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It's always me, NEVER him.

Okay, been married 4 months tomorrow (yip-pee). I have my own issues; I've been diagnosed as bipolar by my psychotherapist. I've been diagnosed with depression in the past (several episodes), but have finally found a doctor that will confirm what I've pretty much suspected all along (the bipolar). So, I'm on meds for that, and anyone who's had a mental illness knows that meds don't work the very day you start taking them-they take time. You didn't develop the illness overnight, and it can't be cured that way. I've told my therapist that I've had the extremly angry episodes that set me off, to the mood swings where I won't eat and feel like crap all day. I've told him that my H has had to deal with these moods in the past, and admit that I do get angry (like want to punch the wall angry) at him for little things (to him), like leaving dishes in the sink when the dishwasher is 3 inches away (big, blow-up things to me). I know that's my problem-and I'm doing the best I can to work on it. For example: I work a job that isn't 9-5, with Th/Fri off. I don't have a M-F job like my H where I get to sleep in on the weekends like him. (Weekends are earlier hours for me). On my days off, I run errands, clean up, do things like that. He's said in the past that I can ask him to do things if I need him to, so I wouldn't always have to. So I did. I asked him to go to the grocery store so I could have things for my lunches during the week. He didn't go for 4 days. Why didn't I go myself? He would tell me before I would go to work "I'm going today." Why didn't I go anyway after the 2nd day? Beats me. I guess I have something called faith. Was I pissed? Yes. Does it seem like something to be pissed about? Maybe. When he needs me to run an errand, I do it that day or the next. I just like getting things done when people ask me. Next thing: I wake up earlier on the weekends for work. I ask him to make my lunch for me (just to save me time, and I try to make his lunches for him during the week). 2 days for me, 5 for him. He stays in bed, saying "yeah, I will here in a minute." That turns into 15 minutes, and guess what? I have to go to work. Do I get mad? Yep. He doesn't get the (my) logic as to why I get upset. After we got married, I quit making his lunches and breakfasts for him because I was sick of never getting a 'thank you,' never getting the favor returned, and tired of it! He gets pissed as I-don't-know-what and tells me that since the wedding, I quit doing that because I 'got what I wanted.' So, I picked it back up (after explaining all of the above), and have asked him a few times to do the same for me. After I get mad, I try to cool myself down and then explain to him calmly why I was upset. It always turns into him saying "I can't do anything right, I don't know what you want from me, I don't know why I try, I give up, I can't make you happy, I f*ck up and you blow up, etc." I already admitted that I have a problem and am getting help for it. He turns it into "You get angry and have an attitude for 3 days, and if I don't do something when you want it, how you want it, I just can't do anything right!" I feel like he's playing the victim role here, and almost like he's throwing the BP back in my face, like since I'M the one with the problem, it's MY fault for everything that goes wrong in our relationship. I'm not saying he doesn't have valid points. But when his bad attitude is MY fault, then anything and everything is all my problem, not his.

Re: It's always me, NEVER him.

  • He's not a go to guy.

    And he was like that before you married him. I have no idea what could change that.

    The 2 of you could benefit by going to joint counseling.  There's a communication problem here --- and perhaps you can look into anger management therapy for yourself.

     

  • Many of the things you're saying resonate with how I felt a year ago. I'm bipolar, but have been on meds for a decade. I still have lots of coping skill improvement to go, so I'm still doing personal therapy to work on dealing with my emotions and mood swings in constructive, kind, ways. I was being pretty crazy with my fiance without realizing how much that impacted our communication and interaction. He had been living a...less proactive life than I do before we got together. Lazy isn't the right word because he'd do things that needed to be done, but I am much more proactive about running errands, cleaning, keeping up with things, etc. It made me CRAZY that he didn't seem to care about any of that and I did it all. In reality, I was doing way more than him because it annoyed me and I wasn't communicating well. I was letting my emotions run the show and that wasn't good for either of us.

    Time passes, we talk more, we work on our communication, and we've created an environment where we can address these frustrations MUCH more coherently. To make that work he had to care! If your guy doesn't really care (deep down) this does't work. But if you can talk to him about how frustrated you are. What your expectations are. What his are. How he'd like the day to go (lunch? no lunch? does he care? etc) If he sucks at remembering things make him lists. I thought that was a stupid and infantile idea at first, but my FI can't read my mind. If I'm annoyed that he hasn't done X chore and I say it but he forgets, I get ANGRIER! His brain doesn't work like mine. So we made him a TODO list, and we both put things on it. I don't abuse that! I put things on when we've talked about, or I make sure he has the time to do the things I've asked, but it helps him to have a place to look for reminders of what I"m hoping he'll do. Then he can help better. I'm happier. He's happier. I'm not angry anymore! He's MUCH happier.

    I don't want to imply we're perfect. I feel overwhelmed by it all sometimes, but the calmer I am about talking and being kind, the more effective I am at making change. If you aren't there yet, do some therapy to help you ride your emotions, and consider couples counseling to improve your general communication. It's REALLY HARD to make progress when one or both people are hurt, angry, closed off, resentful, shut down, etc. Progress comes from kindness, openness, a desire to learn/grow, and the genuine desire to help your loved one feel better (supported, loved, important, valuable, heard, etc) Good luck. Keep us posted. And be patient! Even 3 months ago I would have said my fiance is going to be childlike forever and never pull his weight around the house. Now I have a completely different view, but we worked HARD!

  • Pretty much agree with the PP about communication.

     

    I don't have too much to add, but what really stuck out to me is this expectation you have that he will return favors. If you think marriage is should be 50/50, you're already setting yourself up for failure. A successful marriage happens when both people give 100%, but expect 0% in return. This is more of mindset, so if your heart is not in it, then this will never work.

     

    In this regard, you sound like you are being vengeful. He doesn't make your breakfast or lunches, so you stop doing it for him. If you do 'X' for him, but he doesn't return the favor equally (see "2 days for me, 5 for him"), you stop doing it altogether. I get that it can be hard when it seems like one person is doing more giving, but it also takes one person to step up to the plate and set the example for another to change their own behavior.

    It sounds like you constantly beat him down for everything he doesn't do right or how you want it done. I would be upset too if my spouse constantly berrated me whenever I did something wrong. And if he's saying that he feels like he can't do right in your eyes or make you happy, you need to listen, because he's sending you a powerful message. What I read in those words is that he loves you, wants to make you happy, but it's as if he's at a loss over what to do. If you're still trying to learn how to control your anger and still blow up at the littlest things, then  I can see why he feels he's inadequate. He may even feel disrespected, so it may be worth having a conversation with him to see if that's the case.

    Do you give him praise or thank him when he does something you want or like, whether you asked him to do it or not? Try looking for little things that you think he is doing right, and thank him for it. If he's used to just getting negative feedback, but hearing nothing when he does (or tries to do) something right, then that may explain his position on the matter.

    Of course, there's always getting professional help. Have you talked to your therapist to see if your husband could sit in every once in a while and do a couples session? If your therapist is open to it, it may help you two learn how to better communicate while you're working through your own issues.

  • In this regard, you sound like you are being vengeful. He doesn't make your breakfast or lunches, so you stop doing it for him. If you do 'X' for him, but he doesn't return the favor equally (see "2 days for me, 5 for him"), you stop doing it altogether. I get that it can be hard when it seems like one person is doing more giving, but it also takes one person to step up to the plate and set the example for another to change their own behavior.

    Maybe before I would've called it vengeful, but when he told (yelled) at me that I quit doing x,y, and z, I told him it was because I was tired of being expected to do everything, and while I normally wouldn't mind, I appreciate a 'thank you' in return. I did point out to him that he's told me several times he's capable of doing all the things I do himself, and that I don't have to in order to make him/keep him happy. So it's like, damned if I do, damned if I don't.

    Do you give him praise or thank him when he does something you want or like, whether you asked him to do it or not? Try looking for little things that you think he is doing right, and thank him for it. If he's used to just getting negative feedback, but hearing nothing when he does (or tries to do) something right, then that may explain his position on the matter.

    We just had this 'discussion' (fight) last night. I told him 'thank you' a bajilllon times when he went with me to the grocery store last week. I was off that day, and he was off early the same day last week. I asked him to go because 1) I get bored, 2) I always do errands by myself on my day off and just wanted some company, and 3) though it wasn't much, I wanted to spend some time with him. I mentioned that, and he told me he hated going because 1) I didn't have a list (all I was getting was dog treats), 2) he was bored, and 3) that wasn't 'time together.' Time together to him is "watching a movie together, watching TV together in bed, going to the casino." Don't get me started on the last one. I told him over and over that he didn't have to go with me, and that he could've just said no. He replies that it's easier to go along with me and be pissed about having to do something he doesn't like to or wants to, instead of me being upset and then not talking to him for the next 2-3 days, which I wouldn't have done! I just wanted company and to spend some time together! So now, I don't want to ask him to do things with me or for me, because I think he'll secretly hate it and resent me, when I tell him he doesn't have to do anything. When I say I appreciate it, it's like it resonates with him that he's suffering and hates it, rather than being happy that he's doing something that makes me happy.

  • We had to do 3 sessions of pre-marital counseling with our minister before we got married, but we hardly touched on the issues of household responsibility, happiness, etc. I've mentioned couple's therapy before, and although I tell him I can work with his work schedule, or we can find someone who does weekend appointments, he never fully commits himself to it. The idea of it seems more appealing than actually going and getting things done. I do try to make him feel loved/valued/appreciated/accepted, but when I can't get that recognition back (I think), then it makes it harder to try and keep it up when I get nothing back. I'm not saying he has to bow down and kiss my feet, but when I tell him "good job on _____, you figured it out!," and here nothing when I say "I scored higher in ____ at work!," it's like, why bother?

  • awww honey. You've got a long way to go. Marriage isn't a battle. It isn't me vs. you. It's us vs. the world! If you really want to be happier start looking for ways to change your attitude. Otherwise you're just whining and recycling your own misery.
  • There is obviously a lot going on here, and it's so difficult to give all the right advice when 1) You can't speak to both people involved to get every version of the story, and 2) It's nearly impossible to have a good dialogue when you can't have a face-to-face conversation since emotions and body reactions play a huge role in communication.

    If you've been struggling with your bipolar for some time now, I'm wondering if it has had an effect on him and how he communicates or interacts with you. I can only throw out theories, and it would take at least a few sessions of counseling to know how things came to be (assuming your relationship wasn't always like this).

    He replies that it's easier to go along with me and be pissed about having to do something he doesn't like to or wants to, instead of me being upset and then not talking to him for the next 2-3 days

    If my husband said this to me, I would have told him that I would rather go on my own than be with him knowing that he'll just be pissed the whole time, even if he's not going to show it. If he's going to act that way, I don't want to be around him. He can think about what he said while I'm gone, and then we would talk about it later.

    So now, I don't want to ask him to do things with me or for me, because I think he'll secretly hate it and resent me

    Have you told him how his words and actions are making you feel? I only ask because you said "I think", which makes me wonder if you have communicated this to him.

    It sounds like there's a rift in how you two are communicating. I went through pre-marriage counseling twice (one with the pastor of the church we used, and again with our pastor who would be hosting the service), and they can't teach you effective communication. That takes time, and if you're struggling in this area, you may need professional help. Even if he doesn't go, you can still go for yourself and get some tips from a counselor. He may decide to eventually come with you if he sees the changes happening in you, or just gets curious and decides to see what it's all about.

  • Absolutely agree with the poster who said you must give 100% and expect 0% in marriage. When I read your initial post, you wanting a "thank you" stuck out to me as well. I quickly learned to not expect a thank you from my husband (even when I think I just might deserve one!), but I always thank him when he does something I like/notice. I lead by example...and have found that he follows. Even if I start a discussion (which would otherwise be a fight) calmly, he follows calmly into the conversation. Either make your H's lunches or don't, but do it because you love/care about him and want to show that, not because he'll make yours in return.

    DEFINITELY go get some marriage counseling. It's no big deal! My H and I found our premarital/early marital counseling to be fabulous and a great time to put our heads together to figure out how to enjoy each other every day. Just find a decent marriage counselor (personal referrals are best, I think), MAKE AN APPOINTMENT to suit both of your schedules, and really go attend. See what happens!

    Also, give yourself a break. You're managing a lot and will continue to manage a lot with your diagnosis and being newlywed. If your H is up for it, give yourselves a fresh start re: communication. If you mess up and fight, keep trying to do better going forward. When you need a time-out from a heated discussion...announce it and take one. When you feel that your H throws blame on you, don't throw it back. Just say that you accept responsibility (and the potential that you might be overreacting in the moment), but that you also have feelings about this that you want to discuss to be able to move on. You have to really be willing and able to resolve an issue, though, not just reel your H in calmly so that you can then unleash on him. It takes so much self-restraint...and I am still figuring it out, too!

    Good luck! Smile

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