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It hurts when your husband ignores you all the time around others

21 Sep 2018

Baby why are you so busy working on a computer, I need your time honey, let's go out and have fun, said my husband when I was working on a project.

Shalini, you are so unwell, why did you not tell me earlier.. Let me take care of you now... come sit with me and you won't do anywork. 

This was my husband with me. 

But this also was my husband with me...

He was seeing me visibly unwell. But he did not even ask me once. He was busy with his family, talking to them, discussing family matters. And he kept ignoring me for the longest possible time. 

He would not even look at what I was doing, nor miss me like he otherwise would...

Initially I thought that it was a short term thing and once I settle down in his family, gatherings and with people, his care and his need to be around me will arise no matter whether we are alone or with people... But that never happened.

Swinging from all attention on me when alone or when at a holiday or when outside to no consideration of even my presence or no need for me when around his family started breaking me. 

It filled me with jealousy, anger and a strange sense of emptiness. It also made me really worried and panicked for my future and whether my husband really loves me or just needs me when he is alone. It also made me wonder of what exactly is my position in his life. When he has his family, he does not need me, he rather completely isolates me... 

This was not a one day occurrence. It was a pattern which was only getting worse... 

From being the nicest man when alone with me, he used to act like I was not even visible when with people.

From being all caring, all the time around me, he would unconcerned.

I was addicted to his love and care and completely lack of it when around his family used to break my heart and me down.. .

And this started making me feel depressed, isolated, unloved, unimportant. We started having fights with each other and rather than seeing my point. he started blaming me for imagining things... 

Our relationship was all bitter now and I could not trust him anymore that he loved me.. I was constantly thinking about why he does  this to me, why I only mean to him when we are alone and what happens that he ignores me so badly when he is in and around his family... 

Our relationship was dying because of it an that is why is I started IWill therapy. with my husband... 

Both of us shared our side of the story and my husband said that I do not understand that its very natural for a person to get involved when too many people are around and that individual care to go down.... 

To this the therapist said, while I AGREE that when you are in a bigger group and all people who are those that you love, giving attention to one may be difficult. But we also need to see if this treatment, if this disconnect is fair and how it impacts the other person. 

So let's try an exercise for the next few days, your wife also will have flickering attention on you, some days she will be involved with you and on other days just like you get busy, she would and just see how it feels. 

And that's how it started. 

I was attentive towards him, always around him on some days and then on other days even when he wanted to be around me, irrespective of his feelings, I would ignore him and be busy in my own stuff. For one or two days, he was OK with this, but as 3-4 days passed, he got very irritated, he felt IGNORED and even insulted, confused of whether I was there for him or not and if I was, why did I change so frequently. THAT Feeling of isolation was taking a toll on him... He did not feel happy.. 

He felt cornered, he felt insulted, unloved and confused ,even though he knew this was an exercise of role playing and it was not reality, not reality of my ignorance towards him.. 

As we met for sessions again and my husband described that surely it becomes very hurtful, painful that your spouse is there for in some conditions and ignores you at other instances. 

But how do I change it.. Even when we have had fights on this issue, I still cannot help but this ignorance happens and its not that I don't love her.. Then why does this happen...

To this our therapist replied that there are two reasons for it. 

1. First is the social conditioning that a man must constantly prove that marriage has not changed his equations with his loved ones... And most men in marriages in Indian unconsciously and unknowingly over do this, to show that they are still theirs at the cost of their relationship with wife...

This fear and conditioning needs to let go. You need to come out of this proving your love for your family at the expense of your couple relationship and your wife's wellbeing... You have to consciously get past this fear... 

2. Getting carried away: When we tend to be with our families and a lot of people, we in the excitement ignore our spouse and their needs. This needs to be changed with reflection and understanding that while you are with your family and having a good time and a ball, your partner only has you and still need you for their wellbeing... 

We have to work so that these 2 things can get managed in your case. You can get out of this bias and fear of proving that you haven't changed at the expense of your relationship. Fact is that you have changed and you have a wife so proving something which is no longer  true is  a vicious circle which will disrupt your couple relationship. Second is if you are busy, you cannot forget that your spouse that provides you love and care and who you pamper too is still there....

My husband said that he is willing to work on these two aspects and change this to lessen the discord and hurt that this has caused me...

I am hopeful that I will have a husband who cares and loves me all the time, who does not leave me alone when I need him the most or make me fearful of my future, I am hopeful that this fear of abandonment will go. 

Shalini 

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Tags: #Depression #MarriageCounseling #IWillTherapy