My husband is confused. That much is obvious to me. Other than that, I’m really not sure.
He came by tonight to bring me the joint checkbook that he took from the house last week. He knocked. I let him in. He asked if he could use the computer to balance the checkbook (even though he had it for days, apparently he didn’t actually do anything with it). I said, sure. He went to the computer room.
When he had arrived I was in the middle of making myself dinner (it was about 6:30 pm). I went back to what I was doing, then asked if would like some roasted chicken or a glass of wine (both were sitting on the counter already). He said no, that he was fine. I carried on with my preparations, then took my dinner to the den and proceeded to watch The Family Feud.
Once the episode was over, and I had finished my dinner and been properly amused by the silly answers the contestants gave, I started putting things away. Mr. Mess was still in the computer room. I decided on a fudgecicle for dessert, and yelled back to ask if he wanted one. Again, he said no. That was fine with me because those are my favorite treats right now. I get the Healthy Choice sugar-free 100 calorie bars, so I don’t even feel bad about having ice cream.
I went back with my treat on a stick to see what was taking so long. He was still on the bank site. He finished up as I watched and told me that he had set up the new password in the computer system. He said it was the same one he had texted me, except he forgot to capitalize the first letter in his text (which makes a big difference). I said okay. He said he was going to head home and go to sleep. He picked up his mail and exited the house.
I have gotten used to his sullen mood and antisocial tendencies over the last week and a half, so I just let his behavior roll right off of me. A few minutes later I got a text that read: “I dont get you one day you dont want to have dinner with me then you invite me to have wine and dinner. You have done a good job confusing me.” I responded with, “That was before we talked & had the meeting with the therapist. You could have spoken to me while you were here which is really all I was trying to do. That & be kind.” I really don’t get it… He basically pretends I don’t exist while he’s here, then starts texting me when he leaves. Huh?
A few seconds later my phone rang. He said that he is “trying to follow the rules we talked about in therapy” by only talking when we are in a neutral location. That really isn’t how I interpreted things, but okay… We discussed in therapy about sitting down in a neutral place to have a conversation once a week, but we did not say that we should not talk at all outside of that once per week “date” (for lack of a better word). In fact, we discussed making sure to speak about any sensitive subjects or those that could be confusing by phone or in person rather than by text. It seems he was violating a “rule” in his quest to follow another.
I said that I am still more than happy to do that, he just hasn’t made an effort. He said that he is planning to set something up later this week, but he didn’t think we should talk at my house. I asked why he decided to come here today then. He said “to drop off the checkbook,” then said that he wants to spend as little time as possible at my house right now because he feels “uncomfortable” here. I questioned why he chose to come here and stay for 45 minutes then. He had some excuses about being tired, not having computer access at his house, not wanting to drive to the library to balance the checkbook, etc., etc. Again, they were excuses, not valid reasons.
He also said that he doesn’t understand why I would offer him something to eat or drink. I asked what he would rather I do – ignore him and be mean? He said no. Again, I just said okay…
I really don’t know what is so confusing about me being polite to him. I didn’t ask him for anything, I just offered some of the chicken that was already prepared. I didn’t even ask him to leave the room he was in. He said that he “doesn’t feel welcome” in my house and that I have made that “obvious”… I guess my friendly offer was somehow nefarious or had ulterior motives in his mind…? He said it was “implied” that I wanted him to sit and have a deep conversation with me, which he didn’t think was appropriate. Again…. huh? When I was noticeably confused by his answers he said that he must not know how to take me, or something like that. At least we were on the same page with that one.
I tried to see what he meant by what he was saying. More than once I asked him “In what way?” or “What do you mean by that?” in response to one of his vague statements. He would usually just repeat the last thing he said, like I had told him that I couldn’t hear him, not that I couldn’t grasp his thought-process. I know that move – it’s his way of shutting me down and stopping any conversation from going deeper than the shallow end of the pool.
In the end he said that he was feeling too emotional to have this conversation. I asked him how we are ever going to reconcile and have a real relationship if he runs away and hides every time he has an emotion. He said that he is not running away. I told him that I really don’t see what else this could be… He waits until he leaves to text me, then calls instead of speaking to me in person, then avoids any real conversation by saying we will talk “later.” The only problem is that “later” will never come – at least not if history is any indication. He has already said once this week that we would talk “later” about the anger that came out of nowhere this weekend. I think it’s probably clear that didn’t happen since he is barely speaking to me right now.
Tonight he has me wondering why he pushes me away anytime I try to be the least bit cordial to him. It seems that he has already decided that I am angry or bitter or want this marriage to be over. Anytime my actions don’t fit with this fabricated reality he doesn’t seem to know what to do. Or maybe it’s just that he is miserable and can’t stand that I’m not. Who knows…
What I do know is that I’m going to continue trying over the next 3 months. Whether he chooses to try as well is up to him. After all, that’s what this separation is all about. Will he step up or won’t he? That is the question at the moment.