sad, i tried

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-2010
sad, i tried
Sun, 03-18-2012 - 3:17am
I have been thinking about my marriage and the work that needs to be done to make it happy and healthier for both of us. Part of the reason I exited my affair was so I could look openly at my marriage, without X-AP clouding my emotional judgement. After many months out of the A, tonight, I opened up a conversation with my H about working on us, appreciating each other, MC and a few other things. It was a short conversation on his part with him ending it with, I just don't want to go there. Meaning not just the MC, but emotionally too. He wants to sweep it under the rug, bury the emotions and ignore it all. It is sad to think about. I know I am not emotionally happy with our relationship and that happened long before the A. The old me, would go along with sweeping it all under the rug, being who and what he wanted as to not have to deal with his insecurities. But the new me, can not live like that anymore. I know I can't force him to change. Does this mean I have grown beyond our relationship?
Do I continue to push him? Do I accept that their is no change and our marriage is what it is? That is sad to think about, because I know, with work by both of us, it can be better, we could both be happier and emotionally fuller. I don't want to just live a co- dependant life. This isn't the first time I have brought these topics up, I am not sure how get him to really listen. Okay, Just venting, thanks for giving me a place to share.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2005
Sun, 03-18-2012 - 8:53am

I have ended an 8 year old relationship (our son was 2 years old) because my ex was constantly avoiding conversations about our relationship. I tried and tried, I read all the relationship advice that was out there, we did MC (but it was in L.America and they don't think the same way there). I worked on my imperfections, but there was nothing to do.

I once read "Should I stay or should I go" by Mira Kirschenbaum and once of the things I remember is that if you're in a relationship with a person who avoids looking for solutions (there are different way of doing that, it could be done very "nicely" too), then people who separated were usually happier than those who stayed.

And that is my case. My ex was a generally good man, but I just couldn't be happy with him. And when we separated, I felt that I've given it my 100% and that there was nothing else to do and thus I felt sad, but good with myself. Sure, if he worked on it, we could have saved it (at some point he pretended that he would, but when something concrete had to be done, he would find an excuse), but it didn't happen.

I am pretty happy as a single mom now and exited about what the future will bring. The funny thing was that when I separated I was mourning more the idea of being in a family and the fact that my son won't have a father (he lives on another continent) then my ex himself.

Hugs to you, I know how difficult it is.

Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Sun, 03-18-2012 - 3:38pm

OK, now you've vented.

What are you going to do about it.

Are you going to accept whats there for what you grasp from him, or are you going to blossom and become a real woman?

We only miss what could have been. I know I don't miss what it really was.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2006
Sun, 03-18-2012 - 7:24pm

Sunny, you aren't married to my XH, are you? Seriously, I did the same thing you did: left my A to really work on my marriage. Sadly, my H was very like yours. We did do MC but he refused to do any of the exercises. I knew I could not live with someone who could not be emotionally there. And yes, I knew he was like that when I married him, shame on me. It seems doubtful your H will change: people like that rarely do. If I

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2010
Mon, 03-19-2012 - 10:57am
Sunny: Does he know of your A and doesn't want to deal with the emotional aftermath because its too painful? If not, is it he suspects but is afraid if he opens up he'll find the truth?

If you're thinking you can't go on like this (and I fully understand, I'm in a similar situation) - maybe lay all the cards on the table so to speak?

Don't know the right answer - I'm struggling with the same thing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-2010
Mon, 03-19-2012 - 12:13pm
He does not know of my A, I am sure he had had suspicions. He is afraid of even his own truths, afraid he could be partly to blame for the lack of connection. He has never been one to deal head on. I have always held his hand in everything. I am going to let him think on things for a week and then bring the conversation up again. He fears opening up will cause him to loose me, what he doesn't want to understand is not opening up, not growing is what is really going to end things for us. Thanks for sharing, bthlman. Also thanks to everyone who posted a reply, all good food for thought.
Community Leader
Registered: 05-23-2003
Mon, 03-19-2012 - 1:04pm
Hi Sunny,

Limbo-land is hard, isn't it? :(

So in general, I am really not a fan of ultimatums. I think that when used incorrectly, they are just...manipulative, and I am not in favor of manipulation in relationships. I think that sets up a very unhealthy dynamic, and can create a huge power imbalance, and that never bodes well for the success of the relationship.

But...I keep thinking that for you, that may be something to try. Well, with the condition that you don't do it to manipulate the situation, but because you really have tried everything else you can think of and this is the last resort.

I would be blunt. Utterly blunt. I would use "I" statements wherever possible, to try to diffuse some of the natural defensiveness that occurs in "relationship talks". I would be honest about where you are emotionally, and what you are thinking and feeling. And I would keep it as simple as possible.

I need _______________. Can you give that to me? Are you willing to try?

If yes, then let's make a plan now, to figure out how to make that happen.

If no, if you aren't wiling to even try or work on this...then I will have to go, so let's start thinking in those terms, and work out how we can do that with the least amount of trauma for everyone involved.

I know that is far easier said than done, and it is scary to contemplate laying yourself bare in that way.

But, what do you have to lose at this point, really? Something that isn't working for you, that you can't live with, that isn't what you want anymore, right?




iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2012
Mon, 03-19-2012 - 1:51pm


Hi...I'm actually just lurking here for the first time...not out of my A long enough to feel like I should really be here...but I am in EXACTLY the same situation with H. As in ..I think we had the exact coversation..many times in the past few months. I have finally realized that I just can't do it. Sweep it under the rug (all of it..emotional disconnect, etc.) But it is hard. For I do care about him...and I don't want to hurt him. But I think (when he is not pretending this is ALL NEW TO HIM) we

  The difference between who you are and who you imagine yourself to be, is what you do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2011
Mon, 03-19-2012 - 4:36pm

Hi, Sunny.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2009
Tue, 03-20-2012 - 9:46am


First of all, Kudos to your wisdom to end the A so you can think clearly about your M.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2011
Tue, 03-20-2012 - 5:26pm
I think I am in a similar situation. I have sat my H down time and time again to tell him that we need to talk about our R and figure out how to make things better. He is pretty non-responsive, and is one to sweep things under the rug, too, not want to 'go there' emotionally. He came with me to several MC sessions before and after A, but I feel that those were like pep-talks with short-lived effects. I am sure if we went week after week long term, it would help, but it didn't work out that way.
I don't think that you should accept that there is no change and just live in this limbo. I struggle with that too, though. It feels like I am getting nowhere in the long run. We will have little moments of connecting and then just right back to distance and co-existence/roommate situation.
i am not satisfied in my M and am several months out of A too, and spend a lot of time looking openly at my M too and haven't come to any conclusions, but my H is not one to ever talk about our R. Ever. I honestly have no idea how he feels we are doing. Actually i think he believes we are just fine. We had a D-Day, it barely caused a blip on the radar. Sure, when i told him, it was a difficult and emotional conversation, he was angry and hurt, and we discussed it in MC. But he seemed to get over that one pretty fast, and sweep it under the rug. On the one hand, I feel fortunate that he got over it, or seemed to, never brings it up nor wants to, and didn't ever quite make a big deal out of it. On the other hand I have to wonder if it is abnormal for him to have been so 'okay' with it, and what that means about his feelings for me and our M.
How to get him to really listen... I wish I knew...But like I said before, I think he probably thinks we are really fine the way we are and really doesn't know what to do with me when I tell him I am unhappy.
I guess I am not fully familiar with your M situation...what specifically do you feel needs to change, what are you lacking, and are you totally honest with him about it? I realize that for me, I sit him down and tell him I am unhappy but I hold some things back for fear of hurting his feelings.