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Topic: Wife withdrawn and resentful

29 posts, 0 answered
  1. Duesentrieb
    Duesentrieb avatar
    16 posts
    26 September 2020

    Hi, my wife and I are married since 20 years. The marriage was good for 15 years, except her constant silent treatment when we have a conflict. I asked her several times to stop that, use communication but without any success. In general I am the more patient, giving, mellow person, more of a people pleaser.

    3 years ago we had a peak of her silent treatment and I started to research. It started with silent treatment and ended with narcissism. Unfortunately I have to say that she shows some covert narcissistic traits.

    Since that time I changed quite a bit. I ignored her silent treatment, I started to implement boundaries, looked more after myself and stopped to panic when she was in a bad mood, etc.

    2 years ago she found out that I researched narcissim quite extensively but kept quite.

    1 year ago she told me and was very sad about it. She felt betrayaled and is since that time quite withdrawn and resentful.

    I already apologized and explained the background of it but it seems there is something brocken between us. Some days are OK but every small issue, difference, different opinion, wrong word, wrong tone, etc. and she swithes into victim mode and is withdrawn again.

    Any ideas?

  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    3685 posts
    26 September 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb
    Hi Duesentrieb,

    Wishing you a warm welcome to the forums. It takes a lot of courage to be so open and honest with your feelings and experiences, and we are glad that you have reached out here tonight. We can hear how difficult your relationship has been, and how overwhelmed that you're feeling. Please know that you've come to a safe, non-judgemental space and our community is here to offer you with as much support, conversation and advise as you need. 

    If you feel up to it, we'd also encourage you to reach out to our Beyond Blue Support Service, which is available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport. One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.
     
    You are not alone here, and we hope that you keep us updated on how you're going whenever you are ready.
     
    1 person found this helpful
  3. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    8369 posts
    26 September 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb
    Hi, welcome

    Word for word in terms of the silent treatment you described my first wife. Our marriage lasted 11 years. She'd remain silent for up to 6 weeks, commonly 1-2. Long enough to satisfy I had suffered enough punishment. And what did I do to deserve such treatment? Perhaps a raise in my voice or money conflict or her not pulling her weight in the looking after the children when a stay at home mum while I worked 3 jobs. Etc

    It was long after we divorced that I researched to realise silence was a form of narcissism.

    In your case she has turned around the issue to be the victim. You've apologized- why? Because it's that people plaster in you but you had zero to apologise for. More appropriately she could have apologized for her silent treatment, but they never do- a trait of narcissism.

    I have one ray of hope. It's a system I developed after my divorce. If you both fully commit to it then it works
    Google

    Beyondblue topic relationship strife?- the peace pipe

    Otherwise I'm sorry but her need to control by means of silence will be hard for her to break away from. Family counseling could help, if she won't go then go alone but refrain from sharing details of consultations. If she wants to know details she can attend.

    Being a " people pleaser" has it's problems...open to abuse is one.

    Beyondblue topic the definition of abuse

    TonyWK
    1 person found this helpful
  4. geoff
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    13477 posts
    26 September 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Hello Duesentrieb, thanks for your thread and I know Tony and I have discussed, not so much to each other but know exactly what we're talking about, the silent treatment.

    We only wish this would never happen and rather talk about the situation, but for me, this happened not only with my ex but other people as well when they were wrong but wouldn't admit to it, so the silent treatment, causing emotional distance or exerting power over you.

    Being ostracized is certainly demeaning which may, in turn, make you try and apologise for something you may not have done wrong or give in to their demands which may strengthen their situation.

    Sometimes it may not be about an isolated situation, that has to be interrupted by you and then you can make a decision.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Duesentrieb
    Duesentrieb avatar
    16 posts
    26 September 2020 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for your reply.

    One thing I can say. Her total number of apologies within theses 20 years hardly exceed 10.

    Counseling, she refuses. I suggested that arleady. I had a counselor for some time and it was a good experience. She confirmed I am all right and gave me some tools e.g. assertive communication, etc. But she said that I am fighting a loose battle. We have a 12 years old son which makes it hard for me to decide.

    Her silent treatment is currently much better. Now she is always the victim and very sensitive. Conflicts can start from super small things. Different tone, a look, etc.

    I admit that the whole power dynamic changed. Previously I would have run after her, trying to calm her down, try to pacify her, etc. And yes it feels better but as I mentioned now she is withdrawn and every bit of affection comes from me. A hug, a kiss, etc. when I leave, when I come home, all initiated by me. Maybe I should leave that next time as well. But thinking back that happens since a long time.

    She is in general very unforgiving and her grudges can take months maybe years. I am not sure if she is together with me only because of our son, house, finance, etc or if there is any love.

    Sorry, I am very confused.

  6. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    3685 posts
    26 September 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Hey Duesentrieb,

    It must be really saddening feeling like your wife doesn't want to show you affection and love. That can really take a toll on our mental health. Its good to hear that a counsellor helped you feel more in control of your emotions and develop better communication skills, it sounds like you have had some really positive self growth which is great. 

    If you are looking for any telephone counselling support to help you cope with what is going on in your relationship or even just to have a space to weigh up your options and discuss your next step, MensLine Australia is a free 24/7 telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns. You can contact them on 1300 78 99 78 or https://mensline.org.au/ 



     

    1 person found this helpful
  7. therising
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    1494 posts
    26 September 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Hi Duesentrieb

    The fact that you are still in search of answers regarding the way forward for yourself and your relationship speaks a lot in regard to your thoughtful nature.

    Wondering if you've deeply challenged your wife. Challenging her to work out why she behaves the way she does would definitely be interesting. If she's up for the challenge, she'll actually begin to seriously wonder herself. May sound strange but she may not even know why she behaves the ways she does. For example, you could genuinely ask 'Why do you use the silent treatment as a 'go to' way of managing the relationship?' She may say 'I don't know'. You could then say 'I wonder whether it's learned behaviour', prompting her to the revelation 'Actually, now that you mention it, my mum used to do this. Oh my god, I'm just like my mum!'.

    If your wife's someone who shuts everyone down, not just you, you could lead her to wonder why she believes it's constructive to shut people down. You could ask 'Do you feel no need to listen to reason, other people's reasons?' Again, was this learned behaviour? Personally, I love listening to people's reasons for why they believe what they believe or why they think the way they do. I find it fascinating. It was actually my 17yo daughter who conditioned me to be more reasonable. If (when she was younger) I said she couldn't do something or have something, she'd ask me why. She'd prompt me to think of the reasons until I was able or honest in identifying them. She'd never do this in a brattish way, it was sincerely because she wanted valid answers, understanding. Goes to show, we can recondition or challenge people to be more reason able.

    I figure, if someone's going to challenge me to wonder about my own questionable behaviour, it's only fair I get to wonder about some of their behaviours. So, instead of feeling 'picked on', it becomes a matter of a trade in search of higher consciousness. It's like an agreement to raise each other, thoughtfully. A lot of the time, our beliefs and behaviours originate from somewhere. Finding out where they came from and what triggers them can be interesting. It can also be a process that allows us to let go of behaviours we actually inherited, ones that were never ours to begin with.

    Consider challenging your wife to be honest in regard to why the narcissism research saddened her so much. You could even say 'I challenge you to be honest'. People will tend be more honest with us if they sense we have an open mind.

    :)

    2 people found this helpful
  8. Duesentrieb
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    16 posts
    26 September 2020 in reply to therising

    Thank you therising, the idea you describe is good but the only answer I get is that she is simply angry and does not want to see me at this moment which can take several days. That how she works.. she is expressing her anger by creating feelings but does not look for a solution. As mentioned before it is as well a kind of control and retribution. No, she is doing that only at home with me. I am afraid that she will use it one day with our son too.

    Sorry, she is not that curious. When she uses that silent treatment she is completely freaked out. She wanted already to end the relationship, fly home during a holiday trip, left my son and me in Tokio without money, ... so quite hardcore. She does not listen, is not open to reason, logic, etc. She sees in these moments only herself.

    I guess it is a behavior she learned during our relationship as it worked for so long and I enabled it.

    Thanks...

  9. therising
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    27 September 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Hi Duesentrieb

    What you describe sounds so incredibly frustrating. Of course, other people's behaviour is going to be even more frustrating when we are fairly sensitive people.

    Being sensitive has both it's up side and down side. Starting with the down side, which I imagine you can relate to, there will be times when you can sense a mood shift coming in someone. Such an experience can be impacting enough to get our nervous system going a bit, to anxiety or dread. There can be that thought 'Please, not again.' The upside, when you can sense a mood shift coming on in someone, there's the ability to also sense inspiration. What comes to mind might be 'You are not going to tolerate this again'. It's like inspiration is giving you a firm directive to follow.

    It's only in the past year and a half that I'd begun listening to a little more natural inspiration within my 20 something year relationship. In the past, I would avoid triggering my husband to agitation through the act of 'bottling things up'. It's amazing how much of a natural self esteem booster inspiration can be. These days, I let it guide me. I'll give you a handful of examples that come to mind for me, during situations where I can feel myself being challenged

    • You have to speak up
    • You should not tolerate this lack of respect/consideration
    • He is being unreasonable (he cannot see your reasons because his mind is closed)
    • Leave him alone in his tantrum
    • He's being thoughtless when you have patiently begged him to be more thoughtful

    I could go on but you get the gist.

    I wonder what inspiration sounds like in your mind at certain times. The fact that you've felt inspired to set boundaries, ignore the behaviour and not enable it, you've felt inspired to consider counseling etc goes to show you are someone who's open to inspiration.

    You could say, through you wife's behaviour, through this long and deep challenge, you are finding the best in yourself. Perhaps you are more tolerant than you ever imagined, more thoughtful than you ever imagined yourself to be, open to inspiration/open minded, determined, a solution seeker, caring, sensitive (an undeniable super power at times). Basically, you are someone who is willing to evolve through challenge. You have a will to make a difference (not live in soul destroying sameness). You gotta admit, you're pretty amazing when you think about it. You're a great example for your son. He's blessed. Sounds like it's you who is your son's guiding light in life.

    :)

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Duesentrieb
    Duesentrieb avatar
    16 posts
    28 September 2020 in reply to therising

    Thank you so much for your reply.

    I can say the first years of our marriage I put my wife on a pedestal. During that time our life was full of changes and challenges. Got to know each other in Singapore (she is malay singaporean). Dating, marriage (2000), migration to Germany (my home country), everything new for her (language, culture, work, etc.). And since 2006 Australia. And again, new environment, work, house, son, etc. Since 2013 things are much quiter as we settled down more.

    .
    Our life became quote dull…getting up, before school care, work, pick up our son, dinner, clean up and preparation, homework, TV, bringing my son to bed at 8:30-9:00. When I joined her at 9:30 most of the time she was sleeping already. So I ended up quite often doing paperwork, etc. and felt alone. Weekends work around the house, shopping, etc. but the evenings were quite the same.

    At that time I felt that something is off. First I assumed work as I faced some challenges. I changed employer but it didn't get better. Due to some increase of our conflicts and her silent treatment I started to research in 2017. Silent treatment, narcissism, toxic behavior, etc.

    From there I went through a roller coaster and it opened my eyes. Did she ever loved me? Am I just supply for her. Does she loves me only because I am easygoing, easy agreeable, patient, etc.

    On the other hand I realized there are definitely soms narcissistic traits, she has not much empathy, is a taker and shows some self-centered behaviour. Just a few minor examples but they show in my opinion her mindset.

    The other day we went for a walk and passed a playground. Our son, 12, wanted to have a go and I understand that as he hasn’t seen other kids for months. She let him go but was quite reluctant and was not really happy. It’s not the COVID situation, it is more the fact that we have to wait, she wants to walk to get her steps or she just wants to get her way.
    My son wants to play minecraft with her since 6 months and she always bails out. I get it that she is not into computer games but is it not possible to do it for 15-30 minutes?


  11. Duesentrieb
    Duesentrieb avatar
    16 posts
    28 September 2020 in reply to therising

    I see not much agreeability, not much compromise, not much effort to give. I get it, work, household, cooking, etc. all quite demanding and tiring. I help her already as much as possible. Bathrooms, toilets, laundry, rubbish bin, dishwasher, putting back dishes, cleaning the oven and kitchen counter, vaccum cleaning, shopping, all paperwork… not forgetting the stuff around the house and cleaning the cars. But if you would ask her she is doing 75% of the work..

    This mindset is basically everywhere…
    Sex, she has no issue to receive 45 minutes but giving is not really her thing. She is lucky that I am a fast comer… she asks are you done, rolls over and falls to sleep.
    The relationship, it starts with so super small things like SMS, affection during the day (a kiss, a hug, a touch, a smile…) and ends with that she thinks to be right after several days of silent treatment.
    Just to be clear.. I do not cheat, I do not gamble, I do not hit or beat her, do not call her names, I maybe shouted at her 5 times in 20 years, I never ignored her or sent her away when she wanted to talk to me, approach me, … yes, I am far from perfect.
    This kind of mindset scares me… and I don't feel like it to argue about it.. somehow I just feel tired. She gives me constantly, maybe subconsciously, the feeling I am the husband from hell..

    The other day she told me sometimes before sleep she reflects back and thinks that she is actually a pretty good wife…

    Back to the original issue…. I guess with her withdrawal she is trying to pull me, put me back into my place where I am afraid of possibly leaving me, her silent treatment, her anger and resentment. But she realizes that it does not work anymore..


  12. geoff
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    28 September 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Hi Duesentrieb, the worry that can happen is whether or not this silent treatment is going to happen again, unfortunately in my case, yes, it was always to be expected, and with this can create emotional domination.

    If I was upset, I'd just go out to the shed and ponder away at something rather than her closing the bedroom door and laying on the bed and by this, certainly increased my anxiety.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  13. white knight
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    white knight avatar
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    28 September 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb
    Hi again

    I think the most important thing atm is to not blame yourself. You need to maybe cease justifying yourself and focus on ways to break the negativity she has.

    There is no excuse for silent treatment, nor her intimidation and lack of respect. However, it is prudent to seek out the core reason. My gut tells me for her, her life and marriage is mundane and the is zero stimulus. Again, no your fault.

    I can only recommend family counseling again, but if you get no improvement in a certain time frame then it is a lost c aside because she has to want to change.

    Children are resilient. Your son will adapt to his parents separation.

    TonyWK
    1 person found this helpful
  14. Duesentrieb
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    16 posts
    28 September 2020 in reply to white knight

    Hi Geoff, thanks.

    Her silent treatment is quite out of this world as she is not doing anything except laying in bed and watching TV. I do all the work, household, look after our son.

    She even doesn't eat or only when I sleep. If I get something she refuses even that to ... make me even feel more guilty...

    Like I said that does not impress me anymore. I do things I like, wash the cars, play with my son, etc.

    It is her entitlement that she can justify that and her passive agressive behaviour that bothers me a lot as it is something hard to change...

    Will answer later... off to work...

    Guys have a great day...

  15. geoff
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    28 September 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Hi Duesentrieb, I can concur exactly to what you've said and this did happen very early in our marriage and throughout our 25 year marriage.

    She was my first love and being inexperienced that it was very difficult to know what I could do.

    We are divorced, that was her decision, but we still talk to each other by phone or in person just as we did before, any disagreement either one of us hangs up and then rings the next day, but we couldn't possibly live together again because the same old would put us in the same situation as before.

    Another type of love eventuates, but I was the same as you, cooked, took kids to and from games/training etc if this situation developed.

    Look forward to hearing back from you.

    Geoff.

  16. Duesentrieb
    Duesentrieb avatar
    16 posts
    28 September 2020 in reply to therising

    Thanks guys...

    The best thing that came out of therapy for myself was that I am all right, my needs, my worries, my desires etc. and it would be good if I would be more assertive, truthful and outspoken.

    She said basically I should get prepared, set a date and if things do not get better considering leaving. She said if I have doubts I should try to say no to one of my wife's requests and see what happens.

    Somehow I really wonder how much my wife's reality differs from mine. As described previously, I consider our relationship as not ballanced to my disadvantage. She would say the same thing about herself.

    I highlighted that imbalance once and she starts to go off and asks me if we have scorecards now turning the blame...
    I would ask how she comes to that conclusion.

    Same with the narcissistic topic. I would like to know why my partner is researching that.

    When I went to the therapist she was not supportive at all. BTW all started with work issues but within 2 sessions the therapist concluded that my relationship is the underlying cause as my thoughts were centred only on the relationship, basically 24/7.

    In my wife's opinion these things do not belong outside and she considers that all as nonsense. One time she said something like … it worked for so many years and 'we' were happy, why change. I would say she was happy.

    She considers the start of any of our problems, 3 years ago when I started to research.

    I came home today at 6pm. Dinner not ready yet. She prepared dinner but with a lot of moaning. Trying to make some communication but I didn't get much more as yes, no, maybe, hm. After dinner she helped me maybe 15 minutes but left after that. I worked maybe another 60 minutes. After that I played with my son.

    Actually I am tired of thinking, trying and hoping it will get better.... thanks for reading..

  17. therising
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    28 September 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Hi Duesentrieb

    Being wonderful definitely comes with challenges. You can start basically wondering, which may sound a little like 'I wonder why my spouse doesn't really listen to what I really want to say?' or 'I wonder how I could possibly have upset him/her'. Basically wondering can lead us to self doubt: Maybe what I have to say isn't really all that important or maybe I am difficult. This is where getting seriously wonderful becomes important. 'I really do seriously wonder whether what I have to say is important'. You can reach the conclusion that what you have to say is of importance a lot of the time. It's important to express your emotions, not keep them bottled up until things become explosive. It's important to express the need for progress, even though your spouse prefers vibing in sameness. So, serious wondering can lead to the conclusion 'My spouse does not care to be open minded and thoughtful. They do not like to be challenged. They do not possess certain skills required in clear and progressive communication'. Being this wonderful can lead you to realise you are careful, open minded and thoughtful. You are willing to face challenges and you are skillful when it comes to progressive communication. I love evolving through wonder. In fact, there are times when I thrive on it.

    Wonder does become pretty complex at times. In my states of wonder, when it comes to my marriage, I have wondered if my husband will consciously seek more energy through drinking less and seeking excitement with me. I have wondered at times whether I would be best dissolving the marriage. I have even wondered whether saying 'If nothing changes in this relationship, I can no longer live with the sameness. It is ultimately your decision as to whether it's worth the effort to change things'. I did end up saying it, in a thoughtful way. He was upset yet little has changed. In a liberating way, I have come to gradually disappoint him from the role I once gave him 'He who enthusiastically evolves with me'. I have worked through this sad kind of wonder, which revealed 'I make a difference in my life'. I have come to love myself through my process of questioning so much. By the way, my husband is basically a good man who expresses his love for me every day. He simply does not want to change himself or the relationship. He's comfortable.

    When you go from basic to serious wonder, you're naturally going to challenge and trigger the people around you, as you're waking up to them.

    :)

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Duesentrieb
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    16 posts
    30 September 2020 in reply to therising

    Thanks...

    I am really not sure what is going on but something is broken.

    I think I idealized my wife for a long time and I did a lot of things for her to get her attention, affection and love. I think I lost myself and I made a lot of compromises along the way and I have to admit as well with expectations.

    I still love her but my love changed as I am not idealize her anymore.
    I am not sure if she suffers because of that. Or is it my research that she considers as betrail. What I can see she sees herself in the victim role and has seemingly no interest, no energy, etc to get out of that.

    It doesn't matter what I do, she seems stuck in it. I can see her suffering and I have days where I want to give up on the relationship just to end her suffering….

    Peace

  19. therising
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    30 September 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Hi Duesentrieb

    Do you think maybe she's depressed but doesn't recognise it? Just an idea. Can sometimes be hard to distinguish between when someone's 'difficult' and when they're facing depression. A lot of the traits can appear similar: Anger, detachment, lack of interest, self isolation, 'I don't care' attitude etc. You mentioned a shift in her behaviour when you both settled down. Do you recall whether she became rather sad around this time?

    I'm not excusing her behaviour toward you, just wondering about what could possibly explain it. Not at all dismissing the idea that she's naturally unreasonable (unable to see or give good reason). I feel for you so much as you try to navigate through this deeply challenging largely unbearable time. Relationships can be torturous things when they become deeply deeply challenging.

    :)

  20. Jsua
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    195 posts
    30 September 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Hi Duesentrieb.

    The Silent treatment is extremely frustrating to deal with. My partner does it to me all the time which in most cases leads to arguments and fights. Depending on the severity of the silent treatment, it can be really difficult to navigate their care needs and support them.

    From my experience, when I have been a victim of the silent treatment (a form of abuse), I learnt that there is nothing you could do to make them understand that their behavior is unacceptable because the more one tries to resolve/ diffuse the issue, the more the silent treatment prevails.

    For me, I let my person sulk - that it! The silent treatment is punishment for someone not getting what they want. It's simply learnt from growing up and it's a not a healthy form of resolution.

    The only way to resolve the issue is to let them vent, let them sulk but be very empathetic, caring, understanding, pretty much smother them with love and warmth but I say "do not give them what they want."

  21. Betternow
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    244 posts
    30 September 2020 in reply to therising

    Hi Duesentrieb

    I want to pick up therising’s point about depression. Depression can present in subtle ways and in many cases the depressed person doesn’t realise their depressed. This is especially true if the depression is insidious in it’s onset.

    Moving away from depression, your wife strikes me as a person who is unhappy and probably resentful. Some spouses who aren’t happy in a marriage but don’t want to end it, can shift the blame and responsibility to their partner and silent treatment is often the expression of that blame.

    If a spouse can’t bring themselves to end a marriage (cultural, religious, family or fear of the unknown), but are nevertheless unhappy in the marriage, they will often use passive aggressive behaviour to force the other spouse to end the marriage. I have seen this happen.

    That way they can save some face. I tried hard to save my marriage but he just wasn’t prepared to put in the work. It’s sad, but it’s probably for the best in the long run.

    I agree with your counsellor. Call her out on her behaviour and watch her reaction. If she explodes, you may have to end the marriage.

  22. Duesentrieb
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    16 posts
    30 September 2020 in reply to Betternow

    Hi, first a big thank you to all of you.

    Depression? Of course I am not a doctor but it is possible. Since 12 months she has a few minor health issues which have seemingly no real cause. Allergy, skin issues painful back due to tense shoulder/back muscles. When I can give it a date I would say the 'depression' started maybe 1-2 years ago.

    But now the big BUT… if I would mention it, she would call my crazy. And by herself she would never go to a doctor.

    BTW that is and was for her always an issue. She does not go to any checkup. She almost died because of a food poisoning. And she has a mole on her shoulder and our GP recommended to remove it and send it for examination. I had so many arguments with her about it. She is not doing it.

    The silent treatment doesn't bother me anymore. I let her sulk and do my thing. But it is so destructive as the original issue never gets solved and what really worries me she still feels that she is right. I know that she is reading a lot too nowerdays. I am certain that she knows by now that it is a passive agressive form of abuse.

    For me it is not possible to shower her with love, anymore. I did that in the past and it only got worse. Today, I am normal. I ask if she wants to talk, or if she needs something but that's it.
    But since I ignore it the silent treatment got less frequent.

    I believe she is still very angry about the fact that I was reading about all these topics like narcissism, toxic behaviour, etc.

    @Betternow… I had the same idea. Maybe she wants to end it but don't want to loose face. Her religion (muslim), background (Malay) does not really support the idea that the woman is initiating a seperation. Plus she is very cautious what other people may think and she would look better in front of our son if I go.

    It just crossed my mind. Years ago we had a huge fight when she suggested to buy an investment property in our neighborhood. I spend quite some time to look at the pros and cons and came to the conclusion that it makes no sense for us. She was furious as her colleagues (all uni professors in finance) highly recommended that. Basically she accused me to be too stupid (just an electronics engineer) and I am not a risk taker.
     

  23. Duesentrieb
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    16 posts
    30 September 2020 in reply to Betternow

    Because I was in love I looked into alternatives not in our area, but she wasn't interested. A few weeks later I listen to the radio and heard a joke… the moderator team (female & male) was joking about an investment property. She wanted to get an investment property near their house and he was wondering why… she replied… if we would separate I kick out the tennant, have a house and the kids can walk from your house to my house, not much of a hassle, school stays the same, neighbors stay the same, friends stay the same, shopping stays the same and the distance is just ideal.. Maybe I am sensitive but at that time it crossed my mind for the first time that she maybe has an agenda and therefore this drama..

    I really do not know. My sister assumes an affair but I can rule that out except for a purely emotional affair…

    When I remember back, silent treatment and not openly talking about what makes her angry is an issue since the very beginning. There was not one date when she was punctual. Slight self-centerness and exploytive behaviour was obvious since year 4 I would say. But at that time she was into me, looked after me, etc. so I never saw the little red flags. Since around 7 years this stopped.

    What happened at that time? We had a lot of problems at this time. Just bought our house, got cheated by our financial adviser and almost lost the house and we were broke. I lost my job and my mother passed away very surprisingly. All that happend within 6 months. Shortly after that her affection, attention, etc. towards me got lesser and lesser. Maybe it started before. I am not totally sure.

    I remember at that time I did a lot for her. Writing applications with key selection criteria in the evenings when she was watching TV or was sleeping. Maybe I thought such a favour would make her more affectionate towards me , etc. but the relationship just stalled. There was a time she would constantly nag at me…

    But at the same time her job situation became more serious too.

    Hope that helps.. thanks again

  24. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    1494 posts
    1 October 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Hi Duesentrieb

    I just have to say you sound like a truly amazing, incredibly tolerant, deeply caring inspirational person who deserves better than the careless actions/behaviour you are facing. In all honesty, I don't believe I could have tolerated what you have, for so long.

    Even in my days of depression, I was never so ungrateful, degrading and self serving. I took every action I could think of to try and make a difference for my husband and kids, so they wouldn't have to face my depression with a sense of hopelessness. From managing through trying to talk things out through to that potentially soul destroying quest for the right anti depressant, I always felt I owed those around me a better life. I never excused myself from trying to make a difference.

    I'm wondering if the following inspirational words have ever come to mind for you, or something like it 'You gotta get your sh** together and stop tolerating all this behaviour'. There are even times where I feel inspired by not just these words but also 'It's time to take your filter off and just call that person out on their behaviour'. Calling someone out might sound a little like 'You're being thoroughly degrading and thoughtless. You need to grow up and develop a few strategies for constructive self expression'.

    I'm wondering what you feel you have to lose by regularly calling your wife out on her behaviour. The reason I ask this question is based on having asked it of myself, in my own marriage. I've dealt with a lot of unreasonable behaviour over the years (I'm no angel myself by the way) but one day the words came to mind 'What do you have to lose by being yourself?' By freely and regularly expressing myself and potentially triggering my husband to agitation or sulking, I believed I would eventually lose my marriage, certain comforts in my life I'd come to enjoy, financial ease and a full time partner in raising our children. What came to mind next was what completely changed my attitude. The inspirational words, 'Are you prepared to lose these things in order to regain your self?' The short answer: 'Yes'. It's so hard to live a life where we're not being our natural self. When we can't be our natural self, for fear of upsetting someone (through words that must be said), for fear of ridicule (over who we enjoy being) or for fear of being degraded (to the point of feeling worthless) this can feel soul destroying.

    Finding your natural self, without fear, is a truly fascinating journey.

    :)

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Duesentrieb
    Duesentrieb avatar
    16 posts
    1 October 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Hi, last thing.

    The last few days she is less resentful and more relaxed which is good. Maybe it is because she is currently struggling with her health a bit. I really do not know.

    When I hug her, she returns it but it feels like I get hugged by my aunt, some female friends or anybody else. Everything relationship feels flat and dull. There are no deep conversations, it is all more the practical stuff.

    If I would tell her she would say I just imagine that or she feels critcised and would say it is because of my shortcomings. When I ask her about these shortcomings I will get no real answers. She will say I would be mean, belittle her, be snappy, etc. but she hardly can give me an example or the example is 12 months old.

    I asked her some time ago if she still loves me. She told me of course, do you think I would do all these things (cooking, household, etc.) when I wouldn't love you?

    Maybe after 20 years of relationship things become just practical and less romantic.

    Ok, time to get up. All of you have a great day...

  26. Duesentrieb
    Duesentrieb avatar
    16 posts
    1 October 2020 in reply to therising

    Thank you so much for your words. I really needed that.

    Yes, I have to admit that is not the first time that I hear that about me. I know that I am a conflict-avoidant, codependent, nice guy, people pleaser and I am not happy about that.

    Today I believe that I spoiled her too much and enabled her bad behaviour. I would have done anything for her. I understand as well that this kind of partner (me) is not easy to handle. Even though I am patient, nice, etc. this type of personality has its downsides, too.

    I guess she got used to the good sides and the advantages that come with it, big time. There are plenty of examples that show that her behaviour is/was unreasonable.

    Since roughly one year this dynamic changes. I started to ignore her silent treatment (until then her biggest weapon), ignore her sarcastic comments, etc. I even put together a few things in my mind how to react if I would be faced with her (miss) behaviour again. I am at a point if she would threaten me to move out, I would ignore that too. Maybe some of you will say where is your fighting spirit, but I am just tired of all that BS.

    I guess that change creates a lot of stress for her. Due to that, she behaves just strange, health issues, etc. and the longer I think about it, she has a problem. When I drive the car she is the most scared passenger I know and I really do not drive risky. At home, she is very jumpy and when I move towards her too fast she acts as I want to hit her or have beaten her up in the past. Before someone asks, never happened and will never happen.

    It hurts to see her suffering but I can't sacrifice myself. But I am certain that she is not willing to accept that I possibly change, definitely not.

    Currently, she is quite clever. She sticks to her routine, minimizes contact and she makes sure she is not acting out, showing attitude, etc. There is nothing to call her out on, at this moment.

    I really like your reply (I will read it again and again) and as mentioned above I still have a long way ahead to find myself. The current situation doesn't make it easier.

    Once she met my work colleagues at our Christmas party and she didn't like any of them. Then I realised that all of them are quite dominant, very testosterone-driven, etc.... BTW, all are nice guys...

    Thanks again...

  27. Betternow
    Betternow avatar
    244 posts
    1 October 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Reading carefully again through all your posts (especially the last two), I remain convinced that your wife is harbouring resentment towards you. Long held resentment is the worst poison for a marriage. Long term resentment leads to disrespect, passive/aggresive behaviour and a general disdain for the other partner.

    It could be that your wife is disappointed in what she sees as past behaviour on your part. It can be as simple as something as the refusal to buy the investment property. Your story about the radio chat using investment property as escape accommodation was interesting. Nothing in this world surprises me anymore.

    I also have to support therising comments on constructive self expression.

    A person can easily lose their independence and self confidence in a marriage. This is not uncommon. It's called co dependence. It usually occurs when one person loves the other person more than the love returned. The spouse who has developed unhealthy co dependent behaviours relies too heavily on their partners emotional attitude as the basis for their own happiness. If the spouse is happy, the co dependent partner is happy. If the spouse is gloomy and sullen, the co dependent spouse becomes sad and retreats hoping their spouse's mood won't last too long.

    These situations will continue for many years until either one of two things happen. The co dependent spouse realises they have lost their sense of self and learns strategies to regain their power. Alternatively, one of the spouses initiates a separation. You write that your wife has improved her behaviour recently. That is good but it also carries a risk for you. You become so pleased at her improvement that you rejoice and think everything is fine and then if she reverts to previous behaviours, you're back here posting on this forum. Again this push away and pull together back and forth is common in co dependency.

    Again, I agree with your therapist. Have a date in your mind that is your final point of no return. Call your wife out when she behaves poorly. Stand tall and show her the new you. If she kicks and screams, you have your answer.

    1 person found this helpful
  28. Duesentrieb
    Duesentrieb avatar
    16 posts
    3 October 2020 in reply to Betternow

    Thank you again for your replies.

    The radio thing was really strange. Normally I don't listen to that station and then I couldn't believe it. It immediately reminded me at our fight, then I thought it is just coincidence. But then I realized that she was only interested in a property in our area and that made me wonder.. I mean there are thousands of investment opportunities and/or properties. But i think I will never find out.

    I can see her pain and struggle and it hurts me. On the other hand I know if I change back to that codependent husband I am going under and even though, there will be no guarantee that things will get better on her side.

    Yes, she keeps her grunges for a very very long time. 6 months ago I said that I am not particular about food. She felt immediately attacked as she is the one that cooks. Fair enough. For the next 6 months she gave me every single day a sarcastic comment because of that. It just stopped recently.
    Just want to clarify that this was a total neutral comment as I am the easiest eater in the family. My son is a picky eater, my wife not so much but it must be satisfying and I eat simply everything just to survive.
    Why does she not say… look when you say something like that it hurts my feelings, especially when I am the one that cooks. It sounds like you do not appreciate my food. Point taken, I will apologize for it and make sure that I won't say something like that in the future. I talked to her about that as an alternative strategy to express herself and that inthat way she does not need to hold grudges.

    I just worry so much about my son and how that will turn out. He is a mummy's boy and he would see that I am the one leaving. And she would use that somehow against me.

    It is so strange. A friend of hers just went through a seperation were the husband left. My wife was quite shocked about it as he is a very quite guy. When it comes to us no reaction or change, especially when considering that we are walking on thin ice.

    I think before she is going to do one step, one compromise, etc. towards me she will let go the relationship. Currently I can't imagine that she will make that effort. For her that would be a sign of weakness or a confession that she is possibly part of the problem.

    I think I know what to do... I guess I stick to the plan of my therapist and get prepared. To set a date is so difficult with the situation.

    Thanks again... you helped me a lot.

  29. Duesentrieb
    Duesentrieb avatar
    16 posts
    24 October 2020 in reply to Duesentrieb

    Hi, thanks again for all your replies.

    I am still in my finding process but I am certain that I don't want to live like that forever...

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