Originally Posted by SandboxDweller View Post
I left my husband last week - something I've been thinking about for several years. I didn't leave because I'm ready to divorce, but I felt like I would have a nervous breakdown if I didn't go - so I left mainly to preserve my sanity.
A little background - married over 30 years, wonderful adult children. H doesn't cheat, doesn't "overtly" abuse me, however I really believe he has some kind of passive aggressive issues and I don't know why. To be fair, he's a good provider, he helps around the house... he stopped telling me he loves me. I am hurt, so I don't say it to him (but not because I don't)
Like it or not, that just gives your confirmation to his behavior.
, although after I told him I was leaving he made some comment about how "it would be up to me to tell the kids that I don't love their dad anymore"... I almost felt like this was transference.
He is trying to impose a heavy cost on you for leaving. This is very
common. Also, he wants you to argue with him. He is saying something that is untrue, in hopes that you say that you do love him. Then he can ask you the reason you are leaving if you love him. Don't play that game.
The passive aggressive stuff is:
- never apologizes
Many don't apologize, because their partner will make a high punishment for the bad deed or act. I am not saying you are doing this, but many that are apologized to will hold the relationship hostage, and refuse to accept it. Alternatively, they will harp on the apologizing individual further. What we don't understand is that this trains individuals away from apologizing. I'd ask you if you do anything remotely along these lines.
If not, (or not much) it means that he doesn't want to admit he was wrong, just because that imposes bad feelings on him. Yes, that is a lousy reason to not apologize.
- argues and turns things back on me
The majority of people do this. This is the hidden danger of believing in the argument model. I teach individuals to communicate without arguing. Most psychs believe in some form of the argument model.
He is extremely proud. As such, you have to handle him in a very specific way. If you yell at him or reason with him, he will beat you down. How many years have you tried to get him to just listen to you, to no avail? There are two options, walk away or realize that you will have to employ your personal strength.
- doesn't praise or offer thanks
- makes jokes at my expense when our kids are around but not at other times.
- tunes me out and has a TV addiction (IMO)
This, like social media, is dangerous for all relationships. What we are saying is that the media device is more important. We say that the relationship can come later; later never comes.
- Lately, rarely will make eye contact with me. Looks right past me when looking at me, or I am talking with his profile.
He doesn't want to get into it, so severe disconnection is the result.
- Never initiates resolution
He won't admit anything other than "I'm right, you're wrong." He can't initiate resolution, as it conflicts with his pride. Proud individuals are difficult to be in relationships with.
- Withholds affection
I did mention severe disconnection.
- Waits for me to initiate intimacy (doesn't reject me, but doesn't initiate) I'm tired of initiating so as a result, we haven't been intimate the last 4 months and I'm sure he's mad at me about that.
He was holding the relationship hostage. Either you give him love, or he won't give any. The problem is that you reciprocated. Again, that confirms his behavior.
I feel like I do all the emotional heavy-lifting in this relationship. He won't talk to me to tell me what he's thinking - it's almost like he knows it drives me crazy so he does it to push my buttons.
He is proud. If he works to feed his pride, then hurting you will trigger an endorphin release. It is a horrible game that is played in relationships.
I told him I wanted a temporary separation and I only wanted to talk once a week which he agreed to. Now here's the hard part... we were living overseas. I packed my bags and came back home. So I know the odds are really stacked against me to hope for some kind of reconciliation. He made it clear he has no intention of returning home soon. Tomorrow we are supposed to talk and I have no idea where to start on what to say to him.
At some point, he has to come to the table. This isn't what we call a relationship. You can work hard to master yourself, and then you can master him. Still, he could choose to not involve himself.
Dealing with these type of people is my expertise. It is tricky though. If I was in a relationship with this type of person, they could become very enraged, when their emotional manipulation is not reciprocated or taken. Sometimes, this means that they end up walking away, hoping to find someone they can manipulate. Alternatively, they put their tail between their legs and realize the immense power of someone that does not take their emotional garbage.
I need time to heal my hurts at his indifference. I have no intention of dating. We have tried counseling a couple of times, he was willing to go, but again, I felt like I initiated everything including the homework.
The homework is for each individual. Without effort, there is no ability to change. The skills I have mastered have taken years to build and perfect. This means that I had to be screamed at, threatened and manipulated in every way, but react in a prescribed fashion for the skill to overcome the amygdala's hijacking of the neo-cortex. We can't just sit in front of a counselor, agree, nod our heads and then head home, waiting for the next visit. We have to literally change the way our brains operate. As long as he gets upset and annoyed, he is going to act this way. He has done nothing and is doing nothing to change the way he thinks, feels and acts.
I am going to find myself a counselor in the next week and work on ME. In a perfect world, he would miss me and realize what he did or didn't do was making it impossible for me to live with him, and he would want to change. Am I dreaming?
He was a really wonderful guy once upon a time.
You can't do the work for him. You can't change him. He has to find his own catalyst. Master yourself. I advise you to become so powerful, that his games no longer impact you.