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Dh will not discuss our problems at all, I am left ostracised and depressed.

(9 Posts)
arabella2 Sat 25-Oct-08 22:17:13

My dh and I had a couple of bad arguments which were a week apart, the first was almost 4 weeks ago and the second almost 3 weeks ago. At first dh's response was to ignore me completely, now after some pleas from me he is talking if talked to but hardly initiates any conversation with me, let alone being affectionate. 2 times in the past week I have asked him to stop and admitted my part in the argument and the things in general that I want to change (eg. I don't think I was appreciative enough before) but when I say these things to him he does not answer. I tried putting my arm around him but he completely ignored me. Then this morning I asked him if he was ever going to be nice to me, touch me or talk to me again and again he did not answer. So I am left with this ridiculous situation of him being as nice as pie to the kids (which of course is good) and basically acting more or less as if I am not there. I feel completely cornered because of course I cannot make him like me or feel affectionate towards me but I do not understand why it is so difficult for him to "hug and make up". He is going through a very difficult time with his work and I think one of the things he holds against me is my lack of help before... now I am offering to help (tonight for instance) and he doesn't want to do anything. I feel very sad about this situation, but since he will not discuss it with me what do I do.... just wait for him to stop being so sulky???? We have three children who are 2, 4 and 6 and I feel sad that their parents are not being loving with each other. It feels as if it could be so easy but somehow it is impossible. I don't really know what my question is, but is it possible that from one day to the next dh could simply have decided that he wants nothing more to do with me???

Spero Sat 25-Oct-08 22:21:03

He's stonewalling which is a very typical response from a male who has emotional intelligence issues. Daniel Goleman's books are very good about this.

My ex did exactly the same; unfortunately I had to leave him and take his daughter with me for him to wake up and accept how childish and damaging his behaviour had been.

I think all you can do is say to him; this can't go on, we need to be able to deal with disagreements in a better way if we love each other and are going to stay together as a family. Organise counselling. If he won't go, go on your own and sort out in your own mind what you need to do.

I wish you the best of luck. I stuck it out for a few years and it was pretty horrible. I would now advocate to anyone in a similar situation to try and sort it out otherwise it drifts and festers for years which is not fair on you or the children.

arabella2 Sat 25-Oct-08 23:04:12

Thank you Spero - the trouble is that at the moment I am sort of playing the victim mooning around waiting for his mood to change which of course will never work. In the past when he has had sulks (never as long as this) the ice has been broken if somebody came over for a length of time and the atmosphere changed. This time however he is more annoyed and nobody is coming over!! I have just thought that maybe I will behave in the way I want our relationship to be and gradually he will be drawn to this new model of behaviour. The trouble with this is that I don't factor in how sad and kind of incapacitated and lonely I feel and then I don't have the strength to manage the above by myself. The other thing that annoys me is that I spend too much time worrying about how things are going with him and not enough time appreciating our lovely children. I do appreciate them but I wish this was not clouded by my overdependence on dh's moods. I'm sorry your relationship with your exh did not work out and hope you are happier now.

Spero Sat 25-Oct-08 23:11:12

i did read a very interesting book called 'How to improve your marriage without talking about it', and i wish i had read it earlier as I think it would have helped me deal with the situation better. Can't remember the authors, but hopefully if you google it you'll find it. Definitely worth a read.

I do wonder what would have happened in my relationship if i had put some of its suggestions into play - i.e worried less about his moods... probably the outcome would have been exactly the same, but at least i would have known i tried!

I am much happier now, but it is very sad thinking that dd won't have the kind of child hood i had hoped - whatever his issues with me, ex was a very good and loving dad to her. And of course, for you this sadness is magnified times 3...

So I guess i would suggest trying your hardest to make things change as it doesn't sound as if you can or should go on like this for much longer. But you have to be prepared for him not being able or willing to change within a time that works for you. then you have to weigh up how unhappy you are against the impact on the children.

It is a horrible situation and when you are in it, difficult to think clearly. So I do think counselling would help, just talking to someone neutral with no agenda and hearing yourself set out the problems.

MrsParker Sun 26-Oct-08 00:36:26

Hi, just wanted to say i know how you feel. My dp is exactly the same, we have an argument, (well sort of coz he doesn't really talk), then he'll ignore me for a few days. He then tends to pretend like nothings happened, i suppose he thinks i won't mention it again if he's been ignoring me, seeing how much i dislike it. So painful. We're going to relate at the moment, hoping that will help. I'd suggest it, might help.

Avenellroad Sun 26-Oct-08 01:39:42

Dear Arabella

I would like to offer some constructive advice but maybe you could answer some questions first that spring to mind?

Like you talk about having an argument serious one I assume some weeks ago....was that the first time? Or have you been arguing for some time?

He's busy at work....what sort of work and what is the work pressure like?

How old is your husband? I assume mid thirties? And I guess you are a similar age?

Men tend to behave pretty consistently depending upon the issues affecting them.

I only ask because you might be unreasonably assuming his behavious relates only to your might not.

Spero Sun 26-Oct-08 07:19:44

I think Avenellroad raises some good questions... I don't want to overlook the issue that stress at work is a factor. BUT if stress at work makes him behave towards you in this way, I think it is a relationship problem.

We all get stressed but surely the way to deal with it is to apologise for crappy behaviour, not sulk like an enormous toddler?

I just get a bit pissed off that men particularly (misandry based on experience) think it is ok to behave like twats because of all the 'stress' they are under.

sorry, possibly not helping. But the 'how to improve your marriage etc' book has some good advice about this i.e. try to be compassionate and remember that the other person might be going through difficult times and need your support.

I suppose the issue remains - if this is just the way your dp shows he is under stress, can you cope with it for the long haul?

arabella2 Tue 28-Oct-08 09:53:11

Thanks avellenoad, spero and mrs parker
yes avellenoad he is very stressed at work....(physical house renovations and stuff like that) however I don't see why this has to mean that he cuts me off but not other people (ie. kids - not that I want him to cut them off).... Things slightly better in that we have moved up a notch from not talking to him being back to his crotchety critical self but without any warmth or affection or interest in me. However I am working at my side of the bargain which is to offer him some help with work and he has been a little receptive... The horrible knot in my stomach has gone however it seems sad to me that it has gone not because we are happy and intimate but just because he is back to his short tempered self instead of ignoring me completely..... In answer to your question, I am 39 and he is 52. I don't think his behaviour is only to do with the relationship but I do think he has these ideas in my head about me that are not true. Somehow I feel silly and bumbling when he is around but I know that I am not, I just need more support and affection in addition to the changes I need to make because I don't think I have been appreciative enough of him recently or helpful enough... but when someone only sees you in the way they want to you kind of lose any motivation.

anniemac Tue 28-Oct-08 10:27:23

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