12-21-2011, 05:07 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
| | Can I get a few pointers on how to communicate with my husband?
My husband and I have been married for 7 years. We have had problems almost from day one and I am honestly at my breaking point. He is strong willed, very opinionated and judgmental, and extremely controlling. His way of communicating is to avoid the problem at all costs, until there is no choice but to talk about it, and then to make his own decision (without discussion) and go on about his day. He uses this same authoritative decision making process with his coworkers, family, and our only child (5 yrs old). If I try to discuss the issue with him, it usually angers him to the point he goes stomping out of the room breathing obscenities, and then he will refuse to broach the subject again. If I try to push him to talk later, it will result in anger of unfathomable proportions, which includes kicking the dog, slamming the door, and calling me deplorable names. In the end, neither one of us remembers why the "fight" started.
I have tried everything I know of to get him to open up to me. I've tried changing my own attitude about communication by learning to pick my battles. I've tried not pushing him, giving him space (usually three days, at which point I can't take it anymore), keeping my mouth shut, even sacrificing many important things just so we don't have to have a conversation about it. I now have only one "acceptable" friend. I've had to give up my religious practices because he refuses to hear my viewpoint (based on the idea that I'm not going to say anything that's going to change his mind, so he doesn't want to hear about it). I gave up my two children from a previous relationship when we moved to Germany because he told me he didn't like them. I even gave up my career, my self-esteem, and my dignity by moving to Germany with him after he became angry with me for having a bad reaction to the news we were moving.
My husband is in the military. He refuses to seek individual counseling, and has only just recently agreed to marriage counseling... which I happily agreed to! We actually did go to counseling years ago, but the therapist used a technique in which we were supposed to stop ourselves in the middle of a "fight", and then come back to it a couple hours later if we felt it was important enough to talk about. Problem is... nothing is EVER important enough for my husband to talk about... even talking about finances makes him angry! This type of therapy was an EPIC failure. Because of it... he is even more wary of counseling and I'm truly afraid we'll find another counselor with the same technique.
I've tried reading books about how to talk to him.... but somehow I always come off condescending or like I'm "shrinking" him. He refuses to read a book.
Please, can anyone throw out a suggestion?! ANYTHING.... unless it involves leaving him because I am not in a financial position to do so at this point. Something has got to give, I can't do this anymore! Any help will be greatly appreciated... Thank you so much!!