Emotion shutdown, actually looking forward to divorce


#1

Married 10 years to someone who is a dedicated father, works hard, loves his family but has very little interest in spending time with me, his wife, very controlling about money, has serious anger issues and random mood swings (from very happy to snapping at something very minor, like a room that is not clean), not interested in sex and spends more time with laptop (not what u think but he's no longer on those sites as of years ago although he was somewhat addicted for a bit).

We've done marital counseling, Retrouvaille - tried to get him interested in doing more journaling but he lost interest in that as well although I tried to write very positive and encouraging entries. We both have very demanding, professional careers but I've tried to schedule date nights, just time alone but it seems very one-sided. We're in Catholic faith-based counseling again (going on 6 years now) - well, I was in counseling before, husband wasn't participating in the 1 counseling session we tried and said it was very uncomfortable for him to talk about his feelings in front of a stranger. (In his culture, men do NOT talk or show their feelings, it's not considered manly). I'm feeling trapped and in the middle of emotional shutdown and cannot stop thinking of a life without him - we're in separate bedrooms for breathing space and I feel sooo relieved, like I can breathe again as being around him is like walking on egg shells - he can explode at any minute. He says his job is fine (he often says he hates his job and feels underappreciated) - is it bad to stay separated physically while we go through counseling? I cannot even stand being in the same room with him right now but I'm trying so hard to "soften my heart" to be open to him but it's really hard for me, almost impossible. Would love ur thoughts!


#2

I'm not sure what advice we can offer here. It sounds like you've tried alot.

The mood swings-although it's often over diagnosed, could he be manic depressive/bi-polar? Then again, if he won't do anything about it, what can you do?

Breaking up a family is a HUGE choice, not something to be done lightly. Never forget that even in the best cases for a divorce, there is so much drama involved. It's miserable. It's tragic, lonely, guilt inducing, sad-basically any adjective that is the opposite of "Happy/Joyful".

There is an old adage that says, "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it".

Truer words have never been spoken.

Having said all that, your case sounds like a dreadful case. It's time like this I wish the church had alot more understanding for divorce/re-marriage/etc.

Good luck, your in my prayers.


#3

You mentioned busy careers and ten years of marriage but you didn't mention anything about children. Any children in this marriage?


#4

[quote="m_crane, post:3, topic:252436"]
You mentioned busy careers and ten years of marriage but you didn't mention anything about children. Any children in this marriage?

[/quote]

I thought that too, but she said he was a dedicated father...

Did I miss something?


#5

Sounds like depression from what I've read, but not really manic depression unless he is having crazy highs followed by the lows.

My wife has depression from all the information I have and discussions with doctors, they are waiting until she is no longer pregnant to start treatment with meds, and I can tell you that I know what it's like to experience the emotional outbursts at something as simple as a room not being clean enough.


#6

Thank you all for your comments; counselor thought he may suffer from depression - I know his mom had emotional depression after a traumatic family incident. She tried to commit suicide.

How do I approach him to seek professional help when he thinks nothing is wrong with him? He says that's just how I am. And is it normal to be on ur computer morning, daytime, and nighttime? He's not a gamer, he stopped going to porn sites - he reads sports sites and shops online, a LOT of hrs doing this instead of spending time with family or me. :( Tried to talk to him for years about this but nothing has changed.

I have no desire to subject our children, our family & friends (2 beautiful girls) to divorce, really, but it's come up in my mind b/c we seem to have this typical cycle. Right now, he's trying to not to have his anger flare up and trying to pay attention to me and the kids (usually he's busy and doesn't participate much at dinner table, conversation, etc) but he goes thru this cycle (esp while we're in counseling or when I decide to sleep in another bedroom) then after a few months, he goes back to withdrawing. It's like being married to a robot.

Counselor is trying to get him to open up - he is to some degree but I can tell, he does not like it all! :shrug:


#7

Being married to someone quite similar for many years( we are currently separated), I can tell you that my years of trying to get him to change came to very little. After a ptevious six month separation, he did agree to anger management counselling, and was better able to control his outbursts and verbal abuse, but fundamentally he remained someone who could not give or receive love. After living with this since age 20, I decided -- only for the sake my health -- that I had to leave.

But leaving is no panacea. It is hard, painful, guilt-ridden and makes you wonder where you are with God.

If you can resign yourself to focusing only on his good points, while accepting he can not change, you may be able to attain some peace. I know it's very difficult and I myself failed at it, but for you , with children, it may be worthwhile to make one final attempt.

Then at least you'll know you've done all you could.

God be with you and yours. I am very sympathetic to your plight.


#8

My husband can be like your husband too. When I can see that my husband is building up his pressure cooker, I too begin to walk on eggshells. He eventually blows up at me usually when the kids are acting up.

My husband differs than yours in the sense that he does make time for us and he spends a good deal of time with our children. He is very dedicated to us and even though he has mental issues, he's really trying to be a good husband and father.

My husband has a lot of anger from his childhood that he has not faced or accepted. I am now the target of this anger. It's not my fault and no it's not fair. I know that he will unlikely change a whole lot. He is damaged very deeply from his father's abuse.

Because I see how much my husband wants to do good, it makes me feel bad for him and I am trying to help him increase his self-esteem. If my husbad were not dedicated to us or if he yelled at our kids, I too would be feeling the same way that you are.

I don't blame you at all. It's very hard to love someone who is completely unsafe. You can't have a real conversation with someone or feel safe if you are constantly walking on egg shells. This is no way to live.

In your shoes, I too would see a long term separation before divorce. See if he's willing to change while you are separated. I'm not saying a 3 month separation; I'm talking a year or more separation so he will really see how important it is for him to change and take the counselling more seriously.


#9

When was the last time he had a physical at his regular doctor? My internal medicine doctor every so often runs blood tests to check all kinds of things. You could go or mention to the doctor about the behavior problems and it could be a number of physically definable things...or just misfiring synapses.

We all have to learn and develop to improve ourselves, just a part of the fall of Adam. Jesus died so we can have all the grace offered to us from before the fall, but it isn't just handed to us. So...maybe a physical is needed. Maybe he has a physical issue as well and maybe the other mental health issues can be addressed by a regular doctor and kind of take a back door route to get him to an appropriate therapy. Sometimes talking isn't the first step that needs to happen.


#10

Nancymarie and Serap,
So sorry to hear about your situation. Amazing how many of us are dealing with this.

Counselor thought about his last physical/doctor's app't which was 3 or more years ago. He hates going to doctor - found him a great general physician and he swears he'll make the app't. I'm praying for that, too! He's not exactly in the best health; he's not overweight, but he never exercises and doesn't eat right - rest of my family is very health conscious, fruits, veggies, whole grains, organic, etc. At least he's going to listen to the CDs our counselor gave us; and he ordered the anger book we are to work on. So he's showing efforts. We'll see if it lasts, I'll keep you all posted, thank you so much for your comments/advice, it really means a lot to me. What a wonderful site this is.


#11

Stages of abuse:

honeymoon - getting along great.

build up - tensions build up; anger begins to show; name calling begins; hostility directed

blow up - the abuse escalates to a verbally abusive or physical blow up. Abusive person realizes he's gone too far and begins to feel ashamed and sorry.

honeymoon - abuser gives gifts; acts loving and caring. He/she sincerely feels bad for the abuse and wants to stop. Unless the abuser faces his demons, he will not be able to stop and life's stressors will happen the the build up phase will begin again.

  • the severity of abuse is different for all couples and it's not always necessary to leave
  • during the honeymoon phase, it's easy for the victim to think that maybe he/she has changed and that things will be better if only she....
  • abuse usually will escalate depending on what the victim will put up with and the abuser knows this
  • abusers are insecure and hurting inside. They are afraid to face their demons b/c it is too terrifying for them.
  • abusers are angry at the person who hurt them when they were a child. They could not display this anger as a child b/c they were helpless, so they are now displaying the anger at their wife/husband. The anger that the spouse is getting is not anything that they have done wrong. They do not deserve the anger being directed at them.

There are two ways to deal with an abusive spouse - 1. to help the person by increasing their self-confidence through love and praise (much like the therapy you would give to a child who has been abused; 2. To leave that person b/c they are too toxic to your soul and your children.

There are many levels of abuse, so no one can say whether or not a victim should leave. It depends on the severity of the abuse. Physical abuse should NEVER be tolerated, neither should severe emotional abuse (e.g. - not letting her have any friends or see her family, etc.).


#12

[quote="teresadeavila, post:10, topic:252436"]
Nancymarie and Serap,
So sorry to hear about your situation. Amazing how many of us are dealing with this.

Counselor thought about his last physical/doctor's app't which was 3 or more years ago. He hates going to doctor - found him a great general physician and he swears he'll make the app't. I'm praying for that, too! He's not exactly in the best health; he's not overweight, but he never exercises and doesn't eat right - rest of my family is very health conscious, fruits, veggies, whole grains, organic, etc. At least he's going to listen to the CDs our counselor gave us; and he ordered the anger book we are to work on. So he's showing efforts. We'll see if it lasts, I'll keep you all posted, thank you so much for your comments/advice, it really means a lot to me. What a wonderful site this is.

[/quote]

It's way more common than you think. The divorce rate ain't 50% for no reason :(


#13

[quote="Serap, post:12, topic:252436"]
It's way more common than you think. The divorce rate ain't 50% for no reason :(

[/quote]

The divorce rate is only "50" percent if you count people who've been married 3+ times.

That "stat" is the epitome of "lies, damn lies, and statistics".


#14

[quote="Rascalking, post:13, topic:252436"]
The divorce rate is only "50" percent if you count people who've been married 3+ times.

That "stat" is the epitome of "lies, damn lies, and statistics".

[/quote]

ok...it's actually 22% for first time marriages :p


#15

Add me to the club. I'm burned out and thinking about separation, although I am not proud of that.

My husband has been working overseas 2 weeks out of every month, until the last trip which was 2 mos. away. He's leaving in a week for another month. We were on rocky ground before he started traveling this much and it's done nothing to help the situation. He lives alone when he's out of the country, and things are quiet and neat. He's never enjoyed the mess and noise that come with children, he does the best that he can, and I know he does love our sons but he's not a warm fuzzy dad and never has been. If we slam a cupboard door by accident, he will glare at us for a minute or two, and if someone drops a utensil on the floor he jumps.

We haven't separated in the house since he's gone so much, but when he finally does come home for good, I'm not sure how I will handle it. Just last night he got angry about something and started cleaning up in the kitchen, which he never ever does unless he's making a statement that I am not doing it fast enough or well enough. So I went in the living room and watched TV, but I wanted him to just go away again. His moods are so nasty, and it's not as if he shows that he loves me even when he isn't angry. He thinks that I am the sick one and that if I would just get "fixed," everything would be fine. I am the problem, to him.

I feel hopeless again. Sorry to the OP, I didn't help you, just added my own misery, but at least you aren't alone.

:shrug:


#16

I recommend you guys give this a read:

marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8111_leave.html


#17

[quote="Serap, post:14, topic:252436"]
ok...it's actually 22% for first time marriages :p

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

That's alot better than fifty!


#18

Have you tried just doing some fun things together for a bit?
Eg:what are your husbands hobbies(apart from the computer) and what are your hobbies?
Which culture is your husband from?


#19

[quote="Serap, post:16, topic:252436"]
I recommend you guys give this a read:

marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8111_leave.html

[/quote]

That's a great article. I think about sending the link to my husband. I don't think he's going to "invite me into all the rooms in his house," though.


#20

[quote="Serap, post:16, topic:252436"]
I recommend you guys give this a read:

marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8111_leave.html

[/quote]

Interesting, makes very valid points. But it fails to take into account the wives who work more hours or do just as much as the husband, if not more, to financially contribute to the family, want more sex from husband, and are in effect "the guy" in the relationship.

BUT emotional bonding and letting go of thoughtless habits and avoiding general neglect - NOW we're getting somewhere!!


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