I apologize if this is in the wrong forum. They should create a marriage section!
My situation is very different. My DH was abused mentally and physically by his mother. That is now affecting his relationship with me. We are having the SAME argument at the worst time. Right when I'm going to sleep is when he wants to "talk." It's the same he feel's lonely in our marriage, doesn't feel I'm making any effort, and brings up divorce often. I know he has issues emotionally accepting my love but I am getting to the point that I can't take it anymore. I don't know what to do and have no one I can talk to about this. I've tried everything to be more affectionate more attentive have more sex. Nothing works telling him I love him, or asking him if he's feeling loved/lonely does nothing. I'm done with this vicious cycle I can't take it anymore. I feel like a freakin zombie since I'm sleep deprived.
This is probably the forum you are looking for. It sounds like you all might need to make plans to see a counselor and possibly set up some sort of date night. Maybe if there was a certain night every week where he was guaranteed to be able to talk to you he wont be inclined to try and do it right as you are going to sleep.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
It works for me. I think "parents as partners" may be one of those forums you can only access after you've written a certain number of posts and/or been a member for a certain amount of time.
I agree with the PP. This is probably a situation where professional help is needed. A good therapist will help you guys untangle the more confusing aspects of all this, and will help him understand himself and what he needs better.
I don't have your partner's background, but I also tend to feel lonely and bring up deep topics just around bedtime, which doesn't work for my partner either.
Here is an idea. What time of day would work best for you to have these conversations? Maybe at that time, make a habit of checking in with him. Sit down together and ask him how he's feeling, is there anything he wants to talk about. Maybe you guys can both include some nice snacks or something to drink (tea? warm beverages help create warm and fuzzy feelings while socializing, according to studies), etc. Think of it as "nurturing time." Even if that sounds ridiculous to do with a fellow adult. Even if it doesn't yield perfect immediate results, it will mean something to him that you're giving him something more than the standard or usual... and it should at least prevent all that from coming up at bedtime. I think you've been on the right track in the things you've tried before, but maybe you need to go a little more overboard about it.
He's got a deeper pit of emptiness than most people, and it will take something more concentrated than a regular good relationship to even begin to fill it a tiny bit. The good thing is that spending this time with him may free up the rest of your time.
Another idea... does he read "self help" books? Is he willing to do so? Possibly at your insistence? :P He needs to start taking responsibility for more of his healing process, from the sound of it. You might also get something out of these books if you don't read them already. In addition to books for Survivors, I would suggest checking out the Imago technique of conversation... I can't remember the name of the guy who writes about it... Harville Hendrix I think. The gist of it is that you pick a time to converse that works for both of you, and then one person speaks (reasonably briefly,) and the other person repeats back what they understood the first person to have said, the first person responds in order to clarify, and then that process continues until the first person feels that they've said everything they need to say. It can be dorky but it is amazingly effective, and really helps a person to feel listened to. Then the second person becomes the speaker. You can make the same essential points you would both make in an argument or fast flowing conversation, and which mostly would have been understood, but in this approach understand each other much more deeply by the time the conversation is over.
Other books may be helpful as well. I am thinking of Brene Brown and Pema Chodron.
If his bringing up divorce is stressful, maybe ask him or make some deal with him not to do so on a regular basis. There is sometimes the risk with a Survivor of them having some perp behaviors, no matter how small. He may be un-legitimately trying to cause you a little pain and stress in an attempt to get what he legitimately wants.
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