Is It Normal for Husband to Ignore Me?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2010
Is It Normal for Husband to Ignore Me?
20
Fri, 06-11-2010 - 10:16am

Hello,

After reading through the board selections, I think this is the closest fit for my issue. I think my low self-esteem is the underlying factor of what I think is behavior that is not normal for a marriage.

My husband goes through phases (many lately) where he does not speak to me, is consistently rude to me every time I try to initiate a conversation, tells me to get away when I try to initiate affection (it's okay when he wants affection), basically treats me like I'm not even here. I am completely torn up inside. I know he's not seeing anyone else (he's always here). He does have a friendship (a guy friend) from a long time ago that he tells me is more important than our marriage because that person was in his life before me and will be there after me. What does that mean? I thought marriage was a forever kind of thing. We do nothing together. If I ask him to even come outside and sit with me, it's like I've asked him to move the Earth (and he doesn't do it). He just is extremely inconsiderate and unappreciative of me, and I feel like he could care less if I was here or not. I'm not an ugly person on the inside or outside, but why do I think this is okay? Part of me is telling me this is not what life is supposed to be like. Part of me is scared of the unknown. I don't have any friends or any family close by, so I don't talk to anyone about my feelings. Counseling is out of the question for the two of us. He's gone so far as to say one day he will probably just get tired of things, not say anything, and just walk out and for me not to be surprised. I haven't done anything to him to deserve this. This is kind of a ramble, but I'm really confused right now. Any advice? Is this a normal way for a man to act in any relationship? I feel like I'm just in the way.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2006
Sun, 06-13-2010 - 5:25pm

hey, welcome to the board. how long have you guys been married, and has he always acted like this? if this is a new thing, maybe there is some situation at work that's got him stressed out, or he could be depressed. i'm sorry that he is taking whatever is bothering him out on you, and i don't think that it's normal for a happy guy to be acting the way he is.


maybe you think that this behavior is okay because you're hoping to

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2010
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 6:37am
Hi, and thanks for the welcome. We have been married for 1-1/2 years. We've been together longer than that. He doesn't work (he became disabled at work, though this didn't happen recently), so it's not the work thing. I've asked him if something is wrong to try to get him to talk to me, but he won't tell me anything. I'm starting to believe he's just not into me. That's the feeling I get. The "meaner/more distant" he is, the lower my self-esteem sinks and I feel. I'm trying to control the part of the equation that I can (me). It's hard some days.
Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 12:38pm

I have a book suggestion for you. It's called, "How To Survive When They're Depressed" by Anne Sheffield.

If you go to depressionfallout.com you can read more about her books. I have only read the one.

Here are her 5 stages of depression fallout (edited down):

1. Why has someone you love become remote, as though the connection between you has been uncoupled? Why is he or she so distant and dissatisfied, so lethargic but demanding?

2. Self-doubt. Unaware of the real source of the problem. You think that your husband is remote and critical because they're having an affair with somebody else, or has become selfish and unaffectionate because he or she no longer cares for you.

3. Demoralization is central to depression fallout, arriving early and staying late. Its defining characteristic is loss of self-esteem. Demoralization is a lot like depression: the feeling that everything has gone wrong and there's nothing you can do about it because you are inept and worthless. Demoralization is underlaid with feelings of resentment toward the person with the illness who, despite your best efforts to help, acts as though everything is your fault.

4. Resentment grows and often becomes anger. The relationship is in disarray and your life is full of dissension and negativity. By now you have placed the blame squarely on your depressed person.

5. Stage Five can be avoided, but unless you take positive steps to counter it your desire to escape the source of your unhappiness - by distancing yourself either psychologically or physically from your depressive or manic depressive - will become a negative constant.

----

So, yes, I'm guessing your H is depressed. Not working it hard on a man. Being injured itself can be hard on a person as well. Sometimes it takes time for it to really show up. Also, sometimes, it comes in so slowly you do not notice at first. Like children growing ... you look and see how much they've grown in a year and it's a shock, but how much they've grown in a month is barely noticeable.

As crazy as it sounds, the best way to help your H is to lift your own self esteem & to treat yourself with respect. As you treat yourself with respect you show others how you want to be treated. Then pretty soon you'll find your boundaries & will learn to have people treat you with the way you expect w/o being threatening.

Look into it. See if this sounds right. Then before you make any life altering decisions, first work on your esteem & make it with the clearest of heads & the best of intentions.

Peace




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2006
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 2:09pm

yep, i'll bet he's depressed. i'll also bet that his self-esteem has taken a nosedive since he stopped working. he is probably afraid that you'll leave him for someone else, and he covers that up by pushing you away. (i know it's futile but sometimes pride comes first.) my father-in-law is also disabled, and depressed because he doesn't go to work, and takes it out on my mother-in-law. he's nasty and overcritical to her - but i know on the inside he is insecure about not bringing in any income (not that the man should be the breadwinner, but each partner

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 6:38pm

My advice is to believe him and get prepared for it.


No it is not a common behavior for husbands to ignore or treat their spouse in the manner that you have described.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2010
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 9:06am

I appreciate all of your suggestions and input. I'm trying to let myself see things from his point of view, but in doing so, I'm hurting myself inside. His new thing is he plays Playstation almost all day and all night long and does not want to be disturbed when doing so. I'm going insane trying to jump through the hoops and walk on the eggshells that surround me. He snips and snaps at me for even basic conversations. I feel like I'm the one holding things together, and if I stop for one second they will all fall apart. I enjoy reading and will try the suggestion you gave. I'm not emotionally stable enough for a huge change right at this second. I have no support system to help me through this. I guess I'm going to have to build myself up if that is possible in this situation. To answer a few questions, he wasn't exactly like this before we got married. He was "set in his ways" and "can't teach an old dog new tricks" kind of guy, but he has become someone who thinks that his opinion is the only one that should be spoken, his way or no way. I'm afraid of making of a mistake around him (not for physical reasons) for the hurt of being ignored. The things we used to do together (have morning coffee, sleep in the same bed) are becoming fewer and far between. I guess that's what I'm searching for is if this is a spell that will pass and he needs to work through or maybe he just really doesn't care for me.

Again, I appreciate all input. I'm becoming depressed myself just trying to figure things out. Getting ideas and support here is very helpful, and I appreciate it greatly.

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 5:20pm

My H suffers from bipolar & you've described a lot of what I feel when he's depressed. This behavior is a defense mechanism. If I'm guessing correctly, part because he doesn't understand why you're still with him & part b/c he feels like you'd be better off w/o him & yet another part b/c he's trying to protect what is left of his esteem.

I hate to use the word delusion, but if you understand delusions at all it may be the best way to describe it. There are times when people view the world through some strange ways & then interpret incoming information poorly. So for example if I just left the mirror thinking I look horrible today & my H came up to me & said I looked beautiful, I would think he was lying & may get defensive. In my self-pity delusion there is no way I could be beautiful today, so my H stating I am makes him a liar & mean.

Make any sense?

It is VERY, VERY hard to lift your esteem around a person you believe is lowering it. There is this point of separation, something hard to do, especially only 1.5 years into a marriage. You think of a marriage as a unity, not separation. But sometimes, when it comes to healing, sometimes one needs to fend for self first.

Another example :)

When you are flying you are instructed in case of an emergency & the oxygen masks are deployed, to FIRST place the mask over yourself BEFORE helping children & others around you.

Also, what I've learned. I'm much more attractive to my H when my esteem is high. So, even though it is his moods & negativity that pulls me down (and possibly intended even if it's not conscious b/c the fear of losing me) it is not what is attractive.

If you want help & you think it's possible your H is depressed, then may I suggest you go to NAMI.org and look up a local chapter. They provide a class nationwide (and in some parts out of the USA) called family to family. In this class you learn how to take care of yourself, how to advocate for a loved one & what to expect from depressive illnesses.

I understand the too exhausted to move. But once you've really made your decision, to stay or to go, you'll be amazed where the energy comes from. Both will take a lot of work, but neither are as exhausting as living in between.

Good luck.

Treat yourself to a nice hot bath & book tonight. Maybe decide to take a night away from H completely & do not even tell him when you're going to bed or anything. Make it your night.

Peace




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2007
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 8:36pm

Your last comment reminded me of a quote I heard many years ago.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2010
Wed, 06-16-2010 - 6:58am
Everything that has been said here makes perfect sense. The "lack of emotion" and everything else got to me so much, I had to find a reason to leave the house yesterday. I work at home (which I do like, I just shut the door and shut it out and work), but just passing through to go to the bathroom and the cloud that was seeming to hang over the house with him was making really uncomfortable. I try to speak to him when passing through, just to be friendly, but now I feel stupid for doing it since he acts like it's a bother to reply and that I'm interrupting what he's doing (playing video games). I'm not even sure what's the right way to act anymore. I guess I'll try ignoring next. I had to pick up a few things at the store, so I looked at the books while I did. I picked up a book on depression for myself to read. The problem with me trying to find counseling is that he would make fun of me for that (or I would have to create a different reason I was leaving the house). I know he wouldn't try counseling for himself or us. I'm trying to take care of me. I can't change him, and I can't help him unless he really wants it. It seems like the more I care, the more I hurt. If he does have some issues, I have to realize that they are not on me, even if it seems I'm getting the brunt of it. I guess the question is whether this will pass and if so how long before it happens again and can/do I want to handle it. I did do the bath/book thing last night. Great suggestion. All suggestions have been helpful. They have been a great source of ideas besides my own, especially since I don't have anyone else to bounce ideas and thoughts off of-just my constant track of thoughts. Thank you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Wed, 06-16-2010 - 3:34pm
he needs to go to the doctor. call up his primary-care physician and tell him/her that you think your husband is depressed, and share exactly what you've shared with us. the next time your husband has the flu or something like that, make an appointment and get him to go w/you under that premise (i.e. trick him into going). depression is less common in guys but is often more serious because they will deny it and won't get help. both of you deserve to be happy and whatever is bugging him won't go away on its own.

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