“Was it always like this with him?”

Well, my twenty-sixth wedding anniversary came and went.

And he didn’t say a word about it!  No Happy Anniversary.  No flowers.  No taking me out to dinner.  Nothing.  Nothing at all.

He did make dinner on Friday night (our anniversary) but he has made dinner the past three Friday nights, so I don’t know if that is special or not.  But he still did not say one word about it being our anniversary.

Several weeks ago, he said something about that it seems like that I don’t like our anniversary very much.  I told him that our anniversary is hard on me and always has been.  On our 5th, we took a little trip, but that he wouldn’t have sex with me – he just wanted to watch tv.  Then for our 10th, we went on a church campout and even slept in separate tents!   And even three or four years ago, when we went away for the week end, I felt like I worked so hard to make it a pleasant week end.

So maybe he thought the best thing to do this year was to not even acknowledge our anniversary?????

Let’s see if we can figure this out.  I say, essentially, even though he may not have understood it, my anniversary makes me sad because I feel like you don’t give enough to me, you don’t show me enough love.  And his response is to do even less?????

I will say, though, that this is the first time ever that he has not done anything for our anniversary.

Whatever.

On my previous post, Zoe left a comment asking, was it always like this with him?

The short answer is – yes.

It has gotten much worse in the past almost-nine years since we moved here, where we live very close to his parents.

But even before that, he still did typical passive aggressive stuff.  He wasn’t very involved with our daughters.  He didn’t have sex with me as much as I wanted.  He wouldn’t help me with projects around the house.  He would tell  me that he wanted me to have a beautiful garden, but then get upset at me if I bought a plant.  Stuff like that.

But I was also really in love with him.  And I considered all the problems to be my fault.  Stupid me that I would expect a daddy to be a daddy.  Stupid me that I would expect a man who says he loves me to support me in my interests.  Stupid me to think a many would want to have sex with me.

Of course, at the time, I didn’t see it that way.  I thought that I wasn’t being a good enough wife and if I could just figure out how to be a  better wife, then I would be worthy of his love and he would love me better.

Loving him and being codependent took me a long, long way in the marriage.

After we moved here, the passive aggressive behaviour got much worse.  And excuses that I could make for him before were no longer valid.  (That would take more explaining – so maybe for another post.)

Several years after we moved here, I learned about passive aggressive behavior.  I wasn’t aware of it before.  And it was a number of months after that that I finally figured out that he was passive aggressive.  Then another year or so later, I learned that I was codependent.  Another piece in the puzzle.

And then finally I stopped loving him.  It was easier when I did love him.

Now I just am so tired of it and I want it to be over already.

[Here is a post (link) that I wrote a year ago that explains a little bit more about my life with him.]

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26 Responses to “Was it always like this with him?”

  1. rougedmount says:

    such a similar past we share…only my spouse abandoned me for his mother…last year, for our 25th wedding anniversary, he spent it with her and i spent it with a lover over a 4 day week end at a lovely resort. i let it be the romantic week end i wanted, all the while remembering it was never something my spouse would have been able to do with me. it was bittersweet. my leaving him, will come as a shock to him, once I do decide to go.
    now that you have the puzzle pieces, you have to spend some time organizing them so you can put everything together…and mentally you have to prepare yourself to leave. someone deserves the wonderful woman you are, and he can not find you when you are stuck where you are.

  2. Liz says:

    I was wondering…and please forgive me if I seem too blunt but I don’t know all the specifics about your situation or personal history. Anyway back to my questions….what did you love about your husband and what attracted you to him in the beginning?

  3. It seems to me, that his behavior isn’t passive aggression, but more simply, just passivity. Anyway, I am proud of you for acknowledging your codependency. If you’re interested, there’s a great, easy read on the subject that helped me alot. “Codependent No More.”

    Stay strong…

  4. K says:

    Yes, it was always like this with them but we didn’t recognize it. Mine seemed boyish and quirky and strong; but I grew up and he didn’t. The egocentrism; the selfishness, the magical way they twist a conflict around to your fault, not theirs…so it must be you, not them. You try to fix yourself until you realize others love you and you don’t have this problem with anyone else. Then, you read about PA and/or narcissism and the light bulb goes off in your head…and everything changes.

    • Liz says:

      K,
      Same here. I can never have fun anymore/since I’ve been with him because he’s never an adult and I must micromanage his behavior. For example, we can’t go out anywhere together if we must meet a deadline or commitment. He always leaves me in charge of having to say when we must leave. Then, when I do, he starts making arrogant and ugly comments about me being too uptight! This is why I don’t do anything with him anymore. He has left me repeatedly alone at home waiting for him to show up when we were supposed to be somewhere at a certain time. He never calls me, never answers his cell phone on the rare occasion I call him. We don’t generally drink but if we go somewhere where alcohol is being served…..God help me. It’s like being a parent with a rebellious teen and he won’t stop drinking which means of course, I can’t drink at all.
      He’s never really present when he’s home and he neglects all his responsibilities, dumps them on me and neglects our dogs to the point that he doesn’t even care if they get sick or hurt.

      Well, I could go on and on and I’m sure things will come out as I write on this blog.

  5. Karen says:

    I have a couple of comments. I think it takes us so long to figure out because for years we blame ourselves. They are great guys to most everyone else. Maybe in our 40’s and 50’s we finally look around and realize we are pretty good people so maybe something else is wrong. Their words don’t match their actions. That’s confusing. They keep telling us how much they love us and how crazy we are for thinking anything else. My husband actually walked into our first councilor and introduced me as “This is Karen. She’s really messed up.” I think he hoped she would fix me.
    Don’t beat yourself up for not leaving yet. It would be foolish to leave without a good plan and some money to work with. I recently went to a free consultation with a lawyer and it answered a lot of my doubts. I will leave when the time is right for me and my family.
    I also wanted to say to For The Love Of Ovaries that the aggressive part is all of the obstacles he throws at her. Cutting down her daughters favorite trees and leaving dead animal carcasses on the trail so they can no longer enjoy their woods. Not making necessary repairs to their home even though it would seem he is pretty handy otherwise. You would think a man who knows his marriage is on the rocks would make a huge effort to win her back. Not ignore their anniversary. He’s hurting her in sneaky ways while still trying to look like a good guy. That’s why it is passive and aggressive.
    On another note I keep hearing about sex being withheld. I am wondering if anyone has my problem. Throughout our entire relationship until things got so bad that I refused to have sex with him he demanded sex frequently but could seldom get or maintain his part of the deal. He would want to try and try or would eventually pretend he was satisfied only to treat me terribly the rest of the day because he was angry that he wasn’t really satisfied. It turned sex into a chore. I am thinking that was his way of withholding. Does anyone else have a similar experience?
    Sorry to go on so much. I have so much inside of me and very few people I know understand. They all believe he is this great guy he pretends to be.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Karen,
      In response to your questions about your husband’s sexual performance, it seems to me that in your situation, since he was not withholding sex, that he was suffering that PA war of desperately needing to please and love you but at the same time his repressed anger was telling him not to give you any satisfaction. So, yes, it’s very possible that his behavior was symptomatic of PA. Narcissists will often exhibit this same sexual battle with their own ego. narcissists want so desperately to love and yet, they can’t seem to love anyone other than themselves. Was your husband into porno? Porno will often fuel a man’s insecurity about himself especially if he’s already insecure as in the PA, the narcissist and other personality disordered men. We need to remember that although these men hurt us and abuse us, they are the ones who are pathologically insecure about themselves. I always say that years ago my husband made a pact with the devil and he does whatever that devil tells him to do. It’s as if it would kill my husband to do one kind, thoughtful , compassionate thing for me. On the other hand, my husband appears to be the most sensitve, kind hearted man and that’s how he is with everyone else. In the past two years, I’ve noticed too that he will tell blatant lies and distort the truth about himself and how he does all sorts of wonderful things for me. He told a mutual friend this past Feb. that he was planning to cook me a special dinner for my birthday and do other things. When I was talking to her before my bday, she said, ‘ OH, you have a bday coming up..Gary told me ‘ and I laughed and said, yeah? So why did he mention that to you? She said, ‘ well, I don’t want to tell you and spoil the surprise’. Then I laughed really hard and said, ‘ Look Brenda, if you think that Gary’s going to do anything for me, then you are either making this up as we speak or you’ve been hoodwinked by the master deceiver” Well, she got real quiet and tried to change the subject. A few weeks later, I saw her and said, ” by the way, so what was the big surprise planned for my birthday?” She said that my husband told her that he was planning to cook me a big special dinner with all my favorite foods. I told her that was really odd since he’s never cooked anything his entire life except for a grilled cheese that he left the plastic on, but nevertheless, he didn’t do that for me. She asked what he did and I told her , ‘ oh the usual….NOTHING!”. She shut up real quick but honestly, I dont’ think she believes me. You see, my husband cuts her grass, helps her do all sorts of handy things. So in her eyes, he’s a prince.

      My husband was diagnosed as PA with Narcissism and borderline personality disorder. His very own therapist back in 99 told me to get out and as far away from him as possible. I didn’t of course and here I am. One of the reasons that PA isn’t considered a disorder is because it’s usually a side effect of some other personality disorder like NPD or BPD. My husband can have sex just fine and I’m sure he would love to engage with me but I simply won’t do that since I don’t love him and because he’s abusive. It would also, in his mind, cause him to believe that I’m happy, satisfied with my life and marriage. I dont understand how women can have sex with an abusive partner. I can’t think of a bigger turn off than that!

      And thanks Karen for your thoughtful words about beating ourselves up for staying so long. I’d like to add too that it’s not natural for people to go through life expecting the worse from people. It’s natural to assume that even though a person may have flaws, that they are good people. The more thoughtful, kind, respectful and compassionate a person is, the longer it may take for them to accept that evil exists and that they are married to it.

      I found a lawyer a few years ago who actually specialized in PA abuse divorces and I’ll share something with you just in case your lawyer didn’t. It’s critical that you not tell your husband or anyone else that you’re filing because they will do anything and everything to avoid being served the papers and they will also do things to destroy your finances and they will also find ways to interrupt the divorce process even if it’s something like losing their job ( really quitting) or faking a serious illness or injury. I was planning to use a mediator but even she laughed and said, ‘ You’ll be mediating for years because your husband won’t even show up for the counseling /meetings’.

      • K says:

        Seems we’re all married to the same guy….

      • yyyy says:

        I am currently trying to divorce my PA husband. He has changed his mind at least 3x about divorcing. What can I do? He keeps changing his mind on the terms of the settlement. He says he will fight me for custody if I don’t give him anything he wants. I ask him what he wants and he says he will tell me as he thinks of them….he has really stalled everything….what can I do?

      • Liz says:

        HI Y, Sorry to hear you are dealing with such a flip flopper. My husband’s therapist told me that if you want a divorce then you must follow through without any consideration for his feelings because they will forever stall the process. He also told me not to warn my husband that I’m filing. Try to realize that your husband, despite his ugliness, is vulnerable and afraid of you leaving and when they feel extremely threatened and vulnerable, they will toss those empty and sometimes juvenile threats around. I no longer threaten my husband because i’ve learned that it teaches him just how much I’ll tolerate AND, I never know what he will do to me to retaliate ( ie..poison me, hurt my dogs, wreck a vehicle…I’ve been through it all). You have an attorney? What does your attorney suggest? It seems to me that you have protection under the law and he can’t take anything that he wants. Custody for example…does he have some reason to believe that he’s more qualified as a parent than you are? It’s important to remain sensible, logical and reasonable and not get too emotional about this because that’s what he wants you and needs you to do. Emotions are what keeps us in these relationships and only good sense and wisdom will get us out.

    • mixedemotions says:

      oh dear, mine doesn’t have a problem with wanting to “give it to me” but he will often pretend to go to sleep… that happened for years. The next thing he does is get upset the next day we’ve been intimate, doesn’t matter the reason, he just is upset. I called him on it and he agreed. It’s not fun for me anymore and I never want any of course because there’s a potential argument / hostility or pouting the next day, why bother…

  6. Expat says:

    I am sending you all lots of hugs. It may feel hopeless right now, but one day you will escape this misery.

  7. Karen says:

    Thank you Liz for the response.
    Yes he does watch porn. When I still shared a room with him he would head off to bed early. Never say good night. Just disappear. If I went up to bed too early I would find myself locked out because he was watching it. It would make me so mad. Now I am in my daughters old room. I am very happy there. It is my little sanctuary. He locks himself in his room every night with his porn. TV and now a laptop too. I knew it probably effected the way he perceived me but I never thought about it effecting the way he viewed himself. That is such a good point.
    I think you are also right about it taking us so long to understand because it’s not the way we are so we don’t expect it. I would never treat anyone the way he has treated me. And I have beaten myself up for believing him over and over and getting hurt over and over. I am not letting that happen again.
    You were lucky to find a lawyer who understands PA. I want to see a few more. The one I went to explained some basic facts about divorse to me. That set my mind at ease. But I felt very rushed out the door by her and have more questions. I would like to talk to a few others and maybe find a better fit for me.
    My husband keeps telling other people (not me) that he is fixing up our house to sell next spring and then he is gone. He hasn’t fixed anything around the house. Not one thing. And his business is construction. LOL! I don’t know if it is all talk on his part or if he will suddenly up and leave but I want to be prepared.

    • Liz says:

      Karen,
      uggggh..the porn. I’m fortunate that porn is not an issue for me ( gee, I was spared one problem, eh? ) but I do know a lot about how it affects men ( and women). I’m really sad that you have endured this all this time. It’s disgusting, degrading, humiliating when a spouse becomes obsessed with demoralizing fantasy. I hope you fully realize that his desire to immerse himself in fantasy has nothing to do with you Karen and instead, it’s all about him and the love/hate relationship he has with himself and hence, women. Your husband most likely has narcissistic personality disorder. NPD men will often become obsessed with masturbation but cannot perform with a woman and porno will further enhance their NPD and their insecurity about themselves.
      Did your husband have a rather odd relationship with his mother and or father?

      Karen, if you can find a good therapist who understands PA behaviors and abuse, they may be able to point you in the direction of a good attorney. Most any attorney that specializes in women’s issues will be aware of this type of abuse. I’m going to see if I can find an e-book written by one of my attorneys that I believe you should read. I’ll go see if I can find that now and I’ll post the link for you. (((( Hugs ))))

  8. Liz says:

    Karen,
    Unfortunately, I don’t have my copy of the e-book. But, do a search for women’s attorneys for your area. The laws vary from state to state but you need to be prepared and have someone on your side that will fully protect your financial future. Don’t settle for just any attorney. If you’re not comfortable, then leave.

    your attorney should understand the importance of privacy as well and advise you about not receiving legal correspondence at your current address. You must keep everything you do a secret and not give him any hint that you are preparing for divorce.

    I’m really quite proud of you for moving out of the bedroom. That shows that you value yourself and are protecting your self worth and dignity. You are so intelligent, so amazing Karen. Your daughter would be quite proud of you. loving yourself and respecting yourself is the best gift you can ever give your children.

  9. ericdjung says:

    I would recommend reading Joe’s blog http://www.afterpsychotherapy.com/narcissistic-people/ and contacting him. He’d be able to give you great advice. I wish you all the best. Keep writing and let your feelings and thoughts out. :)

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Liz, yes he had a very odd relationship with his mother and a distant relationship with his father. He was apparently the only unplanned child of 8 pregnancies and his father resented and disapproved of him. Something his mother seemed to enjoy reminding him of. His mother only valued men. Woman and girls should “be quiet and be pretty”. They should do all the work. Never let men know they were smart. The father was fed first, followed by the brothers and there might not be enough food left for the sisters. Something my husband claimed he was unaware of growing up. His mother fancied herself one of the boys. At any gathering she talked with the men and loved to question them about sex. She would even call my husband on special occasions and ask if he “got some”. He would seem to find reasons to walk through our small house naked when she was around. It was just very weird. She has passed away and I think that is one of the reasons things have hit rock bottom. She was very Catholic and would be devastated to know we were headed for divorce..
    Thank you so much for your kind words. They made me cry when I first read them.
    I went to see another lawyer today. I had more questions. I don’t think this is quite the right one either but so far everything I have been told is good. I think we all assume that by leaving we will have nothing but I have been surprised to have been told I am financially better off than I thought I would be and I am entitled to alimony for a third of the length of our marriage. It is defiantly worth looking into.

    • Liz says:

      HI Karen,
      Wow, you really are amazing! I’m so happy and so proud of you for going to see that attorney. You’re right most of us would be just fine financially after a divorce. My situation is a bit different in that my husband and I both lost our full time jobs and we only have a small businesses together now and neither of us has any money now. It truly stinks. I’m sure in some sick way, it pleases my husband to be so poor since it traps me.

      To hear about your husband’s family makes me sad and very concerned. Your husband was sexually abused by his narcissistic mother, sexually objectified and emotionally neglected. He’s a freighter full of toxic cargo and I hope that he will seek help for himself. That said, it’s not your responsibility to fix him or heal his wounds. I know you are kind and loving and would naturally want to help him if he wanted to get help. But, even IF he wanted to get help Karen, his wounds are so entrenched that I think you would be wasting too many years in a very frustrating and harmful relationship.

      My mother treated me much the same way – as a sexual object. It’s taken me years and years of therapy to undo all the damage she has done to me. I began therapy when I was 19!! I knew something was wrong but it wasn’t until many years later that I realized that she was the poison. She’s the reason why I’m with my husband. I never loved my husband. I cared about him but never loved him. I knew he was going to be a proper husband the day I married him and I almost walked out on my wedding day. That’s a long story. Anyway, I cut ties with my mother several years ago and will not even allow her to come near me now. I even changed my name. I can’t have anything to do with my family and that has been one of the most painful and lonely aspects of my life. My brother is her golden child ( all narcissists have one) and he’s got issues too but nothing like what your husband dealt with which is truly sick and disturbing.

      Karen, keep moving forward on your path to freedom and love. Stay focused like a race horse on the track just in front of you and don’t look back. Count your many blessings each day and know that there is a brighter future for you just ahead. I’m cheering you on!!!! and ps…if you need a housemate, let me know! ;D

      • Liz says:

        EDIT on post above: meant to say that I knew my husband was NOT going to be a proper husband when I married him.

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Liz, I thought that was what you meant to say. It does seem that they set up situations so we will be trapped or at least think we are trapped. I have wondered why so many of us have been in these relationships with this type of man for so long. It seems normal to read that it has been 20 or more years. I am guessing the woman with a way out or enough of their own money probably left early in the relationship. I remember thinking that once my children were independent I would do anything, work at McDonalds and live in a 1 room apartment just to be out of this.
    He will never admit there is anything wrong with him or that there was anything wrong with his childhood or his family. His sisters seem a little more willing to admit there were many problems.
    You mentioned being estranged from your family. I think that seems to be a theme also. My parents have all passed away and it seems like they act even worse when they know you have no one left to fall back on.
    You are smart and kind. Even though you have fallen on hard times financially you are so smart. Don’t give up. Maybe a good job is just ahead. I took a job as a cashier at a drug store. It is the first job I have had in 19 years. It was hard to get hired anywhere do to the long gap in my employment. I am so happy there. They have given me back so much confidence. I think they were surprised by me and are happy to have hired me too. I think with a little time I will prove myself and do well. If I can do that anyone can. I don’t think any of us needs a lot. Just our own little space where we don’t have to do this crazy push me pull you dance with a PA husband.
    Thank you Liz for all of your encouragement.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Karen,
      Thank YOU Karen for sharing with me. You have such a great personality, such a beautiful way of expressing yourself and you exude everything positive. Anyone would be so fortunate to you working for them or as a friend. You have done so well and after reading your post, I feel like I too can get back to work and move out of here once and for all. I’d be thrilled with a cashier job and I’ve applied but no such luck yet.

      I think there are many reasons why women stay with these abusers. For one thing, many of us lacked the confidence in ourselves and self-respect to begin with and so we did not honor the red flags as we should have and when we should have. Of course the other issue is that we’re constantly put on a see-saw of up and down, up and down. PA abusers are even more confusing because they are constantly telling us one thing and doing another. I didn’t know if my husband was learning disabled, autistic, dyslexic, insecure or evil. I even screamed at his therapist once demanding to know what was wrong with him! We don’t get the physical scars to look at to prove to ourselves and others how dangerous these men are. If I walked into the police station with black eyes they wouldn’t hesitate to arrest my husband and yet, what he does to me every day is far worse than a black eye. The no fault divorce laws have made it even more difficult for women and men to sue for abuse. Abusers are very intelligent and very shrewd. They know exactly how to manipulate us and just as soon as we are about to give up and walk out the door, they declare their love for us and promise they will get better. The other issue is age and economic reasons. I’m 52 now and although I’m not a completely used up wash rag, I’m not a hotty either. It’s scary to know that I may not ever find a partner to share my life with and that I may die an old homeless woman with no family. I know that sounds extreme but in reality , given that we’re women and living in the US where there is little regard for citizen’s welfare, especially women, I’m terrified. Yet, in reality, I’m just spinning wheels where I am and I’m wearing them down to the point that I am continually losing my ability to even get out of this hell at all.

      In 05. My friend who came to take care of me when I was sick saw what I was dealing with and she offered to take me back to Wales with her. I could have just packed up and moved, had a nice place to live and no worries. But, my husband became extremely upset, crying, begging, yelling that he loved me. He even got angry at my friend. I could just kick myself for not leaving and every single day I live with that regret. It was as if G-d was handing me a free ticket to heaven and I didn’t take it. One of the reasons I didn’t go was because I feared that things would be worse for me in Wales and I didn’t believe that I could handle anything worse. I was more comfortable in my current misery because it was what I was familiar with and I knew what to expect and how to deal with it. The unknown scared me to death which is a common symptom of abuse. I’ve tried to apply for citizenship in Canada and was turned down. It’s become increasingly difficult to leave the US in recent years and many of my friends left just in time. BTW, If you want to write me directly, you can do so at ceilidh4fiddle (at) gmail (dot) com

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Liz, thank you. I will hang onto that e-mail. We have so much in common. I am 53. It is late so I won’t try it right now.
    You are an amazing woman and have so much insight.
    My silly little job has done so much for me. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and I feel so good when I am appreciated at work. It is like WP has said about the crumbs you get. A smile or friendly comment from a customer or coworker makes my whole day. I had to pester them to give me a job. I hadn’t worked in 19 years and no one was interested in me. I kept going back and asked the manager to just give me a chance to show her I was a hard worker. She kind of thought I was crazy but it paid off.
    I think it could do a lot for you too. Even volunteer work could help. Anything just to spend a little time away from your husband and remember what a worthwhile person you are.
    There was another thing WP said about doing the next right thing even if it was just starting a load of wash. I think we all get so overwhelmed by the big picture and everything we would have to do to actually leave. But if we broke it down into little doable steps we could do it.
    I really don’t trust myself to make a good choice in another man so being alone sounds fine to me. Spending the rest of my life like this is what seems intolerable.
    I hope you can start to see a way out.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Karen,
      Wow, your pestering really did pay off! I was just talking about doing that with a friend of mine and we got to laughing so hard at my desperate pleas. Your job is not silly at all. I know that it’s easy to believe that when you compare it to other professional high paying executive jobs but in reality it’s a job that serves a purpose just like other jobs and you have an important task to accomplish each day. Plus, you get to interact with others and that’s healthy and worth more than the small pay!

      Does your husband appreciate that you have a job or does it intimidate him? My husband always hated that I enjoyed my work. So, I had to keep everything a secret about my work. He would also make it very difficult for me to get to work on time, etc…

      I am a volunteer at the historical society and the genealogy society. But lately, even those duties have become overwhelming given the difficulties at home. I really need to get out of here so I can recharge. you know? Everything about this home and marriage is just so draining that I haven’t the energy anymore to even dream of a new future. Your posts to me are the most realistic and empowering words I’ve heard in weeks.

      I don’t trust myself to know a good human anymore- especially a man! But, I do dream of being with someone again. On a good note….this relationship has been SO bad that I can’t even , won’t even consider anyone or anything that resembles any element of my huband or my marriage. It’s not worth it to me to be with just anyone for the sake of a relationship. I’d rather be alone. I’m never lonely when I’m alone but as soon as my husband comes home, I feel very lonely. It’s a miserable feeling as you well know.
      Have a good day and know that your words have inspired me greatly. ;D

  13. It will be my 13th wedding anniversary on the 14th October. The last few years I haven’t even bothered to acknowledge it. There didn’t seem to be any point because when I did go out of my way to buy a nice gift and card, I’d get nothing back. When I made a fancy dinner or made reservations at a restaurant (after organising a babysitter) I’d be told that he had to work late. Nowadays I just sit back and relax and I won’t lift a finger to do anything special… Its a lot less stressful.

    • Liz says:

      My wedding anniversary is Sept 12…whoopeedoo. We haven’t celebrated that in many years and frankly, it would seem rather silly to do so when we don’t even live like a married couple. It really is a lot less stressful AND causes less hurt and resentment to not put any effort into making holidays special. That said, it still hurts that I live this way and that I’m not living a life that allows me to be the loving, caring and thoughtful woman that I am.

      • Dallasfan1014 says:

        Hi, I’m new here, but agree and identify with all of you. Liz, that’s what I say often– this is not the woman and wife I wanted to be. I wanted to be loving, affectionate, supportive, etc., but he won’t let me. He doesn’t seem to want that. So, I too have to be distant and not make a big deal of my anniversary (our 15th is this month) because if I show any love or interest in him then he’ll take it as my infringing on him somehow or being pushy, demanding and/or needy. (but as you ladies know, he probably tells people how I ignore and reject him). I don’t like this relationship where I’m in a corner by myself and I don’t share anything with him–not even that I have a cold.

        As for the mention of divorce earlier in this thread… I don’t plan on a saying a word until after I’ve left. My finances, or lack there of, are such that I can’t leave (y’all know how that goes–I’m a SAHM) and probably won’t be leaving within 10 years. I agree with the person who said that a woman with means would have left the marriage sooner. But when I do, as I said, I don’t plan on making any announcements until after I moved out and am settled. If I say anything before that then he will obstruct and sabotage. I have to continue to play nice. I never want him to know what I’m thinking. I plan on having my own place, car, etc and ability to care for my kids, which, in 10 years the youngest will be 18. I do not want to have to divide or sell anything or settle on any terms. I feel like Tina Turner… all I want is my (maiden) name. If I want anything, it is for him to be ordered by the court to pay for my children’s education and I am making the word “scholarship” a part of their vocabulary so we won’t have to ask his ass for that hopefully.

        Now mind you, I talk a good game, but all of this is contingent upon whether or not I don’t lose my mind and leave with nothing before the end of that 10 year period because at the end of the day, none of us is promised tomorrow and to do another 10 in a relationship like this is a sad, sad thought. But in any case, my “plan” is to walk away with nothing from him even though I have earned to the right to something over 15 years– boy did I pay the price for this wonderful life people think I have. I used to say that I’d never leave so another woman could enjoy the life I built, but as you guys know, it gets to the point where your quality of life becomes more valuable than any of the stuff we’ve acquired.

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