What do you call this?

carolssisFebruary 20, 2006

I suppose I should start at the beginning. We loved each other, I thought. After awhile, I noticed he never called me by my name. Then, I started to realize he always had some critical remark to make about my cooking. Even my little brothers liked my cooking, so I didn't understand. After so many critisisms, I quit cooking. But strangely enough, he buys me a kitchen appliance every Christmas.

Just recently, I became ill, took 3 weeks to finally get a diagnosis, and I had surgery. I know he heard me talking to various people about having surgery, yet he never asked me what was wrong, never offered to drive me to the hospital when I had the surgery, just completely ignored there was anything unusual happening to me. Now, I'm back to work, and still the house is silent. He hasn't spoken to me since the end of December, 2005, when I started to make doctor appointments. My surgery was 3 days before my birthday, not a word on my birthday, no card, no gift, nothing. Has not spoken one word to me in over 50 days. What kind of treatment is this? I know it's some kind of emotional abuse, but am not sure of all the ramifications. Can anyone enlighten me, maybe point me to a book for information? I'm totally lost on this one. I want to move out, but have to get "back on my feet" financially after the surgery, before I can afford to move. I just want to understand what he's doing, maybe figure out why. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks for helping, I know I'll hear from you.

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Are you married? Then you are equally responsible for your bills....
Bills, back on my feet....whatever....I would have been out of there months if not years ago. You don't have a marriage....you are just occupying the same space.
Get out! Get out! Get out!
Unless you want to spend the rest of your life in those circumstances.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 9:21PM
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There is not quite enough information here to render a good assessment of the situation, but let's take a different look at it. And please, by no means should you feel that I am criticizing or judging you. I am just trying to present a different spin on the situation.

He never talks to you? Do you talk to him? Or are you waiting to see if he will start the conversation first? I don't see how two people living in the same house cannot get some sort of conversation going unless they both are avoiding it. If you are actively trying to engage him and he does not participate, that is one thing. But if you are waiting for him to get things started, that is another. If it is the latter, he may be thinking that you are not talking to him. Is it remotely possible that he could be thinking "she won't talk to me about what was wrong with her" or "she didn't even ask me to drive her to the hospital"? "Fine - if she won't talk to me I won't talk to her."

Either way, there is something seriously wrong here. But communication is a two-way street. If you are the only one driving down the street, then maybe it is time to pack up and move on. But if you are both at a standstill, there may be more than one person who needs to change their ways. I'm anxious to hear more.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 8:32AM
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"He hasn't spoken to me since the end of December..."

"Has not spoken one word to me in over 50 days."

This is extremely abnormal behavior and may be symptomatic of emerging danger. Suggest looking at the situation from a distance. I don't think you know what you're dealing with. Be safe while you figure it out.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 1:51PM
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Have you asked him why he hasn't spoken to you? Do you ever try to initiate conversation?

My first response would be that you two really don't belong together for whatever reason.

I do wonder though, if he hasn't spoken to you that maybe you haven't spoken to him either?

As suggested above - a little more information would be helpful.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 11:05PM
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I went to my favorite bookstore, got a fairly new book, telling me what kind of abuse this is. Emotional abuse. Any other ladies out there interested in finding out whats' going on, like me, this book is a good one. The Emotionally Abusive Relationship, by Beverly Engel. Identifies all the ways we folks can be abusive to each other. Very informative.
As for me, when the silence started, I just let it go. I don't feel like I should break the silence, it's a form of punishment, and I don't feel like punishment is appropriate in my situation. How can you punish someone for being sick? Makes me mad, and when I get mad, I get stubborn. Now that I've read the book, I'm going thru it again, to try to get more in depth with my particular situation. I want to figure out as much as I can before I break the silence. Will help me feel more strong. Thanks everyone for responding, for your concern. It's nice to know that you care enough to take the time to write.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 6:48AM
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After re-reading your first post and then the second we can now see that two people aren't talking to each other (not just one unresponsive person).

I certainly wouldn't want to stay with someone who treated me the way it sounds in your first post but you obviously see something in him because you are still there.

In that case why play games? I have always thought that life is way to short to play games with each other and I have been accused of being too pragmatic - but I would just have to come straight out and ask him why he isn't talking and why he doesn't appear to care.

If you don't want to ask the question vocally then you could write it down all of your concerns and feelings and just hand it to him.

If he does not respond to that then you know there is nothing left to salvage.

I still have to wonder, if both of you aren't talking, if maybe he doesn't have something very troubling going on in his life too. After all, you wouldn't know since you both seem to be leading separate lives.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 7:49AM
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I feel for you. There have been times when my DH and I get into not talking for one reason or another. I tend to do the same thing...get angry, then get stubborn. Then I think about all the reason why I married him in the first place, and about the things that I still love about him, and if I find I've done anything to help contribute to the problem, then I have a responsibility to contribute to the solution, even if I have to make the first move. Usually I end up saying something like, "I'm not sure why you're not talking to me, but I miss you." It usually doesn't take too long after that for the walls to start coming down.

About being sick and needing surgery, a few years ago my mom was diagnosed with cancer, they had to run a series of tests and do a number of surgeries and other procedures. Fortunately they were able to get it all. My mom told me one time, that during the two years she was going through it all, my dad never once asked her about it, or how she was doing, and even went so far as to get angry if she tried to bring it up. My mom and dad love each other dearly, and have been married for 26 years, and my mom is a 'nurturer' and couldn't understand my dads reaction, but as we talked se mentioned that my dad is a 'fixer', he's not good at sympathising, and has a hard time just listening without offering advice. It's just in his nature. I think when my mom got sick, he didn't know how to just listen, and he couldn't do anything to fix it, so he didn't want to engage in that conversation. I also think that culturally we tend to expect our men to not show emotion, so it makes it really hard for them to deal with things like that.

Please be careful using terms like emotional abuse...it might feel like it, it may be what it is, but I think it tends to put us in a 'victim' role and frame of mind, and when you become a victim you can loose the power to make a change. Plus any person being told, or implied, that they're being abusive is going to go straight on the defensive, and it's only going to complicate matters and build walls.

Most marriage vows include the line 'for better or for worse' (or some variation of that). Sometimes the better only comes after the worse. Sometimes I have to think of why my DH fell in love with me, and then do something special to remind him why it is we're together.

It's not always easy, especially since we live in a society that say "if it's broke, throw it out and get a new one.", but remember that all the things in life worth having, are worth fighting for.
Hang in there.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 5:19PM
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My spouse has been known to take insult and quit speaking to my various relatives because they "did not address him first when he entered the room".In one case,my sisters spouse who also suffered from depression reacted the same way.Since we were staying with them during a financially difficult phase of our marriage,it was inconvenient and ludicrous.To this day,my family is not fond of him,and I visit with them away from my home so they are not subject to his bizarre behavior caused by depression.He deals with the depression as best he can.but it will be a lifetime struggle,Someone who is a part of that world has difficulty taking the focus off themselves.It is harder to look outward and easier to imagine selfrightously that they are being maligned,Are you part of this ?Why on earth don't you break the silence?If you are emotionally stable,it is a childish thing to contribute to.Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 10:27AM
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Emotional detatchment. Emotional Abuse. Not good. Those are the first three phrases that come to mind.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 8:22AM
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