My husband and I have been married for almost 4 years and this weekend will be our 7 year anniversary as a couple. Sounds wonderful but, there is nothing to celebrate...
Since a week now, my husband and I live as if the other is non-existant. It is not the first time that this behavior has taken place but, the silence is taking longer and longer to break. These silent moments are spurred on by the stupidest of fights, such as, not washing the clothes at night to save 10 cents on the electricty bill or not cleaning up the kitchen right after dinner or watching the tv too loud, etc. These fights turn ugly and result in a screaming discussion, and more and more often my husband leaves the scene and runs away. When he returns it is past 2am and I have long been asleep, so no chance to repair the damage immediately.
I always have to be the one to repair the damage. Never will my husband take the lead, and never will he appologize for anything. "Sorry" isn't in his vocabulary. I am so tired of being the repairer so this is why I think our slient fights last longer and longer each time. I hate having to always make the effort to keep us happy but, I am miserable when we are not happy together. I can't function and it makes it so hard to do anything that I would normally enjoy with my husband.
My question is, does anyone have some suggestions?
How can I repair these fights sooner?
How can little fights turn into such big disasters?
Will this role of repairing ever switch? I hate always fixing our relationship... Sometimes I think that if I did nothing, we could go months like this, and that scares me and makes me wonder if we need to get a divorce.
Any advice welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read my problems.

Comments

  • slirpuff said Aug 30, 2007...
    Forget repairing the fights, you two need to resolve the issues that start the disagreements. Don't take this wrong, but you sound like a couple of kids.. He can't get his way so he stops out in a huff. He doesn't want to confront the issue so he makes sure he's home after you have gone to bed... His not talking is an im-mature way of not dealing with it fully knowing your going to give in... You don't say anything about kids, but if there are none; The next time he does this, tell him you might not be there when he gets back and go stay with a friend or whom ever for at least a day.. If that doesn't shake him up, then as they say, " Houston we've got a problem". Your marriage needs professional help...
  • exhibit_c said Aug 30, 2007...
    Does your husband notice or care that you are not relating? Sorry to say, I think you always will be the repairer. Those roles are determined by some deep balance of personality that doesn't change easily. But you may be able to change how you do it so that it's easier. You need to establish some principles. The person who does a task gets to determine when and how it's done. If he wants the dishes done earlier, he can do them, etc. You also need to avoid the screaming fights. I know there is a point in a dispute when my wife stops arguing the point at hand, and just starts arguing to win. You don't want to get that far. Make your point, and don't argue. Hubby sounds he has problems with passive aggression and insecurity. I'm sure I don't know what to do about that.
  • secretlife said Aug 30, 2007...
    i find that when i'm the one doing the chore, and then i am criticized for how i do it, i get very angry.  i mean if he can do it better, then maybe he should be doing it instead of you? it sounds to me like he is avoiding any discussion.  and men who avoid discussion can't be reasoned with.  how do you try to reason with someone who runs away?  and someone who won't say he's sorry?  that will make for one very unhappy life if he can't learn to admit he is wrong. I say if you want to save the marriage, you need to have someone outside of it to act as mediator---a counselor.       
  • suprastar333 said Aug 31, 2007...
    Thank you all for your comments. I appreciate that you are out there to give me your insight on my marriage difficulties. I totally agree that we are acting like kids. You are not the first person to use this expression, and I do not disregard it. The problem is that when I try to change, it feels more like child and parent. I don't know how to get my husband to leave behind the child role with me. This creates more tension and often leads to bigger fights. Repairing bad discussions is our biggest problem. So many times now we have tried to move past fights by just enjoying eachother again. Once we are in our happy zone, I used to try to bring up old issues that led to the fighting, to try to work through them... it led to more fighting. So, now we have abandonned the idea of "resolving," even I can see this is not good but I don't know how to communicate with my husband without one or both of us getting hurt again. And trust me, I've read books and tried a number of techniques. They just don't make the issues go away permanently or come to a conclusion. The idea of going to stay with a friend is good. However, I have already moved out of our house once and taken an apartment of my own for several months. It did change his attitude for those months and we enjoyed eachother more than ever. And for once we did have some really good discussions about the past. However, as soon as we decided to live together again, the fighting started even before I moved my stuff. Sometimes I feel that if we lived separate would could be the happiest couple... but that is such a stupid idea because for me, living separate is not being a couple. I hear a lot of advice about seeking professional help. I believe in this and have even tried it more than once. By myself at first because my husband insisted that I had the problem and he did not. Then, once I moved out we saw two different therapists. The first one was a friend of his mother... so you can imagine how that one went. The second was good but never had time for us. We only saw him every two weeks for a one hour session. My husband was always stressed because he had to take time away from work, and most of the time he just said what the therapist wanted to hear so that the session would finish quicker. It frustrated me and so finally I started to go again without him. At one point I stopped going altogether because it was clear to me that it takes more than one person to fix a relationship. It would be nice if we could start this together again. When we finally can have a verbal conversation, I think I might put this idea forth for consideration. I also appreciate the idea on: if you don't like it my way, do it yourself. However, I don't really think it's a lasting solution. I have to cook, clean, iron, etc. if I leave this for my husband to do, I would never have any time with him. And all my clothes would be pink or 2 sizes too small. I also enjoy doing the housework, even though I have a professional job too. We had a maid for a year so that our problems around the house would minimize but, I hated having someone else clean my stuff and it wasted a lot of money. From time to time when I'm angry, I leave his ironing for him to do and if he leaves his dishes on the counter instead of putting them in the dishwasher, well I try my best to fight the urge... and leave them there until he deals with it. Just reading back over my thoughts, I feel like I'm far too negative. I'm sorry if it seems like I'm rejecting your advice, I'm not, I really just want to express my past experiences on the ideas you brought forth. My husband always says that I'm too negative, maybe he's right. I just want to be honest and get some real answers and actions. Does anyone have a solution of what I should do now? I don't mean a long term solution but, just the present one. My husband and I have not spoken to eachother in 8 days! What should I do? Should I cave in and just start talking to him again? Should I write him a letter? Should I just take a hotel room and leave for a day or two? (We do not have any children, I just have my dog and cat. Sorry forgot to answer your comment on this before) What do you think? Any idea will be a consideration. I think seeking some professional help would be the best solution for the future but, how can I tackle the situation at hand? Thank you all again in advance for any insight to finding a solution to my problems.
  • exhibit_c said Aug 31, 2007...
    I don't know how to advise you, but the use of the term "cave in" suggests you are more into the fight than the solution.
  • gingersoul said Sep 1, 2007...
    Supra....again..as i told you in your other post ....it makes me sad reading this..... We used to do the same. We would have a short disagreement about the stupidest things and then the silence would start between us for days, even for weeks. Then i would be the one reconsidering the actions and the reasons and i would calm myself down all bt myself and talk to him again. Never, no one single time he has been the first one to come to me and talk to me about what might have happened. This role of initiating peace took its toll on me...after the Th times i decided i was done....i couldnt  go on and on anymore being the one using the words to communicate. I had to accept the reality: he was not going to change. I had two options: keep going in that dangerous way or change myself. i did the second thing. I used to write him long letters. He would read them and come to me with a sorry, and that's it. He would never analyze too long the accident. He was a few words kind of man and stubborn and pride as hell. I am stubbornm and pride too. So it wasn't agood combination but it would have worked if we had understood sooner that we were simply using two different tools of communications. Like our couple therapist told us:  i was a talker, he was a doer. He would express his feeling thru things or actions. I was expressing mine trhu words. I am sorry that we found out this truth only too late.. For you maybe there is still time......find what communication level works better for both of you. For the immediate: write him a letter explaining everything you feel and make hin understand you are ready to fix everything buthe has to stop acting like a toddler and come back home at night.   Good luck..
  • secretlife said Sep 1, 2007...
    reading your response you sound like me! i lived my life in a similar circle--- and it IS a circle- i could go 30 days waiting for him to say he was sorry, and without speaking to me.  i've done that three times in my 20+years.  but in the end, it was me who had to make some move or it just got too stressful in the house.  i have 3 children, and i work-  after 10 yrs i suggested we needed therapy and he basically said he was fine and i was the one with the issues.  so i went to therapy alone.  funny because how can you fix a relationship if the one you're in it with won't even admit to a problem or try to at least have an open mind?   in the end, you really have two choices. you can leave.  i left a handful of times- once for a month with all 3 kids. he begged and cried and for a time everything was wonderful.  and then of course since neither of us changed, things slowly go back to how they were before.   or   you can accept him as he is.  and change yourself.   that's a really really hard one.  and i wouldn't recommend it to anyone who didn't have children.  i'm being honest.  i only did it this way because of my kids.   writing letters, coming up with a million ways to approach him, making peace and then finding out you simply started back on that cycle again without realizing it----these are only temporary fixes.     
  • LadyGamer said Sep 1, 2007...
    You have a choice. Do it his way or leave.   Make up your mind.
  • S&S said Apr 26, 2008...
    Hi, have joined this discussion about 8 months too late.  however, its so similar to my own experience I have to comment.  my husband and I have been together for about 16 years (married for 5) and he's done the big silent treatment thing since I met him.  I keep hoping he'll change but it just cycles around again.  I always used to be the one to break the ice, get us talking apologise, even if I felt it wasn't my fault. But I've got so sick of that that I've been giving him the silent treatment back, as I'm not prepared to apologise for something that wasn't my fault anymore.  This time the silence has lasted 5 days.  The longest he hasn't spoken to me was 2 weeks.  From reading the blog above, I guess it could stretch into a month, I've just never let it go that long.We have a two year old now, so that makes it more difficult. I don't want to hurt them.   I am working (almost full time) and trying to manage that plus raise a child (let alone three) makes it really difficult.  When my husband isn't speaking to me he also does nothing around the house.   He just sits around watching television or the computer.  So I'm left having to do everything. its exhausting because often I don't sleep very well during these times either.I think I basically agree with secret life.  forget the long letters, or the apologising and analysing etc etc.  it doesn't make any difference.  All they want is for you to suffer for a while and then apologise to them, so they can feel justified about feeling self righteous about whatever thier issue was.  It makes them feel in control of the situation and of you.  Its about manipulation and control.  I suspect it was how my husband learned to control people in his family and environment when he was growing up, where he didn't have much control over his environment for most of his life (poor family, 3rd youngest of 4 brothers)I don't think he'll ever change.  its just a question - how many times can I go through this stupid destructive cycle.  The problem is, as with everyone is that when things are good, they are good and you love them and you're happy.  but when they are bad they are really bad and it affects your whole life and wears away your self esteem.  I wonder if we put up with it because we have low self esteem in the first place and we need our partner's approval to feel happy.  But you'd think that would be the case in most relationships anyway.  My main issue now is what effect its all going to have on our daughter.  So I hope there is some kind of solution to dealing with the behaviour out there.
  • Blondie_Girl said Aug 10, 2009...
    So odd, i would have never thought people have the same problem as I have. I'm 31 wih 3 little ones and just woke up a couple of months ago. I let everything out to him, that I like him, have no one else (we moved to his birth country 3 years ago, I have NO family there). He's a silent guy... something stupid that I did (not iron his shirts at 12am when he expected to, not have the kids ready on time in the morning, wear shoes he suddenly doesn't like anymore) - he won't speak to me and help / notice things in the house. Then he complains that I sit on the computer (I work, keep up with family on the computer). Today I did my own thing all day with kids on Summer vacation and got home. He 'helped' with one child, while I got the other 2 in bed, put away the stuff from the car, while he just sat on the couch as if he was going to sleep, eyes closed. I saw he wasn't interested, and went to work online to make some money. Then he suddenly 'wakes up' and tries to 'talk' and blames me that I'm not getting off the computer to speak with him. I retort saying I waited for you to talk all evening and as usual you come to me while I need to work and try to talk? He got mad and left w/o saying bye, went to his Grandma. Calls me on phone and tries to tell me I don't respect him, then later in the conversation he says he isn't looking for respect. I've told him how I've felt, told him what he needs to do to make things work, it's ok for a while, then he stops again, get's mad at something stupid, doesn't talk, chip in with the household help, ignores me once again, waltzes in like nothing happened, casual conversation about things that need to be done, he says it in normal tones, but that's it! I've stopped telling him how I feel, like other posters said they just use it against you and feel more like a "King", and act even worse. Exactly what my husband did/does. We did go to a counsler and the guy told him that I'm right, that my husband needs to stop overlooking stupid things, it's stupid his behavioir. But, every time it's a new thing my husband get's mad at, and it starts again..... I'm wrong again, he's right, he said, I MUST do ASAP! Do I get divorced? How do I deal with it? How do I find another man? How do I know to choose? Who wants me with 3 little kids? I'm still young, pretty and I love where I live, the area, friends, but it's his parents place where we pay minimal rent. Do I tell him to leave? He's acting like a roomate. Do I tell him leave and let's see how things work? We do go out to eat once a week and sit down, try to talk, but he never says anything benificial, since I'm always wrong, but he does say I do a good job with the kids, house, bla bla Thanks for listening! Confused Mama far away!
  • krae21 said Sep 3, 2009...
    You have an easy solution! No kids, then LEAVE! Show him you will not live like this before it is too late. This is NOT normal and it will only get worse. I have the same problem, but we have 3 children involved.
  • miserablewife said Sep 28, 2009...
    OMG! My husband and I have not spoken in 3 1/2 weeks! I started counseling on my own. I wrote him a letter and he wouldn't even read it. This has happened before but never for this long. We have 2 kids, 17 and 10 years old. I want a divorce so bad. I am so afraid of what he will do if I file. I do not want to live like this anymore. He has killed any love I had for him. I've been sleeping on the floor or couch for the last month. This is getting very old. I am unemployed; been looking for a job for months. I can't support myself. We live paycheck to paycheck. I need help.
  • Blondie_Girl said Sep 29, 2009...
    Well here is the Confused Mama Far away with a update... We went to a marriage counselor and had a talk, he said we are living as is if we are in a business relationship, that's not good. Well I do my own thing now, I do what I want, what I think is right when he isn't around. I go where I want, buy what I want, and he can't say a thing. I am working online for now, so he isn't saying anything Thank G-d. I won't let him tell me stupid things, I tell him right away or don't answer back when he says stupid criticizing things. I tell him, you need to say it THIS way. I have friends who can listen, and I tell them things he isn't built for. They are supporting me more then he is. I make sure to go out and talk with girlfriends all the time, they keep you up high. I Have a friend that got out of a controlling relationship, she tells me what to do all the time. And, I have to remember that at least once a month, or every two weeks, depending on what happens, go back to the marriage counselor, because many times the man just can't stand to hear that the wife is saying is true. Even stupid fights who washed the dishes. Or went and played a computer game when he doesn't like you 'wasting' time like that. the marriage counselor proposes a routine and you must stick to it. Routine like when to go out, what to talk about, do a budget, babysitter and eating together without kids. See what pisses the husband off and talk about it, get someone involved that your husband trusts and you know that that person is sane, and get them talking if you can't afford counseling. When I started to say sorry to trustworthy girlfriends that I wasn't keeping in touch cuz of marriage problems, they suddenly were all ears, recommending people and telling me what to do and very very helpful. One of a far friend that I bumped into told me her husband is a marriage cousler and I never knew! So, help is all over. Get out of the house and tell the husband to shove it if he complains! He gets to go out, so can you. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO tell you what to do and criticize you all day! Women like us who need husbands that talk nice to them, will find another husband that will talk nice, since we usually attract the men when we are in need of support! Hey, I even started going out and keeping on eye on the guys out there, and honey, I have 3 little kids (5,3,1) and the guys don't mind! Confused Mama Far away

New commenting closed as post is too old. Why?