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Married to a non-communicator - need advice
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songbird177 posted:
I was told to come over here and post so here I am.

I am having marriage issues to the point of my husband sleeping downstairs and I am sleeping upstairs, and we treat each other as roommates.

I guess it started when I lost weight, 164lbs so far. I became more confident and am not putting up with things anymore. I now voice my concerns. I thought this would be a good thing getting my self esteem back, especially since my health was in the toilet before and I was bedridden. I now am going to school and have a job. No more disability checks. I am making my own. It doesn't pay the best but I am a work in progress.

I have been married for almost 5 years now. I am 29, he is 24. He is from New Zealand, I am from the US and we live together in the US. There is water under he bridge but I don't want to live in the past so I have moved forward and pretty much forgotten about it. What it was is he left in the middle of the night and flew back to New Zealand with all the money and informed me via text. This was a shock because he never communicated how unhappy he was. Which is I think our biggest problem: his inability to communicate.

He came back and we tried to work things out but as you can tell it is not going so well. The latest argument involves me asking for a tissue since he was up and him saying in a rude manner why does he have to do it, etc. and that he is not a slave. Everytime I ask him for something it seems to go this way. I don't ask him for things very often at all but he brings up how he used to have to do everything for me (when I was ill, bed ridden, with heart failure, etc). Now he is sleeping downstairs by his choice. He states that he shouldn't have to do things for me, that I am perfectly capable of doing them myself and refuses to come up here until I admit fault. But I don't feel I did anything wrong, so I told him that and how he needs to communicate. He doesn't seem like he wants to be a part of my life anymore. I ask him to do things with me for months now and he just gets mad at me. I feel like I should be treated better. I mean, not to throw a pity party or anything, but I am treated better by coworkers and strangers and even my bird. He says he wants to go to counseling but has yet to find a counselor. I don't know what to do. I can't really afford to live on my own. I love him but the stress is almost too much.

There is more but I feel like I've written a novel already so I'll leave it at that.

Anyone have any advice?
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dfromspencer responded:
You guys need that counselor NOW!!! If he, and if you both want to work this out, then you need to find a counselor you can afford, one on a sliding scale, or one that might work with the church for free? Whatever, you need help quick!!!


Communication is a major part of any relationship, PERIOD!!! Without that, you have little to hope for! And, if this guy really loved you, he wouldn't use a small thing like getting a tissue for you, as a reason to fight?! I hope he don't really feel that way, but if he does, you need to for sure get him some counseling?!!!


You are both from different worlds, sorta, you need to find common grounds to work with! Try to find things you both like to do, and of course, keep some interests just for yourself, but spend time together, just the two of you!!! Go out on dates for crying out loud! You two need time together, not apart! You can't talk to someone when they are in another room!!!


You two need to get it together, or perhaps you should start to look for a place of your own?! I hate to see any relationship break up over this? But, if you can't get along, move along?! You know what I mean?


One way or another, he has to respect you, also. Respect, and trust are the other biggies in a relationship! You will need all three to make this work!!!


I hope this helps, some???


Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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An_255110 responded:
I am sad to hear you are going through what you are going through because nobody deserves to feel like your husband is making you feel in your marraige. The fact that he left you and went to New Zealand without telling you is a huge red flag to me. That in itself would have broken several areas in anyones relationship...trust, respect, loyalty, communication....etc.I would have never let him come back after that without having the counseling already set up. You are a strong person for sticking in there but if he will not go to counceling you need to figure out what is best for YOU, I know you mentioned money was tight but you can make it, there are plenty of resources that are out there to help. I wish you the best of luck you deserve better and if he is not going to give it to you dont waste your time, your life is to precious.
 
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rohvannyn responded:
This is going to be a really odd suggestion, and it might be totally wrong, but I'm going to throw it out there. Could it be that some part of him liked taking care of you and now he feels like he isn't needed or loved because you are better? So now he's really resentful of it and is taking the all or nothing attitude of "she doesn't need me, and I'm mad about that, so I'm not going to help her at ALL, and I'm going to reject her."

Now, if this is true, he's probably not aware of it conciously. A counselor will be able to figure things out more but he has to want to try, even the best counselor can't do a thing if the patient is unwilling.

You have made amazing progress with your health, congratulations on getting off disability! It's wonderful to hear about. Please, keep going and keep transforming your life. It's good of you want to continue including him and work things out, but make sure you don't sacrifice your own wellbeing. You only have the one life, after all, and you wouldn't want to waste it.
Roh

'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
 
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smiley2009 replied to rohvannyn's response:
Hey, I believe Roh is correct. Something struck me when Roh commented "Could it be that some part of him liked taking care of you and now he feels like he isn't needed or loved because you are better?"
Please search inside yourself and maybe that is part of the issue?


My husband enjoys taking care of the kids and I to the point he discourages me to find a job. I'm starting my own business, which he encourages, but at the same time I 'need' him to support me. When I comment, "I am looking for a job", he gets anxious and frustrated as if "what he's providing isn't good enough." He doesn't realize that my independence will not threaten my 'need' for him. He is my husband and I will always need his support.


Also read some of Dr. Leslie Becker-Phelps blogs...she provides great insight on styles of attachment and ways to think about self-awareness. We are here for you, continue to share with us!
 
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sluggo45692 responded:
I'm glad your working and getting off assistance. I applaude your determinination and drive. I'm sorry he has problems communicating, but he did communicate to you at one time. He doesn't want to be with you. He left and took all your money. Now he's back and complaining. Not communicating.

His inability to communicate may just be the tip, I think.
I think your having culture differences and as Roh stated, you standing on your own 2 feet and he's not use to that. Each part of the world, as you know, do things differently. I lived in Italy for 2 years and what a culture shock I had when I moved to Iceland. Both wonderful countries, but 2 totally different cultures. Then I came back to America and again what a difference. I could barely communicate with my own parents. Talk to yes, communicating was difficult. What I took for granted, was much different when I returned.

Be your own woman. Don't let others control you and what you want. If you want to stay married, counselor and hard work. If he doesn't want to stay married, no matter how much you try, it won't work.

Again Congrats on the weight loss and taking back your life.

Good Luck
 
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songbird177 replied to smiley2009's response:
Thanks I don't think that is the issue. He forbid me to go back to school. I dropped the first quarter and then thought to myself what am I doing and went the next quarter (this quarter). Every night before I committed I brought it up to talk but he refused. Then he got mad I did it anyways. But I felt backed into a corner. I didn't end up over 300lbs because I did what I wanted and needed. I ended up that way because I let other people run my life and that's what I felt was going on again.

An incident happened last night as well. I asked him for help cutting a pizza. For some reason I always mess it up so I said hey can you come show me how you do this? I wanted to get the right portions so I could track my food. Right away I got the grumpiness of "I'm not doing it for you." Finally he came over and said just cut it down the middle. I can't see the middle (he knows I have blurry vision from low blood pressure and have issues with my vision). He then stated something is wrong with you if you can't even cut the middle, its so easy, he says. I begin to feel belittled but with patience I try to understand where he is coming from and reword. It didn't work so I just cut it down the not so middle. He is upset and starts raising his voice and then starts raising it over how I am holding the cutter. I have to hold it like I am stabbling something because the other way I am unable to put any pressure on due to arthritis and injury from being hurt as a child, which he knows. He continues raising his voice and says I HAVE to hold it a certain way etc. Finally I had enough after seeing it wasn't getting anywhere. I had repeated like a broken record how I physically couldn't do what he was wanting me to. He says I didn't even try. I said I think I know my body well enough after 30 years to know what hurts and what doesn't. Perhaps not the best of wording. I also tried explaining that not everyone is like him. Sometimes people have injuries or are sick which they cannot help. I don't think he understands that.

Today I was so upset at work I had a panic attack and started to cry in front of everyone. I was actually afraid to come up to the apartment so I sat in my car for a little while. I guess he was watching me, which is weird and creepy because we live in apartments. I told him I was afraid to come in so I sat there. He was upset at that.

I honestly don't know what else to do. It does seem like he has no empathy. I don't want a pity party. But a little compassion or help wouldn't hurt. He says he called a counselor but no one answered. I am not sure if I believe him or not. How do I know he is serious? I am thinking of giving him until the weekend and if he still doesn't have a counselor, then leave. Somehow. I don't know how I will afford to leave yet. Maybe I can take out a student loan to cover rent.
 
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songbird177 replied to songbird177's response:
Here is the difference in weight loss in a year. Maybe he has a problem with that? Hope I uploaded this right.
 
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dfromspencer replied to songbird177's response:
Sorry, but I don't see anything? I guess you didn't get it quite right? I'm that way, too! I cannot upload, or download anything without problems!


I think you are right? He should not get any more time to find a counselor! You can pick up the phone, ask for information, find what you want, and call, all in less than a half hour, for sure!!! Do not let him slide this time! No more walking backwards! You are done with that! You are a new woman, one that is bold, and resourceful, and knows what she wants, and is going out there to get it!!!!!!!!! You are no longer this weak, bedridden person, hell no, you are now a healthy, or mostly healthy individual, and want to take charge of your life!!! Do it!!!


This guy wants you to be totally dependent on him, for everything! YOU, on the other hand, have figured out what it is you want in life, and now, you need to cut him out, or he will have to accept who you are, no matter what?! It is he that has the problem, not you!


Never give in!!! Never back down, as long as you know you are right!!! Go on, get out there, and make a new life for yourself! Who deserves it more than you? No one! If you must, then take that loan, and get away from this anchor around your neck! If you are absolutely sure this is the course for you, then go, and never look back?!!! Finish school, and get that dream job, or start your own company, whatever your dream is, go for it!!!


I hope this is helping you to decide the right course for YOU?


I wish you much success in life!!!


Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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noquitters responded:
Communication honesty, and getting down some boundries. The relationship is just off sailing in 2 different ways, get on board, in one boat and 2 orrs, right now each is deciding what you tink is best for eas=ch other yet, neither one is happy, so that is not working, as A Life Coach I see this so often and it can be managed and corrected but Quitting is not the answer...Try to understand each other, and share, but most of all communicate, I have had people relive their relations ships by emailing each other...so many ways to fix a relationship be creative.
 
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rohvannyn responded:
Sounds like I am off the mark, and I'm sorry to see it, because the behavior from him is pretty reprehensible. He may think you are "making excuses" and not really understand what it is like to have true physical impairment. I hope you can find a safe way out of there. If you don't feel safe with him, be very careful.
Roh

'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
 
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songbird177 replied to rohvannyn's response:
Well, I went to counseling today (yes he actually made the appointment!) and it didn't turn out at all like I had thought. First of all, I didn't think he'd actually do it so I had planned on leaving him this past weekend. But I didn't because he made the appointment and I felt that maybe he was serious.

I thought it was weird, a non-communicator, wanting to go to counseling after all these years but maybe they could help them. But it turned out to be all pointed at me. I went there, maybe for the wrong idea, but I thought it was to support him in learning how to communicate. But then he pulls out this handwritten list of things that bother him/issues.

I also forgot to mention that before this happened, this past week it had escalated so bad that I had panic attacks at work and started crying. Everytime it gets to the point of having to go home or being home and he is about to get here, I get a tightness in my chest. Not sure what that is about.

Anyhow, back to what happened. We talked about how we met and then he layed into the first thing, which was about MY bad childhood and how before my parents died, they did things for me. Okay, perhaps but I wasn't the ordinary kid. I had a past history of abuse and couldn't function in the real world and was seeking counseling. I also was going to school full time and then my parents got cancer and I always thought I was taking care of them. But this talk made me think well maybe they did do things for me. He also mentioned how I am working for the first time in my life besides selling stuff online and how he had to financially support us and he never felt appreciated. This was when I was bedridden. There would be times I would say I can't do xyz but I can do this. I was even dieting at the time and would make us dinner, do the laundry, and clean. But apparently he feels it all fell on him. And then when I was bedridden some of that did change. I have thanked him for doing this and even stated things like I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for you, etc. The counselor did point out that I never asked him to that and yet he is holding it against me.

Also I found out that taking care of me seemed to much for him and that , according to him, but he was talking to his mother who told him he had to be selfish and that some things won't change and that's when he went home. This was the first time hearing this for me so I feel very emotional right now. I was under the impression that his mother had no idea and it was a friend. I just feel betrayed.

Also, there were things mentioned how he feels he does everything for me still and the counselor suggested we need to set boundaries. And how I am co-dependent.

I don't know how I feel about all of this. I'm an emotional mess. After the session, I felt like going back to my old habits and eating a bag of doritos or going to a bar but I didn't. I turned to exercise instead and ended up working out for 4 hours. I guess this just stirred up a bunch of emotions and I am not sure how I feel about this. I felt like everything was pointed at me. Which maybe is true? I don't know. I still feel so hurt by him I am not sure there is any love left and I am not sure I even like admitting that to myself.

I also mentioned how I felt like I was the one trying to work things out all along but cut off.

I'm just unsure about this whole counseling thing. Anyone have any thoughts/ideas? Good or bad feel free to send them my way, I won't take offense.
 
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to songbird177's response:
Wow! That sounds like a particularly difficult session. All I can say is that sessions will often stir things up, especially as partners begin to share new things with each other. It's often extremely helpful to share thoughts and feelings about a session in the following session. This gives the therapist a chance to help each partner process their feelings and share their reactions in a more constructive way with their partner. It's also helpful to know that therapy is best when both partners work on their "stuff", but this often happens one person at a time; meaning that one session or a few sessions may be more focused on you but the next one or next several may be more focused on him. I hope you feel supported by the therapist through the process, as this is essential for effective therapy.

songbird, I wish you well with this. Therapy can help people grow as individuals, as well as help their relationships grow. Whatever the outcome of your relationship, I do hope that you find personal growth through the process.
 
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dfromspencer replied to songbird177's response:
Wow, he really did it to you, in that therapy session!!! Well, at least now, you know where his head is at, right? He is still being selfish, telling the therapist that everything that could possibly happen, was all on him! He thinks this relationship is all his, and his alone?! You are just someone to use as his excuse! O.M.G.!!! This dude sure is a piece of work!!!


Well, I am glad he at least went to a therapist! That is a big start! Now, you need to assert yourself into this conversation!!! You need to make this therapist aware of how this kid has treated you, from day one!!! Yes, I say kid, because anyone who acts like that, is immature! He is selfish, he is still like a little kid in his brain! He needs someone to smack him into today! He still wants you totally dependent on him, so he can have a superior attitude towards you! This way, he can keep you thinking he is like some king, or something? Like, he has more power than you? I'm sorry, but I don't see any possible 50/50 in this relationship??? I think you can talk till you turn blue, but it will NOT change his thinking, he has to do that, or hopefully the therapist can??? It is my belief tho, that he will always want to feel superior to you, and that way, he can feel big?


I can only go by what you are telling us, but that, is how I see him? He will always want to lord over you, for some reason??? Perhaps he thinks he is better than you??? I.D.K.???


I wish you luck, you are going to need it!!!


Dennis
LIVE LONG, LOVE WELL!!!
 
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rohvannyn replied to dfromspencer's response:
I too hope the therapist is supportive of both of you during your growth. I say both of you, because if the therapist isn't supportive of his growth too then there is no way he will change. It's always painful to be told that you have a big role to play in your partner's bad behavior, whether it is true or not! I'd say to look at his concerns carefully. He might be just smoking crack, but then again there might be something there that would be helpful for you to know too. Sometimes even our greatest enemies can be our teachers. You might do that and discover "wait, maybe he does have a point with some of it," or you might discover "no, he's just being a childish idiot," or something in between, but either way you will have explored the problem fully. I wish you the best.
Roh

'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ


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