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Monday, January 19, 2009 Sangeeta, Community Member, asks

Q: My husband has a habit of shutting me out for months when he feels out of control or has a problem.

It has been going on in our 24 years old relationship and we are 48 years and 50 years old. It has been so repetitive that I feel insulted and do not try anymore to draw him out. It seems insignificant what the issue is as the behavour is the same - he moves to another room moves his clothes out - all can see including children, house keepers etc.

I used to try and bring him around earlier but now I leave it be yet I feel its a very unhealthy atmosphere. i sent my kids to study abroad but it certainly must affect them. its almost as if he is punishing me - I feel insulted and very alone. Needless to say he is  no help in life and in any area as he is always busy nursing his own issues. I have been taking medicine for anxiety over two years dealing with this. he wont see any one as he thinks he has no problem. I am much better now with my anxiety attacks just tired with this.



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Answers (5)
Merely Me, Health Guide
1/19/09 10:41am

Hello Sangeeta


All across the world right now I believe that this scene is being re-enacted in marraiges and relationships everywhere.  Women absolutely engage in this sort of behavior too but it seems it is a coping mechanism that a lot of men do employ when feeling stressed or depressed.


When you think about it...most women would say that when they are stressed or depressed...our first instinct is to reach to friends...join a support group, etc.  Whereas a lot of men are taught to keep their emotions to themselves and not appear needy or vulnerable.  For a lot of is really hard to open up and even harder to admit they are having a problem.  One solution is to retreat and re-energize.


I am going to recommend that you read some of the John Gray books about relationships.  Here is a link.  I know some people criticize his books because they feel he is sexist or stereotyping the sexes but honestly...there may be some truth to how we are. 


He talks about men needing to go into their "cave" in order to cope with stress.  They don't want to talk.  They want to think and be by themselves.  To we...who are left behind...this feels like rejection.  But it really isn't most times.  But the more we try to barge into the "cave" or get explanations or sharing...the more they retreat even further.  Makes you feel angry and like giving up.


But maybe just accept that there will be these times...and when he is more himself and wanting to talk...then you can move in to share things or even ask if he may need some help.


My advice is...give him space as he needs it.  You cannnot change him...only yourself.  Take that time and energy and devote it to you!  Do good things for you during those with friends...get out of the house and do something fun.  Increase your own personal happiness as you are not responsible for his happiness...he needs to find that for himself. 


Know that I am not a therapist...I am just coming from my own life experiences here. 


Good luck to you and I do thank you for your question.

pepsi3233, Community Member
5/ 7/09 10:11pm

Excellantly put, I was raped at work 15 yrs ago by 5 men where my husband was a departmental manager. I would have expected him to be with me in love and tenderness to this day but there was only so much of my depression that he is able to take. We hardly do anything anymore together except watch an occasional T.V program together. Instead of him retreating into his cave he send me to my room and when I want to talk to him about our relationship he draws inward and refuses to talk to me. He says I bitch moan and complain but I am not doing that...this is his own opinion. I believer you never go to bed angry and he does that all the time. I am from an abusive childhood from my mother and he knows that and he does just what she did to get me more depressed he screams at me. He was labled as being very verbally abusive to me and ordered to go to rage therapy, he attended 3 meetings and that is it. Sometimes I want out of all of this but I can't cause I am mentally and physically ill and suffer from sever life threating illnesses and need the insurance.




psychoward1, Community Member
1/19/09 11:32am

Hang in there Sangeeta. Sounds like you are getting a little frustrated. I can understand your feelings from the other side. Being a man I would could only love a woman more that would let me shut her out every once in a while so I can work things out in my own darkness. Sounds like you could really use someone to talk to. It really doesnt do any good to keep things bottled up inside. Makes us question ourselves and the next thing you know we are taking medicines to relieve our symptoms. I love the fact that my wife is so patient with me and my issues. I used to push her away too. I was really lucky that I had a counselor to help me work thru everything. I just wish that economically she(counselor) could have stayed with me. She was such an amazing person, the way she helped get my feelings out in front of me and kept me anchored to the ground in such a dark times. She made me feel good about myself and I dont think I would be here today if I didnt open up to her and have her involved in my life. It actually became quite addictive to have her to talk too because it made me feel so good to have someone there that could tell me that no matter how bad I felt about anything or anyone, that I was still a beautiful human being.


So find yourself a counselor or therapist that you will talk to and stop letting things gravitate back to where you are. We all need to talk to someone and there is so much to gain from doing it.



pepsi3233, Community Member
5/ 7/09 10:21pm

Hi Pat:


You heard the saying that a therapist is a very expensive friend, didn't you? I have been seeing my therapist for 10 yrs now. He was great when I first started with him but he is now 68 yrs old and barely can remember what I told him 3 months ago. I know he has alot of patients (people he sees), but I feel he should keep a record of his meetings and write down what we say and then review it before I see him. I spent 10 yrs with him as I stated earlier in this message so I don't have the strength to start over with someone again. I have been beaten into the ground verbally by my husband and I get no love at home.


Good Luck to you

I wish you Happiness


fifi, Community Member
1/21/09 1:52am

Hi there sangeeta. I can totally sympathise with you. Your sharepost could have easily have been written by myself. I have been married to my husbnd for twenty one years and sometimes I just feel like giving up. We can be laughing and joking one minute, and the next He,s completely shut me out and I dont know what I've said or done. Sometimes I'll make a harmless remark and he will storm up to our bedroom in a mood. I allways feel like i'm treading on eggshells. I am also on medication for anxiety and stress and they seem to be helping a little.

I am so glad that you wrote in because the answers that you have received have helped myself too.   Good luck and thanks once again for putting into words exactly what I wanted to say but couldn't as well as yourself.

AKAK, Community Member
3/ 2/09 9:02pm

Hello Sangeeta, I know how you feel. I've been with my husband for almost 19 years. I feel like i'm alone all the time. I can't talk to him about any thing at all. When I do, he makes me feel like I shouldn't be talk to him at all.  We have 3 girls and sometimes he gets them against me by making me look like the bad guy. I feel like he has no respect for me at all. He gets mad when i talk to anyone. I Have only 1 friend. Everyone that became my friend he was rude to. The friend I have now, I will not let him meet her. He gets jealous when i go to work. He is also controlling when it comes to the girls. I have no say on anything pretty much. Everything i do with them is wrong. I don't want to be home half the time.

pepsi3233, Community Member
5/ 7/09 9:58pm

Hello Sangetta:


I am suffering the same thing from my husband. I suffered depression after I was raped by 5 men at work. My husband was a big wig at the company so I didn't want to quit my job before this happened because it would make him look bad . The situation that led to the rape is a very long story and I don't want to bore you since you have alot of depression yourself. We have been married 32 yrs. When the attack first happened (for the first 5 years he was so helpful and understanding and loving. Men tend to do a 360 degree turn with their emotions. My husband now doesn't wan't anything to do with my depression and has become very verbally abusive. He never ever says I love You or kisses me anymore. I have a son from my first marriage and he think my 2nd husband is a God in his eyes and this husband would never do such a thing to me.


The reason I am telling you this is to let you know you are not alone dear and my heart really goes out to you. Good luck dear I will be with you in wishes and understanding



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By Sangeeta, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/05/13, First Published: 01/19/09