I am very frustrated and need to vent and get some feedback please. I've been married a long time with ups and downs in my marriage. Right now, it feels like my husband is indifferent to me. I've been through some hurts with family members in recent years that have caused me to do a lot of reflecting and not talk much. Its one of those times when my husband might ask whats wrong and I'll say nothing but what I really am wanting is for him to have the attitude of no, I'm not giving up that easy and keep trying until he gets me to open up. It's not that I'm playing a game with him, but rather that it's so very hard to talk and since it doesn't feel like he really cares or understands anyway, its easier just to answer him with nothing is wrong. I asked him the other night if he has even noticed that I don't talk much anymore. He said, yes but thats with everyone...right...not just me. I said well.... yes. And that was it......he didn't say anything else. So I told him that it just occurred to me why he didn't ask any more, and that is because he is probably just happy that I'm not talking...period. He said nothing. In the past, I have talked openly and told him that I needed more from him than he was giving me and that I felt like I was withdrawing to the extent that I was afraid that I might stop caring. His standard answer is and always has been, "I want this marriage.....I don't want to loose you". But.....that's it. Nothing ever changes. I'm not even thinking of divorce but I feel more alone than I have ever felt in my life. Every time I think about trying to talk to him again, I stop myself because you can only beat a dead horse so long. So I don't talk. And he doesn't care. I feel like I've been on this particular farris wheel way too many times before and so I give up. I've come to the conclusion that he simply doesn't care because he is content with the way things are and just wishes I would be happy and leave him alone. I so I am...but the loneliness is killing me. I have good relationships with my kids but it's not the same as with your husband. I guess my question would be what can I do to be happy with out him? I could work on developing close female frienships but I think I'm missing the love and caring of a man. I don't want to go outside the marriage to look for it but yet can't get it from my husband. Do you think a woman can still be happy without feeling loved by her husband? Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.
My story is in my profile, and we had many of the same issues you have.
Communication has broken down because you are both hurt. Neither of you are willing to reach out because they are consistently hurt by the other person.
Its one of those times when my husband might ask whats wrong and I'll say nothing but what I really am wanting is for him to have the attitude of no, I'm not giving up that easy and keep trying until he gets me to open up.
This is EXTREMELY destructive towards a marriage. Behavior like this has to stop and hurt your husband and marriage a ton.
You both have made bad decisions toward the marriage because you are hurt by the other person. You have both shut down because you are hurt. Get unstuck and make this work in MC.
Both of you are trying to do the best you know, its just the wrong way.
If you really opened up, you both would realize that you are hurting the other person because they hurt you. You are both in a very similar position, and if your husband would right a post, it would probably read VERY similar to your own.
Would you consider showing him what you posted? Maybe he just does not realize everything you wrote about. I think many men figure you are saying what you mean and if you are silent then everything must be ok. I am not so sure he doesn't care, I just think he may be unaware of all the feelings you have. I have been like you before and it just makes things worse. You need to start telling him your feelings, even if it's hard at first. Making him drag things out of you is obviously not working and I suspect he is tired of having to do this so has decided to just give up. Counseling would definitely help, but I think you at least need to stop thinking if he doesn't drag things out of you that means he does not care.
People aren't mind readers. He's not going to know what's wrong if you don't tell him. You're wanting him to do you the way you did him...drag it out of you. But when a man hears "nothing", they usually take you at your word. Even if they KNOW (by your actions or body language) that something is wrong, they likely figure you'll tell them when you get good and ready.
I agree that you both need marriage counseling. There is a new phenomenon they've coined the "walk away wife", and that sounds like you might be at that point. I really think there's hope for you both, if you'd just get someone else on board who can give you the tools and information that you need. A professional can certainly do that.
rather that it's so very hard to talk and since it doesn't feel like he really cares or understands anyway, its easier just to answer him with nothing is wrong. I asked him the other night if he has even noticed that I don't talk much anymore.
I stopped talking to my H over a year ago. I talk about day-to-day things but not about what Im really feeling. A few weeks ago he said to me, 'i feel like we dont talk anymore.' Oh man. i about fell over laughing.
Some things i do to fight off the loneliness: i enrolled full time in school and got a part time job, im trying to make new friends, went to individual counseling, and looking into volunteering.
These things do not replace the feelings of in-love that I want from my H but it helps to keep me from getting really depressed.
Mem4625. One problem I noticed right away is that you believe you know what your husband is thinking or feeling. No one truly has that ability. Both of you need to communicate better and both need to refrain from guessing what the other person thinks, feels, or intends. My wife and I have had the same sorts of issues. She'd be obviously upset but when I'd inquire for the 15th time, she'd tell me "everything's fine". I'm a guy. I can fix things, shoot burglars, slay dragons, carry heavy stuff, etc, but I'm not psychic and falling in love with her didn't give me special powers of mind reading. In my simple man mind, I show love by working my fanny off, telling her how pretty she is, buying her little gifts, etc. To her, a really loving guy would just sit quietly near her for hours, massaging whatever hurt (and being a mind-reader, he'd know). To me, love from her looks a lot like sex. To her, she shows love by getting my socks extra white. I could give two cents for white socks....until I realized it was her way of saying "I love you". Now, I appreciate them much more. Point is, we come into marriages speaking different languages and we continue to have confusion and frustration until we learn how to talk with our spouse. You would think there would be one way to speak English, but everyone's different. In your case "nothing" actually means "lots, but I want you to care enough to dig". In his case, his silence might not mean he doesn't care. Could mean he doesn't know what he could say that wouldn't trigger a bad reaction from you or it could mean that he's just not physically or emotionally prepared to have a heavy conversation right then.
mem4625 - I know EXACTLY how you feel. I have posted here again and again and asked for advice but I have always been to scared to take any of it. I've gotten great advice from great people, and I wish I had followed it. My husband and I do not talk at all, except about every day things. I am lonely and depressed and I've just been waiting for something to change. You can not replace to love of a husband (or companion) with anything. Friends, children, family - they can not replace what you are missing with your husband. You shouldn't expect him to ask twice - he asked you one more time than my husband would ask! Don't make him pry feelings out of you. Maybe he's giving you space that he thinks you want. Since he says he still loves you I would talk to him. Talk and talk until you can't talk any more. Tell him what you told us. Suggest counseling. What do you have to lose by trying?
I am a man and am having the EXACT same problem as you. I'm pushing towards my second year of this. Many times, when I wanted to talk and wouldn't let up, she would just say vile, cruel things to me just to get me to shut up. She has no interest in going to a marriage counselor.
So what did I do? I gave up. I go out with my male friends, spend time with my kids, work on the house. As far as attention from the opposite sex? Well, I wasn't good at meeting women when I was young and single. Being older, balder and married isn't going to help. But I'm looking. I gave her first dibs on me (and second and third) and she declined. Just because she is happy to rot on the couch in front of the TV doesn't mean I need to stop living. It's been a LONG time since I've shared passionate kisses with someone who wanted it.
I can get through the day pretty well. But it still rips my heart out when she comes to bed, after a full day of not communicating, and turns her back to me without a word. I hate her for doing this to me.
I can tell you I've learned from long painful experience, that my spouse doesn't have an interest in 'talking' or a conversation. She is keenly interested in having someone to complain at or to or about. Someone to browbeat. Someone to vent at. Someone to shame, mutter, scold, moralize, jab and generally lord over. And pity the fool who tries to talk to her when she's on the phone. It's far safer to never initiate any conversation and speak as little as possible. Don't speak unless spoken to and that's generally a request or command. I'd be shocked if we speak a hundred words to each other a day. Any more than that I'm just waving a red flag in front of the bull. The upside of this is that she spends an enormous amount of time talking to her friends and family on the phone. Between 4 and 6 hrs a day every day. So while she's occupied with the people she likes, it allows me to get on with business of day to day life w/o having to worry about the next emotional tornado. There can be whole days we don't speak a word to each other. Mind you she's home all day doing whatever it is she does and I work from home.
Thanks everyone for your replies. After re-reading my own post and all of your replies, I think what I am really trying to ask is how do I get him to understand this is serious? I HAVE made my feelings clear to him. I HAVE told him that I want to be closer, that inside I feel like a little girl who needs her friend to take her by the hand and help her in life. I have told him EXACTLY how I feel. We have gone to counseling. I HAVE poured my heart out to him, many times, so that is why I say it's like beating a dead horse. After awhile, you just stop trying.
Its like he doesn't want or maybe doesn't feel like its worth putting forth the extra effort that it takes to make a marriage great. I know he has his own problems and stresses in his life with his job and all but so do I and that is the very reason why I need and want to be closer to him. He is a wonderful person and father and everyone thinks the world of him. And maybe most women would just be thankful to have him as their husband and leave it at that. But I need more. I don't nag, I don't complain, I don't ask for much. But maybe asking for closeness is asking for alot? Any problems in our marriage that we have ever had talks about, have always been initiated by me. He always sits very politely and listens as long as I want him to and shakes his head yes in agreement and tells me he understands and that he doesn't want to loose me, that he wants this marriage..........but ultimately, nothing changes. Once in a while they change for about a week, but then back to the same old way. Do husbands not need to have a close relationships with their wives like women do? Does he not need physical affection? (and no, I'm not overly receptive during sex at this point, because I'm hurt and feel used) We are intimate once in awhile but I mean just every day hugging type affection. How can he climb in bed and not want to hug each other? I do have to admit though, that at this point, any small talk he tries to make, I don't show a lot of enthusiasm about. But that's because it feels like he is throwing a small morsel of food at me like a token or something. I don't want to make small talk.....I want to TALK. He thinks as long as he makes small talk that he is doing his part. How can he think I'm ok with small talk when a couple of days ago I told him I feel like I'm closing up my heart to protect myself from hurt? And I have explained that to him too, that I need more than small talk and I've explained why I'm not receptive to the small talk. So, he is not left to try and read my mind, I've explained that to him. I know one answer for me is to become independent and find what makes me happy outside of my marriage. About as opposite of my nature as I can get but I still think if I could become independent, my problem might be solved. Might start new problems, but this one might be solved? Thanks to all for your input.
If you are not still in MC, get back in it. It took 10 months of MC to work out the stuff in my marriage and 2 months of separation. It doesn't happen quickly.
He is also hurting. I wasn't able to listen to my wife when she said what was going wrong in our marriage.
You need to figure out for youself what you need. I would highly suggest looking at the language of love quizes and the book. It helped us figure out what we wanted and needed.
Nothing you said can't be worked out. Your husband needs to understand that the current way isn't working and that you might leave without serious change. Figure out what that change needs to be. From what you are saying, you are going to get more and more frustrated and leave if something doesn't change. Make this very clear to him. Even though you have said it clearly to him, say it clearly again.
I don't nag, I don't complain, I don't ask for much.
This isn't always a good thing. You NEED to feel listened to. You need to make what you want very clear.
Also, realize that to him, sex is probably very important. You are probably not meeting his needs and he is not able to meet your needs back. If he were to write a post, it might read: "i'm trying to fix our marriage, but I don't what in practice what I need to do and why. Also, its very hard to meet her needs when my sexual needs don't seem to matter."
Guys are sort of simple... If you haven't read this thread you need to. Don't get thrown off because of the name of the thread. I'm recommending you to look at it so you can get a better perspective of how guys work in marriage.
We have very similar issues. I think, quite simply, that some men are married for the convenience of being taken care of. Some of them are just not willing to "invest" themselves in the relationship by communicating. That is what my experience has been in over 25 years of marriage. Not all men want to talk - or care to understand how their wife feels. So what do you do in that situation? It's lonelier sometimes to be married and be alone. I have friendships and hobbies - my husband doesn't. So why stay married? For the convenience, financial support? It just isn't enough sometimes - life is just too short. We are trying counseling but we've been down this road before. The bottom line is - if you're married to a man who doesn't care you can't change them. You can only change yourself and your circumstance - the question is, are you willing to do that?