In need of courage!
This feels weird! I have so many good friends yet cannot bring myself to talk to any of them - that in itself I suppose should speak volumes to me. I've been with my husband 11 years and married for just over 3. I am a doormat. Always have been. The worse thing is that I can see it happening in so many situations but can't break the cycle.
Take any disagreement in all these years. If I say/do wrong I immediately apologize....to the point of grovelling. My husband likes to keep things going however. Earlier this week-we were out and he thought I was 'moaning' a bit and not wanting to be there - I was actually feeling sick and could have done with lying down. His reaction was OTT - not shouting in public or anything like that - but such anger towards me. Fast forward 3 days later and he is still barely talking to me. I have fallen into my usual routine of trying to coax him out of it.....and this is where I find myself this evening. Sick to my stomach that I allow myself to be talked down to in this way and treated like this. I have mentioned one incident but this is virtually every disagreement.
I tried to take the first steps to change yesterday - I calmly told him that I did not appreciate how he spoke to me and he should apologize. His reaction was derogatory (refused to look away from the computer screen). Finally I got a sarcastic "sorry- are you happy now?". Even after this I still did not get angry (like I really wanted to). I feel so low and sad. How can the person who loves you cause you to feel like this. I feel like a crazy woman crying all the time. I love him very much and in all other situations we have fun and laugh together. What on earth do I do?
My husband suffers from depression which I think is mostly why for all these years I have taken charge of smoothing the waters in any conflict. I am just in such shock that he is acting as if the hurt he has caused me is not even worth acknowledging. I fear that the only solution would be I have to extract myself temporarily to finally show that I cant be taken for granted in this way. I apologize for the rambling on. I have always been the organizer and constantly book surprise holidays and treats for us to share. This again has been taken for granted as "my thing". I have allowed this all to happen unfortunately. Saying that I also know I am a good and loving person and the way I am being treated is wrong. My dilemma is what does someone who despises conflict to this extent and feels sick to the pit of her stomach do?
"I have allowed this all to happen unfortunately."
You will have to UN-Learn your "role" with him. This will take the help of a professional counselor. You two are entrenched into some behaviors that are toxic to your relationship.
Please find someone whom you can talk to freely - a professional marital counselor. Go by yourself, if needed.
I do agree with the previous advice. I've also been in a similar sutuation and it took me three years to find a better way for me to live in my marriage. Sweat and tears. It's worth it. The quality of my life has increased immensely. Good luck and take care of yourself!
I was on another board one time, and went back on it to discuss a health problem, and before I began telling about my problem, I began reading some of the other ones. One caught my eye, and I began writing about that, and before I knew it, I was deep into trying to help this other problem.
That was 5 years ago, and I’ve never written about a problem of mine since. I get too engrossed in other people’s problems. What happened was, the flow of energy got to flowing in the other direction.
You can dwell on not talking to your friends, or you can go to a hospital, and help children and other patients with their problems. And with your sensitivity, you could be a big help, it would be a boost, instead of what you say, a detriment.
Were you abused as a child? Have you always been quiet? Did you talk in grammar school on the playground?
You said, “If I say/do wrong I immediately apologize....to the point of grovelling.”
When I was in about the 5th and 6th grades, I would be throwing baseball with another kid. If my throw to him was off the mark and he missed it, I would say, “My fault.” I didn’t want him to feel bad for having missed the throw.
Star slugger Mickey Mantle of the N.Y. Yankees said the reason he held his head down when he ran around the bases after hitting a home run, was because he didn’t want to show up the pitcher for having just hit a home run off of him. Some people are just tender, even baseball sluggers.
I say to myself sometimes, “Being sensitive isn’t so bad. I can see now a lot of examples in my life where it helped.”
I was going to write about some of this, but got distracted. I was in your shoes for a long time, doormat, and had some events which shook me out of it. Let me finish this in just a little bit.
Ok, where was I in the above post? I was like you, doormat, and still am to a degree, but had some events which changed me.
You said, "Take any disagreement in all these years. If I say/do wrong I immediately apologize....to the point of grovelling." I was like that. What changed me was this. I went to the doctor with a physical ailment. He couldn't fix it.
I was mortified. I realized then, I had contributed to this ailment by being lax, by standing up for myself, by being more concerned about their feelings, than my physical ailment.
I realized how sick that was, and that it had led to a perminent physical problem, which could get worse if I didn't start developing a backbone, if I didn't start standing up for myself/ I also had just read a book which had a few paragraphs about the line of power which appears in human groups, whether it's a business, or a family, or whatever.
If you have 10 members of the group, it will work itself out to where one person is the most powerful person in the group, one the weakest, and the rest will fall in line in the middle.
It has a purpose, in that the most powerful one protects the others, and makes the best decisions for the group. While there is a power structure, all members of the group are equal as humans. But it can also get out of whack, where the leader, and others, can abuse those below them. So I realized those people abusing me had a purpose. They were trying to improve their rank, or, were abusing me, which they had no right to do.
I now had a reason as to why these people did that. I also had a physical problem which would not allow me to take any more abuse, less I want my ailment to get worse, and I did not want that. My ailment gave me something to fight for, and the book I read, gave m e a reason why these people were so abusive, and so determined to hurt me. With those two pieces of data, I suddenly became an animal. Too much, but better than I was, and which later had to be toned down, but not discarded.
I changed immediately. Before I didn't want to hurt anybody, I'd let people pick on me, I didn't have a strong ego. Now, I was an animal, which we all are. I never really attacked anyone, I just defended myself it was I verbally attacked. I was wondering if I could actually do this in real life. I did, with my newfound data. A guy at the office insulted me. I said, something like, "Why would you care?" It doesn't matter what the words are, as long as it is a defense. He never insulted me again.
All I'm saying to these people is, "I will not attack you. But if you come at me, I won't hold back, I will come back at you worse than you came at me, and will lose."
Lose. Key word. They don't like to lose. That might mean you're more powerful than they are. So, they will have to choose, do they up their attack or do they back off? My motivation would be very high, also. I was protecting my health. So, I might back off if they really got out of hand, but they would know they had been in a fight.
This is how I would react to some of the examples you given about your husband.
1. Take any disagreement in all these years. If I say/do wrong I immediately apologize....to the point of grovelling.
1. I might say, "Well, I messed that up, didn't I?" But I wouldn't grovel.
2. Earlier this week-we were out and he thought I was 'moaning' a bit and not wanting to be there - I was actually feeling sick and could have done with lying down. His reaction was OTT - not shouting in public or anything like that - but such anger towards me.
2A. I might say, "Well, you're not exactly Florence Nightingale, but I guess you're doing your best."
3. Fast forward 3 days later and he is still barely talking to me. I have fallen into my usual routine of trying to coax him out of it.
3A. "I think of all your moodiness, I like the silent treatment best. It's better than the insults."
4.What on earth do I do?
4A. You can return the attacks.
5. My husband suffers from depression.
5A. You can say, "Are you taking your pills?" Or, "We really do need to get you to a good doctor, this depressions is getting to be more than I can deal with."
6. ). You said, “I feel so low and sad.” This is affecting your health, like my not defending myself affected my health, which was why I started defending myself.
It was like Mother Nature said, to me, “OK, you’re completely worthless. You can’t defend yourself.
I’ll show you what to do. I’ll stand up to those people.”
It was also like my health problem became my child. Now a child, I could protect, because it’s not me. My health problem became like a child I was assigned to protect. My health problem was like another me. An alter-ego. So when someone started to protect my health problem, I could rise up and defend that, for if my health problem got worse, my very life was threatened, and I had to stand up for that.
Your life is not threatened when he calls you a worth witch, so you won’t do anything. He can drive you into depression, hurt your self-confidence, which brings you closer to death, for you need your self-confidence when you have to solve a problem. And depression can lower your mental strength, bring you closer to a nervous breakdown, which happened to me when my depression got worse and worse, all of which brings you closer to death.
If he can get you into depression, he can finish you off when he doesn’t help you when you are depressed. All of which starts when you don’t defend yourself when he calls you a witch. And because you didn’t defend yourself, he’ll keep calling you a witch, until you have emotional problems. He’ll never stop.
“I tried to take the first steps to change yesterday - I calmly told him that I did not appreciate how he spoke to me and he should apologize.” Game players don’t go for this grovelling stuff. Ask him if he’s still taking his depression pills, and if he’s ever going to snap out of it? They love that kind of talk.
You aid, “I feel so low and sad.” See, you’re getting closer to losing it. You’ll be the most polite person in the insane asylum.
You said, “What on earth do I do?” You can start standing up for yourself. Or you can die. Nature gives you a choice.