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DH crying - don't know what to say

(16 Posts)
Jessdurberville Fri 21-Feb-14 14:32:05

Just had a bit of a heart-to-heart with DH. On the face of things our relationship is good and functioning. For the most part we are civil and friendly, sex-life ok - perhaps 2/3 a week. Once you scratch the surface though things are less rosy. I think it's fair to say that I have had issues with DH being grumpy, he copes badly with stress and god knows we've had a lot of that, particularly financial. I also don't like the way he disciplines the kids, especially our eldest boy who is 16. I have told him in past that he behaves like he doesn't like us much (DS1 and me) let alone love us but of course he assures me he does. About two months ago we had another little flash-point, I told him I was applying for a job and if I got it I would take steps to move out taking the 3 kids with me. Things are drastically improved - he is less grumpy day-to-day and has changed his tone both with the kids and with me. You would imagine this would transform how I feel but no - partly I keep waiting for the mask to slip and partly I feel guilty that he has to change who he is to accommodate my demands. Just now he told me he feels I have a sliver of ice in my heart when it comes to him. I had to agree - I don't know how to fix it. I feel that all these years of small resentments and grudges, rows etc have killed our love for each other by a thousand cuts. I do shut down emotionally (difficult childhood) and I have no skills to open up again. I do love him and hate the thought of him being unhappy but it is not the love of a wife for a husband. It is the love you have for someone you see a lot of and whose life is so entangled with yours it is impossible to see how you would separate them. How do I begin to open up emotionally to my husband again? He deserves better than this surely.He couldn't control the trembling in his lip when we talked - I have never seen him cry.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 21-Feb-14 14:37:02

That's a very honest post - you see that you both have issues.

You're an excellent candidate for couples therapy, maybe even individual therapy for you if you find it hard as you might need to take it slower.

MillyBlods Fri 21-Feb-14 14:44:23

How does he discipline the eldest that you don't like? And why have you felt that he doesn't like you much?

defineme Fri 21-Feb-14 14:48:13

Absolutely LaurieFairyCake-therapy occurred to me too.
Do you want to save the marriage?
Even if you ultimately decide not to, counselling would still help.

MillyBlods Fri 21-Feb-14 15:04:42

Has he been the only one bringing in income whilst you have had all your financial troubles? Could his grumpiness be a result of his being scared and worried that he cannot pay bills and give his family a good life?

TemperamentalAroundCorvids Fri 21-Feb-14 15:13:55

He is not having to change who he is, I hope, merely some of his behaviours, and maybe some of his beliefs, so that he can manifest the person he is, rather than present the facade he did before.

If he can truly change his behaviour, then there is hope, and as others say, counselling would help. Give it a while longer, see if he can maintain his new ways under the stresses and strains.

If you could open up emotionally to him, what would you say to him?

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 21-Feb-14 15:23:15

definitely try counselling. it will help you work out what you really want. it also aids you in opening up and saying what needs to be said. i think this could be fixed with a little honesty and some work. and if i cant - then you can walk away with a clear head and knowing you did all you could before you decided to call it a day.

Mollydoggerson Fri 21-Feb-14 15:32:20

''I do love him and hate the thought of him being unhappy but it is not the love of a wife for a husband. It is the love you have for someone you see a lot of and whose life is so entangled with yours it is impossible to see how you would separate them.''

What is the difference between husband/wife love (after 20ish years of being together) and the love you have for someone who your life is entangled with?

Love mellows with age and chenges.

Aer you simply bored and want out?

Jessdurberville Fri 21-Feb-14 15:39:19

Thanks all for your contributions, I am relieved to hear you think all is not lost and that counselling should help.

millyblods we have our own business which really struggled since recession hit, it's luxury goods market which means we'll be last to recover. I am the one who has taken a succession of relatively crappy jobs to keep us afloat. But yes - he does feel guilty that I have done this while he keeps our business going. Also - with regards to eldest DS, I just feel he doesn't seem capable of showing him love the way he does with the two younger. Uses a more aggressive tone, pushes him harder but not (to my mind) in a constructive way rather in an overly critical way.

tempermental you're right, it is just the behaviour which changes, but at some point you do become your actions rather than your words, if that makes sense. My worry is that it hasn't warmed my feelings for him in the least.

I have suggested counselling in the past but he always taken the view that he doesn't need some do-gooder type telling him how to behave so don't know how open he would be.

Do I want to save the marriage, I do, mostly for the kids - but my heart is heavy - I just don't know if I can do it.

Jessdurberville Fri 21-Feb-14 15:40:20

Sorry, bold failure

Jessdurberville Fri 21-Feb-14 15:42:39

Molly - I am not bored, the thought of opening up to him emotionally makes me feel slightly panicked, like a rush of adrenaline or something. The thought of him putting his arm around me or cuddling me doesn't give me any comfort, it feels like pressure.

Handywoman Fri 21-Feb-14 15:43:46

Jess I am going to go against the grain and suggest you go to counselling on your own.

Handywoman Fri 21-Feb-14 15:45:20

To me it sounds as though you have learned to manage emotionally on your own. This may mean things have passed the point of no return . Hope you have RL support, OP.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 21-Feb-14 15:47:11

The vast majority of people I see in therapy have intimacy issues. Real intimacy is fucking hard. Really, truly difficult. Opening yourself up to being loved, to loving them, to having appropriate boundaries and good self esteem takes a lot of skill and balance.

If you've stuff in your past that gets in the way you can sort it out with help. Doesn't mean your marriage will automatically survive but you will know you gave it a good shot. And if you go on to have other relationships it really helps to know what you want and need by then.

TemperamentalAroundCorvids Fri 21-Feb-14 19:37:16

You are a little vague in saying you want to open up to him emotionally. How do you want to open up to him? How do you know when you are opening up to someone, or they to you?

RandomMess Fri 21-Feb-14 19:44:23

It is very difficult being emotionally vulnerable to someone else if it's not what you do naturally.

However your dh has made an effort so it is worth persuing you resolving your intimacy isssues whether the marriage survives or not. Basically what LaurieFairyCake but I'm speaking as someone who struggles hugely with emotionaly intimacy rather than as a professional!

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