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Self-Absorbed Husband, Fabulous Woman

I'm not here to hook up with anyone or to get the sympathy of some guy. I'm here to vent and to feel less lonely because I know someone else out there in my position can read this and not feel so alone. And it makes me feel less alone to write it.

Look. I'm a great wife and mother. Period. Not afraid to say it. I have my flaws, like sometimes allowing myself to get stressed, but the things I get stressed about are the things anyone would get stressed about, and I'm quite adept at keeping the stress at bay and getting better at it as I get older because I've paid my dues and let everyone else who doesn't uderstand how precious life is get stressed instead of me. And I'm sort of picky about hotels if we're on vacation but I'm not as picky as some of the truly high-maintenance women I know. I just need to know the sheets are clean, the bathroom's clean, and the bed is comfy. Concierege optional. Sure, I need to lose another ten pounds, and I'd probably be in better shape if I wasn't exhausted from caring 24-7 for a baby. But fact is, I'm generous, honest, loving, flexible, a good listener, and a pretty darned good role model for my little baby daughter. I'm creative and while I have a good business head, I'm also well-versed in the arts and talented at a couple of them too. Oh yeah, and I'm attractive too. I'm the one who doesn't have to wear make-up to be pretty, but I'm a girlie girl, so I rarely leave the house without hair done & lip gloss. Most people can't believe it when I tell them I'm 45. While I'm a laid-back type B personality, I am not at all a sit-on-my-butt-and-do-nothing person. I'm the mom in the neighborhood who is out jogging while pushing the baby in the jogging stroller.

I don't even want to go into detail here but my husband never learned how to get along with others, doesn't play fair, changes maybe one diaper a week and ******* when I ask him to watch our baby once a week for an hour while I go to the grocery store in order to buy food for dinner (which I make). Our baby is 7 mos. old and he has never bather her or fed her YET. Not ONCE. He expects everyone to read his mind about what he wants and then when he doesn't get it he whines. Today I told him I was making chicken paprikash for dinner and he said, "But I don't WANT chicken!" (And he wasn't trying to be funny.)  Well OMG let me rush out and get you whatever you want this very minute Little Lord Fauntleroy!

Once, when we were at the Acropolis in Athens and got separated, I stayed there for hours looking for him, even in the middle of a downpour while I was pregnant and exhausted. I felt as if I had lost my best friend (?!?). Finally I called the hotel and he was there. Hmmmm. So I got a cab back to the hotel, and when I walked in all he did was scowl at me and act put upon. I couldn't believe he wasn't happy to see me. He didn't even put his arms around me or say he was worried. I could tell story after story like this, where he behaved insensitively to say the least.

This guy is so completely self-absorbed that he doesn't realize what he has. I got to where I was about to crack up and lose my mind. But I can't do that because of our sweet, beautiful daughter. I have peace of mind, somehow, because I know I am Quality, and I know I am Desirable. I can walk anywhere without fear even though I feel pretty lonely most of the time. I protect my peace of mind fiercely these days and don't let his callous ways faze me most of the time. I've learned that there is nothing I can do about it or for him, and that his selfishness is beyond my control and he's too set in his ways to ever change.

I will make plans for me and my daughter, fun stuff, necessary stuff, but all good stuff. I will live my life to the fullest and, like Andy duFresne in Shawshank Redemption I'm going to get busy living instead of dying. I mean, that's the way I've always been. I don't hate the guy. He has no earthly idea what a jerk he is. He has no earthly idea how fortunate he is to have someone like me for his wife. The poor guy is just blind and will end up being a lonely old man one day. It makes me sad for him, but believe me I've tried and there's not a sensitive bone in his body unless it's for himself. And occasionally for our daughter.

Oh and one more thing and then I'm done. I love my solitude. I have never been insecure about being alone. But this is the pits. So I have to stop having any expectations of him whatsoever or I'll go insane. This is not about me wanting to have some stupid affair. Nor is it about me missing great sex. I've had enough good sex in my life for 3 or 4 people and I don't ever care to have sex again without love. This is about me letting go so that hy hopes aren't constantly dashed and about me letting go of my desire and needs for understanding and affection from him. This is about me knowing what I'm about, who I am, and making damn sure I stay true to myself and my daughter. I know how to be happy. My husband's narcissism just got me sidetracked and hurt me pretty badly for a while.

I don't have time for that anymore.

willowthewisp willowthewisp 41-45 12 Responses May 24, 2008

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Your story was very moving indeed. However, you have to ask yourself whether you are going to stay as you are and put up with this Husband of yours forever. You sound young enough to start a new life. You and your baby. You sound strong and confident enough to do this and you WILL meet somebody else who is worthy of you.
I wish I had the courage to do just this years ago. I wish I had not begged my husband to stay with me despite him wanting to leave me and his two young children for another woman. For me now it's just a case of staying put purely for financial reasons.... how sad is that!!
Think about it. Don't waste your life with a loser who doesnt appreciate it! Lots of love and big hugs ...xxx

I know exactly how you feel my husband works full time and doesn't pay a thing while I am a full time college student plus I work part time I pay all the bills and food and all I want is a little time with him but everyday off he has it's yeh going out with the boys sorry and off he goes only to stagger through the door unable to stand or talk and expecting a full on cooked Meal and clean house I get no support just bitched at for failing at having no money for him after he's drunk his in the bar

Thank you for sharing your story. However, please look into Co-Dependency for some insight.<br />
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Namaste

that WAS me, he almost killed me. i was married to him for 30 years, and after that time , 2 daughters, and me doing everything for him but wipe his butt(nothing was ever good enough), i divorced him and he didnt even come to court because it interfered with his teaching life.he asked me what id did for him for all those years. the more money he made, the less time he ahd for us, well he will be alone forever, having made his choice, money not people which is sad, cuz hes about to be a grandpa in may and the daughter i ahd with him is moving tow ashington state, from illinois.id rather have people than money anyd ay, how about you?

Hey - how you going now? After years of child raising - being better qualified in the same field as my husband - and supposedly everything being up for negotiation - guess what - my career is almost dead and my husband took all the work time. I told myself I do not wish to use child care - so I am responsible. But hey - when I said I am interested in a PhD in World Bank and "####" University Research on gender issues on corporate governance - he says 'oh most blokes would just say what have I done wrong now'....I'm sorry - are 'most blokes' aware of the World Bank and their corporate governance research?'. Why is my potential PhD on a serious topic about him? And can he see this as crazy? Not for a second. As a dear (male) friend once said, cannot undo thousands of years of discrimination by yourself overnight. We are still all third rate citizens - just cos, not because we are dumber, less qualified or anything - just cos history says so!!! Drive you mad - but women like us have always existed through history... all we can do is raise our children to know better...

Sometimes men who have to be the center of their wife's attention can't handle it when a baby is born and theier wives are now, necessarily, focused on the needs of the child rather than the man-child they married. I've heard a lot of men explain that their wives changed after their children were born: i.e. became less focused on them! I would appreciate anyone's feedback on my hunch here.

Man-Child. A man who is not in touch with himself, feels a tremendous void, can't grasp reality. A Man-Child needs compassion from his partner but not at the expense of her own self-compassion.

This feels very poignant to me. When you live with this type of person, you really do start to feel like you are getting drained of everything. Boundaries are really important, but it is just really hard to enforce them, too, because of the degree of anger, resentment and frustration that comes back at you when you try to eck out some space for yourself. <br />
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I am currently separated from my husband of 15 years. We have 2 daughters who are young and I was feeling like I was modeling horrendous relationship patterns to my girls. Life is hard enough without learning to cater to someone else's needs so constantly. That is my co-dependence -- I am a caretaker and I keep thinking that if I can just get it right, I can help him, but the truth is until he can help himself, no one else can help him.<br />
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I have felt such a tremendous relief in the last month now that I am not living with him. It's amazing that I actually have some time and space to myself. I have to work on my boundaries with my girls, too, but I am starting to slowly come out of my protective shell that I didn't even know that I was living in.

I have a very similar situation,and i understand how lonely it can get living with someone who seems compelled to get their own way and revolve everthing around them,and is also a constantly whingeing "poor me",and like you i no longer have time for this nonsense,i just say oh yeah,whatever and get on with my own thing,its drains my energy from being able to do well at life if i allow this person to suck all the attention. Im not saying they are no good,just clueless and may grow up a bit if silly tantrums and snivelling and attention seeking is ignored and not bought into. What i mean is dont let drainers suck out your energy,keep it for better things,i loved your story it was inspiring to see you positive and not sorry for self in what i know are incredibly trying circumstances

Wow, you tell the story well, even though it is not a pleasant story. You are very articulate and your keen sense of humor jumps off the page. You do seem like you are a realist and not some starry eyed dreamer who has visions of romantic rapture (although I wouldn’t throw that away just yet). However, I wouldn’t say someone will never change. People do change, sometimes naturally, but usually it takes a lot of work. I read a book recently called Facing Love Addiction: Giving Yourself the Power to Change the Way You Love by Pia Mellody. You do not sound like a love addict, or a love avoidant, but your husband, based upon your description, seems to have a lot of characteristics of someone who is a love avoidant. He is someone who doesn’t understand love, it seems. Or even commitment. I’m not a fan of just sucking it up, which is the advice I have received from many friends in the past; it’s better to take positive action for change. The reason is because you will own it and direct it. If you just let things be, he is in control, which is part of the modus operandi of the avoidant. <br />
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I have a friend who has a husband (she is not his first wife, or even his tenth, to give you an idea), and he exhibits many of the same characteristics you described. She called me one night in tears because he was treating her bad. I took a lesson from the book (and from other stuff I read) and told her to just ignore him – don’t be mean, but simply act as if you don’t need him or your busy with other, more important things. She was going away for the weekend with him and he was being a jerk. The next Monday she is all smiles and said it worked like a charm. He responded right away. Oddly enough, love avoidants fear abandonment, and will do things to prevent it if they don’t feel in control. It was just a test. <br />
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It’s awesome you want to maintain the marriage for your child; so, since you are going to be there anyway, you should try to make him the man he could potentially be, one you would love to come home to, and one who in the future will throw his arms around you when you’ve gone missing for a spell.

Wow, you tell the story well, even though it is not a pleasant story. You are very articulate and your keen sense of humor jumps off the page. You do seem like you are a realist and not some starry eyed dreamer who has visions of romantic rapture (although I wouldn’t throw that away just yet). However, I wouldn’t say someone will never change. People do change, sometimes naturally, but usually it takes a lot of work. I read a book recently called Facing Love Addiction: Giving Yourself the Power to Change the Way You Love by Pia Mellody. You do not sound like a love addict, or a love avoidant, but your husband, based upon your description, seems to have a lot of characteristics of someone who is a love avoidant. He is someone who doesn’t understand love, it seems. Or even commitment. I’m not a fan of just sucking it up, which is the advice I have received from many friends in the past; it’s better to take positive action for change. The reason is because you will own it and direct it. If you just let things be, he is in control, which is part of the modus operandi of the avoidant. <br />
<br />
I have a friend who has a husband (she is not his first wife, or even his tenth, to give you an idea), and he exhibits many of the same characteristics you described. She called me one night in tears because he was treating her bad. I took a lesson from the book (and from other stuff I read) and told her to just ignore him – don’t be mean, but simply act as if you don’t need him or your busy with other, more important things. She was going away for the weekend with him and he was being a jerk. The next Monday she is all smiles and said it worked like a charm. He responded right away. Oddly enough, love avoidants fear abandonment, and will do things to prevent it if they don’t feel in control. It was just a test. <br />
<br />
It’s awesome you want to maintain the marriage for your child; so, since you are going to be there anyway, you should try to make him the man he could potentially be, one you would love to come home to, and one who in the future will throw his arms around you when you’ve gone missing for a spell.

Hi, I just wanted you to know that I understand what you are going through. I am in a similar situation, and have no desire to be without him either and pray daily that he will want to be more family oriented. However, he has become accustomed to me doing everything therefore he can go and do and know that all is well taken care of. (I feel you are in the same boat.) Which of corse has hurt my feelings on more than one occasion but I have learned to go about my business and let it be what it is. I do empathize with you and hope that your husband learns the difference between having a good thing and taking advantage of one. Keep pressing on, take care of yourself.

I'm with MitchandMaureen.....but I'd say flow out the door....(that's one thing I can't stand, men who are narcissists and men who don't realize a good woman they have!!!)