Originally Posted by GalaGirl
You having anger or upset is human. Her wanting not to deal with you in this condition? Well, does your relationship agreement have the expectation of "each partner has the right to support and nurture in a appropriate ways from the other partner?" If so, it is understandable that you feel your emotional needs in the marriage are not being met. Because she's not meeting them, and she's not doing her partner responsibility of giving you the right to support and nurture.
Is it reasonable to expect this of her? You mention her condition and being a caregiver to her? My mom is dad's primary caregiver. He's our patient person now, and NO. He is not able. It is NOT reasonable to expect him to be a 100% health husband for her. It IS a one-sided relationship now. Mom learns to deal with this. I do not know the severity of your wife's mental issues. So I ask -- is she functional enough? If so, it is reasonable to expect things of her.
That's such a good point, something I can learn from also. My husband grew up in an emotionally repressive family. He still struggles to emote and to cope with the emotions of others. He's made a lot of progress, and I've found myself slipping back into assumed expectations instead of things we'd basically agreed to in the beginning of our relationship.
We moved away from my family about 4.5 years ago. That meant my support network was now 9 hours away. A phone call is not a hug.
It all came to a head recently. I told him that I need more support. He told me that he's doing his best, but that I knew when I met him that emotions were not his strong point, and that I'm expecting too much from him based on his capabilities. I realized that he was right, that my expectations had changed because our relationship
had grown... but that doesn't mean he
has kept pace.
And just like that, it's like a switch flicked in my brain. I suddenly didn't feel hurt or rejected that he wasn't being what I needed, because I realized that he couldn't. So I found other ways to get support. I remembered ways to help myself.
I've also found that sometimes I have to be explicit in the help I need. He's a problem-solver. If I tell him something is bothering me, he immediately starts looking for solutions. Sometimes, I just want him to assure me that doing bad on a test does not mean I'm a fuck-up as a student. So when I see that's where he's going, I try to cut him off and say "I don't need a solution. I just need reassurance." Once he realizes that, he says just what I need to hear.
I'm hearing where she made apology, but to me that is a process. Apology is just the first step she could make. Then you have to see if you can forgive, and are willing for her to make amends.
Have you communicated your willingness to forgive and what she must do to make amends clearly? If so, and she's giving that a lick and promise rather than serious consideration and action -- you could feel like you can't trust her with your emotional well being.
Yup. Also true. It's not uncommon for people to believe that apologizing is enough. Sure, you realize now that you fucked up. But what steps have you taken to make sure you won't hurt me again? In the absence of your amends and solid commitment to do better next time, what steps do I have to take myself to make sure I won't allow you to hurt me again?