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Please help me make things work better(9 Posts)
Hello everyone, I am just looking for some wise words/advice to help me start to improve my relationship with my DH again. I have reached the point where either things have to improve or I need to make the decision to leave as I can no longer continue being such an angry, resentful person.
I can see there is fault on both sides but feel unless I take the plunge to try and change the dynamic somehow we will never escape this place we are in.
I have been with my DH for 16 years and have two DC under 5. He chose to pursue his hobby as a career which has meant him being away for up to 6 months a year in total ( sometimes a month, sometimes 2) and not around at weekends, leaving the house at 6, 7 days a week. This is stopping in the next month and he will get a more normal job. I have suffered with PND, have a stressful job and now one of my parents is terminally ill, end stages. DH went away knowing this and didn't really try to contact me whilst away to offer any support. He didn't really contact me after achieving his main goal that has been the purpose of the last 8 or so years. He hasn't thanked me at all for all the sacrifices I have made and how truly hard I have found coping. Won't even seem to acknowledge this.
Having said this I have to accept that some of him not contacting me is from my previous hostility whenever he has. I feel so angry towards him that I have reached the point where I never really say anything positive. So I can see objectively that he has maybe just stopped trying to phone me when away and possibly doesn't feel he knows what I want from him. I completely get this isn't acceptable behaviour from me either. I feel totally alone and unloved. He probably does too.
He is now back home for good and I am finding it hard to readjust. Whenever I have tried to raise how I feel with him he just gets defensive and doesn't see why I've ever had a problem. We never have a pleasant exchange anymore. Yet before we had children we were so incredibly close, laughed all the time, so much love and I completely trusted him ( despite facing challenging times, for example his parents dying).
Sorry this is so long! I guess I'm looking for practical ways to somehow change the dynamic? To let go of my anger at feeling unackowledged and unsupported. If anyone has any wise words they would be much appreciated.
Do you actually have a marriage any more?
It seems as though he's neglected you and your marriage to such an extent that although he's physically there now, it's just his accommodation, rather than his home with you.
I always think when I see the Olympics how many partners and parents have sacrificed so much (not least normal family life) to have that person in that position and I think although the athlete gets the medal, their family needs one more so.
Maybe there's no longer a relationship to be had. Thinking back to the old days does no good - he was involved then, he was a different person. Now he's someone who neglects you - you deserve better.
I think the problem is your simmering resentment- bubbling away under the surface ready to implode at any time.
You are resentful because you feel that in your hour of need your dh wasn't around for you, he was selfish and by the sounds of it still refuses to acknowledge how hard those times you coped alone actually were.
I think the key to moving past this is him acknowledging his actions were not in the best interest of everyone but in the interests of himself.
Although I do not know if you had a say in his last job............
From experience resentments do fade but leave a scar on the marriage, if you see what I mean
If he won't communicate, or denies responsibility for this vortex, then the best thing to do is carry on as you have been for 8 years. ALONE.
You can't fix it if he doesn't acknowledge it exists
He pursued a career which took him away from his wife and small children for up to six months a year, hardly bothered to call while he's away, expected you to cope with parenthood, PND and the loss of a parent without his support and he doesn't see why you've ever had a problem?
OP, you are desperately trying to make this into a "there are faults on either side, we're equally responsible" situation, because then it will be something you can fix by yourself.
Because you are trying to fix this by yourself, aren't you? He doesn't sound like he's going to make any kind of effort at all to discuss this with you or understand how you feel. I know you want there to be something you can magically change about yourself so he'll start being nice to you again, but I don't think he's particularly interested in being nice to you. So he won't be, pretty much whatever you do. He wants you to shut up and get over it, and he doesn't even care if you get over it, as long as you shut up.
That's the problem: that he won't work with you to make this better. Not that you somehow can't 'let go of your anger at feeling unsupported' or are 'finding it hard to readjust'.
It's very sad that when he achieved his goal he didn't contact you or thank you in any way. Awful, really, as though he's the only person that matters.
...sorry, pressed send too soon.
Your husband has been physically absent and emotionally unspportive of you and your children. And yet you think that the "problem" is your anger and resentment at his actions, not his actions themselves?
Thank you everyone for your replies.
You are right I do carry a lot of anger and resentment that I desperately want him to acknowledge. I guess it is hard to accept he might never do that. I suppose I also struggle a bit as I do know that living with someone with depression can be hard, and I do know that at times I have been very negative and difficult. Actually not just with the depression I've always been a bit fiery and difficult and I find asking for help very difficult. I guess part of the problem is that some of the other partners don't seem have found the life style as difficult as I have. I think my DH probably sees them being very enthusiastic and supportive, and then is in this weird bubble of everyone doing the same thing so can't see how unusual the hours etc. actually are.
I do know I don't want to continue like this, but - even though I'd never judge anyone else - I find the thought of separating and the impact on my children unbearable. Even though logically I can see that this situation isn't good for them either!
I should add that when he is back he is a hands on dad and does do a lot around the home. I suppose I hope that now this 'hobby/career' is over things might change, but my deep fear is that actually it has just revealed how truly selfish he can be and it might just be replaced by something else. Plus I feel so hurt.
tiger you are completely right that he does just want me to get over it, shut up and doesn't care how. I can see that now it has been written down by someone else
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