Join Date: May 2012
| | Being Silly?
I'm sorry this is long. I felt like I needed to get this all out.
I have been married just a few years. My husband is a kind, funny, sensitive, generous and honest guy. He is well liked by others. Heís a good provider and a hard worker. He is very loyal and very intelligent.
My husband works long hours. He used to come home at 11pm every night (work until 9pm, then hit the gym). On the weekends, he either sleeps well into the afternoon if I donít wake him up, or he will stay at the gym or in the yard all day. Now, after much conversation, he gets home around 9:30 or 10pm and sometimes tries to be around more on the weekend.
I also enjoy the gym and have a challenging career. I am home by about 6pm. By about 9pm, I am winding up for the day and am heading for bed. We probably see each other during the week for an average of an hour or thirty minutes a day.
Attempts at getting my husband to change his schedule are met with protest/irritation, a promise to do better, or sometimes a week or two of change and then back to the same routine. Getting him home before 11pm has been a big victory and, in his head, I know thatís been a big sacrifice. It makes it hard (impossible) to have any social commitments as a couple during the week.
Conversation with my husband centers around work. Normally a pretty quiet guy, he will chatter about his work without taking a breath. I try to listen attentivelyóI know he feels like people donít listen to him. So I try very hard to listen closely and give him that time.
But half the time I donít understand what he is referring to since his job is pretty technical, and the other half of the time I canít say itís riveting information. Listening to someone talk without input at all for 30 minutes straight is not easy for me. When I do try to participate, I usually get no response (he shuts down) or a statement along the lines of ďyou just donít understandĒ. So now I just listen silently and try to give warm fuzzies about how he does a good job.
His questions to me are minimal to nonexistent. I generally do not believe he has much of a concept about, or interest in, what I do at work. Itís not boring or that technical. Most people tell me my career is really fascinating.
My husband may or may not ask me how my day was, with no follow up to whatever I share. Lately I have noticed that when I tell him something I have already mentioned a few times, he seems surprised. So I have to assume he generally isnít listening. However, when I tell him about accomplishments, he seems genuinely proud of me.
His initiating conversation is rare. If I initiate, I may get a few words from him in response, I may not. Responses are usually about two words on average. If Iím lucky I will get a work tear or a few sentences. If I try and push for more of a response than this, he will usually become exasperated with my need to converse. On vacation, we can talk more. But because of his job, vacations are short and far between.
I am a big fan of complimenting people. But compliments from him to me are extremely rare and take me by completely surprise when I hear them--maybe once a month. Invariably, they are of the ďyou look niceĒ variety. When someone tells me that he talks about me or compliments me when I am not around, Iím floored. I donít think surprised is a big enough word. I canít imagine that he would notice or really care.
At one point in our marriage, I didnít get the sense he was terribly fond of me at all (I seemed more like a major irritation or inconvenience), and sometimes I sense more fondness lately, but little interest. If I try to pull it out of him, he tends to lash out. So I donít.
I have an extroverted personality and at home, I feel alone. Mostly, my marriage feels really, really lonely.
At the beginning of our relationship, I literally felt I did everything that had to get done. If I asked his advice, I got no response, exasperation, or ďI donít careĒ. I tried, I really did. But asking him to make a decision on something out of his comfort zone (Where to eat dinner?) can really send him over the edge.
I tried to express how much I needed help and it wasnít just my life. We spoke to a counselor separately and together to try and address that. Things have improved a little in this area. I would say he sometimes pitches in more, to the extent that I no longer feel like I do every single thing. Most things that need to be done, but not everything. He does work very hard on things he enjoys, like gardening, but I not on the day to day things that make our lives go round. Those things are usually left to me.
With respect to children, when we met we said he might want them. But as time has gone on, I am not interested in having them. I realize more fully that I would be the primary caretaker for them since he refuses to alter his schedule. I know he would be a good dad and is very patient and loving with children, but he also likes to do his own thing, not be bothered, and likes to have his schedule the way he likes it.
I suppose doing the majority of the heavy lifting with a child would probably be ok if I really wanted a child. But the more I take a hard look at myself, the more I realize by desire level for a child is at about a 2, on a scale from 1 to 10. So add that to the fact that I would be doing it primarily on my own, and that seems like a really, really bad idea.
I worry for my husband thoughÖas time has gone on, he has gone the opposite direction. I know he wants a child. And I worry that this may be a deal breaker. In fact, I guess it is one for most people. But we havenít had a serious talk about that. Talking is hard.
With affection, I consider myself an affectionate person. But he is not actively affectionate, though he receives affection just fine. Meaning if I hold his hand, he holds mine, if I go to hug him, he is receptive. But rarely does he offer affection. A kiss hello and goodbye is the extent of it. Beyond basic affection, we rarely have physical interaction. I think he is attractive but physically I canít say that weíve really clicked. I have no idea if he finds me attractive.
At this point, I feel like there is a mountain of problems. I am eyeing the door. I feel like life is too short. But the thought of hurting him is devasting. I feel like he is a really good friend/roommate.
Am I blowing our problems out of proportion???