Hi and welcome. I'm a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.
I am sorry to hear of all of the stress that you have been dealing with and the abortion. You are very strong and have done what you can to get things on track.
My direct and honest view is that he has shown his true colors and desires and things most likely will not change and you will continue to feel left alone and abandoned by him.
He hasn't really done much to show that he truly desires a healthy marital relationship and his constant flip flopping is not helpful and it is hurtful.
I understand you desire to work on things and that is fine but go into it with open eyes...if you are not ready to walk away then do what you need to but care for yourself as well.
you have said it yourself that you feel lighter and with less physical symptoms when he is not around.
Yes therapy for him would be helpful but if he wont go then there is not much you can do.
So I suggest caring for yourself and figuring out if this back and forth is really what you desire.
It is difficult because I have always been very open with him in terms of how I feel and how I wish for our relationship to be. I always felt he was maybe unable to open up etc. I see now that I was making excuses for him, often having to interpret his actions as I pleased. He never said anything, was always vague and I thought that he does care and love me as he was seeing me every weekend, was always there but something was missing. Now, after all this time he is saying that he di not want to hurt my feelings when he has been hurting them all along. He may have shown his true colours - I suspected them for a long time - but why go one way ie negative and not turn for the positive. And why is he waiting for me now to deal with divorce? It feels to me as if he is pushing me more and more just so that he does not have to make any decisions. I dont understand and he is not giving me any answers.
he seems to tackle all issues like that....very passively so you get to decide what you want and make it happen. get your power and control back and continue to feel light as you do!!!!
I do not desire his back and forth but moving forward positively - I thought it may be possible with him but he has a lot of negative energy. It is all directed at me and he blames me for all the things that have gone wrong in his life - he always did that. Putting me down and criticising me. Not sure if I can repair this. And I do not know what he wants from me now. Put up or shut up I feel.
I am with you and feel looking at it objectively that you deserve and should want more for yourself.
How do I get my power and control back? By filing for a divorce?
by sitting with yourself for a bit and realizing what you want and dont want from anyone...then it will become clear as to whether filing for divorce is what you want....
when you feel worth more then you will have your power and right now his back and forth has taken that from you
I want him to work with me.
as you always have but he isnt willing and you cant force him...you can only do what you need to do
I appreciate that but I find it hard to reason with him because he will tell me one thing eg he wants to work with me but his actions will say something else eg refusing counselling and building intimacy with me through simple things such as talking, sharing his thoughts and feelings.
I agree with you...the words dont mean much if the action isn't behind it. trust your gut...give yourself space and take your time to see what you need and whether he can do it or not. the space isnt for him now it is for you
Hmmm...I had plenty of space. I want him to work with me ie if he wants to work on a relationship to go for counselling. Alternatively, he can work with me and we file for a divorce. He is refusing to do both, is very passive. So... I find it hurtful that after 17 years of marriage it has come to this. There is no appreciation for my wants, needs, no respect and I do not feel there ever was. I find him controlling, passive aggressive and struggle to deal with him.
you are spot on with all of that and I feel for all that you are feeling about it all.
you deserve more than all of this and as we know we cant force him to be any different, to get in therapy, etc.
so that is why I desire only for you to care for you in whatever way that means
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX care for myself. Is there any way that I can encourage him to co-operate? Why is he so shut down? Why so easily throw away 17 years of our marriage? And if he does not wish to continue that I can appreciate also, however why not than state lets divorce and do it in a civil way?
again amazing questions...all things I am sure you have been trying to achieve in this marriage....
he is passive so he cant act and doesnt just plays the back and forth
you have tried to encourage him and more back and forth
you can answer all those questions by looking at his behavior
so you make the decisions and forget whether you are angry because he cant
that keeps you stuck
you wish he could be different but he isnt
so focus on you and your decisions and not him!