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How can I get him to talk to me?

(29 Posts)
WibbleWobbleWibbleWobble Mon 28-Jul-08 20:44:37

Hello, regular, namechanger.

I am reaching the end of my tether with dh. He won't talk to me. He will witter on for hours (yawn) about what he did at work today but when it comes to anything important he clams up.

I need to talk to him about so much. I am lonely and miserable. I want to TTC but a) do I want another child with this man and b) he won't discuss it.

What to do?

I tried to talk to him last night and once again he switched off. Started pointedly watching the telly.

He isn't interested in how I feel or what I think I reckon.

Is this the beginning of the end?

girlnextdoor Mon 28-Jul-08 20:58:27

How do you react when he doesn't talk? Sounds as if you just accept it.

Call me bolshie, but if I had been you last night I would have taken the remote, switched off the TV and said very firmly "I want us to talk- and if you don't then I can't see a future for us."

Alternatively, I might arrange a babysitter if relevant, and go out for a drink so he was "cornered" and talk then.

He is avoiding talking- why? Is HE unhappy too? WHY is he avoiding talking?

You have got to be serious about wanting to talk and just not let him off the hook.
arrange a day and a time and ask him to turn up and talk.

AnotherFineMess Mon 28-Jul-08 21:00:18

Just to let you know there are 2 of these threads showing in active convos so you will be getting more replies on the other one too!

WibbleWobbleWibbleWobble Mon 28-Jul-08 21:07:32

How do I react? I used to insist that he talk but would be met with silence or monosyballic grunts

I have now given up trying tbh

When I ask him why he won't talk - he just says "I don't know". I have asked him if he is unhappy, he says not. I have put it to him that he is depressed, he says he isn't.

I don't know what to do next

I am sick of making all the effort

THanks AFM I have directed the other thread here

girlnextdoor Mon 28-Jul-08 21:22:23

Maybe you need to refine your line of questioning- but also not give up- seems tome he knows you will walk away and that's why he gets away with staying silent.

What is it that YOU are unhappy with? Maybe you have to start talking about your needs and what makes you unhappy- and then he will react. Don't wait for him to start.

Although you are sick of making all the effort, that is typical of men- they bury their heads until it's too late.

Instead of saying "Talk to me"- say "Listen to me- I am unhappy, I am XYZ....and I need to tell you how I feel".

Failing that, would he agree to going to counselling with you?

WibbleWobbleWibbleWobble Mon 28-Jul-08 21:28:56

THanks Girlnextdoor

I have tried all that.

I say to him "I am unhappy and lonely" and he just looks at me. I am a long way from friends and family and I wanted to move closer. He has flatly refused. He is insular and not very sociable but I like to have friends outside of our relationship. He knows all this, we have argued countless times. He just can't understand where I am coming from - he treats it like a personal insult that I want human interaction outside of our relationship, my dd and my job.

I suggested counselling but he won't spend the money. It would appear I'm not worth it.

I told him I was thinking of leaving. He didn't seem bothered, until he realised that I would take dd with me. He said something about having to fight for dd. I told him I hoped he would fight for me too. And what did he say to that? Nothing.

I really don't know where to go next. Apart from out the door.

girlnextdoor Mon 28-Jul-08 21:37:22

I really feel for you.

How long have you been together? What has changed since you first got together?

Can you say when things went downhill- and why?

Can you live the life you want- seeing your friends etc and staying in your marriage? Does he try to control you?

Can you adapt and make new friends?

Could you afford to go for counselling on your own- and not tell him? do you have your own money?

How would he react to an ultimatum? Talk- or you leave?

Are you willing to call his bluff on that?

Do you love him still? Do you think he loves you?

ProfessorGrammaticus Mon 28-Jul-08 21:43:59

Oh wibble you poor thing. It's hard to see how TTc could be a good idea

WibbleWobbleWibbleWobble Mon 28-Jul-08 21:47:58

We have been together 9 years, married for 5. He has been getting more and more entrenched. It has been much worse since dd was born (she is 4). He says that priorities should change once children are born - friends and family should take a back seat as we are a family now and don't need anyone else.

I do see friends and family but not as often as I'd like, as much down to geography and finance as anything else.

I don't think he is deliberately trying to control me but the effect of his behaviour is that I try to keep him happy and he does as he pleases.

Both salaries go into a joint account, with a very small amount going into personal acounts for odd little expenses.

I have issued that ultimatum before. I need to be sure I would carry it through if I were to issue it again.

I love him but I don't like him or respect him. Does that make sense? Does he love me? I don't know. He says he does. But he treats me like I am little more than a convenience half the time.

I would like to leave but is it enough to break up the family for? I would struggle financially by myself - I don't earn enough to support dd and me. I don't have anywhere to go.

He goes away with work and I don't miss him. I look foward to it.

catweazle Mon 28-Jul-08 21:49:01

I really feel for you. My DH is exactly as you describe. To make him talk to me I have to explode or threaten to leave. He will also witter on for hours about work in minute detail but refuses to discuss anything important. His favourite trick is to change the subject completely.

FWIW, I have been married for 25 years and if anything my DH is getting worse. If you really can't bear it now you will need to seriously consider your options, because it's unlikely he will change. You will need to decide whether that is acceptable to you.

WibbleWobbleWibbleWobble Mon 28-Jul-08 21:53:05

Hello PG

Yes TTC would be a terrible idea wouldn't it? I would love a sibling for dd. I am not getting any younger and neither is dh. I am as broody as anything and it is consuming me. He won't get rid of any baby stuff but will not talk about TTC. I won't bore you with the gory details about our sex life but let's just say that because I don't want to use hormonal contraception and he is so determined not to TTC, that it is less than satisfactory and not particularly loving. I have asked him why he won't have full sex and he blanks me, avoids the issue, grunts "I don't know". I talk about TTC and he switches off. I say that we might stuggle to TTC but he just says that when we do start it will be fine.

It's just horrible.

WibbleWobbleWibbleWobble Mon 28-Jul-08 21:55:49

HEad in the sand, all the time.

I wanted to move closer to the school we wanted dd to go to. He refused, said it would be fine. It wasn't - we didn't get in, too far away. I now have a nighmare journey to get dd to school. THanks mate

I wanted to get my car properly serviced and a repair done. He said it would be fine. It wasn't - my car made a very expensive bang and is going to cost upwards of £1500 to repair

I am so, so sick of it all

WibbleWobbleWibbleWobble Mon 28-Jul-08 21:57:38

catweazle, can I ask, did you make a conscious decision to stay?

I do wonder if I should just put up with it. People have to cope with far worse, don't they?

MeMySonAndI Mon 28-Jul-08 22:00:18

Well, it doesn't seem a good idea to have another baby with a man you are considering to leave, does it?

Whether the problem can be sorted or not depends on how much energy you both put into it. You can have a one-sided marriage, where only one of you puts all the energy and succeed in making the marriage "survive". But in all honesty, although economical stability will remain... do you really want to spend the rest of your life playing that role? I know I didn't, and it was the right decission. We both are happier now.

MeMySonAndI Mon 28-Jul-08 22:00:30

Well, it doesn't seem a good idea to have another baby with a man you are considering to leave, does it?

Whether the problem can be sorted or not depends on how much energy you both put into it. You can have a one-sided marriage, where only one of you puts all the energy and succeed in making the marriage "survive". But in all honesty, although economical stability will remain... do you really want to spend the rest of your life playing that role? I know I didn't, and it was the right decission. We both are happier now.

girlnextdoor Mon 28-Jul-08 22:00:30

I think it would be a BIG mistake to bring another DC into all of this when you are uncertain over your future together.

Maybe you need to sort out what you have first?

I would call his behaviour emotional abuse- he is hurting you in a very real way.

Maybe you need to stop trying to keep him happy, and make yourself happy by being more independent and doing the things you like.

He will either shape up-or you will move on.
I don't think your complaints are "trivial"- you sound very unhappy.

girlnextdoor Mon 28-Jul-08 22:06:05

Just to add- I think you should stand up to him- he is dominating you- if you think his decisions are the wrong ones, then do what YOU want- eg - he doesn't have to do the school run, you do!

Anything that affects you- take control and do what is best for YOU, not him.

You cannot change him- but you can change YOu and how you react to him. First rule of counselling smile

Hassled Mon 28-Jul-08 22:10:07

WHy don't you show him this thread? Or write down pretty much what you've said here in a letter?

MeMySonAndI Mon 28-Jul-08 22:11:11

Or perhaps he is only used to have his needs accomodated first.... at least that was in the case of DexH but it has certainly helped me to move on, to accept that I was not a victim as also had some reposibility of his behaviour. He became like that in great part because I allowed it by being so accommodating, I could have left years ago but I didn't.

Not saying that this is the case here, just adding this as some food for thought.

WibbleWobbleWibbleWobble Mon 28-Jul-08 22:15:36

Hassled, I have done that before. Written a letter I mean. It didn't make any difference

I should stand up to him. I am being a doormat and I know it. It is difficult to change long standing behaviour.

THanks for talking to me. I am going to have to do some thinking, make some decisions.

WibbleWobbleWibbleWobble Mon 28-Jul-08 22:17:45

Oh I definitely have some responsibility for this. For a while I tried but now it's easier to go with what's least effort in the short term, ie not bother trying to talk. That doesn't fix anything though does it?

solidgoldbrass Mon 28-Jul-08 22:20:38

He's not going to make any effort to please or placate you because (from his point of view) he doesn't need to. He gets fed, he gets the housework done and his DD cared for, and sex sometimes as well. There are quite a lot of men like this, who don't really think that women are people - when you complain or ask him for things he just tunes it out 'woman wittering again, she'll shut up eventually'.
So you can either start making plans to leave him, or work out how you can make your marriage livable. The first thing to do on that score would be to forget about asking his permission to do things like visit friends: just go ahead and do it.

WibbleWobbleWibbleWobble Mon 28-Jul-08 22:27:37

THe thing is, he doesn't really stop me from doing anything. He just sulks or says he can't understand why I would want to... makes me feel like I am frittering our money away by spending it on petrol for what is essentially an unneccessary journey or <gasp> a night out. He doesn't spend money on anything. I feel like I am frittering our money away. He is always going on about how skint we are (we aren't, not really, we are pretty much comfortable although by no means well off). THis isn't helped by me going part time. I always hated working full time but accepted that I had to for a while. Now I don't have to, I have cut my hours. I have had to in part because dd didn't get into our local school. We won't have the astronimical childcare costs when she starts school in September so I don't need to be earning £££ any more. He sees it as money lost, not time gained. Money, money, money all the fucking time.

We are just mismatched I think. We have very different ideas of what life as a parent should be like and what constitutes a comfortable life.

ActingNormal Mon 28-Jul-08 22:35:28

This is probably going to sound crap but have you read any of these books?:

Why Men Don't listen and Women can't Read Maps

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

The Surrendered Wife?

They explain about why men find it hard to talk about feelings and how they feel attacked, criticised and failures as men if their woman isn't happy but they don't know how to help them. They would rather change the subject or refuse to talk about it than admit that they don't know what to do.

The Surrendered Wife is a bit controversial but I think some of the ideas could work! Eg she says when you want something, just say "I want..." without saying why or telling the man how to go about making it happen. You aren't criticising him or complaining, just saying what you want. She thinks it is really important to men to please their wives so they will think about how they can do what she said she wanted and take responsibility for working out how to make it happen.

BTW I'm probably being thick but what is TTC?

WibbleWobbleWibbleWobble Mon 28-Jul-08 22:39:32

Hi ActingNormal

TTC is trying to concieve

I might try the books, thanks.

I have tried teh "I want" approach with little success but not for anything major.

I would like to buy a tent so we can go camping with dd. I said "I want a tent" he said "what for? it won't fit int he car. It's a crap idea," I said "I want to get an allotment" he said "It will be too much work".

I don't think he actually cares tbh.

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