From your experience, what's happening here? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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From your experience, what's happening here?

Lately I have felt distance in my marriage. DH doesn't seem to want to talk to me, and it's left me feeling lonely in the relationship. He is incredibly cordial and nice, but is not engaging me in any conversation outside of the day-to-day minutia. For not-so quick background, my husband had shared with me some months ago (during this most recent pregnancy) that he wasn't happy. He had a list of things about both myself and himself that he wanted to see changed. Most of the issues he has with me stem from resentment he has built of the years about my having the more dominant personality in the relationship. Being together for so long, he certainly experienced my stubborn and more independent twenties, and now my more reasonable (but certainly not perfect) thirties.

The big problem for me is that he seemed normal and happy, and only after really forcing relationship conversation did I learn my husband was in an unhappy marriage. I didn't think it was perfect either, but this was the first time I started to really see we might not make it. After a lot of tears I really focused on the changes he needed. Be more affectionate, less critical of the small stuff, more cautious to not interject in his parenting moments, etc.

We were doing great for the weeks leading up to the baby, but like a switch it just flipped to being more like roommates. This morning he brought me coffee and kissed me good morning. You would have thought everything was great. Then when I told him I'd like us to talk more and about how I had been feeling, he told me that he isn't sure why he wants to avoid me at times and that he has come to like me less and less over the years. In my mind I'm thinking that what he is telling me feels insurmountable. I don't know how to be close to someone that I know doesn't like me. More than anything it just made me sad.

When he seemed to think I might be overreacting I asked him to just tell me he was committed to working on it. But he wouldn't say it. As I stood there crying, he wouldn't say a single thing to reassure me that he still wanted to try, other than to say if he was leaving he would've left already. Anything more and and he felt that it would be me dictating the terms of our relationship and telling him what to say when.

I am lost on how to read where we are from one day to the next. I can't help but shutdown and go into bit of self-preservation mode. I fear this resentment is incurable no matter what concessions I make. I don't want to be walked out on by surprise. I would rather start preparing myself now. Am I overreacting? Thank you so much for enduring the length of this post.


Last edited by Zyria; 01-27-2017 at 06:39 PM.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 01:52 PM
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

I'm so sorry your going through this. Your husband is infuriating me when I read about him because he just doesn't seem sure, which is mean and unproductive. He isn't happy, but he doesn't know what he wants so he doesn't have a solution. He just wants to be a grump and do nothing and your suppose to wait around for him to choose you, or not choose you. It's not fair.

If I were you I would prepare for the worst just in case. This is incredibly hard to do, fight for your marriage but detach mentally and emotionally to protect yourself for the "just in case". He NEEDS to give you direction though. He NEEDS to make a decision.... fight for the marriage and see how it goes or throw in the towel. It's not fair to you. Ask him what he wants and expects you to do? Because it's not fair, sit there broken heart waiting for him to choose you? See what he says.

I hope he doesn't drag this on waiting for you to end it with him because he is too scared and too much of a p*ssy to do it.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 07:16 PM
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From your experience, what's happening here?

That's what couples therapy is for. You're both focused on protecting yourselves. An independent person can help get past that. But don't settle for a bad therapist - it may take several to find one who can help


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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

I appreciate your responses very much.

In the time since this post he has come to me and shared a genuine desire to make things work, to better understand my needs and how to make our marriage a priority. With the new baby, work, etc he has it last on the priority list. We have a difference of opinion there, but we each are trying.

I am not at all convinced that the next argument won't dredge up another round of resentment and anger towards me. You would think one of us cheated, had an addiction or something more obvious to overcome. But we don't. I am cautiously optimistic, while continuing to educate myself on all potential outcomes because regardless of recent words, I am ina marriage with someone who doesnt know why he doesn't want to talk to me or spend time with me sometimes. We are both willing to talk to a third party for perspective. Fingers crossed.
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 09:44 AM
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

I'm sorry but your husband sounds done.

Once a person get there, usually there's no going back.

Sure you could try couples counseling and independent counseling, you can force relationship talk and try to do things differently and hope for change.

But the odds are you're just spinning your wheels.

Even in a relationship where there's no obvious reason for problems and the couple is generally on the same page with most everything, sometimes they just grow apart and the feelings fade.

Best thing you can do for yourself is start to seriously consider that this thing isn't going to go the distance and start mentally and physically preparing for it, that way you'll at least feel some semblence of control.

One thing not to do is to continue pestering/begging/crying to him about it because that will only work against you for so many reasons that are beyond the scope of this particular post.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 10:20 AM
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

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Originally Posted by TheTruthHurts View Post
That's what couples therapy is for. You're both focused on protecting yourselves. An independent person can help get past that. But don't settle for a bad therapist - it may take several to find one who can help
I agree--once people no longer feel emotionally safe in their relationship (which neither of you do right now), they start to build walls to protect themselves. Once those go up, it's very hard to bring them down again... but a good therapist can help with that.

You also need a therapist to work on some very problematic communication issues--which is that the two of you are pretty much not communicating at all, especially your husband. His resentment built up over the years because there were things about the relationship that bothered him, and instead of him coming to you and working out those issues, he kept it to himself and it built up and accumulated over time, so now it's this huge thing.

From what little you've posted, I'm guessing that your husband suffers from Nice Guy Syndrome. He didn't want to rock the boat, so he kept his complaints to himself and handed the reins of the relationship over to you. Like a lot of men, he misunderstood the "happy wife, happy life" adage (or he doesn't understand what really makes a woman happy). He voluntarily gave you all the power in the relationship, and now he resents you--for something of his own doing.

If you both want it, I think the marriage can be saved. I don't think either of you is too far gone. BUT it is going to take some real work, he's going to have to be open to seeing his own flaws and make some big changes, and the dynamics of the relationship will likely change. You'll never again have the marriage you had when you were both happy--but if you work at it, you may find something even better.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

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His resentment built up over the years because there were things about the relationship that bothered him, and instead of him coming to you and working out those issues, he kept it to himself and it built up and accumulated over time, so now it's this huge thing.

From what little you've posted, I'm guessing that your husband suffers from Nice Guy Syndrome. He didn't want to rock the boat, so he kept his complaints to himself and handed the reins of the relationship over to you. Like a lot of men, he misunderstood the "happy wife, happy life" adage (or he doesn't understand what really makes a woman happy). He voluntarily gave you all the power in the relationship, and now he resents you--for something of his own doing.
This is 100% accurate! Spot on. It's how he would describe it as well. He had begun IC to discuss this and some other things he wanted to work on for himself. Its so awkward on the other end of it.. like I never had a fighting chance to make improvements and now it may be too late.

@browser Thank you for the feedback. I agree with the actions you shared. I'm done with the needy and pathetic look. 100%.

The thought of two like-minded and kind people, who love and care for each other, spending the majority of their lives together only to drift apart for no obvious reason is maybe the saddest fate I could imagine.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 12:08 PM
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

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This is 100% accurate! Spot on. It's how he would describe it as well. He had begun IC to discuss this and some other things he wanted to work on for himself. Its so awkward on the other end of it.. like I never had a fighting chance to make improvements and now it may be too late.

@browser Thank you for the feedback. I agree with the actions you shared. I'm done with the needy and pathetic look. 100%.

The thought of two like-minded and kind people, who love and care for each other, spending the majority of their lives together only to drift apart for no obvious reason is maybe the saddest fate I could imagine.
If he's going to IC now and he is working on these issues right now, don't worry about the bolded statement just yet. If he owns the way his behavior damaged the relationship, I think you'll have a chance to fix things. He's the one who never gave you and chance in the first place, he owes you at least that much--and I'll think he'll see what a disservice he did to you, if he sticks with the IC. Yes, you'll have work to do, but I think he'll also be asking your for forgiveness at some point. Just give it time.

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 12:24 PM
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

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Originally Posted by Zyria View Post
This is 100% accurate! Spot on. It's how he would describe it as well. He had begun IC to discuss this and some other things he wanted to work on for himself. Its so awkward on the other end of it.. like I never had a fighting chance to make improvements and now it may be too late.

@browser Thank you for the feedback. I agree with the actions you shared. I'm done with the needy and pathetic look. 100%.

The thought of two like-minded and kind people, who love and care for each other, spending the majority of their lives together only to drift apart for no obvious reason is maybe the saddest fate I could imagine.
It's almost like you're paying for your spouse's inability to communicate and now it's all being blamed on you, like your some bad person or something. Unfortunately I don't see this getting better since your H seems to be done no matter what you do. There's no amount of therapy that can fix that.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 01:08 PM
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

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It's almost like you're paying for your spouse's inability to communicate and now it's all being blamed on you, like your some bad person or something. Unfortunately I don't see this getting better since your H seems to be done no matter what you do. There's no amount of therapy that can fix that.
Sadly, that could be the result as well.

I still think there is hope, if he sticks with the therapy and acknowledges the damage he's done, and really wants to change things. It can happen.


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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 01:28 PM
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

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Sadly, that could be the result as well.

I still think there is hope, if he sticks with the therapy and acknowledges the damage he's done, and really wants to change things. It can happen.
I'm not so sure that he will admit that he's part to blame for this, and even if he does, he has to want to fix it. I'm really sorry for the OP, there's no affair or substance abuse involved here so at the surface it looks like something that you can fix. Her H doesn't seem to want to.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 02:03 PM
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

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I'm not so sure that he will admit that he's part to blame for this, and even if he does, he has to want to fix it. I'm really sorry for the OP, there's no affair or substance abuse involved here so at the surface it looks like something that you can fix. Her H doesn't seem to want to.
That's why I keep saying IF.

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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 01-30-2017, 01:47 PM
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

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...

We were doing great for the weeks leading up to the baby, but like a switch it just flipped to being more like roommates. This morning he brought me coffee and kissed me good morning. You would have thought everything was great. Then when I told him I'd like us to talk more and about how I had been feeling, he told me that he isn't sure why he wants to avoid me at times and that he has come to like me less and less over the years. In my mind I'm thinking that what he is telling me feels insurmountable. I don't know how to be close to someone that I know doesn't like me. More than anything it just made me sad. ...
I so feel for you Zyria - reading this made me well up. He sounds so cold and out of reach. I hope he will open up in MC and also inbetween MC session with you alone at home. Meanwhile, you need to take extra special care of yourself, 180, work towards solving the issues between you but at the same time prepare for the worse and find ways to help yourself become stronger and more positive in case you ultimately end up splitting.
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

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I so feel for you Zyria - reading this made me well up. He sounds so cold and out of reach. I hope he will open up in MC and also inbetween MC session with you alone at home. Meanwhile, you need to take extra special care of yourself, 180, work towards solving the issues between you but at the same time prepare for the worse and find ways to help yourself become stronger and more positive in case you ultimately end up splitting.
Thanks for this. These words help. Things have been going well in the past few days. He has opened up to say he loves me and is committed to working through it. We are getting along well and moving through the daily routines of kids, jobs, pets, etc.

The thing I find strange is that he has not pursued getting a counselor yet (he will need to do it through his employer). Even just to sit down and us pick one. It's sort of like when things are going well the problem disappears..until they inevitably stop going well. As long as his needs are met, it seems like he finds no additional effort is required. That probably reads more selfish or intentional than the actual situation is. He is back to being his more affectionate and approachable self. But to your points, I want to keep pushing for some change in routine or action taken on his part to address the concerns I had about making our relationship a priority..and keep putting energy into improving and preparing myself for all possibilities.
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 08:15 AM
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Re: From your experience, what's happening here?

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Thanks for this. These words help. Things have been going well in the past few days. He has opened up to say he loves me and is committed to working through it. We are getting along well and moving through the daily routines of kids, jobs, pets, etc.

The thing I find strange is that he has not pursued getting a counselor yet (he will need to do it through his employer). Even just to sit down and us pick one. It's sort of like when things are going well the problem disappears..until they inevitably stop going well. As long as his needs are met, it seems like he finds no additional effort is required. That probably reads more selfish or intentional than the actual situation is. He is back to being his more affectionate and approachable self. But to your points, I want to keep pushing for some change in routine or action taken on his part to address the concerns I had about making our relationship a priority..and keep putting energy into improving and preparing myself for all possibilities.
The fact that he isn't motivated to find a counselor is discouraging.

Have you told him that you need him to take on more of a leadership role in your relationship? He complains about you being the dominant one in the relationship, and that's only the situation because he hasn't taken up the mantle of being the leader. (You may not want to say it exactly like that.) He needs to grow up, stop following, and start leading.

~Happily un-married since December 9, 2013~
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