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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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My husband ignores my existence. He knows I am angry with

Resolved Question:

My husband ignores my existence. He knows I am angry with him, but never tries to talk out things. He just functions in a detached manner. I stopped begging for respect, time and attention. I have distanced myself because I do not want to lower my self esteem anymore. In fact, I don't enjoy my time with him anyway. He is emotionally detached from himself. For years, I begged for attention. When I get it, I don't enjoy his company.
I am grappling to accept his limitations but..... Despite the fact that he is limited, why is he ignoring my existence? Is it a deliberate form of control?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 4 years ago.

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Expert:  Norman M. replied 4 years ago.

As to why he behaves as he does, it is impossible to say with any certainty without having seen him. It may be an attempt at control, or it may be that he just has problems facing up to issues that are difficult for him. Try to find out if that is the case, and if so encourage him to seek treatment so that he can talk things out. If that fails, you have to try a different approach.

In order for things to improve, your husband needs to understand with total clarity what his behavior is causing you to feel. No gentle hints here - right on the chin. It must NOT be done in an aggressive way, but firmly, and not in a blaming way. It's important to separate the behavior from the person. Make sure he understands that while you love him, his lack of affection are very hurtful, and in fact, are not going to be tolerated.

We humans only indulge in behaviour that brings reward of some kind. Only when that reward (whatever it might be) disappears, or the consequences of our behaviour promise to be unpleasant do we consider changing what we do. Therefore, you have to give him reason to change. Until you do, ther is no prospect of him changing.

Here is the clue to sorting things out. When you are faced with non-co-operation – give him choices, and make sure he understands the consequences of his choice – and always follow through.

Begging got you nowhere – so it is time for some tough love. Tell him that if he continues to shut you out, there will be consequences – no laundry done for example, no meals cooked and so on. Something that will make him stop and think.

He needs to understand too that his continuing in the way he has may put the entire future of the relationship in danger, and sadly, you need to ask yourself if you want to spend the rest of your life like this.

I think you also need to make it very clear, and commit yourself to this, that in talking over your mutual problems, you will not let the discussion deteriorate into a blame and accusation session – that is vitally important. It is equally important that he understands why you need to talk, and that what you want is a good relationship, not just to hash over your differences.

Stay calm, remain objective and avoid drama, but stick to your guns.

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