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I don't want to suffer anymore


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Posted (edited)

Hello,

I am a 43 years old man, 44 in a few days, and have been on these forums since 2011. I only posted a few times, when I couldn't find help anywhere else. Being here makes the pain of loneliness more bearable.

I met my ex-wife in 2007 and we married in 2010. She left me in 2011 and we were separated for a year. I suspected she had an affair with a co-worker back then. We eventually got back together and we had a wonderful son in 2013. And another gorgeous one in 2017. I never felt loved by my wife and we never had a happy sexual life, although we never had much conflict and always tolerated each other.

Last year my wife asked for a divorce at the beginning of Covid lockdown. This was the most frightening and shocking thing of my life. Eventually I found out she was having an affair with her boss and they have been living together since then. Since we separated we have been corteous and polite with each other, for our children. I think we have a good parenting relationship, although I still have strong feelings inside of me. There's a whole thread on my profile about this.

In the summer last year I met a woman and things seemed amazing. We were a match in many important aspects of life, principles and sex. We had a lot of fun in the first few months and, because of lockdown and her situation back then, we decided to merge our two families (she has a son the age of my eldest). Problems started soon after: she became very intolerant to pretty much anything outside her opinions and likings. First it was my inoffensive hobbies, which she described as addictions (I stopped them), then the contact I had with friends (I toned it down), things that I said, everything was a reason for her to become moody and withdraw for days. This was terrifying to me, considering what happened with my ex-wife. Any conflict, any of her stone-walling, was extremely painful to me.

Time passed, our children got more and more close to each other and we got deeper and deepder into the relationship, with constant conflict. I got to a point where I was having panic attacks at the idea of conflict, I went to extreme measures to avoid it at all costs, even communicating with my oldest son through Messenger from rooms next to each other because she didn't want the kids constantly getting out of their rooms during home-schooling.

I had to sell my house due to the divorce and we eventually moved together to another house. Things got worse, to the point that we've been having extreme conflict every two days for any and every reason, even trivial ones: the baby light in my 3 years old son room, when I ask her to take her dog out of the room when we're having sex, the fact that she hears my ex-wife's voice when she's video-chatting my sons when they're with me, the fact that I met friends, when I'm 12 minutes late to leave the house. And countless other things. All of those take her into an extreme moodiness state, she withdraws, stops talking to me, becomes rude. It's a horrible situation to be when that happens and, as I said, I got to a point where I have panic attacks.

I don't know what to do. I don't want to put my sons through another separation, a year after they "lost" their birth family. They are happy here, they are friends with my partner's son, they have a nice house. But I am suffering, I don't know what I feel for my partner anymore, I don't feel attraction, desire, care, nothing. The only thing I see in my mind is the moody face, the way she walks and talks when she's stone-walling me. It's terrifying and my job has been impacted by all of this (I can't concentrate properly) to the point that I'm starting to be concerned about it.

For example, my youngest son's birthday is next month. As my ex-wife and I have a good co-parenting relationship, I thought about having a small joint birthday party, for an hour or so, with some of my son's friends and family kids. I talked with my partner about it and it took her immediately into a extreme reaction and we haven't spoken since then. She went into her son's bedroom all evening and just went upstairs to our bedroom half hour ago. I'm in the living room typing this terrified of going upstairs and of what tomorrow will bring me.

We had a couples councelling session last week were the therapist advised us to have "30 minutes timeouts" for the time being, until the next session. The day after the session we started to have a fight, I felt the anxiety and asked for a timeout. She didn't like it and when the timeout was over she didn't accept me back and was moody with me for a day. She decided to have a 24 hours timeout instead of a 30 minutes one.

I really don't know what to do. My mother tells me to leave her, that the boys are going to be okay, but I am affraid of the consequences and affraid of being alone in life. I have no family in this country and only a hand-full of friends.

I would be extremely grateful to hear your words, of support, advice, even words against me, something that shakes me, anything.

Thank you so much for reading this.

Edited by LonelyRoom
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Imagine living the rest of your life this way.  How does that sound?

I promise, your kids will survive another divorce as long as you are happy and at peace.  Trust me, they absolutely know how bad your marriage is and probably would understand if you chose to divorce.

Please continue therapy on an individual basis, because it's important for you to explore why you're attracted to women who put you down.  I doubt your wife's personality suddenly became unbearable after the wedding day.  She probably showed signs but since you didn't want to be "alone" you made a poor choice of second wife.  

But all is not lost!  You still have time to make a happy and peaceful life for yourself and your children.

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5 hours ago, LonelyRoom said:

I don't know what to do. I don't want to put my sons through another separation, a year after they "lost" their birth family. They are happy here, they are friends with my partner's son, they have a nice house. But I am suffering, I don't know what I feel for my partner anymore, I don't feel attraction, desire, care, nothing.

Is time to take care of YOU.  And your kids.

I say that you have to take them through another relationship BU, because you chose this - and way too fast, correct? 

She is severely moody on you, making you miserable & you're damaged now, again 😕 

What to do?  You listen to your mom!  She's an outsider and and I know you BOTH know what's best.

YOU need to step up, get a backbone and ACT!

No matter your 'fear', why would you want to continue a miserable life like this??

You get out of all of this ASAP.  Get a place with your kids and continue on as you are with their mother- which seems half normal at least.

You do know that kids aren't stupid!  They can feel the tension.. and they NEED you.

You need to be there for them... so you act on this and get yourself out of this.

Things will be okay and a LOT better than what you are living with now.

And please do NOT just jump into something with someone new, again.

You NEED some serious down time to recover & get yourself back to good.

You have friends & family.. you're not in this alone.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Archer Angel said:

Dude just talk to her about it and if she doesn't change then leave her. 

Just talk to her?

She is nasty, manipulating, miserable and ruining him.

He's experienced plenty with her!  What is talking going to change with someone like this?

 

that is the single worst advice Ive ever seen. 

- why is this the worst advice?  

Edited by SooSad33
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2 minutes ago, Archer Angel said:

Dude he literally said the kids were happy. It is hilarious how you think you are right by giving this as advice. 

Archer:

What's with your comments from people who have experienced stuff like this and are very informative?

Sure, kids may be 'happy', but he is not.  and He is the adult here.  He needs to also think on himself & his own well-being.

You can stop with the insensitive responses from others.

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2 minutes ago, Archer Angel said:

Well it could change them and if it doesn't then he could leave but just giving up on his kids being happy and him being possibly a bit more happy without even trying is weak. 

Weak?

 "I talked with my partner about it and it took her immediately into a extreme reaction and we haven't spoken since then. She went into her son's bedroom all evening and just went upstairs to our bedroom half hour ago. I'm in the living room typing this terrified of going upstairs and of what tomorrow will bring me."

- HE is walking on eggshells, struggling in that place with her, they are obviously not compatible with her moods, etc.

Yes, I agree with his mother & all else in this, to get out of this. Someone who makes you feel like crap.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Archer Angel said:

Dude you are literally telling him to give up. 

Yeah, I am.

 

"Last year my wife asked for a divorce at the beginning of Covid lockdown. This was the most frightening and shocking thing of my life.

In the summer last year I met a woman and things seemed amazing. We were a match in many important aspects of life, principles and sex. We had a lot of fun in the first few months and, because of lockdown and her situation back then, we decided to merge our two families... Problems started soon after."

 

He went from a broken marriage into this relationship.  The good times died off fast as he got to know who she really was.

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Posted (edited)

Talk to them. I think you'll find they will be happy where you are happy. No child is okay watching theur father be disrespected and unhappy. I think you'll also find that you're not giving yourself enough credit for their happiness. If she's as bad as you say I can say for certain She is in no way a part of why they're happy. The only thing about the relationship in particular that seems to be an element of their overall happiness is the new friend/quasi step sibling. The kids can still be friends if you two don't work out. If she in anyway tries to hinder their friendship because of you're incompatibility, you know she isn't right for you or your children. This is your first relationship after a divorce? Take a break from dating. Live with your kids for awhile with no one else. See how THAT relationship grows. You'll be surprised I can guarantee it. It's important for your kids to be happy. It's also important for them to have an emotionally healthy, happy, respected father that they can be proud of. Your kids can show you what that looks like just give them the chance. When you get that relationship down,  You're happiness and increased confidence will make dating a very different experience for you. I have experience with the lifestyle you're leading. Everyday you deal with it you lose a little more of YOU until one day you might not recognize yourself. How many things have you changed for her sake? Hobbies and interests are fundamental things of who you are. I wish someone had given me this advice years ago. I hope you take the chance to get out and be yourself completely, and give your kids the gift of that dad.

 

Edited by Redbull2170
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Posted (edited)

Thank you all for your words. 

3 hours ago, boltnrun said:

Imagine living the rest of your life this way.  How does that sound?

I guess it all boils down to this. It makes me scared to think about that. I dread about what's going to happen in the next week, I am constantly worried about when the next argument is going to happen, what's the next wrong thing I'm going to do. 

I don't think the couples therapy we started is going to help. The problems are rooted in personalities, she thrives and organises her life through conflict, and when I realised that it was too late, we were all living together in the middle of the winter lockdown. On the other side, conflict scares me, her moodiness pushes me away, when she's like that I feel nothing besides repulsion and resentment.

I don't want a life where I can't have a hobby, where I can't have a cordial and co-operative relationship with my kids' mother and ex-wife , where I can't meet friends in the evening once in a while, where I can't go to the bathroom in the middle of the night because I might wake up her son, where it's all my fault every time things don't go according to plan, where I can't do anything when I have insomnia besides laying still in bed, where I can't do anything with and for my kids that her son doesn't have, where my sons can't express themselves when they're happy (my sons' noise is called "chaos", her son's noise is called "having fun"), where I'm afraid of what I'm going to cook for dinner, where countless other things. It's an infinity list, I used to have it written down but I deleted it because it made me sick and triggered panic every time I read it. 

Every little bit of my body tells me to leave. But I just can't. I am terrified of what might happen, of the impact it might have on my sons especially the oldest one, of investing and trusting on someone else and ending up like this again. Maybe it's all my fault, maybe it's me who needs to change, I've spent the last few weeks thinking I'm a bad person for reacting so strongly when she stone walls me, why can't I just go on with my life when she's like that instead of feeling this fear and anxiety? 

Thank you again. 

Edited by LonelyRoom
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Posted (edited)

End this.  You jumped from one disaster to another.  This is a very toxic environment for you and your children.  I suggest that you stay single a long while.   I also recommend that you continue with your own therapy.  

The kids should not have been introduced so early, and even worse you moved them into a new family.  That is nuts!   You need to put full focus on your children, as they haven't had time to process your divorce .  There was a lot of very poor decision making here.  Your fear of loneliness supersedes your kids well being.   Time to put your children first!

You are using your children as an excuse not to leave.  Your kids will be better when you get them out.  Step up! 

Edited by Hollyj
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11 minutes ago, LonelyRoom said:

But I just can't. I am terrified of what might happen, of the impact it might have on my sons especially the oldest one, of investing and trusting on someone else and ending up like this again.

Are you not also terrified of the impact of these kids growing up in another dysfunctional household?

I think you are projecting your own fear of being on your own onto your kids. It doesn't serve children well to be raised in such toxicity. 

You went from one bad relationship to another. The best course of action would have been to stay single and heal rather than play insta-family with someone you didn't know very well. You dove in far too quickly and discovered that your rebound girlfriend is an intolerant, rude and controlling person. 

My advice would be to listen to head and separate yourself and your children from this. You made a mistake enmeshing yourself so quickly, and lacking a backbone to say "no" to this woman. But, you can start to make things right by devising an exit plan. I cannot in good faith suggest you try to work it out with this person. You are doing more harm than good (to yourself and your kids) by staying in such a broken and miserable relationship. 

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19 minutes ago, Redbull2170 said:

Live with your kids for awhile with no one else. See how THAT relationship grows. You'll be surprised I can guarantee it.

Everyday you deal with it I hope you take the chance to get out and be yourself completely, and give your kids the gift of that dad. 

Thank you for your words, they are sound and I feel them. I just can't get myself to do it, there are so many things to put in place, another chat with the kids about separation, another house, another move, the idea of being alone on the days they aren't with me, all of that makes me think if there's anything else I can do to make this relationship work. 

When things are good between us it's fine. We are similar people, I admire her strength and intelligence, we have many common likings, we like food, adventure, to travel, to talk about the world. When things are good it's actually okay. But then a small things is enough to bring it all down like a house of cards. 

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1 hour ago, Archer Angel said:

And honestly it seems that you don't care how this guy and his kids will feel if he doesn't try to find common ground with her. 

I don't know how you would consider this toxic environment to be good for anyone!

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Stonewalling, withdrawing and ignoring the person for days is emotional abuse. Abuse affects the physical health of the person on the receiving end of it. While she does not punch you in the face, she has given you panic attacks already. For your own well-being and the well-being of your sons, you need to break up with this woman. Your children will understand. I do not think your boys are happy with her treatment of them either. Your son texting you while being locked up in his own room: this is ridiculous. Looks like this controlling and abusive woman is making you prisoners, you and your boys, in your own home, which should be safe heaven for you and your children. She honestly behaves like a prison guard.

Take this unfortunate situation as a lesson to not introduce your girlfriends too soon to your boys. This is all this is: a lesson. Your world will not crumble if you are single for a while. Actually it may be useful for you to remain single for several years, to get to be comfortable in your own skin, and self sufficient, without a "better" half.  

You need to like yourself more and stand up for this good guy "Lonely room". You should come to a place where you like yourself enough to start standing up and defend yourself when somebody hurts you. 

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4 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

Are you not also terrified of the impact of these kids growing up in another dysfunctional household?

I think you are projecting your own fear of being on your own onto your kids. It doesn't serve children well to be raised in such toxicity. 

You went from one bad relationship to another. The best course of action would have been to stay single and heal rather than play insta-family with someone you didn't know very well. You dove in far too quickly and discovered that your rebound girlfriend is an intolerant, rude and controlling person. 

My advice would be to listen to head and separate yourself and your children from this. You made a mistake enmeshing yourself so quickly, and lacking a backbone to say "no" to this woman. But, you can start to make things right by devising an exit plan. I cannot in good faith suggest you try to work it out with this person. You are doing more harm than good (to yourself and your kids) by staying in such a broken and miserable relationship. 

Thank you, this is all 100% true. I did what I had to do to survive back then, and now I'm paying the consequences. I searched for a place to rent a few times, and devised a plan to talk to my oldest son, but then things get better between us and I loose my strenght.

I come across as a weak, broken man. I am not defending myself, but I am not this weak. When things need to be done, I do then. I went through a lot in my life, but in this case, it's the fear of damaging my children that's keeping me here. I don't really know if staying will be worse for them. Maybe this is something I need to address with therapy.

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2 minutes ago, LonelyRoom said:

t's the fear of damaging my children that's keeping me here. I don't really know if staying will be worse for them. Maybe this is something I need to address with therapy.

Yes, because you seem to have trouble identifying your own fears and doing what's best for your kids. 

Rushing into a new relaitonship with a toxic woman isn't it. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, LonelyRoom said:

  the therapist advised us to have "30 minutes timeouts" for the time being, until the next session. 

Ok yikes. Can you find another therapist? 

Better yet, see a physician for the moods, anxiety, chronic distress. Make sure your physical health is in order. Sounds like some private, confidential help would be a better idea in this case.

Get out of the house as much as possible. Sports, clubs, groups, volunteering, friends,etc.

Go to your own therapist. Why pay someone to offer nothing but common sense, like take a break from all the arguments?

Stop confiding in your mother this much. She knows the deal, but you're a grown man and need to think for yourself. Get rid of the marriage therapist and talk to your own therapist.

Edited by Wiseman2
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1 hour ago, East4 said:

Stonewalling, withdrawing and ignoring the person for days is emotional abuse. Abuse affects the physical health of the person on the receiving end of it. While she does not punch you in the face, she has given you panic attacks already. For your own well-being and the well-being of your sons, you need to break up with this woman. Your children will understand. I do not think your boys are happy with her treatment of them either. Your son texting you while being locked up in his own room: this is ridiculous. Looks like this controlling and abusive woman is making you prisoners, you and your boys, in your own home, which should be safe heaven for you and your children. She honestly behaves like a prison guard.

Take this unfortunate situation as a lesson to not introduce your girlfriends too soon to your boys. This is all this is: a lesson. Your world will not crumble if you are single for a while. Actually it may be useful for you to remain single for several years, to get to be comfortable in your own skin, and self sufficient, without a "better" half.  

You need to like yourself more and stand up for this good guy "Lonely room". You should come to a place where you like yourself enough to start standing up and defend yourself when somebody hurts you. 

These are very beautiful words East4. I did mention to her that stonewalling was a form of aggression, but she is adament that she's entitled to do it because it's her coping way of dealing with hurt and anger. The problem is that she gets hurt and is angry about everything. And because my reaction is to panic, she uses it against me, to show me I'm the abnormal one, that my reaction to her withdrawal is unreasonable, that she's entitled to be absent for a few days, if necessary, without me feeling anxious or getting panic.

That's why the couples therapist asked us to do the "30 minutes timeout". But it doesn't work, because if I use it she gets mad and instead of having a 30 minutes timeout I have a whole day of timeout like it happened last time.

I'm so deep in this madness that I'm starting to think that it's me who's to blame. That buying a book for my son without buying a book for her's is wrong, that having dinner at the table 20 minutes late is wrong, that having a phone call with a long time female friend is wrong, that suggesting that I would like to take my sons to see their grandmother who they haven't seen in 2 years, is wrong (she's 70 years old and lives in the country where I come from), that suggesting that at some point I would like to invite my sons' friends for a play date is wrong, that buying her a present she didn't like for her birthday is wrong (I had to send them back), that not baking a cake for her birthday and buying a cake from her favourite bakery is wrong. I can go on for the rest of the day, all of these things generated a lot of conflict and her stonewalling for days.

Sometimes there's a ray on sunshine in my heart and I feel that everything is going to be okay. That she's a beautiful woman, that she's intelligent and strong, that she's kind and caring when she's happy, that we have good sex, that we are resourceful and can build so much together. But them I do something wrong and it all collapses.

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1 minute ago, East4 said:

OP, so you live in her house, or she lives in your house?

She and her son lived in my house for 6 months until I sold it, but before I sold it she bought a house that we chose together and that's where we're living now for 3 months. We had the objective of remortgaging the house in both names, but with so much conflict and pain it hasn't happened yet.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Ok yikes. Can you find another therapist? 

Better yet, see a physician for the moods anxiety. Make sure your physical health is in order. Sounds like some private, confidential help would be a better idea in this case.

Get out of the house as much as possible. Sports, clubs, groups, volunteering, friends,etc.

Go to your own therapist. Why pay someone to offer nothing but common sense, like take a break from all the arguments?

Stop confiding in your mother this much. She knows the deal, but you're a grown man and need to think for yourself. Get rid of the marriage therapist and talk to your own therapist.

Thank you Wiseman2, I am already seeing my own therapist, I started a couple of months ago when I noticed the fear and panic of conflict wasn't healthy anymore. I don't know if she's a good therapist, but when I talk to her it helps. We talked a lot about my childhood, which was abusive from my father, in the first sessions, but in the last ones we talked more about why I feel so much fear and anxiety when my partner withdraws or gets angry.

Your advice about going out is sound, and I also think that talking to my mother is a burther she doesn't deserve, considering her health and age. I will fix that. But she's the only family I have and she lives in the country where I come from. I have only been living in this country for 12 years, I don't have any roots or strong friends I can confide with.

Edited by LonelyRoom
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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, LonelyRoom said:

These are very beautiful words East4. I did mention to her that stonewalling was a form of aggression, but she is adament that she's entitled to do it because it's her coping way of dealing with hurt and anger. The problem is that she gets hurt and is angry about everything. And because my reaction is to panic, she uses it against me, to show me I'm the abnormal one, that my reaction to her withdrawal is unreasonable, that she's entitled to be absent for a few days, if necessary, without me feeling anxious or getting panic.

That's why the couples therapist asked us to do the "30 minutes timeout". But it doesn't work, because if I use it she gets mad and instead of having a 30 minutes timeout I have a whole day of timeout like it happened last time.

I'm so deep in this madness that I'm starting to think that it's me who's to blame. That buying a book for my son without buying a book for her's is wrong, that having dinner at the table 20 minutes late is wrong, that having a phone call with a long time female friend is wrong, that suggesting that I would like to take my sons to see their grandmother who they haven't seen in 2 years, is wrong (she's 70 years old and lives in the country where I come from), that suggesting that at some point I would like to invite my sons' friends for a play date is wrong, that buying her a present she didn't like for her birthday is wrong (I had to send them back), that not baking a cake for her birthday and buying a cake from her favourite bakery is wrong. I can go on for the rest of the day, all of these things generated a lot of conflict and her stonewalling for days.

Sometimes there's a ray on sunshine in my heart and I feel that everything is going to be okay. That she's a beautiful woman, that she's intelligent and strong, that she's kind and caring when she's happy, that we have good sex, that we are resourceful and can build so much together. But them I do something wrong and it all collapses.

Look, Lonely, from an outsider's perspective, the things she blames you for, this is crazy stuff. This lady is extremely emotionally and psychologically abusive. And it seems unfortunately that you start blaming yourself for her abuse, which is telltale sign of being a victim of psychological abuse. The same dynamics happen when a man punches a woman, and then he blames her for making him angry, so she is at fault. The same things happen to you, just that the abuse is much more insidious, as it is covert, invisible.

Summon your common sense and staying power, Mr. Taurus (if your birthday is in a few days). Taurus people are famous for being too patient, hard to anger and too peaceful and permissive. My brother is also a Taurus and he has allowed his ex fiancée to push many boundaries. One day he simply had enough, upped and left and never looked back, although he was really hurting. I think, you have been too patient and you serve as your gf's punching bag. You do not deserve to be treated like that. Go to a greener pasture, Mr. Taurus. 

Edited by East4
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8 minutes ago, LonelyRoom said:

She and her son lived in my house for 6 months until I sold it, but before I sold it she bought a house that we chose together and that's where we're living now for 3 months. We had the objective of remortgaging the house in both names, but with so much conflict and pain it hasn't happened yet.

Good for you. So you have enough cash from the sale of your house to get a place for you and the boys. For your own sanity and self respect, and for your sons' sake, you may wish to do exactly that.

I think your GF is extremely passive-aggressive. Unfortunately passive-aggressive runs very much with women, because women are educated to conceal anger, and be a nice girls. So, instead of expressing openly her displeasure/upset which will allow both of you to address what she is not happy about, she, as a typical passive-aggressive, given you the silent treatment and, I bet a monthly salary on that, she is elated to see you squirm and suffering her stone-walling you. The best way to reply to her stone-walling is to ignore her and not let her antics phase you. Just act stoic and get on with your day. By displaying how upset and hurt you are, you are basically showing her that her abusive behavior works. Read on passive-aggressive people in relationships.

And even better: just get out of there.

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