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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am pretty fed up, but don't know if I'm making too much of this. I've been married for 23 years, and we have 4 older kids: 14, 16, 18 and 21. My husband has owned his own company for 20 years now. It is very successful, but very stressful. He has a one track mind, and it is work. When he is stressed, he shuts down from me. I'm always the first one. He'll barely talk to me, sits in his "office" and watches TV, ignoring me. In December, I found out my Dad is dying (cancer). I was down here (another state) because he was in the hospital. I sent him a text telling him the diagnosis. His response was, "so how long are you staying". Everyone else is supportive but him. When I got home, I expected I would get a hug, but he didn't get off the couch or even look at me. I went up to bed. When he came up I told him how much it hurt me and he said, "well, I figured you were a big girl". I left right after Christmas (his suggestion) for 5 weeks and took my daughter to help my mom with my dad. (daughter home schooled this year) I thought absence would make the heart grow fonder. Just the opposite - I think he didn't miss me at all. If he did he sure wouldn't give me the satisfaction of showing it. He's been very cold. I was home for a month, but came back down here yesterday because my dad took a turn for the worse. I am sitting next to his bed right now, listening to him breathe. My husband gave me a cold hug right before I left and couldn't get me out fast enough. I decided not to text him when I got here, and he hasn't texted me - not even to ask about my dad. I'm so sad about my dad and on top of it, sad that my husband doesn't care. It doesn't make sense because he loves my dad. Either he is so stressed he can't deal with it, he has fallen out of love with me or he is enjoying having the 'upper hand" emotionally and playing mind games. I don't want to tell him how I feel because he just says, "I don't know what to tell you" or "I wish you could spend a day in my shoes". I'm afraid if he gets mad, he won't come and bring the kids for the funeral, which is not far away. I could go on and on, but you probably get the picture.
 

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I am pretty fed up, but don't know if I'm making too much of this. I've been married for 23 years, and we have 4 older kids: 14, 16, 18 and 21. My husband has owned his own company for 20 years now. It is very successful, but very stressful. He has a one track mind, and it is work. When he is stressed, he shuts down from me. I'm always the first one. He'll barely talk to me, sits in his "office" and watches TV, ignoring me. In December, I found out my Dad is dying (cancer). I was down here (another state) because he was in the hospital. I sent him a text telling him the diagnosis. His response was, "so how long are you staying". Everyone else is supportive but him. When I got home, I expected I would get a hug, but he didn't get off the couch or even look at me. I went up to bed. When he came up I told him how much it hurt me and he said, "well, I figured you were a big girl". I left right after Christmas (his suggestion) for 5 weeks and took my daughter to help my mom with my dad. (daughter home schooled this year) I thought absence would make the heart grow fonder. Just the opposite - I think he didn't miss me at all. If he did he sure wouldn't give me the satisfaction of showing it. He's been very cold. I was home for a month, but came back down here yesterday because my dad took a turn for the worse. I am sitting next to his bed right now, listening to him breathe. My husband gave me a cold hug right before I left and couldn't get me out fast enough. I decided not to text him when I got here, and he hasn't texted me - not even to ask about my dad. I'm so sad about my dad and on top of it, sad that my husband doesn't care. It doesn't make sense because he loves my dad. Either he is so stressed he can't deal with it, he has fallen out of love with me or he is enjoying having the 'upper hand" emotionally and playing mind games. I don't want to tell him how I feel because he just says, "I don't know what to tell you" or "I wish you could spend a day in my shoes". I'm afraid if he gets mad, he won't come and bring the kids for the funeral, which is not far away. I could go on and on, but you probably get the picture.
 

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hi sorry to hear you bad news. i know what you need is support and warm cuddle from your husband but unfortunatly he sounds like my husband selfish, i dont know how to help you but i wish you luck and support , youll need to lean on ur family and friends or youll get depressed x
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh, he's definitely bi-polar. He got help/meds for it once and was a different person, but it made him feel "weird". So instead of telling the doctor so they could adjust the dose or change the meds, he just stopped taking it. As soon as the old him came back I asked him if he stopped. He won't consider taking anything or getting help. He just drugs himself with food, and about once a month, gets drunk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, he'll just say, "I don't know what to tell you. Maybe this is just the way I am". Or give me a sob story about he has all he can handle with the business.
 

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Is this the way he is? Has he ever been able to show empathy for you, his children, friends or family members? He doesn't necessarily need to understand what it feels like to be losing someone close to him due to an illness but he should be able to understand that you need a real embrace. Even if he doesn't know what to do then he should at least ask, "What can I do for you, honey?". That is what empathy is all about!

And it's very possible he is depressed and uber stressed and this illness may not have come at a convienient time FOR HIM but he needs to suck it up and not only be a husband but your best friend!

Speaking of friends -- does he have many? Does he allow people to get close to him?

My father is not an empathetic person. When my mom lost both her parents he merely just showed up for the funerals. That was it. But my father has no friends and really, not much of a conscious. He compartmentalizes his feelings very well. The only feelings he has is anger and stress.

I'm very sorry you are going through this. I wish your family well.

Right now focus on your dad and your mom. Do not let your husband's actions, or lack thereof, taint what time you have left with your dad.
 

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If he is really bipolar, he will not get better without meds. Therapy optional. It is a biological illness, and he needs to be on a mood stabilizer, possibly an anti psychotic or anti-depressant also. I say this having the disorder myself. It can be managed, but without treatment it is like a whole other person. Good luck!
 
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VS, I'm so sorry to hear about this. A total lack of empathy is very prevalent in narcissistic personality disorder. I totally understand your very real need for support and care, at a time you need your H to stand by you. Labelling doesn't necessarily help, and especially if your H is already diagnosed BP but understanding these problems helps us to at least try to understand (more for ourselves than them). Small comfort I know, yet you are not alone in being married to someone who lacks empathy. My H is the same, and it hurts.

Try to reach out for those around you who can emotionally support you. When the one person in the world who you should be able to rely on is unable to provide this, shift your focus to those who can, and want to - friends and family. Focus on you, and your healing. It sounds like your H just doesn't know how to process his emotions like you do. I'm sure he's feeling pain in his own way but has difficulty expressing and communicating this.

Big hugs to you xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you. I think I'm either fed up or just too sleep deprived to be focused on it for now, but when I'm home and my dad is gone I am definitely gonna be getting help from my friends. Dad is sleeping a lot more, and can't really swallow water without choking. I'm sure he can survive much longer (so I'm savor ing every moment).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dad has passed. He's in a much better place without the confines of his broken body. Hubby is being more supportive. Let's hope it continues.
 
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