Originally Posted by Terra
I'm curious. It seems your efforts to behave or at least appear indifferent to your husbands bad bahaviour takes a lot of energy. In the event you became seriously ill and really needed immediate support from him, then what? Do you continue to act like you don't need him or don't necessarily need him to prove something? Kind of a mind game to compete with his coldness or whatever. I believe you are taking a cognitive (thinking) approach to how you are dealing with your husband lack of emotional connection to you. I like this approach to a certain degree, but sometimes it seems so sterile and not always realistic in its purist form--- at least to me, IMHO.
You don't understand how people like that work. When it comes to feelings, men like him have been taught from an early age (specially when growing in homes with parents who left the appearance of tough and in control) that they should keep them inside and solve their own problems! When you're going through problems (money, family breaking apart, etc), you need to keep your cool and solve them.
Breaking down emotionally won't solve anything. Imagine a guy in the middle of the war stoping to cry a bit because he can't take any more of that pressure. Even men who weren't brought up to be so tough have a problem with their wives starting to cry and feel miserable because they just plain don't understand it, and generally it's annoying and rather childish behaviour. If your husband were to suddenly break down into tears every two three days, you'd find it weird, and at a point exasperating, regardless of how much you love him. In time you'd start to think he's childish and be angry at him. Now, because we're women we have this silly impression that we can just remain childish and start crying out of anything, stomp our feet and demand someone takes care of us, like mommy and daddy used to.
You talk about illness...whenever that happened to me, my husband was there, made me soup, ran to the pharmacy in the middle of the night, gave me a massage, did everything he could to make me feel better. This is the same person who gets angry and ignores me if I cry (why? he won't encourage what he thinks is childish behaviour).
Most men usually marry a woman who seems strong, fun to be around, independent and mature. Whenever that woman breaks down into tears, she indirectly tells her man she's not that strong woman he married. The man naturally gets angry and confused. He might even continue his bullying because on some subconscious level he thinks thats what she needs to go back to her strong self. (If you study the behaviour of men many are like that with their children...in an attempt to 'prepare them for life' and toughen them up.)
I'm not pretending that I don't need my husband. In all due reality I don't really need
him. I can take care of my OWN self and i find it normal for every adult to be able to do so. Don't understand by this that I don't get or accept any help from him. I do want him around for the rest of my life, and do love him.
I'm just at a possition where, although i love him being around and being nice to me, I know that if I were to be alone tomorrow (for one reason or another) I could take care of myself without any problem. If I ever get amazingly pissed about something and find myself teary (only time i can't control this is when i'm PMS-ing) I go make myself a tea, take a warm bath, listen to some music and then go on with life. Why? Because I can take care of myself and don't need to husband to say 'there there it's all going to be ok' when i cry. I'm not twelve anymore.
Because I am in this state of mind, I get respect from him. Because i can handle him and accept him for what he is, i am loved by him. As soon as i gained that respect and love back, he, on his own, without me saying anything, started acting respectful, loving and so on. Sure, he still won't be there if i break down and cry but why would i need to do that?