FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Partner won't talk

Starlight_80
Community Member

I'm writing here because I want to message my friends and ask their advice and I also don't want to, ya know? I have an appointment with a psychologist but it's 2 weeks away. Would be nice to have some neutral feedback. 

 

I'm a bit scared to outright say I want to break up. He doesn't hit me but he did have a cane he threatened to smack the kids with. I hid it. He didn't say anything. He's not a talker. 

 

Last week I got mad at the youngest being stubborn and I yelled at them. But HE yelled out from the bedroom "just SMACK them!!" I SNAPPED. I yelled back at him along the lines of I don't want any more talk of violence in this house (I may have also pointed out that just because he was disciplined like that as a kid doesn't make it right) and for him to F off. 

 

We've been together for 15 years, 3 kids above 9. Today I said I don't want to live like this anymore. I tried to talk about feelings the week before last and now we talk even less. We used to kiss goodnight and goodbye every day. Not for almost 2 weeks now. Now nothing beyond what's for dinner and got any washing?

 

We've always been great at sweeping our problems under the rug but this is ridiculous. I can't even talk about how to move forward with our lives. I'm so frustrated with him. Just talk to me dammit!!! 😭

8 Replies 8

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Starlight_80

 

I feel for you so deeply during such an emotional and upsetting time in your life. I can hear how desperate you are to move forward in constructive ways, for the sake of your kids, your relationship and yourself. So incredibly frustrating, to say the least.

 

It's hard when you force yourself to tolerate certain behaviours from others until you just can't do it anymore. When meeting with that tipping point into intolerance, it definitely changes things and can be intensely triggering in a number of ways. It's even harder when the person who you've been trying to reason with doesn't want to listen to any valid reasons when it comes to the serious need for change. I've found it's hard to stop being a reasonable person with some people, especially if you're in the habit of always giving reasons for how you think, feel and behave etc. It can be so hard to get out of that habit.

 

While I have many facets that go toward making up the whole of who I am, one of them is what I've come to affectionately call 'the intolerant cow' in me🐄😁. She's a feisty one with a bit of a potty mouth, if not managed carefully. This is a part of me I'd always worked so hard to suppress. It would only surface under extreme conditions. It would only come to life at times where I needed to be more upstanding. Eventually it clicked, this was not a bad part of me, it was an upstanding part of me that would stand up for me and anyone else who needed someone to stand up for them. This includes my 2 kids. One thing the cow in me does not do and that is provide reason. It's more a statement maker. For example, the upstanding part of a person may state 'I don't want any more talk of violence in this house! F off!!!'. Feisty, strong, upstanding and incredibly intolerant. When the intolerant part of us fully comes to life, we can be left thinking afterwards 'Where the hell did that come from?'. 

 

It was actually my husband who'd tend to trigger this part of me. With 22 years of marriage, I can count on one hand the amount of times my inner cow exploded to life. So, it was far from being a regular event. I'd more so spent years trying to reason with him over a variety of matters, with little resolution. Btw, there's some saying about bashing your head against a brick wall and how great it feels when you finally stop. I stopped reasoning and began to state facts. One of the things that allowed me to become more of a fact stater involved consciously channeling the cow in me (very carefully). In your own situation, this could sound like 'You need to question your desire to hit your kids over your desire to reason with them. You lack skills in self questioning and reasoning, something you need to think about'. I think the intolerant aspect of us holds the power to present alarming 'wake up' calls to people. Bit of a psychological slap. Whether the person who needs to become more conscious wishes to wake up is a whole other matter. If they flat out refuse to, nothing will ever change.

 

Hoping your psychologist is able to help shed light for you regarding the way forward. Things sound so incredibly stressful in the house. Finding forms of stress release sounds like a must. Btw, I've found an added issue that can come about when we develop a mutually respectful and reasonable relationship with our kids involves the other parent stating 'You're all against me'. The comeback for that? 'You are free to choose to become a team player with the reasonable and respectful members of the team, the team known as your family'.

Fiatlux
Community Member

Hi Starlight,

 

I can definitely relate to the “no more violence”.  Although my husband has always been abusive towards me, he rarely if ever smacked our 3 children.

 

I too was raised with threats of violence if I didn’t do what I was told. My grandmother had a wooden spoon nearby if we refused to eat. Every child in my family, this includes extended family members, cousins etc, was raised this way, suffered from extreme anxiety and eating disorders. I am not exaggerating how being forced fed has affected all our lives.

 

Then again being threatened with violence for not being agreeable or even being too loud. My mother hated the sound of us laughing and being normal noisy kids having fun. I am 1 of 4. 

When I had my own children I never allowed anyone to yell at my children or threatened them. This went for my dad, who yelled about everything and occasionally my father in law who used words like, idiot, stupid when my children were being silly. 

I didn’t care if they were offended, but I told them that they could not see my children if they were ever verbally abusive or threatening. My dad used to threaten to beat us within an inch of our lives. This was so common for him. When I got older I asked him what I ever did that was so bad that he could end my life? This question took him back to his own childhood at the hands of an often drunk and angry violent father. 

I told my dad that my daughter at age 2 was scared of him as she wasn’t used to being yelled at and even when my dad raised his voice around her, she would run to me and cry. He thought that my daughter was the problem, but I banned him from speaking loudly around my children. 

As for your husband, is he waiting for an apology from you?

 

I have told my husband to F off plenty of times during our 37 year marriage but he’s still here.

 

In the past he would have physically assaulted me for such language, but the threat of being arrested has stopped him acting as he would in the past.

 

Husband has on one occasion smacked our eldest son when he was about 10 and 10 year old threatened to report to Police. I intervened as in, taking husband aside and telling him in no uncertain terms that he if he ever put his hands on any of our children, he could move out. 

I have zero tolerance for violence against children. 

I think your husband giving you the silence treatment is abusive and narcissistic. If anything he’s the one who needs to see a therapist to work through his own childhood trauma.

 

Don't pass that trauma onto your kids, it’s a vicious circle that needs to be stopped.

 

My husband and I still live together but our marriage was over long ago. We rarely speak and it’s difficult at times but I am not interested in having a relationship with an abusive partner.  I too refuse to sweep his problems under the rug.

 

Good luck and know that you are in the right. Fiatlux 🙏🏼

Hi Fiatlux, thanks for the reply! I'm really trying to not pass any trauma onto my kids. I used to get up in the morning and start yelling when my eyes were barely open. I think I've improved Heaps in this way. I guess that's why part of me can't stand it anymore. I've done so much evolving internally, so much more to go, I'm ready and excited for. But he's not interested in any of my "hippy shit" so I'm happy to leave him behind. I think maybe he's in denial about our relationship ending. 

Hello therising! Thank you for your reply! I love love love the intolerant cow idea. 🐄💖😁 No reason, no need. If I feel something is wrong I should probably trust myself more.

And thank you for the suggestions for things to say. I struggle with what to say, I like to think about it a lot first, make it to the point, make sure I'm not being a whiny cow (🐄😬) but I am human and have human emotions and I do spew words at times, especially when I'm frustrated and angry. It helps me to plan a bit anyway. 

Starlight,

 

I am so glad that you woke up to this.

 

It ain’t hippie shit… it’s called being F******* normal.

 

As a child when your normal was at the end of a cane, it damages you in ways that you don’t realise until you’re older. 

My children were absolutely appalled that we used to be caned at school. I was a very quiet child and never got into trouble but my dear brother, he was caned at school for simply laughing in class.

 

People tell you that it didn’t do them any harm, but I beg to differ.

 

Loving children with kindness never does them any harm.

 

Please take care of yourself and your darling children. Hug them and kiss them every day and often and tell them several times a day that you love them more than life itself. Fiatlux 🙏🏼

Thank you Fiatlux! I will! And I know it's not normal to not want to improve yourself! If that's hippy shit I don't mind being called a hippy!!

It's going to be a slow road to new living arrangements I think. 

But I'm really grateful for this forum and some kind feedback!

Thank you ✌️💖

Hi Starlight_80

 

I'd have to say it's the intolerant part of me that has probably served me the most when it comes to self esteem and self trust. It's led me to realise that I have the ability to say what I need to say and the right to say it, the right to be upstanding when need be.

 

I was led to laugh in relation to what you mentioned to Fiatlux, the 'hippy shit' comment 😅. Personally, I'm what some would refer to as 'one of those woo woo weirdo kind of people'. At first the term hurt, so I changed back into an 'acceptable' person, so I wouldn't face so much rejection and ridicule. I actually went down a more soulful kinda path after coming out of long term depression (of about 15 years or so). I was so happy and evolving like never before. I found that sacrificing this thing that led me to be happy just wasn't worth it. Changing back to 'acceptable' was becoming deeply depressing for me. Weather we're a happy hippy or a proud woo woo gal, doesn't matter. What matters is that we continue to evolve in the most incredible and positive mind altering ways, ways that surprise and excite us.

 

I can recall asking another woo woo hippy😁, some time ago, 'How do I manage changing so much when my husband refuses to change?' and 'Why does it feel so hard?'. Her response was along the lines of 'You can't force someone to change, you can only encourage them or work with them to bring out the best in themself. They have to want to change or evolve. They will choose their path, just as you choose yours. If they refuse to change, at some point the paths will obviously begin to separate and this is what you will be feeling, your separation'. While the words brought an element of sadness, they also came as a much needed revelation.

Starlight

thanks for sharing your story so honestly. You will help many reading this not feel alone and learn how to cope. Thanks for being prepared to learn from others and improve yourself.