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#422102 - 01/14/13 11:38 PM I just want to shake him!
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Not literally! I am at my wit's end. I really don't know what to do. And incident occurred between us Saturday that left me bawling my eyes out for 45 minutes before we arrived at my family's function. He walked in with a smile on and kept everyone laughing. He pretended as if nothing was wrong and adeptly distracted everyone from asking any questions with his charisma and charm. Yesterday I was so depressed I ended back in bed from 1pm until about 7pm. He said nothing and acted as if all was normal. I responded to someone's post on facebook and my response alerted his mother to the fact that I might be down. She called him about it today and he told her I was fine and she just misinterpreted it. At the time of her inquiry, he texted me and said he had no idea I was upset and would talk to me about it tonight. He went to bed without a word.

This is only the tip of the iceburg. He runs for the hills the moment anything gets emotional. This has gone on for years and I just don't think I can take it anymore. I can't have a relationship with someone who refuses to participate in a relationship. He lives with me, raises our children with me, provides income to our family and participates in the day to Day activities of the household functioning, but this is about all. He does not communicate, he does not share any emotional or physical intimacy with me, he does not actively listen to anything I care about unless it is of specific interest to him. My emotional trust in him is so eroded, I can't imagine how to get it back. I have been vulnerable only to be ignored and abandoned so many times. I know I am responsible for healing and helping myself, but to be completely ignored and treated As if I am invisible whenever I am hurting is not acceptable. I have told him what I need, owned my needs and set my boundaries. He says he will try, but his behaviour does not change, even when I call him on it. I am just not sure what is next. I don't think I can go on living with him like this. I love him, but I can't remain in this dysfunctional relationship. As long as he is here, I want and expect more than he can give me and every time it is evident he isn't willing to push beyond his issues for us, it breaks my heart again, and again. I felt strong desires to hurt myself yesterday. I have never in my life been this low, even after my ex husband physically abused me. I never felt this powerless and stuck. I know codependence tells me I have power and choice, but what kind of choice is it when you know your spouse loves you, you love your spouse, but no matter what you do, an emotional connection, emotional honesty and trust is completely out of reach. It is like a dangling carrot. Do I dare walk away from a love that I know I will never ever have for another again? Especially when I know that he will most certainly react with anger at my abandonment and will hold this hurt and betrayal against me forever. I know if I ask him to leave and sort out his own house for a while, pride, anger and self preservation will keep him from ever accepting me in his life again.

He is the ultimate at denial and will accept abuse indefinately from partners (he has told me of his past relationship) but when forced to accept emotional truths and deal with difficult problem, his protects himself by being angry and cutting the person out of him life.

I feel like screaming at him to wake up. I just wish I could get through to him. He has begun therapy but none of this seems to have improved and I frankly wonder how emotional honest he is with his therapist. I know he concealed a great deal from the marriage psychologist we used to see. I know he will never benefit from any therapy until and if he is willing to be honest with himself first.

Sorry for the stream of consciousness. I am just so heartbroken. I really thought things were on The road To improvment, but now I feel that I could rehash my posts from September / October and they would be as true and raw today as they were 3 months ago. I just don't know how to move on from this and heal myself when I feel I can't protect my heart From him without closing it to him. And if this decision comes to pass, it will be truly the saddest day of my life so far.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#422158 - 01/15/13 12:35 PM Re: I just want to shake him! [Re: CdnDW]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
CdnDW, I'm so sorry that you are going through this. I'm sure you are right about all you have said. What is he actually trying to achieve by going to therapy I wonder.

I don't have time now (I'm at work) so I have to keep this short. All I can say right now is that I feel for you.

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#422167 - 01/15/13 02:08 PM Re: I just want to shake him! [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
That is an excellent question Candu and thank you for asking it. It occurs to me that I have no idea what HE wants to achieve. He began therapy following me setting some boundaries around some acting out behaviours, so now I wonder if he started for me. I know he has recognized through therapy that he operates from a constant place of guilt. This is the primary motivator for behaviour. I think he wants this to be different, but maybe beyond that he has not established any goals. Certainly not concrete ones. He just wants us to be happy, but does not seem to be able to identify why we / he is not, and thinking about it makes him feel unhappy, so he tends to avoid it in the pursuit of his greater goal. He buries things, sticks his head in the sand and tends to just work harder at "keeping the peace", but doesn't seem to realise or hasn't the courage to realise these mechanisms do nothing to actually help the problem.

I have been thinking of writing my thoughts down to him in a careful, well thought out letter. Sort of a plan: concrete things I want / need for a healthy relationship and my ideas on how to achieve these goals. Maybe I will encourage him to do the same and then we can check back in with each other to see if we want the same things. I know this sounds like a very cerebral process, but my wants Are ultimately firmly grounded in emotional honesty, active listening and defensiveless communication, active empathy, emotional intimacy (that I think will eventually lead to physical intimacy), and trust. I think that when we improve these areas, the rest will fall into place. But first we have to be emotionally honest with ourselves, have a willingness to be vulnerable and have the courage to heal our pasts so these are no longer dominating how we interpret every word or action towards one another now.

I gotta get back to work now too, but thanks again for getting my wheels turning. Lots to think about...
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#422176 - 01/15/13 05:30 PM Re: I just want to shake him! [Re: CdnDW]
mkn10 Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 27
CdnDW, your situation has some similarities to my own, the running from emotions as though they are more terrifying than abuse!

I wonder, would he even be able to write his feelings down on paper? And be able to articulate his wants and needs? I ask because I tried this approach countless time, made well considered questionnaires even, but he never answered any of my letters. He would get out a pen and paper and not be able to write a single word down. I even tried talking to him online so as to nut through our issues, but he just kept making jokes to change the subject. I always felt hurt, even though intellectually I could realise that it was difficult for him, I still felt as though he wasn't making the effort. That's when I realised I was doing the same thing he does, letting the feelings overwhelm me rather than focusing on an intellectual understanding of the situation.

Anyways, after a mental breakdown over the weekend, and him going AWOL one too many time, I made the hardest decision of my life, to leave. And yes, it was the saddest day of my life, feel like a zombie right now. I know I will never love another like I love him, but for now my mental health has to be more important. I guess I'll have to come to terms with the fact that I will have a mediocre life in future.

Do you have support for yourself? I've been there, feeling like I just want it all to be over. At that point, I think it's important to remove yourself from the situation. Even if you take a break, would this be a possibility for you?

The scariest part now is the feeling that this is final, done and dusted. The person I consider part of me... will eventually just be somebody I used to know.

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#422178 - 01/15/13 06:17 PM Re: I just want to shake him! [Re: CdnDW]
CdnDW Offline


Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
Oh, mkn, I am so sorry to hear this. I can imagine how you might feel right now... This is something I have considered but for now, it is not yet on the table for me. We have two children, ages 10 and 7, and as long as his dysfunction remains largely contained to his role in a healthy relationship with me, I will not leave. I know that sometimes staying in an unhappy marriage is not what is best for the kids, but he functions relatively well as a father, is active and involved in their lives and is a good provider. Any coping with alcohol etc. has been addressed by him as this was a full-stop issue for the health of our kids and he knows I will simply not tolerate them being raised in that environment. He quit drinking 7 months ago and has not slipped.

If these issues cannot be addressed, I may not have an emotionally fulfilling relationship with him, but I can learn to control my responses by addressing codependence issues. I can be happy, even if not happy with my relationship and this will translate to our children. Until they are older, I will not sacrifice their emotional stability for my own. When they can regulate their own emotional needs more, if this situation has not improved, then I will contemplate leaving. Until then, we may live an emotional separate, but peacefilled life together for their sakes.

Incidentally, I think this same commitment and priority in him may actually be slowing his process of healing. He has said at times that he does not have the "liberty" to fall apart. He is terrified that he will breakdown, even for a while, but enough that it impairs his ability to support our family and contribute to the care and involvement with our kids.

Personally, I think a short term impairment is well worth the risk for the long term gain and have said I am prepared to ride out any storms we might encounter knowing that there is a greater good that will come from it, but he is not.

So, I will keep trying in the meantime to find ways to communicate and reinforce positive changes in concert with ways to let go of my expectations in terms of any impact it has on my overall happiness. Not sure how to do this yet, but I will continue to learn. I will continue to strive for personal happiness while my needs are not fulfilled by my marriage.

Wow, that seems so easy to say and to cognitively accept, but infinitely hard for my heart to understand.

Mkn, you made a tough choice that respected your needs and I hope you are happy with it, even through your saddness. I hope for you that he can use this time on his own to grow personally and maybe grow enough to be able to contribute, once again, to a healthy relationship with you in the future.

((Hugs)) to you.
_________________________
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

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#422181 - 01/15/13 07:59 PM Re: I just want to shake him! [Re: CdnDW]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
CdnDW. I'm just throwing this out for discussion.

Do you do anything together for fun? Just the two of you. (not with the kids) Any interests you share? If not then if you both had something that you were both interested in it migh make it easier for him to connect with you. It may not be at the level that you would like but it could be a step in the right direction.

Another thing that I wanted to say earlier was about the therapy. And this can just as easily apply with your relationship. I think you (we) need to set goals. What do we want it all to look like in the end. How could we get there. What incremental goals and steps can be set as targets to achieve.

It really sucks to have to structure a relationship in this way but progress will not happen just by itself. Of course both sides have to buy in. (Can't stress that enough)

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