My husband is shutting me out
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy My husband is shutting me out

is it normal that everytime for the past 4 years of our marriage that everytime my husband and i have an argument that he doesnt speak to me or acknowledge that i even exist for at least a week or sometimes even longer. when ive asked him why he sais if i wouldnt do stupid stuff to make him mad it wouldnt happen, but the funny thing is in the past 4 years so far i have never been right about anything if thats possible. just wondering if thats normal to completely shut someone out of your life for extended periods of time like that.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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is it normal that everytime for the past 4 years of our marriage that everytime my husband and i have an argument that he doesnt speak to me or acknowledge that i even exist for at least a week or sometimes even longer.
If he was raised with parents or other family members who pulled this when angry, then for him it is "normal." I came from a family who, on both my mom's and dad's side, did this very thing. Some members didn't talk to each other for YEARS. The silent treatment was considered the "normal" way to handle anger in my family of origin. No, it is NOT normal, although, as you have witnessed first-hand, "normal" is a subjective term.

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when ive asked him why he sais if i wouldnt do stupid stuff to make him mad it wouldnt happen
So you "make" him mad? Not only that, you do "stupid stuff." Guess what? Nobody, I repeat, NOBODY, on earth has ever had the power to MAKE someone behave in the manner they choose to behave. You don't have the power to make him mad. Heck, he could choose from any number of emotions or reactions. In your case he chooses to abuse you by telling you that you do "stupid stuff." I suppose he never does anything incorrect, stupid, inept, or improper, right?

Abuse is a terrible thing. YOU have choices you can make for yourself, such as asking yourself what you are getting out of this relationship, for starters. JMO, but it sounds like you not only have a rather abusive husband, but a control freak as well.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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To me, the only reason to shut someone out for an extended period of time would be to permanently cut them from your life because they have done something so horrible that you simply cannot continue the marriage/friendship/relationship. This would be things like abusing your child, sleeping with your spouse, getting you fired from your job or telling your spouse lies that result in the end of your marriage just as some examples.

I know that my boyfriend and I have, when arguing, have decided to walk away/get off the phone for a bit in order to calm down and be able to talk and resolve the situation instead of just argue. But it's never for days or weeks or anything. At most, it's a few hours. My parents do the same thing, although they have been known to do it for days at a time, which I just can't tolerate in my relationship. I can't deal with knowing we're mad at each other for that long.

I'm not sure if it's more disturbing that he can ignore you like that, or that he blames you. You do "stupid stuff" that "makes" him mad at you? Sorry, that doesn't wash with me. Whether something you do is stupid or not is irrelevant. He can choose how he reacts to it. He can choose not to get so mad that he can ignore you for days or weeks at a time. He can choose to tell you that he doesn't agree with what you did and he thinks that next time you should do X instead.

I agree with prodigal that what he's doing sounds like verbal/mental abuse to me.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My husband is shutting me out

Your husband isn't doing the right thing, but I don't suggest leaving.

Get out of this habit. Get a book and if that doesn't work marriage counseling.

He is hurt and doing the best he knows how, but it is the wrong thing to do.

Best of luck
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This is how some people deal with their anger and process what has happened, especially men.

My husband has been doing this for 26 years, but I have found that as he's aged - the freeze-out (as I call it) gets shorter and shorter.

When we were younger it would be up to a week. Now it's down to about 1 day max.

Some people retreat and go into themselves when involved in an argument or when they feel attacked (whether justified or not) and have to take their own "internal" time to process what happened, think about it and decide what, if anything they plan to do about the situation.

My husband's counselor says this is not unusual and that it doesn't make it "not normal."

Also - if he finds that nothing he says in the argument, or in his defense is heard or matters, then he will shut down because he has nothing to say that will make any difference - this is what my husband said once when I asked him about the "freeze out." He said that nothing he says matters anyway, so he might as well shut up and stay shut up until he feels that what he says will be heard.

You also have to remember that women and men handle arguments and bad times differently. Us women want to fix it right then, take care of it and then move on to the next issue. Men, not so much. They like to think about it, process it, intellectually look at it from both sides (without emotions involved), and "think" about it before they speak. We (women) tend to think later and speak now.

Just a couple of thoughts from one who has been living with this type of man for more than 26 years.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I just ended a relationship like this. If I spoke up for myself or expressed a need (no matter how calmly) I was told I was demanding or unreasonable or worse. He interpreted everything I said as an attack or criticism, and when a discussion didn't go his way, he'd shut down and sometimes walk away from me in mid-conversation and leave the house. I often got the silent treatment for days and never an apology or an acknowledgment that he may have contributed in any way to any problems. I was ALWAYS the problem. Of course, if I became angry because of his silent treatment, then I had a problem with anger. No emotion I expressed was EVER legitimate and he was very invested in being right. It made me crazy, because I began to internalize his accusations that everything was my fault.

Several of the posters on this board shared some helpful links (including the one below) about passive aggressive behavior. Passive aggressive behavior is all about control and it is a form of emotional abuse. It indicates a very immature and insecure personality and can be very damaging to relationships.

Get Your ANGRIES Out

Personally, I am so relieved to be out of my situation. There is very little you can do to change your husband unless he wants to change. You have to decide whether or not you want to continue living with a little boy who is incapable of communicating in a direct, honest way.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you all for replying to me and i find your advice encouraging and helpful. ive never been on these discussion boards before and didnt know they existed until i was actually looking up marriage counceling on the internet. im glad i found it. i believe counceling would be a good thing, i believe i need it for sure because after these 4 years with him i dont even know anymore what im doing half the time, sometimes he has me to the point of thinking maybe i am wrong all the time, but then i think thats not even possible and im not gonna let myself get down like that. ive never thought of it as ok to shut someone out for a week or days or anything like that, ive never seen how it could be possible to do that if you truly love them and ive told him this and his answer was that everyone handles things differently and its no different than me getting mad when we argue and then expecting everything to be ok a few hours later. he sais im crazy for expecting to talk or make up the same day or next day. it dont even have to be something very serious either, thats the bad part. our last argument was over my dog. its a house dog and he hates it. i love animals cant help it. we have had several and me and my kids love them, him and his kids not so much. but he said if i could find one house broken it would be fine but he wasnt going to treat it any different than a dog and for me not to expect him to baby it like we do and i said it was fine. i found one and it was housebroken and literally perfect for our situation. hes a very well mannered dog neutered, doesnt get on furnitured, obedient, hes out of puppy stage, no chewing no mishaps so i figured no complaints. i was so wrong. got him on thanksgiving and 2 this day my husband has never even looked at him or acknoldged him unless it was a complaint if he happen to see a dog hair on something or if the dog passes gas or now the big thing is he smells like a dog....ok he is a dog. we bathe him once a week. its like walking on egg shells. he was complaining the other night about the dog smelling i sat down and tried to talk to him calmly and remind him that he said it was ok to get the dog yet he seems to have had this grudge ever since we got it by just making remarks at least once or twice a wk about it. of course he comes back with he never wantedthe dog and he dont want his house smelling like a dog and so on. i told him we cant bathe a dog daley and the dog does not smell that bad that i think its more that hes just complaining because he dont like it in the first place. my 12 year old daughter comes in the room who has ended up losing at least 4 pets over the years because of him not wanting them and she tells him its not fair that the dog is a good dog and has done nothing wrong. she sais he goes outside to potty and of course he may not smell like shampoo after that but he cant help it that all dogs are like that and she proceeds with tears in her eyes and a little hurt and anger in her voice to ask him why can he not just be nice to the dog. keep in mind shes his step daughter. he answers her with it is his house he pays the bills and she dont and if he dont want a dog in it there wont be one then tells her if she dont like it then she can take the stupid dog and go to her dads house. that about put me over the edge. so i guess now we just stay there he rules this house according to him. of course they arent angry words because to hear him tell it, he never sais anything he doesnt mean. so he gets up and leaves. i text him and told him me and my girls were going 2 my moms for the night til everyone cooled off. there were a few msgs exchanged with him being smart that night. after that never heard anything i called next day said i would be home when i got off wanted to make sure he was cooled off first he said he didnt care if i came home or not because im the one who left. so stayed at my moms again. i went home the third day. today is the 5th day hes still not speaking and sure he wont for a while. all because he hates my dog. if it wasnt that it would be something else. my kids are unhappy, im unhappy, he obvioulsy hates me or he wouldnt be this way and not care if he ever sees me again. im almost completely financially dependant on him. i have no clue what to do and i dont think he cares at all.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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im almost completely financially dependant on him. i have no clue what to do and i dont think he cares at all.
You should NEVER allow yourself to be completely financially dependent on a man. Bad, bad idea!!! Get a job, save some money, and get yourself on solid ground so that if things don't work out you can leave.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Please read "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" by Lundy Bancroft. Please. I would bet money that you're going to recognize your husband in there.

I am very sorry that you're living with someone like this. I would also encourage you to try to check out some abuse forums. Unfortunately, there are many women living in the same situation you're in.

And I totally agree that a woman is in a precarious position when she's financially dependent on a man. Especially a man like this. A woman needs her own money. Please try to find a way to sock a little back. Even if it's a few bucks a week.
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It's a fine line.

About a week ago my wife got upset with me (unfairly, I think, though saying that at this point is a bit late) and I got really withdrawn--not 'silent treatment', but was having tremendous trouble focusing on anything, trying to be friendly or seem interested, etc., etc. It took about 20 minutes or so to clear. It was like having fog in my head.

Of course, she also expected something out of me--to her, it came off as passive-aggression or me trying to cause guilt, etc. I kept checking in with myself on that but didn't think it was. IDK if I could have seen if it was, but earnestly, I didn't want to pout, etc., but simply didn't have the 'resources' to smile, let alone ask questions.

But to be clear I did feel very, very hurt. I was worried I could have gotten angry, but I also really did not feel safe expressing that I felt hurt or vulnerable.

Honestly it would have been best to just have gotten up and left until I could have cleared that, but it was the type of thing were I could have. Not the first time it's happened.

But that's not the same as not speaking for days, weeks or years on end. Giving someone the cold shoulder for that long is an attempt to gain control, especially in light of your husband having insisted on being right.

The thing to realize is that when you give someone the cold shoulder, it's hard to climb down off that wall even if you want to. Having 'control' like that--making someone feel helpless, like nothing they can do will warm you up to them--ends up controlling the person doing it, too. It's hard to de-escalate.

Usually. But I realize when I'm upset with one of my siblings I don't talk with them, and I'm not hurt by their actions, just mad with them disappointing me. In that case I'm not trying to control them beyond to express displeasure. That's not healthy for a marriage, though.

In any case, you really should expect something better. Read the Angries link.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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NOWHERELEFT2TURN
You sound just like my situation... I think my husband and yours may be made up of the same genes. and I should take your name. If you read my post you will see more. He would shut down just like your husband and I am almost always the one who come back and make up because again according to him I'm always "wrong", "nagging", "stupid". And you see the fact that you have to call him to ask if he had cool off making him feel he had a right to do that. I have done many mistakes like that till today my husband gives me no respect because he knows no matter how he treat me, what words he uses on me (f, s, w, b... you name it), I would still come back and accept him, let him be the right one.
I don't know how to help you because we are on the same boat. I just want to tell you that I have been married for 4.5 yrs and dated 3.5 before that... it only gonna get worse. If your husband willing for marriage counselor, do that or you do your own. I am planning to go on my own now because my husband with his big ego refuse to do that.

Also, like the lady said, get a part time job or start find way to save money (cash back whenever you use your ATM or something) I am a professional just like him but since I became a stay at home mom he totally treats me with disrespect and always uses hurting words to tell me. Like we lost our first son due to some unknown reason the doctors still could not tell. But when we argue, he would tell me: I just want a normal wife, someone who could give me a healthy child. You are useless, you can't even have one. Can you imagine how hurtful it is for me. Now I have a 2 yr old healthy girl and I know he treats me bad because he knows I'm dependent on him. But I have no choice because I have been through too much to put her to baby sister with someone. My family loves me a lot but they are far away. If I was with them, I would have many sisters willing to watch my baby and I can have a comfortable income for us but I love him so I be with him and get stuck in this situation. I have no where to turn either... my case is probably worse than yours because my husband every now and then threatens to divorce me... I think the more money he makes the more he affraid he would have to split in half with me or lost control of his money. He once suggested we can divorce and if I wanted can still be together. My husband had no addiction and I thought I was blessed to marry him but I reallized he was worse, he worships money, works for money and just want to see his bank grows ... I'm so confused I don't know how long I can put up with his putting me down nature and if I should leave him so i am no longer unhappy.
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Major Misfit, thanks for the book you recommended. I totally need that book. I probably can say my husband verbally abuse me. he has lots of stresses at work and i'm his punching pillow. according to him it's my mistake because I'm the one who nags or push the button. But I never know what I say or do makes him upset or happy. Sometimes I expect him to be upset... he was fine, other times I expected him to be fine, but he was mad. problem is I'm scared to be away from him... I'm not afraid financially but mentally, I don't know if I will miss him too much.
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm not afraid financially but mentally, I don't know if I will miss him too much.
Sweetheart...I can promise you that you will miss yourself more. I want you to do some reading and think about that.
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The silent treatment is never okay. It is designed to make you feel worthless. This is no different from physical or verbal abuse.

The Silent Treatment - A severe form of abuse

Please listen to the posters here and don't rationalise or overlook this treatment of you, or how it makes you feel. Love is supposed to build you up and better you, never the opposite.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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i do agree with you loren, i feel that this gives him more power and i dont know why ive never been able to see it that way. i guess ive always figured if i dont try to reconsile it will never happen, which is probably true. no telling how long he wouldnt talk to me if i wasnt persistant with it. but im about to find out. he hasnt talked to me or acknowledged me since sunday and im not gonna give in and beg this time or ask for him to pay attention to me or act like he loves me like i have in the past so, i guess i just wonder now if no one makes the attempt what will happen. it seems perfectly fine with him.

but what i should have always realized that i still dont fully see in my heart or i wouldnt be here is that if he cared about me like he should then these things would bother him and never talking or touching or hugging would be something he would miss. I got home 5 min after him last night. he checked the mail and wrote on the outside of one of thes bill's envelopes a note for me to pay a certain amount on this particular bill when i mailed them out. he had rather leave anote for me when we are in the same house than acknowledge i am there. this gets so old.
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