He Listened - updatedFor 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.
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....