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Stonewalling dh

(34 Posts)
curious2 Tue 18-Oct-11 00:38:37

Hi, don't know why I am posting really as I know dh and I have deep running problems and a total inability to communicate. I have posted about this for many years and have had a few different names.
At the moment he is ostracising me completely and the thing is, to avoid rejection I am not exactly talking to him either - definitely him who is doing the stonewalling though, with me just not bothering to say anything as know what kind of response I get (very cold one liners which are purely functional).
Last week I asked him on the phone if he would go and see a counsellor with me but got the very predictable response which I had expected - counselling is a pretentious thing, all I need to do is tidy the house (one of the big bones of contention between us but I think this is the presenting and not underlying issue) and then "he'll see" angry.
I am going to see a counsellor by myself (not a relate one, just a general one) and have decided to work on what I can control - ie. getting a job is my next priority. All my kids are at school now and I would love to work as a teaching assistant somewhere - when my youngest was in reception last year I did a course and also volunteered at my kids' school. I am just about to start volunteering at my kids' school again with a view to applying for jobs as and when they come up in any "near enough" schools. The problem with this is that in the current climate and with a lot of people wanting to work in school hours, I don't think they are very easy to get. I applied for six TA jobs at the end of the summer term last year and did not get even an interview.
Anyway I don't really know what I am asking but somehow I cannot believe I am in the position of being totally ignored by the person I live with. I think we have both damaged our relationship and would be more than prepared to discuss it, but what do you do if the other person has no apparent need / desire to relate to you at all?
This is the third long period of being ignored in the last 3 years - I managed to get dh to snap out of them the other two times (one was about 5 weeks long, the other about 8 weeks) but this time I somehow cannot be bothered. We have lots of general day to day problems as well (when we are talking), all of which could be discussed if he wasn't so defensive and quite to shout / blame. Mostly I am sick of the lack of affection between us and how critical/negative he is. I spend most weekends dreading the next complaint / criticism / sarcastic remark etc...
I am also doing an OU course but have not managed to start studying properly as I am distracted by all of this and would perversely like him to be interested in what I am doing blush. I am sure some of his behaviour stems from hurt but how can we ever work on this if he won't talk in a reasonable way?

curious2 Tue 18-Oct-11 00:40:01

"quick" to blame, not "quite"

carantala Tue 18-Oct-11 00:58:00

Sorry that you are so unhappy; was in the same situation with my XP - couldn't do anything right, sex-life had fizzled out and I was walking on eggshells all the time. He would only speak to me if we had visitors or to criticize. Was bewildered. Not suggesting that the same thing is happening with you but my XP (I discovered much later) had been seeing OW for several years. The pain is awful - wish that he had been honest! Good luck OP and best wishes

curious2 Tue 18-Oct-11 01:04:06

I'm sorry this happened to you carantala! Recognise the being spoken to if visitors thing! Don't think h is having an affair, I think he is of a bullying nature and also has a massive inability to communicate (partly stemming from childhood - his dad was an alcoholic and left the family home when h was 15).
The thing is I could more than stand a "should we be together" conversation which involved talking about the children and how we could manage our lives separately but in a way which was best for them (very scary thought, being apart from children some of the time if h and I separate / or the thought that when they are old enough - they are now 5, 7 and 9 - they might want to permanently live with him) - but what do you do when somebody refuses to have that conversation???

LesserOfTwoWeevils Tue 18-Oct-11 01:35:22

You decide what you're going to do and then you tell him the bits he needs to know.
It sounds as though you're being very kind in saying he's "of a bullying nature."
Can you tick off any of these?

carantala Tue 18-Oct-11 02:32:48

Well done, LOTW Poor OP is obviously suffering from EA and trying to do her best for the children (sorry, OP, to be talking about you as if you're not here! - didn't mean it).

Forget H's unhappy childhood; he should have leapt forward to happy fatherhood. Loads of "red flags" here! Good luck and take care of yourself, curious 2

bellsring Tue 18-Oct-11 09:35:21

curious2 - from what you've said about his past behaviour, I don't think he'll stop doing this cold treatment towards you. It suits him.

Rollon2012 Tue 18-Oct-11 10:04:31

when I read 'you just need to tidy the house' angry
I take it you're not negelctful slob, so hes being an arse
the tone of that remark was 'do what I dictate to you'

what actually made him stone wall you?

bellsring Tue 18-Oct-11 10:09:18

OP, him saying 'when you tidy the house' is typical of a person who has no real intention of tackling the issues you are concerned with, they're just tactics.

bellsring Tue 18-Oct-11 10:15:14

"he'll see". Does he also say "maybe", "I'll have to think about that" "If you do x,y,z, then maybe I'll feel like '*discussing*' it". Or, the alternative NO.

I don't think he's going to be the kind of H who's interested in what personal achievements/goals you want to work towards. I'm sorry if this sounds too harsh; I could be wrong?

AnyPhantomFucker Tue 18-Oct-11 11:25:15

bellsring, don't worry about being too harsh

curious2 has been advised all this and very much more besides

curious2 what exactly will it take for you to give up flogging this dead relationship, my love ?

curious2 Tue 18-Oct-11 13:33:36

Thank you for your posts.

The thing is I could manouevre the situation so that it goes back to being more pleasant but I don't think dh is interested in it ever being emotionally close, equitable and open.

Trying to improve things in the way I know I could would be better for all of us, but I don't want to go back to the status quo we had before. I want to radically re-negotiate things between us. This I think will not be possible but seeing as I knew or should have known that dh is a difficult person before I had kids with him, how can I now split the family of those same children - is how my reasoning goes.

Stonewalling is emotionally abusive and I agree that h is happy to be in this solitary state. He interacts affectionately with the dc but is actually a very solitary character. Also addicted to work and spends EVERY evening of EVERY day working on his laptop for hour after hour. There is no talking to someone who does this as you only have a tiny portion of his attention.

My housekeeping skills are improving but it is true to say that when 3 dc were younger (now 5, 7 and 9) the house was a lot messier. H and I also have different expectations of what constitutes tidy and what really gets me down about him and makes me think "what's the point" is the fact that he will always find something wrong - he is critical / sarcastic / negative.... He also has a short temper. Possibly depressed by work and exhaustion but hardly the person who would ever seek help about this. I have had enough of the domineering / dictatorial side to his character and would like to feel accepted and not judged. I think from his point of view he took the house being messy as a sign of how little I respected him and this may have been true. I also went through a phase of spending too much money (my savings but still not right) which is long past but has left its mark. I would be willing to discuss all of this.

H has same propensity as me to accumulate clutter so it is quite astonishing how much vitriol he throws in my direction about this when the entire attic (which is a proper room and could be used as a bedroom) is full of his clutter.

It also gets me down that although various parts of the housekeeping are really improving, he never seems to notice and definitely never says anything. Just carries on moaning.

I suppose he is the stern father figure (he is 12 years older than me) and I am the submissive child who desperately wants to be liked. I am fed up with this dynamic but have no idea how to change it given how closed off h is.

The actual thing which started the stonewalling this time was an argument we had when I felt he was being too angry with ds about something. Can't remember what and water under the bridge now but stonewalling remains. I am sure h has forgotten about this.

Rollon2012 Tue 18-Oct-11 13:39:45

God I felt like I'd just read my life there curious ,

I have been stonewalled in the past I told said person to get out if he was gonna behave that way, we did make up but made it very clear that if it ever happened again it would be over.

I wont accept as kids get older the more that sort of tension effects them how could I allow that?

LesserOfTwoWeevils Tue 18-Oct-11 13:40:10

"I am fed up with this dynamic but have no idea how to change it given how closed off h is."
You can't change him and he doesn't want to change himself. All you can do is stop dancing to his tune.
"how can I now split the family of those same children"
If you really believe that once you've made your bed you have to lie in it, then there's nothing you can do.
You can't "radically re-negotiate" anything if you have no one to negotiate with.
If you really want change it will be without him.

curious2 Tue 18-Oct-11 13:43:38

No I agree that "made my bed now I have to lie in it" sounds like being dead. However I know that divorce is very difficult and "not for the fainthearted" and really I have no idea how awful it could be and don't know if I have the strength to go through it.

curious2 Tue 18-Oct-11 13:44:55

Not dancing to his tune sounds refreshing, though of course not everything that he has ever said is wrong - being organised actually makes life a lot easier so I will give him that!

Rollon2012 Tue 18-Oct-11 13:45:35

tbh you children will benefit hugely if he regularly ignores you infront of them.

that casues huge emotional damage I couldnt imnagine seeing that as a child I grew up in a mutually DV enviroment I think tbh stonewalling would have been worse.

curious2 Tue 18-Oct-11 13:50:59

Yes I don't want any of my dc to be in similar relationships either as dominator or dominated so I know that action is required.

cecilyparsley Tue 18-Oct-11 16:05:18

Sorry to hear that you're in such a difficult situation curious.
'However I know that divorce is very difficult' true, but is it ultimately more unpleasant than living with your current situation?

I'm inclined to think that a solitary character who's very fussy about housekeeping would be best off living on his own and doing his own blasted housekeeping (wonder if he'd be quite so house proud then??)

I think he's the one who's making the bed and should have to lie in it..ie he is setting the tone and if he wants to be so horrid let him be horrid on his own!

Very best of luck with whatever you decidesmile

AnyPhantomFucker Tue 18-Oct-11 17:06:14

You want the dynamic to change ?

it won't

bellsring Tue 18-Oct-11 21:18:14

You can change the way you behave and react to crap like stonewalling but you just won't have the interaction you want with him. You'll be in your world and he'll be in his. Pretty soul-destroying if you are the kind of person who needs communication and wants someone who is constant and available for you.

HansieMom Tue 18-Oct-11 21:53:17

How about when he makes negative remark, you mark it on a chart. It's making fun of him, but hey. When he remarks on your messy house (oh, dear!) just point to the attic. I just have no patience with the guy.

curious2 Tue 18-Oct-11 23:56:29

Thanks for your messages.

It is absolutely true that h sets the tone. For example I have been in the living room with him for almost 3 hours now and apart from one or two exchanges about the programme that was on TV, we have said nothing to each other. This is definitely not me, this is him working madly on his laptop and that's it. You are right bellsring, I really need communication.

Chart a good idea though I don't think h would see the funny side. What I should really do is write down all the negative stuff and keep it for later reference for myself. I do occasionally do this but then get so depressed by the piece of paper that I throw it away.

So if it is turning out that the dynamic has no possibility of changing, h has some ingrained emotionally abusive behaviours, I haven't helped with some of my behaviour in the past and that I desperately need more love and affection it actually leaves me with no solution but to separate.

HOWEVER I AM TERRIFIED OF DOING THIS FOR LOTS OF DIFFERENT REASONS.

Thank you for your messages once again.

curious2 Tue 18-Oct-11 23:58:10

Sorry, that was a bit melodramatic - however the idea of divorce does truly scare me.

HerScaryness Wed 19-Oct-11 00:37:37

... the idea of divorce does truly scare me.

What, more than being ignored, undermined, emotionally controlled, abused and belittled in your own home?

More than every waking hour of your life being controlled my a man who hates you so much he will studiously ignore you for MONTHS at a time?

However I know that divorce is very difficult and "not for the fainthearted
It's a BREEZE ffs, compared to this piss-poor existence. It's like giving birth, hurts at the time, you give it one big push and these abusers are expelled and you feel instantly better.

FGS what taught you that you are worth so LITTLE a life?

This will NEVER, ever, ever change. This life will be how it is (and WORSE the longer this farce goes on for) UNTIL YOU EITHER GET OUR OR DIE.

Now THAT is TERRIFYING

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