Non supportive husband
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Navigation »Talk About Marriage »Focused Topics »Dealing with Grief and Loss » Non supportive husband

Dealing with Grief and Loss The grieving process is difficult. When we lose someone close to us, we go through many different emotions.

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Old 02-21-2012, 02:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Non supportive husband

I need help with opinions and advice. Will constructively take any and all that is posted.
I have been married four and a half years, since 2007. We are both highly placed professionals. We are from different countries (our families live in different countries too) and we also have an age gap - he is 17 years older.
When we married, I was in my late thirties. We discussed clearly my responsibilities with my family and that we would have to split time between countries.
My mom fell ill in 2009; I moved back to my country because I wanted to and I could not see any other way. We have lived apart since then. I have made trips back for a couple of weeks every couple of months back and forth at great personal financial and emotional cost. He has not supported me with either. Despite these efforts, I have been constantly blamed through these years for not giving our marriage any importance. My reasons or efforts have not been considered at all. Not once has he come to spend time with me through this time. I was last there with him in September.
I lost my mother last month. My mother is my very best friend and support. I have lost my anchor in - it is undescribable. I am in shock and experience disbelief and waves of grief constantly.
He came for four days last month, complained that I was ignoring him and not treating him right. The house was full of people and maybe I did not focus on him more. I don't know. But he was not once supportive through these past three years in any which way and I dont know how I should have turned to him and leant on him when he finally did come.
I asked him yesterday, if he would come and spend a couple of weeks with me, help me through my crisis, till i sort things out. He says he cannot make the time, that his schedule is packed, that he resents the fact that we have lived apart and dont have a relationship and yet he is suddenly expected to behave like a husband. I have like I said kept traveling to see him at least seven eight times each year on my own dime. And this was the worst he said - that I dont even act like I have a crisis.
I dont cry in public. I am somewhat quiet and am not givne to public displays of grief. What I do indeed do is stand up for myself when unfairly treated. And so it might seem that I talk in a ?coldly logical way about his unfair treatment of me, when I should be crying over my grief. I cannot indignify my mother by using grief to get him to respond.
What should I do? What do I make of all this? I think he is behaving like an inhuman jerk but no amount of reasoning with him makes him understand that. He says that all other men in his situation would behave similarly. I am so unhappy with the way he treats me; that unhappiness mixes with my grief in an unbearable mixture of emotion. I sometimes feel I should leave this marriage, but am afraid I dont have the courage. I worry that he will take a step before I say something and that will only add more insult to all the injuries suffered. I dont know how to react. I dont know where I am headed.
Please help. Thanks much.

Last edited by betterangels; 02-21-2012 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Non supportive husband

If you've been living apart for two years, with all your emotional energy going towards your mom, I think he is justified in being upset. I dont think it's very realistic to expect him to be there for you.

If you feel what you did was right then stand by your decision. There's nothing worse then regretting not being there for your mom. You were able to be there for her and that is what is important. But also accept that you're reaping the consequences of your choice. You did what you had to do and now he's doing what he feels is right for him. Respect his decision as much as you respect your own.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I am sorry about your loss.

I agree with Blanca 100%

You said you lost your anchor. When you get married, your spouse becomes your anchor.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Non supportive husband

Thank you both. That's the whole point isn't it - that he has never been my anchor.

I have thought about what you said Blanca and there are some things I disagree with:

I do not believe that marriage is so selfish and insular an institution that it makes no adjustment to situations. I did not choose our situation. We were blindsided by it. I imagined that he as my husband, would be supportive and would demonstrate some caring, love and concern. I have seen none of it and have battled this alone. It is hard to have to make a choice in life sometimes and I was in just such a situation. I forgot to say that I quit my job too. And that his mother lives with us and I have been very supportive of her needs.

I have been considerate of the distance and the strain on both of us and as I said, made every effort many times to travel and be there for him and us. He has never once thought it was also needed of him to make some gesture towards me. Intead, all I have got from him is anger and a feeling of greater entitlement.
Is it wrong to expect humanity and love?

Thank you both for your responses. Maybe you dont agree but I logically cannot accept that somehow it is solely my responsibility to keep everyone happy. He could have made an effort to bridge the distance too, could he not? Why was that my charge alone?
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Non supportive husband

Quote:
Originally Posted by betterangels View Post
I do not believe that marriage is so selfish and insular an institution that it makes no adjustment to situations.
Selfishness is extremely subjective, as this situation shows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by betterangels View Post
Thank you both for your responses. Maybe you dont agree but I logically cannot accept that somehow it is solely my responsibility to keep everyone happy. He could have made an effort to bridge the distance too, could he not? Why was that my charge alone?
It is not your responsibility to keep everyone happy. You did what you thought was right.

It sounds really simple to say, why didnt he just fly out to see you? And on the surface I would agree with you. But I dont think people push away intimacy. Intimacy and love is what people desire and they will chase it if they think it's there. But if they sense that it's not there, they protect themselves and withdrawal. The fact that he never came out to see you tells me a lot about the emotional state of your marriage prior to you leaving. If you said he came out to visit you in the beginning then that would have suggested that there was some love there in the beginning and it died off as time passed. But the fact that he never came to see you means that there was little to no love there even before you left. Men are extremely simple emotional barometers; they do not go against how they feel. He had no reason to believe there was love for him there so he didnt go. What I'm wondering is, did he feel loved before you left? What was the state of your marriage before you left?
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Non supportive husband

Sorry about your mother's passing.

Sounds like you made the decisions you wanted to make and he withdrew in anger. Guys like to take the lead, even if they're not assertive.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think Blanca has a point. There is something else going on that indicates your husband feels he's second-best. The fact is, one's spouse has to be number one. A normal, healthy person who feels secure in this respect will understand when a spouse has to go take care of someone else. But, this cannot be taken for granted. There are lots of stories of marriages that are strained and troubled because one partner puts another family member first. Could even be the kids.

I don't know enough about your relationship to say what is going on, here. Your husband could be a selfish twit, or he could be expressing unhappiness over something that has been ongoing.
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