Ask Andrew – My husband says I don’t support him
I have been married for 16 years now. My husband has recently told me that I don’t support him and that his business is failing and its my fault. He later said he was sorry, but then again told me I don’t support him. I feel very hurt by this. I have always supported every thing he has done. I have been financially supporting the family for 4 years while he went self employed. I have never asked him for money because I knew he did not have it. I have taken calls, helped him with work, tried to help with advise or pointing out where he could get help. He told me he likes to do things by himself, so I backed off and let him. Now he is unhappy that I don’t support him, when I asked how I can support him, he has no answer. I have been through many challenges with him and always stood by him. Now I’m very upset and stressed because I am struggling with money, and looking for extra work. I feel like giving up, I feel he is being unreasonable and hurtful. I have to be the responsible one and everything is always my fault, according to my husband. I feel I cannot talk to him any more as he tells me my feelings are me making a fuss over nothing. What can I do, I really need help?
When someone tells us something that they hold dear, however mad it sounds like from where we’re standing, it is important to take it as the gospel truth (because for them, it is the truth). I think this is especially the case for your husband, because he’s said it twice. Having said that, it does sound like you are supporting him. So what’s going on? I think you’re both terrified – we’re living through very bleak times – but I think you’re approaching it in different ways.
I’m only guessing because you don’t offer many clues to what’s going on for him. Is he a typical man and feels he has to sort stuff out himself – even if the business is failing? Are you a typical woman and feel a problem shared is a problem halved? So while he focuses on working harder – and tries to push everything out of his brain – could your need to share (or from his point of view – dump your problems on him) be ‘doing his head in’. Not because he doesn’t love you but because he simply can’t cope with anything beyond, work, more work and a little extra work? Could he not be ‘hurtful’ and ‘unreasonable’ but really frightened and out of his depth?
Whatever the situation, you need to be able to communicate better so read ‘Resolve your differences’ and ‘Help your partner say yes’. Instead of both of you feeling I have to be responsible’ and horribly alone, you will start to tackle these problems as a team.