How do I negotiate this maze?!
Six years ago, I fell in love with what I thought was a wonderful man. I saw red flags but figured everyone has faults. One red flag was when he waited until he knew I loved him, then informed me that either we get married or break up. I had already told him I didn't want to get married again. I was married and divorced from an abusive husband, and I liked being single. But he wouldn't let it rest. He asked me again and again, eventually buying an engagement ring while we were out shopping in a busy mall, dropping on one knee, and proposing while people waited breathlessly for my answer. I told him, "Yes", intending to give the ring back ASAP.
Well, everything snowballed. People began planning the wedding, relatives came from out of town. I feel so stupid---I got married, even though I didn't want to.
I can't walk very far, due to a car accident. I have to take several meds. I was on disability. I write for extra money, but it doesn't make much, and I sell my paintings. I also play the piano for weddings, funerals, etc. But it isn't enough to live on. Social Security yanked my disability and medical coverage when I got married, so I'm financially dependent on my husband. That's the background. Ready for the problem?
Here it is---It's impossible to talk to my husband about anything more serious than lint on a sweater. We've been to counselors, so I try to say things like, "I feel" and "I need"...For example, I can come to my husband and say,"I need more time with you". And what he will answer is, "So what you're saying is, if I would only be a better husband and stop ignoring you, you would be happier. You are blaming me for us not spending enough time together." Then I say, "No, I'm not blaming you. I would simply like to see whether our schedules can be rearranged." He says, "Oh, so now you're saying that I don't know what I'm talking about. You just invalidated me and threw what I said out the window."
I say, "No, I'm not trying to throw what you said out the window." HIM: "Oh no? Looked to me like you did. You said I didn't know what I was talking about when I said you were blaming me. That it's all in my head." And on and on it goes.
Another maze is if I feel sad. I say "I feel sad". He shouts, "BLAME!" ME: How is that blame? HIM: If you feel sad, who is in this marriage? You and me, right? So you're saying I should've done something so you wouldn't be sad!
Another scenario: ME: Look, all I ask is that you give me the same type of affection you give your dog. When your dog comes to your and acts like he wants to play or go for a walk, or sit on your lap, what do you do? You talk kindly to him and give him what he needs. HUSBAND: So you're asking me to hate my dog and give in to your every whim.
And on and on these things go. I can't afford to leave. I have no friends or family to whom I can turn. Any advice?
This is a difficult person to deal with. Honestly, none of this has to do with you or the person you are but with the person he is. This is how he handles issues and situations you bring up to him. He clearly doesn't intend on opening up to other ways and making changes to perhaps look at a good start to less stress and better partnership. He's very one sided and defensive. It isn't how relationships work and with that mind-set he is taking away the meaning of being in a relationship... You seem like you're unhappy and stressed and at a dead end with this man. Sometimes, you have to take the upper hand and ignore him and walk away.. either he will realize that he is being very dominant and rude and he will make efforts or he won't realize it and he will continue on doing the same thing. It clearly seems like the connection isn't there between you guys anymore... Time for a serious talk... and some serious thinking...