If you have read my threads, you know the main problem in my marriage is trust and communication. Short background - Whenever I try to talk with my H about something he wants to avoid, he threatens to leave me. Last November he went for his bags three times. It was after I tried to talk with him about secret cell phone calls and his online activity. After pleading and crying for him to stay each time, he is still here. The calls stopped on his cell. Haven't seen anymore contact with women online.
I told him that the next time he threatens to leave me I won't try to stop him. He just said "you know I will leave".
Since November I have tried to change everything in my power that he might be unhappy about. I have lost weight and tried to look better. I listen sympathetically to his problems at work. I don't mention anything about his daughter living with us and not paying rent. I have turned the heat up in the bedroom.
He has changed towards me. He is less distant. I can tell that he is happy.
I am unable to be truly happy if I can't talk with my husband out of fear. I can't learn to trust him if he won't open up to me and be honest. He puts a wall up. His father was an abusive alcoholic who beat him on a regular basis growing up. He just won't talk about feelings. He just wants to run away instead. I know our marriage won't survive this way. There will always be things we disagree on and problems to solve. I can't move forward with this hanging over me. I know that he thinks it's not an issue anymore since things are going so great now. But I have to try again to talk. God only knows what his reaction will be. We should have some time alone tonight or tomorrow. I am not going to be angry or accusatory. I just want him to know how I feel. That I need to know what he was doing in order to feel secure again. That he does not have to be afraid to talk with me. That I am committed to him no matter what. I will really need your support if this goes badly.
I haven't read your other posts but from what I read here, he is totally manipulating you and holding it over your head that he will leave. Communication is essential in a relationship and how could you ever survive if you don't communicate?? He sounds very controlling and you are being a doormat, letting him do what he wants with no regard to your needs. You deserve to be happy, and to be in a healthy relationship. He needs to deal with his issues without his thumb on you. I feel for you Lucy- I really do. I hope it goes well. Maybe he will understand you are serious if you call his bluff. Let him walk if that's what he thinks he needs to do- maybe you can work to make it a healthier relationship. Can you see yourself it 10 or 15 years after living like this? What would it be like for you? Good luck Lucy!
You seem to be saying things are better than ever. You say you need him to talk about his feelings. Why? You seem to have found a way to get through to him, and you have managed to get him to change his actions. Given how damaged he is form his childhood, you can probably only expect limited change form him over time, unless he goes into therapy. But therapy can have side affects.
Women often complain that men won't open up and talk about their feelings. I myself have never had this problem. However, men often complain that when they do open up, their wife is not interested, or recoils. So they shut up.
Talk is great. I love to talk, and I find it very healing. However, whereas in general men won't talk, I find that women when they do talk, keep the important bits back, or talk in code - not to their girlfriends, but to their husbands.
What is more important than talk is communication. You may not realise it, but it would seem that you have already vastly improved your communication with hubby, in as much as you have successfully provoked huge change.
Tread carefully. I think you need to realise how much you have already achieved. you can do even better of course, but you have to keep your eye on the prize - a beautiful relationship, not simply talk at any price.
I am crying reading these two responses. Especially Mark's. Your words ring true. I have managed to communicate already to him that I care enough for his happiness to look for change within myself. I will tread lightly. However, I also know that I am being manipulated into not being able to have a voice when there is conflict. I experience total fear each time I try to express how I feel. But Mark you are right, he is 55 years old and not likely to change now. He thinks therapy is bull so that is out. I will be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
[QUOTE=brad;36411]People can call it manipulation and you dont deserve it blah blah blah. QUOTE]
Wow, nice response to my post brad. Maybe someone that has lived through 17 years of the same emotional walls, and knows the effect it has on a marriage and a person may have a different opinion than you. From what I can tell every opinion here is valued so there is no need to disrespect my opinon. Until you live the hell you have no idea how it feels.
I do appreciate each response to my post. Junebug I know that you know what I'm going through. I'm also glad to have a male perspective. Last night I lit a candle, got into bed and invited my H to join me. While I held him I told him how much I thought he had changed. That when a marriage is in trouble it is never one person's fault. That I was trying to change everything I knew of to make things better. I told him that I wanted to forget about the phone calls but I was having a hard time letting go of it because he never gave me a believable explanation. (then I feel his shoulders tense) I told him that I knew it was difficult for him to tell me about it but it would help me if he did. He did not say one word. He tried to have sex with me. He couldn't. He said he had a stomachache, went to the bathroom then came back and went to sleep. Today the wall is up again. But I tried. At least he didn't threaten to leave me.
If you're saying he couldn't get it up... he may be feeling guilty about something, but it could be in the past, or it could be in the present. Impossible to say. You could just whisper in his ear that he can tell you anything. Assuming he can....
This also makes the point that bedtime is not a good time to raise contentious issues if you want to have a nice time and sleep well afterwards. Mornings are not good either, as that can be a bad start to the day. Early afternoons are probably best.
Yes he can tell me anything. I truly mean that. My gut tells me that he has/had some kind of relationship going on outside of our marriage because of his reaction. If he were to tell me what it is I wouldn't freak. I would consider it a major step forward. Thank you for the insight that I should keep talking without pressuring him to answer. I never realized that before. I always would ask him questions that he would not answer then things escalated. What I have to work on is not being so afraid. I am unable to look at him when I try to talk about this. His eyes turn cold as steel and I can't think or form the right words. That is why I waited till bed so I could just hold him and talk in his ear. I do consider my talk Sunday night to be a success. I at least told him I wasn't ok. That I need to know the truth before I can get over this.