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Thread: Is it worth staying?

  1. #1
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    Is it worth staying?

    My husband and I have problems. Itís not all terrible and I feel like these are petty, stupid little issues. But I donít know for sure and donít have a lot of people I can ask.

    He nags me. Every time I hear my name I get anxious because 60% of the time itís him telling me I did something wrong again or asking me to do it differently. Put your shoes up so I can vacuum, etc. or a lecture of how dangerous our town is every time I forget (not often) to lock the door. You canít tell a guy heís a nag so I just would be like ďIím doing the best I can, you have a lot of rules and I have decades of habits just like youĒ but I finally blurted out ďYou nag me!Ē In a fight awhile ago. Itís down to like 40% now. Still a lot.

    I also feel like he doesnít listen, at all. But heís constantly accusing me of not listening to me. Not 10 minutes ago I got home from the store and was telling him about the trip and ended it with a sarcastic ďor maybe not...Ē because he wasnít listening. Immediately after he started telling me a story he was reading about in the news. But if I miss a single thing or forget something I hear about it. Years ago we fought because he sarcastically said yes get that kind of beer but because it was a text I had no clue it was sarcasm. I donít drink beer, I donít know the difference. He laid into me. I usually just kind of take it, but occasionally I stand my ground and that was one of them. He had no right to be upset and when I asked him ďwhatís my favorite kind of wine?Ē You guessed it. He couldnít answer.

    Iím kind of afraid of him. I donít feel heard. I donít enjoy our intimacy. We only share interest in our dogs. I pay all our bills, always have. I knew I was settling when I got married but our lives fit together. Now itís tolerable most of the time to live with him, we have a great home and dogs, he does a lot of work around the house, and I try to ignore him when he takes out his feelings on me because I know itís him, not me.

    I know I love him like family. But I donít love him romantically. It would be convenient to stay. Things arenít all that bad right now and for every bad interaction thereís a good one. Maybe even more good than bad.

    Iíve never been sure about staying with him and in the past Iíve had an easy time letting go. But for some reason I have always held onto him. Part of it I believe is he will, without the slightest doubt in my mind, never leave me. Nor does he want to. He always tells me the truth. And heíd never cheat. I know all these with absolute certainty in a way Iíve never been more sure about someone.

    He would be so hurt if I started this process he would make it hell for me. I donít want to stay. I donít want to go.

    I know everyoneís first thought is going to be marriage councilor. He has made it clear he is not open to it and from experience I know heís not really willing to change. It will always be this way. So itís a go or stay and if I do go, how to go, and if I do stay, how to stay.

    Everyoneís voice is appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  2. #2
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    You said you pay all of the bills. Is he not gainfully employed?

  3. #3
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    I know everyoneís first thought is going to be marriage councilor. He has made it clear he is not open to it and from experience I know heís not really willing to change. It will always be this way. So itís a go or stay and if I do go, how to go, and if I do stay, how to stay.
    Then go alone and learn to change the only person you can change... that's you.

    When you make the changes within yourself, you will have no trouble deciding if you can change the way you resent his "nagging" into a positive wherein you accept that that is just his way OR: You will gain the confidence to leave his nagging ways, while knowing that you will heal and go onto to meet a man who you are more compatible with and with whom you don't resent their very presence.

    He's a bully and he's not going to change. So forget about that and work on yourself who you can change.

    .... in the meantime, stop enabling his BS. You buying his beer when he doesn't even work is ridiculous. That'd be like me nagging my husband to quit his smoking while I go out and buy his cigs. (which by the way he often tries to test me by asking me to pick them up for him and I just laugh at him as I close the door with a "see you later, dear."

  4. #4
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    Out of curiosity - what else do you (or he) have going on in your lives? Do you both work? Do you have hobbies and friends outside the relationship?

    The reason I ask is that sometimes, when we are unhappy or bored in life, and the relationship is one of the only ďexcitingĒ things we have going on, we hyper-focus and ďpinĒ the source of unhappiness on our spouse. I canít tell if this is what is happening or if thereís more going on in your marriage.

    For the nagging... none of us are perfect. I think youíll have a hard time finding someone who doesnít annoy you in some way. I think thatís something you have to work on together - you trying to do less of those things that annoy him, and him letting more things slide.

    For the ďnot listeningĒ thing... I canít tell if your expectations are reasonable or not? Did something super interesting happen at the store? Because, no offense, thatís kind of boring conversation if you were saying stuff like ďthey didnít have the cheese I wanted so I got another oneĒ. Iím not sure what you wanted him to contribute to that? I think a lot of us would have zoned out?

    I would like to hear more about your hobbies and activities outside the relationship - because I do think those things would potentially be less pronounced if you have a lot of other stuff going on?

    We are all responsible for our own happiness first and foremost - our partners canít make us happy, they can only contribute (or take away) from that.

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  6. #5
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    You said you are afraid of him, is he abusive?

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Since he refuses marriage counseling, sit down with him and have a heart-to-heart discussion with him regarding how you feel about his incessant nagging. Make sure phones, TV, laptops / desktops, TV, radio / music and all background racket noises are turned OFF. Have zero distractions during this important conversation with your husband. Don't rush the conversation and give plenty of time to talk and express your feelings. Ask him why he is this way and how it makes you feel when he's relentlessly on your case 24 / 7.

    You need to make it clear that you are putting forth the effort to make the marriage harmonious. Tell him that you'll need his selfless cooperation in order to be in lockstep with you. Tell him that he lacks empathy and needs to work on that. Don't mince words. Remain unemotional, calm, logical, well mannered, polite, reasonable and respectful. Never resort to shouting matches because it won't end well. Keep cool and be cool.

    Tell him he needs to change or it's time for both of you to go your separate ways permanently. If his nagging is intolerable for you, your marriage will eventually dissolve.

    Tell him you need to be treated with respect otherwise it's time for another discussion regarding parting ways legally or however way you wish to navigate this. I hope you do not have to broach the topic of divorce, hope your marriage can survive and somehow have a happy ending or new beginning.

  8. #7
    Silver Member waffle's Avatar
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    Skip the talk because he won't hear it. And even if by some chance he does, when he doesn't change (because he will not) and you continue to accept it (because you will) your credibility will fly right out the window.

    You didn't say how long you've been married or how long you've been living like this. But I can tell you that if you are afraid of him, that is a warning sign that there is likely psychological abuse going on here. The fact that he "lays into you" and that he would make it hell for you if you left are all red flags. The more you accept, the worse it will get. One day you will likely have no choice but to leave. Start getting your ducks in a row now: your own bank account with your own money, a bag packed and a place to live if you need to leave suddenly--even if its the local homeless shelter. This is sad but it is very common--there are entire websites devoted to psychological abuse. Read up on it and see how much is common to your situation. Then start making a plan.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member IAmFCA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    Then go alone and learn to change the only person you can change... that's you.

    When you make the changes within yourself, you will have no trouble deciding if you can change the way you resent his "nagging" into a positive wherein you accept that that is just his way OR: You will gain the confidence to leave his nagging ways, while knowing that you will heal and go onto to meet a man who you are more compatible with and with whom you don't resent their very presence.

    He's a bully and he's not going to change. So forget about that and work on yourself who you can change.

    .... in the meantime, stop enabling his BS. You buying his beer when he doesn't even work is ridiculous. That'd be like me nagging my husband to quit his smoking while I go out and buy his cigs. (which by the way he often tries to test me by asking me to pick them up for him and I just laugh at him as I close the door with a "see you later, dear."
    This.

    I recently read about the importance of teamwork in a marriage. If you two were trying to be a team, I would recommend the sitdown and tell him approach. From a position of fear, this will be ineffective.

    You both have fear, by the way. Of different kinds, and and they can be addressed with psychotherapy or very very diligent self exploration, skill development etc.

    The only person you can control is you. Make yourself teflon, remember that his behavior reflects on him and not on you, and consider a weekly session with a therapist so that you have support. You will need it no matter which way you choose.

    Once you get over the transition of it, you may find life is easier without him. That says something.

  10. #9
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    Why did you marry him if you knew you were settling - he probably senses that and rather than expressing his feelings which are kind of scary he acts out by being hyper critical. He doesnít feel like his wife ever loved him like a wife should. Did he know you were settling for him ?

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    You're in a power struggle. You can go to a therapist by yourself to sort this out and decide if being complacent, bickering, etc is better or worse that starting over. In fact when there is this much conflict you should confide in a therapist privately and Do Not Discuss It With Him.

    Never use therapy as a tool to fuel your right/wrong tug-of-war. (my therapist said you're...) < worst thing you can do. The simple solution is to simply stop the power struggle. Don't take orders and don't bark orders. And stop trying to fix and change and manipulate each other.

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