I have been married over a decade and the same rub keeps coming up in our marriage. I would like to thing/feel and handle things differently because what i am doing is not working. My husband in my opinion, has difficulty managing his emotions when he is mad and sad. This plays out with him being up and down with unexpected outbursts where he says painful things to me and our 9 year old daughter. There is no standing up to him in those moments and from what I have learned, is not a good idea anyway. So, I find myself getting more and more angry and closed off to him. Being closed off and emotionally disconnected is his biggest critique of me.
For example, I cleaned out the pantry and re-arranged. He looked at it and said, “That’s what I told the guys about you, I can’t find anything anymore after you clean.” I asked him if he wanted something in a different place and he got mad saying, “I can’t even joke with you anymore. Our marriage is always like this. I can’t be who I am. I have to walk on eggshells around you all of the time.” I went to talk to him and told him that I didn’t know that he was joking. I apologized. And he says, “yeah, you don’t know me anymore.” Then told me to leave because he didn’t want to talk about it anymore and he is visibly mad.
I immediately think that this is going to escalate (as it has done in the past) and I think I live in that place a lot which makes me distant. I try to not make his outbursts mean anything except that he is in emotional childhood. But that is not working. I’m tired of living in fear of the next big fight where he can be quite mean and threatening to leave, etc. Accusing me of not loving him etc.
Help. Also, we are essentially in a sexless marriage which is because of my thoughts on sex. It’s difficult for me to be relaxed and loving when I never know how things are going to go. He is starting to act out more on my daughter as well, which turns up the anger in me. No sex for him is making him more frustrated.
On the flip side, when he is in a good place, he is an amazing husband. This is why I stay