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Husband Now Trying, After 30 Years

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  • #228793
    Airene
    Participant

    Hello Anita,

    No it doesn’t sound arrogant at all.  It sounds like the clarity and unbiased perspective I need to hear.  And why I posted here.

    Thanks very much…I have some thinking to do.

    Airene

    #228801
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Airene:

    I am glad you don’t think it is arrogant on my part. Well, you are welcome for more of this “clarity and unbiased perspective”, anytime you’d like. Anytime.

    anita

    #236497
    anita
    Participant

    Thinking about you,  Airene.

    anita

    #236563
    Mark
    Participant

    Airene,
    You say you are already alone. You want to have your husband understand that you have changed. You want to be able to talk honestly about what each of you need from each other. You cannot even mention about him having garlic without hearing blame or calling you negative.

    After 30 years, it should be obvious that he does not want to talk or listen. You doubt his capacity in knowing or wanting to know what makes a marriage that would work for both of you. You say that your husband is immature and detached.
    This is your bed. Do you want to sleep in it or go find another bed?

    Mark

    #236801
    Airene
    Participant

    Hello Mark and Anita,

    I haven’t been on Tiny Buddha as much because life has just been busy.  I appreciate the follow up, but there isn’t much that has changed, other than I am expressing myself more, and calling my husband on some of the things that I need to see change.

    Mark, to answer your question, “Do you want to sleep in [this bed] or go find another bed?”

    The answer is neither.  I’m not keen on the thought of starting a relationship with someone else, and yes, I’ve had opportunities to do so, and I did explore that.  I don’t see that as the answer.

    I stay where I am because I don’t relish the thought of all the upheaval that would come with getting a divorce – I think I said that somewhere before.

    Getting a divorce might mean something better for me – and no guarantee there.  I know it would mean pain for a lot of other people, and I don’t think I could live with that.

    If you have thoughts about this, I will read with open eyes, ears and heart.

    Airene

     

    #236807
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Airene:

    Good to read from you. I didn’t know if you wanted the  reminder of this thread when  I posted to you here a  couple of  days ago, but  figured you wouldn’t respond  if  you didn’t  want  to. I missed reading from you, this is why I posted.

    In your response above you invited  thoughts about this, I do have a  thought, a question, really: how do you manage your anger at your husband? Your reasons for staying  in the marriage  are  rational enough for me  to understand. What I would like to understand, if you will be so kind as to explain it to me, is how do you interact  with him day after  day, night after  night when angry with him, or numb… isn’t it difficult and  wouldn’t you like  to be free of such anger/ numbness?

    anita

    #236891
    Mark
    Participant

    Airene,

    I realized after spending 19 years in a marriage that really was not a good match, I left.  I never was happier afterwards.  My children were 8 and 12 at the time.  I felt that I was modeling how to be unhappy for them rather than teaching them otherwise.

    I look at how I live my life as if I was going to die tomorrow.  Will I have regrets?  On my death bed, did I think I wasted my life? Did I live in fear of what could have been?  All I got is today, this moment.  Am I doing what I need to do with my life to make it meaningful?

    The Dalai Lama was attributed in saying that the meaning of life is to be happy.

    Mark

    #236909
    John
    Participant

    Airene

     

    I am currently your husband in this exact scenario with my wife. So I will attempt to put out the possibilities of what is happening here in his head.

     

    1. He is trying to placate you. He has done it before. He thinks he can do it again. I did it for years and years with my wife, but she is now saying that she wants to separate because she is afraid we will end up where you are now, in sort of this “I can barely stand to be in the same room as you” tolerance. This is a very real possibility, and you have to know this going in. But you have been with him for 30 years, so you know if he is committed to something like this.

     

    2. He is really changing, but you just are too far gone. This is sort of a crappy position for you both. He might definitely be trying and have definite plans to change and STAY changed this time, but after being told that he is going to change and failing to do so, so many times, you have just sort of grown cold and calloused to it. It’s a bad position for your both because of the following:

    • He is going to lose you, which he seems to not want
    • You are going to possibly watch him become the man he should have been for you, with someone else

    This is currently the situation my wife and I are in. She says she just doesn’t believe the patterns we have fallen into the past 15 years are going to be broken, even though she sees that I am indeed trying. And I can’t blame her. We stopped talking, stop trying for one another. And it probably cost us our marriage. It makes me feel really sad knowing that the likely outcome for me, since I am more than ever driven to change, is that she will see me become the man she originally fell in love with, but I will be that man for another woman. The big thing here is the intent to change and for who. If he is changing for you, then he might do it, he might not. It’s a toss up. It depends on how strongly he feels for you honestly, and he might change then revert right back after. But if he is doing it for himself, to make himself a better man no matter how it all plays out, you might want to perhaps at least give it a tentative chance.

     

    3. He changes, you notice, you are stronger than ever and you live happily ever after or whatever fairytale nonsense people still believe. But the first part will likely be true until something new pops up, and in that case, you need to talk about it. If you talk to him about it, don’t be discouraged when he butts heads with you over it or perhaps takes it as a personal attack. When people hear things about themselves that they know are true but are hurtful to hear, the reaction is usually not acceptance and talking about it. It’s usually a bit of a tussle. But that is okay. Just tell him you aren’t meaning it as a jab at him, but rather are addressing an issue you would like him to work with you about. I wish I had this chance. It seems like I won’t get the chance.

     

    Those are really your only three options unless he is some sort of sadist who loves drawing you back in to treat you poorly, but I would have to believe that after 30 years you would have picked up on that. It really is that simple about the motivation for his change, however. My motivation started for her. I fully admit that the catalyst for my change was her asking to be let free. But when I started actually making changes, I realized these were all things that were good for me AND her. And I suddenly was keenly aware that if she was indeed over this whole thing that I would need to learn to be a good man again, because the baggage I was towing along with me would have decimated any other relationship.

     

    Overall, you know your husband. And I understand that you are tired of his nonsense and that you feel that he is never going t break the rut that you are both in. But if he is really changing, then leaving him now is going to cause more pain than sticking it out to see if they stick or not. And even if he is doing it JUST for you, there is a good chance he loves you so much that he will make those changes and sticks to them. But if he is making those changes for him (disclaimer: AND they are good changes, I have seen the opposite and it was not pretty), he is far more likely to stick with them.

     

    No matter what, I wish you luck and hope for you the same thing I hope for my wife: to be happy and loved.

     

    I will say this, however: while you always felt like an afterthought, did you ever ask him if that was the case? Same with the “keeping your mouth shut”. Did you ask him if he was annoyed with you? Perhaps he was annoyed that you didn’t speak to him and he felt like an afterthought. Point being, I am seeing a LOT of things in my marriage now that were basically the same problem from two different points of view and if we had just spoken about it, I feel like we would be deeply in love still and working on 20 years instead of 15 and done. But here we are.

    #238137
    Airene
    Participant

    Hello Anita, Mark and John,

    I’ve been thinking about what each of you have written, and thank you for your responses.

    Anita – I don’t mind the reminder, and am touched that you check in.  And you are correct…if I didn’t want to respond, I wouldn’t.  You ask how I manage my anger at my husband.  Well, one way was pretty destructive – having a friendship outside of our marriage.  I don’t talk to him anymore, and I don’t miss him or that dynamic.  With where our marriage is now, I think the anger is not as intense – it’s more sadness and disappointment.  I can say as much as I want that it’s all about what my husband did/didn’t do, but I’m equally to blame.  I could have just walked out, but didn’t.

    You ask how I interact with my husband with all my anger and being numb….Well, I’m pretty blunt and direct with him now about what I need and what needs to change.  And I’ve also tried to be very open about my thoughts on our marriage – that he and I don’t have to live like this.  So I guess the anger sort of fizzles the more I express myself.  And maybe, deep down, I just don’t have the courage to leave.  If our marriage ended, I would be okay – don’t doubt that at all. From there it becomes about other people, and I haven’t reached the point where considering that doesn’t matter to me.  And I don’t mean that people who leave don’t care about other people in their lives – I’m just saying for me, I haven’t reached that point.

    Hi Mark – I sincerely appreciate your thoughts.  I am glad you found your happy.  I have considered all you say 1000 times over.  I do wonder if I have modeled for my kids how to be unhappy, but I also wonder if maybe my kids will form relationships based on “not doing what mom (or dad) did.”

    I also subscribe to living life as if it’s my last day – but more on a personal level than with an eye toward a relationship. I don’t regret staying – I think I had good reasons to stay and at the time, it made sense.   I think my husband and I are both trying to figure out if we can move forward or not.

    Hello John – I read your post completely and thoroughly.  My husband and I are definitely at #2.  And wow, very perceptive to point out the fact that if he changes for me, it may or may not last.  Because I want him to change for himself…but then, he thinks he is a-okay as is.   He is a great guy, I just don’t think he’s made to be married.  And I’ve told him this.  So I do understand exactly what you’re saying.  And yes, if we don’t make it, I can absolutely see him being the person I needed him to be – for another wife.  Because he will do it with the thought of “I need to do this because I didn’t with my ex-wife, and I don’t want this marriage to fail, so I will do what my ex-wife needed” – without regard to what that person might actually need.

    I will say this, however: while you always felt like an afterthought, did you ever ask him if that was the case? I didn’t ask him, but told him many times that this is how I felt.  And as you very aptly pointed out, I think he would then try to placate me.  I think still tries to do this, but not as often.

    Same with the “keeping your mouth shut”. Did you ask him if he was annoyed with you? Again, I didn’t ask him because if I asked he would only say what he thought I wanted to hear.  So I started telling him how the things he said to me and how he said them made me feel as if he was annoyed with me and that he doesn’t want to even hear what I think.

    Perhaps he was annoyed that you didn’t speak to him and he felt like an afterthought. Point being, I am seeing a LOT of things in my marriage now that were basically the same problem from two different points – yes, I can absolutely see how this can happen.  Especially when communication becomes non-existent – of view and if we had just spoken about it, I feel like we would be deeply in love still and working on 20 years instead of 15 and done. But here we are.

    So, thank you all again – Anita, Mark, and John – for your thoughts.  And in spite of what it may seem, I do have other things I’m working on besides my marriage – exciting, fun things.  This helps too.

     

     

    #238151
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Airene:

    Good to read from you. I will repeat my  question and  your answer because as I type I think, it helps me process information this way. I asked: “how do you manage  your anger at your husband… how do you interact with him day after day.. when angry with him, or numb?”

    Your answer: “… the  anger  is  not as  intense- it’s more  sadness  and  disappointment… I’m pretty blunt and direct with him now about what I need and what  needs  to  change. And I’ve also tried to  be  very open about my thoughts on our marriage- that he and  I don’t  have  to  live like  this. So I guess the anger sort  of fizzles the  more I express myself..  I do have other things I’m working on besides my marriage- exciting, fun things”-

    Your answer makes sense to me. You voiced yourself very clearly  with him, nothing unsaid. You let him know that ending the  marriage is an option, so everything is in the open. You are clear with him and with yourself, no confusion, no ongoing distress, really. And you are busy with other things, exciting things. You are not the silently fuming wife focused on her husband,   waiting. I suppose you accepted  things as they are and that  is why you are sad, not angry. Your answer satisfies my inquiring  mind, thank you.

    anita

    #238643
    Terry
    Participant

    Hi Airene,

    I do not have a solution for you. I just wanted you to know that I am in exactly the same place you are, feeling the exact same feelings of sadness and resignation. I have done and said exactly the same things you have in exactly the same way and have gotten exactly the same responses.

    You are not alone.

    Terry

    #238647
    Terry
    Participant

    Airene,

    I am going on 37 years of marriage and have 2 grown adult children. My husband retired almost 4 years ago. We were living in a small town home, downsized after the kids moved on. As I felt more and more “alone” the small space became unbearable. We have now moved into a larger home. We both have space of our own. This has helped me immensely! But my husband insisted he did not need the space and tells people that we moved because we didn’t have enough room for the “kids” to come and stay if they moved out of town (there was a slight possibility that my daughter and son-in-law might get transferred). So he has never acknowledged what I needed from him…space…and why.

    Terry

Viewing 12 posts - 16 through 27 (of 27 total)

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