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#1 Tristis

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:40 AM

A little history first. I have been in this abusive marriage for nearly forty years. It started as very verbally abusive but this changed a bit this past few years (??age perhaps) Tantrums and arguements still occur but only if I dare to express an opinion or try to engage in conversation on a deeper level. I can now handle the verbal stuff by following some of Patricia Evans advice as in saying 'Stop' or ' I am leaving the room for a while' and various things like that. What I can't handle is the withdrawal. He has become silent. Yes we exchange information but conversation doesn't happen. I constantly need to be careful of what I say or do. To a ceratin extent I suppose I have withdrawn too but I need to for my own protection I think. Anyway we still share a bed but there has been no physical contact (and I don't just mean sex) for nearly two years. Now since I have 'discovered' him i don't want any but he never touches me in any way and never has really. He sits silently just wanting to be catered to. The total lack of interest in anything I do is unbelievable. Yet if we are in company he seems to have such knowledge of what I think and feel. Anyway I digress. How does one handle this withholding? My instinct is to tackle the problem, make it right but I know it will end in one of these terrible tirades and get nowhere. I am considering moving to the spare bedroom but the only thing stopping me is he will say not a thing if i do move but when we are in company he will make some nasty comment about it making me look like an evil perpatrator.
So what can i do? is there any way to tackle withholding?

#2 hedoesntcare

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:14 AM

It makes me think of Faith Hill's song "It matters to me" the opening line says, "Baby where did you ever learn to fight without saying a word" I know exactly what it feels like and it is a terrible feeling. I am so sorry you are going through this. Here is the song (((Tristis)))


#3 DawnC

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 02:14 PM

Do I ever know where you're coming from. I've been getting the silent treatment for nearly four years. It is awful. If you'd be more comfortable sleeping in the spare bedroom, don't worry about what others might think about his nasty remarks. You can say " don't mind him, I'm just a very light sleeper these days". Or just shrug and ignore the remark. His opinion will carry no weight with those who know you...and those who do care about his opinion probably don't matter much to you!

((hugs))
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#4 Kilroy

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:26 PM

I'm sorry you're having to put up with this, Tristis. It is very uncomfortable, and regrettably I don't have any great advice for handling it off the top of my head.

One thing though. Your mention of sleeping in a separate bedroom made me curious. Obviously some couples do sleep in separate bedrooms for one reason or another, not necessarily because the couple in question are estranged. But I've never had the foggiest idea how many couples do that. It's one of those things where "none of us know how the other half lives"! So out of curiosity I looked it up on the Web, and I found this page, which told me that according to the National Sleep Foundation, 23 percent of couples sleep apart. The reasons can include loud snoring and other sleep disorders, incompatible sleep schedules, or disparate preferences for the sleeping environment.

So if sleeping in the guest bedroom does make this miserable marriage more tolerable for you, it's just as Dawn said: there's no need to worry about what others might think, when nearly one couple in four is doing the same!

#5 Tristis

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:05 AM

It (withdrawal) is a hard thing to cope with. i think it creates lonliness in the worst way. Perhaps that's the agenda then. Just another form of control? "I will make you miserable" sort of thing. Never quite looked at it that way but perhaps I have hit something. I do know me being happy annoys him so i guess I'll just have to sing a bit more.

@Hedoesn't care That is a very poignant song. I have never heard of that singer. She is lovely and a great voice.

@Dawn and Kilroy. I am afraid in a way. i don't know why. I think it's because i would be doing something that could be thrown in my face at a later date. Sometimes it is just so wearying trying to second guess.

#6 Rachel

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:40 AM

Tristis I know how you feel. I'm so sorry. I slept in another room sometimes and he definitely made a point to tell me over and over again how unhealthy it was and that it was my fault that we couldn't sleep together which then made us not as close....um...ok...But he snored, took up the entire bed, and would purposely never stay on his side. So I got tired of not sleeping. When I asked him to please stay on his side of the bed, he would say that we was bigger than me and he should have more space. I was literally almost off one side of the bed. Anyway, I got tired of not sleeping and I just told him to deal with it. So what did he do? Blamed me again for having some issue that wasn't normal. Sigh....

I guess my point is, he may well something say to you or maybe he won't. If he doesn't say anything he may secretly be angry and maybe that's what you're afraid of? All I can say, is do what makes you feel comfortable. Take care of yourself. You could say something to him but I don't know where you are in the relationship. Are you staying in? You know a conversation about his withdrawal is likely to go nowhere. But if you move to the other room it may start the conversation anyway...I sometimes would do things like that just to get his attention so then I could explode at what an a*s he was being. The result? Nothing new. It was always my fault :)

So I kept sleeping in the other room, ignored his comments, and was always thankful I had another space to go to for "rest".

#7 Hattie

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:00 AM

My dh is very good at giving me the silent treatment when things don't go his way. At the end of the day I'm always at fault and he's Mr Perfect. It is painful and lonely. I've not tried out the separate bedrooms but the bed we share seems really huge at the time. He even goes far to separate sides with pillows and sheets. I used to try to beg him to talk but now I just ignore and try not to show my pain. I never realized that it was his way of controlling me until now.

#8 hedoesntcare

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:18 PM

I just had a flashback from about two years ago. We had a horrible fight and I was so angry at him and didn't want to sleep in bed, let alone the same room as him. I stayed up late and watched a movie and then stayed on the couch to sleep. I remember hearing him come downstairs during the night and getting all huffy and muttering to himself. Then in the morning he screamed at me, "You have no idea what you have done!" as if my defiance was going to be the end of me or something.
I say sleep where you want to, you know he would. (((hugs)))

#9 la_chica

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:00 PM

Tristis, I agree that you should do what makes you comfortable. He is going to find something to get mad at you about no matter what, and you will never be able to anticipate all his displeasures. So you might as well make yourself as comfortable as possible.

The only thing...

If you'd be more comfortable sleeping in the spare bedroom, don't worry about what others might think about his nasty remarks. You can say " don't mind him, I'm just a very light sleeper these days".


Dawn, I don't think she should lie to anyone. By saying that, she covering for him and his unreasonable behavior. Even just saying she is more comfortable in the spare room is honest and doesn't cover for him.

#10 DawnC

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:09 PM

La_chica makes a good point...




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