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how to be treated

Posted by lizzie2 (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 25, 07 at 10:32

Does anyone else have a spouse that always just thinks of themselves? My husband and I are in therapy for my temper and his emotional affair. The counselor wanted him to take me on a date. He has tried in a way. The older girls (18 and 16) took care of the 9 year old. So we went out, he had no idea about the movie, he did not go to the bank for cash (check is direct deposit) and fell asleep during the movie. The next time he was walking so far ahead I fell trying to keep up. My foot swelled so bad I could not get my shoe off. He decided to take me to a buffet restuarant (his favorite) and then to a movie. The next day the doctor told him the foot was broken...he did not even blink. So how do you get treated like a person and not a dog? The counselor cannot go with us on a date. He made an attempt with cards, but he would not sign them or anything. Am I stupid for staying in the marriage? I am trying for the 9 year old, but am I treating my daughters to accept this treatment? Please help me.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: how to be treated

I'm not really seeing exactly what your husband did so wrong on these dates.

I guess he could just as easily say you picked out a bad movie that he couldn't even stay awake for, that you move so slow that you couldn't even keep up with him and can't even walk without breaking something, that 'you' forgot to get the cash, and that you don't even like his favorite buffet. I think you're just being nit picky. I admit they don't sound like the most romantic dates, but I'm just not understanding how you got treated like a "dog" on these dates.

It does sound like he is trying a little...what are you doing? How are the cards you give him? Why don't you try appreciating the cards he picks out for you and what they say rather than worrying about if he signed them or not. It just seems like you are reaching and trying to find fault with everthing he does.

Have you tried going fishing or going to a wrestling match with him or something he really likes to do? It's all in the perspective. Try to focus on the positive...poor guy went to a movie with me even though he was really tired, picked out the funniest card for me, and even took me to/ talked to my doctor about my broken foot.

I'm sure you may not like my advice and sorry to sound so harsh, but maybe "you're" the spouse that is mainly thinking about themself, not him.


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RE: how to be treated

"So how do you get treated like a person and not a dog"

You have to start with someone who doesn't treat you like a dog, & you have to drop anyone who treats you like a dog.

He's going through the motions of "counselling", but he's sabotaging the whole purpose.

"I guess he could just as easily say you picked out a bad movie that he couldn't even stay awake for, that you move so slow that you couldn't even keep up with him and can't even walk without breaking something, that 'you' forgot to get the cash, and that you don't even like his favorite buffet."

bingo.

That's exactly what a passive-aggressive person would say.

Passive-aggressive people enjoy causing misery & making fools of people who are vulnerable to them.

& it's *always* the fault of the other person.

Some of their favorite accusations, which *always* sting, are that you are needy, whiny, unreasonable, overly sensitive, too demanding.

These accusations always hit home because the message is that you are defective, you aren't up to being an equal, & you don't deserve someone who's independent, stoic, reasonable, tough, & yet understanding.

If he'd been taking someone out *& he wanted that person to like him*, he'd have remembered to get cash.
what he'll say:
I just forgot. Cut me some slack. You're too needy/whiny/demanding.
what his behavior means:
You're not important, & you can't make me act like this date is important. I'm only doing it to accomodate or appease you.

walking too fast:
People can & do pace themselves to walk with toddlers, the elderly, & dogs.
What he'll say:
Oh, good grief, just keep up, you're too needy/whiny/demanding.
what his behavior means:
I want to get away from you, & you can't stop me.

going to sleep in the movie.
If he's too tired for a movie, a "date" will say, can we just have a light dinner & call it a night?
If the movie is that boring, he would say, let's do something else.
What he'll say:
I'm too tired, trying to keep up with your demands, support the family, etc.
what his behavior means:
You can't make me spend time with you, even when I'm in the same room.

example from my own life:

I once dated a passive-aggressive guy (wish I'd known about this condition before I met him), & he would always open the door & go on through.

& I almost *always*, unless I dodged, got hit by the door or by his elbow.

He would laughingly say, "Sylvia, you have to pay attention to where you are, I'm 6' tall, & I can't see behind me."

One day it occurred to me,
my father & several of my uncles were in the 6' range.
both my brothers were about 6' tall.
I had been married to a guy who was around 6'1.

Never had I been hit by an elbow or a door...
until I met this guy.

& as you see from his comment, *it was "my fault"*.

I couldn't get him to treat me nice (his perspective was that if you don't have leverage, you take what I dish out), so I left that miserable "relationship".

Nearly 20 years later, my regret is that I tried so hard for so long, thinking that it was just a problem to be worked out.

It wasn't.

It was an abusive relationship, & I was the victim of a passive-aggressive gameplayer who enjoyed my struggles & who was happy to see me miserable.

I can't get that time back.

Take care of yourself.


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RE: how to be treated

sylvia,

I was being sarcastic about the thing you said "bingo" to...The point I was making was that I doubt the husband did nit pick and say things like that...but she did...and I agree it would be somewhat passive agressive if he did it...but he DIDN'T do it as far as we know (and that's very important to remember) so your bingo means nothing...
but she did nit pick, IMHO...her complaints seem as abusive and passive agressive to me as those made ups ones would have been if he would have said them.

Just because she's the girl doesn't mean she can't be the abuser. I see nothing that isn't typical of a married man going out with his wife. He may not be the very best as trying, but it sounds like to me he could never please her and that nothing would ever be good enough. What has she done for him; how has she tried?


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RE: how to be treated

There's a world of difference between,
"I tried to keep up & couldn't, & he showed no reaction to the news that my foot was broken" & a wife who isn't trying.


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RE: how to be treated

My husband and I often don't walk together (One of us is almost always a few strides ahead)..really is that what makes a great marriage? And, no reaction to a broken foot...What should his reaction been? Unconsolable crying, big hugs, high fives, what? Maybe he was shocked about it or felt bad for her or maybe he just didn't know what to say....How do we know the specifics of what was going on? The doctor told him it was broken and he said nothing, so what? He didn't do anything really WRONG.

And, seriously, what has she gone out of her way to do for him?


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A little sympathy for her broken foot would have been nice. Maybe she was walking slow because she had heels on.The gentleman thing to do would be to wait for her. Exspecially if on a date,maybe she wanted to hold hands.

I do have a question for OP though.Has your husband ALWAYS been un-romantic? If he has,than you probably cant expect much more from him. You can get him to spend more time with you,but you cant MAKE him be more romantic.

My husband is about the most un-romantic person I know. I cant complain because he has been like this his whole life. On birthdays,I dont expect much from him because he is terrible at organizing anything.

Yet,he makes up for his-lack-there-of in romance in other ways. This past month his surprised me by getting my favorite earrings that were broke fixed. When I wasnt feeling well,he ran out and got me medicine.

So,my question is,does your husband ever do anything else,even if it is something little,to show that he cares? To me,it's the little things that count so much more.

With my husband I have just learned if I want us to go on a good date,I have to plan it,LOL.
I'm also curious of what carla35 asked you...do you do anything for him?


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RE: how to be treated

I am often confused about romance and men. Can someone explain, preferably a man, if some men are romantics, or is it woman who "tell" them how to act ?

Or are men just romantics, in the courting days, and then think, "married so romance out the door".

I would say my DH is not romantic, he doesnt know how to be, but I have come to realize that that is the way he is, he does make up for it in other ways, which I am happy with.

I do think that its up to me to let him know how I would like to be treated. OP, can YOU have that conversation with your DH?

Its all about realistic expectations, I think.

Really insightful posts from Sylvia and Carla.

But one thing I do know...happiness comes from within, if you can be happy in yourself and not "expect" other people to "make" you happy, then that is a good way to be.

Popi


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Some people understand "romance" as conforming to traditions. Birthdays, anniversaries, valentines day etc., etc. all take on make-or-break significance. If it works for you, that's wonderful. I respond sometimes, but sometimes I don't. Frankly, if that's your indicator, we're not on the same page.

My woman gives me Rowenta irons and tools -- when she's inspired. I give her computers and kitchen knives and tools -- when I'm inspired. (Well, OK, there's been some soaps and oils in there, too) Basically, we trust each other completely with the other's pleasures and trust our guts. We never waste our money on jewelry and baubels. Been solid for many years.

I'm thinking of her all the time -- and show her. She's thinking of me all the time -- and shows me. Neither of us care what everyone else is doing.


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RE: how to be treated

Wow - some really surprising posts here!

To the OP, I know many, many, people, men and women alike, who would not be passive when hearing that their dog had a broken foot! So please don't compare this to being treated like a dog. A dog is usually treated far better.

Carla - huh??? You ask if the husband's reaction to the broken foot should have been "unconsolable crying, big hugs, etc.". Uh ... c'mon - you know there's a huge difference between nothing and that. Maybe "aw hon, that's too bad" would've sufficed. You say he didn't really do anything wrong. Well, how do you know that he didn't(or how do we know that he did?). If all he did was walk to fast for her (or she walked too slowly), that still doesn't mean that he wouldn't express some regret that her foot was broken. (You saying he did nothing WRONG so didn't have any reason to have a different reaction is like saying that if I accidentally kick someone I really have no responsibility for saying excuse me or I'm sorry).

OP, one thing you said was that the counselor wanted him to take you on a date. Frankly, it sounds like you took him on a date. You picked the movie, etc. If you did that because he didn't make an effort to pick one out, well, you let him off the hook. If you did that because you took control and planned the date, well, you took him on the date and he didn't enjoy it, sounds like.

Finally, the OP didn't say anything about romance. Follow-up posts did. Being considerate and being a romantic are two very different things.

Suzieque


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RE: how to be treated

You are right suzique,she didnt mention romance. I did because to me it sounded as if she was a little disappointed in her date.She seemed less than happy about the buffet and her husband falling asleep at the movie. My point was,my husband always does things like that. My idea of a good date and his vary alot. He'd be happy with Mcdonald's.

Seems to me it is less about romance though and more about the fact she would just like him to care.Mentioning how he doesnt sign cards that gives to her.When it's the signing of the cards that often means the most when you personlize it.

Any spouse who wasnt even concerned about breaking a foot is kinda shocking to me.If my husband broke his foot I'd be very concerned.
My point was,be it romantic or not~if he cared,he would show it in other ways. Seems like he is only doing things he thinks required of him but not cuz he really wants to.


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RE: how to be treated

Just to clear up...the op said her husband had no reaction about her broken foot to the doctor..not to her; I can only go by the info she said. I don't think saying "nothing" in response to a doctor saying the foot is broken is all that bad. I bet some people have no response when they hear their spouse has cancer...some people respond, some don't --different personalitites...no response doesn't make a good or bad person IMHO. Some people just don't like to talk to doctors. We don't know how he treated or what he said to her later. I think the fact that he was talking to (and probably took her to) the doctor at least showed that he cared a little. I can't recall my husband ever coming in or talking to my doctor. Can't the husband even get a couple brownie points for being there?

Furthermore, I don't think the husband can be blamed for her broken foot...he didn't accidentally kick her and break it; I think anyone who suggests he caused it by walking ahead and he owes her any sort of apology is wrong. It was an accident on her part, IMHO, nothing more or less.


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RE: how to be treated

carla - again, WOW?!?!

How about this scenario? You're walking along - all by yourself. You twist your ankle and break it. Your husband's not involved at all - not even there. The next day the doctor tells him that your ankle is broken and he doesn't even blink? Forget that he had nothing to do with it. He shows no sympathy?

And I don't see where anyone said that he's not a good person for not blinking about her foot. He may be a wonderful person - probably is! But still, if my husband had no reaction to my pain I'd be very hurt. I didn't say he owes her an apology (although maybe he does). Some courtesy/consideration and sensitivity that she's got a broken bone would be a response I'd expect of someone who loves me. You don't?

We only are hearing the OP's side, of course. I'm not intentionally taking her side. But you seem he11 bent on making her the "bad guy" just as you seem to think others are sympathizing with her.


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How to be treated....my philosophy is I want to be treated like I treat him. I expect (okay DEMAND) the same treatment back. And the couples that I see are the happiest are the same way. I am not into gushy mushy cards, so if I don't get them I'm fine. Now I have friends that want them, so when they don't get them, they think it's the end of the world (okay that may be an exaggeration, but you get my point).

I have a friend who he AND his wife don't even acknowledge anniversaries and birthdays, THEY'RE BOTH OK WITH THAT. Me, no way would that go over with me, but it is okay for them and that is what counts.

You see, the behavior has to be acceptable to BOTH PEOPLE.

What would I personally have done is some of the above situations....falling asleep in the movie...seriously DH does this all the time, I either nudge him or let him sleep. We don't often go to movies, he has a hearing problem so movies are not easy for him to hear the entire movie, and we have very different taste in movies. I try to only go to matinees so I don't pay an arm and a leg for him to nap. MY concession here, on of those things that is not worth the fight.

Walking too fast for me...I will NOT try to match his pace. PERIOD. Heck I will deliberatly slow down. If he slows down a little, I will speed up a little. There I will compromise. I will just stop if there is no compromise. It is just plain rude to not walk with your spouse if they want to walk with you and cannot keep up.

Resteraunt...we alternate. I hate McDonalds (he loves it, no accouting for taste). I like chinese...he's grown accustom to it. If I've picked the movie/activity, he gets to pick the resteraunt...and visa versa.

The broken ankle...how should he have reacted...YES he should have had some reaction, but what..I don't know but if he treated you kindly (helpfully) after that would be good.

If this is how he's been for 9 years, then he won't change, and you married him hoping to change him. Your mistake (sorry). You may either have to accept some of the ways that are his (Hey he got a card, he didn't sign it, but he got it!!!) or cut your loses after 9 years, the choice is yours. AND yes the children ALL 3 are learning that this is how they should be treated as it is accpetable.

Best advise I ever got...."Does it feel good more than it feels bad" Really had to think about that with the relationship. My justification was...but when if feels good it is so good. Person said no that is not what I asked...."Does it feel good more than it feels bad". WHen I had to tell myself "NO", I had to leave.

Vickey-MN


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Vickey-MN - kudos to you and your husband. It sounds as though you have mutual respect and understanding and a nice, successful, mature relationship. Excellent.


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RE: how to be treated

what I get out of the OPs comments is the lack of care or concern for her and her feelings. I think this is what she is trying to convey, not that he "didnt blink". The counselor "wanted him" to bring her on a date. From what she is saying, he put no effort in to it. It was more like, ok, lets go to the movies, no thought about it, he didnt even know what was playing.If it was really supposed to be about her on this date, what about going to one of "HER" favorite restaurants, not his. He didnt even think to get the money from the atm to be prepared. It was just, oh alright, lets go out and call it a date". There doesnt seem to be any regard for her feelings. Perhaps this is why she is so angry.

The biggest thing that stands out to me is that she feels her feelings arent validated by him because he had the opportunity to show her and he made it seem like a chore. If a counselor told my husband to take me on a date, and he fell asleep in the movies, I would have gotten up and went home and left him there sleeping.

This is one time when he was supposed to show her, prove to her that he is committed to working this marriage out and he falls asleep? Forget it!


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Well said Linda -- That 'date' was more like slapping a box of Mac'n'Cheese on the table and saying "You wanted pasta? Well, here's your pasta!" That data was callous at best, possibly even abusive.

Definitely fodder for the therapist.


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RE: how to be treated

Vicky, I agree with you, seems like you have got it sorted, and "DOES IT FEEL GOOD MORE THAN BAD" is something we could all adhere to.

I also agree with Linda, this was a "special" date, and the husband could have put more effort in, because of that.

But it does take two to make it work.

There is a show here on TV, called "What not to Wear", where they dress up and sort out a sad married couple. The couple are given dress advice, grooming advice, and a bit of communication advice. The results are tear jerking sometimes. Makes me realize that I could make a bigger effort to dress nicely (not the old baggy shorts and comfy t-shirt etc) and I am sure my DH could do with some improvements !

My point is, (yes I know this is only a TV show), but the couples seem to rekindle a bit of romance, and admiration for each other, like when they met. Maybe "tired" marriages need this sort of maintenance from time to time.

Popi


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First of all, I have MS which makes walking a challenge on uneven surfaces which this was that night.

What do I do for him? DH works from 6-7 six days a week. So until last year, I was the driver for 3 daughters, all the piano lessons, dance lessons, cooking and sewing 4H club meetings, all athletic events and so on. I clean the house, garage and mow the yard until the older girls are out of school. I keep the check book and keep the bills paid and the check book balanced. I get up a half hour before he does and packs his lunch, unpack it for him. The only thing I do not do is take care of the farm animals the daughters do the majority of the barn work. I am just the one that gets all the feed and supplies. So yes, I am very busy. I do not work outside the home. I cannot. I am usually home for after I get the "chores" done I have no energy left. Sorry, I did not explain that all before. That is why I cannot keep up and have not for 13 years. If you have daughters is this the way you think they should see someone treated. I agree in some ways I am hard to please, if the shoe is on the other foot; when I did work before we were married and he needed a way home from work and I was not allowed to stop my job when he needed, he got upset with me. He stayed out one night to 1am with the "friend" at a cabin an hour away, the "friend" that he dated before we met and were married. But if my friends ask me to a dinner and a movie, he cannot take care of the children when they were younger; so I stayed home for he neglected to call until it was time for me to leave. Yes, he knew ahead of time about the overtime, he just forgot to call.


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I disagree with every single thing Carla has said and would NEVER subject myself to a relationship like that.

I think it sounds like he is not even half way trying. Sounds like he's pretending to try because you are making him. My boyfriend walks faster than me too, but as soon as he realizes he has gotten ahead of me, he stops and waits for me, because it's the considerate thing to do. The OP has MS for pete's sake and he's not even waiting for her or concerned when she breaks her foot!! And a card that isn't signed?? I would be upset about that too. How hard is it to sign your name?

Lizzie, you teach people how to treat you, as others said. If you allow him to treat you like that, he will.


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I agree with Jennmonkey. Lizzie,it does sound to me like your husband isnt trying.I would be furious if my husband was in a cabin alone with his ex girlfriend...on top of not paying attention to you as well.


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Gotta admit I'd be very mad about the cabin with the old girlfriend thing...if it happened last month. But if it was like 20 yrs ago along with the other stuff, I'd let it go and wonder why you are dredging up stuff that is so darn old...How do you even remember him not letting you stop for something before you were married? Sorry, but when/if it's that old, it just seems like more nit picking to me.

And, did the fact that the husband works from 6-7 6 days a week (that is 78 hours a week!!!--did I read that right?) jump out at anyone else?...Wouldn't that just about make anyone fall asleep in a movie? How can you get mad at someone for being tired? My best friend fell asleep in a movie when she was pregnant and I felt bad for her, not mad at her.

I think the op is just overworked, sick, tired, and a little depressed and her husband is the easiest target to blame. I'm just not seeing any real abuse...thoughtlessness, maybe...but nothing to leave a husband over. Maybe a little vacation together would help sort out things. I really can't imagine any marriage being healthy if the OP is working as hard as she is (especially with being sick on top of it) and the husband is working 78 hrs. a week. There just is no time for them as a couple.

I do wish you luck, lizzie, and maybe your husband is a big a-h, but maybe he's just an average very hardworking guy who is just as tired and depressed about his life and your relationship as you are. Obviously if you are sure he is the one making you so sad, then you should think about getting rid of him, but I'm not so sure your husband is the cause of your problems and I'm not so sure your life would be any happier without him. Is he really making you unhappy or are you just unhappy that he can't solve all your problems and make you happy? There's a big difference.

p.s. I highly recommend an MS support group if you aren't already going to one (maybe he could join you sometimes) and maybe a pampering day for yourself every now and then. "You" need to fit in sometime for yourself too especially if your health is not up to par. As I'm sure you know, chronic illnesses can be very straining on a marriage, and cause much disappointment, but that's another post....Take care.


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Lets face it, raising a family, working hard, putting a roof over their heads, is hard work. Its relentless. The responsibility of having children can truly be overwhelming, at times. Driving them here and there, getting a meal on the table, its a whirlwind of cyclonic proportions at times !

As, mothers, and wives, we MUST look after ourselves.

Pampering occasionally, anything, as long as its something just for US.

We need to do this to recharge our batteries and be better at our parenting, spousal role.

Lizzie, please take some time out, you sound overwhelmed.

Take care.


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carla35 - Well, I agree with everything you said in your last post.

I hope things work out for you and your husband, lizzie - it sounds as though things are tough for both of you and you do need some special time together.


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There are times that my husband has worked 100 hours in a week. That still didn't make him an inconsiderate ass.


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"when I did work before we were married and he needed a way home from work and I was not allowed to stop my job when he needed, he got upset with me. He stayed out one night to 1am with the "friend" at a cabin an hour away, the "friend" that he dated before we met and were married. But if my friends ask me to a dinner and a movie, he cannot take care of the children when they were younger; so I stayed home for he neglected to call until it was time for me to leave. Yes, he knew ahead of time about the overtime, he just forgot to call."
passive aggression both times.

"He just forgot to call."

so it wasn't his fault, right?

These are perfect examples of what you can expect from this person forever & ever & ever.

It doesn't matter what you do or how much counselling you get, he isn't going to change:
This is the personality & the character of the person to whom you are married.

I'm so sorry, & I wish you well.


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RE: how to be treated

Holy Mother of ...

I think Carla's posts are just ... missing the point. This man has an emotional affair and now he's supposed to be trying to win his wife's trust back and to try to reconcile and heal the marriage.

So the counselor suggests a date and the wife ends up with a broken foot because her husband is literally leaving her behind AND she has MS? And didn't blink when the doctor said the foot was broken? Ugh - I bet he rolled his eyes in annoyance - that's how he treats the OP - like she's an annoyance!

Wow - I'm seething.

Come on. This man isn't trying - he doesn't care about the marriage and the OP doesn't deserve being treated this way.

Next time, I agree with Vicki - don't try to keep up. Let him do what he's going to do and you'll have your answer. You deserve better and right now, he isn't giving you that.

If this was a happy marriage, and he fell asleep in movies and left you behind while walking, you could possibly chalk it up to him being him - but he's being cruel. This is his 'win your trust back' behavior?

I would alert the therapist. I think soon you may want to look into divorce proceedings. To answer your question - yes you are teaching your daughters some unhealthy patterns.


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