Husband ignores me and my feelings!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Husband ignores me and my feelings!
Wed, 02-01-2006 - 8:09pm

Hello, I am writing about my husband's indifference to me and my feelings. We were married fairly young,I was 23 and he was 25. Its been 12+ yrs now and we have 4 boys. It just seems that he doesn't respect me or my wishes/feelings and I don't understand why????

It started with his mother calling off our wedding. She decided that her son wasn't ready. It didn't matter what I was feeling, he stood by her decision and we postponed the cermony to a few months later. At first I was so hurt,I told him that if this was the way it was going to be then to forget the wedding all together. He apologized profusely and swore that everything would change. Wouldn't you know his mother meddled in our relationship constantly.....BIG SURPRISE!!!! Of course he always defended her!

The worst of her meddling occured when I became unexpectedly pregnant a year into the marriage. After my husband told her the news, she called me up and accused me of trapping her son, screaming at me for marrying him and then told me to have an abortion. Nice!!! Guess what my husband did....NOTHING! I told him how devestated I was with the way his mother spoke to me and told him he needed to straighten his mother out once and for all......and to cut the apron strings or she will have little to do with her grandchild. He refused! He continued to justify her behavior. After my son was born wouldn't you know my husband had the nerve to tell me that she is the grandmother and has every right to see her grandchild. Finally when my son was 3 mos old I decided to give her another chance and maybe we can all be civil. Yeah right! She is still the same big mouth, meddling, mean spirited person she has always been!

In general, my husband completely ignores me! I will try to talk to him and he will brush me off...time and time again, yet if a neighbor or friend stops by 2 seconds later he will talk up a storm. If I call him on his cell phone, he is always too busy but I catch him talking on his phone to others all the time! This makes me so sad! I don't nag him about it. I've tried telling him how this makes me feel and he basically just looks at me with nothing to say.

When we go out together, like shopping at the mall. He will wander completely away from me to the point that I have to search the whole store for him. If we go grocery shopping together, he will take his own cart and leave me completely. When I ask him why he is constantly walking away from me, he has no reason. It is awful!

Socially he is the same way. If we go to a friends house, he will completely ignore me! He will spend the entire dinner or get together talking with everybody but me! I've already gone to a bar to meet a bunch of his friends and he left me at a table with strange guys for hours while he was talking someplace else. I finally left the table and approached him. Guess what he did??? Walked away and left me!

I know I must sound pathetic, but is there any other way of looking at this? I cannot understand how my husband can be so indifferent to me and my feelings???


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2005
Wed, 02-01-2006 - 8:27pm

Kristine you do not sound pathetic. You are in a very frustrating situation. I'm sorry to say but you knew before you married him that he did not respect your feelings and that his mother comes first. I'm sure you believed marriage would change that but unfortunately marriage doesn't fix what's wrong in the relationship. It could be his mother has convinced him that you're the problem. I would highly recommend counseling. If you can't get him to agree then do it for yourself. Find someone who has been highly recommended with a good reputation.

No one here can explain your husband to you but it is clear you have some significant issues that need to be resolved if you are going to find any happiness in life.

Blessings and good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2005
Wed, 02-01-2006 - 9:10pm

What you're in is a power struggle of extremely diverse element.

You can't fix or undo the past.......or the feelings it caused in you.

Basically, his mother calls the shots "for him". She's been doing it all his life and that's continued up to now. She's never wnated him to be an adult....and HE has never wanted to be an adult either.

So while you see yourself as being victimized or targeted the reality is you're a catalyst - but not a cuase, nor a cure.

She's upset with him because he didn't marry the person she thought he should. He made it PERFECTLY CLEAR when he agreed to her postponement of the wedding - that her wishes, demands, and standards would be what he adhered to.

At that point, you should have accepted that he wants her to approve of him more than anything else and gone from there as ot whether to continue. Hindsight is 20/20 but using it here allows you to go forward into future situations with more clarity and focus.

But, you want him, a marriage, something of his, or whatever...and so on the terms of 'his mother sets the standards" - you two got married and had 4 babies.

So here's where all the situations and ties need to get dissected.

First he is her son
Second, you two are a couple
Third, you're their parents
Fourth, they're her grandchildren

They're all connected because "HE" is a common factor - but each relationship is of its own origin and making and design.

But here's the thing - his mother views you as a threat to her "status with him"...and you view her as a threat to your position with him.

So he's sitting there like a pampered pup getting people lapping all over him going "want me, want me". While hating the other dog that is vying for and has some of his attention.

Notice you don't resent your children or th time he spends with them as being "wasted" or being misallocated because you're not his focus.

So, here's the keep referencing your "feelings". those feeilngs are a result of thoughts.

If you'd talk to him about your "thoughts" rather than your feelings - you MIGHT get somewhere. I doubt it or very far anyway - but you'd at least make some headway into the blind storm of "feeilngs" you're in now.

He didn't cause your feelings. Your feelings are a result of your self esteem + perception of life overall + need/want/expectation in light of situation. I suspect you wanted marriage to "make you like you and being who you are, na dliving he life you've got".

Obviously THIS situation wuldn't do your feelings are a result of your expectations that he's not meeting, but really never could he can't "fix" your feelings. But talking about your thoughts would help.

Basically, you don't really object to him having a relationship with his mother, and you do object osmewhat to grandma having a relationship with her grandchildren. But I think possibly that's because you're assuming that when she and the children are togeether she's badmouthing or insulting you behind your back ot them....she well might be, but don't get caught up in an assumption as a fact, nor in the feelings that assumption inspires as a call to action.

So what if he had his relationship with his mother...and the children had a relationship with their grandmother...nad you had no involvemeent with her at all? Would that work? Because what you don't want to be bent on in him "choosing" between you, or you attempting to change her or how she believes or thinks. You can't accomplish any of those things and will put yourself in the looney bin trying.

But, you talk about how he's social around other people, and he's more interested, interesting, and involved with other people - when it's just you two he retreats, withdraws, clams up.

This isn't an's a question, food for thought perhaps. But are you pleasant to be around? Or are you always complaining about elements you don't like about his realtionship with his mother, or his mother in general, or your fears and concerns about her influence on the children, and nagging at him to stand up and be a man and change her or totally disassociate?

Because if that's the case...if you two odn't share interests, ideas, and viewpoints, if you can't have a conversation about something that you're each as individuals intersted in - therein lies a big problem.

It's because your identity has become wrapped up in being a wife and mother - and that's why you're so dead set on getting this woman's influence out of your sphere of jurisdiction. And you're holding him accountable for what she thinks, feels, says, and does - as if he controls it.

Which really wouldn't give you two much to talk about...nor would it inspire him to want to be around you overmuch alone, and it would absolutely motivate him to get social and conversational with other people.

he's stuck in a vortex...he's a dad, he's her son, he's your husband, and he's an employee. Everywhere he goes the role he plays has demands, expectations, accusations, and interrogations.....and nowhere is he getting any sort of appreciation or interaction "as a person" - without being attached to a particular role and set of obligations in it.

So everytime he's out - and people converse with him about "anything and nothing" - eh's all about it. It's the only time he's free of the drama and chaos that generate negative "feelings".

So taht's one way to consider it.....I know this sounds like you're at fault or blame, you're not. Fault and blame aren't a solution.

But youo've got to figure out what yuou'd like to accomplish specifically - and then determine realistically if that is within the scope of the posssible.

If you can't personally do it 100% on your own - it's going to require cooperation, assistance, and inclusion....thus that means what you want if it demands that is less within the realm of your grasp (not outside the realm of possibility per se) but ver likely will require some adaptation and negotiation and compromise to achieve - to some percentage and extent.

You need an identity outside of being his wife, thier mother, her daughter in need a "life" not alot of roles filled iwth obligation and no joy.


Edited 2/1/2006 9:11 pm ET by wingblade2005
Avatar for gigi_1000
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 02-01-2006 - 10:12pm

Kristinehm, you are living a very hellish life. I think that you should have ran when his interfering mother called off the wedding. What you have is a marriage in name only. It really is two people living together under the same roof. I hope that he is involved in the lives of your sons, because he certainly isn't interested in your life. This is one of the saddest relationships I have read about in a long time.

At some point you will have to decide how long you can cope with his total ambivalence towards you. A lifetime is a loooong time!! Good luck, you are going to need it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2004
Thu, 02-02-2006 - 1:33pm

kristine, this sounds like my first marriage so much. it ended for a different reason. not his mother. but in the end, it was exactly as you describe yours. it had already ended much earlier, i just hadn't walked away yet. i'm so sorry this has gone on for over 12 years and there are 4 boys involved. at least you have them. and ultimately, they are the reasons you must end this charade. this hasn't been a marriage for a long time, if it ever was.

please gather your strength because you are gona need it. i hope he stays active in the boys' lives. like gigi said, a lifetime is a long time. you deserve better. when i finally left my ex, i wondered what took me so long. and so did my kids.

hate is not the opposite of love. indifference is. the absense of feeling. hate is still a passionate emotion, actually very close to love. when your husband is indifferent to you, there is no love or any emotion at all there. i remember THAT well.

i wish you the ability to remember your strengths. you have the ability to do this. for those boys. show them that this is NOT what a marriage is.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2006
Sun, 02-05-2006 - 8:39am
Dear, you allowed this situation from the beginning, when you decided to get married in spite of his mother, even though he was and still is willing to please his mother before showing any respect for you. The question is why do you continue to accept your husband's psychological abuse? You need to find a therapist and find the answers. You may have low self esteem, or other issues. Please, stop suffering now. You deserve better.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2004
Mon, 02-06-2006 - 6:51am

Why did you marry him?

How did you rationalize letting another woman call off your wedding once and then turn around and marry the man knowing the power this woman had over him?

If he wasn't prepared to abide by the terms of marriage (letting no man--which includes parents--put asunder the marriage) and you knew he wasn't prepared to abide by those terms (because he let his mother interfere), what did you tell yourself to convince yourself that marriage was in your best interests?

I can't image being Mrs. was so fundamentally intrinsic to your emotional survival that you allowed yourself to marry into this dysfunction.

I think that your husband's anger is actually his mother's projection. He isn't strong enough to stand up to her, so you better prepare yourself for the rest of your marriage to him that you will never be #1--his mother will be. You knew that going into this marriage--I can't understand why you'd think things would change 12 years down the road.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2006
Mon, 02-06-2006 - 2:10pm

Kristine you do not sound pathetic!

I sware we have the same story. MIL called off my wedding too. He did whatever mama said. My 1st child was purposely to trap her boy, etc. You sure we aren't dealing with the same MIL and the same 2 brothers? LOL.

Babes, I'm asking you to seek counsel for you both. The bible even says you both leave your mother and father and become one. I'm not a holy roller but I do believe in GOD. I'm asking you get counseling because my divorce was just final April 2005 because of this exact thing. I told him, I didn't divorce you, I HAD to divorce your family and sadly you chose to stay in it. I have 3 kids of my own and have since been remarried to someone who TOTALLY sticks up for me!

That being said.....

my 3 kids are 4,6, and 8 years old and its so unfair to them! Please don't do what I did unless you totally have too. Start with counseling, I tried and his mommy told him he didn't need it and he listened! Hopefully yours isn't like that.

Good luck!

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