Apathetic husband for too long... - Page 3 - Talk About Marriage
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post #31 of 68 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 12:22 PM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

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Here's how far this has gone... I had a great talk with my daughter the other day while we were out on a little hike together. We were talking about some over-the-top wedding we saw on a TV show, and she said she would want to do something much less informal, like barefoot on a beach. I said "That's great, I'll be there!" Then she got very serious and point blank told me that if/when she gets married, she does not want her own father to be at her wedding. That hit me like a concrete block to the head. Granted, she's a 16 year old, hormonal teenager, but that just shows the depth of apathy that H has shown to his own children over the years.
Believe me, I understand and don't want to imply that you are somehow intentionally excluding him. I come at it from the viepoint of a guy with a wife who is very involved with the children, like you, but she cannot seem to alter her approach to parenting as they age. While she does it out of love, she stresses so much about everything and treats them like four year olds. They get to the point where they hide in their rooms, avoiding her, or say very hurtful things. She saw this through therapy, and has begun to work on it. In both cases, yours and mine, the real tradjedy is that our spouses will wake up one day and realize what they really missed. By then, you can't help him any more, because its gone. Its just terribly sad.

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post #32 of 68 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 12:40 PM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

Avalon, when the reality hits him, and it will. (of course, who knows when) He will go through months of guilt, regret, and just downright freaking out. It's a tough deal. I was depressed for some time and my way of coping was to "check out" at home. Problem is, my wife got real angry when I changed so much and became different. We are starting to recover. Feelings are so hard to figure out sometimes.
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post #33 of 68 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 12:52 PM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

Avalon, I was very much a close to carbon copy of your husband 10 months ago. In our last joint session, the therapist looked at my wife and asked her what another woman would think about me if she was in her shoes. Her response: "She would love him. He is so giving. He works hard both at work and at home. He is understanding. He is a great father."

NEVER, in a million years, would I have expected her to say this. She has lost her "love" for me, but I am willing to wait for her.
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post #34 of 68 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 01:59 PM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

I guess you can re-title your post "A Pathetic Husband for too long...I hear you sister!
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post #35 of 68 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 02:12 PM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

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Powerbane - I've tried for NINE YEARS to wake my husband up and get him to realize that he's missing out on his life. I've tried talking to him about it. He just doesn't care, and if he isn't willing to help himself (obviously) then nobody else is going to make it happen for him either.

I would love nothing more than to leave DH and move closer to where my family lives, knowing that I would have a great support system to go through a divorce and stand on my own two feet, but I have to stay where I am now if my daughter is going to graduate from high school. That's two more years of conversations as deep as "please pass the salt" (yep, that's about our level of communication these days). I need to stay if it means my daughter can be successful in school and graduate. I hate being boxed into a corner
The one thing you have not done to motivate him is let him know you are ready to leave over this. Have you considered simply saying it is not possible for me to leave for the sake of the kids right now. I would like you to leave please. Here is your bag.
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post #36 of 68 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 08:10 AM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

"let him know you are ready to leave over this".

What if you have and it seems to garner absolutely no response? Or a temporary response that makes it seem as if you were taken seriously but then drifts back....

That is the pattern we have here.

When he does try it is great: he becomes the person I love being with: funny, loving and involved. I wish I could see that person more often than once every few years for a month or so at a time.

Its like rain in a desert.

And Dedicated2her: I know the anger part is confusing to you. Its because the change indicates the ability to be involved was always there, the husband just chose to "check out" despite the pain articulated by the wife. That is were the anger comes from in my experience.

That being said, keep at it. I am glad to see someone taking their marriage seriously and giving the effort. It heartens me. Good luck and keep trying.

Last edited by nnoodle; 07-14-2011 at 08:18 AM.
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post #37 of 68 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 09:33 AM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

Quote:
And Dedicated2her: I know the anger part is confusing to you. Its because the change indicates the ability to be involved was always there, the husband just chose to "check out" despite the pain articulated by the wife. That is were the anger comes from in my experience.

That being said, keep at it. I am glad to see someone taking their marriage seriously and giving the effort. It heartens me. Good luck and keep trying.
Well, the anger is definitely now gone. Now, it is really indifference to me. But, whatever. I actually would counteract the phrase "chose to check out". I have always wanted to please her, but it seemed as though my actions or ways were never good enough. She constantly ragged me. Told me what I should do or how I should do it. Compared me to other men. She made me feel like I just wasn't good enough. So, I stopped trying about 9 years ago and did what I was good at----work and get on computer and have my ego stroked by strangers. I didn't understand that it was a developmental problem in me. Now, if she rags me, I just tell her that I will try my best and forget the rest. I can't be superman. That is a very hard realization to come to as a "pleaser". You ALWAYS want to please. Now, the only person I aim to please is God. If I can honor HIM, then I'm happy as can be. Of course, now we are realizing she has a TON of baggage which has been quite enlightening. lol
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post #38 of 68 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 10:37 PM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

I'm not sure I am in the right forum, but looking at posts, I have no doubt some of you can provide some support/encouragement/advice. My husband of almost 35 yrs. is like so many of the others I read about in your posts. Lives for work, and when not working, on his computer or in front of TV. Refuses to communicate with me and I have given up trying to talk to him about the lack of communication. He was a practicing alcoholic for 30 of our married yrs. - I had hoped his commitment to AA and a desire to live life in a new way would change things. Well, the workalcoholic is losing his job in Sept. He has known about the elimination of his executive position for 5 months and has done nothing to look for another job. He is going to have an uphill battle at his age and I assumed that the minute he got the news he would do whatever it took to get his resume out there. I thought by now he would have a new position lined up. He suffers from depression but is on meds. We used to communicate, but over the last 10 yrs it is as though I live with a stranger. He has known about my deep concerns about our relationship for a long time - it didn't start with the job issue. That has only made it worse. I have let him know we are a team, that I can be supportive if he lets me know whats going on, and that we will land on our feet. I dare not ask about the job search because he dismisses me and acts as though I am nagging him (asking "so, how is the job search going? is nagging). I am tired of carrying him emotionally - through the alcoholism while raising 3 children, working full-time and he ignoring that he had a family. I have stuck with it. I believed that we were married for a reason and that we could work through our issues. I don't want to throw away the rest of my years on someone who is self-absorbed and seemingly incapable of having a relationship. Have any of you faced the issue of a job loss and a spouse not looking for work? Remember - we are not children - we are in our late 50's. It is a very different ballgame at this stage of life. Thanks for reading and any thoughts you all have.
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post #39 of 68 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

doglover - it would probably be best to start your own thread on this forum, so that more people will see it. Copy what you've written here, and at the main page for the "considering divorce" page, click on the blue button that says "New Thread" and just paste it in there, giving it your own title. That way it will show up as it's own new thread
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post #40 of 68 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 03:09 AM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

Yes... my lifes story is very similar with most of the ladies posting here.....COMMUNICATION is a must for the survival of a marriage and/or relationship. Our major crisis in marriage hit as I was starting menapause(major crisis was not because of menapause..but sex related)that is a long story...and actually a bit embarrassing>
I hit a major depression start sleeping on couch.. when ever I was home, I was on couch sleeping...few years later he said I just figured you were sleeping on couch to avoid me...really? He cared so much he never ask...why are you sleeping all hours of the day, are you sick??? No he couldn't ask because he chose not to talk me. He has always been quiet...but after 22 yrs of marriage ...we can go for days w/o saying 1 word to each other....hmmm ..its sad...Askhim to go to MC...ohhh no way...he would have to communicate..6 yrs later same crap...different day...My baby is a Senior this year....we have had discussions that her dad and my marriage isn't a normal marriage....She has an idea about whats to come...so...with that said....
I think I am going to leave for a couple months and figure things out...See if I am a happier person. Our daughter will be okay with my decision...I hope. Its going to be sooner than she expects/thinks...
It is a scary thing...to do...finances aren't good...with the economy..but I need to do it.....she will be fine with her dad. just random thoughts popping in my head...Both myself and dh are unhappy...why prolong the unhappiness...

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post #41 of 68 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 03:30 AM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

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THERE IS NOTHING IN THE WORLD MORE LONELIER THAN LIVING WITH SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU! I can't say that loud enough. It's rejection on a daily basis. I have made my decision leave husband. Right now I am in the process of discussing this with the kids, because no matter how old they are, it's difficult..
I agree with your statement 10000%...I believe these past couple of days ...I have decided its that time....I can be lonely all by myself...don't need to live with my husband and be lonely and unhappy...Pray my baby girl will be alright w/ my decision.

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post #42 of 68 (permalink) Old 07-28-2011, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

lovegreen - Even though you can't communicate with your husband (do I EVER know how that feels!!!!) be sure to always always keep the line of communication open between you and your kids. If you have an open, honest, trusting relationship with your children, they'll understand why you need to leave.

Sleeping on the couch... oh my! I did that for almost 10 years! My husband snores horribly, and to his credit he did try different things to fix it and even had surgery on his throat, but nothing worked. For 10 years I spent at least 50% of nights on the couch. He can't control his snoring, I know that. I know that it's not something that he does intentionally and I've told him that. BUT.... In all those 10 years, he never ONCE offered to sleep on the couch or somewhere else so that I could have a good night's rest in my own bed. Not once in 10 years did he care about how I was sleeping. When I finally told him it's my turn to have the bed, he'll have to figure out other sleeping arrangements (at this point I thought 10 years of sacrifice was long enough), he handled it like an immature 2 year old who was told he couldn't have a piece of candy.

We've since moved and I have my own bedroom, and I swear I'm still making up for lost sleep time
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post #43 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 11:23 AM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

Hello Ladies,
I am one of your listless, vegetables that seem to have given up on their family and is in a darkened corner of the house on the Internet.
My wife always said "you never participate".
Let me tell you my story, I met a young, outspoken woman 23 years ago. I fell in love with her "I can do anything" outlook on life. We argued sometimes about little things, lid off the toothpaste stuff, but we would make up, make love and move on. (so I thought)
We married and three years later started having kids, three girls. She instantly became a mom, she quit her job and she dove into taking care of the girls. It was awesome to see, she was determined to be the best mom. Now I was working allot and we hardly had sex (she was too tired), and on the rare occasions she asked for help, she would dictate every detail of how, what, when and where. If I tried to express an opinion she would get defensive and argue, seemingly to he death if necessary. I grew alarmed as she started controlling everything, and any time I tried to get involved as a father or husband and it deviated from her plan or schedule she would argue.
I thought that as the girls got bigger our marriage would come back into the picture. But she became increasingly more controlling and less tolerant of my input. Oh I could "participate", but she made the schedule, she decided on everything. If I tried to have an opinion she would simply say "do if your self then".
At the same time she complained that I was not helping, not participating.
All I could do is bring in a paycheck, and be her servant, or not. My sex life was in the bathroom alone, except for my birthday, our anniversary and when she felt like it, usually once a month on a good month.
So guess what, I grew to resent her schedule, I stooped "participating" and now we are separated, and of course she blames me, " you were welcome to participate" she would say or "you never helped out" she would screech, "You did it to your self" she would howl.
After years of therapy I came to realize that her paradigm was to become a "single mom" the day the kids were born.
She grew up in a house where her mom called all the shots and her dad went along with it, so that is what she models now, yet she expects the dad/husband to behave like a new age spouse, only without any benefit of being "really involved". I tried to keep involved with my girls lives, but I had to work around the endless agenda
So you can blame him for not being involved and depressed. Well he is ladies.
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post #44 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 11:34 AM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

PushedOut---you know what is really sad? Is that your wife, deep down, wants you to fight for her. To save her from this. However, as men, we succumb to always getting berated. It really is unfortunate. However, crazy thing is, you can win her back. My wife is very similar to yours in that she wanted me to "participate" but on her terms. That beat me down over time. Now, I take over. It has taken almost a year of me just doing it and listening to her BS. Now, though, she is actually starting to ask my opinion on things. I think respect is starting to come that has never been there. It takes time for a woman to really let go and rely on you to help especially if they are a SAHM and are very independent. You have to prove yourself. Unfortunately, that requires you swallowing a ton of pride until she respects you as a coparent.

Just a disclaimer: We have not had sex in 10 months and I am FINE with it. I will not until I can see her truly love me. It's coming.

Oh yeah, and my kids. They now cannot get enough of me. Balance of power has shifted. It is amazing what selfless servanthood will eventually do to change the dynamics of a family.
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post #45 of 68 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 11:59 AM
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Re: Apathetic husband for too long...

Dedicated2Her - Very inspiring post, I think it would work for most wives. But I tried that years ago, the fighting grew to borderline violence. She believes that there is only one way, one decider and that is it. My oldest was having trouble in school. She is a morning person like me, my wife is a night owl. I suggested our daughter do her homework right after school when she was fresh and full of energy, she has trouble focusing in the evening. Wife wanted her to "wind down" and do it later. I asserted myself demanding to at least try it, she was willing to get a divorce if necessary to stop me from having our daughter do her home work after school! What can you do with that? She was berated as a child and now sees any compromise as a defeat. I might try it again, but she never gives in and I don't want her to get a restraining order. I'm just a silent roommate at this point.
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