Marriage question: How can I be present with my husband when he is not present with me?"


I dropped all expectations of my husband over the last two years. Having given up these expectations has improved the quality of my life and I hope it has improved his. He seems calm most of the time unless I say my opinion about something and it is not his way. He blows up. He was a good husband before he retired. I feel that somehow 32 years at a stressful and difficult job has changed him. He is not the same man I married.

I have so little left to find love for him. He does pay bills, does some of the grocery shopping, cares for our pets, and mows the lawn. He had a good job that gave the retirement lifestyle that we have now which I always love him for because he made it for us. He has a barn full of hunting gear which he plays with continually. He really is a hermit and doesn’t care if I am home or away. We don’t do anything together anymore because we just don’t find fun in each other.

I loved him so much more when he was present in mine and my children’s lives. We did really good building a life together. How can I love him more now when I am left to pick up all the pieces of “our” life together because all he is concerned about is “his” life.

Intentional model:
C: Husband
T: He provided this lovely lifestyle I enjoy
F: Kindness to him
A: Tell him
R: ?? generally no answer

Unintentional model:
C: Husband
T: He no longer wants to connect with me
F: Sadness for me
A: Find a connection elsewhere
R: Love my children and grandchildren more

Question:
“How can I find myself to be present for him when he is not present for me?” He doesn’t hear me, he doesn’t acknowledge me, he blocks and tunes me out. I don’t say much to him, only when I really need something. We live like roommates in the same house. Yesterday the gas cap got stuck on the tractor.

Another model:
C: gas cap stuck
T: If I have to ask him he might have a bad temper
F: I felt like puking
A: tried again even though it hurt my hand
R: I finally got it off