Ignored and Undermined

My husband and I have been married for 14 years. He's an awesome father but a horrible husband. He ignores me.

On a daily basis, we're both concerned about the kids, but he is a little overly so. He makes time to do anything they want, anytime. But if I even ask him to watch a movie after they've gone to bed, he just shrugs and leaves the room.

He never listens to anything I say. It's like talking to a brick wall. I work from home so I have no interaction with anyone else during the day and he doesn't understand how much I need some type of adult conversation.

On our 10th anniversary, I bought him a really nice watch and he got me nothing. Not even a card. On my birthday or at Christmas, he acts like its a big chore to buy me a present. I know he only does it because the kids will wonder why he didn't if he doesn't give me something.

I guess I feel like I'm missing out on life. I see my friends who have more compatible mates and wonder what it would be like to be married to someone who was my friend as well as my husband. He thinks all of my interests are stupid. I try to feign interest in the things he likes but that just makes me feel like I'm desperate, like I'm lying to get his attention.

I tell him how I feel but he just says nothing. His interactions with me in front of our kids involve a lot of teasing and belittling on his part. I just laugh it off so that the kids don't think anything is wrong, but it undermines me as a parent. He also overrules a lot of the rules I make with the kids.

I feel rejected. I feel like I am just a maid and a breadwinner and a homework tutor. Nothing more.

I would love to go to therapy but he won't even consider it. He blames everything on me. Its all in my head, he thinks. I've had some bouts of depression (mostly because of all of this) so he thinks anytime there is anything wrong with our marriage, it's all in my head! I'm not depressed now--I'm angry.

Deep down, I do love him. I just don't know how to get over the fact that I'm 36 and face half a lifetime of being ignored.

twelu twelu
36-40, F
33 Responses Sep 23, 2009

I wish you lived in florida because Iam going throufh the same thing you are going through, wow we have a lot in common. I feel like crying inside becuase I feel your pain.

Physical violence and verbal abuse are never acceptable in any relationship.

Let me draw a picture of the future. I'm 48 married to the same kind of man 17 yrs. We have two boys. I spend Xmas, Thanksgiving ,Easter alone he takes my boys to in laws .I'm not aloud . We have been to divorce court 4 times. He always comes back not because he loves me , because he doesn't want to pay alimony. I used to wonder why he was always so distant didn't touch me wasn't really interested in sex . I thought I was ugly and stupid, because that is what he tells me. I CAUGHT HIM WITH ANOTHER MAN and the sex between the two of them was happening just fine at the time. I was shocked

Ahh....cut to the chase ladies.....you're dreaming if you think you'll change those men. If you can afford it...run for the hills and get a life....if you can. The children won't forgive you because he plays a really good Daddy roll in front of them, so you'll have to live with that, but is it worth never having peace?
My husband is a self fulfilling jealous manipulator. Everything that is me, he stole. I met him and he was all about how pretty he was, and I fell for it. Oh, he'd learned to say all the right things and do what made him look the best to the outside world. I hide the amount of his drinking from the children and was always praising him to the children and teaching them respect. I have always seen the cup half full but over the years he sucked the joy out of me......he watched me and copied my actions thoughts and mood and one day I realized he had become ME! But when we were home alone, he would be moody and mean. I was not allowed to have anything good.....even my little dog he manipulated away and if I asked him to just leave her in a safe place until I got home, he refused. He made the rules and I had no say.....my children have told me they would not speak to me if I left GOD, their father. Theses type of men are monsters leaving shells of people that once loved them, behind. Run, as far and as fast as you can my dear.

Wow, this is my story to a T and I have 2 kids and don't want to break up family, but it is destroying my self worth. He ignored out 10th and 11 anniversary. He has ignored my last 2 birthdays and Mother's day-no cards-nothing. He has called me every name in the book and sees me as a maid. He hasn't hugged or kissed me in forever. You are worth more than this and so am I.

there are a lot of passive agressive info on e/p

Has anyone here considered Aspergers? It may be worth reading up about. I have experienced the same as many women here and have discovered people with Aspergers often cannot read others and are very self absorbed. They can isolate themselves, be interested in one particular thing/topic (such as computers), do not get basic social signals (like someone wanting a hug) and when their partners are down and need support they are not there for them. It is more common than we think. There is a lot of guidance which may help some women here deal with their partners better if they intend to stay.... Just a thought.

Aspergers is typically not the answer in cases like this. It may be somewhat more common than many think, but it's not a super common condition. A vast number of men have this same mentality, and Aspergers is generally not the cause. Of course, it may be in some cases, but I think it's typically just a selfish mentality that stems from childhood.

Amen! My husband was and still is a total mama's boy. She spoiled him rotten and gave him everything he asked for. She still does this and no woman he has ever been with could never live up to her standards.

My spouse has moods where he goes in and out of good and bad days. Its so odd. Usually, he is loving, but when he is not, it may have been as a result of something I did, or something I didn't know that I did, but whatever the case, he makes it known. I get minimal response, no touching, distant. ANd then all of a sudden he comes out of it. I dont know what to do when he is like this, he claims he is just busy, nothing is wrong, but I feel it in my gut that it isn't right. He has friendships with other women, I don't think he has cheated, but there is question there....(long story) We have a 1yr old daughter, and we have talked about having more children, but I am feel empty, scared, alone. I don't know what to do, who to turn to.

Wow. This has been my life for the last 6 years. Since the birth of our first child actually. I was working from home but then stopped and looked fully after our children. I went into depression as my husband was going out a lot with his mates but was never considering going out as a couple, him and me together. He neglected me, would live by his iphone rather than by me, while he was saying to other women they were absolutely amazing and then told me it was all in my head. Within 6 years we have been out together ... twice. Never buys me flowers. Never cooks for me or do the washing up. I find he is happy and he loves me more when i do the things he wants me to do. Great. But he doesnt care about what i want. I have to make efforts to please him but i feel it is only going 1 way. He sees me as a mummy. Not as a woman anymore. Our coupleship only exists for the kids. I understand what you are going through. What do i do about it? I recently managed to get a job in a company, no work from home anymore, gonna have my own colleagues, own social life, i know he wont want to be part of it which will hurt but then i must do something for myself. I want our couple back on track but as he is not making any effort, then i should think about myself. The kids have seen me crying enough, they need a strong mother if their dad can not be a husband. Hard. I dont think our couple will survive. Good luck to you x

Just as eeram200 said: "Look up passive aggressive and narcissistic and then get the hell out."

And others have talked about being codependent with a narcissistic mother... same for me! I grew up being "well-trained" and I ended up "marrying my mother!" Not my violent, raging father, but my narcissistic mother that I could never please...

I'm 63 and still haven't left completely. SAVE YOURSELF!

By staying with him so my son "would have two parents in the home" all I did was teach my son that it was alright to mistreat women, and that's what he does now. Imagine how guilty I feel on top of everything else!

Exactly the same for me, except now child is grown and gone and nothing has changed. Only gotten worse, after 30 years. SAVE YOURSELF! Depression is anger, turned inward. And justified it seems!

Same here. 28 years of marriage. But these days I am always asking myself what has it all been for?

Please tell me in not crazy or overreacting.. I feel hurt and that I'm being ignored always..
My husband goes to work n returns by 7 each evening. As soon as he returns he will catch up on his personal emails,Facebook and read a load of newspapers n magazines for the next 1 and a half hour ,while I'm sitting right next to him trying to make conversations and making my stupid attempts to get noticed..then he will change n go for a jog n after he showers he'll go to his mom and have dinner with her.. I cook every single day and want him to eat up with us but he never cares to listen .. At the most he will take a little bit of food and take that down with him as well.I Dnt feel welcome downstairs so I stay up n eat with the kids.he will come up again after dinner n a while of chit chat n watch some tv n then go to sleep saying he's tired n his eyes r hurting !
I always notice he isn't in any room I am in for more than 10 mins.. Either he will get up n get busy in another room or I will feel so hurt I won't stick around.. I stay at home ,cook n take care of the house n handle all matters concerning the kids and he just takes them out on weekends n let them do whatever they like.we often make plans n meet up friends but mostly hes conversing with them or the kids in the car...hes kind and loving to the kids and never stops me from doing anything like going out with friends,at moms or to work but I realize now it's not so much cos he wants to see me happy but because he really doesn't care if im around or not or what i do as long as it doesn't cost him anything. I have my own money which I use to shop for my self,pay my bills and take care of other expenses and even buy almost all my kids clothes (which I usually do on our trips abroad)husband just gets groceries and pays school fees.
I feel like a maid but at least a maid gets paid!!
When I've had too much and I cry he will ignore it sitting right in front of me and not notice or ask what has upset me.. if I don't talk to him for days when in depressed he will behave like everything is fine n go on not talking to me for days until I speak first ...he DOESNOT believe in communication nor knows how to do that..
It's been 10 years and i never felt loved even one day living with this man..sometimes I feel I should stay married to him and start living life like a single woman n pretend he doesn't exist for me.. At least I'll still have a married status n kids will have the parents together but at other times it gets too hard to ignore knowing that I left my parents home for this man n gave him kids,I take care of all his needs and his home n let alone appreciation I don't even get respect from him for he doesn't care to stand for a few seconds n listen to what I'm saying and keeps walking away n if he needs to get out of the room he'll close the door on my face.
6 month back,after a severe attack which lasted 2 months I got diagnosed for trigeminal neuralgia.. I literally wanted to commit suicide and needed emotional support if nothing else from my husband ..one night I was in so much pain I asked him to take me to the hospital n as he had taken a sleeping pill he refused not even trying to call a cab..I somehow survived the morning and what I got from him was "so what! U didnt die!!"
I've been let down everyday of my life..I want to make it work but changing him is in his hands when he realises my pain n his faults.. I don't think it'll ever happen.. If I do walk out I have nowhere to go as I've spent my entire life with a mother suffering from narcissistic personality syndrome and have had many painful years in my parents house. My father is the most wonderful man any daughter or wife could ever have in her life.. Going back would hurt him to see my house broken n my mother would make his life hell blaming him for 'spoiling ' his daughters.she has absolutely no empathy!
I know she will do this as my sister is already divorced and living with them and I c her going thru this everyday!
I want to stay happy and mentally sane ,more than anything ,so I can be the best mother to my kids..something I never had in my life..
What should I do??

I left my husband after 17 years because everyone outside the house was always "so great" and "so nice". He treated everyone terrifically and did so much for everyone, but me. I could not take it. We ended up getting back together after I did a lot of soul searching and reading (separated for 4 months). I realized my husband has some degree of narcissism. I realize that it is because he feels inadequate (and because of how he was raised). I feel badly for him sometimes, but I draw boundaries, now. I let him know when he is "hurting" me and he is trying very hard to make changes. It is really not easy for him. He really has to always look like the good guy to everyone and it's all about his appearance to the outside world. We have two teenage boys. I love them dearly (of course) and they needed me when I was gone. That was the other thing about leaving my husband, he alienated me from my children. (Parental Alienation Syndrome is rampant among narcissists (male and female)). It was the worst thing ever. I am still getting over it-my therapist believes I have PTSD from the experience. (I know I sound like a head case, but I actually have more clarity then I have ever had. I decided I would try with my husband and see how it goes. My boys needed me. He took me back quickly. (Of course, told his family and my boys that I begged and pleaded which was not the case. I told my children what truly happened in family counseling with my husband sitting there. As far as his family, I don;t care what they believe. They know their son and brother and his propensities; they hate me.) We are in counseling. It's hard to change a narcissist; they really have to want to change and, to be honest, I am not sure if they change or just merely train themselves. I guess it depends on the extent of their psychosis. I love my husband very much and he does have a very big heart and can be absolutely amazing at times, but your post rang so true to my ears. I am sorry there are others out there who have to deal with someone who has some degree of narcissism, but it gives me comfort in some ways to know you are out there, too. I live one day at a time, I do not hold grudges, I take every moment as a new moment with my husband. I communicate and create the boundaries. I was codependent; now, I have educated myself and take care to be better for my children and myself.

You do not have to be alone. You can both be great parents who have chosen to live separate lives, in separate houses. It is sad to have one person who gives up. It is not worth you wasting your youth. So many many great men in the world. Here is a little tip: proximity is key. If you surround yourself with good people, you will find a good man.

Mine is same too only worse. I gave up a good job, stay at home look after two kids. No presents ever. Last yr on my b'day, he was upset with someone and took it out on me. I cried fhe whole day. Towars end of the day bought me a cake which i had to go along with for sake of my 2& 5 yr old kids. He threatens to divorce me on daily basis. Has hit me a few times. Divorce is not option for me as i care for the kids. Oh man! tell me why i am alive. Just neede to get it out of my system.

Do not cry. Just remember that you love yourself and your children. Divorce for your children, if not for yourself. They need a role model, a mom who will strive for better, a mom who will stand up for herself and them. I know the feeling of being afraid to go back to being alone. You ask yourself "can I make it?, is he right - am I worthless and stupid?". I used to pray my ex would disappear. He was controlling mentally, and physically abusive. He was a good looking doctor, and we lived in a posh neighborhood. No one would have guessed. You are alive to find out how strong you really are. You are alive to find out how smart you are and what a great woman you are. You will get away from him, protect those kids and move on. You will one day get a man who loves you and your kids more then life itself. Do not be afraid. PLAN PLAN PLAN. Write down everything he has ever done to you, email it to yourself and to a friend. Have a place to go if you are really ready to leave- friends or family. Report the abuse to 911 the next time he hits you. Tell everyone you know. Make sure you let the police know that he abuses your kids too. Have him arrested and kept overnight in jail. Drop the kids off at a friends/family and pack EVERYTHING you can. You will not be able to go back to the house after he gets out, unless you want him to screw with you. In the morning, go to the bank and remove the finances, close the account if it is in both names. You can leave him money in the form of a cashiers check, but I wouldn't leave a cent. Do not feel bad. Read the email you sent yourself. Go to the court house. File an injunction. Go to court when they tell you. Get a P.O. Box. Have your mail forwarded. DO NOT speak with him. No matter what. Again, tell everyone you know what he has done. They will help you. Only when you are ready. Only once you plan. You can do anything, but please, please do not convince yourself that you are staying with him for the kids. That is not true. I know, I had a 10 month old in my arms the last time I was hit. That boy is now 3, safe, and without memory of that man who is not in our lives. Save your kids.

BetterNow813, I hope you are proud of yourself. You did something that takes trememndous courage and are a great role model to women in the same boat. I hope they take a cue from you! I'm sure your kids are very grateful for that strength as well :)

Look up passive aggressive and narcissistic and then get the hell out. Life is too short to live like this. 24 years I lived it. I wish I had of know that it was him who was ill and that everything wasn't my fault. I wish I had of left years ago. I am now 47 years old and my life has just begun :)

Thank you for this. You are going to be fine! Stay strong sister- and go to the gym (that helped me!!)

We all search for love then when we get it we start taking it for granted. Hope you make a breakthrough with some good communication:


Wake up people! Mariage is such an old idea and such a fake status! Mariage does not exist. It's all in our stupid mind programmed already by society and religion. We are human beings, who are programmed to procreate, the rest is just a crazy way to try to control people and make them believe in a family system that can fallow the rules and pay taxes, and pay...pay...pay ...forever.There is no way that monogamy is our way of being, we are trying to be this way so we become more and more neurotic in need of more and more treatment. What convenient place for psychiatrists! I am crying for the poor children , the "new" generation, who learn the old stuff over and over again.Hey mums and dads! wake up......and free yourself from the burden of not beeing yourself, and free your children also! for god sake, they are our future ! ( sorry for my English , I'M not a native)

Really? Because I love being married. Most people who say that marriage is ridiculous and "fake" have either never been married or never been in a healthy marriage. I am, and getting married was the best decision I have made.

Please research narcissistic personality disorder. Your husband sounds like he has it and you might be codependent. Don't try changing him or telling him that you suspect he has it because life for you and your children will get a lot more unpleasant. Only work on changing yourself once you've educated yourself about codependency Keep a journal of things that happen: what he says and does, what you say and do, and each others responses--it'll keep you sane when he tries to blame you for everything. I truly wish you well in your journey.

Good advice.

You are an entity of your own. Your heart pumps pure red blood, your stomach, your lungs, your liver, your brain, all your organs are functional, go check your teeth once at the dentist and you'd see each tooth has its own shape and role to perform, each tooth bears a desc<x>ription of its own. The point of me saying all this is that you must realize your life is precious and that you are separate provision on your own. I'm a Muslim woman and I know from my Book how important it is to detach oneself from this life which is so temporary, the more you attach yourself to anyone or anything the more it becomes the source of your misery, know that everything in this world is to perish leaving no trace behind. Look after your kids and raise them up as good human beings and know that your husband is on his own now. You are a different personality, a different character, an individual. Read books, cry it all out at times, sit by the lake under the sky and feel the nature around you. Do not think how much time he has given you, know that you don't have enough time to be able to do that which you want to do, so utilize every moment on something good for yourself and for the people around you. So what that he ain't yours, at least you were always his good wife. <br />
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respect yourself<br />
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It's just what happens after many years. We swore it would never happen to us. But my husband doesn't see me anymore even though I am attentive and willing to do whatever would please him without my being a doormat.<br />
It's how we're wired I guess. Someone's garbage is someone else's treasure. No need to stay in an empty sexless marriage.

you are obviously a strong woman. <br />
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Sorry I dont have time to write much tonight.<br />
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This sounds an abusive relationship to me. You should go to therapy, if he wont go, go alone. Life should not be the way it is for you.<br />
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He is being very selfish. You feel rejected because he is rejecting you. None of this sounds to be your doing. <br />
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Good luck

I am so sad for you. I am a man and love my wife so much, I tell her every day, show her every day and would think every man should do the same. It is sad when we guys neglect their love. I hope you can find a meaningful way to express yourself so he may respond the right way. he needs to get in touch with your feelings and needs. Maybe he does not know how much you need this! Keep looking for ways to tell him. I wonder how many wives feel this very same way?! I also wonder what else you are missing in your relationship? Hope you can resolve this before something happens or worse nothing happens.

I guess I'm not alone in feeling ignored in my marriage. I am married to a man with kids who live with us the majority of the time. They are great kids but my husband is attentive to them and sensitive to their needs but for some reason doesn't do know how to do that for me. I guess he sees me as this superwoman? In the past I would get angry and that pushed him away to the point where now he is completely insensitive to my needs. But I don't want to put all the blame on me because he does tend to put himself first before me and that's the way he's always been really. So I guess I also have to accept the fact that I married him knowing that.

you may have known that about him before you married him...but that does not absolve him of having to be sensitive to your needs too!!!

Lol my friend just called complaining of this and saying she wants sex more and stuff i just tell her he's just comfortable just like everyone gets but iv'e been lucky the ppl i date are usually really INTO me and wanna spend alot of time with me but ppl do get comfortable? And now she's confronting him about it which i think just makes it worse and will make him not wanna b with her even more But then again she did get pregnant on purpose maybe she does like him more?!

I read your post and thought that I must be your male twin. I have posted in EP about my sexless marriage and doing everything on my own. Everyone responding has basically said what my counselor told me. It takes two in marriage. One doing it alone never will work. I am basically in my marriage still right now because of my kids. Some think this is crazy, but it works for me. My wife doesn't make me happy, but my kids do, so I just focus on them. I have no money for a lawyer and my entire paycheck keeps us living in the house and eating food. My biggest worry right now is how will I feel 5, 10, 15 years from now. I know I will always be there for my kids. Will this change for my wife? Only she can do that. Good luck to you. See a counselor and decide your future. You may choose to leave or not. Whatever you choose, live with it.

I have lived with a person for 14 years who has ignored me. It made me angry. That gave him a convenient "excuse" to avoid me, to blame me for everything and so on. He told me, after I found various "evidence" on his mobile phone (and, 4/5 years ago had found some details on post-it notes, which he denied meant anything) that he's been with "2" prostitutes. In October. It's a long story. He's now in a bed and breakfast - and, after telling me, I told his sisters - to whom he text messaged saying "don't believe a word she says, don't speak to her, I left her and she went crazy and is making all this stuff up about me, she wants to ruin my life" - I have had no apologies, such hysteria and silence from him - but I think I've written enough. Point is that this not communicating with a person is a form of passive aggressivity, <br />
it ruins lives and is not a joke. I am totally destroyed. The pain is unbearable.

i had many discussions with my (ex) wife-and she said,almost ,word for word-the same things you ladies have described-i did love her but as time went by when i looked at her all i saw was my failings and her mistakes-and somewhere along the line it quit bein us and was just her and i and i hated myself for thinkn that way. i didnt verbally belittle her,call her names-i barely interacted with her at all-now that some time has passed i think i realize just how terrible i made her feel-even though there was hardly any words said. im not a big believer in staying married for the kids or because you wont be able to keep the lifestyle your used to and when i got married divorce wasnt an opion-i know now that divorce was the right decision as far as my ex and i go

As the only "male" in this stream, I'd like to add my point of view. I agree with Meauburn2008. You have much life to live. I see people all the time that are dead at 40 but only get buried at 80. "If" you have exhausted every possible chnace to reconcile the relationship, then you need to and must make a decision that is best for you.<br />
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Speaking from experience, my wife and I recently finished up a year of marriage counseling. Yup, a YEAR! It got to a point where I simply refused to go on any further. I said, "either we're going to work at changing things or it's time to throw in the towel. No sense getting into details but we were both unhappy with our situation but lacked the ability to make the changes necessary. <br />
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Most men I would assume would think that you're bluffing. But if he refuses to go to therapy with you, tell him you're going by yourself. In therapy you will find the strength to strike out on your own. And when you do, you will kick yourself in the a** for not doing it sooner!<br />
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It only takes one to ruin a marriage but it takes two to make it work. <br />
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Best of luck.

I can't tell you how much I feel like I relate to your story. I feel my husband gives all his love and attention to our daughter but he is no longer in love with me. When I try to talk to him, he gives me a nasty look like "Who cares"? If things are not done his way, then it is WRONG!! and of course whatever I try to do is underminded and he's always "correcting" me. He is always on the computer, no effection, no touch, no love, won't even kiss me on the lips goodbye. I used to feel "What else can I do to bring him back?" I just feel too tired to play these games anymore and I'm just wanting to throw in the towel. I would rather be alone than be with someone who is constantly trying to humiliate me, to belittle me, and expects me to take it. I need some help or advise. We have a beautiful little girl and he is a good father but I feel so lonely is this "marriage." He's actually looked at me staight in the eyes and said, "I can't stand you"! He has a very bad temper and does not take much to set him off. He's been to anger management program but still refuses he has a problem. After all, nothing is ever his fault and he will never take any responsibility for anything or ever apologize for some of the most hurtful things anyone could ever say to someone. I know a lot of other women would have taken off by now. I see every now and then why I fell in love with him but I think him being mean and nasty and ignoring me so long, I think it's time to let him go...Maybe it's for the best...I just think of our little girl that loves her daddy so much. Anyone have any advise?? Please, I'm looking at all options at this point because I refuse to live like this anymore. I will no longer kiss his a**. I'm a good woman and have a lot to offer but he has used me as a doormat long enough...I'm so tired and depressed.

Dear twelu- I wish I could tell you things will get better- but I can not. I have been married for thirty years and have four children. They are grown now and I thought maybe FINALLY my husband would find some time for ME!! What a dream that was. He only has time for work, watching television and sleeping- same as it was when kids were little!! He has always been a good provider but on the other hand that was always a good excuse for me to have to do EVERYTHING for our children and our home. I LOVE being a mom, but before being a mom I was his wife!! He has turned into a bitter, angry man and I can not figure out why. He pretty much lives his life and I am stuck here being his maid. We do absolutely nothing together and do not even share a bed!! I just hope this does not happen to other women that devote their lives to their family(so no career to fall back on for support, money wise) and you end up EMOTIONALLY alone like I am. I am afraid I am going to end up just talking to these four walls!! I am not even fifty yet and feel like I will never be happy again!! Sad isn't it? I have tried to talk to him- to no avail. Do not really think he cares. He just gets totally pissed and storms off- Then I get the silent treatment EVEN more!! The really sad part is EVERYONE outside of our relationship thinks he is perfect!! He "works" at keeping this image of himself alive and well!! I have even tried to talk to my own mother about this and she can not(or will not )believe it!! So how can I expect that anyone else would believe how really lonely and broken hearted I am? Good Luck to you and ,please, do not grow old and end up like me!

Dear ignored and undermined,<br />
It is not you. I want you to keep repeating that to yourself. It is not you. <br />
The reason that he does this stuff to you is plan and simple- to make you feel 'small and insignificant' while he feels 'big and superior'. He keeps you -down, so that he can feel- up. You have every right to feel angry. You still have a whole life ahead of you! No one has the right to treat you this way.

thats tellin her meauburn :) &lt;&lt; feel the same way at time