Today I made some requests of my husband. I told him that I need emotional connection. I told him what my idea of a relationship looks like.
One of the things I said was that I think he “dates” the potential of me and doesn’t want any of the me who is sometimes in the other 50% of life. I believe that. He finds it very hard to listen if I’m having a tough day, etc. and so I really don’t go to him with any of that now. (I self coach instead.)
But I told him that that part is part of who I am. And I want to be able to be all of me with him and want all of who he is, with me. The good and bad. I’m here for all of it. But he keeps such a distance – always in “action mode”, doesn’t ever just sit without his phone or computer. He fidgets and changes subjects or interjects very quickly.
When I’m happy and excited about work, for example, feeling inspired with ideas, he says things like “so just do it” rather than appreciating that part of it is in the feeling first. And when I’m upset he tells me I’m ruining his mood. I said that I wanted and needed more emotional connection and allowance and think that I should ask for it just as he “asks” for sex. So that was what I was doing.
Anyway, as always happens, I spoke and he stared ahead. And then he leaves the room once I have finished speaking without saying anything in return. And he has the story that I am the one who will end the marriage because he will be with me “forever” – as if he’s the savior and I’m breaking it if/when I say I’m not happy with it like this.
So, intentionally today I told him, “rather than say I’m not happy, want a divorce etc., I figured it would be better to ask for what I DO want and then if he doesn’t want in on that, he can be the one leaving. I’m tired of being painted as the bad one for saying I’m not happy/want to leave, without any attention focused on why that is, just that I’d be the one breaking the marriage for leaving.”
So, ultimately I got to the point where I said “I just want to KNOW you. Not the labeled career you. Not the you of your past. Not you as father to our kids. But just you. And I don’t care what you tell me. You could tell me the worst things about yourself and there’s nothing that would turn me away, because the vulnerability and sharing is the piece that I want. That means everything. I want to know you, and I want to be able to show you all of me.”
And what happened? Silence. Nothing. He said we needed to head home and that he wanted to go for a walk alone. He went for a walk. Then he came home while I was working and took the kids out. He sent me a text saying he’d be home with them at 5pm (just before we are due to all head out to trick or treating, two separate ways with our two kids and their friends).
No comment about – let’s talk later. No acknowledgment of what I’d said. Nothing. And tomorrow is Monday, and so it’ll be work work work. And then the weekend with kids kids kids. And this is how it goes. And then we play along as if nothing was mentioned until one day again I just want to burst.
I feel torn. One part of me thinks I have been using thought work, for years (our entire marriage), perhaps against myself? Telling myself I have a manual for him. That I should just make myself happy. But I don’t think it’s okay to continually dismiss my own wants and also to communicate so openly and have him just walk away.
I told him I spend so much mental time just coaching myself on “us.” And that actually I am the one IN the relationship and he is NOT in it (he always says it’s the other way around because I’m the only one who ever talks about divorce). That the word relationship comes from relating, and he simply does not want to relate.
Please help. I want some guidance on this. I want matches vs thought work…