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Could you cope with living like this?

(30 Posts)
BluePeppersAndBroccoli Tue 11-Apr-17 13:19:15

DH is a lovely man but is completely and totally unable to make small talk. As in, if left to his own devices, he will say about 5 sentences from the time he is back home from work to the time we are going to bed. That's it.
He also has the annoying tendency to just carry on with whatever he is doing regardless of the conversation going on, incl leaving the room. Think him asking a question, me answering just to see him turning his back on me and leaving the room. He would do that too of I'm trying to raise an issue.
Any issue that I can raise is met with silence. No proposal for a solution, no fighting or telling me im wrong either. Just silence.

It's driving me crazy. Conversations are usually me talking and at best him going hmm hmm. And maybe one or two sentences when he is put on the spot with question such as 'so what do you think?'

I'm starting to wonder if I will be able to cope with that much longer. Sounds such a petty reason to think separation though.

happypoobum Tue 11-Apr-17 13:33:44

How long did you know him before you married him?

Has his behaviour changed or is it your reaction to it that has changed?

I wouldn't cope with living like this, no - but I wouldn't have chosen to marry someone so rude. If this behaviour is new and he won't discuss it then it looks like he is no longer bothered about communicating with you, sorry. flowers

Adora10 Tue 11-Apr-17 13:37:45

A petty reason, living with another human who says no more than five sentences; doesn't sound petty to me; sounds incredibly soul destroying and I'd not carry on until he addressed his issues because they are not normal.

2014newme Tue 11-Apr-17 13:41:05

Had he always been like this or has he changed?

BluePeppersAndBroccoli Tue 11-Apr-17 13:45:37

I don't think it's rudeness, or t least not the lack of small talk. I believe he is probably somewhere on the spectrum with autism or has some autistic traits. The only time he will talk more is when it's about one of favourite subjects.

Nothing has changed. I think I'm more growing tired of it and struggling more with the consequences.
The feeling of isolation, the inability to solve any issues and how hard it is to organise anything (because he will plan something but won't ask if it's an issue with me because he doesn't communicate)..
all that is dragging me down.

The 5 sentences was an experiment of mine btw. One day when the dcs weren't in I tried and dinde start a conversation, I wanted to see what would happen. Well, that was that. 5 sentences.

heron98 Tue 11-Apr-17 13:46:55

My dad is like this. My mum just carries on chatting and doesn't seem to care he's not listening. it works for them and they are happily married. But I can see why you're frustrated.

Hermonie2016 Tue 11-Apr-17 13:46:55

Lack of small talk I could overlook especially if he is an introvert and works with people so needs to 'recharge at home.

The silence when raising issues is a big deal.That's called stonewalking and a very high predictor of divorce.
It is crazy making which is why you feel so upset.
The best book on this is The Verbally Abusive relationship by P Evans.It discusses how a partner can use silence or other tactics to get control.It encourages you to call him out on it although acknowledges it doesn't always work so leaving is the only answer.

BluePeppersAndBroccoli Tue 11-Apr-17 13:49:10

A few things have changed actually.
I didn't know the area when I arrived so to start with he spoke about it, about his hobbies etc... something he is confortable with. But obviously I learnt about the area and there isn't as much to talk about now!

Then we had the dcs so when they were little, they sortmof 'took the space'. I was shattered in the evenings so was quite happy for some peace and quiet.

Now that the dcs are older, I speak to them. DH never really participate in the conversation.
And yes it feels very isolating I suppose.

2014newme Tue 11-Apr-17 13:59:51

It must feel a bit lonely and boring.
Can you Speak to him about it?
Do you know why you overlooked this when you decided to marry him? As in his other qualities compensated?

BitOutOfPractice Tue 11-Apr-17 14:03:03

That does sound rather lonely op. I can imagine how it must grind you down

Ginandpanic Tue 11-Apr-17 14:06:53

I sympathise, and yes it is soul destroying. My dh is similar, although we have loads in common, unless we talk about a shared interest we are not able to hold a conversation. I feel totally disconnected from him.

BluePeppersAndBroccoli Tue 11-Apr-17 14:50:29

Yes disconnection!

And this fear of what the heck are we going to talk about when the dcs have left home?
We had some similar interest/hobbies. Unfortunately, I can't do them anymore due to ill health.
Finding things to talk about, or things to do together is excruciating.

At times, I'm thinking that if I was on my own, there wouldn't be any difference in that front.
And then I'm thinking that actually, if there is no difference, why going through the pain and hardship of separation, incl the pain it would inflict on the dcs (plus it gives me some financial stability that i wouldn't have otherwise. See the ill health)

Actually maybe this is also one of the triggers there. As I'm not able to work full time, and I am at home a lot, my social,inetreactions are wth DH. Except there isn't any and I don't have the social connexion outside the house to compensate for his lack of small talk.

summerfling Tue 11-Apr-17 14:58:15

Some people are just like this, I wouldn't say it's rude.

My dad is exactly like this, however he has been since I've been on this earth.

We can sit in the same room as each other and NOT talk for the entire time.

He just isn't capable of making small talk.

I personally think he is socially awkward around the people he's nothing in common with.

summerfling Tue 11-Apr-17 14:59:11

I however wouldn't say my father has autistic traits, it's just the way he is.

peggyundercrackers Tue 11-Apr-17 15:23:07

I agree with summerfling - its not rude, its just the way some people are. not everyone likes to make small talk or gossip about things.

Actually maybe this is also one of the triggers there. As I'm not able to work full time, and I am at home a lot, my social,inetreactions are wth DH. Except there isn't any and I don't have the social connexion outside the house to compensate for his lack of small talk.

I know you have mentioned ill health but I think you need to do something about your issues around not getting out and having little social interaction, not sure what the answer would be for you though.

BluePeppersAndBroccoli Tue 11-Apr-17 15:39:52

Lol at the idea that 'I need to do something about my health issue'
Don't worry I know that but as I say I have been unable to do a lot about that in the last two years.
Things are getting better though so onwards and forwards on that score.

I fully agree tbw that this is not rudeness. Rudeness would be speaking to people and not speaking to me. Or speaking some times and not at others. Whereas, he is just not talking.
And yes some people are just like that. That's the way he is.
Doesn't make it easier to live with though. (Or rather I have been trying to cope and find the positives for years now. I suppose I'm just tired for making all those efforts)

HarryBlackberry Tue 11-Apr-17 15:42:23

I really feel for you. My ex husband was like this. After 20 years I finally called it a day and we are divorcing. Like you, when my dd was small she filled the void. I felt so lonely in my marriage because of the lack of conversation. He would come in from work, I would ask him how his day was, he would say 'fine, and that would be it for the rest of the night. I realised I would reviews lonely on my own x

tristate123 Tue 11-Apr-17 16:00:48

This is one of those threads that I had sudden flashbacks to my (now-ended) marriage.

HarryBlackberry - my exW was like that, just a "fine", "nothing interesting happens at my work" etc and no shared hobbies, my lord it was excruciating at times. She was actively shutting down conversations though and constantly playing on facebook games or other games on a tablet/phone. And I sat like a zombie on the sofa mindlessly watching whatever was on TV.

God I'm glad I'm outta that mess....

BluePeppersAndBroccoli yours seems slightly different from that and I would agree with you that it is autism or something similar, you'd have to read up on how to try to open him up to conversations he feels comfortable with

peggyundercrackers Tue 11-Apr-17 16:07:23

Lol at the idea that 'I need to do something about my health issue'

I didn't say you had to do something about your ill health. I said you need to do something about not getting out - lots of people with long term ill health issues still manage to have a social life of sorts.

BluePeppersAndBroccoli Tue 11-Apr-17 16:51:56

peggy that's the same for me.
I have ME. All my energy is spent doing a little bit of work. 1.5 days a week. After that i cannot do anything else. Not housework, not going to do a class or to a book club.
Being able to do something out of the house is completely and totally linked, for me, with being able to go out at all. Or have friends.
I have a choice to do and for me, atm, it's work.

HarryBlackberry Tue 11-Apr-17 16:54:55

Tristate, it's soul destroying isn't it. It's only now I can look back and think 'how did I stick it for so long'. I got sick of saying to him, 'are you ok?', 'have I done something wrong?', because he just wouldn't speak! We tried counselling but I think I'd already made up my mind. I also felt that my daughter wasn't learning the right things about relationships, being in a silent household.

Ginandpanic Tue 11-Apr-17 17:20:38

You're in a tragic situation op I feel for you. Is there anyone you can invite round for a coffee even once a week?

I wish I could think of a magical solution for you .

Can you get out with his assistance? Can you suggest something along those lines together?

BluePeppersAndBroccoli Tue 11-Apr-17 20:54:06

I'm not sure it's tragic. Crap certainly but then isolation is often part of having a chronic illness.
At least I ahve my parents near by and seeing them about every two weeks is a breath of fresh air (but it's shouldnt be iyswim?)

harry I can relate to the 'are you ok' and 'have I done something'.
Often I'm left guessing if there is an issue or not. And that also means that I often misinterpret things. With all the consequences going on with it (planning for a holiday is fun for example. And that's the nice stuff).
We've had some many 'talks' about it. I've said so many times it is essential that he is talking to me. Not even the small talk with no reason. Just for the real day to day problem solving.

Interesting too about your dd. I'm fighting to teach my two dcs that no you don't walk away from people when they are talking to you. It's rude.
No you do look at them and you don't stay immersed in your book/tablet.
Hard ....

HarryBlackberry Tue 11-Apr-17 21:35:39

I really hope you can work things out. It's only now that we're divorced that I can see my ex probably has asperger's. His dad never really spoke either. It just ate away at me over the years until I could take no more.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 11-Apr-17 23:05:13

Peggy for the love of Pete. hmm

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