Are We Broken?
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Are We Broken?

For most of my 12 year marriage my husband has told me I am a closed off person, he wants me to communicate more, he wants more intimacy, etc. We went through counseling again this summer. I have been putting myself out there more on the communication front (very uncomfortable for me), namely the deeper issues that I fled from before. Since I thought this had been going pretty well, I've been looking at everyday ways to improve communication and our general connection.

Tonight we argued and faught...AGAIN! It's becoming quite regular lately. I don't know exactly how to go about this without writting a book, but here are the bullet points...
  • we have a no divorce policy (although he has threatened in the past and I have considered (fantasized?) it this year
  • we both have built up anger and resentments that are difficult (impossible?) to get over
  • he has now checked out, and admits it (which he spent YEARS accusing me of!)
  • he says I have convinced him we aren't good for eachother (WHAT?)
  • he says that I am degrading, disrespectful, mean, nasty, spiteful, etc. because sometimes I raise my voice. I have NEVER called him a name, cursed at him, I don't know... He gets me so mad and fired up sometimes I raise my voice. I'm not even yelling, but I'm definitely heated! He says my tone and facial expressions, but come on! He drips with sarcasm and condesention but I'm MEAN and NASTY because I raised my voice and gave him a dirty look? OMG!! Yet I should simply stop because he has told me he doesn't like it.
  • I feel like he's jumping on the chance to argue lately
  • I feel like it is unfair to ask me for more and then shut down when he's finally getting it (and also saying he doesn't like the way I do it...refer to degrading, disprespectful, etc above)
  • he likes to define what I say and do. he will diagnose that I am insecure, angry, etc and that's what our problem is. I sucked it up tonight and went to him and apologized and he told me I didn't really MEAN the 'I'm sorry for x,y,z'! I tell him I think or feel something and he says I'm wrong. I finally had it and told him he didn't get to tell me what I feel, think, really mean, etc.

Anyway....I guess this is my vent for tonight. I haven't done everything right, I know that. But I'm putting myself out there right now. I am starting to wonder if we have broken eachother down to the point where there is nothing left. He says he loves me, but he sure doesn't show it. He tells me that when I tell him I love him, or touch him it's routine, habit, doesn't mean anything to him.

I have seen the "5 Love Languages" book referenced here many times. I have not read it yet, but I know that I am an Act of Service and he is a Word/Affirmation type. So he says he shows me he loves me all the time by saying that I am a good wife and mother. Although on the fair side I'm still thinking along the lines of 'look at all this I do for you, what do you mean I don't love you' type stuff. We do for eachother what we each want ourselves and we have even talked that over....we know that!

So...LONG and confusing story very short here....how do we find our way back? I'm really starting to fear we have broken and damaged eachother beyond repair. How do we break our stalemate? I know it only takes one person to break it, but we're both feeling like we have done all the trying and getting sh*t on in return.

Last edited by MsStacy; 12-12-2008 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 12-12-2008, 03:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are We Broken?

I feel your frustration. For years I treated my husband like crap and acted more like a dictator than wife. I drove him to an emotional affair with another woman. We have a 10 month old daughter and he is now moving out. I am finally starting to open my eyes to what I did in this marriage.

I suggest that you really take a good look inside yourself and see if you really want to go on or if there are reasons that you have treated him that way for so long. It may be that you were never really right for each other and maybe you were just content in the situation and treating him that way.
For me treating him bad made me feel better about my own insecurities.
If you really love him just keep showing him and give him the space he needs. Arguing just fuels the fire and affirms what he already feels about the way your treating him.
Just trying to be that Happy Loving person he feel in love with.
Good luck.
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Old 12-12-2008, 08:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are We Broken?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsStacy View Post
I have seen the "5 Love Languages" book referenced here many times. I have not read it yet, but I know that I am an Act of Service and he is a Word/Affirmation type. So he says he shows me he loves me all the time by saying that I am a good wife and mother. Although on the fair side I'm still thinking along the lines of 'look at all this I do for you, what do you mean I don't love you' type stuff. We do for eachother what we each want ourselves and we have even talked that over....we know that!
Buy the book and read it. Then have your husband read it. It has many reviews of relationships in it. I was surprised how much a couple of them resembled my situation. If your language is acts of service and he constantly tells you he loves you, then he needs to understand that. Since his language is words of affirmation, he is trying to communicate his love in his language, not yours. The book will help him understand that.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you. I don't feel that I have treated him all that bad over the years. I'm not HIM, which is sometimes what I thought he wanted...for me to talk like he does.

Yes, I will get the book. Hopefully it will help us.

I just don't know what else to do right now?
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are We Broken?

There is one thing that almost guarantees success:

Enthusiasm for the project.

My wife and I are into the self development project. We work on ourselves. So to fail at our marriage would be a sham. If we can't even enjoy the free love that marriage offers, what use are all our thoughts about self improvement.

When we reach a point where we realize that people are difficult to live with because of our own baggage, not theirs, it gets a lot easier. It easier to fix yourself than to fix your husband.

Meanwhile, if he is of a similar mindset: Wanting to be the best person he can, and wanting to be the best husband, then it's highly likely, things will just get better and better.

You should talk it over, get his agreement and then do it. Be the best wife you can conceive of in your wildest dreams. Don't hold back whenever he lets you down, just keep it up indefinitely unless you decide to pack it in.

The important point here is to give it 100%. 26% won't do it. 73% is not enough, and even 99% is still not IT. Let me tell you baby, when you reach 100% you will glow like a 100 watt light bulb
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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We both want to glow like a 100 watt light bulb!

We just talked before he left for work. He told me that he's distant because he's trying not to do the smothering that he's always done in the past. He's found a place where everything isn't nutting him up anymore. This is such a 180 turn for him I believed he had quit. I had asked him before why he was distant and he said he couldn't talk to me...couldn't trust me. So I think I've been going about it the wrong way trying to figure out the change in him. Now our situations are reversed, he is doing what he complained I did all these years, and vice-versa for me. We are both hearing only the negatives from eachother right now...not much else.

So, You are right MT...Thank You. I think he is sitting back (quietly - for the first time ever) working on him. And instead of trying to figure out what is wrong, and what is going on in that moment with him, I am simply going to work on me. I have to stop running all the tapes that are playing in my head of all the things he has said over the years of what I should be doing and what I am supposed to be doing, and just be the best ME that I can.

We both keep saying we just want to have fun with eachother again. Somehow we just have to figure out how to do that.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are We Broken?

I guess if you show him that you really want to change and try, by dealing with when he says negative things when you try might show him you are serious. Lol.. that was a run on but did it make sence? Whenever he says something negative blow it off and keep being nice, eventually it will hit him and he'll think maybe you are trying you know..
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well it sounds like you're having a breakthrough already!

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Originally Posted by MsStacy View Post
We both keep saying we just want to have fun with each other again. Somehow we just have to figure out how to do that.
It's not so much the "how" of it. It's deciding whether you are 100% into fun or not. I bet the pair of you could do to lighten up. That's all it takes: A commitment to supporting yourselves and each other in a fun way is what's needed. If you have that as a background setting, your imagination will come up with the details for the specific situation as and when you need them.

Of course, energetic sex is fun, and a great stress-buster.

Imagine your marriage is a circle drawn on the ground. You and your husband are on the outside looking into it. What you need to do is hold hands and jump right into the middle of that circle.

Last edited by MarkTwain; 12-12-2008 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are We Broken?

I agree with Amp on buying the book.

Knowing that he's 'words of affirmation' makes me think when you are annoyed with him and giving him a dirty look (pictures paint a thousand words) he's probably thinking you don't think very much of him. I understand it's in a heated moment but he may walk away thinking 'I don't think she loves me'...instead of 'She's really mad right now'

You have a lot going for you in your marriage with your 'no divorce policy'...it seems to have made you both willing to step up and work on things...one of the most difficult is to let go of past resentment but if you can get yourself there and just start loving him today in the way he can feel it the most, my guess is that he will respond in a positive way.

Keeping score (why should I if he doesn't...) will only pull you back into this cycle of resentment so it's best to just worry about you (as your husband seems to be figuring out) and see how things play out.
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Old 12-12-2008, 04:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh My Goodness Swedish....I think this is EXACTLY what happens...YOU JUST HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!!!!

"Knowing that he's 'words of affirmation' makes me think when you are annoyed with him and giving him a dirty look (pictures paint a thousand words) he's probably thinking you don't think very much of him. I understand it's in a heated moment but he may walk away thinking 'I don't think she loves me'...instead of 'She's really mad right now'"

I never thought of it that way. I really couldn't figure out why he keeps thinking I am hateful when what I say is to the contrary. This makes so much sense.

Regarding only hearing the negatives from eachother....I heard on the radio today that no one can make you fight. If he comes at me with a negative or trying to pick a fight, instead of jumping in with him, say 'I am sorry you feel that way' and give him a compliment. A genuine compliment from something he had done earlier. Hhmm...that got me thinking...I'm not too sure I am enlightened enough to pull that off yet, but I figure it's worth a try. At the very least acknowledge how he is feeling instead of letting him bait me into an argument. Think it's really that easy?

I'm trying really hard to pull out of my funk today. We have his Christmas party tonight and neither of us really want to go, but don't want to let down the friends we have plans with. And I think we would probably sit and stew if we stayed home anyway.

I need to stop reacting to him, as someone said earlier. I am not good at being direct, I'm very beat around the bush. I am a very reactionary person....I look to what he is doing to gauge what I should be doing. I want to get rid of the 'shoulds' and be ME...be a happy me....not the victim or the martyr in this relationship. The happy wife!

Ok....no matter what has been said this last week....I will be the happy wife having fun at the Christmas party tonight. Daughter is staying at Grandma's house for the night and come hell or high water I will have fun! Maybe it will be contagious.

Last edited by MsStacy; 12-12-2008 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Regarding only hearing the negatives from eachother....I heard on the radio today that no one can make you fight. If he comes at me with a negative or trying to pick a fight, instead of jumping in with him, say 'I am sorry you feel that way' and give him a compliment. A genuine compliment from something he had done earlier. Hhmm...that got me thinking...I'm not too sure I am enlightened enough to pull that off yet, but I figure it's worth a try. At the very least acknowledge how he is feeling instead of letting him bait me into an argument. Think it's really that easy?

I need to stop reacting to him, as someone said earlier. I am not good at being direct, I'm very beat around the bush. I am a very reactionary person....I look to what he is doing to gauge what I should be doing. I want to get rid of the 'shoulds' and be ME...be a happy me....not the victim or the martyr in this relationship. The happy wife!
I think this will be key for you. If you can just keep your mind in the mode of saying positive things & put aside things that bug you for now (why should I if he...blah blah) I'm pretty sure you will see a big change in him. That's what will make him feel you really do love him...acknowledge all of the good things and let him know you do notice and you do appreciate him.

Honestly, you will start to feel better about yourself and who you are...it really is that easy because it feeds on itself once you get into this mindset. There will be times that your thoughts get negative, but keep reminding yourself of what is working best and stay positive.


How did the Christmas Party go?
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have the same complaint about my Wife and the mean ways she treats, acts, looks and talks to me. She, like you doesn't think she is ever doing anything wrong because she doesn't cuss, but you can be a B_tch without ever having to utter a swear word.

I usually do cuss out of sheer frustration to keep from kicking her in the throat, then I'm the bad guy and what ever she did to piss me off as bad as she did gets pushed aside.
I've stopped cussing because we have a almost 2yo son that is in the copying everything I do and say. Now I straight up just tell her stuff like, "I will kick you in the face" or something worse and I found it lets out that frustration in a harmless way. She thinks it's funny and it has served the unintended side effect of defusing some situations, for her at least. I actually think I would feel better to actually kick her in her face but will never know that for sure.

I detached for a while, like your husband, because of the B_tchiness and other sexual incompatibility issues. This helped my Wife take a closer look at our relationship and she actually started to try and correct some of her behavior. She didn't have much luck, she still acts the fool on a regular but she started buying me things, letting me watch football and play video games without bugging me.
I noticed her efforts and so eased back on my A__holeness.

I don't think your broken. The actual horrible truth is that, what you are going through is normal and just the sad state of existence in a lot of relationships.

You do have to watch how you treat your husband, regardless if you think your doing anything wrong or not. Take his word for it, he probably doesn't think he's being an A__hole even though he might be sometime, don't mean he isn't, right?
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Swedish....The Christmas party was good. At first he came home cranky and negative and I did my damndest not to fall into that. It worked pretty well. We had fun and seemed to connect more as the evening went on. As you said, I'm really trying to keep the postitives and let ALL of the negatives go for now....if the negs really need to be dealt with, they will be there another time.

Carmaenforcer....I certainly know I can be a b*tch. And I'm learning that he interprets a lot of little annoyances as these supreme hateful things. In the end it doesn't really matter if I'm truly always a b*tch, or if he just interprets that, he feels it regardless. So...as I've mentioned, I'm shelving all those outward gestures, words, looks, comments, etc. for now (or at least doing my best). Hopefully some of this will rub off on him too.

So...maybe we're not broken, just cracked and in disrepair. I'm trying really hard. Although I'm sick AGAIN!! (Welcome to the first few months of preschool!) So we're not talking or doing too much at the moment. It's all I can do to take care of our daughter and our daily responsibilities before I collapse into bed.

Thank you all. I have really had some eye openers since my original post. Your points of view have been truly appreciated!
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