I Made Him Leave....update - He's Back. *how it went*

A lot has been going on since I joined EP. So grab a coffee and settle down, this is going to be long.


I was at my wits end about my relationship with my husband! But I realised I wasn't going crazy or being unreasonable when I read all your stories in ILIASM. The descriptions of spouses who withhold affection, are passive aggressive and the tales from poor frustrated lonely people were so familiar to me.

So here's what's happened:

  • I realised I couldn't get through to him no matter what I did or said.
  • I told him it wasn't working out, I couldn't do this anymore, I told him to leave the house – do not come back – for at least a week. I told him to figure out what is important in life.
  • He was very shocked. He went. He acted childishly (didn't take medication, any clothes, not even a toothbrush). He knows I worry, so I knew he did it deliberately.
  • He didn't answer messages. I could see now that he wanted me to chase him, to explain, to justify myself – like I always do. But I didn't.
  • I refused to play his stupid game anymore. I refused to feel guilty. I started to feel better.

5 days later he called and was passive aggressive with me. He wanted to get his clothes but I wouldn't be home. I tell him to come in the afternoon. He gets all pissed off and tries to make it my fault he didn't have clean clothes or a toothbrush. I just didn't care and ignored his crap.

He came over that night (Wednesday night – I kicked him out prev. Saturday) at dinner time. I knew he did this deliberately so he could have dinner with us.

He stayed the night (he actually came over and sat with me on the lounge and rubbed my back!). We talked, or rather I talked and he listened.

I told him there are new rules – he is only to work Monday to Friday. No weekends. He was taken aback by this. He looked miserable – but I didn't feel bad at all. I told him 'these are the new rules”.

Everything was civil and ok but it wasn't ok with me yet. The next morning he left for work. I realised he probably expected that he was back in the house now.  So that morning I called him and sure enough he was packing up where he was staying – I told him he was not coming back home. He was totally shocked.

I told him I was not going to feel guilty, I had been too nice for too long. I told him I was feeling stronger but wanted more time alone. I said my life was going to be different. If he wanted to be in it – I had requirements (told him what they were, namely that family comes first, not Farm).

Then he asked me if I was going to change too? * typical turn it back on me bullshit * It made me totally mad.

I said – stop trying to turn this around on me! I'm not falling for this tactic any longer.

I will NOT live like this. NO! I am not going to change. If YOU want to be married YOU need to change. I told him I was quite prepared to be divorced, but will give it one last try. I told him he could come home on Saturday and we will spend the weekend as a family. He said he was 'going to' do that anyway. I told him he's had 5 years to do that and it hasn't happened yet!!  I told him (again) that I spend weekends and holidays alone with daughter because he always chooses to work. I told him I may as well be single, he is never home and when he is home it's horrible because he's miserable and grumpy because of his stupid farm. I let him know that Farm was a four letter word to me!! **** the stupid farm.

Then he made an excuse about last year's disaster. (He came away to the beach with us, but left on day 2 to go back to work- leaving us at the beach to holiday alone for 10 days). I told him there is always an excuse with him. No more excuses. Be a member of the family or get out of it.

I told him “I'm not listening to words or excuses any more. They no not count. Only actions count”.

Well......I was quite prepared for this all to blow up in my face. I honestly didn't have anything left to lose. Then the weekend came and he stayed with us all weekend. We went to the horse races as a family on Saturday. We had an awesome time. We hung out on Sunday, walked the dogs, did some gardening, drank some beers. Yay!

It's slow going, but he is staying at home, things have been different. We are talking – not about anything too heavy – just talking. Like normal people. Weird.

I'm very aware it could all turn to hell again. My tactic is to do what makes me happy and expecting him to do what he says. I've backed off on complaining or asking things of him and switched to expecting things from him. I've made myself very clear about what I expect and he is now absolutely clear as to what I will do if he withdraws into his own little world of farming again.

The house rule is “family comes first”. Wonder if this will work?

*Find out how the night went at comment No.8*

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8 Responses Feb 22, 2010

T&P - I've been in your husband's shoes when it comes to obligations to a parent. It's a very, very hard to give anything less than 100% when your parents are genuinely desperate, even when it causes great strain in your marriage, health, and finances. It sounds like you are emotionally exhausted from the situation too.<br />
Really, there's no excuse for his outbursts, as frustrated and beaten as he may feel. He's got to keep his emotions in check or he compounding his problems at home...<br />
I too am encouraged and thoroughly jealous of VB & P's newfound happiness.

Have you ever seen that Movie "The Mexican" where that guy asks Julia Roberts character the same question "When Is Enough Enough?" Her answer was some long diatribe about feelings and respect, nature and some other bullshit. His answer is the one I liked." If you love him then you will never get to enough." <br />
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I know this isnt a movie but basically Ive been asking myself these same questions..and for now at least for me I still love him that much..you however sound like your at your breaking point as well as dealing with that farm...I think what you said about if he is not ever home to be in the family is very telling. If he refuses to give up the farm from everything youve said I dont see any other way..I wish you the best but stay strong cause this might get uglier still..

Very sorry to hear this, but it would have been unusual to be as easy as it seemed. The road back from the edge is not easy - it took years to get to this state... expectations have grown badly out of whack and bad behaviors have become second-nature. Sadly, often due to our own (over-?) tolerance and failing to recognize and nip the problem early.<br />
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From your comments, it does seem that he tries to escape his issues and ignore them, rather than face them and resolve them. The farm sounds like it might be a convenient endless source of work to escape to. I know farming ain't easy.<br />
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Some thoughts... together, you need to make an honest assessment of the farm, along with all the other things that consume your time and money. Be painfully clear with each other what's important (and not important) to you, and why (e.g., does it pay well). Prioritize the list (including time together to keep the relationship alive), and start cutting things off the bottom of the list that you don't have time or money for. Consider everything - jobs, commute time, farm, volunteering, hobbies, dining out, etc. E.g., if he wasn't farming, the time and money could be spent doing... a higher-paying job? More family time? Or, if I find a closer job without the commute time, it means we can...<br />
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Make sure he's crystal clear on what's important to you; he may be busting his *** in a misguided attempt to make the farm work because he thinks his success there is important in your eyes. (I made this mistake recently - invested dozens of hours making something nice for W; she'd have preferred the cheap off-the-shelf option.)<br />
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Maybe I'm stating the obvious and the time for analysis has passed, but from your comments it sounds like a big issue is sinking resources (time, money) into a non-productive venture. The work is sure to be exhausting him physically, and his lack of success is probably taking its toll emotionally.<br />
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HTH,<br />

T&P - good for you! The challenge will be keeping the momentum going. It sounds like you're pretty clear on what you need from him (and good for you for knowing!), but humor me for 30 seconds here...<br />
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I'm re-learning a lot of obvious things lately - like, people have different needs and different natural tendencies (DUH!). Some people are amazingly fortunate to find a good match - their spouse naturally fills their needs and vice versa; they both feel "loved". Others of us struggle to express love in a way that's meaningful - we do what feels right or natural for us, but we sorely miss the mark with our spouse's needs. And it's a 2-way street.<br />
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For me, I was surprised to discover that I didn't really know what I need... that is, I feel unloved, but I couldn't pinpoint why - I see the symptoms, but I didn't know what was missing to make me feel so empty. And if I can't figure out what I need, I'm poorly equipped to tell W how to improve. Conversely, if I'm missing the mark for W and she doesn't know why, I can't hope to improve for her benefit.<br />
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I say this to make the point... be careful not to just superficially Band-Aid the symptoms and think it's fixed - take advantage of this new momentum to tackle the underlying issues. Be certain you're clear yourself on what you really need to feel emotionally fulfilled, then help your spouse focus on ways to fill the gap. At the same time, get him to do a similar introspection so you can be effective for him.<br />
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What you really need may not be as obvious as it sounds, which is why I suggested the book. (After quite a bit of pondering I think I've narrowed my needs, and it wasn't at all what I'd have guessed.)<br />
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Best wishes for you and hubby - keep us posted!<br />

Did you cry when he started rubbing your back??? - I probably would have....<br />
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Glad to hear he trying to improve his part of the marriage. i dont know all the details but maybe let him work one weekend a month or every ohter weekend, but he has to do "family nights" during the week.....Putting restrictions on people may work at first but then he may feel resentful towards not being able to provide (farm/make money) for his family the way he feels he should. BUT - if your not in any finacial hardship - no weekends is fair !! <br />
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Have fun being a WIFE again !!!

I hope you two get to third base too and then to home plate in the same run. If not, I recommend that you go to your priest and tell him that your husband refuses to procreate. Then, get an annulment of your marriage. Find a new family man for you and your daughter. <br />
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What does your daughter think of him? <br />
How does your husband treat her? <br />
How old is she, by the way? <br />
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You have not mentioned much about her.

I really admire you for being so clear about your requirements and for refusing to accept anything less. It seems your husband is really trying - and that is a GOOD sign. I agree with CD - don't ease up now. By all means reward him for "good behaviour" but ANY back sliding needs to be dealt with swiftly and firmly! Good luck!! It would be WONDERFUL if you succeed in turning things around!

Make sure you don't soften up. Keep the pressure and don't let up. It would be great to have some success stories around here.