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He Listened - updated

For the first time in 25 yrs my husband listened to me. He sat down, no controller in his hand, tv off, and listened to me. Granted it wasn't a long conversation 15-20 minutes, but he listened. He heard me. He actually heard me. I used our pets to create a word picture. The cat is distant, aloof, independent. The puppy is needy, social and affectionate. He is the cat... I am the puppy. They don't fight, they tolerate each other. Just like us. I think he got it.

I have no idea where this will lead. I'm not sure how it will change things if at all. But I said what I needed to say...I'm tired, lonely, frustrated. I said I felt like I was living with a stranger. I told him I was afraid of being hurt  and used. I told me I didn't trust him with my heart. I've put up walls to protect myself. I let him know that actions speak louder than words, and I need actions. He didn't get defensive. He actually listened. Amazingly, I think he actually I THINK HE ACTUALLY HEARD ME. 
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2 days later-
HE HEARD ME... but does it really matter?
It was my intention to get some response from him about what I had said a couple of days ago. I didn't bother to try to talk to him yesterday about "US", football and everything you know. But today, after a nice lunch at a local diner, I simply asked if he'd thought about what I said the other day. His response....'Well, sure". PERIOD.  NOTHING ELSE... I waited.  So my follow up question was " SO any ideas about what we should we do next?'  He kinda "Hemmed and hawed"...then came out with " ummm not really. " He has this really childish way of grinning when he feels uncomfortable or really doesn't wanna deal with something. Rather not face up to the problem at hand.

I proceeded to try encourage a discussion. Used condiments on the table to describe how important it is he learn to make "connections" with people. With his kids... even with himself. His only response was... " I grew up with no parents...I had no one to do things with me... " . Which he did have parents but they were disconnected from everyone just like he is. SO I said something to the effect, that gives you the right to do the same thing with me and the kids? He again says NO... but with no action plan to get better.

I feel really bad for him. I think on top of the personality disorders that I believe he has, he really doesn't have any idea how to have a healthy relationship. I've enabled him all these years by just "sucking it up" and "hanging in there".  I brought up today, a couple of times about how life is passing us by... that it's too short to spend it like this.  He's 56 and I'm 51. He's had 7 months ( since I left the first time ) to get help, to work on the 2 other things I had asked him to do when I came home. (Both of which he hasn't done.... #1 touch me every day, even if it's a kiss on the cheek when he climbs into bed at 2 am when he gets home from work. And... leave me a note, text message some kind of communication daily when I don't see him.) Due to our work schedules.. I'm a teacher and work 8-4... he works 2nd shift  3-1  we only see each other on Sundays. I told him I'm not going to keep waiting for things to change. We need to do something...then... 

I went on and opened up a bit about the lack of intimacy. He had the audacity to blame me for the lack of sex... saying I push him away. I almost lost it at this point... ( thanking God that HE took control of my attitude and tongue). I reminded him of the many times I'd plan romantic evenings, wine, cheese, sexy nighties only for him to fall asleep. Just recently, after my original weight loss, I bought a bright red lace bra and panty set... paraded around the bedroom in it, only for him to walk around me, without so much as a comment. I might as well have been invisible. I asked.. " Who pushed who away?".  He had no response... only to say, "I need to get home and get ready for work". I could tell he was getting pissed.  SO home we went, he disappeared for about 40 mins. Thought he was taking a nap. I think he actually was just in the bedroom sulking. His typical reaction when I hold him accountable for anything. 

He came out into the living room finally. Turned on the t.v... didn't look at me. Obviously DID NOT  want to continue our conversation from earlier... so I said," see ya Saturday.. and went out to run errands". Leaving him to sit there alone.

I have been so patient. NOT perfect... but I've been part of this very one sided relationship for nearly 24 yrs. I am emotionally empty. I can't fix it alone. I am so sympathetic to how he was raised. MY childhood wasn't all that great either.... moving around about every 2 years, a dad who was angry all the time, preached "children should be seen and not heard" up until I left the house to go to college at 17, and even when I returned at 21 he didn't have any patience with me, if my opinion was different from his. I, in fact , know of very few perfect childhoods. I think that my imperfect childhood, made me want to give my children more. BETTER. Not him...it's like he's jealous of our kids. I can't even begin to understand what and why he thinks like he does. However, I have to decide what my next move is. When my next move is... I seriously doubt he'll do anything. Sigh.... 




ExistsinHOPE ExistsinHOPE 51-55, F 29 Responses Jan 19, 2013

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I think I see why this is happening. First of all you see yourself as right all the time, having the only proper answer...basically, the perfect female. You see your husband as an aloof fool. He can never win in your world...why would he even try? I think that's why he's been so upset. You say you even left him, you think that helped? Also another thing you barely mentioned but I think is much bigger than you say it is. You say that you recently lost weight. When a married man sees he's wife get fat and unattractive and he won't want sex, at least not as much as if you didn't have weight problems (this comes from personal experience) . You think parading around in your red bra is going to attract him if you have a weight problem? It won't...only demenstate to him even further you don't think you have a weight problem. He reaction to be upset is understandable, I know that's the way I would react. I also think that you working a different shift than your husband is a real problem. If you expect to be his total focus when he comes home from work, you're being unreasonable. Work takes alot out of a man, especially when he is expected to supply most of the money.

If you read the complaints of men about their wives in EP you see many common themes that are present here:

1) no sex...check
2) the wife gets demanding and b*tchy...I do see this here...check
3) the wife gets fat and unattractive...check
4) the wife reverts to leaving where there are problems (in her mind)...check
5) expected to come up with a plan to fix everything while the wife doesn't offer any solutions, only points blame...check

So there you have it, maybe if you work on some of these things, he will respond. You won't though. You're perfect. How dare anyone tell you you're wrong. It's all he's fault, he's aloof and stupid.

Just a quick response, because honestly I'm not too sure this response deserves anything other than a quick response.
1. I NEVER ***** AT HIM ABOUT ANYTHING. I ask once.
2. I had lost nearly 80 lbs when I tried the red bra and panty outfit.
3. I have been married to him for more than 24 yrs, and in spite of him telling me, "if you aren't happy leave"... I haven't. That was the ONE and only time I left... trying to get his attention.
4. I'm not the one that walks away. Should I want to discuss anything, other than sport , weather or anything he doesn't want to talk about, he goes to the bedroom and closes the door.
5. I have made appointments with a marriage counselor. He went twice and then did his typical, I'm uncomfortable so I can't do this routine. I planned a romantic weekend. He's done nothing.
I'm not perfect, and if you would read the rest of my postings you would realize I readily admit to imperfection.
I'm so glad you have all the answers.

OH... and in re-reading your comment, I also need to say:
I'm a teacher and I have a very comfortable income. I make more than he does. I typically bring home work to do daily. While he sits and watches tv for hours. In addition, I do all the housework, bill paying, yard work, I did all the child raising and disciplining. I make 95% of the meals, do all the grocery shopping... and when we did have sex, I did all the pleasing while he laid there like a corpse, after which he rolled over and went to sleep, so I was left completely unfulfilled and used.
I married him and moved 800 miles from my family with the promise of moving back after 2 years. I gave up everything for him and I got nothing but ignored in return.
SO before you attack someone and accuse someone of being B**** you might want to check the facts.

If you love this guy, in spite of it all, you may get further if you can get him to go to counseling with you. I doubt he will find it in him to get an "action plan" on his own. I have a kid with learning challenges and severe A.D.D. Teachers can remind him to be on task, but the deeper problem is--my kid doesn't know what to do when he IS on task. He lacks the "tools," if you will, to follow through with a project or assignment. Your man may have a similar problem. If you think you have something worth saving, maybe more or different outside help will work. But outside help will only have an impact IF your guy WANTS to work on your relationship, as well as himself. One-sided rescues rarely work. I know--I've tried. I've let myself be deceived by a narcissist for years. Now I just want to find a way for my kid and I to get away from him. Good luck!

You are right, him hearing you means nothing at all, especially if he still doesn't give a crap.
You look like you know what you are doing and you have your answers, so just take baby steps and it will all fall into place.
Best wishes hun.

Your background impels you towards a healthier life. His background defines his nature. You can chalk that up as another basic mismatch in the relationship.My perspective on reset-behavior: at the beginning of my wake-up journey, H would make a requested change for one or two days. I would then think everything was fine and go back to being the loving spouse I wanted to be, that I had been when we decided to marry. I trusted him to be as good as his word. Ah, but then H would revert. He did it (whatever "it" was) once or twice, and figured that was good enough, and life could go back to the way it was. After several months of this, my heart grew hard. The moment I could not give a flying frack about a specific behavior that would help repair things, he would start to do it fairly regularly. This hardened my heart even more, and just proved his level of spiteful sullen teenage pay-back. So now that my heart is permanently hardened towards H, his behaviors within the relationship have improved overall so that things are manageable as I work on my exit plan. Recently I told him that he is not as nice as he would like to think he is. He shocked me by agreeing. But no matter what he does/says/becomes, I cannot revert. If I did, he probably would, too.

<p>-----" I simply asked if he'd thought about what I said the other day. His response....'Well, sure". PERIOD. NOTHING ELSE... I waited. So my follow up question was " SO any ideas about what we should we do next?' He kinda "Hemmed and hawed"...then came out with " ummm not really."</P><br />
<p>Been through this same experience myself (the talk - then wait a couple days and do a verbal follow up to exchange ideas to no avail) - that is what prompted my earlier comment! </P><br />
<p>What you see is what you get. There will be no changes and there were never going to be any changes in maturity level. The apex of his emotional development (where the body keeps growing but emotionally something seems to get "stuck") probably happend at around age 13 - thus there will never be any "dealing with issues" like an adult.</P><br />
<p>It is hard to accept the truth and your own complicity in these long term dynamics, but you will have to. Expecting him to change is not realistic and he is certainly allowed to live as he sees fit just as you are allowed to live as you see fit.</P><br />
<p>I wish you the best in formulating a plan to live a higher quality of life.</P><br />
<p>With, or without, said husband.</P>

so sorry, though sadly not surprised, to read your update. how painful the message they send us through their silence, inaction, indifference. it is excruciating. sending you peace, and loving care.


time to start exploring *your* options. as baz so rightly says, frame it in i/me context. any time thoughts of or worries about him (habits of years take some time to decondition), push them aside and refocus on just you.


the exploration should include an attorney consultation.


good luck


xo

Dear ExistsinHOPE,
Do accept my ((hugs)) for You. Your profile name says a lot about You. I sincerely wish You don't leave Your HOPES.
Prayers for Both of You.
__/|__

I seriously doubt (i.e., don't believe for a single second), he will do anything either.

I am so sorry you are going through this pain and loneliness.

No matter what the reason that your husband is unable to participate in an intimate relationship, it all boils down to the same thing. He is UNABLE to be in an intimate relationship. You are right. It is sad.

The good news is that the option of finding a partner who is capable of intimacy is still available to you, if this is what you desire. It will take work and healing and courage. Leaving a long term relationship is never easy. There are reasons why we stay that usually have far less to do with real need of our spouse and far more to do with our own fears and belief systems.

I had such a pattern of unhealthy relationships, I truly didn't believe men who were capable of intimacy existed. When I first left my ex, two and a half years ago, I was truly convinced that all men were emotionally impotent and worse. It was less to do with man bashing and more to do with my string of miserable experiences. Of course, it was because of my co-dependency and childhood history that I found myself in these relationships with unhealthy partners (but hell, I was unhealthy for being there and submersing myself in such misery, so I had to spend a long while dealing with that trip)!

But, there are actually other male human beings on the planet who would just ADORE you for your sexy red bra and willingness to bridge communication in tough situations.

You may, of course, desire to alone for a good long while and spend time alone. Or, just explore and date. But, never ever ever doubt that there is a whole different way to be in relationships that is open to you when you move forward.

Good luck and power to you.

(after your update)
You gave him the opportunity. He pissed it up against the wall.

You now know beyond any reasonable doubt that there is no "we" in your dynamic.

Your counter to this is likely best served by you adopting "me" thinking and weaning yourself off "we" thinking as soon as you can.

If you make informed "me" choices from this point forward you will resolve this situation, but there is little chance of the marriage surviving the process.

Tread your own path.

Good grief. He sounds like my father - who really did grow up without a family, without anybody to love him and is a totally disconnected person. Doesn't know how to talk to other people, doesn't know how to love, doesn't know how to connect to children, wife ... if HE gets uncomfortable he starts singing nursery rhymes or wartime ditties until the pressure becomes so big that he explodes and starts to bellow. NO FARKING WAY of getting him to engage or have an adult conversation, never had a friend in his life.

It's sad that there are people like that. And if they don't go and do something about it, there's absolutely nothing we can do to budge them. I deliver a hot meal a day, I do his finances because he's by now too addled to make rational decisions about it, and that's it. I don't even stay around for a friendly word any more, because it's like ******* into the wind.

{big, heavy sigh}

I just got another reminder myself .... last night when I tried to give my wife a cuddle before bed my fingernails were too long and too sharp. Well... I know damn well if it weren't my fingernails, my hair would be to hairy, my beard too beardy or my nose too nosy (I had made sure not to let my fingernails near her hypersensitive self). This morning I reached over to pick something out of her hair and she shrank back - like a woman who's been beaten or gang-raped or something. I've never raised my hand to her, nor has anyone else in over 30 years as far as I am aware.
Won't change ..... {wipes tear from eye}. Oh, sometimes these days she relaxes enough to enjoy it, but that underlying thing, that's not going to go away.

I'm so sorry.... I hope that things get better for you too. This sounds awful, but after all the little things he's said that hurt me, I shrink away from him too. I'm not sure if I can ever really trust him with my heart again.

Well, at least my ex "thought about buying me a card". . . ! Sorry - black humour!

Dear girl, you have your answer - NOT the one you were hoping for, but nevertheless, your answer. Get your ducks in a row and LEAVE. I doubt your husband, like my Ex, is capable of the relationships you and I (and everyone else here on ILIASM) need. It is not their fault, but it does not mean we have to accept it.

Don't be surprised if the news that you WILL be leaving for good this time results in a flurry of "action" - but take no notice of it. It will not be of the lasting kind.

I'm so sorry it has come to this - BUT!! Remember there is a whole wonderful world out there for you! You will find peace and happiness (once the pain subsides) and that alone is worth all the sufferng this searation will involve. {{{Hugs}}}

Funny... I left him sitting alone, to go shopping, while he was sulking. He calls me on his way to work, to see what I am doing? I ask why.... his reply, "because I didn't get to say goodbye.". Ughhhh... he's never done that, and besides I did say "Goodbye, have a good week" before I left to go shopping.

Just walk away. It's the only thing you can do at this point. Re-build your life without him and eventually you'll find someone better suited for you and you don't have to spend the rest of your life in a loveless marriage.
I don't tell people to leave lightly. I felt such a spark of happiness when you said he had heard you. But he's had days and done nothing. In my opinion if he REALLY gave a damn he would have grabbed your hands, begged for forgiveness, kissed you and talked specifics on changing. He did none of it. You're so much better off moving on sooner rather than later. You deserve a real relationship.

Best of luck, when mine FINALLY heard me, it was too late. I hope you still have IT left inside for him. Seems lots of them wait too long.....

"For the first time in 25 years..." wow, just wow. That seems a long dry spell. Congratulations, and I wish you luck.

AND:
what mvcmvc and enna said - they tell it as it is, you need to see if he's thought about it.
You need to check if he is planning/willing to deal with what he heard.
By the same token: people need time to reassess their own behaviour, think about how it affects others - it's not easy to break out of a well-worn rut, and don't I know that first hand {laughs}.

why do we put up with all this crap from our partners ? coz they've made us feel like crap, and worthless, and that we have nothing to offer anyone else and what a good job of it they do. stuck in a marriage for 34 years,kids grown up and left home, i thought things would change, but no same old crap. just had a **** xmas, no card, no presents, no kind words, infact didnt speak to me for 10 days. why i do it i dont know.

I do it because I'm afraid of what happens afterward. I'm afraid of confrontations. I grew up in a very angry house...I saw what happens when people get mad. Not that spouse has ever done anything like that, I suppose I just am afraid of the unknown.

I don't like that word "just" when you speak of the unknown. This belittles your past as well as your concerns about the future. Both your upbringing and uncertainty of how to proceed deserve their due. Acknowledging both does *not* mean you are giving yourself an excuse to stay, nor does it mean you are shying away from necessary choice. It means acknowledging the potential enormity of what may lie ahead. A number of people have returned to the board to report that leaving their SM was either easier than they thought, or that life on the other side was worth the leaving, with the caveat that YMMV. Many people here, myself included, have benefited from therapy. A good therapist could be invaluable in helping you give a shape to your fears and uncertainty.

[. . . Ah, I see you already have a therapist.]

yup... been going for over a year now.

ive had 34 years of abuse and anger, ive had mental abuse, phisical abuse, sexual abuse, and verbal abuse, im still here, " why". he's kept me in the "dark ages" wouldnt ever let me work, made me dependant on him for EVERYTHING, he knew what he was doing, moulding me into something he wanted, was only 20, didn't understand his plans, now im older (54) and understand, but its too late, where do i start. I only wish i knew, i feel so sad and empty.

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So hope you are right and your relationship improves.

-----"For the first time in 25 yrs my husband listened to me."

Sad. Very sad.

Now, after 48-72 hours follow up with a simple question such as "Do you have any input, suggestions, etc. as to what we discussed 2 or 3 days ago? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject and on what I said"

Don't be surprised if he says this - "I have not given what you said a second thought'.

Then what will you do?

This is VITALLY important. He will dodge the issue with terms like "I'm thinking about it" and other off-putting tactics. Don't accept that. Tell him you do not expect him to have it all sorted out yet, BUT you want to hear his thoughts on it.

When I was in the process of deciding to leave my Ex I sent him a letter clearly stating exactly HOW badthings were and that I was ready to leave "if things didn't change". I heard no rssponse at all. I planned to leave it a week before asking him his response, but gave in on Day Six!

His answer? "I was going to buy you a card." WTF????? A card? "was going to buy. . . "????? He had read my outpouring of grief - this was whilst I was still in hospital due to SEVERE depression. He KNEW I was literally hanging onto my life by a thread . . . .

Sadly, this was one of (the many) nails in the coffin in my marriage. When I realised he was so unmoved that the only thing he could think of was to buy me a card - and after six days he had still not got "around to it" (!!) I knew that my marriage had NO chance of survival.

I very sincerely hope YOU will get a far different response - one that will allow you to continue to work together to rebuild your marriage together. But please, don't ignore RED FLAGS at this stage . . . .

@enna. Your post here turned out to be most pre-cognisent given Sister Exists later update,

Now, after a day (assuming he is he sort that might need to ruminate over such things!), ask him for his response to your Talk. And then DON'T SAY A WORD. If anything will get him to talk (if he is like most people), absolute silence after your question should do the trick. Most people abhor a "conversational vacuum" and will fill the void by talking. DON'T TALK, even though it will likely get unbearable for you - and don't leave the room or even look away.

Maybe you will get more than a crumb!

Let us know.

He's so not a talker. SO far, nothing has been said about what I said. Perhaps this afternoon I'll be able to bring it up again.

I hope that you do. Give him all the time he needs to talk.

Being heard is *great.* What a relief! But being heard, and stopping there, is a crumb in and of itself. You mention nothing about a conversation here. Does he acknowledge your pain? Was he so moved as to apologize? When you are hurting, why should he not feel impelled by human decency, if nothing else, to engage with you in some concrete way immediately, as opposed to waiting until after a day at work? Yes, these talks we have are really for our own benefit, as many have already stated.

Your post struck a chord. In my first messed up quarter century, I would wonder what was wrong with a person if s/he seemed to want to talk to me. Ewww, why would I ever want to be with someone who was such a loser as to express an interest? Then my H. came along, apparently a wonderful and nice person, who HEARD me and what I had to say! Such a vast improvement in my own perception of self worth. Too bad for H. that my self-worth now requires interaction.

Don't take a crumb, DEMAND the whole damn piece. If not given, then leave, or find yourself forever trapped to feel numb, lonely, sad, depressed, etc. Not trying to sound harsh, but you know you deserve better and more, so ask for it!! If it's met half heartedly or with a blunt no, then you know what you must do. Hang in there!!

From an outsiders' point of view, this is actually really, really sad... that you take this "crumb" as rosedl has described as some sort of connection. I wish you well and hope things improve for you, but having been close to your shoes, this is like the first inch of Mount Everest...

"The Talk" is really for YOUR benefit, and as such it is a good thing that you have done it.

In and of itself it rarely changes a thing - however, it provides the recipient of it with information which the recipient may choose to take on board, or not. It provides the recipient with an opportunity to challenge their thinking, or not. It provides the recipient with a chance to modify their behaviour or not.

Your version of "The Talk" has provided him with opportunity. He will pick it up and run with it, or he will **** it up against the wall.

Your version of "The Talk" has given you the initiative and momentum in the dynamic (well done) but NOW, you have to keep it. Your foot has to stay firmly on the gas.

Tread your own path.

I can reconize myself in your story, I truly hope it will stay this way between the two of you, that it will get better and better(:

It feels good to be heard. Even when they don't hear us just knowing that we spoke our truth can be rewarding. Did you add that one day the puppy might become a big ferocious dog so get with it buddy lol. ha ha

The great value of "The Talk" lies in it being a line in the sand. After this, your husband can never say he "didn't know" you were unhappy; "didn't realise you wanted a sexual and intimate reationship", or any of the other cop outs that occur with sexless spouses.

Time to effectively "hold his feet to the fire". If within three days you see no notable changes (the kiss was a good start!!) then ASK him what he plans to do. Make sure he realises you are NOT going to drop the subject.

Every best wish for thinhs to get better! {{{hugs{}}}

That is a good analogy and it was a great way to address your frustration!
Here is a website that someone had suggested to me recently here on EP. I haven't taken much time to listen to the programs, but it may be of benefit to you: http://rejoiceministries.org/

Thanks so much!

This person is spamming every single story, adn that website is not helpful int he slightest.

I noticed... but thanks.

Dave, you have no place here. Take your religious pontificating and selling of a ministry off this board.

This "person" is NOT spamming every story. It's amazing how volatile people become with any mention of Jesus, although Jesus is the ONLY one that can properly restore marriages.
What practical advice did you suggest than just state the obvious?

Here's a sample of daves guiding light -

"I AM STANDING FOR THE HEALING OF MY MARRIAGE!... I will not give up, give in, give out or give over 'til that healing takes place. I made a vow, I said the words, I gave the pledge, I gave a ring, I took a ring, I gave myself, I trusted GOD, and said the words, and meant the words... in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in good times and in bad...so I am standing NOW, and will not sit down, let down, slow down, calm down, fall down, look down or be down 'til the breakdown is torn down!

I refuse to put my eyes on outward circumstances, or listen to prophets of doom, or buy into what is trendy, worldly, popular, convenient, easy, quick, thrifty, or advantageous... nor will I settle for a cheap imitation of God's real thing, nor will I seek to lower God's standard, twist God's will, rewrite God's word, violate God's covenant, or accept what God hates, namely divorce!

In a world of filth, I will stay pure; surrounded by lies I will speak the truth; where hopelessness abounds, I will hope in God: where revenge is easier, I will bless instead of curse; and where the odds are stacked against me, I will trust in God's faithfulness.

I am a STANDER, and I will not acquiesce, compromise, quarrel or quit. I have made the choice, set my face, entered the race, believed the Word, and trusted God for all the outcome.

I will allow neither the reaction of my spouse, nor the urging of my friends, nor the advice of my loved ones, nor economic hardship, nor the prompting of the devil to make me let up, slow up, blow up, or give up 'til my marriage is healed"

Dave, it's not Jesus. It's anyone who thinks they know "the answer" to solving all of our marital problems... all 34,900+ of us. We are equally offended by all of you who offer an "if only you would do it my way" solution.

I was not offended by Dave's posting in the least. I just found the website he sent me to wasn't helpful to me, if it is helpful to others then GOD BLESS THEM. I refuse to criticize or judge others here for their opinions and beliefs. This is a public forum and we are all free to express. I appreciate each of you for your comments and advice.
There is no solitary answer for anyone. Jesus can only fix a marriage if 2 people are willing to work on the marriage. He can work through each to bring healing. But again, that is my opinion.

As our friend so adequately posts .... tread your own path.
God bless!

"I will allow neither the reaction of my spouse, nor the urging of my friends, nor the advice of my loved ones...."

Delusional on top of everything else.... are you off your meds Dave?

I would be worried for your spouse's (and children's) safety in light of your obvious delusion. Not regarding your spouse as a human being with their own mind and right to self-determination is a dangerous, dangerous path. How far will you go if she leaves you? If she moves to another state? If she divorces you and takes a new partner? If "Jesus" "tells" you to take her back, would you kidnap her? If she refuses your advances, would you rape her? Would you twist and psychologically abuse the children to get to her, because "Jesus" "tells" you to?

I think you are confusing "Jesus" with "whatever the h*ll I WANT".

Miss winger, I don't know anything about your life story but for some reason you're quite opposed to Jesus Christ. I hope one day you decide to put your rebellious ways behind you and sincerely seek the truth and accept Him into your life. God bless you :)

Like Zusilwinger, I am opposed to HUMANS who believe they know what GOD wants for ME! I am opposed to Dave Shipley - not to God.

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He might have listened....actions will show if he heard or has the desire to change.

Refusers become attentive when they sense the desperation of our situation might actually propel us to take action for real change. Usually, the are afraid of losing their status quo and comfort. In my experience, actions taken this place don't last or maintain. If the refuser doesn't have a desire to change for their own benefit and needs, it will be action out of complicity and fear.

My ex listened. He went to therapy. He cried. He told me he love me. He would have stayed had I not left (at least for awhile more). But for all of this, he did not desire sex with me, and outside of one empty lonely try in our disastrous six month reconciliation, it never happened again,

All the words....all the good intent meant nothing. We were never going to have an intimate life. I could stay and he would be an affectionate friend. But, I would never ever have a sex life as he wanted celibate monogamy

I had no where to go but out.

You sound grateful and relieved that he gave you a crumb of his attention. And, this is where they take their power. We get nothing for so long, and we are so afraid to lose the marriage that they can ration out tiny, tiny bits and we take it like a dog starving for a bone. I say this not to hurt you but because it is where you lose your power.

Forget about pleas, reasoning, rationalizing. It doesn't work and it gives your power to the refuser and how they choose to dole out their 'affections'. Instead of going to him and hoping beyond hope that somehow some miracle change will happen after decades of marriage, make it about YOU and what you want and your own boundaries.

It is the key to freedom from this life of denial and servitude. Tell him what you need, what you expect, and tell him SPECIFICALLY what needs to happen in a given time frame. And, if it doesn't happen, act from there. Once you take the power for yourself, and determine to act for your own happiness and needs whatever they choose to do, you will be free.

You are so right when you say I was relieved. I am... grateful that he listened. My therapist will say the same thing though when you identify his response as a "crumb". In my head and heart, after 24 yrs, I know how he works. Not that he does it intentionally, I know he doesn't. He just isn't capable of giving more. You are sooo right in everything you said. Thanks so much! I really appreciate your forthrightness. God bless.

That was a really great comparison the dog/cat thing - smart! I bet your husband understood that analogy. It put it on the cat and dog relationship as you explained it without attacking him right off the bat in your talk, or your relationship, simply put. I think that was brilliant. Then you also got to tell him exactly how you felt. You got to convey your feelings and he heard it. Wow. That's awesome I hope he puts some serious thought into what you told him and he starts showing you by his actions that indeed he heard your cry. Best wishes. God Bless you

I'm really glad that you had a good talk with your husband! How has this morning been? Does your talk seem to be front and center on his mind still? Keep the conversation going with him.
That was a really good analogy, btw (dog/cat).
I wish you the best and hope to read more. :)

Well, he works Saturdays 11-7, but that gives him all day to think about what I said. I did get a kiss before he left.... first time that's happened in months. However, like someone posted above, it is just a morsel, a crumb... and after years and years of neglect, we'll see if anything actually changes. But thanks for your encouragement. God bless!

I don't think it's a bad idea for you say that to your husband. In my opinion, if this situation we are in has even a shred of hope- we need to be brutally honest and up front.
When the conversation naturally steers in the direction of your talk from last night- tell him what you tell us. It feel like a crumb that he is tossing you and you hate that feeling. That you want to feel like it's real again and can he prove to you that it is? Can he prove these fleeting kisses are more than a morsel?
I mean, hey- you might as well be out with it while you're still in the marriage. I do wish you all the happiness you deserve and please...while you have his attention, take advantage of that! :)