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Is it me? Is it him? Could use a different perspective!

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Old 15th August 2018, 1:25 PM   #1
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Unhappy Is it me? Is it him? Could use a different perspective!

I have been with my husband for 5 years now (married 1 year). Our relationship is great for the most part, we tell each other everything, we are completely comfortable around each other, we are best friends basically.
Life is a little complicated at the moment but we knew what we were getting into... Long story short, I got pregnant, I have an okay job and enough to support us. My husband is still in school to be a software engineer and we made a pact that I would work while he attends school full time so that he is able to land a good job. Now we are at the point where I am still working, he is not going to school now but he is looking for a job and still taking some courses online.
I have been complaining about my job a lot to him, I am not happy with my job and I don't know how much longer I can take it. He knows how I feel about my job and it causes him to feel more pressured.

The reason for this post is the way he deals with his frustration or when he is mad... it is always the same thing and idk if I am exaggerating it but it gets me every time.

Whenever something bothers him, he has the habit of not talking (he is usually very playful and likes to joke). Instead of being his normal goofy self he gets very short with me, doesn't make conversation, doesn't engage in any activities with me. He usually just lays down and goes to sleep. Every time i ask if something is wrong he says "I'm okay" or "I'm just tired".... We wake up in the morning and same thing... "I'm okay".... I ask him to please talk to me if something is bothering him because I would like to fix it and I get no response.
Why does he do this? Does he not realize that cutting me off just makes me feel bad... did i do something wrong, did I say something? Past times that I've gotten to him he just says he's stressed about the situation but I am tired of him blaming it on stress or tiredness.... He does not have to take it out on me. At the end of the day, now I am feeling bad too.

Am I exaggerating for him pushing me away when he is "tied" or "stressed" or am I just being a nagging wife and I should back off?... If I need to back off that's okay but idk how to make myself not feel like total crap for being ignored.
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Old 15th August 2018, 3:21 PM   #2
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Iíd recommend, first and foremost, that you stop trying to fix things. Men really hate that. The message he gets from that is that you donít trust him to resolve problems. A lot of men process by going quiet. Constant questioning is just an irritation. Have you ever read the Men Are From Mars book? You might want to do that.

Best friends or not, there is a line between the sexes thatís dangerous to cross. Let him work things out. If you donít like your job, look for something else. The truth is, you want to quit your job and stay at home. The two of you arenít in that place yet. Youíre going to need to be patient about that. Just make sure he focuses on getting his degree. That will benefit him, you, and your children.
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Old 15th August 2018, 5:56 PM   #3
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Since you know his reaction is to shut down & process, let him. You trying to make him change & open up when he's stressed adds more stress.

In your shoes, suck it up with the job while you are pregnant but actively look for work while on your full maternity leave.
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Old 15th August 2018, 6:58 PM   #4
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Interesting ... here's where I think you're making a mistake ... and it's not a horrible one ... it's an understandable mistake.

You go up to him when he withdraws and you PRETEND to ask about what's bothering him. It seems like you KNOW what's bothering him. He feels under pressure about getting a good job and allowing you to leave your "bad" job.

OK ... so he's a sensitive guy. Why waste time saying, "Talk to me. Let me know what's going on"?

No. You know what's going on ... Therefore, go to the next solution level. Go up to him and respect where he is emotionally and do a little soothing. Run your hand through his hair. Rub his shoulders. Show concern through body language! Then speak ... to reassure. Hey there, I just want to tell how much I love, how wonderful you are. And I don't mean to pressure you about finding a job ... I feel uncomfortable with that. Yes, the job bothers me, but I don't mean to say you should solve that ... And I want neither of us to be under too much pressure. So I want to let you know I don't expect you to be superhuman ... Yada yada.

Assuming this is what you really feel, you would be reassuring him, loving him ... But don't fake this ... Don't say stuff just to bring him out of his funk. Say something honest that you think would be helpful for him to hear. He probably grew up in a household where he got quiet under pressure.

FYI: sometime sitting with people who seem in pain or withdrawn ... and hugging them ... giving them a gentle massage that says I love you ... and care about you ... really helps people loosen up. Don't try to change or fix his mood. Show some connection and affection for what he's feeling ... and you will allow him to change his mood. Huge difference!

Lose the perspective that you can "fix" things ... No, you can't. Fixes are illusions. What you can do is think along with him about ways to look at various challenges and to identify and think through various responses to different challenges. And that's more than enough!

Right now, he's probably worried that you're looking down on him, that you expect him to get a great job soon and that you will dislike him or reject him if he doesn't come through. That's likely what's going through his mind.

Respond based on that knowledge or that intuition.

BTW: you want to take these constructive steps first ... and only later after you have shown compassion for where he is ... and only when he's feeling a little better ... do you put in your request that you want him to maintain some connection with you when he's not feeling great. And you can be compassionate in problem solving as well ... asking him what feels comfortable in reaching out to you when he's feeling down.

Last edited by Lotsgoingon; 15th August 2018 at 7:02 PM..
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Old 15th August 2018, 11:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CrisPNugget View Post
Is it me? Is it him?
Short answer - yes.

I'll just address your side since you posted. You agreed you'd work until he finished school and found a job. So what does your your constant complaining about your work bring to the table? Were he in your shoes, I'd tell him to man-up and support his side of the bargain and relationship - in silence.

My advice to you is the same . Congrats on the coming addition to your family...

Mr. Lucky
Happiness is not a goal; it is a byproduct -

Eleanor Roosevelt
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Old 16th August 2018, 9:42 AM   #6
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I'm going to disagree with the other posters just a little bit. I do agree that you should stop trying to get him to talk about his feelings and problems when he clearly does not want to open up. I do see how your complaining on a regular basis about your job when he is not even working yet could be stressing him out and making him feel anxious. And I do think that since you know that your complaining is having a negative impact one has to ask why you keep doing it? What do you want him to do? He likely feels like you are telling him you are unhappy and you want him to do something about it.

Now where I disagree with the others is that you have said everytime he has a problem he refuses to engage with you. Not just that he refuses to discuss the issue with you, he refuses to communicate with you at all. Won't even make light conversation, or engage in any affection. Becomes cold and short with you. Just basically gives you the silent treatment and completely shuts you out.

That behaviour would not be acceptable to me. It's very painful to be on the receiving end of the silent treatment. To have the person you love go completely cold and unloving. Your husband can take time to process his feelings without being a jerk about it. It's fine to not be in a jovial mood but he could still be considerate of your feelings and let you know in a loving way that he just needs some time to himself but he is not angry with you. Or for that matter he could say he is angry but just not ready to talk.

You should not be following him around asking him what's wrong but I understand why you do it. When your partner becomes cold and angry around you but doesn't say anything regarding what their problem is it seems reasonable that you want to know what's wrong. When the person refuses to even give you a hint and continues to be silent and cold I can totally see how the person on the receiving end would become anxious and feel hurt and rejected.

I don't know what to advise. I've been with a man like that and it never got better. His cold silent treatments were always a source of pain for me and our relationship ended for several reasons including the cruel childish way he dealt with problems. I can tell you that he was the only man I've been with who ever behaved like that. None of the other men I have had relationships with treated me like that when they were stressed so no, this is not a men are from Mars man thing. Sure men like some space and dont tend to be as verbal as women about their feelings but that doesn't mean they totally shut down and become ice cold. That's just not acceptable.
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Old 16th August 2018, 4:09 PM   #7
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Thanks for your input Anika, after writing the original post, I re-read it and I know where I have messed up. I know I am putting pressure on him, I know I need to stop complaining. He knows I support him 100% and it does not matter how much I complain about my job, I will hold my end of the deal. I realize I have to keep my feelings about my job to myself for our sake. I am aware of my mistakes but like you've mentioned, I hate this feeling of being rejected and ignored when something is wrong. At times I ask him once, are you okay? He answers with the usual "I'm tired" "I'm stressed" and we hardly talk for the next couple of days because I give him his space. It's a constant thing and like you said, it's painful when you're given the silent treatment not even knowing why. Did I do something? Did I say something? I've addressed how I feel to him before, I've told him how i feel when he does that to me, all i've asked of him is to let me know "hey I need some time to myself right now, I'm going to stay at my parents house tonight" or whatever the case is. I'd prefer hearing that than going to sleep next to someone who is not even speaking to me. I am only hoping for all of this to go away once we are settled with our careers and our family but I realize I have to be realistic and accept the fact that it may not work out. We love each other, the communication is just not there sometimes.
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Old 17th August 2018, 10:28 PM   #8
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So ... based on your response, I'll a couple of points.

One ... again go to the next level in your approaches to him.

Not: "Are you ok?" When it's 1 million percent clear he is NOT.

Instead, go ... "You feeling kinda down?" ... "Feeling tired."

Ok, that's just a little technique ... but ... I'm going to step back now and take a tougher stand--in your favor!

No way am I regularly sharing a marital bed with someone who is shutdown and silent, someone acting despondent, withdrawn, silent, cold, disinterested, distant, rude ... but who then refuses to disclose any of his feelings.

This is a type of passive aggressiveness ... The traditional passive aggressive person doesn't confront the person they're mad with ... Instead, they find some minor issue to turn icy cold on ... such that the other person feels a sting ... but has no idea why ...

This guy is also passive aggressive in that it's very aggressive (he doesn't see this most likely) to disconnect from a partner. By going silent, he's abandoning you for all intents and purposes and abandoning the relationships. (And unfortunately, he's also abandoning himself.)

My heart in fact goes out to you ... Almost better to be in open conflict than be in what you're going through. You're married to someone who has turned into a corpse.

Really sad ... and really hard position for you.

If you were to GUESS based on knowing him ... what is really going on ... what do you think? ... You can't rely on him. So what do YOU think? ... Do you think he had a hidden depressive side that is only now showing? ... Any chance he's lost interest in you? ... Is he disconnected from family and friends as well?

You sound quite reasonable and understanding to me ... So despite my little suggestions about talking to him in a different way, I really don't see you doing anything wrong here. I'm just saying you can go the extra extra mile ... but you've already gone the extra thousand miles, it seems.

I will say this: some people ... and maybe it's more a guy thing ... feel that they have to be fully complete BEFORE being able to connect with someone ... Thus when they're not feeling great, they basically shut down and hide.

What people like this miss (and I used to be like this and I wondered why relationships were unsatisfying) ... is that the joy of a relationship is to allow yourself to share even when you're not feeling great ... because you get this other person's energy ... and love ... and you can realize you don't have to be Mr. Super Amazing to be lovable or to love. You don't have to be perfect to be in relationship. None of us is.

Assuming he's got specific issues on his mind, he could be thinking things through WITH YOU ... and figuring things out WITH YOU ... instead, he's lost in his own head and it doesn't sound like doing this alone, he is getting anywhere.

Any chance he's clinically depressed?
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