I know, I'm sorry'. He'll say he wants to try and promises to do so. And the next day, it's back to the same-old, same-old for another week or two before it comes to a head again.

I've bought him several books about communication and relationships (from both points of view), but he has yet to finish any of them. I keep my expectations reasonable. I just believe that actions speak louder than words. His 'I'm sorry's' mean nothing when no action follows them.

I used to be very pleasant about this, but I'm growing more and more frustrated, so I now sometimes get extremely angry with him. I just feel deserted most of the time and it's just not right that one partner manages/handles/prepares everything and the other does nothing. I know that sometimes one partner needs the other more and I'm okay with that, but I have yet to be able to need him and feel supported. I look in all directions for something- anything, even something small- that shows he's trying. Keep in mind this is his second marriage (he'd been divorced about 11 years when I met him)- I've learned over the past 2 years that this is (generally) what lead to divorce for him the first time. He swears he's learned from that, but I just don't see it.

There must be something I'm missing, some way of handling this that I haven't thought of yet. I'm completely open to anything new- I believe in the vows we took. But I'm feeling alone most of the time and I sometimes miss life before marriage (when I just had myself to deal with). Any suggestions?
 

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are you specific towards him on what you expect from him? no idea whether you do but if not, maybe it could help if when the "I'm sorry" pops up to tell him clearly how or what you expect from him. like 'be more involved' can remain vague. he might feel involved. what exactly would you expect from him, what would make you feel like he's more involded, give him an example, something concrete to work with which he can expand.
 

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I am married to a similar man. I even have to make his doctor appointments for him or he won't go. He was never taught how to communicate, coming from a quiet family. I come from a loud and rowdy family and am not used to quiet people. Christmas at his mother's house is MURDER for me because everyone just sits there, quiet! I bring my iPod with me. :)

I do believe your husband is sorry, and I know actions speak louder than words, but take it from someone who has been married to a "quiet, stick his head in the sand" husband for 20 years, he isn't going to change. After awhile he will view you as a nagging wife, and he will get more quiet. Then you will get resentful and more angry than you are now.

What I did to finally stop the madness was to accept my husband as he is. I had to give up the fight to change another person because you can't change another person. I changed myself and how I reacted to his "non-existence." Is it easy? Is my marriage great? HELL NO!!!

It sucks to tell someone to lower their expectations, but that is the only thing I can see working with a person who doesn't communicate well. He doesn't mean any harm and he probably doesn't even know how angry you are about it, even if you tell him. I truly believe that when I complain to my H for behaving as your husband does, he blanks out and doesn't hear a word I say. I become Charlie Brown's teacher. No one wants to be Charlie Brown's teacher.

This may sound stupid, but make a pro and con list about your H. If you are unhappy this early in your marriage, it's not going to get better. This is who he is. Can you see yourself spending the rest of your life with him if he doesn't change? Ask yourself these hard questions before you have children. I chose not to have children with my H. Mostly because of his alcoholism and because I never wanted kids.

May I ask, what made you fall in love with this man in the first place? What was it about him that gave you butterflies in your stomach? What made you put on that white dress and walk down the isle? (I'm not being a smartazz, I am serious)
 

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Surely there must be some other way for me to deal with this problem- whether it's saying things in a way I didn't think about or trying something different, so I'm on here, looking for advice.

My husband and I have only been married about 2.5 years. For almost that long, he's been unable (or unwilling) to follow through on most things. In his defense (ours, I guess) we've had a rough 2 years (house issues, job issues, money issues, etc.). Our stress levels are through the roof.

His way of coping with things is to get quiet. He buries his head in the sand when things get tough. And that leaves just me to deal with everything. He's a good guy, he's not a jerk, but I feel overwhelmed dealing with everything on my own. I tell him over and over- in all sorts of ways- that I need him to start communicating more, follow through when he makes a promise, and help out/participate more, in general.

I'm just getting sick of him promising to try to do this or that, to remember things, to try to communicate, be more involved in what's going on with us and then a week or two goes by and he does nothing. It comes to a head about once every week or two because something will come up. During that time, he's had several opportunities to make a change or do something- be proactive about something- but I get 'I know, I'm sorry'. He'll say he wants to try and promises to do so. And the next day, it's back to the same-old, same-old for another week or two before it comes to a head again.

I've bought him several books about communication and relationships (from both points of view), but he has yet to finish any of them. I keep my expectations reasonable. I just believe that actions speak louder than words. His 'I'm sorry's' mean nothing when no action follows them.

I used to be very pleasant about this, but I'm growing more and more frustrated, so I now sometimes get extremely angry with him. I just feel deserted most of the time and it's just not right that one partner manages/handles/prepares everything and the other does nothing. I know that sometimes one partner needs the other more and I'm okay with that, but I have yet to be able to need him and feel supported. I look in all directions for something- anything, even something small- that shows he's trying. Keep in mind this is his second marriage (he'd been divorced about 11 years when I met him)- I've learned over the past 2 years that this is (generally) what lead to divorce for him the first time. He swears he's learned from that, but I just don't see it.

There must be something I'm missing, some way of handling this that I haven't thought of yet. I'm completely open to anything new- I believe in the vows we took. But I'm feeling alone most of the time and I sometimes miss life before marriage (when I just had myself to deal with). Any suggestions?
you sound exactly like my wife. I (like your H) would start things but would never finish anything. When questioned by my W about why -- I always said " I'm sorry". I always was trying to make her happy. My life started to revolve around making her happy.

I suffer from a problem-- its call a nice guy syndrome. It sound like your husband has all the traits for a NG. Once i realized this, i feel like my life was a sham. My whole existance was to make other people happy. I always put my feeling ahead of everyone else. I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable. If I saw anything leading to any conflict-- i would yes i agree with the other person. This really pissed off my W because I would never make any decisions.

I found a book called NO MORE MR NICE GUY. As a read the book, it was almost like it was written just for me(this by the way really freaked me out). I found this book after my W asked me to leave the house. She said when I was around life is too chactic. This was back in June of this yr.

The book has been a tremendous help. I made a decision that day I need to change for me because I wanted to!!! I found out my W wanted me to be the leader -- not another child to take care of. I started to take a more active role in the household. I no longer parented from the couch(no this does not work).

Please be warned your relationship will not be the same. It has cause a whole new set of problems but each day is a new adventure. I now have to deal with conflict and speak my mind. This is out of my comfort zone. This is a long road I must travel to make myself a better person. I realized I can only change myself for myself. If your H decide to take this same path-- he must do it fore himself--if not he will fail.
 

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Yeah, once you get used to a beta and then one day an alpha walks in, FIREWORKS!!!!!
 

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There must be something I'm missing, some way of handling this that I haven't thought of yet. I'm completely open to anything new- I believe in the vows we took. But I'm feeling alone most of the time and I sometimes miss life before marriage (when I just had myself to deal with). Any suggestions?
The thing you're missing is that you are half of whatever happens.
Well, you're not "missing" this - I can see that you do consider such things, but you're not seeing what you need to about it.

You're assuming your way of doing things is superior to his, and you're trying to force your methods on his instead of trying his.

Just because he withdraws doesn't mean he's not thinking about and planning his actions. He got along in life for a long time without talking things over with anyone. He must have done something right!

Imagine yourself in his shoes. What if he came to you and said, "You talk way too much. Here, read these books." What response would you have?

Instead of focusing on changing him, why not try to learn from him? This would show your love and support, demonstrate that you're cooperative, and help him feel safer, which is absolutely necessary if you want him to open up to you more. (Your current way is likely to make him withdraw from you.)

What I would suggest is a 2-step approach. When there's something he's supposed to remember or do, tell him, "I trust you to do that. Is there anything I can do to help you remember?" Show your appreciation when he does remember, even on the small things.

When he forgets, ask him how he's going to solve the problem. You can be honest and tell him if his forgetfulness makes you think he doesn't value you much, but stop taking responsibility for things that he accepted responsibility for.

As a final thought, ask yourself if you might be able to relax and accept "less than perfect" results on the types of things that crop up. You say that this is coming up pretty often, so I'd guess it's something of a power struggle between you at this point, and he's reacting passive-aggressively. If you don't get upset over thing and do not cave and assume responsibility, there's nothing to fight about.
 
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