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Old 07-16-2019, 09:20 PM
 
346 posts, read 86,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
My spouse has a story on tap for every occasion or subject. He becomes animated in the retelling. These anecdotes are apparently some kind of touchstone, the standard by which another person's idea is judged, the fount of wisdom that never runs dry.

They are also exclusively from his life as a child in the bosom of his family and as a young adult. Not once does he ever mention our nearly 30 years-long shared history. It's as if it never happened, or if he does remember it, it's of no importance. No pearl of wisdom was derived. No fun was had. No commitments were made. He literally does not remember that at one time in an emotional moment of great solemnity, we clung together and vowed to take care of each other for the rest of our lives.

But pick a subject at random and you'll get an impromptu performance of "Here's how, where, when and why my family did this." Family meaning, not-me. He only comes alive when he brings his family back to life.

Lately this has been bothering me, particularly since he treats me to a couple of these stories a day. When he does, my spirits plummet.

There's no "Remember when we..." or "How about that time when..." Fond memories of me? Forget it. If he could go back in time and ditch me in the present, he would. He's already doing it in his mind.

Although I felt no grief when my father died or worry when my mother recently (reportedly) had a stroke, I can construct an emotional model of what it feels like to lose one's parents. I have lost people who meant a lot to me. They come back to me at night in my dreams to visit. I don't feel the need to keep them alive by bringing them up in daily conversation with every person I meet. I don't mention them at all, except here and now. Talking about them would be unfair to my spouse because it would seem like I was comparing him to idealized people who are dead and have therefore achieved lasting perfection.

I have tried to talk to him about how his stories make me feel. He gives me a quick hug and walks off without saying a word.

How do I deal with this? Don't tell me it's a natural grief process. Constructing an inner emotional life that excludes the woman you promised to love, honor and cherish is not grief.

There's something in you that happened to make this start bothering you. If this has been going on for a long time, you have now decided it's not ok. You changed, not him. You may have noticed another couple being together and felt 'I wish I had what they had' or some other trigger that got you thinking, why does he never talk about me?



He came from a wonderful family, and that's something to at least be grateful of. You would not like if he had come from a troubled family. Not at all. But he does seerm overboard about one sided reminiscing. However a lot of happy couples do not reminisce about their past much. Bring out the photo album once in a while, but that's about it. They are too busy with daily life and making new memories.



That's why I'm not that concerned he leaves you out of his stories. What I find troubling is he never talks about something you did together, like a nice trip. Happy couples like to talk about their fun trips together, and other things. And I also find troubling is his need to talk about his family past so much, even if very happy. I see this as revealing an insecurity he has. What that is I don't know. Such happy childhood/family memories reaffirmed repeatedly MAY be the attempt to reassure it really was, when there may be some dark secrets. It's like he needs to reassure himself for some reason.



Some traits of a Narcissistic personality are excessive concern with personal adequacy and a lack of empathy. My stories bother you? 'I don't care, here's a hug'. Well, I bet you let him do this for a long time too. That's why I say somethings changed in you. Getting him to change because you ask him to is not the goal. He needs to understand why this is a problem in a relationship, and he changes for that reason.
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:35 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,904 posts, read 70,695,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueherons View Post
Honestly, smack him in the head and tell him to cut it out.

It's driving you insane and it's making you resent him and if he wants to stay married, fix it.


Cut him off next time he starts a story.

It sounds like it is times for drastic measures.
I kind of agree with this. I also find it odd that he treats you to these lectures a couple of times/day. IOW, it's not just something he does when socializing with others: stories he trots out to entertain others. Plus, you've probably heard all the stories he has, by now. Has he become one of those people that repeats his stories endlessly?

I think you should stop him the next time he launches into one, and ask him, "What about all the memories we created, and the life we've built together over 30 years? I'd love to hear you wax nostalgic about some of those great times", and see what happens.

I have no idea what role autism plays in this, so I can't give you advice for someone with that condition. But I don't think him having that condition should mean you can't discuss things like this with him.

It sounds very sad, OP.
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Old Yesterday, 12:56 AM
 
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,814 posts, read 7,719,752 times
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You cant make someone else love or like you.
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Old Yesterday, 05:21 AM
Status: "What's 100 minus 48 plus 5?" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Posting from my space yacht.
8,086 posts, read 3,168,597 times
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OP I don't know about your history but I'm going to go against the grain here and say this seems completely normal to me. I did a lot of adventurous and crazy/stupid things in my late childhood/early 20's. I didn't meet my wife until my mid 20's, and when I did meet her I pretty much "settled down". Most of the stories worth telling happened before I met her. It's not that I don't value the time we've had and continue to have together, those times just don't make very interesting stories.

I do look through old photos with her and the kids, of just us when we were younger, but that's the sort of thing that's only interesting to us and the grandparents. Great memories but not great stories.
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Old Yesterday, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
3,676 posts, read 2,072,615 times
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If I am reading right then your husband is autstic? If so he might be stuck in a repetitive loop of telling these stories. In our house this kind of rigid thinking, in your husband's case only telling stories from a certain time period, is called stuck in a loop. We very bluntly tell the other person they are doing it and try to talk them through it.

So my question is have you tried being very blunt? Explain exactly what he is doing and exactly how it makes you feel? You would still need to help him move on maybe by interrupting him and redirecting when he starts a story. Autistics have such a hard time picking up nonverbal cues that plain speaking is usually greatly appreciated.
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Old Yesterday, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,713 posts, read 4,738,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicshark View Post
If I am reading right then your husband is autstic?
Thatís the $64,000 question. Or was, anyway.

I finally concluded it doesnít matter. I canít get a diagnosis and if I had one, what would I do with it? Make him go to Autism Camp every summer? Compare brain scans? Have him wear a scarlet A? . He is who he is, whatever he is.

Quote:
If so he might be stuck in a repetitive loop of telling these stories. In our house this kind of rigid thinking, in your husband's case only telling stories from a certain time period, is called stuck in a loop. We very bluntly tell the other person they are doing it and try to talk them through it.

So my question is have you tried being very blunt? Explain exactly what he is doing and exactly how it makes you feel? You would still need to help him move on maybe by interrupting him and redirecting when he starts a story. Autistics have such a hard time picking up nonverbal cues that plain speaking is usually greatly appreciated.
Yes, we had a discussion about this a few days ago after I got upset. I donít think he realized he was doing it.

Iím on a long drive from California to Arizona and Iíve had a lot of time to think about my part in this. My parents didnít want meóand boy, would I like to find out why that was the case, but thatís for another time. I was neglected as a child and frequently dumped at various relativesí houses to give my parents a ďbreakĒ.

For instance, I was told my mother was going into the hospital for a hysterectomy and I would have to stay with an aunt and uncle for a week, until Mom was released. I got homesick after five days and walked home. It was about eleven miles. I walked in the front door and my mother, father and sister were having dinner.

I donít know if she even had a hysterectomy. She was up and moving about just fine. I think it was yet another excuse to fob me off on our large extended family so they could keep pretending I didnít exist.

So on this drive I challenged myself to distill all these confusing emotions into one statement: All Iíve ever wanted is to be important in someone elseís life.

I didnít matter to my abusive ex-spouse. My current spouse has been put on notice that I require the position of primary importance in his life and if he canít manage that, weíre through.
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Old Yesterday, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,713 posts, read 4,738,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaMoon1 View Post
Yeah, since he "has to deal with you every day," OP, why would you have the audacity to wish that he would share fond recollections of your time together? I mean, come on, you remember them yourself!
Some men may not realize that one way to build intimacy is to reminisce.
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Old Yesterday, 10:31 AM
 
Location: equator
3,463 posts, read 1,543,057 times
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Can you separate for awhile?

That's what we did when times got unbearable. We lived states apart for months at a time.

This will really help to clarify your thinking, and from a distance, analyze the situation dispassionately.

They say "people can't change" and I'm guessing this is even MORE true for an autistic, or similar.

If "deciding to be happy" really worked, wouldn't everyone choose that?
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Old Yesterday, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
31,729 posts, read 20,009,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

Iím on a long drive from California to Arizona and Iíve had a lot of time to think about my part in this. My parents didnít want meóand boy, would I like to find out why that was the case, but thatís for another time. I was neglected as a child and frequently dumped at various relativesí houses to give my parents a ďbreakĒ.

For instance, I was told my mother was going into the hospital for a hysterectomy and I would have to stay with an aunt and uncle for a week, until Mom was released. I got homesick after five days and walked home. It was about eleven miles. I walked in the front door and my mother, father and sister were having dinner.

I donít know if she even had a hysterectomy. She was up and moving about just fine. I think it was yet another excuse to fob me off on our large extended family so they could keep pretending I didnít exist.

So on this drive I challenged myself to distill all these confusing emotions into one statement: All Iíve ever wanted is to be important in someone elseís life.

I didnít matter to my abusive ex-spouse. My current spouse has been put on notice that I require the position of primary importance in his life and if he canít manage that, weíre through.
Oh ouch, that sucks.

I would really try and find a GOOD counselor to help you feel important without outside validation. If you can't count on you to make you feel important, then who CAN you count on?
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Old Yesterday, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,934 posts, read 14,414,141 times
Reputation: 30918
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Thatís the $64,000 question. Or was, anyway.

I finally concluded it doesnít matter. I canít get a diagnosis and if I had one, what would I do with it? Make him go to Autism Camp every summer? Compare brain scans? Have him wear a scarlet A? . He is who he is, whatever he is.



Yes, we had a discussion about this a few days ago after I got upset. I donít think he realized he was doing it.

Iím on a long drive from California to Arizona and Iíve had a lot of time to think about my part in this. My parents didnít want meóand boy, would I like to find out why that was the case, but thatís for another time. I was neglected as a child and frequently dumped at various relativesí houses to give my parents a ďbreakĒ.

For instance, I was told my mother was going into the hospital for a hysterectomy and I would have to stay with an aunt and uncle for a week, until Mom was released. I got homesick after five days and walked home. It was about eleven miles. I walked in the front door and my mother, father and sister were having dinner.

I donít know if she even had a hysterectomy. She was up and moving about just fine. I think it was yet another excuse to fob me off on our large extended family so they could keep pretending I didnít exist.

So on this drive I challenged myself to distill all these confusing emotions into one statement: All Iíve ever wanted is to be important in someone elseís life.

I didnít matter to my abusive ex-spouse. My current spouse has been put on notice that I require the position of primary importance in his life and if he canít manage that, weíre through.
Good for you!

I am so sorry for your heartbreaking early life. I can see how you might have fallen into an abusive marriage.

I like the point about endless loops. I think some non autistic people do this sort of thing, as apparently some autistics do.

I think your desire to be important in his life is reasonable. It sounds as if your spouse is somewhere on the spectrum, and dealing with his actions requires much from you, and perhaps he is not understanding how exhausting he is.

Please do keep us posted. So many times people post about problems, and never progress to a solution. They either disappear or, they continue to post about similar problems. I am sending you good vibes and best wishes as you progress.
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