There is no normal…


   

QUESTION:

I have been married 12 years and we have 4 children. My husband has never been empathetic or caring for others. He says we all need too much attention and a husband shouldn’t have to be emotionally supportive. He shouldn’t have to compliment the house or the dinner or my looks or outfit, etc.  He says those are all things I should do. After all, I don’t expect a pat on the back from him for brushing my teeth, why would I need attention from him on those things?  If I’m sick, I should go off and take care of myself and not complain or whine or ask him to just sit with me for a few minutes. He says that is selfish of me to want his time when he’s busy running his own company and dealing with people who are demanding from him all day. He doesn’t want to have to do that at home too.  I’m not the easiest person in the world to live with but I don’t know how much longer I can live in an emotional vacuum. I even do things on purpose he doesn’t like just to get some sort of reaction from him. I could disappear and he wouldn’t even think to care or notice until it inconvenienced him somehow.  Why do I care?  Why do I keep trying to change myself into someone he’ll approve of and like and want to be around?  He told me he’ll have sex with me if I ask. He’ll hold my hand if I ask. He’ll go to a movie if I ask but don’t expect him to initiate it. He says I’m the one with the problem and normal husbands don’t do what I expect him to do for me.  Basically, he wants to eat what he wants when he wants, work out, never be challenged or criticized, never questioned about his actions or responsibilities, and to do what he wants with no interruption or expectations from him.  He says it’s selfish of me to expect anything from him.  Not getting attention makes me want it more which makes him mad and move further away which makes me want more attention, etc.  How do I break this cycle?  Thank you for listening and I will take your advice seriously to heart.

   

ANSWER:
Your husband is actually mistaken. Most guys do the things you ask while not perfectly they still know that they should treat their wife with some respect. As to what you should do, I think that you still need to treat your husband with respect and show him love. Those are the vows that you made when you married and you continued to have children with him even though he treated you this way. I bet that he has some major stress in his life that he is unwilling to deal with. His unwillingness gets taken out on you and probably the kids. This is unfortunate. I would suggest you seek out some counseling and if he is not willing to go then you should go and find different ways to support him in his stress.

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