a “conversation”…

Last night, in bed:

me:  I wish I didn’t always feel so overwhelmed.

him:  Do you feel overwhelmed sometimes?

me:  I feel overwhelmed every day.

him:  Why do you feel overwhelmed every day?

me:   Because I don’t really like my life the way it is.

him:  How do you want your life to be different?

me:  I want to do more fulfilling work, I want to earn more money, and I want to not feel so empty at home.

him:  mmm

Thirty seconds later he was asleep.

How does he do that?

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This entry was posted in covert abuse, emotional abuse, family, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, relationships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to a “conversation”…

  1. wifeofpa says:

    they get very good at deflection don’t they…

  2. Teresa says:

    I dunno but my H does the exact same thing…I think it’s called compartmentalization! We can be having a serious talk, where he can see that I’m visibly upset…and within one minute of me not talking…he’s out!
    I usually then sleep on the couch, because being in the same room with him at that point, is no longer an option! :(

  3. gpss365 says:

    He could have been really tired. He probably didn’t spend his day flirting with cute sales reps. He should have at least said good nite!

  4. Sofia Leo says:

    He doesn’t care what you think. He has no reason to be supportive, nor do you expect him to be. He has no feelings of guilt or empathy, therefore your silly yakking means nothing to him. He needs his sleep – being PA all day must be draining!

  5. Jwhowhat says:

    My H has ALWAYS done that – fallen asleep right in the middle of me talking to him……even when we were first married. I was shocked and so hurt when it first happened, but then I “got used” to it (read: “let myself be manipulated by him”). When I did say anything, he just deflected the blame back on me (somehow – how does that work?), in typical PA fashion. He was/is a master at it.

    Looking back, I shoulda stood up for myself much, much more strongly back then, and I wish that I had realized that not every guy does that and that I deserved more, and that it was wrong, wrong, wrong….but I didn’t. So 40 years later, I just don’t expect anything more, and I stopped conveying anything meaningful or deep to him a LONG time ago. Hurt too much. Hell of a way to live, though, isn’t it?

    • Yes, sometimes I think that maybe if I had stood up more years ago, it might have made a difference. Maybe. I don’t know. Somehow, I find myself thinking, maybe this time he cares. Maybe this time he will talk to me. After twenty-five-plus years, I should know better! I guess he still knows how to manipulate me and I still get drawn into his manipulations. Yes, a hell of a way to live. :{

    • seriously says:

      mine likes to bring something I did months ago…. I’m so over it, it’s not even funny, then when I bring him back on the subject, clams up………..grrrrrrrrrrrr

  6. Karen says:

    It’s a lack of empathy. They really don’t consider anyone else’s feelings as important. I think we are just another possession. Mine has always done the same thing. Last summer after a huge fight in a grocery store parking lot he tried to leave me there. I had the keys in my pocket so it didn’t work. I went in the store to do what I had come to do. When I came back out he was sound asleep in the car with the door open. It was such a bad fight that I now realize it was the straw that broke the camels back. But he just fell asleep in a car in the middle of the parking lot. They are a whole different species.

    • Yes, it is a lack of empathy. You are absolutely right. Sometimes I’ve talked with him about things that have shaken me to my very core and yet he will act as though nothing at all has been said. I’ve been devastated and he is oblivious.

      • I totally wish you hadn’t experienced this. Damn, it’s like only the names change.

      • Karen says:

        I have also thought if I had stood up to him years ago maybe things would have been different. I now think the only thing that would have been different is that it would have ended a whole lot sooner. I have read once they know you are on to them and stop reacting the way they need you too they have no more interest in you. Judging from my own experience I would say that is true. I think it would have made me feel better to stand up for myself and not have wasted over half my life. But I don’t think it would have changed his behavior. I think he would have just moved on to the next woman who could fill my role.

  7. I lived with that for wayyyy toooooooo long. I’d cry myself to sleep and he’d snore. It really bothered him when I was no longer bothered. Trouble was, I had to gate a portion of my soul to do it. Boy have I learned. And I’m still learning. Gahhhhh, this is going to take forever to unravel – but I’m OK with that.

    • wifeofpa says:

      same here, I would be talking, crying pouring out my soul, snooooooooooore is all I heard from him, gee thanks dear, glad I’m so f……g important to you…… whatever. After so many years, my heart is done, why I’m staying I have no idea… it’s just more of the same. Maybe one day, I’ll say enough is enough but for now, living through this nightmare day in and day out. Kind of glad I’ve got all of you gals going through the same thing although I wish it was so but I’m not so lonely anymore.

      • One of these days you won’t wish anymore and you’ll either have gotten out and saved yourself [because, sadly, I realized nobody else was going to do that for me…drat] or you will have disintegrated almost entirely. Hang in there – stay strong. I know it’s hard but please, please, please take care of YOU.

  8. Jwhowhat says:

    Wow, Dharma. You hit the nail on the head when you stated “I had to gate a portion of my soul to do it.” That’s it. It is just awful. And yet, I am still here, still putting up with it. I/we deserve better. bit it IS complicated to leave….kids, money, friends, a life…..ughh. Glad you ladies get it. None of my friends do really, prolly cuz they live with relatively normal guys.

    • :) I bet you’re right – or they’re in denial. [giggles!] We’re all a mess really!

      Now the serious comment: break the cycle. Please, please, please give yourself a chance. I know it’s complicated because I’m living it, freshly sprung (ha!). Yes, it’s hard and old habits are more familiar, but they are no longer comfortable. Oh yes, you *can* do this!

      • mixed emotions says:

        Wish I could, but every time I try to leave, he makes me believe (manipulates) me into thinking that it will all be ok. I’m such a morron!!!! :( Guess I’m not ready yet.

      • You will know when you are ready. In the meanwhile, I wish you the best. Hang in there!

      • Jwhowhat says:

        Giving it more and more serious thought. About how it would be. I imagine that at some point, I could begin to be me again! Breathe again without worrying about being criticized/judged. Let the REAL me out! What a scary thought… I imagine I could feel “lighter” without the weight of his expectations on me, and exhilirated by the future ahead. While at the same time, always wondering if I made the right decision for myself and my children. But it is JUST now that I sometimes think about what it might really be like emotionally. huh.

        Money could be a problem because of joint financial committments, splitting assets, all that….ugh. We both made decent money, but of course, 2 CAN live cheaper than one.
        I have negotiated it for clients, but I am reluctant to think about for myself. How sick is that? Kids are a HUGE issue, but perhaps I am not giving them enough credit for what they know/see. And of course, like you say, everything else familiar for decades……but your comments about gating one’s soul in order to not let all the b.s. bother you is spot-on and gives me a lot of food for further thought. The “soul” thing resonates, you know, because I feel like I have walled off a huge part of myself, who I REALLY am (having just discovered this within the past year or so). You just kinda go dead inside in places…places I wish I wasn’t dead, you know?

        You are a light in the darkness, kinda, for those you think about it but haven’t yet done it. Yay, you!

        Enough of my ramblings…

      • “You are a light in the darkness, kinda, for those you think about it but haven’t yet done it. Yay, you!”

        Well, I went through hell and came as close to not-existing while still existing before I was strong enough to deflect all of the manipulation. I was already 3 months into my lease before I actually moved in. No, it wasn’t anything short of excruciating but it was just part of my process. What I figured out was that I could come up with a billion reasons why it wouldn’t work and I finally just decided – enough.

        Hang in there!

  9. mourninglight says:

    jwhowhat, can you build a home in your imagination? What furniture is in it? What colors? Do you have friends over? Light candles? Can you hear music in the background with people laughing? Do you have a pet there? Can you see yourself coming home from the gym, the phone rings as you walk through the door, and you’re making plans? Can you imagine meeting a woman, and when you offer her emotional support, she’s in disbelief that someone like you once tolerated emotional abuse? And you invite her to coffee in your home, your wonderful haven of music, good smells, comfy furniture, all of it reflecting you? Maybe a chick flick night with girlfriends? Or the possibility that you’ve had several dates with a wonderful person, and finally you let him pick you up at your home. You hear the knock on that door, and it’s him, smiling. Is he carrying groceries? Flowers? However it works out, everyone in your space is there because they love, respect, and value who you are.

  10. Jwhowhat says:

    Excellent post, mourning. more food for thought…….

  11. Expat says:

    My Ex PA DH used to do this all the time. I would try to talk about something I felt was important or something that was bothering me and all he could do was tune out or fall asleep. I think how can someone fall asleep so easily when their partner is so upset? How can you just fall asleep during the middle of the conversation? I remember trying to do anything and everything to get my ex to pay attention and listen to me none of it ever worked. I’d end up more stressed than I was in the beginning and sounded like a screeching harpy I would get so mad about it. Which of course just made me look like the one that was nuts.

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