Holding back.

I wanted to write something about my marriage, some kind of explanation for the comments I make sometimes about it.  The truth is that I don’t know how to easily explain what is going on.  We’re not fighting, but this is mostly because I have taken a step back, emotionally.

I was finding that my feelings of self-worth were hinging on how happy Mr. X was at any moment, and this is a dangerous place to be, but particularly when dealing with someone as, um, tempermental as Mr. X can be.  After our last fight, which was a couple of weeks ago, it felt like something broke inside me.  It seems that I can expect that if I open up to him, I find that eventually what I tell him will somehow get thrown back in my face.  There have been so many things–things we discussed about my family, old hurts from childhood, unhappiness about my job, grief about infertility–all thrown in my face as evidence of my brokenness, my instability.  So many things I opened up to him about, later used as a weapon against me.

I could analyze him and explain it and understand it, but I’m tired.  And since I stepped back, things have been a lot more pleasant.  I have not been quite as affected by him and his emotions.  I have ignored his moods (which oddly seems to often defuse them).  He would probably tell you that things are going pretty well.  Anyone looking at us would say that we seem to be doing great.

But I am so lonely.  In my desire for self preservation, stepping back from him has meant that I haven’t talked to him about what I’m really thinking or feeling most of the time.  He doesn’t know about this blog.  I don’t have a friend at home that I can talk to.  I miss the good parts of our relationship.  I just don’t trust him with my heart right now.

And I don’t know how to make it better.  He is so good at deflecting, at pushing the focus off of him and onto me.  He is so good at turning things around on me, making it about me and not him.

It’s not that I feel so angry about the things he has said to me (though I know anger is there).  It’s more that he has done damage to our relationship–and he doesn’t even know it.  He doesn’t even know how far away I am.


5 responses to “Holding back.

  1. Wow – you have just articulated so much that is my relationship with my husband! I do the same thing with him, where I try to talk about issues but then give up because of his reaction. I can’t tell you how many times he has summarized an issue as being entirely my fault because I am broken, not normal, had a dysfunctional childhood. I don’t have any advice at all other than perhaps counseling, which is what I am going to try next. I don’t think it is healthy for us to live in this state, to be in a place where our happiness is subjugated to theirs. (And that seems to be what happens when I just let things go and act like there is nothing wrong.)

    It would be great if we lived nearby so we could talk to each other and support each other. But we can do that through the interwebs, too. I’m listening, I believe in you, I love your writing and I think you’ll figure this out.


  2. I second Victoria. If you need to talk, I’m here. I have been where you are, and sometimes go back there! Marriage is a struggle, and IF doesn’t help.

    Hang in there.


  3. I third the motions above…can you even do that? My marriage has had its share of ups and downs and this IF path really can break you down. You know, maybe your DH not knowing about the blog isn’t such a bad thing. Mine is aware of it and has said that he thinks I’m “getting worse” because I’m always reading about other girls’ issues. Meanwhile, I’ve never felt stronger. I just think men REALLY are from Mars.
    Plus, maybe your husband is feeling low about the whole IF thing too. For a long time, I never even thought about how my husband’s feelings about infertility factored into things…but after talking with him, he’s hurting just as much. Usually his frustration comes out in anger.
    Ugh, men…can’t live with ’em or without ’em. Well, actually, maybe we can. Thanks to all of the ART procedures, we really don’t need a man around. 🙂

  4. I’m so sorry. The strain that IF puts on a marriage is a big deal, and very difficult. You are in my thoughts.

  5. That is a heck of a lot of stress to be living in. You know, single women who become single mothers by choice (ahem – like yours truly) talk a lot about mourning the dream of marriage, and I think that we often forget that reality is nothing like the dream. I really hope things get better for you.

    And FWIW, I think we are all a little broken, a little dysfunctional, but I also think that to tell another person that they are broken or dysfunctional is borderline abusive. It certainly isn’t fixing anything, only causing more hurt.

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