October 11, 2017 at 12:35 pm #172769
My husband and I have been together for almost 19 years (8 dating and 11 married). We are currently separated. We have had a really rocky and tumultuous relationship. When we met, I was 22 with a 4 month old baby. We quickly become great friends and I had no idea he was crushing on me. We went out on a date and we have been together since then. At the time, I was still dealing with drama from my son's bio-dad. I was still heartbroken and angry. Unfortunately, my husband took the brunt of my anger. He was there for me at any point and any time. He seemed to be looking at me for guidance and I was incapable of taking care of him. My frustration with his lack of ambition and direction somehow manifested into physical violence—me against him. I don't know where the anger or rage came from but it reared its ugly head. Anything my husband did or didn't do deserved that treatment. No matter what my husband was there for me and my son, but I couldn't see past my anger. Fast forward, things were up and down but we remained together and eventually got married. He finally joined the police academy and things seemed to be looking better in terms of our financial stability. We continued to have problems connecting positively. He decided to work the graveyard shift for the longest time and I think that drove the wedge farther apart. We lost sight of each other, but we had two more children and continued our lives with the crazy dynamic. We had problems but we were looking at the other to fix them. One day I woke up and I think I had an epiphany. I looked at my husband and I saw a man I didn't know. He wasn't happy and I wanted to make him happy. He is a great father, great provider and good person. Although, I think I am too late. He is so angry at me and told he has no romantic feelings towards me. We are separated because he needs space and time to work on his issues. We are in counseling–same therapist, but we go individually until we are ready to work on the marriage part. Right now we want to work on being friends and co-parenting. Not only does he have problems with me, he has PTSD, anger and depression from work and other stressors. At first, I fought the separation and I was angry about it. Now I know it is the best thing for us right now. We are getting along better and have rarely had any negative interactions. It has only been a month and I know it may take a lot longer, but he still has no romantic feelings. My question is—do you think he is completely buried by his anger, PTSD and depression that he cannot move forward until he deals with his issues. He is very friendly and caring about my feelings and state of mind. He says I don't need to go into doomsday mode about us, but then he says he feels nothing. I feel like an emotional wreck. I am not sure what to do. Any thoughts or ideas? Do feelings just go away?October 12, 2017 at 5:51 am #172815
I'll be brief as I think TinyBuddah is eating my posts today!!
You guys have been with each other half your lives. You were mean to him, and sometimes that kills the love. Him feeling nothing could be an emotional defense mechanism. Switch therapists. Shake it up. Do something positive and outrageous to make him view you in a new light.
InkyOctober 12, 2017 at 5:54 am #172821
My replies keep getting eaten!!October 12, 2017 at 6:14 am #172835
You didn't mention what his PTSD is about, but reads to me that you have been part of the T in his PTSD, that is, the Trauma, the injury. You attacked him with physical and other violence and you did so repeatedly over years. You attacked him, you wrote, for anything he did or didn't do. The fact that he eventually lost his romantic or loving feelings for you and those feelings remain lost is understandable. A healthy individual loses feelings that motivate him to reach out to a source of injury, of pain.
You asked: ” Do feelings just go away?” –
your anger didn't go away for the nineteen years of this relationship, is it gone now? If it is gone for now, do you think it will stay gone if you and him were back together?
anitaOctober 12, 2017 at 6:25 am #172839
testing…October 12, 2017 at 6:30 am #172843
*… and didn't get submitted correctly…October 12, 2017 at 10:03 am #172901
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi Anita,</p>
You're right, I didn't specify his PTSD. He's a police officer and without going into any detail that has caused a lot of emotional turmoil within him. He comes home very heavy and unable to detach from work mode. Also, I didn't mention his wrongdoings either because I'm trying to take responsibility for them. As in most marriages, there have been financial strains and he caused a majority of them. He also became emotionally attached to an ex-friend of mine that I'm still not sure he ever crossed the line. He has also been emotionally abusive and neglectful. Presently, we are better in terms of finances and work together great as parents. I wasn't the only one who was mean…I was physical. It hasn't been like that for quite some time. I don't speak negatively to him. I've had a lot of soul searching and changed my behavior. I've let go of the past and moved on. I no longer live there. I cannot say the same about him. He has other issues that he has not dealt with. I think my place is to be patient and supportive. I just hope he comes back emotionally. I do love himOctober 12, 2017 at 10:28 am #172905
Your last post indicates to me that you are indeed still angry at him. I think that this relationship should stay in the past. It has been a bad relationship for too long. I hope you do cooperate well co parenting. I hope you focus on the emotional well being of your children and let each other go.
anitaOctober 12, 2017 at 10:46 am #172907
No I'm not angry and I don't focus on the past. I'm focusing on the now. All I was trying to put into perspective is that we didn't get here because of one person. I have forgiven him and no longer harbor any anger. I think you're picking parts of what I have said into account. I guess I'm not explaining it very well. Thanks anywayOctober 12, 2017 at 12:41 pm #172913
I think what Anita is saying in her last post is not that the relationship is in the past, but that there are too many years of negative feelings attributed to the other person to walk back from.
You mentioned the fact that when you met you were dealing with some pretty intense emotions from your son's bio-dad and that your husband took the brunt of that anger. So i ask you this, what was your relationship dynamic? And is it possible to get something back that maybe never really existed in the first place? My point here is simply to say that there are layers and layers of hurt that both of you have contributed in building, and at some point peeling back those layers becomes too painful and raw, re-opening old wounds and picking at scars and scabs. Perhaps the best thing to do wouldn't be to peel those layers back trying to un-do the hurt, but focus on the fact that there's too much pain there to salvage and try and move forward into a friendly co-parenting type arrangement.
Perhaps the two of you are better off seeking happiness without each other?October 12, 2017 at 1:22 pm #172933
Yes, that could be the case. I'm just trying to focus on the now. I don't want to stress about us, at least actively. I was just trying to get perspective on whether his feelings are gone or just buried. We are in therapy and we are actively working on positive interactions. We haven't been fighting or negative for quite sometime. Despite the bad stuff, we have some great memories as well. It's so hard to put that into perspective, but I can see how this may seem all bad.October 13, 2017 at 8:41 am #173013
I re-read your posts. In your original post you wrote: “One day I woke up and I think I had an epiphany. I looked at my husband and I saw a man I didn’t know. He wasn’t happy and I wanted to make him happy. He is a great father, great provider and good person.”
I think that empathy was part of your epiphany. At the moment of your epiphany, you did not feel (as you did before) that he is your enemy, the source of your hurts and distress, one to fight and punish, but instead, he seemed like a hurting fellow human being, one you wanted to help, to make happy.
You evaluated him at that moment as a “great father, great provider and good person”, one deserving your empathy.
In your next three posts you wrote: “I’ve had a lot of soul searching and changed my behavior. I’ve let go of the past and moved on… I’m not angry and I don’t focus on the past. I’m focusing on the now… I’m just trying to focus on the now”.
It is fine for you to focus on the now. But the past is part of the now, in his experience and in yours. The past has to be dealt with and he is dealing with it in counseling
The fact that you are not currently angry at him does not mean, that if reunited, you will still not be angry at him. The fact that you focus on the now does not mean that if reunited, you will again focus elsewhere and see him as the source of your hurts and emotional injuries of past.
The fact that you are focusing on the now does not mean he should reciprocate, that he should forgive-and-forget as you believe you have done. He is angry at you (“He is so angry at me”, original post)- present tense.
The loving thing you can do for him now, present tense, is to give him the distance from you that he needs, to evaluate the past and make healthier choices regarding his future. If you want to make him happy (your epiphany) let him be, leave him alone. He needs the space, the time and the work that he needs to do, in order to heal.
His healing is in your best interest as a mother to his children (a healthy man is more likely to be a good father than a sick man), and it is in your best interest, if he heals, to know that your past abuse of him has been dealt with by him, and that he too, at some point in the future, will be able to focus on the now.
anitaOctober 13, 2017 at 10:44 am #173049
Yes the space and time apart has done wonders for us in terms of healing. We have a long way to go. I understand it is his process and his timeline. I in no way want to repeat the same mistakes. Thank you for your words and perspective.October 13, 2017 at 11:00 am #173053
You are welcome, Allison. I hope you post again.