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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Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Wed, 06-16-2010 - 5:04pm

It's good you realize you cannot change him & he must help himself. I wish I truly understood this myself. I knew this, but I didn't really understand 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."

Wish there is a secret formula to it all. But we're all individuals and we all react individually.

Can/do you want to handle it? You cannot honestly prepare 100% and you cannot honestly understand it until you're in the middle of it. And you cannot know what you can handle until you're handling it.

My best suggestion is to checkout NAMI, take the class, learn about depressive disorders & then decide. You'll here testimonials from parents, children siblings & spouses. You can learn from their experiences. Many are there w/o their loved one knowing and/or yet diagnosed.

Not sure what you could tell your H what you're doing. Seeing as it is a 12w course (once a week) and a couple of hours each night. I told my H, and the class was shocked I had. But I could not think of anything else to tell him. But they all figured out ways to get there w/o their loved one knowing?? I have this lack of ability to lie though. In my case my H had been diagnosed & he was feeling supported by me learning about it.

A part of me thinks, 1.5 years in a marriage, no kids - run! Another part says, if you run you miss out a lot in life. I believe life is a constant journey, learning to adapt to each new obstacle life presents. In this learning you grow both mentally and spiritually. Providing us a deeper happiness and satisfaction in old age.

... but there are days I still think about running :)

Some of the most remembered men in history suffered from depressive illnesses. Lincoln, Churchhill, John Keats, Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens to name a few. Now they left a mark in all of our lives, but we were not married to them.

Watch a Beautiful Mind. Yes, he suffers schizophrenia, but the meds & the lack of libido & all of that stuff exists.

Good luck & I hope your deepest desires find & lead you.




"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: 06-11-2010
Fri, 07-02-2010 - 6:31am

I just wanted to post again. Not much has changed. My husband still ignores me, I'm still trying to deal and figure out if I want to handle this for the rest of my life. I just feel like the most insignificant person right now. Anything I say is wrong to him. I've gotten to where I try not to even talk to him, but I get lonely and break down and do it. I had an incident where my tire blew out on my car the other day while I was driving it (I didn't know that was the problem but knew something was wrong with my car because it was shaking really badly while I was driving it). I called him from the road and told him I was worried about it. He didn't seem concerned. He told me that I could call the mechanic when I got home and describe the problem to the mechanic. I didn't think it was a tire because he had told me a while ago he thought my car had an alignment problem, so I figured it had just gotten worse. I also had had my oil changed a few weeks ago and of the things that needed attention, they didn't mention the tires. The next day when I was going to take my car to the mechanic, DH saw that my tire was completely busted and two other tires were getting ready to do the same thing. Then he started about how I must have run over something and I should have noticed it. All things that were my fault but not really my fault. The tires were 5 years old. That was the problem. I was glad that I didn't have an accident since I was on a busy 55 mph highway the day before when it had happened. I was crying after that just because I was glad nothing bad happened and his utter lack of I can't even think of a word for it. I just used this as an example. Maybe I'm picking it apart too much? I just felt like he was overly critical of something that I didn't even do wrong and I'm scared to talk about anything because I feel low enough as it is. To his credit, he did put on the spare tire so I could drive it to get new tires. He followed me to make sure the other two tires didn't blow out on the way there. That was the only care/concern that was shown. Are DHs supposed to be this critical? Am I being overly sensitive because I'm already aware of how things are? Just looking for ideas and needing to vent. I've been reading books about my situation and trying to take it a day a time. I have a support system of 0, so it's all up to me.

As for helping him, I can barely get him to brush his teeth on a daily basis. He is now coverage-wise able to go to the doctor and I helped him get dental coverage, but he calls me a nag when I mention anything about taking care of himself, so I've stopped mentioning anything in that area. Getting him to do anything, much less a doctor's appointment, is not even possible for me. I'm at a loss as to what to do.

I just thought of another example. I got my hair cut the same day as the tire incident and they had styled it different than I usually wear it. I got out of the car (after being upset about knowing something was wrong with my car and him not listening to me) and he said, "You look weird." I was looking for, "Your hair looks nice." HAH. Then he said, "You just haven't worn it like that in a long time. It looks weird." Was that really necessary?

Are my expectations too high of what relationships are supposed to be?

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Fri, 07-02-2010 - 12:16pm

No this is not the way for a H to act. Everything you've described sounds EXACTLY as my H when he's depressed (he suffers from bipolar). I believe your H is sick & it is quite unfortunate to you that the law protects the individual, not a marriage, so if he will not help himself there is little you can do for him.

I also have 0 support & saw my H go into psychosis & turn my life upside down. I had to make my own support. I first found mine with NAMI. I immediately followed up with a therapy for myself. In some areas the DBSA (Depression/Bipolar Support Alliance) will have 'open' meetings where loved ones can attend. The #1 reason people go into an ER is for depressive issues. So if you called your local hospital & asked for support groups they will have a list.

For years I talked to my docs about my H they all agreed it sounded like he had bipolar, but nobody really told me what to do with it. If you join one of these support groups you may receive the tools on how to deal with depression disorders.

The best thing you can do is to make things better for yourself.

First of all things, as long as you're staying there, you should have a crisis plan. This is a piece of paper you can pull out in a time of crisis. In other words he gets to a point where he makes a threat to his life. It should contain the telephone number to the local police. In our area they have what is called a "crisis intervention team" where they send police who are trained to evaluate the safety of a person & are more like to be able to get them hospitalized than an ordinary police officer.

Other numbers should include a crisis hotline, the sheriff's office, local hospital, doctor name & number. I would also suggest having the license plate number of any car he has access to. One time there was an 'endangered missing persons' out on my H and it would have saved time if I knew his license plate number.

Hopefully I am completely wrong and it will never get this way for your H.

Now what I can say about marriage is ebb & flow / in & out. I do believe ALL marriages have a time where the couple pull away from each other & work on themselves & then are drawn back into each other. I believe this is what builds the extremely strong bond between the two & is the reason couples who age together generally are happier than those who do not stick it out.

So maybe this is one of those times where as long as you show the other respect to not work on your marriage, but to work on you. I know he's not showing you respect. That is where learning about depression helps you b/c you may come to understand he is not hating you, he is hating himself. B/c he hates himself he is unable to show you how he feels.

He's in a bad place. Who knows what will bring him out? Could simply be some time? Could be he needs to hit his bottom? Could be some movie or commercial speaks to him & he realizes he needs to go get help? Could also be you not concentrating on your marriage & you working on yourself and maybe he'll feel this moment of separation as a honest threat of losing you & will think of what needs to be done to not lose you. At this time it is possible he's thinking you'd be better off, but when push comes to shove he may be willing to do the work before it's too late.

The way I see it, working on you will either strengthen your relationship or give you the strength to walk out on something that is not getting fixed.

Do you mind me asking where you live? At least which state? Maybe I could find info for you.




"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: 06-11-2010
Fri, 07-02-2010 - 12:33pm

I'm in VA. I appreciate your insight into this, as if this is what it is, I've never experienced it before and would not know what to look for. I guess for now I can be polite and try not to let it get under my skin and try to keep my head up. It's tearing me up inside. I'm looking into ways to find support without him knowing about it, because he would make fun of me or get angry, I think. You're really strong to be able to live through this.

Thank you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2010
Fri, 07-02-2010 - 2:21pm

Hi spunky!

I am not in a good place myself,emotionally,but would like to share my part with you.

I am 35,married for 3,dated for 3 before that,no kids and now husband wants divorce.(I have posted my story on divorce board).He doesnt love me anymore.We had no sex for 2 years,I thought we could work through it and what not.I was illusioned then or now,I have no clue.
He puts me down ,I am never good enough.huh? All of a sudden what has changed ,I dont know.He doesnt talk ,he shuts down when I come up with my concerns but the moment I do something which is not how he wants/likes ,he mocks at me and makes me feel bad about myself ,my efforts ,everything.
I cry all the time.We are still living together,for another few weeks,then I am off to my dad's.I used to work but was fired because of my mood swings.My self esteem is at its lowest point.

I am not sure if it helps you to know that you are not alone but I understand where you are at.

Dont wait to leave when you lose confidence in yourself.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2010
Fri, 07-02-2010 - 3:24pm

Hi!

Thank you for your response and for sharing your story with me. I am so mixed up and confused that I don't know what else I can do (if anything) and if I should wait on things to smooth over (if they ever will). I've been waiting it out. I'm just stuck. I feel like I just can't make a choice. I also feel like I can't see myself like this in 20, 30, 40 years. I am in my early 30s. I have to realize it's not me (even though to hear him talk I don't do anything right), sounds like what you described. I keep thinking I'm tough and can take it, but why do I want to? I don't have an answer. I just know that every time I open my mouth, I know I'm going to be ridiculed or ignored. That's especially hard since he's the only one I talk to on a daily basis.

You have had the courage to make a change! That's a step in the right direction. I hope one day I can see things clearer and know what I need for peace of mind. Good luck and good for you for taking that step!

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Sat, 07-03-2010 - 2:10pm

Have you thought of taking a solo vacation ... or maybe with a friend or sister? Taking time away from you H? Sometimes a small separation can really help.

The problem is, depression is catchy. It clouds the judgement of both people in a relationship. On another forum regarding families of mental illness you'll see ppl write all the time they're taken into the depression too. Difference is, we enter later & we get out earlier.

I'm trying hard not to persuade you one way or another, as this really is your choice to make & I'd be putting my own history into my persuasion.

But you're still young & you're still childless. Decisions are much more important to make now than 5 years from now. Get into therapy if you can, to help find the tools on how to make a decision. This non-decisive is torturous. I know I've been there. Once you make a decision one way or another you'll find the strength to make it happen.

According to an article at MSNBC people who went through SEVEN therapy sessions felt as well as people who go onto antidepressants.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37445952/ns/health-mental_health

I know you're worried about how your H will treat you if you try to seek help for yourself. But this is really important right now. Try to find a way to stand up for yourself right now.

There is this term somebody gave me & it has all kinds of magic to it. It is called JADE.

When talking to a loved one who is in a place as your H is in do not...

Justify,
Argue,
Defend or
Explain

So in other words you simply state something like, 'I've decided I need therapy for a few weeks, so I'll be gone on Tuesdays from XX to XX.' He makes a question, simply state, 'I just feel I need it.' He makes any other comment, you walk away. It's hard to tease somebody if they are not in the room. If he follows you tell him you need to run an errand, or better yet, 'I deserve better respect' and walk out of the room again.

The FIRST time I used JADE with my H I was floored by the effects. I think I said, "I do not like the way I'm being spoken to, I deserve more respect.' Then I went outside. He didn't follow me for a good 5 minutes. Then he came outside & apologized. I would say after this day the way he treated me went up a notch & this was about 4 years ago & it's only continued to go up from there.

Sometimes, when we're being treated bad it's because we are not standing up for ourselves. Arguing is not standing up for ourselves, instead it could be seen as badgering. When somebody is depressed the worst possible thing to do is to put them in a place where they feel they need to defend self. The best solution is to take the focus off them completely & put it upon yourself. Again, the key, is to take it off of them. So don't say YOU at all. Instead try to make it completely an "I" statement.

For some reason this works. They even discussed this in the Family to Family class I had mentioned. It is hard to keep it up all the time, so choose the places where it is important to you.

-------------
Here is the family to family for VA:
http://www.nami.org/MSTemplate.cfm?Section=Family_to_Family15&Site=NAMI_Virginia&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=101302

Depression/Bipolar Support for VA:
http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=support_findsupport

At least parts of VA does have CIT (Crisis Intervention Team).
So if by chance you feel you need to call in help you specifically ask for CIT to be sent to your house.
http://www.mhanrv.org/crisis_intervention.html

Crisis Hotlines:
http://suicidehotlines.com/virginia.html

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
ESPECIALLY FOR YOU

http://www.euphoriccomposure.com/

I have not done this yet as the idea of being locked in a tank scares me, but it is scientifically proven to relieve stress & help depression. Something about certain chemicals that our body releases during this time.

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: 07-06-2010
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 11:32am

Glad you are finding some support here. I imagine you will get a lot of varying responses. My advice is to try to pick out the ones that sound the best for you at the time. You might go back later and decide to try another approach.

I also hope you are able to take care of yourself first...the whole put on your own air mask in the airplane before assisting someone else. You can't help someone else if you aren't up to par.

It is not normal for a husband to ignore his wife. I feel for you as you are dealing with this. I experienced a time with my husband where he shut me out as he tried to deal with problems on his own. I felt overwhelmed by the isolation. Thankfully we are back on track these days. I hope you are able to experience a more positive and mutual relationship soon...be it with a girl friend who can support you and let you support her or with a new guy or if your husband can start working on his issues. You definitely deserve more out of a relationship. While it sounds like you won't be able to get both of you into counseling, it would be good for you to get into counseling on your own. I know it can be hard with insurance, time & money though...hope it can work out for you though!

I also hope you can take some time to do little things for yourself. Go for a walk. Watch a movie. Paint your toenails. Eat a piece of fresh fruit. Post stuff on ivillage :)

Best wishes to you as you keep on plugging on...

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2010
Fri, 07-09-2010 - 6:15am

Thank you for your post. Sometimes that's all it takes to uplift me from a day where I feel like I don't matter, just knowing that someone understands and that everything isn't really my fault. I've been keeping to myself (that's not solving anything), but it's protecting me from getting ridiculed and even laughed at (DH laughed at me really hatefully/evil last time we were fighting). Still walking on eggshells, but concentrating more on me. I haven't made any decisions. I still feel like I'm dirt on the bottom of the shoe.

It's funny that when I'm in public men will stop what they are doing to stare at me, but my DH will not even notice me, rarely used to (never anymore) compliments me, never notices that I put on makeup every day even though I work at home. I feel like why do I even bother, but then I remember I like looking good for me, even if my computer monitor is the only one that really sees it. DH doesn't care about even grooming himself, and I wonder why I even care about anything that has to do with us.

I find myself noticing men who smell nice in the store and wonder why I can't have that, noticing that a man will actually shop with his wife/girlfriend without putting her down every time she speaks, without rushing her because it's not something he wants to look at. Why can't I have those things? I feel like I don't deserve them, yet I want them with DH. Then I wonder if that is real? Do men really treat women that great, really? Do they compliment them, or is that just something I think should be done? I want to tell all of these things to DH, but I don't think it would be helpful. His answer to anything is, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks, and I'm not changing anything." How do you work with that? I don't know anyone that would be happy with what little he gives. I'm just to scared frozen to make any decisions right now.

Just feeling low this morning, so thankful for the helpful/caring posts.

Thank you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2010
Fri, 07-09-2010 - 12:11pm

Are we married to the same guy?

I forget how long have you been married but in my case,our first years were really good.My stbx was very caring,loving,affectionate and was something like you say you expect your husband to be.I would drag him for window shopping ( he hated but went for my sake ),I would get a new hair-do done and he would click pictures ..... It was a dream land.I never had regrets marrying him and postponing having kids.It all seems like an entirely different world now.I have no clue when it all changed.Was I sleeping? probably.

He makes fun of me,puts me down,I am no good,all decisions that I make are wrong.I can go on and on.I am so drained emotionally.I have no siblings and he has 2 ( brother and a sister,one who hates me with a passion).My cousin sister is a acomplished singer and does performances.She is a real gem of a person.My husband talks bad about her.Tells me how bad she is .My parents are not as rich as him.He says bad things about them too.

I am rambling now.There are men who treat their women with respect and affection.We are one of those few who got caught up with the wrong ones.

As Nike says- just do it! You wont regret.I have mixed emotions,they change every moment of the day.One day I am relieved as I dont have to go through the motions again , at other times I worry for the future and then again did I try enough?But everyone tells me that it will be good for me eventually.

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