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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. My story was posted ten days or so ago (Now What?) I got alot of good advice and thought I'd update everyone. My husband and I went to MC yesterday. We both explained why we were back. The counselor asked my husband if he still wants to be married, loves me and is attracted to me. All yes. Then he asked me if I believed him. I truthfully said no because of all my husband's blame and resentment. The counselor at first said that my "husband is still into me", he (the counselor) sees that and my husband admitted that. Well, then the dam burst. My husband said not quite true, he is just not that interested in us anymore because of how I made him unhappy. Well the counselor was taken aback, I guess he never got that part of it. I just sat back and my husband kept talking. Fortunately, the marriage counselor interjected and said that he is not hearing my husband accept any responsbility for what happened. My husband said what he says to me, I'm making it up, I never complained, I'm being too vague, etc. Then the counselor said we are responsible for our own happiness, nope, not according to my husband. I caused his unhappiness, no one else. As for my own needs. I can't discuss them with my husband because he gets angry and defensive and I'm being hypocritical whnever I have something to say. I'm glad the counselor saw what is going on. Here's basically how it works. My husband doesn't want to discuss this because it makes him upset. He wants me to be there for him whenever he feels like it. ANy intimacy between us is left up to him and it is very infrequent. When he is ready, so should I. I cannot have any input because "this is the tone I set for all these years and now that is what I get". And so dear friends, I can't discuss this with my husband for fear of another huge fight in fron of our kids. I have to pour my heart out in an anonymous forum because many of you understand and listen. Next time we go back (2 weeks) I think it is reasonable to ask how long I must remain in limbo with this man. While I don't want to give up, I am not sure what to do. I am hurt, confused, resentful and angry. I wonder how he can be so harsh and judgemental about our marriage. And how he is so unforgiving of my mistakes and not owning up to his. And and for my needs. Forget it. Since I ruined it all anyway, I'm a hypocrite to discuss my needs. Just go along with his. How long I can continue like this is anybody's guess. Is he suffering a midlife crisis? No longer loves or is attracted to me? Someone else and wants to make sure I ruined everything to assauge his own guilt or all of the above? Thanks for listening friends. My heart is certainly hurting.
 

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It sounds like for many years he felt out of control of his life and the marriage and now he found a way to gain that bit of control over everything without any draw backs.

The problem is this is very short sighted of him. A relationship needs to be made up of two people.

I would tell him simply if he can't be a 50/50 partner you are to strong to stand by in the shadows while he treats you badly for the hope that he might get better or see what the marriage needs beyond his selfishness.

draconis
 

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I'm sorry you're going through this. It's puzzling that he says he wants to remain married yet refuses to make any effort to sustain the marriage. It's almost as if he wants to remain married to pay you back for all the years he felt neglected or merely doesn't want to face the complications of ending it, but he should know all too well that turning the tables will only cause you to feel the way he's been feeling all these years. You can hold on to him saying he loves you and hope over time he comes around where his actions support that, but I do think it's reasonable to ask how long you expect to go on like this because in the short term, it may just be a case of any relationship where you need to step up because he simply cannot right now in which case you can look to happiness ahead and get through this bump in the road. If he can say he loves you and would love to have a marriage where you both feel fulfilled and happy but just can't try right now, there is still hope.
 

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Just a little something to add... the counselor said it's up to you and only you to make yourself happy. Yes, that is completely true... my husband used to let his deoderant sit on the bathroom counter instead of on the shelf after he used it. Daily I would go in and grumble b/c putting it on the counter or putting it away on the shelf, what was the difference... so I turned it around in my head... I said to myself that every time he lets his deoderant on the counter is his way of telling me he loves me. I came to smile and actually enjoy putting the deoderant away every day. Then I made the mistake of telling him how I turned it around in my head. He now puts it away all the time, but leaves the closet door open. LOL, just a new challenge for me to turn around!!

The glass is half full or the glass is half empty... it's all open to interpretation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I appreciate the advice. Interestingly enough, I told him yesterday enough is enough. Quite honestly, I can't change the way he feels and will leave him alone. Yes, we must be civil for our kid's sakes and in order to run the household, etc. But I have completely withdrawn from him. He can't have it both ways. I do not want to joke around, go out, do any couple things since he feels this away about me. He thinks that it is ok to have all these negative feelings about me but continue as always. As long as I don't menton anything or bring up my own concerns it's ok. I am leaving him alone. I also feel that it is reasonable for some sort of time timable. This has been going on for over 18 months. If he believes that I neglected him and ignored all his needs there is nothing I can say or do to change that (believe me I tried). Things may be too late for him but he doesn't want to admit it. Thanks for listening.
 

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Over 18 months? Wow...you have been very patient & I can understand why you are feeling hurt, resentful, etc. Sounds like he needs a wake up call that it's time to work together or go your separate ways. You both deserve to be happy but neither seem to be with the way things are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yep. Actually it's close to two years that this has been going on. But I've had enough and have "drawn a line in the sand" so to speak. Not only does he blame me for his unhappiness, he also uses my neglect of him as a justification for anything he doesn't want to hear or do. For instance, if I say his anger and resentment are driving me away, he counters with I did that for 13 years. If I tell him my needs are not being met he really goes off and says his were not met for 13 years. I told him (several times in fact) that he should not go out with his friends after training sessions to a bar when we are going through such turmoil. He simply ignored this and went anyway. When this topic came up I again told him he that I don't think going out to a bar is a good idea now and he should not. He screamed back that I didn't listen to him for 13 years, etc. We can't discuss anything because he 100% of the times has to "remind me" that I am the cause of all this turmoil. When we go back to the counselor in two weeks I am going to say that I have had enough. Either my husband works through his anger, forgives me and accepts responsbilitiy for his own actions or I am through with him. I think it is reasonable to give him some timeframe. If he cannot do what I ask than it's time for me to move on.
 

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it does look as if he is carrying some guilt that he is trying to turn on to you, in order to make himself feel better :(

you say you are doing everything you can to change and make things better between you. If you are certain that you have done all you can, then perhaps it's time to tell him that if he can't see past his anger, and help you get your lives back on track together, then there is nothing left but to try and rebuild your lives apart.
 

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It almost sounds to me as if he has given up on the marriage and wants out. The problem is he does not want to be the one to do it. Like you said he never takes blame so if he sticks in there until you file for divorce then he can play the poor me card. Tell every one how he tried so hard but you still left him. I could be wrong but he seams to thrive on coming across as the poor me type.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have confided some (not all) of what has been happening to one person, my sister-in-law (husband's sis). Interesting enough, she seemed to pick up on what some of what is being said. She felt that he is almost projecting his own guilt on me and that maybe he also wants out of the marriage but will conveniently "blame" me for not trying and filing for divorce. Because that's what will happen. I can't take much more and when I tell him that he says "oh, you're giving up". Well no, I'm not but he is driving me away. When something happens, he'll tell our kids and anyone else that "he tried" and will blame me for the end of the marriage. I'm still in shock that this is the same man I married over 24 years ao. It's like I don't know him anymore. Thanks for the input.
 

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Julie, I think you are very clever to come up with a turnaround like that. The closet door might be a little message from hubby that he likes you thinking he's leaving you a little love message. He sounds just the tad manipulative, changing the deodorant message into the closet message, but it sounds like you've got a pretty good handle on it. Best of luck to the both of you.
 
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