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Some perspective please....

(23 Posts)
muffinbottom Thu 27-Feb-14 21:51:46

Am posting as I need some level headed views about my life with DH. It's nothing dreadful - it's just been like this for years, I'm unhappy and don't know how to make life better.

If we have any disagreements - normal stuff about how to deal with the kids, or disagreements with each other he refuses to talk. He tells me to leave it. If I speak in an assertive way - thoughts, facts, feelings type approach about these difficulties, he accuses me of wanting to start an argument . He does not like me to pursue such things as in his words, he doesn't like conflict. I never push any more than this as he will not talk to me for extended periods of time. He has only ever raised his voice to me once - at which point he told me to leave the room as he was so angry. The result is a bigger and bigger wall being built between us. It's been like this for years. I thought it would change. I feel like I don't know my own mind anymore. I have been diagnosed with mild anxiety and depression and think that our relationship is a huge contribution to this. I am not dealing with this well.

We have been to counselling, but he refuses to go again.

What do I do? How do I make life better? Am i just making a fuss about nothing? All perspectives welcomed. Thank you.

hetty1980 Thu 27-Feb-14 22:08:42

He sounds just like my husband and I completely understand the frustration you must be feeling at him refusing to communicate with you. If its making you miserable then you are not making a fuss over nothing, by him not engaging with you he is making you doubt your own feelings and reactions which are perfectly understandable, no wonder you have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression!

What did the counsellor say? If he has refused to take on board their suggestions and you have tried everything else and you're still unhappy you need to take some time out.

I an in the process of trying to leave my husband because even after listing all the problems I have with him/us and saying what I want to change and what I need him to do, he is refusing to acknowledge it and has said that hes happy so the problem lies with me, so its making it very difficult to take any action. I've got as far as separate bedrooms at the moment and we start counselling soon to act as a translator!

Not sure if any of that helps but just to let you know that you're not alone and you're not going mad nor are you in the wrong. Keep telling yourself that and you will soon have the strength to make some decisions which, whilst difficult, will result in you being happy.


RRRJ83 Thu 27-Feb-14 22:09:31

Are these normal everyday arguments or Are these issues you both have that he refuses to discuss because they lead to an argument?

I ask because when I have arguments I have a tendency to overtalk to justify my opinion/feelings Tec and it can be exhausting and tiresome to others involved.

If they are minor arguments, I recommend walking away and forgetting about it. Even if you want to be heard it's better to remove yourself from the stressful environment.

If these are more serious issues/discussions/arguments you have then your DP needs to grow up and learn to communicate effectively. Things don't get resolved by ignoring them.

AnyFuckerHQ Thu 27-Feb-14 22:13:53

stonewalling as an abuse tactic

muffinbottom Thu 27-Feb-14 22:26:28

Thanks hetty. Counselling was some time ago now - it helped in some ways but things have slipped back. Nice to know it's not just me. I really feel like I'm going mad at times and I always feel like I'm in the wrong.

RRR these are each and everyday things - going out for an evening, how long the children watch TV for/ play on the computer, mess I've made in the kitchen as I've been cooking - some of which can be and are ignored. Bigger stuff - I won't even go there. There's loads of stuff I want to talk about with him but can't. He will simply say I'm just trying to pick a fight or will ignore me. If I'm upset he can't handle it and gets away as quick as he can. I don't get upset anymore - I just don't let him near me!

muffinbottom Thu 27-Feb-14 22:36:25

Just absorbing that Anyfucker.

AnyFuckerHQ Thu 27-Feb-14 22:37:45

Not exactly light bedroom reading, huh

AnyFuckerHQ Thu 27-Feb-14 22:39:58

This section is particularly illuminating...


Stonewalling benefits from male privilege, because an uncooperative man will usually still get taken care of by a female partner anyway. A female partner that stops housework or other care for the primary aggressor in response to stonewalling may incorrectly be viewed as “starting something.”


muffinbottom Thu 27-Feb-14 22:45:40

He's not aggressive or anything. He's a good man. I think he may lack the skills to communicate. Can a person unintentionally stonewall or is it always a deliberate act? Can it be for example just a reaction because they can't handle what they perceive as criticism?

UnderYourCommand Thu 27-Feb-14 22:46:40

I'm pretty sure from what you have said it's part of an ingrained habit from how he has learned to deal, or not, with conflict from his parents, more likely his dad. There will be his 'role model'. Overcoming those techniques are tricky and involves self-examination which most people don't do - damaging behaviours just get passed.
'Stonewalling' isn't strictly a male trait - women do things similar by other means.

muffinbottom Thu 27-Feb-14 22:47:58

I once asked him if he would rather I kept quiet about how I felt and he just said yes. I checked if he wanted me to "pretend" and he just said yes. So I do. I pretend - mostly.

muffinbottom Thu 27-Feb-14 22:49:05

sorry cross posted there

muffinbottom Thu 27-Feb-14 22:50:22

So what do I do?

UnderYourCommand Thu 27-Feb-14 22:50:36

No-one takes to personal criticism easily, esp when asked to rationlise their attitudes about stuff which they have just assumed as being 'normal'.
And yes blokes often get 'overwhelmed' when asked to analyse their emotional responses.

AnyFuckerHQ Thu 27-Feb-14 22:51:52

That sounds like a horrible way to live, and if you try to sustain it will make you ill

he wants you to STFU and walk on eggshells, effectively have no opinion and no agency

that is not a relationship, it is a dictatorship

AnyFuckerHQ Thu 27-Feb-14 22:52:59

and it sounds like he doesn't even have to bother using physical aggression, just the fear of him freezing you out is enough sad

AnyFuckerHQ Thu 27-Feb-14 22:53:49

what do you do ?

decide if you want to live like that...or not

UnderYourCommand Thu 27-Feb-14 22:54:35

ah, X-posts there. He is wanting you to deny who you are then. Which you shouldn't do. Def. a totally unacceptable position. There will prob be no-one else in his life from whom he demands that. He would appear to be an emotional bully.

muffinbottom Thu 27-Feb-14 23:11:46

Thanks everyone.

muffinbottom Thu 27-Feb-14 23:21:50

That bit about my fear of him "freezing me out" - thanks -that's useful. I don't actually need to be afraid of that do I? If that's all I'm worried about I could just be a bit bolder and see where that gets us.

muffinbottom Fri 21-Mar-14 22:20:11

Hoping that you're all still there somewhere....

I've been bolder. I've stopped holding back for fear of being frozen out. Sometimes I've addressed issues in an angry way, other times I've been more calm and assertive.
Result: him huffing and arguing but issue aired - so slightly more positive as am able to let things go. Also I've gathered more info about what I do that drives him mad:
1. Preparing food in the kitchen when things still need tidying away - ie making packed lunches and breakfasts before emptying dishwasher and clearing the decks.
2. Eating dinner later than 5pm with the kids.
3. Leaving my work papers out all over the table etc when I'm working from home but have to nip out to do other things.
4. Not answering him straight away if he asks me a simple question (ie I've been distracted by the children so he has to wait a mo to find out whether I want peas with dinner for example).

These things happen a lot...

These things make him tense and snappy and he glares a lot at me. He also zones out - so he's in the room with the family but totally disengaged.

What is going on? AIBU to operate in this way in a shared living space? Should I just be a bit more organised - get dinner ready early, always tidy up straight away - do things his way?

Sorry for harping on. It's all very trivial isn't really. Would be grateful for any responses though... is this normal behaviour?

LizSurly Fri 21-Mar-14 22:23:11

It sounds like he doesn't want to know you, or compromise, and he doesn't care about your views, he just wants you to...........*buckle under* and what can you do? you try to discuss he refusal to hear you but he won't hear you and you can't make him because he "doesn't like conflict".

muffinbottom Fri 21-Mar-14 22:26:01

Thanks Liz

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