Great guy...not so great husband

Hi to everyone...I am new to this site. A few months ago I began a blog on blogspot called waiting for the breakthrough (I don't think even 1 person has gone to it yet!) to help me deal with what I thought was my H's workaholism. We've been together 20 yrs and It's been up and down. H is a decent guy in that he is not abusive or mean. In fact, he can be too nice - saying yes when he means no, making promises he does not keep, etc. He promises the world and then forgets about it. He works in the entertainment business and people are always asking for an in somewhere or an intro to someone and he always says sure, no problem, but it doesn't happen. Anyway...the more I read about workaholic tendencies, the less H fit the mold. Then I found this site and things started to make sense. there is no chance H will ever go for evaluation, so I'm doing nothing more than armchair diagnosis here, but just to have an idea of what drives this man is a godsend. I wrote H an email last night and sent it off. I just laid out how I feel and how I don't want to live like this anymore. H travels a lot and has a schedule that rules his life. I stopped complaining yrs ago when his job meant missing birthdays, graduations, a surgery I needed, etc. I am not one to hide my feelings and have never made a secret of how his behaviors hurt me and our family, but he externalizes it all. In his mind he's mr. Wonderful & gets upset when I point out issues. He rolls over my conversation (when he's listening and not staring at his phone) and when I complain he says I don't know how to have a conversation; I just monologue and if he didn't interrupt and finish my sentences he would never get a word in. On the other hand, he interrupts everyone else too, so we must ALL suck at conversation! He has created a life for himself where he can work his work & contribute nothing else to the family. I literally have done it all since the beginning and am thankful the boys are old enough now to take over some of the work. I also work 25 hours a week from home. For yrs I carried a lot of guilt and self-loathing because of my feelings. I have kept a journal for 25 yrs and when I read over the older books I can see how H's behaviors have been there all along...attentive boyfriend, charming, says the right things...then marriage and children and the attention withers away, the partnership dries up...I had no idea that spending 20 yrs with a man would lead to feeling more alienated and lonely than being alone. I internalize things and read all the books and "worked on myself" thinking that if I became super wife and super mom he could not help but find me irresistible. Ha! Last week 'we' were watching football and i tried to make conversation but he was busy with his phone...facebook, email...right before halftime I said, "I'm talking but you can't hear me, can you? I'm talking but you can't hear me. I'm not in the room with you, am I?" no response. I went upstairs to watch the rest of the game alone. I asked him to walk our older dog because I had overdone it when taking out the younger one. He said yes at 8 a.m. And at 3 pm there I was walking the dog because H never got around to it. Multiply these examples by 1000 and you have a very unreliable husband. He half painted the kitchen 3 yrs ago and left all the paint and tools outside for 4 months until I cleaned it up. he does this with all his projects...he either does it half way and/or leaves all the tools and materials out until I clean them up. His half way yard work cost $1800 to fix. When he cooks for himself he leaves everything out and gets upset because I tell him to clean up his dishes. Well, I'm done ranting. I'm not angry anymore. I'm tired. I'm worn out from this. It's liberating to know that I'm not ultimately responsible for H's behavior, but it also makes me sad because the chances of him altering his behaviors is nil, and like I said, I don't like ramen. I do believe that my husband loves me in his own way. And the idea of living in a studio apartment without health ins, eating ramen does not appeal to me, but I would rather BE alone than FEEL dismissed and forgotten.

So sorry for what you have

So sorry for what you have gone through and for such a long time. I have read many similar stories and I wish I had a workable solution for you. I think you said that you have read all the books, does that mean you read melissa's book too. It really opened DH's eyes. It didn't blame him or put him in the hot seat. I would definitly recommend that for your DH. It does seem to be a solo journey if your spouse doen't understand or doesn't want to understand. Unfortunately, it all seems to come down to what we are willing to do and how long we choose to use the same coping measures that haven't helped us at all. We need to make the change. It's for our own well being, but if your tired and worn out like I am, then it may take quite a bit longer to figure it all out. I still am processing... Keep reading and i hope you find something good here to help you get through the rough ride we all seem to be on.

After 20 years together, I am

After 20 years together, I am assuming that you have no plans to leave this man (as also indicated by your references to not wanting to eat ramen and live in a studio apartment).  I am basically in the same boat with a spouse of 15 years that I have no intention of leaving because of our children and my own unwillingness to start my life over in middle age.  What I am in the process of doing right now may sound counterproductive, but you might try it.  I am adopting the Zen attitude of detachment from this relationship so that it's many failures no longer have the power to hurt and disappoint me.  If I know I am not leaving, the next step is to accept that this is what I've got and to figure out a way to move forward toward my own happiness regardless.  For me that means cultivating relationships, interests, and activities outside the home that bring me companionship, pleasure, and connection so that the lack of these at home is not so painful.  Above all, do not isolate.  Since he has always traveled, I assume you have a certain level of independence anyway, and that you have cultivated the habit of meeting your own needs at least to some degree over the years anyway.  A very good friend of mine went to marriage counseling with her husband and at the first session, the counselor looked at them and said "What you basically have is an  in-house divorce", meaning that they continued to live together, but had emotionally checked out of the marriage years ago.  Sounds sad and many people could never understand why anyone would live that way, but it beats the constant disappointment of hoping and expecting and wanting somethng that is very unlikely to ever happen.   Good luck and many blessings to you.

 

How do you do that?

I've been trying to go Zen on all this.

 

No expectation of follow through. No expectation of attention. I've tried to cultivate interests away from him and REALLY thought I hit upon a couple. But he 'tags along' and now those circles of MY friends are HIS friends. And because he's such a "fun guy" and I'm always haggard and lacking in mental and emotional resources, thus not so fun... they like him better.

 

So my Zen gets interrupted. Story of my life, right! LOL!

 

And how is it that he doesn't interrupt all those other people who think he's fun but interrupts ME all. the. time.

 

Sorry for the hijack. Just looking for a way to get through this thing.