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My Refuser Thinks I Am 'acting Myself'

I am wondering if any of you have experienced this, and/or what your opinion is about this.

For several months, say from February 2011 through the present time, my husband and I have been openly struggling with the most recent discussion of our SM and its problems.  (This is not the first time we have had these marriage discussions and efforts.)  During this time he has been 'trying'.  A lot of our problems didn't just involve sex, but lack of intimacy, lack of sharing, sweeping problems under the rug, lack of attention, ED, depression, abuse, different needs......and we talked about them.  The atmosphere around our house was 'awkward', tense, controlling, unhappy.  We both lost weight, began seeing counselors, etc.  Nothing was new, but it was all out on the table.

In early August I consulted with an attorney and put my exit plan into full motion.  Everything I have done so far is revocable, should I change my mind. 

My attitude has changed.  I am in control of myself.  I am happy.  I have gathered a support network, mostly all of you, and stopped talking to those who do not understand my situation.  I am in such a good mood that my husband has even noticed it and commented on it, and gradually stopped trying to control what I eat, where I go, which room in the house I am in, when I go to bed, what I do all day....etc.  My ongoing positive attitude during this part of the process has been an education to me.

In short, he has reverted back to his 'not trying' behavior now that I am happy.  I read this as him just wanting me to 'be happy' and not bother him with anything that causes a disruption to his life.  He was sound asleep on the couch by 7pm last night (after a day of golf and drinking), which was one of the things he was 'trying' not to do.  I had complained that he disengaged himself from our family (just me now that our kids are off at school) every night by drinking and then going to sleep early, thus not contributing to a family relationship or a marriage.  It had seemed to me that he was not happy being married to me.

I think he is seeing my happiness now as a reversion back to what he calls my normal self.  He had kept telling me that I was 'not acting yourself', meaning I was not acting happy, and he thought I needed to go to a psychiatrist and get some medication (because 'who would not be happy married to him and living this life?' obviously, I must be mentally ill!).  So, now I am happy, and he assumes I am back to being happy with my life with him.  He doesn't know that my launching date is approaching, and as it approaches, I am getting happier.  This tells me that nothing has changed at all!  He just wants it all to go away. So my recent attempts to fix this have come to naught.  Which reinforces that I am doing the right thing by leaving!

Has anyone else noticed their refuser's behavior changing back as they became happier about their exit plan coming to fruition?
louiseshaw louiseshaw 51-55, F 11 Responses Sep 15, 2011

Your Response


"We also did the movie thing as part of the 'trying'. It was spending time together, but not really paying attention to each other. Wonderful way to have a 'pretend' date. " This explains so much, helps me articulate why I detest movies and the television so bloody much! They zone out and you are chained there, like some leashed dog, being ignored, muzzled in misery waiting for the end credits or a commercial so you actually might connect with each other. I prefer walks, dances for a real date any day of the week (they are cheaper too).

Yes. I noticed when I am happy and talk about small things (weather, gardening, ec, etc) my husband is more positive to me. He thinks I am calm and so I am "over" the problems and we return to "autopilot." Back to a patten or sexless room mates, who at most sit together on a couch. <br />
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It is a form for "Letting sleeping dogs lie."<br />
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I am very happy for you and your clarity over your situation.<br />
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My husband just lost his job and I have new dramas to content with. In some way, it is pushing me closer to a departure date too. I just want to be more secure in my job before moving.

Louise,<br />
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AS I have told u before, I See so many similarities in some of your stories. "and gradually stopped trying to control what I eat, where I go, which room in the house I am in, when I go to bed, what I do all day....etc." . My H does this too. Unfortunately he does not stop even if he is in some other town. He calls me and tells me what to do with my day. Now I have started cutting him short. I need to keep reminding him about my talk with him, where I told him I want out. Everytime he acts as if I he does not know what I am talking about. - 'What did you tell me? Oh about the new work our kitchen needs? No?Oh about your assignment? No? " So now I have become very quiet. I have told him enough and if it does not register what can I do?

I tried for many years the same as you, and when I left he was asking why, and whats wrong, I told him it was too late now, after years of talking, he didn't see a problem with him sleeping in another room, or going out drinking with his friends all the time, not doing anything around the house or with our children.<br />
It was been a struggle since I left, but I have a decent job, bought a house on my own and own 2 vehicles that are paid for, so I say to you, life goes on, it will take an adjustment on your part, but go and don't look back, I am a happier person now, and have met many lovely men, and made new friends, lost weight, life is great now.

Louiseshaw, I love this post of yours. Im glad youre not falling for his "trying" and Im glad that you can see its all a temporary farce. Youve got guts and you can do it! I agree with all the posters who responded, he will only "try" when he thinks he may seriously be losing you. Too little, too late. It's very insincere.

That's what struck me, theshwa - the obvious insincerity! I wasn't even looking for it - it was quite unexpected, but so present!

My ex was stunned when I asked for separation and divorce. He thought things were going so much better. That's because I'd emotionally detached and wasn't trying to get any affection from him. I was acting happy and wasn't bothering him, so things were good! <br />
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Pretty much what CoolAutumn said ...

Same thing I have noticed here. I have become aware of how emotionally detached I am, too. I don't care about a lot of things I used to - I truly don't - I have gradually detached from a lot of our life together. I guess it takes time to detach, just as it took time to build this life together, it takes times to break it down too.

Comport yourself with dignity and great happiness, keep your exit plan to yourself until you pull the trigger, cope with any anxiety in a healthy way (physical training, good eating habits, social support networks, etc), put your game face on and DO NOT display any anxiety or lack of confidence while in his presence (which he will intrepret as a weakness anyway).<br />
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This is a time to project nothing but strength and power. Fake it if you have to.<br />
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And live - damnit - LIVE!!!!<br />
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You only were (ever) on his radar when HIS comfort level was impacted.<br />
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Good story!

Thanks, mvc. Strength and power. All the preparation has made me feel strong and powerful. I expect to feel weak again - I know this is a roller coaster of a process. I feel like all the analyzing I have done of our marriage, all the books I have read, reading and posting here, and then the preparations I have done for my life post marriage........have given me the confidence to know I am making the right decision in leaving my SM. Now, we'll see what happens when I announce it to the interested parties........

There will intermittent of weakness. When they hit, have a plan to deal (go out, physical training, friends, social support, etc). Use whatever means necessary to give you strength when you actually do the announcement. That could be anything from donning a "power outfit" to help you feel more confident, to getting yourself in a business frame of mind when you drop the D bomb, to having a bag packed and ready and a place to stay if you need to leave directly after the announcement. You are living proof that having a detailed plan is crucial to helping you get through the wall of fire.

mvc, that is a great idea to get myself geared up totally to be in a powerful frame of mind, from what I am wearing to what I am prepared to do. I will have a packed bag and I do have a friend who has said I can come over when I need to. I was wondering if that might be a good idea to leave for the night after the announcement. My attorney told me I absolutely cannot move out unless I think I am threatened physically. I can, however, visit my mother, who lives out of state. I plan to do that soon after, but I am hoping we can get this situation filed before I go visit her.

A gnat, a perfect analogy. Well, I'm a gnat until she wants to buy something, then she is nice and has conversations with me. The only problem is the conversations are always about her and her friends.

L- Keep your exit plan in place and keep moving forward, once your out you will find the grass is greener on the other side. My X thought taking me to a movie should be enough "trying" to keep me in his cage. That was all the attempt he was willing to put in. <br />
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Life is a complete turn around from where I was with the X. I find myself grinning with happiness for no reason sometimes than sheer joy with how my life is.

We also did the movie thing as part of the 'trying'. It was spending time together, but not really paying attention to each other. Wonderful way to have a 'pretend' date.

It's amazing how clueless these people really are. Their whole world revolves around their belly button and no one else really has any relevance unless they are doing something that messes up their own personal little playground. If I died in another room in the house my wife probably wouldn't notice I was missing until I failed to deliver her next meal. Then she would probably call someone to remove the body and go back to watching television. We matter so little to these people that the only time they notice us is when we are causing a disruption in their routine and then their major focus is trying to get us to stop so they can get back to what they were doing. So keep working your exit plan and maybe practice some Rockette style high kicks so you can dance out the door in style maybe one will connect with his chin while he's staring at you in amazement that you would actually have the nerve to leave him after all where else could you find someone that ignores you as good as he does?

Oh, WP, you have me LOL! I think you summed up my relationship precisely!

So true WP, I used to tell people if I fell down the basement stairs and dropped dead he wouldnt find my body for AT LEAST 48 hours. Nice.

L-<br />
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It's always calm before a storm. He may sense it, but my guess is exactly as you say. He feels the pressure is off because the very small effort he made seemed like enough. i truly think the hard wiring of a chronic refuser has a short circuit.<br />
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My H has done the same, though he's learning that just because I'm jovial doesn't mean our relationship is ok. He thought that for a long time because he wanted it to be true. He would judge our days, "Today was a good day, wasn't it?" as though that "good day" would somehow offest our SM. I think the refused truly separate their behavior from their relationship with us. Crazy, crazy stuff.<br />
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I imagine one hard part for you is knowing you're going to leave and he doesn't. I would be feeling all kinds of anxiety over that. But it's truly no different than the lie we've been living all these years. It's just that pretending has gotten harder than it used to be.<br />
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You're in my heart.

It is hard knowing that I am going to leave. It does create anxiety, and every time some future event comes up, I feel badly. I just have to do it, as there can always be excuses to wait another week or til another event.
My H also says things like yours about a good day. He thinks one good day should negate all the other days in a 25 year marriage, and that I should remember the good times and not the bad.
It's just that I want more out of my life!

Mm, creme brulee! Love that!