Some progress (but I'll leave hope for another day)

Hi.  Here are some things I've done that have helped me and some ways I've interacted differently with my husband lately that seem to have been improvements.

1) Doing fun things on my own. I've been watching movies on DVD from the library and watching things on TV that I like.

2) Buying a few things for myself.  I got a cellphone (yep, my first one; just for emergencies, really, but still).  I also bought an iPod shuffle to keep me distracted during an upcoming flight; I'm a fearful flyer.

3) Trying to find a compromise between my husband's absolute avoidance and denial and my "we must deal with this issue" assertiveness.  I said that I'd limit my airing of problems to 15 minutes per night -- when he's at home -- which is only 3 nights per week.  This gives my husband a break from the sometimes late-in-the-evening "heavy" conversations and forces me to focus and decide what I really want to get off my chest and onto the table.

4) Being direct about problems (see 3) above).  For example, my husband didn't respond to any email messages I sent him this weekend that concerned a task he volunteered and promised to do.  (Situations in which his failure to do a chore balloon into a disagreement that allows him to focus on my nagging and bad communication are common around here.) After two days of no response to my two messages ("Did you do such and such..."), I started getting upset.  Today, I made a succinct list of how the situation had unfolded (i.e., "I sent you an email."  "You didn't respond."  "I sent another email."  "You didn't respond again." and so on down the line, all 13 steps spelled out in a total of 100 words or less). I asked him to read the list this evening and then I explained that if he had responded to my question after the first time I asked, 9 of the 13 painful steps could have been eliminated.  Then I asked him to talk to his therapist about this issue (inability/unwillingness to see when he's setting up a little problem to turn into a big one).  Then I changed the subject to something more chatty.  

5) Not being snarky when making requests.  Tonight, he offered to vacuum at 10 p.m.  I asked him to respect my schedule (liking quiet at bedtime) rather than his (not doing anything in the morning before he leaves for his part-time job at 11 a.m.) and do the vacuuming in the morning.