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Feeling shut out


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Posted (edited)

I feel shut out from my husband and I don't know how to get past it. I like talking through issues and I feel like communication is an important aspect in resolving conflicts within a marriage. My husband, on the other hand, hates talking about problems. Especially if I'm the one who has them. I need an outsiders perspective on what's going wrong and ideas on how to work through it. Here is an example of how this will typically play out:

I've recently noticed a pattern with my husband. I will try to talk to him about hopes, dreams, aspirations, and he will quickly shut me down. "You can't lose weight because the stress and responsibilities around the house will get to you.", "You can't go back to work because you'll never get a schedule that fits around mine and we have no one to watch the kids.", "We can't work on your credit because it doesn't matter anyways. Everything we'd need credit for can just go through mine." I feel like he doesn't support me in improving myself, no matter what it is. So I try to bring it up. This is not mid argument or during a stressful or inappropriate time. The conversation will go like this:

"I've noticed a pattern and I feel like you aren't supportive." 
"Look, I don't want to talk about this. Drop it."

"I don't want to argue or anything. I just want to talk about it."

"I've told you, drop it. You're gonna make me mad." 
"I want to talk about it because it's hurtful and.."

"I f***** warned you and now it's going to be a bad day. I don't understand why you're like this. Why do you always have to start stuff? It's like you live for the drama."

At this point in the conversation I can either choose to back down or press on. If I press on, it will be a full blown argument. If it's an argument, it will likely be us arguing in circles and getting nowhere. If I back down, I get the silent treatment until he decides to talk to me again. After this specific  conversation, I chose to back down because I don't have the energy to fight. It feels like it won't go anywhere anyways. Now I am left in the silent treatment phase. 
I just don't know what to do. It sometimes feels so hopeless. Like hitting a brick wall where my feelings and emotions are never validated. Couples therapy is not an option as he has said he will absolutely never go to a stranger about our problems. I feel like I need an outsiders opinion and advice.

 

Edited by flutterby27
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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, flutterby27 said:

"You can't lose weight because the stress and responsibilities around the house will get to you.", "You can't go back to work because you'll never get a schedule that fits around mine and we have no one to watch the kids.", "We can't work on your credit because it doesn't matter anyways. Everything we'd need credit for can just go through mine."

This is not a communication problem. This is an emotional abuse problem where he wants to keep you under his thumb.

Stop talking to him about your feelings. It's like loading the gun he'll shoot you with. He's a shark. When he smells blood (vulnerability) he goes in for the kill.

See a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist. Do Not Tell him. Be frank about the abuse

 Only talk to trusted friends and family. In the meantime find ways to become more financially independent.

Edited by Wiseman2
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Posted (edited)

I can't quite work out whether he is suffering from despair or if he actually has it quite good and is treating you like a doormat and he's actively conscious of the fact any change to that situation will make him worse off and therefore talking about it risks him having to change his little life to help you in some way 

Edited by mwacuk
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This is emotional abuse. As simple as that. I suggest you try out this quiz https://www.loveisrespect.org/quiz/is-your-relationship-healthy/?> 

Or reflect on https://booktrib.com/2018/04/10/interview-avery-neal-emotional-abuse/ very useful in your case!

Your partner completely disregards and dismisses your feelings and doesn't support you to be the best version of yourself. He's stifling you to keep you dependent on him and within his control.

You are smart to reach out and reconsider whether this relationship is working. For a relationship to work, it takes two to tango- and in your case, he doesn't want to tango and he doesn't want you to even consider it. Just do as you're told and shut up. That's all he sees you.

I hope you can apply for jobs with or without him and reconsider this non-sense relationship. You're better off on your own supporting yourself, having friends that listen, and thrive. I'm sorry you're going through this. Please plan your steps confidentially with people you trust.

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Posted (edited)

I don't know you and I don't know him, but I get a sense that he's tired of holding you up with your issues that seem to keep happening or hearing about your hopes and dreams you keep talking about won't really happen because it depends on actions from him (I'm just taking a guess here). He sounds very frustrated because you approach him a lot about the same things, you are a more dependent type personality. he doesn't like you leaning hard on him for things. I'm not justifying his attitude in anyway when I say this tho. 

I think you need to be more realistic about your personal situation. You want to work. Well try working on finding a job you can do from home. If it requires a degree, do on line courses. You need influence, watch inspirational videos...plenty of them for free on Youtube. Join a woman's group, make friendships there and you will find people to talk to. As you enrich your life with activities and friendships, you become a more positive person....and you attract more good things and good people. I believe once you complete this goal, the way your husband treats you he will change too. 

I myself experienced a crappy time with my husband who came home every night complaining incisively about a coworker. This went on for weeks. I tried being supportive and tried to calm him down, but it got to a point when the negative energy I was faced with every night really got to me, and I had to tell him to stop and why I request that he did. He was very upset with me....of course I was looked at as the bad guy. He didn't see how it made me feel because he was so focused on his own problem, he didn't think about how it was making me feel. 

Edited by smackie9
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@smackie9

 

1 hour ago, flutterby27 said:

"You can't lose weight because the stress and responsibilities around the house will get to you.", "You can't go back to work because you'll never get a schedule that fits around mine and we have no one to watch the kids.", "We can't work on your credit because it doesn't matter anyways. Everything we'd need credit for can just go through mine."

This^ is not him lending an ear. If I can't vent and brainstorm with my partner and get his support, then I might as well live on my own. He keeps telling her she "can't" do whatever makes her happy. Yes, OP can look for a job on her own. I think she knows that. But it seems her husband is adamant for things to stay as they are and for her to just shush and deal with it.

I would be beyond infuriated, specially as I lived with someone similar. He's stifling her. Plain and simple. And I don't think marriage is about stifling, shutting down conversations that affect both parties, or being unsupportive.

And then you have the emotional manipulation/punishments:

2 hours ago, flutterby27 said:

If I press on, it will be a full blown argument. If it's an argument, it will likely be us arguing in circles and getting nowhere. If I back down, I get the silent treatment until he decides to talk to me again

I think that speaks for itself.

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I see both perspectives of the input here. I would do this as a sort of experiment. So let's say you want a job, right? Do something on your own toward that goal.  When I was preparing to go back to work when my son was young I:  e-mailed everyone I knew from my prior career about my interest in returning to work, and in particular what I was looking for; I found a local networking group in my new city (I relocated for my husband's job when I was still a SAHM) - and planned on which events I could go to/how I could get involved; I worked on my resume; I contacted headhunters.  I connected with individuals in my new city who might have leads for m and I tried to help other people looking for jobs because it's reciprocal.

There were certain things I did where I welcomed my husband's input.  I didn't put it in broad terms like "I have these hopes and dreams" - I was specific "Hey, didn't your friend S work for someone who knew about ___ jobs - would you mind contacting S and seeing if he could connect me with his friend?" Or "I am not sure how to format this part of my resume.  These are the two options.  What do you think?" Or "I am nervous about applying for this job because it involves _____.  Do you think I should apply?" Or "would you mind printing out these forms the next time you go to the office - I'd really appreciate it -it's for a job I'm interested in."

I showed him I was taking initiative -not just abstract hopes and dreams - I asked for input from a position of grit and confidence, and I showed him that I had taken my hopes and dreams to X concrete point and his input would help me get a little further along.  

He might be tired of you referencing abstract hopes and dreams and aspirations and expecting him to talk at length about these abstractions and he's not interested because it lacks concreteness and you showing confidence, resilience, thinking outside the box.  Like with child care "hey I want to apply to this job.  It requires being in the office __ days a week so I think I can hire a sitter to come on those days" or "it requires me to work without distraction so on the days you can't help I'd hire a teenager to keep them occupied or take them to the playground".  

 

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Posted (edited)

He sounds "self absorbed". Even his excuses probably have alterior motive in that pattern. Losing weight would maybe get you in the eyes of somebody else. Getting a job would too, would get you more independent and would be inconvinient for him because of schedule. Credit is there to keep you entangled for him also. In conclusion, he doesnt need a wife, he needs a "house slave". I really have nothing against "Stay at home moms". But what he does to you is beyond that. He is keeping you there because of his own motives, not because you choosed that. 

Add on that transfering his bad behavior on you and saying that you are responsible for his bad moods. And its really abusive behavior who you shouldnt tolerate. Get your indipendence and get out of there. Because again, this is just you slaving away for somebody who doesnt appreciate it and thinks only about himself.

Edited by Kwothe28
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6 hours ago, catfeeder said:

I doubt I could last 10 minutes with a husband I was not 'allowed' to speak with.

I'd be making an appointment with legal aid so fast my own head would spin.

It depends on his side too - he may feel confronted or spoken at, not spoken to.

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38 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

he may feel confronted or spoken at, not spoken to.

By what? By her discussing that she'd like to go back to the workplace? By her discussing that she wants to work on her credit?

These are topics that need to be addressed by any couple, but he seems to shut her down. He literally tells her to "drop it" aka he won't even consider her suggestions.

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Sounds like he is abusing you. This is not how a healthy & happy marriage works.

I agree with @Wiseman2 you need to start doing things for yourself behind his back.  Talk to a doctor. 

Has he always been this way? 

How is he with the kids? 

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Are you asking for his opinion about losing weight and getting a job?

"you can't lose weight because the stress and responsibilities around the house will get to you" doesn't even make sense. What does he mean stress and responsibilities around the house will get to you? Plenty of people have to run a household, work and have other commitments on the side. 

Start working out anyway. It's not particularly his business whether you start getting in shape and you can do that any time, inbetween other chores or commitments. You don't need a partner's approval for this. 

If you'd like to find a job, mention that you're going to start working and that you've come up with a plan briefly in one or two sentences. He's not going to be the one working with you at your job so he doesn't need to know the exact details. Is there an area or industry you'd like to get into?

His tone is dismissive towards you which suggests he doesn't want to hear from you. Sentences like this: "I've noticed a pattern and I feel like you aren't supportive" are opening on a negative note and he may be frustrated with you if he is supportive in other ways. If you're not working, I'm assuming he pays the bills. If you don't have good credit, you're both using his credit. 

Do the things you have to do to put your life back on track. You don't necessarily need his approval. Find the support also through other means - get your resume looked at, make a commitment to go for a walk or run for an hour every day. It doesn't have to cost anything and you don't need a gym membership to get in shape. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

By what? By her discussing that she'd like to go back to the workplace? By her discussing that she wants to work on her credit?

These are topics that need to be addressed by any couple, but he seems to shut her down. He literally tells her to "drop it" aka he won't even consider her suggestions.

Seems. For me personally from her side it sounds terrible. I am a fan of having a broader picture. So what she describes as trying to communicate might be her talking at him or insisting he talk with her at times he is working or sleeping or just waking up.  We don’t know for sure. I like to have complete information before describing this sort of situation as abusive.
In other situations you don’t need the other side as much if at all. For example someone throwing something or hitting someone or threatening verbally or refusing to go to any type of counseling at all.  In this particular situation I personally feel I need more information.
 I likely would conclude as you have  but I need more information I don’t know if she’s discussing these topics or confronting him or talking at him or endlessly repeating generalities that are not a discussion like “oh I have to work on my credit - can we talk ?”  
 

If someone asked me that more than once open ended and each time I responded with concrete input after determining the person wanted it and each time it circled back to “sigh I know you’re right but (excuse /more generalities)” I might react in a frustrated - albeit not perfect - way. I don’t know.

That’s not a discussion then but someone just wanting to vent or a sounding board but disguising it as a discussion. Or one person is constantly asked to discuss at what the other person already knows is really bad timing for the other.

Like for me that’s late at night. For my husband early morning. For me when I’m at my most productive work time or when I finally get to sit down and eat a meal in peace. For example. So all couples discuss these topics  timing and context matter a great deal   And tone   Which is why I personally need more info  

 You don’t need more info and that’s fine. 

Edited by Batya33
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Wow 😕 , sounds like he's quite negative and just shuts you down.  No support at all.

A couple needs to learn to communicate for a relationship to work out in a positive.

Could there be reasons he acts like this?  Does he have a short fuse?

22 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

Add on that transfering his bad behavior on you and saying that you are responsible for his bad moods. And its really abusive behavior who you shouldnt tolerate. Get your indipendence and get out of there. Because again, this is just you slaving away for somebody who doesnt appreciate it and thinks only about himself.

- and I agree with this.  In no way should a 'caring & respectful' partner act like this!  It is not YOUR fault for his moods - especially when he refuses to partake in any real conversation.

HE needs to be more respectful.  He needs to learn to calm the **** down and listen!  But he isn't.

Nope  Nope.. anyone who cannot listen to me and communicate better or at all and who puts me down that way is a no go!

 

 

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