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How do I change myself?

(44 Posts)
Ownteethandhair Thu 10-Oct-13 17:50:32

My DH is a bit of an introvert and has little in the way of conversation, hobbies or interests. He is a well educated person with two degrees and a well paid job but not much interest in anything else. Every so often he will talk about a new enthusiasm - sailing, caravanning etc - and I pounce on the idea and try to progress it in the hope that we can find something to do together and have something to plan and talk about.
However, when it comes to actually doing anything concrete about these ideas my DH always has a reason/excuse why he hasn't done anything.
I get frustrated with his lack of initiative.
He says he feels 'overwhelmed' by me, says I am clever, funny, go-getting etc and he can't compete. He won't do anything himself but feels threatened by me having ideas and wanting to make things happen.
I feel as though I have to try and make myself less, smaller than I am IYSWIM. He is only hope at weekends but I am finding his apathetic attitude is making me feel depressed around him.

AnyFucker Thu 10-Oct-13 17:54:06

Don't "change yourself"

That is madness

Ownteethandhair Thu 10-Oct-13 17:54:55

Who's mad?

AnyFucker Thu 10-Oct-13 17:56:35

It would be madness to try and bring yourself down.

EdithWeston Thu 10-Oct-13 17:58:10

Don't change yourself.

What did you like doing, before you started trying to guess what he might
Like? Any reason why you can't do it again?

BooCanary Thu 10-Oct-13 18:00:22

OP do not change yourself.
I am loud, generally upbeat and outgoing. My DH is quiet, verging on downbeat and an introvert.
But we mostly get on well, and suit each other in a funny kind of way.
The only real options for you are to accept how he is, or leave him. Changing yourself or him is not fair, and unlikely to work anyway.

Ownteethandhair Thu 10-Oct-13 18:02:50

I feel caught in some kind of double-blind with DH. If I take over he says I am 'bossy' and if I take a back seat and try to encourage him to be more proactive he says I am pushing him. We do very little together, have nothing to talk about at weekends and never have joint plans or projects.

Ownteethandhair Thu 10-Oct-13 18:05:55

Edith..I do things - cinema, theatre tec - alone or with friends during the week and have just redecorated and made improvements to the whole house on my own. I enjoy it but it gets lonely as DH isn't really interested.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 18:08:04

Definitely don't change yourself. Especially not for the sake of someone who a) doesn't seem to like you for who you are, b) clearly doesn't want to have joint plans with you and c) keeps moving the goalposts. AF is quite right... don't bring yourself down.

Do you have a good group of friends/family? Do you have a job? Hobbies? You'll probably end up one of those couples who end up living very separate lives alongside rather than with each other.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 18:11:49

x-posted. You can't drag this horse to water and you certainly won't be able to make him drink...

NatashaBee Thu 10-Oct-13 18:13:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnyFucker Thu 10-Oct-13 18:14:41

Do you love him ? Does he love you ?

Not every couple has a lot of social life in common, and that's ok if it suits all concerned. If you are unhappy and frustrated though, I don't think the answer if to lower yourself to the common denominator.

AnyFucker Thu 10-Oct-13 18:14:59


Thistledew Thu 10-Oct-13 18:16:07

My DH can be a little like this in that I am most often the one to take the initiative to try something new. I tend to decide that I will do X, suggest that DH comes too, but not put any pressure on him to do so. Sometimes he will decide not to come with me at first but then when he sees me having fun will decide to have a go himself. I think putting pressure on him to join me or organising him too much would have the opposite effect. Even if he decides he doesn't want to join me, it will be something that I enjoy doing for myself.

Ownteethandhair Thu 10-Oct-13 18:22:29

Thanks all. Trouble is I don't really like myself very much I think. I feel as though I am turning into an abusive bully who is angry all the time. He sits there is silence while I wind myself into a fizz of frustration. Last weekend I shouted at him that he was a f..... c...! Ashamed afterwards and feel even worse about myself. We are in two roles where I am the angry, nagging shrew and he is Mr Good, Kind and Wonderful. Everyone else thinks he is lovely. Apart from my dad who says DH has no personality at all.

Ownteethandhair Thu 10-Oct-13 18:23:14 silence...

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 18:25:10

How long have you been married? Has he always been like this? Has something changed recently that has made you notice this more or made you more annoyed than normal, or is it the result of a long time beating your head against this personality-free brick wall?

AnyFucker Thu 10-Oct-13 18:27:17

Why did you marry him ?

Ownteethandhair Thu 10-Oct-13 18:33:17

Have been together 17 years. Both married before, my DS was only 7 and he has been a good step-dad, abusive relationships in past, thought I could make a go of things. That's it really. He's always been the same I guess but now it's just the two of us I am terrified of getting old with someone I can't talk to. Even after all these years I feel awkward around him, as though I am with someone I just met at the bus stop ifswim. All my fault I guess for not having the courage to leave a long time ago. Have no other family, apart from DS.

Ownteethandhair Thu 10-Oct-13 18:34:24

..mum and dad dead now.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 10-Oct-13 18:39:02

So the change is that your DS no longer lives there and you've realised you're saddled with Mr Boring. Are you thinking you'll have to 'LTB'?

Ownteethandhair Thu 10-Oct-13 18:46:54

Not sure I am brave enough to LTB - that's why I have been trying to be more tolerant/patient/nicer. Anyway, it might not be him, could be that I am not very nice. Feel mean thinking of him as Mr Boring - though is very dull company.

BitOutOfPractice Thu 10-Oct-13 18:55:39

Don't change yourself. You sound great

Have you talked to him (instaed of the shouting?) and told him just how close you are to LTD (Leaving the Dullard)?

Itstartshere Thu 10-Oct-13 18:57:56

I think it's pretty common for people leaving abusive relationships to seek out someone very safe. Trouble is, that's no good if you end up being bored and miserable. He sounds so dull and your situation sounds very lonely. Can you remember why you fell for him originally? I really would consider leaving him, I couldn't live like that, and as you say you're resorting to getting angry which isn't fair on him.

Ownteethandhair Thu 10-Oct-13 19:22:58

BitOut..thanks for that but don't feel I'm great. Have talked about how I feel to DH for ever but he just says he doesn't know what to talk to me about. Did LTD some years ago but was persuaded to come back and try again.
Itstarts...always feel that being bored and miserable is my fault for being too critical (he says) and not grateful enough. Can't remember falling for him, just sort of drifted together. Hate being angry and have never felt like it before even when XH1 was violent.
I can see that we are in a very dysfunctional marriage.

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