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It’s A No Win Situation

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by ATI, Feb 6, 2023.

  1. ATI

    ATI Silver IL'ite

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    It’s been a long time since I posted. I took a lot of the advice here and started practicing emotional distancing from my DH. When I first got married I had these silly notions that we would talk and share everything and support each other. It seems so childish now. About 15 years into the marriage I realized he would never have a meaningful relationship with me. It was all superficial . I don’t know why he got married - He did not marry for a companion or because he wanted someone to share his life with. After years of trying to build a relationship with him I gave up. I started focusing on my job, kids and home. I developed my own interests and circle of friends. At first this reduced all our fights because I had 0 expectations from him. I wasn’t asking anything of him so he was happy . And I was happy. If I wanted to go to a nice restaurant I went by myself or with a friend. I watched movies I wanted and played games with the kids .

    For the last year or so my husband is fighting with me that I am emotionally distant. I pointed out that I had the same complaint about his all these years and he says I am holding a grudge. But he doesn’t do anything to bridge the gap. He still keeps secrets from me and fights all the time. This is especially true when it comes to his family (parents, his brother and sister). I would be ok if these secrets don’t affect me, but they do because his family shows up at our home and I have to deal with them. Anything I say is wrong and then he wants to know why I don’t talk much. My interests and life are boring and if I share something he will walk away midway or change the topic. But he is upset that I am not engaging with him anymore! If he starts a fight about anything I just agree and say do what you want. And he does what he wants but he expects me to be happy with it. So he wants me pander to him and keep trying to improve our relationship while he does not contribute to the effort and continues as he is. He keeps saying we are living separate lives but the reality is all these years he was living a separate life while I shared mine. Now I have also decided to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself and he is upset.

    all I want is peace in my day to day life. Is that too much to ask for? Everyday he fights with me about why I am not sharing anything with him. These may not seem like big problems but I am frustrated because there is no end to the fights
     
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Peace is like success, hard to achieve and harder to sustain. You have reached an enviable state of resignation, acceptance and peace. He recognizes that and misses the older arrangement that suited him better. The one of you always in a "hamster on a wheel" state of trying to improve the relationship.

    Read your below words again and remember them.
    Hold on to your hard won peace with resolution. Let him manage his own upset. Don't keep re-explaining things and the past to him. Try the grey rock method of becoming uninteresting, uninterested and unresponsive. Don't initiate efforts to increase the engagement. If he takes any tangible first steps, you can revisit your stance, at your leisure.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2023
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  3. DDream

    DDream Finest Post Winner

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    Thats a great resolution. Looks like your dh is missing the older set up. Accept that he will keep his side of family business a secret or like most Indian men, think its ok. You do the same. If he complains, thank him for showing the this path to peace and inform you are following his footsteps. Dont go for fights(show no interest in it, but if shout or yell, stop him right there saying he should not, [you are pure, dont need any mud, you are above that]), no explanation of your thoughts or feeling. But if he treats you right, treat him the same way. Be happy, be peaceful. I am sure he will come to you, but your relationship will be a new one. Give respect, talk needed things, dont go after him to please, keep up your standard. Live your life to the fullest, even if he is there or not. But if he comes around, learn to enjoy the present, but be alert. That also comes with practice. You dont need to sacrifice every thing. Give priority to your needs. If you feel like hugging or more..do it, but be vigilent. Best wishes
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2023
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  4. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    This seems so unfair! This is like the next level in your test for patience. I wonder how you managed initially. Back when you were actively trying and he pushed back, how did you disengage? Use the same strategies. If it has worked once, it should work now.

    I believe he isn’t ok that you are happy without needing his help. I think most people think they want strong independent spouses but very few can handle the fact that an emotionally strong person can hold out on their own. Try hard to not engage. He wants you to engage, fight and be miserable because he’s not happy. It’s got nothing to do with you. You could tell him this is how he has always been but I don’t think he is going to be very accepting or willing to change. It’s going to be a futile conversation in my opinion.

    Unless he makes solid attempts from his end, don’t revisit your decision and don’t second guess yourself. You are doing good. The grey rock method mentioned by Rihana seems like a good option to follow. That way, you are not dragged into quarrels you have no way to resolve.
    If he does attempt to improve things, ensure you are living life on your own terms. Don’t go down the rabbit hole again. Like Ddream said, let this be a new relationship!

    Good luck!
     
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  5. NOW

    NOW Gold IL'ite

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    I want to commend you for the clarity and efforts you have put into claiming your life back. I have same issue with my husband to an extent in few matters. He used to not accompany me for kids birthday parties in the past since my first one was born. After a couple of years I got used to this and started enjoying going to these parties on my own and finding like minded people to hang out with to not get bored. Now, due to demands at work the tide has turned and he needs to take the kids more to the birthday parties and he is complaining endlessly. I tried to explain calmly that it is normal to feel bored as I was in his shoes before and then explained to him how he can entertain himself :) . It did not sit well with him and whining continues . I get a kick out of his frustration. I can never make him empathize with me for anything, so l don't mind putting him through the same and getting my sweet revenge.
     
  6. ATI

    ATI Silver IL'ite

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    Just read about the grey rock method and it’s so great. That’s what I have been doing unaware that it is a technique.

    His main complaint is I don’t want to do things with him anymore . But I have so much else going on I don’t have the time to do things with him. and of course what he wants to do are the things he enjoys. He never tries wants to do what I want to do - even selecting a Tv show has to be something he wants to watch. I believe if he doesn’t want to invest in an emotional relationship with me he doesn’t get to just hang out and have fun. We are not roommates!
     
  7. ATI

    ATI Silver IL'ite

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    he will never do this because he does not believe he is doing anything wrong. According to him this is how he is (emotionally unattached ) so he can remain that way. Which would be fine except he has not problem sharing everything with his family. He will never try to change because he believes he is correct and I am causing unnecessary problems by distancing myself
     
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  8. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I’m sorry ATI. In this situation you are doing the right thing by making yourself a priority and taking care of your own needs.
     
  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    @ATI,

    Hats off for you for setting up boundaries and make your husband taste his own medicine. What he is missing is you longing for his relationship. By demonstrating you are happy with or without him, you proved a point that whatever he was scheming is not working well. I know it took many years for you to get where you are at now.

    Let him complain to his heart's content but you stay where you are at unless he is willing to make the move to derive peace by sharing his life with you. Until then, you enjoy your life with your work, kids, and friends. You set a great example as to how to deal with such issues.

    The people who likes to control use several methods and one of them is to make others feel they are obligated to share their lives while they can remain aloof. Good news is what he did to you when done to him in reverse direction is hurting him badly. That is why he is complaining. Let us hope that it changes him and regret his actions in the past.

    Generally, men becomes dependent as they grew up in the marriage and hopefully, things change for you towards a normal married life where everything is transparent.

    My best wishes.
     

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