My husband has given up hope, but I haven't...
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My husband has given up hope, but I haven't...

Our marriage has been nothing but a constant fight and battle from day 1. We have been married almost 2 years, together for 6 years. My husband and I are both stubborn people which I am sure doesn't help. We couldn't be more opposite in so many ways. When things are good between us it is euphoric and I am so in love with him still, even after all the fights and arguments. My husband had a horrible childhood, his parents were 18 when he was born and they were both alcoholics and drug addicts. He and his brother were moved to different schools constantly due to being evicted from their apartment. His parents divorced when he was 15 and he has been stuck in the middle ever since. My husband is extremely sucessful and is someone I trust wholeheartedly. I only want to be with him for the rest of my life. I on the other hand came from a very loving, affectionate family. My parents had the storybook marriage. We are very outgoing and affectionate towards one an other. Do you see where this is going? I crave and need love and attention probably more so than most others and my husband doesn't know how to give that to me. He is a non emotional person. He never understands why I feel bad because he never says I am beautiful. He never says I appreciate you for what you do. He barely says I love you first, and his response to me when I say I love you? Ditto. Because of all of these things and much more, I have grown resentful and distanced from him. I take it out on him by being naggy and needy when he is away from home. If he is out with his friends, I feel like I need to know when he is coming home. If he doesn't answer his cell or my text I panic. I feel like he doesn't love me and he is with "the boys" so he can't be "bothered" by his wife because that would make him look weak. Most of his friends are not married by the way. However the times where he does pay attention to me and we do something together, if he goes out with his friends say the next day or so I am not so clingy and needy. He just thinks I am a naggy wife that will forever have a ball and chain on him. I hate making him feel that way, but I feel like I am being neglected emotionally. He says he is not an emotional person so how can I expect him to be one if he isn't. I am desperate. We need help bad. He said to me for the first time that he isn't sure if this is worth fighting for and that has put a huge hole in my heart. I don't know what to do...
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husband has given up hope, but I haven't...

Have you two ever read The Five Love Languages together? that might be a start. Maybe your H needs some more definitive guidelines for what it is you need. he might feel overwhelmed and confused.

Do you go out with friends without him?
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husband has given up hope, but I haven't...

Thanks for the response Blanca. Actually yes we have read that book! He knows that my love language is words of affirmation. He told me over a year ago that he was going to get better at that. Well he hasn't. He keeps saying oh yeah I will get better at that. And then when we really start fighting he will say well I am not an emotional lovey dovey person so how can you expect me to be? And my response is, I don't expect you to change who you are, but the least you could do is give me what I need.

And yes I go out with my friends without him. Which also at a certain point he text messages me too with when do you think you'll be home, just out of courtesy, not jealousy. So he does to me what I do to him, but of course when I do it to him, I am the naggy wife with the ball and chain around his ankle.
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husband has given up hope, but I haven't...

was he like this from the beginning of your relationship? or just since you have been married? was he ever affectionate?
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husband has given up hope, but I haven't...

It seems as though once we got married things have gotten worse. He used to be affectionate to me early in our relationship. I honestly think that the lack of I love you's, you look beautiful, etc went unnoticed in the early stages because I had fallen in love with him and it didn't matter at that point. Now I feel like I am missing out because I don't get that from him. And I do agree with him that he isn't an emotional person, but I don't agree that he shouldn't at least try to give me what I need every now and then.
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husband has given up hope, but I haven't...

well, you might want to do some soul searching on why you fell in love with a guy like this. it says something about you.

im smack in the middle of this same dilemma. my H doesnt meet my needs in many ways. some very important ways. im at the cross roads of 'this is just the way it is' and 'it can get better.' you said your H is the one giving up. He's more then likely taken the stance that this is how he is, he cant make you happy, and so there's no point in staying together. maybe he is right. he could make himself do what you want for a little while, but maybe he feels like he's trying to be someone he's not. That probably doesnt feel very good to him. he probably thinks you dont really love him for him.

Try completely backing off. No calling, no texting, no nagging. I know its hard. i once had to break my phone to accomplish this. Be observant instead of judgmental. Dont talk about your relationship with him at all. eliminate all "us" talk. This includes any talk to friends/family. Try observing him. In other words, instead of saying to yourself, 'if he loved me he should be doing...', say to yourself, 'what does he do and do i love him for it?' start with just a week. if you can manage that, try two weeks, and up to a month. at the end, ask yourself, do you love him.

I did this experiment myself a few years ago (took me a couple years to digest all that i learned). what i found was heartbreaking. i found that i never knew my H, nor understood him enough to even know if i loved him. i had an illusion and it was the illusion that i was chasing. I never lost my H because i never had him. I lost my illusion. i was so constantly wrapped up in what i thought he should be doing for me, and trying to get him to do it that i didnt even know him. It wasnt any less heartbreaking to lose my illusion. It was as real to me as anything and i loved it. But it wasnt real. After five years i am just now starting to get to know who my H is. And for that matter, who i am.
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husband has given up hope, but I haven't...

I was just about to suggest that you read The Five Love Languages, but I see someone else has already referred that. It doesn't sound like he would read it with you, but you could read it and adjust and he will likely respond to your change.

I saw a few poignant things that you mentioned. You mentioned that you know and understand his "history" which is an important factor in you "getting" why he has such a hard time giving you what you need out of the relationship. You've only been married for 2 years so don't dispair. Sometimes these things start out rough.

You may need to adjust your approach so he can be more responsive to understanding why you need what you need. Right now it just sounds like nagging.

So my suggestion is to pick up that book first, then drop by Happily Married After where the site typically deals with being happily married instead of constantly figuring out how to combat divorce.

I will tell you this. You are not the first person to have a situation like this and it is salvagable. You may need to seek out some married friends and hang with them. Your husband will begin to see how loving couples interact.

Hope that book and site help!
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husband has given up hope, but I haven't...

I think you should consider going to couples counseling to see if it is in fact something that he doesn't want to do vs. something he's intimidated by.

I say this because he may be afraid to open himself up in that way for fear of being hurt by you, or fear of not measuring up to what you want. So he just gives up. Or maybe he just doesn't want to be affectionate.

Only he can answer that, and a counselor may be able to help you two get to the root of things.
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husband has given up hope, but I haven't...

Thank you all for your responses. All of your advice is very helpful. It is going to be a lot of work, but my husband is wiling to do what it takes to make this work. At first he really wanted to end things but when the harsh reality hit him about what that all entailed, he was more willing to work at this and give it a shot.
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