I thought I might do something a little different in this post series, by featuring a couple of comments from a woman (with her permission) who identified herself as SAH.
SAH is in her late thirties, is married with two young children, and beginning to enter perimenopause. Her comments are a perfect illustration of the inner-workings of a woman’s mind, and provides a road map as to how exactly many of women arrive at the decision to leave a marriage.
I am in no way suggesting that SAH’s circumstances are the blueprint for every failed marriage. I realize every marriage is unique, and the relationship dynamics are as well. My intention is to present to you an excellent example of what happens in the mind of a woman during a marriage, and why, once she reaches perimenopause, she may no longer want to be in the marriage.
I found SAH to be a very intelligent and insightful woman who, in my opinion, expressed herself quite well. I hope you will be able to glean something from this.
As always, gentlemen, take the meat and spit out the bones!
I’m 35, married have been with my husband for 10 years, we have children ages 4 & 6. I absolutely hate my husband. I’ve already hated him for 7 years, and it is too much to go into detail here – but to sum up:
1. he was not a loving and supportive partner to me through pregnancy/postpartum, he was a completely narcissistic immature prick.
2. He’s a complete passive-aggressive who has been very hurtful, but always does everything in a subversive manner, while absolutely maintaining denial 100%. He will never have eye contact and listen to me or have a mature conversation. He will roll his eyes, walk away from me mid-sentence, he REFUSES to deal with our issues.
For years I’ve been hurt and put so much effort into swallowing my pain, hopes, dreams, and to put in the extra work to keep the marriage and household running……….
He likes to find ways to ‘punish me’ if I bug him or express any displeasure – ranging from selective deafness, lies, flirting with other women in front of me, ‘forgetting things’ to be deliberately hurtful, etc etc.
He fights very dirty, but refuses to openly discuss, confront issues openly, etc.
3. As part of this, he has deliberately switched jobs 8 times in 7 years because he knows it causes me a tremendous amount of stress. He’s never been fired, or switched jobs for higher pay. It’s always just his choice.
4. He is anti-social and ruins every holiday, birthday party, vacation, family reunion, etc with his infantile narcissism.
For years I’ve been hurt and put so much effort into swallowing my pain, hopes, dreams, and to put in the extra work to keep the marriage and household running. I’ve been hating him, but now I feel it is intensifying so much.
I think I may be in the earliest phase of perimenopause, but I feel less of a rage/fighting/passionate/hurt hate (as well as no longer having any periods of feeling ‘love’) and now it is more constant complete disgust and indifference. I am just restless and I don’t care anymore.
I’m tired of having to hate him, and I no longer even want him to ‘fix’ himself (even if it were possible) I just never want to have to see him again. I wake up every morning and do my best, but when I see him laying there I just want to puke, I’m just… Disgusted.
In our 20s he acted worse, but I had much more patience to try honest communication and drive to make things work in our 20s. Even though he has marginally improved in our 30s, for the past 2 years I now have 0 desire to make things work and only enough patience left to fake civility.
I hold it together for the kids…. But I feel like a ticking clock… And I don’t know how much longer I can do it. The built up years of frustration
I find your comment incredibly fascinating for a number of reasons. But, before I say anything else, let me first offer my compassion and empathy. I know what it’s like to live with a passive-aggressive. Everything you have said rings very true to me personally. Because of that, you have my UTMOST empathy. I REALLY know what you’re feeling. Oh, trust me. I do.
That said, I would strongly suggest you find a REALLY good counselor. Some place where you can blow steam without the fear of hurting someone around you – like your children. And I’m sure you know this…… but they probably pick up on the stress and tension more than you realize.
I would say that the chances of you feeling more compassionate or loving to your husband during perimenopause are slim to none. Which is why I would strongly recommend that you find a counselor and find them fast.
I would recommend that you pick up a good book to read on the subject of menopause and how it affects your outlook. Dr. Christiane Northup’s book “The Wisdom of Menopause” is great. But, she only has one chapter devoted to marriage, and it’s an expensive book to buy for just one chapter. Maybe you can find a copy at the library?
I would also recommend “The Female Brain” by Dr. Louann Brizendine if you want to understand how hormones cause shifts in our brain at different times of your life which directly impact how well or well we don’t handle our life stressers…..i.e., a bad marriage.
Again, I’m sorry for all of your frustration. I do understand it more than you know. I wish I could offer more, but I am a professional blogger and healthcare advocate, and unfortunately, not a marriage counselor.
To Be Continued……..
Magnolia Miller is a Certified Healthcare Consumer Advocate in women’s health and a women’s freelance health writer. She writes here and at other sites around the web including Healthline.com where she has a weekly menopause column.