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Feeling lost and shut out
Last year, my best friend who is an international student moved in with us. I discussed this with my husband to check if he was okay with my best friend (who pays rent to us) moving in with us, and he was fine with it. However, a few months into us living together he picked an issue with me, saying that my best friend was more like my "wife" and a huge row occurred in our household.Two weeks ago, he picked an issue with me just as I was about to head into an online meeting. He walked into my study room and asked me for the cat's nail clipper as he thought the cat's nails were rather long. I replied saying I didn't know where the cat nail clipper was, and would look for it and trim the cat's nails after my meeting ended. However, he reacted by saying that I was pretending not to know where the clipper was as I wanted my "wife" to return from uni to clip the cat's nails. It seems like such a small issue but ever since that incident, he has stopped speaking to me.
Even when things are normal between us, he rarely asks about my day at work or celebrates in my successes. Perhaps because of this, I find myself confiding more in my best friend who is the only source of emotional support to me. Recently, when I told my husband about my promotion at work, his response was: "did they not have anyone else to give it to, due to Covid?" As such, I have gotten to a point of not sharing any personal or career related news with him. I know this is causing a further distance between us but it's what I've resorted to, to ensure he doesn't have a chance to put me down.
I am unsure how long more I can take being in a marriage where we live in silence, lack of emotional connection and where issues are not dealt with maturely.
I would really appreciate any suggestions people may have, as this is starting to hurt my mental health and it is also affecting my concentration at work.
Hi Lost Girl
i am sorry to hear you are in this situation - you do sound very lost, confused and hurt. I can imagine how hurt I would be if my partner said such a thing in response to a promotion I earned at work.
A key issue I see here would be your partner and yourself are on very different levels in terms of problem solving and engagement. Cutting and cruel remarks/put downs, silent treatment, and total lack of support or interest is not a healthy relationship. You don't reference any positives in the relationship, so it would appear you're definitely not in a great place.
Ultimately, I think relationships and marriages can only survive when two people are both prepared to work on themselves and their relationship together to make sure they get through rough patches. If only one person is willing to put in the time and effort to revolving problems, improving communication, and making sure their partner feels loved and appreciated, it can be difficult to see how the marriage will survive, or be a long-lasting and happy fulfilled relationship.
Can you see your partner coming to the table and willing to work on issues together and separately? This would involve listening to what is causing you pain, and be willing to try and improve. He may also have issues with your own behaviours or attitudes, so you would need to be willing to listen and possibly work on these as well. If you can't see him ever willing to do this, you may need to reflect if this is a partnership that you wish to remain part of, and what would be keeping you in the relationship.
Everyone deserves happiness, contentment and peace; if a relationship isn't bringing you any of these things, something will need to change, otherwise nothing ever will.
All the best, I hope you find your happiness.
I really believe having your friend board with you both is not a good idea. You and your husband need to work on your marriage and that includes a degree of confidentially. Your husband is clearly annoyed now with her presence.
I know this is not the opinion you looked forward to but it is based on my own experiences.
Also Google this please
Beyondblue topic relationship strife-the peace pipe
Hi White Knight and Jax,
I appreciate both of you taking time to offer helpful suggestions in relation to my current situation.
Going by my husband's past experiences, he has never been one to have joint discussions about issues that concern us. Oftentimes, any argument we do have becomes an issue about me and he thinks he's faultless and therefore warranting no introspection on his part. We did go for couples counselling a few years back (with much reluctance on his part), but things didn't improve. I admit that I used to have quite a temper myself, which I have proactively been working on since we got married because I realised our fights (although frequent) did not get as bad, when I controlled my emotions and words. This has taken a lot of effort on my part but it hurts when you don't see the other person putting in the same degree of effort to make themselves better in the relationship.
Since his stonewalling two weeks ago, I have approached him to ask and initiate outings each weekend, so that we could have some quality time together as a couple. I have suggested going out for meals, taking a day trip and even attending a religious service in the hopes that we can share in some activities together. All my attempts have been met with: "nope, I'm not interested" or "nope, I want to stay at home". Should I keep trying? I do feel hurt and resentful that my efforts are not appreciated and that he is not even trying to meet me halfway to resolve the issue. It feels almost as if we are housemates and he's checked out of the marriage.
I have scheduled counselling sessions for myself, as I do feel like I need to start looking out for my mental wellbeing. However, the counselling session is not for another month and any advice is welcome to help me get through this interim period.
Grateful for your responses, thank you.
Good for you for taking the time to schedule in counselling for yourself. I have always found counselling sessions to be very helpful for me when I am struggling to work through a complicated problem; I hope you find yours equally beneficial.
I think the real question here would be if you sat your partner down, told him you just needed him to listen, really listen, to you for five minutes, and simply laid out where you're at and what you need from him for the relationship to survive, would he sit there and really listen, and then would he be prepared to step up and at least genuinely try to work together to find some happiness in your relationship.
If he isn't prepared to at least show up and try, even after you've put everything out there and say 'I'm hurting so badly, and this is what is causing it, and I need things to change so this marriage can survive' then I don't think he'll ever step up. And I mean genuinely put in an effort to develop some awareness of your needs and how to meet them as your partner, not do that thing where someone does the dishes once and reckons thats enough to make you happy, because look, they tried for ten whole minutes.
I think as women, we make a lot of excuses for less-than-impressive men. We over-complicate things, we try to justify things, we try to explain things away. We write whole stories trying to justify the way we are treated that makes it ok, and he really does love us, he just can't show it. He had a bad childhood. He's just not great at communicating. He makes horrible comments to me when he's feeling threatened. He used to be great. And essentially, we're just making excuses for the man in our life, because the real question you need to ask is, is he prepared to show up and step up to save our relationship? And oftentimes, the answer is no, and we know that but it's so hard to deal with and makes us so sad and so hurt, we go back to our stories and justifications and try to comfort ourselves with that, and just ignore the hard truth staring us in the face.
All you can really do is ask yourself every day what you are looking for in life and how you can find it, and work on developing yourself. And as you do that, then the status of your relationship will become more and more clear to you, and you can't help but see the truth of the situation, no matter what that is.
I hope this helps in some small way, just my thoughts.