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Question
Posted by: Pinkie | 2010/05/11

Communication Issues with husband

Hello Cybershrink

I cannot talk to my husband about issues. It is chronic. If he makes me angry I just avoid him. We were married when we were 19 and 23 respectively, and then divorced for 12 years and got married again. I was open and chatty when we started out the second time around. I was loving and happy. Over the last three years I have progressively shut down.

I used to send him sms''s regularly. He seldom replies. When I used to phone him he always sounded busy and inconvenienced. If I do complain to him about something he does not reply. If I ask him something difficult he does not reply. So I stopped asking.

We do talk a little... but when I compare my conversations with him to those with just my kids it makes no sense to be in a relationship where there is zero communication. The other night in bed I said "  we really need to work on our relationship" ... dead silence. I waited and gave up and went to sleep, now I know that was a loaded question, but honestly if he had just said " why?"  or " I know"  I would have carried on. Now that sounds childish on my part, but I am lonely and worried.

He has money issues. He is a contractor and seems to pay other people for the privelege of working for them???? Cynical yes. I don''t understand how someone can work 7 days a week and not make any money. I am so tired of avoiding everything. I don''t want to get angry. I don''t particularly want to leave him.

I want to know how to open the lines of communication without getting angry. It has gone on so long that I just don''t know how anymore. For example when I am angry with my kids or they are angry with me I make an effort to talk to them, but I cannot do this with my husband. I have the whole conversation with him in my head and decide beforehand that it is not worth it.

I certainly don''t feel loved and I cannot imagine that he feels loved either.

I have spoken to him in the past, and tried to explain to him what I need. He goes quiet on me till I give up and shut up.

I think it has a lot to do with respect. And it hurts me that I don''t think I respect him anymore. I don''t respect his decisions.

Before we got married again, I spoke alot about what it cost me to live, what expenses I had and what he would have to contribute. At that point I was getting maintenance from him, and my dad was helping out as I did not want to lose my house.

He said - no problem. He would pay his share of the expenses. It never happened. Now he is down to paying the char and the groceries and sometimes not even that. I pay for everything else, and it is so stressfull. We have no food in the cupboards, don''t go out at all, don''t do anything with the kids... and I am so lonely I can go crazy. He works Saturday and even Sunday sometimes.

I have a very stressful job, hectic deadlines and have to work overtime now and then and I get paid ok, but not enough to pay for everything.... I have been slowly cancelling everything that I can to get by.

I am just tired of it, and feel like if I get him to talk it is just going to be bad....

Any insights will be appreciated.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

It is rarely wise for a divorced couple to re-marry without working through couples counselling to be sure they have dealt with all the issues that contributed towards the original divorce.
You seem to be saying that this guy was never comfortable or skilled at talking about emotional issues - men often find this difficult. Counselling can help.
Its fair to expect him to work with you AT HOME, to deal with personal and family issues. I don't, however feel that it is fair to expect people to interrupt their working day for phone-calls or to respond to SMS about non-emergency and emotional issues - they're AT WORK, and should not be expected to stop work to respond to personal messages if the home is no actually burning down. You mention that you also work, but someone working properly in a real job, really doesn't have the time for this indulgence.
And you admit he has financial problems ( an independent contractor in these difficult times is likely to have such problems ) - and it isn't helpful to be cynical about this - he may be really good at hat he does, and may work hard at that - but like many independent business folks, he may not have the financial skills to ensure he gets properly paid for the work he does. Sounds like he's working as hard as he can to try to improve his finances - but maybe he needs some good BUSINESS advice to ensure he gets properly paid, and should stop work on projects where the pay is not guaranteed.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/05/12

It is rarely wise for a divorced couple to re-marry without working through couples counselling to be sure they have dealt with all the issues that contributed towards the original divorce.
You seem to be saying that this guy was never comfortable or skilled at talking about emotional issues - men often find this difficult. Counselling can help.
Its fair to expect him to work with you AT HOME, to deal with personal and family issues. I don't, however feel that it is fair to expect people to interrupt their working day for phone-calls or to respond to SMS about non-emergency and emotional issues - they're AT WORK, and should not be expected to stop work to respond to personal messages if the home is no actually burning down. You mention that you also work, but someone working properly in a real job, really doesn't have the time for this indulgence.
And you admit he has financial problems ( an independent contractor in these difficult times is likely to have such problems ) - and it isn't helpful to be cynical about this - he may be really good at hat he does, and may work hard at that - but like many independent business folks, he may not have the financial skills to ensure he gets properly paid for the work he does. Sounds like he's working as hard as he can to try to improve his finances - but maybe he needs some good BUSINESS advice to ensure he gets properly paid, and should stop work on projects where the pay is not guaranteed.

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