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on both our parts?


Let me begin by saying that I am happy to have found a forum that deals with relationship issues. Reading through several threads has literally touched me-there are tears in my eyes now. Okay now...


My husband (of 12 years) and I have been participating in this "dance" for as long as I can remember. He will say something that I perceive as condescending, critical, etc. and then I respond with either the passive aggressive reply or blow up (yell, cry, etc.) He apologizes, I accept (if I don't accept it when he thinks I should, then it's onto round #2)-"honeymoon" period, then it happens again. There are times when I start drama (during times I am feeling miserable) but because I don't apologize immediately after, he thinks I am not really sorry. I tell him I want my apology to be sincere so I'm not going to say it if I dont mean it, but he doesn't buy it and says it's just my way of thinking I do nothing wrong..


This last 'incident' occurred over something very minimal-a new friend came by (I don't have many, almost none, out here-relocated here 2 years ago) to pick up a book and we talked awhile, nothing big. He even came downstairs and spoke, small talk, then returned to the bedroom. However, when I went into our bedroom to get a bag of blow-pops (those are my weakness, I will eat them while reading before I go to bed) from my nightstand drawer, he flipped out, wanting to know why I was hiding things and telling me I was selfish, etc. I knew it was not about the candy and then I joined him in this "dance". I accused him of being controlling , he accused me of being selfish-after saying he doesn't care who or what I do.. I leave the room to calm down. But after returning an hour later, because I thought he would be sleeping, he asks me, calmly, if I would give him a divorce if he wanted one. I didn't say anything because I was tired of crying so I left the room. That was 3 days ago and this is the first time that we haven't spoken to each other in that long. He doesn't say any snide remarks (like before) and I am not rushing to him crying about what happened. He works nights and I attend school FT in the daytime, so our schedules make this all the more easier.


Am I not confronting our situation (the whole marriage) because of fear, selfishness, or mistaken pride? From past experiences, I truly believe he has not sought a divorce because he likes to see me miserable and doesnt want to appear to be the bad guy. Also, he thinks I am a coward (he tells me, "you don't have the guts to leave" "if you were a real woman you wouldn't take this") and he is right.


Is it cruel to myself (and my family) to stay in this??

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I remember many people telling me "Don't stay in a relationship just because of the kids" and to a degree it's right. If I had, God only knows what would have become of me. I haven't seen my kids in years, they may well be married now and it hurts, but rather that than the road I was travelling.

I don't have any answers for you, but you do. Do you want it to work or do you want out? Be honest with yourself and take action as doing the dance day in day out is not resolving anything.

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Sounds like he's trying to make you the one to leave so he doesnt have to worry about being the bad guy.

I'd tell him that IF HE WANTS TO LEAVE, HE CAN GO, but youre not leaving.

Dont give him the upper hand by leaving and making him free of his own guilt. TRUST ME WHEN I SAY>>> If he no longer wants to be with you.. he will leave.

But your his last statement about

I am not going to give up on him...I am going to stay and make him work and do ehat he has to to regain my trust and love.


leads me to think he wants to get a reaction out of you.. even by asking you " if i wanted a divorce would you give me one." I would answer.. I guess you'll know when you ask for one, I cant answer that until it happens. He's looking for a reaction, he's looking to be let off the the hook.


I would need to know more as far as.. how long does the honeymoon period last.. how often do u all argue like this.. how often is he condescending and what about... sounds like your issue goes further than just this argument.

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Thank you for your replies... and you both are right: I know what I need to do and I also know he was playing this game that we both became accustomed to.


The other day, after some long (and hard) thinking, I approached him-at a time that was not inconvenient to either one of us-and laid everything on the line. He was staring at me, as if I was someone new, because I was not hysterical or crying. Oddly, (or maybe not) I felt at peace. At peace with the decision to put the childish things we kept up in our relationship behind and to move on, with or without him. I hate ultimatums, but at this point it did not feel like one-like I said, I was at peace with myself.


After talking (and for once, not yelling!) for a long time, we decided to get to know each other again. That might sound weird, but when we met several years ago, we just moved through our relationship so fast, without even getting to really know each other. That was two days ago, and it seems we are respecting each other. That hasn't been the case in a long time.

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