I start my post with this statement: I love my husband. A lot. This is not in question.
Okay, we got that out of the way, right? So now for the rant.
Hub and I went out to dinner tonight, which is a rare thing for us because of my wheat/gluten issues. There are a few restaurants we still go to, most of which offer gluten free options that I can pick from. Pretty much 90% of those places will end up offering you a plate of food without any seasoning, gravy, sauce…flavor. The food is plain and bland. I find it offensive to go out and pay for food like that, so my preference is to stay home. The only place I go to that does not specifically offer gluten free options is a local BBQ joint that has beef ribs on the menu. I’m a sucker for beef ribs. I try to eat the same thing every time I go there, and I always end up getting flushed and uncomfortable, but it’s manageable. I don’t even tell Hub that I’m getting a reaction, because he is so happy there is a place for me to eat beef ribs, I can’t spoil it for him.
That was totally a tangent. So we went to dinner, made a stop after dinner, then we were in the car heading home. Among conversation, up came the topic of my therapy. Not PT, but my mental health therapy. And I said to him, “Do you see a difference in me?”
Dead fucking silence. We have been through this conversation before, but this time I didn’t let him out of it so easily. I said, “Seriously, you don’t notice any difference in me?” His comment was, “I thought you said you didn’t think she was helping you that much.”
Seriously, after telling him I’d never said that, I clamped my mouth shut and stared out the window. And I brooded. Hard. When we got home, we went about our evening routine and I said nothing to him. I got into the shower and I was really thinking about it. And I came to a realization…
He thinks that me being in therapy should fix the things he thinks are wrong with me. (I couldn’t even figure out how to emphasize that statement properly!)
I know that Hub thinks I get angry too quickly sometimes, and that I am hard on him. He thinks that I am unable to compromise. He thinks that I should be equally as affectionate as he is and accept every bit of affection he gives me at every time he wants to give it to me, in every way he wants to give it to me***. (Again, this isn’t about complaining about my husband or our relationship, I’m just going over some of his complaints about me.) He thinks that I attack him about money. He thinks I nag him about things that need to be done. I’m sure there’s more and if I sat long enough I would come up with all of it. That isn’t really the issue here. The issue is, he figured that my going to therapy would fix what he perceives are the problems I have. In fact, a lot of those problems stem from his reactions to me. I used the word “perceived” because both he and I are well aware that he has overly sensitive reactions to a lot of things I say and do. He will admit to this quite readily, but he has decided that he does not want to see a therapist and/or work on those issues in any way. That doesn’t make me happy, but I can’t force him to do something he doesn’t want to do…all I can do is work on myself. So while I’m working on myself and the things I can do better (and be better), his responses to me and his perceptions have not changed. So he perceives this as me not changing.
See how that works?
I’m so disappointed. I don’t even know how to address this with him, or what to say. I’m disappointed that he sees none of the changes or progress I’m making. I can’t make him see it, and I can’t fix his perceptions. So I’m stuck feeling like he’s looking at me like I’m standing still, in the same place I was prior to starting therapy (intensely) in January 2013. I feel like I’ve made a ton of progress…my therapist has said similar things. And yet the person I live with every day, who loves me to no end, sees none of it because of the “colored” glasses he wears. It makes me want to cry.
Up to this point, I have not once resented the fact that I’ve spent so much time trying to feel better…that I’ve worked hard to deal with my anxiety, my fears, my grief, my guilt, control issues…and that he’s not done one thing to help himself. I’ve focused on what I can do, which is make myself better. Now? I am resentful and hurt. And I feel lost. And angry.
I will work to remind myself that I can only make changes in myself. And remind myself that I love my husband and he loves me. Even if he doesn’t see the changes I’ve made, he still loves me…and although to some extent that makes me sad, it also tells me exactly how much he loves me.