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AIBU to want him to work on us too?

(20 Posts)
trytoohard Thu 28-Aug-08 21:29:11

I've been a lurker and occaisional poster for a couple of years under my normal name... but I still feel like a fraud for being here - I joined when trying to TTC, which we're no longer trying due to unrelated complete breakdown in relationship. I know many will say 'why not just get out now before dcs?' but I'm looking for advice on a specific topic at the moment, so will try to keep this short!

We stopped TTC last summer because I started to feel as though it was just my project and dh wasn't interested. Things went downhill from there - he accused me (falsely) of an affair with a colleague; numerous arguments about housework etc; and I moved out of our house and into a little flat near my work in the new year. Now he has a new job and we're looking to move house, with me moving back in in a few weeks time. BUT, it seems to be the TTC situation all over again. I start a conversation with him about us, and he just either stonewalls me or blindly assumes I know he agrees with me. (its kind of a 'if he doesn't object assume he accepts it' thing). For example, I asked him many times last summer to go to relate with me, but he refused, so eventually I did an assessment and 6 week course on my own.

And the reason I name changed. We haven't had sex since we stopped TTC, every time he tries to be affectionate if I respond affectionately he tries to encourage sex, so I push away every sign of affection at the first step so I don't have to get forceful later. So I decided this has to change. So I tried to talk to him and he stonewalled as usual, so I wrote down everything in a letter. How it makes me feel when he tries to be affectionate, and giving him 2 options 1) a complete ban on sex for 6 months, so that I can let him be affectionate without fear of being forced into something more; gradually increasing contact with massages etc. 2) we accept that we enjoy living together and doing stuff together but have sex both within and outside the marriage.

We only see each other at weekends, so I left the letter for him before last weekend before I went home to my flat, and when I came back last weekend, the letter was unfolded, so he'd obviously read it. So I tried to ask him if he'd read it and he stonewalled. I checked the letter all over in case he found it hard to talk and had just ticked it or signed it or something but there was nothing there. The only comment at all all weekend was "I thought cuddling was allowed now" when I tried to push him away.

So all that for AIBU for him to at least acknowledge that I'm putting all this effort in to us. Would I be being unreasonable to expect him to actually put some in too? (acknowledging my letter would be a start, I poured everything into it) Or do all men just ignore this stuff?

rookiemater Thu 28-Aug-08 22:22:08

I think you need to ask yourself a more fundamental question. Why are you in this relationship and what are you getting out of it ?

But in answer to your own questions, if a man wants to be with a woman then he will make whatever effort is required to make that happen. If he isn't that bothered either way, then he won't.

It sounds like TTC had a huge impact on both of you and perhaps (I'm being generous here) it knocked your DHs self belief. His behaviour does sound unreasonable but he must find it hard to be in a relationship with no sex. I wasn't entirely sure if you were saying that you would accept him having sex outside the marriage. If you were, if you don't mind me saying it doesn't seem like a healthy way forward.

Sorry I'm probably being too blunt and not putting this well at all, but couldn't leave your post unanswered.

CarGirl Thu 28-Aug-08 22:32:57

It seems to me the BIG issue is his refusal to communicate any of his thoughts or feelings with you. I think in that situation my ultimatum would be comminicate with me or we split.

trytoohard Thu 28-Aug-08 22:35:42

Thanks rookie. Blunt is what I need me thinks. I think I missed one point out. I wrote the letter with the heading 'If we don't start having sex again this'll never work long term'. I do acknowledge that I can't expect him to live without sex (and probably don't want to myself either) and I have no idea whether he's been getting it elsewhere since I've been moved out. He doesn't exactly respond to that kind of question.

My option 2 in the letter for us to get sex elsewhere was as much to shock him into a response as much as anything. I wanted him to say '1) yes, 2) no' and actually have an opinion.

He always says he will do anything to make it work, just never actually does anything.

trytoohard Thu 28-Aug-08 22:39:10

CarGirl - any tips on encouraging him to talk? I think once he starts he'll be able to; but I don't don't how to start it. I offered the ultimatum of going to relate or I would move out, so I moved out. And then in the end I went to relate alone... I thought going on my own would give me tools to help him, but it didn't really. All it made me realise is that I want to be in an affectionate relationship!

CarGirl Thu 28-Aug-08 22:43:13

Dinner together at home, Friday evening so no work the next day?

"Have you made a decision whether this relationship is going to continue?"

"If you do not open up and start talking to me then we are over, this is not what I want but if we can't talk to each other than there is no us"

I am quite blunt at times but if he is always stonewalling I don't see what else you can do.

missingtheaction Thu 28-Aug-08 22:45:34

You have encouraged him already. You made it a dealbreaker and he chose for you to move out rather than to learn to communicate and be affectionate. He can't or won't do it, full stop. You cannot make him change. Either you put up with him as he is - goodness only knows why - or you stop it now and go and find yourself someone who recognises, values and is prepared to meet your needs.

In short, dump him. Move on.

MrsMattie Thu 28-Aug-08 22:48:25

Can I be brutally honest? Your relationship doesn't sound great at all. If I were you I might be thinking of getting out at this stage.

trytoohard Thu 28-Aug-08 22:53:06

This is why I love MN. Instant unanimous decisions. If I had a conversation like this with RL friends they would mince for at least 2 bottles wine grin

He has agreed to all my conditions so far of me moving back in - I'll add talking to the top of the list. And force him to talk about the list and not just nod at it.

CarGirl Thu 28-Aug-08 23:01:12

if there at that many conditions that there is a list are you actually compatible/good for one another?

trytoohard Thu 28-Aug-08 23:05:03

So having had the guts to move out once. Why am I not just making this permanent? I do have an apparently extreme fear of failure (counsellor had a field day with that one)... could one of you brutal ladies please point out to me that it will be my success in walking away that I'll remember not his my failure at our marriage?

Is there anything else I could reasonably be doing?

Quattrocento Thu 28-Aug-08 23:05:31

You are having all these issues now, before having children

Imagine having all these issues when you are desperately tired through having had 3 hours sleep and you still have to get up in the morning to go to work

You just won't last the pace. Sorry to be brutal and everything.

Mamazon Thu 28-Aug-08 23:07:49

why are you moving back in?

Your not getting on properly living seperatly so why move things forward until they are?

trytoohard Thu 28-Aug-08 23:08:31

The conditions of moving back in are to try to make sure we don't slip back into our old habits. Me moving out forced him to do his own housework and finances for example, so the conditions include him still doing his fair share of those.

It also includes limiting the time we spend with ILs. That's always been a flash point, he can't say 'no' to MIL, so he would commit both of us to going to them.

We enjoy spending time together and doing lots of things together, but more as friends at the moment.

Mamazon Thu 28-Aug-08 23:09:11

oh and it's not you that has failed. you have done all youcan to try and make a success of your marriage. it is his inability to communicate as an adult that has lead to the marriage breakdown.

Its not failing, it's moving on sucessfully.

trytoohard Thu 28-Aug-08 23:16:04

Quattro: thats exactly why we stopped TTC. I genuinely hadn't noticed that we were being that dysfunctional, and as soon as I did realise, I knew I didn't want to bring a baby into that.

Mamazon: He actually got off his arse to get a new job, really really close to where my work is relocating to. So I was actually very proud of him for getting the job, its a good move career-wise and demonstrated to me that he was trying something constructive on his own (I applied for his previous job for him - yes he is a graduate). We have to change living arrangements due to both workplace changes, so it kind of made sense to give it a chance? There's no way I can judge whether his attitude towards me has really improved without moving back in. He always claimed it was misery at work that caused him to be 'grumpy' with me. In theory that should change now too.

trytoohard Thu 28-Aug-08 23:17:53

I like the phrase 'moving on successfully' grin

CarGirl Thu 28-Aug-08 23:19:32

I think perhaps you owe it to yourself to give it one last chance but I think the communication thing is key above all else!

trytoohard Thu 28-Aug-08 23:22:18

Thanks to all. I shall communicate very sternly to him that he really is on last strike, and communication really is the key.


quinne Fri 29-Aug-08 21:16:27

Give him a blank piece of paper and tell him to write down three things regarding your relationship he'd like to talk to you about next time he sees you?! MY DH would hate that - he's a take-my-silence-as-a-yes-unless-it-means-no-or-maybe man too.

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