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WH thinks he can never be the husband I want

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MissMovingOn posted 10/11/2013 13:30 PM

Brief background: Multiple OW over at least four years including as recently as this summer. WH moved out in June but we've still been trying to work on things. He's going to IC, but primarily for anger management which is the main reason we separated in June but of course the A issues are a significant concern and impacting everything. General ongoing disregard for how his actions impact me. He says his IC says that he feels that he is demonstrating remorse in his words but that I'm not "feeling" it because he has a flat (blunted?) affect. Regularly says that he has no idea what I need or what I want from him despite me telling him over and over which has left me feeling totally disregarded.

Several "crisis" issues lately: His continuing use of porn due to not thinking that it is a "problem" that I should have any input in, travel with a female coworker that I feel he has engaged in at a minimum an EA with and his inability to understand my reaction to that, etc.

He told me last night that he thinks that he just isn't capable of being the husband that I want and that he's not sure if it is because I have unrealistic expectations, if he is just "self-righteous", or if we just have completely differing views of what fixing the M should look like. I told him I don't think I have unrealistic expectations and that it's probably a combination of the latter two. He feels like "this is never going to end" because he isn't capable of figuring out how to do the right things for our marriage and for me.

I feel like he's giving up and I'm not sure what, if anything, I should do about it. I've always been the one to suggest things for him to read, try to find ways to keep him positive when he gets self-deprecating, etc. but now I'm wondering if I should just let him go if this is where his head is at?

mysticpenguin posted 10/11/2013 14:54 PM

You have done all you can on your end. If he is incapable of stepping up to become the person you need, well, then sadly this may be the end of the road.

I would tell him that you are willing to save the marriage and have done an awful lot to that end, but it takes two, and if he continues to disregard your clearly stated needs, then you will be forced to consider a future without him.

He should not be ready to give up this soon, and when you are telling him what you need. He needs to be woken up.

(((((Hugs)))))

headdesk posted 10/11/2013 15:24 PM

Yeah, that sounds pretty luke warm and passive. It isn't something he can be like that on. He could do it if he wanted to...what you are asking isn't unreasonable. He's just choosing it.

I babied my husband along for years, again telling him what he should do, read, etc. It really disempowered him. Now I've given him clear cut expectations and boundaries and it's up to him to figure out how to get there. He's putting in that work. It is better for me and for him.

GabyBaby posted 10/11/2013 15:27 PM

My XWH also gave me the "I'm not the man you need me to be" and the "You deserve a better man than I am" speeches.
What it really meant is that he was still sleeping around and wanted me to feel pity for him instead of anger.

If I were in your shoes, I'd take him at face value and believe what he is telling you. He is telling you that he cannot/will not be the man you need.

OldCow18 posted 10/11/2013 15:34 PM

WH also has anger issues and a need to be right. Sigh. It all came to a head for us the day he told me he wasn't sure if he was 100% committed to this marriage because he needs to focus on his own sh/t and that maybe he's not a "relationship type person". This came after 3 months of half-assed R on his part. At that moment, as calm as can be I felt done and said he needed to leave the house by the end of the weekend and we were going NC. I felt GREAT. A weight was lifted and the clarity I gained being alone was amazing. I realized I had been driving the ship for those 3 months and I was DONE doing that. It was up to HIM to fix this mess HE created. The whole vibe in the house changed and I was more productive and focused.

The time away scared the crap out of him and he realized what his life would be like without me. After 2 days he was asking to come back, he had revelations, etc. he was now ready to do whatever it took to fix this. I let him come back after 5 days.

Although we are still struggling, at now only 4 months out, there have been major changes in him...and me. The dynamic has changed and that has been a very good thing for us.

Since your WH has already moved out, I would suggest going NC with him. Let him stew in his own thoughts for a while. Let HIM realize what he needs to realize. Like you, I spent all of my time telling WH how to feel, what to do, what to read, blah blah blah. He needs to figure it out for himself. And if he doesn't? So be it.

[This message edited by OldCow18 at 3:36 PM, October 11th (Friday)]

MissMovingOn posted 10/11/2013 20:29 PM

Thanks everyone. I know you're right I'm just having a hard time accepting the reality of it. :(

Tawnie posted 10/11/2013 21:05 PM

My H says some of the same exact things and has for 20 years. Anything he says to me anymore is just words. If he can't back it up with actions that is all it is.... WORDS. Can't heal and move on to fix the marriage if all you are getting is lip service.

2boys11 posted 10/11/2013 21:22 PM

So sorry you are going through this. My WH is doing the same thing to me and it is so frustrating. I decided tonight I am going forward to begin the divorce. Like the others said, it's all words, no legit action. I have seen the best in him for SO long and I'm finally making myself look at the reality in front of me. But it's hard....

Good luck! Hugs!!

cantgetup posted 10/11/2013 21:43 PM

That's usually a smoke screen tactic. What he wants you to believe is It's because of you that he can't be the man you need, when in fact the true speak is I don't want to be the man you need. But maybe that is just foggy talk. Can you 180 him?

sammie posted 10/11/2013 23:58 PM

When someone tells you about themselves - LISTEN.

He is telling you the truth. He knows he wont/cant/isnt going to change.

I am sorry hon, but take him at his word. He likes what he does too much to change.

Huge hugs.

Bobbi_sue posted 10/12/2013 01:56 AM

If I were in your shoes, I'd take him at face value and believe what he is telling you. He is telling you that he cannot/will not be the man you need.

This. And I think the IC is wrong with any indication about him being remorseful.

It sounds like he doesn't really see that he has done anything wrong, and if you cannot accept him the way he is, then you are the one with the problem. Harsh as this sounds, IMO he is right. You can't change anybody but yourself. You can't "make" him be remorseful. He either is, or he isn't (and I would say he isn't).

He told me last night that he thinks that he just isn't capable of being the husband that I want and that he's not sure if it is because I have unrealistic expectations, if he is just "self-righteous", or if we just have completely differing views of what fixing the M should look like. I told him I don't think I have unrealistic expectations
Sorry, but I feel you have unrealistic expectations for expecting a man like that to one day change into somebody else other than who he actually is. If you don't like "who he is" then my only suggestion would be to get a D and end this once and for all.

I think I can posted 10/12/2013 07:48 AM

And "the husband you want"? The one he says he can never be? Let's look at that "husband you want."

You want a husband who doesn't fuck other women.

Wow. That's such a high bar you've set there. I mean, gosh, no man could live up to your unreasonable expectations.

It makes me angry that he's got you even questioning yourself, looking for flaws in yourself. He has hurt you, deliberately, over and over. Now you are hurt. It's like he stabbed you and now he's annoyed that you bled on his shoes.

I'm sorry, BWinBC. But this is all on him. Don't take any of the blame for your hurt.

solus sto posted 10/12/2013 08:06 AM

It sounds to me as though he doesn't want to be a good husband.

It makes me angry that he's got you even questioning yourself, looking for flaws in yourself.
This was one of the hardest aspects of infidelity for me to reconcile, that my husband was not only willing to do what he did, but that he deliberately manipulated me to doubt myself and my worth---to make it easier for himself.

I struggle with a lot of anger--at MYSELF--for this. It's not particularly rational--I mean, I didn't realize how I was being manipulated until he was not even visible in the rearview mirror. But still. The seeds he planted grew, and I feel responsible for not pulling those weeds before they invaded my whole yard.

[This message edited by solus sto at 8:10 AM, October 12th (Saturday)]

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