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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:(

I look through the posts here, and I feel like there are so many spouses here who have gone through so much more than I have, yet they still have so much love for their spouses and want to make it work. How come I feel so checked out? What's wrong with me??

Here's our back story, as fast and honestly as I can do it: things were never perfect, but I was truly in love with him when we got married. People always commented on what a cute, happy couple we were (I'm very affectionate, so there's always been lots of hugging). Of course, there were always problems, too. I'm HD, he was always LD. I still remember crying myself to sleep the first time I put on a sexy black lace bra and thong set and he rolled over and went to sleep.
I was always fixated on the idea that I could do everything by myself, and then we had kids. The biggest issues that came from that time were that I needed more conversation and affection from him (I'm very needy, I get that. My whole "I can do it all, I don't need any help!" was really "I need so much !!" When I take the emotional needs tests, I have like, 8 strong needs).
When I asked him for anything, he just never ever did it. He wouldn't help me get sleep when the kids were small (our second daughter has some sensory issues, and she was still waking up 5-10 times per night at 3. I very nearly had a nervous breakdown from the lack of sleep. I cried and begged him to take the kids out of the house so I could and he said sure, and then just didn't)

There are tons of examples of this. On top of that, he would frequently lie, and occasionally say things that are just frankly irrational. Because of family history, I started to fear that he has dementia. He was tested, and that's uncovered a whole host of processing disorders plus memory problems, but not dementia.

So, now we're trying to put things back together. Or at least, I'm trying to put things back together. I know I'm still reeling from the lack of sleep and near-nervous collapse, so maybe I just need to give us more time? But I look at him and I just feel so ANGRY that he did that to me... and I wonder if this is fixable any more??

I'm sorry to vent here. Our kids are still very small, I'm still exhausted (plus dealing with some health issues, making me even more tired and foggier), and we're under a ton of stress right now. The fear that it was dementia was just awful.

What if I never want it to work? What kind of person can go from loving someone to not wanting to be near them??
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
But I look at him and I just feel so ANGRY that he did that to me... and I wonder if this is fixable any more??
I'm re-reading and think I need to clarify the "that" in the above sentence. I feel like he betrayed me. I get that he didn't cause the stress I was under; I feel like he let me shoulder the burden by myself though. I was literally crying and begging for sleep and he just stood there... and didn't help me.
Then, that November, I told him that I was so, so hurt by that. It's stupid, but I told him I needed him to show me that I mattered to him, and I asked him for an extravagant christmas present. One that would really scream I LOVE YOU! I THINK YOU'RE WORTH THE WORLD!! (and, one that would by no means put a measurable dent into our savings, it wasn't crazy expensive). And he said to me, "are you kidding me? What makes you think you deserve that?" It cut me to the core, and made me feel betrayed all over again.

So, yeah, just to clarify that statement, it was vague.
 

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It is very easy to fall out of love with someone. It is not unnatural, unhealthy or wrong. The real question is - is being in this marriage ever going to make me happy? If your answer is no, then no amount of "fixing" it will help.
Yes you have big problems and the children make things a bit more difficult. But you will be amazed at the strength and good things that come your way when you have the courage to face the unknown and follow what your heart (rather than your head) tells you to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Liam, it's nice to hear that.

If I were to honestly follow just my own heart, I would leave the marriage. But since I can't do that to the kids, I'll stay. I'm going to cut myself some slack though and just put our marriage on the back burner for a while. If he decides to pick up the slack, great. Maybe my heart will turn around. If not, at least that's one less ball in the air for me right now.
 

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You owe it to yourself, him and the children to not just sit this on the back burner. Seek help or counseling.

Does this guy love you and if so does he have any idea you are this unhappy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Does this guy love you and if so does he have any idea you are this unhappy?
I assume he loves me, he says he wants to fix things. He hasn't said that he loves me in over a year. He knows how unhappy I am, but his behavior hasn't changed. That's part of what makes this so tough. I'm so desperate for anything from him, and I'm getting nothing.

I know we need counseling. Right now we live in his home country and I don't speak the language, so lining that up is out of my reach. I pushed it once already, and he made himself an appointment. When I told him I wanted to go together, he cancelled the next appointment, and that was that. I'll push again after his MRI and the meeting with the doctor who did his cognitive testing. I don't understand how he can know that this is eating me up inside, and has been for years now, but act like nothing is happening.

I'm also thinking of pushing for a full psychiatric evaluation. He doesn't seem to understand that I have feelings, and I don't know what that means. But something tells me that MC isn't going to work unless we figure out what's going on in his head first.
 

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Well maybe if he see's you are serious about dissolving the marriage it will wake him up. What you may think is obvious to him might not be. He may be in complete denial or not have a clue what he is doing to you. Men are good at that sort of thing. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well maybe if he see's you are serious about dissolving the marriage it will wake him up. What you may think is obvious to him might not be. He may be in complete denial or not have a clue what he is doing to you. Men are good at that sort of thing. :D
That's the only move I have left, I think. Right now I'm planning to take the kids home with me 1 - 2 months before he follows. Hopefully he'll wake up at that point and start trying. If not, I guess at least I have my answer.
 

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Well good luck to you. I hope it works out so you can be happy again :D

Be sure to come on here if you need to vent. There are a lot of good people on here and it helps to have someone to talk to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks NoWhere, it really does help to vent. I don't have any friends where we live, and I miss my girlfriends back home!

Here's something he did yesterday that's so small and most people wouldn't even notice, but I think must be a love buster for me. Tell me what you think:

One thing that very, very few people know about me was that in high school and college, I had an eating disorder. I'm naturally thin though (really, it runs in the family. It made having an eating disorder doubly stupid, since I can eat all day without gaining weight. But, ultimately that's not what an ED is about).

Anyway, as an adult I struggle to keep my weight in the normal range (I'm about 5'5" and maybe 115 lbs). I've seen doctors and my health looks fine, although I am the kind of person that loses weight with stress, and I've been stressed lately. H is right on the borderline between normal and overweight by BMI charts.

Last night I made just enough spaghetti for dinner so that we wouldn't have leftovers, because nobody eats leftover spaghetti. I gave the kids more than they would eat and took a very small portion myself because H gets irritable if dinner is small. When the girls were done, I took my youngest's plate and started to scrape it on to my plate, because I was still hungry. H took the plate from my hand and said, "Oh I want some of that too."

I didn't say anything and just gave it to him. I know that it's asking too much for him to notice that I'd taken a really small portion (less than I gave the kids even, because I dish myself last and that was all that was left). But I have told him before that eating enough is a struggle for me, and I need him to help me out. I need him to push me into getting an ice cream cone if I waffle about it, or just bring home a pint of my favorite ben and jerry's. But instead, it's the opposite. He'll say, "oh you weren't going to eat that were you? I wanted it."

Sigh. I know it sounds totally stupid. I need to just feed myself like I'm as important as everyone else in the family. But I struggle with that, and H knows it.

I've never seen food and feeding on a love language chart, maybe the people who came up with it weren't Italian. :) But when he takes food from my hands like that, it really hurts. And I've made it clear to him multiple times! It's just that nothing gets through or sticks with him.
 

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What he said was awful. You deserve a fabulous gift. I think you should buy one for yourself and then show it off to him and say, "hey, husband, this is what you got for me." Do it enough times and he'll realize what a lousy thing it was to make you feel like you shouldn't expect him to be considerate in showing love.

Have you read "The Five Love Languages"? It might be useful to you.
 

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Also, you've gotta start making yourself more important to you, rather than hoping he will fill in that void for you.

Eat the ice cream. Always. It makes you feel like a happy kid and that isn't a bad thing. Make better sized portions for yourself at the outset. You're reaching him not to value you. Stop making yourself small so that you feel like you're not taking up too much space. I do this too, only I am not thin, so I just get quiet and compliant. It starts to feel like a cage after too long. And he will start treating you better when you treat yourself better; or, if you leave him, then at least you don't be making yourself feel bad. See a counselor, if you can. Keep a diary (password protected). Give yourself more presence; you're not worth less than everyone else and you don't need to martyr yourself.

Hang in there. And take a spa day; the indulgence is good for the self esteem sometimes.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Give yourself more presence; you're not worth less than everyone else and you don't need to martyr yourself.

Hang in there. And take a spa day; the indulgence is good for the self esteem sometimes.
Thanks Moxy. You're right. Especially about the spa day, I could really use a great massage. :)

I was reading over what I wrote, and everything else you said is so true. Feeding people isn't in the love language book (I guess that falls under the acts of service one though?), but that's definitely one of my personal ones, and I'm denying it to myself. It's not that I don't eat, it's just that I always feed myself last and take the least desirable pieces. Part of that is just that no one else is going to eat it and I hate wasting, but I think it has reinforced to H that that's all I'm worth. I just wish that he was the kind of man that treated me well even if I'm not treating myself well. Is that veering into fairytale land though? I want to keep my expectations realistic. Realistic expectations are hard in our culture I think...
 

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It sounds like he is oblivious to what he did and probably a little self centered. He may know about your problem, but it sounds like it never crossed his mind. You need to just get what you plan to eat to begin with to prevent stuff like this. Tell him if he's still hungry after dinner you can make something else.

Sounds like you two need to learn to communicate better. He obviously does things you resent and you hold it inside which is a recipe for disaster. Resentment has a way of building inside you to the point of no return and ultimately can destroy a marriage and make you hate your spouse. Again I doubt he is thinking 'I know she doesn't eat enough, but screw her I'm hungry!' Like I said it probably never crossed his mind and he was still hungry.

You need to do what you can to prevent any scenario where he can disappoint you like this. And learn to talk to him. If he doesn't realize there is a problem he can't fix the problem. Poor communication is probably the 1 reason couples grow apart and end up divorced.
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Thanks Moxy. You're right. Especially about the spa day, I could really use a great massage. :)
Touch without any expectation that is catered toward only you is therapeutic. I'm not suggesting becoming a narcissist and pampering yourself at the expense of everyone's well-being all the time, but you have to un-train your tendency to put yourself last. Why should your well-being be irrelevant, just because you can tolerate the self-negligence? Do it! Aromatherapy, hot stone massage for a whole hour. And then get a manicure and a pedicure. Trust me, you will feel a lot of tension release.

This won't fix your communication problems, though. You have to address the issues that are driving your problems. Even if it is hard to do.

I was reading over what I wrote, and everything else you said is so true. Feeding people isn't in the love language book (I guess that falls under the acts of service one though?), but that's definitely one of my personal ones, and I'm denying it to myself. It's not that I don't eat, it's just that I always feed myself last and take the least desirable pieces.
Yes, that would be acts of service I think. I suspect you're showing love to others using your love languages and expecting them to understand what you are showing and reciprocate in kind, if they feel it for you. The trouble is that they may not know your love language and may be communicating in theirs. And, so, your denials and deprivations don't show love, they just show that you're a person who isn't supposed to get what everyone else gets. That is the message you're sending.

You should BOTH read the languages book and see if you can each do something for the other that demonstrates love in that person's language once a week. And, figure out what your (and his) "love busters" are and try to cut out one per week (you do this and he does, too).

The more you deny yourself self-love, self-importance, self-worth, the more you become a person who deserves less and less. The smaller you make yourself, the smaller the emotional space that you occupy in the lives and hearts of others will be. You MUST face the issues that drove you to your eating disorder and take care of yourself.

Part of that is just that no one else is going to eat it and I hate wasting, but I think it has reinforced to H that that's all I'm worth. I just wish that he was the kind of man that treated me well even if I'm not treating myself well. Is that veering into fairytale land though? I want to keep my expectations realistic. Realistic expectations are hard in our culture I think...
Sometimes, it's great to be willing to do the sacrifice. But, you shouldn't have to do it all the time.

Here's the thing -- in a stable relationship, both people hold their own ground, carry their own stuff, and walk ahead. That way, when one stumbles, the other can lend a hand. However, if one person is leaning on another ALL of the time, then that person loses the ability to handle his burdens on his own and has come to expect that it is your job. Who, then, will catch you and help you when you stumble? This is no good for either of you.

You have to recognize that this kind of self-sacrifice is not good for you or your family. You are actively neglecting and abusing yourself in tiny ways -- death by paper cuts for your heart.

You want him to see your value even when he doesn't see it himself, to save you from this attitude you have inflicted upon yourself. You want him to value you even when you don't value you. How's he supposed to love the person who doesn't love his wife? However, you have trained him to expect to lean on you, so how can he see that he's not being there for you? You have trained him to think that you don't want that kind love, so he won't give it to you in that way. You see? Even in the fairytale, the princess rises above her circumstances, not above herself. The fairy godmother doesn't change the princess but her clothing. The prince cannot save you from a tower if you have locked yourself inside of it because it doesn't look like you need saving. Walk out of the tower yourself and ask him to keep you company as equals. Be a team. I know this sounds cheesy, but it's true.

Hang in there. I understand what you're going through. I know these feelings well. It's sometimes tough to get past it, but you have to start taking care of you. Otherwise, nothing will improve. And, you're teaching your kids not to love themselves because they're learning by your example.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
We obviously need better communication, and hopefully MC will help us out here. I've told him specifically and recently about how I need him to not take food from me, but nothing sinks in with him. He is very self-centered, and I don't think that will ever change.

It's ironic, when we were first married I thought that we'd never get into trouble, because I never expected him to be a mind reader. If there's something I need, I very clearly and calmly tell him. I just never accounted for the fact that he was going to act as if he never heard a word I said. I even tried keeping a journal together, where we'd write things down, thinking maybe that would do the trick. Yeah, not so much. I should just toss the journal, because I read through it again once and it's just heart-breaking to read myself begging him to answer a question, and read his response, always weeks later, and see how he didn't even address what I said.

I wonder if bringing that journal to the marriage counselor would be a good idea. It sums up our problems pretty well.

I am building up resentment, definitely. It's hard not to! Right now I'm severely anemic--there are days when I just want to cry I'm so tired. He knows this, and he KNOWS me. He knows I'm an over-achiever in every aspect of life, and that I bust my butt to be the best mom I can... and even so, he'll say something like, "oh, why don't you take the girls to the playground?" when I'm laying down and letting them watch TV. We go to the playground ALL THE TIME. I go when I'm so weak and tired that I only feel like I MIGHT pass out. If I'm lying on the bed, it's because I literally can't stand at that moment. I don't understand why he can't understand that?? I don't understand how I can explain how I feel in very clear terms, and he can passive-aggressively treat me like I'm just lazy.

Ugh. I already feel past the point of no return as far as my feelings for him go, but I'm still willing to take a leap of faith and keep trying. But damn, the man won't even take a look at any of the relationship books I've ordered, or the parenting books (check out my thread in family and parenting if you want the back story there.)

Sigh. Thanks for letting me vent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hang in there. I understand what you're going through. I know these feelings well. It's sometimes tough to get past it, but you have to start taking care of you. Otherwise, nothing will improve. And, you're teaching your kids not to love themselves because they're learning by your example.
Thank you for your post moxy, this rings especially true. On the flip side, I see H treating the kids the same way he treats me--like their needs come second to his. It's the real catalyst for me finally getting that this all has to change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You know, the more I think about it, the more I would say that my sense of self-worth has really suffered since I've been with H. He has always criticized me when I tried to do something for myself. He gave me crap for spending $50 on an appointment with a personal trainer (for weightlifting) this spring, when I'd told him that it was important to me that I get stronger. I'm a total weakling. He spends way, way more than that on his hobbies.

It's like that every time. When I want to work, he won't take advantage of his flexibility to help with the kids. When I want to go for my second girls-night-out in a year, he says, "Wow, again?" When I want to spend more than $10 on myself, forget it. Usually just a passive-aggressive kind of comment, but they're so painful.
 

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Stand up for yourself. Just DO the things you need to take care of you without looking for his approval. You're looking for support from him, but in your current mental framework, support is approval and permission and his anticipation of your needs. He does not own your existence. Start DOING things you need and wan to do and stop apologizing to him for taking up space and resources in the marriage. The marriage is meant to serve BOTH of you, not just him. You are worth the effort and the energy.

Next time he suggests you take the girls somewhere and you're too tired, just tell him "I'm wiped out. Would you like to do it?" And, if he doesn't, then just tell him "I think they need downtime, too." And leave it at that. If he gives you crap about buying stuff for yourself (as long as you're not destroying your shared resources unfairly), just remind him that he spends more on his hobbies than you. Or else, just budget the same amount that he spends on hobbies for yourself and spend it on you every month and if he gives you grief, remind him that marriage is about equality, not a place for subservience. I'm not suggesting you start drama, but I do think you need to start seeing yourself as an equal in the partnership.

Definitely talk to a marriage counselor about the passive aggressive stuff. Keep in mind that unless he has incentive to change, he won't. So, if he isn't going to carry his weight in the marriage, don't pick up the slack. Let it go undone. Ask him to do the cooking one day a week. Ask him to watch the kids one afternoon a week. TAKE your equality or you will continue to resent him and that isn't good for either of you or for your marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Again, thanks for this. I know you're right on. I seriously need to stick a little mantra on the wall or subscribe to some daily affirmation by email, I'm sure those exist.
 
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