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Dear Wendy

When I focus on myself, my husband says it pushes him away

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  • This topic has 8 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 6 days ago by avatarKeeks.
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  • #988266 Reply

    Hi all,
    I’ve been married for a few years, and recently the relationship has had some major issues. I will spare details, but I came to a realization that I was allowing some very important boundaries to be crossed. A few discussions were had, and lately I have been honoring myself and my boundaries. For the last 3 weeks, there hasn’t been any physical contact; I have expressed that I do not feel emotionally safe and comfortable in the relationship, and therefore I can’t feel physically safe and comfortable. I am also much quicker to call out bullshit, and respond to him coldly sometimes if I feel I need to protect myself from the conversation. I feel that his reactions are often not genuine, and when I feel that way, I don’t buy into the ingenuity. In doing all of this, my husband says that I am pushing him away. He harps on the fact that I am neglecting the relationship by focusing on myself. However, I see it as that I am working on myself to bring the best version of myself to a relationship – whether he wants to meet me in that healthier space or not. I am please asking for your advice on this situation, because I do think that both sides are valid. Is it selfish for me / am I sabotaging things by working on myself, yet not on the relationship? Should I work harder on the relationship, even if it means violating my own personal boundaries? Thank you in advance.

    #988376 Reply

    I think more context is desperately needed here. 3 weeks of no physical contact does seem extreme, but I also get the sense that you have your reasons.

    It does sound like you’re pushing your husband away, but the fact that you got to this point at all tells me he probably needs to be pushed away. I assume you didn’t just randomly wake up one day and decide “huh. I don’t feel safe anymore.”

    #988511 Reply

    Judging purely by what you wrote, why are you even in this relationship if you don’t feel emotionally safe?

    #988590 Reply

    You already gave us the context but now you want us to not consider it… however, even without it people are correctly deducing that something is seriously wrong here.

    So you’re working on bringing your best self to a relationship with an alcoholic abuser, because that will help fix it somehow? Because you think somehow you deserve the abuse, and if you can just somehow fix yourself, that will make it all ok.

    Do you hear yourself??? Do you see what you’re doing? There are other posters who do the same thing on here: write in continually with different versions of the story trying to get us to agree that there’s something they could fix. Already tried therapy and now clinging to a terrible, toxic, dead relationship because they’re afraid to leave. In your case I think you’re actually in danger.

    What does your personal therapist think?

    #988596 Reply

    And regardless, because I know you’ll tell me I don’t get it, I’m wrong about your motives… no, he does not have a valid point. At all. He’s the one who made you feel unsafe. He should feel remorse. He should be working his ass off trying to figure out what he can do to fix things so that you do feel safe. Instead he’s continuing to abuse you by deflecting on you and gaslighting your boundaries. Please please wake up.

    #988688 Reply

    If you don’t feel safe, you should leave him. He sounds like a total jerk, even with you leaving out all the details. If he wanted you to feel comfortable, he would obey whatever you asked of him. He’s not doing that.

    #988732 Reply

    I don’t see the context — abuse? alcoholism? Is that all in another post?

    #988746 Reply

    Yes, it’s in a series of other posts from a while back. I won’t link to them, but I’m so tired of this trend (e.g, “Tina.”)

    I get how hard it is to leave an abuser. I sympathize. But you’re a young, intelligent, strong woman and with the right support (and if you stop telling yourself a bunch of bullshit), you can move on from this and be happy. You are not safe with this man. You will never be safe with him. This is not your fault. He is messed up. It’s not fixable.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by avatarKate.
    #1008221 Reply

    Thanks for calling her out. Keep writing in. Maybe this is exactly what you continuously need to leave.

    Kudos for you at “putting yourself first”

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