Take two of conversation with spouse/ still no good


My husband seemed rather surprised that I was mad at him. He has an amazing talent for thinking that everything is fine for me because it is for him. Not so, and I let him know that yesterday. He was all, “Why are you so grumpy?” and I wanted to smack him. Of course I have never raised a hand to anyone, so this is a feeling not an actual possibility. He actually had the gall to say that he wished I would talk to him more about what’s going on. It was at this point that I’d had enough and I told him that his sarcastic response the other day pretty much nipped any chance of that in the bud. I told him that walking away and watching T.V. after I say something that’s so hugely difficult to talk about, does not encourage me to come to him about anything.

He replied that I had taken his words the wrong way and that he hadn’t meant anything bad by what he’d said. He said that he had been processing what I told him and what it meant for us and how he would interact with me. He then pulled out the big guns, which is that he’s very tired from work.

This has always been an interesting arguing point with us, because I don’t work any longer since I’m on disability. Therefore, I can’t say that I’m tired from work. He said that he’s going through his own stuff because of being tired. Ok.

Here’s what I was thinking in my head although it’s going to sound extremely selfish. I was thinking: Are you seriously comparing being tired, to my talking about the fact that I was triggered into speechlessness by something intimate that happened between us?

Don’t get me wrong. I do acknowledge and understand that he’s tried because work is really busy right now. I get that, which is why I didn’t hit him with that conversation as soon as he came home. He made a point of telling me though that I picked a bad time to talk about it because he had been tired. Ok. In all honesty, and he has said this himself: there is never a good time with him.

I heard him and then I proceeded to snap, which I never do. I told him that I had been laying in bed every night since we were together, feeling scared that he was going to slide over in that bed again. I told him that I had been dealing with it enough and it needed to be said so that I could stop having nights like that. I asked him exactly how much longer I should have waited and just kept laying there frozen at night.

He said that we both have stuff we’re dealing with then. I found that conclusion unsatisfactory as the comparison pisses me off.

I think that right here I want to clarify something. I don’t give my husband a hard time about work or being tired or pretty much anything. Actually he would tell anyone that I have never nagged him about anything. That’s not me. When he’s home, whether it’s in the evening or on the weekend or a holiday, the house is his. Because I’m home more, when he’s home, he can do whatever he wants. That was my decision, my way of letting him relax. I don’t have a list of things for him to do, ever. He can’t make the cliché jokes that society makes about women because I’m not like that and he knows it.

That being said, I don’t think that he can say that his being tired is the same as anything I’m dealing with. I find the thought insulting. And no, I don’t go on and on talking about it. I’m not looking for attention but c’mon? Really?

Anyway, that’s kind of how things were left. At this point I’m not interested in talking about it with him anymore. He won’t let that stand, I know that, and it’s making me angry.

I don’t know what he wants from me. He’s doesn’t even read the news because he finds it too negative. How do you talk to someone like that? His life was safe. He grew up knowing without a doubt that he was loved. Nothing bad ever happened to him. I’m glad for that. I wouldn’t want it any other way because I love him. But, if someone refuses to look at what’s happening in the world, how do you talk to them about something like this?

It never occurred to him when the Sandusky stuff hit the fan, that maybe I needed to talk about it. He just shut down the conversation because he didn’t want to hear it. Just like other people who closed their ears to it. That makes me feel like he wouldn’t want to hear anything I have to say about my own feelings or experiences either.

It’s not that I want to talk to him about everything, because I don’t. No way. Hell, I don’t want to talk about any of it. But feeling a person’s disgust and general refusal to acknowledge that these things are happening is difficult too.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the one who’s too difficult to live with. Maybe I make everything bad.

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About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Incest, Intimacy, Sexual Abuse and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Take two of conversation with spouse/ still no good

  1. Pandora says:

    I’m not surprised you’re angry with your husband, hun. Although I know he’s got his own problems at the minute, and that’s fair enough, that doesn’t compare to you being triggered because of the awfulness that happened to you 😦

    I wish I could say something to fix it, but I can’t – so at least please know you’re in my thoughts and that I’m sending hugs and empathy.

    Please take care of yourself xxxxx

  2. no, it’s not you, at all. i’ll quickly say that i’m pretty sure (partly from what I’ve heard my one say) that being the partner of someone in therapy is *awful*, so i do have a tiny smidgen of sympathy; that if you’ve been thinking you’re having a loving experience with someone who then reports it made them feel bad a few days later (oh, and that they’ve been talking about it to someone else…), well… but it’s not ok for you to feel like that, to have spent days worrying about it happening again, and then to be quite so directly dismissed when you tried to communicate.

    i don’t want to go on too much, but i wanted to say very loudly that your ‘work’ is recovering from being ill. your thoughts and feelings arising from that are directly equivalent to his being tired from his own (socially recognised/paid) work. but how to manage that (especially if it seems like there’s an undercurrent around your work not being respected)?. in the same way that therapy is boundaried by having a set time, perhaps it might be worth agreeing a time for talking about your work issues, and he might be able to respond better to you if he knows it’s coming and can prepare?

    oh, and i’d heard what your therapist saying about having a word as being a good suggestion; one i’ve heard is common in sadomasochism circles as a ‘stop’ word. my SM friends actually are dismissive, saying that you shouldn’t be sexually involved with someone unless you know them well enough mentally to know exactly what they need, but the point is it’s an *established* idea to have a fast way of saying “oh hang on, no, this is too much for me”.
    good luck, love

    • CimmarianInk says:

      I agree with you about setting aside time. It seems to be necessary and maybe it will help him to not feel attacked out of nowhere.

      There are other factors at play when it comes to his work and feelings about it which would take another post to talk about lol. I’ll leave that for now. 🙂

  3. Freasha1964 says:

    You just alluded to the crux of the issue as I see it. Nothing bad ever happened to him. Of course, his “bad” has a much lower threshold than your “bad” and so it is hard for you each to see the others viewpoint.

    You are doing great, actually! This is the uncomfortable conversation that I was hoping would ensue. A comfortable one would be better but you two are navigating through an unfamiliar morass with not much of a map, and the GPS either has a broken battery or hasn’t mapped it yet. It will develop in fits and starts, and that is OK. He cannot take too much information at a time; it sounds like you need to be aware of this to the best of your ability, and feed it out in digestible bites. Ask him if he is still hungry, so to speak, before you give him another mouthful – if you can regulate your own output. Mistakes will be made. That’s OK.

    I think what you just wrote is perfect to tell him: “I was triggered into speechlessness by something intimate that happened between us”. Once he understands that it was something from your childhood that triggered you that he had nothing to do with instigating, I think you would be on your way, don’t you? Also, since he has this trick of pulling the big guns, let him know, maybe, that you’d like to have him let you know when it would be a good time for him, maybe on the weekend. And then you also have the right of refusal if it isn’t the right time for you.

    Best Wishes! I am quite certain you can do this.

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Hi Freasha,

      I tried to explain that it was about the past not the present. At the time that was when he made the sarcastic sounding comment and walked away, so I didn’t get a chance to say what I wanted. I did think of what you said about asking what a good time would be. Since he knows my therapy schedule perhaps we can have a time set aside when we can talk if there’s something that needs to be said.

      Definitely something to try and practice so nobody feels ambushed. 🙂

  4. meredith says:

    You know, I think I would have shit bricks if my spouse told me he/ she has been petrified of my sliding over in bed since the very beginning, Ci. That’s a very hard thing to swallow without feeling like a creepy person, yourself. Then, there’s the feeling of having been fooled your husband is trying to get used to… being fooled in bed. People don’t like feeling like they’ve been fooled with in their intimate life if they care about their intimate life. How could he not feel betrayed and somewhat like a jerk on hearing that this whole thing has been going on since the beginning of your relationship… but he missed it. What was he supposed to psychically know all this time? How could he have done any better with this than you? He couldn’t. It’s his first rodeo.

    I know you’ve had it with the stress and constant, inner turmoil. Of course you have. But you had a battalion of well-defined issues when you snapped, and he had nothing. You’ve had time to think about a lot of things that are on your mind… and your husband has no idea what’s been happening, so like Freasha said, you might want to revisit the meltdown you had last night and think about how much you said to him in a very short amount of time.

    I showed this column to JJ, because she’s been visited with similar scenarios as we’ve come together. She affirmed that I’ve done the same thing, and the hardest part for her is that it seems to come out of nowhere, and that I’m so intense I can’t be reasoned with. She doesn’t know what triggers the buildups, but she feels like she’s done something, and I blow, then I don’t talk to her… because I don’t know exactly what happened, either until the two of us work our way through the experience. But shit! That’s a lot, Ci. It weighs on our relationship, at times. JJ and I have had to learn how to recognize burnout and make room for it in our relationship. Dealing with being a helpless observer and wondering what’s going on when a partner shuts down is a different kind of stress than the stress you’re coping with, but it’s a stress, nonetheless.

    Your husband can’t understand your pain, your stress, and the chaos it creates. He never will. He doesn’t live there, but it’s not his bad. He really can’t understand the impact of mental dis-order for you when it happens. He can only hope you’re not going to make him the bad guy in all this mess. It’s a two-sided problem, here, because now this isn’t just about your childhood… you’re saying it’s also about your marriage.

    When a predator sleeps between you and your husband, remember the predator’s name and thank him for screwing up your sex life. You have to give a face to the significant problem, CI… and the most significant problem is that you’re growing more conscious of what the real bad guy did, and it’s messing with the present.

    As crappy as this is… I still have to say I’m glad you’re finally starting to talk to your husband. He needs more information. And it’s going to be hard for him to handle… but that’s why you need to keep doing own healing work, and encourage him to do some, too. He needs support and information… but not from you. He needs to talk to someone, too.

    Be brave.

    I love you.

    Meredith.

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Wow, not sure what to say to all this…

      Actually, I haven’t told him that I was scared of it since the beginning because I didn’t know until this last week that I was. I have no intention of telling him that unless he asks me. And since I didn’t actively think of my uncle kissing me until a while back I wouldn’t have been “fooling” him in bed because I wasn’t thinking about it. There was a reaction that I thought was irritation but often in relationships you ignore irritations because if you didn’t you would be arguing and unhappy all the time. I didn’t know until recently that any of my feelings were connected nor did I know that it was fear and not annoyance.

      I’m going to give him time to think it through so hopefully he can process it a bit more. But that will be for his sake, not for mine. For me, I simply don’t see the point in talking about it since he can’t really wrap his head around it. What’s the point?

      I know you said that I had “well-defined issues” when I snapped but I don’t think that I do. I don’t have a lot to go with, I don’t have the memories, and he is a facts person like myself. I can’t begin to understand where my feelings are coming from let alone communicate them in a way that he will understand. I can’t explain to him that I don’t remember what happened, but that all of this is based on feelings. He’s not a “feelings” person and I’m confused enough on my own without having to explain it to someone else who has no concept of abuse and prefers it that way.

      If he needs to go to therapy he is able to, but he hasn’t said anything, and when I offer books or articles for him to read, he refuses. I don’t know how else to help him, if he wants help.

      • meredith says:

        Sorry. I’ve got too much on my mind.

        I’m not saying you fooled your husband, because you didn’t. I saw your post from a very different point of view, and I’m just going to shut up now.

        Shit. Really sorry about the comment.

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Oh, I should clarify that when I told him I had been scared since we were “together” I told him since we were together the other night.

  5. castorgirl says:

    Hi CI,

    My ex-husband was abused by his sister… when I found out, and saw the evidence in his behaviour of that abuse, it freaked me out. I felt totally helpless, guilty and as if I became the abuser if I did anything to trigger him. That was my reaction, and I’m a fellow survivor. It’s awful to see someone you care about hurting, and it can be so confusing when something will one day be ok, but the next, be a trigger – although he was abusive, so I don’t know how much manipulation he spun on his reactions… but that’s another story 🙂 What I’m trying to say, is that even for me it was difficult, so I don’t know what it would be like for someone who had a safe up-bringing, and therefore no context to what is going on. It sounds like your husband is covering his ears and singing “la la la la la” really loudly… That’s not going to work long term for either of you – you will feel more invisible, and your husband possibly more defensive. Have you considered couples counselling? I’m not sure if your husbands not wanting to seek help, also included that suggestion…

    I work full-time, and I’d rather do that than heal as my full-time job. I honestly don’t know how you do it, takes more strength and courage than I have.

    Take care of yourself,
    CG

    • CimmarianInk says:

      CG, you work full-time and you work on healing. That’s brave and exhausting and I respect that greatly.

      I’m sure that being with someone who has issues about abuse would be very difficult for anyone who has empathy or any kind of heart. Things have gotten better than they were the other day so I’m hoping that the upswing will continue. I am, however, terrified of having to deal with further intimacy. I just don’t want to deal with it or even go there. That’s not an option of course but I wish it was.

      Thanks for sharing what happened with you, I know it’s not easy to talk about your ex.

  6. Pingback: This Week in Mentalists – The Madosphere Welcomes You to 2012 Edition « This Week in Mentalists

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