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My husband's a loner ...

Trudie wrote:

I've known my husband for 10 years, married for six months. My concern is his cursory relationship with his close relatives. He will be 50 years old in December and is an only child; his mother died in January.

He says he has had a close relationship with his mother but his father never had time for him. I never experienced any warmth between his mother and himself. She was the type of person who never really had time for her close relatives either. Now he is responsible for his father; although he is in an nursing home, he resents every aspect of caring for him; he admits it's a chore for him because he has nothing to say to him.

He has completely alienated himself from his biological children (19 and 20) They have been in therapy over the fact that they have never been close to him...the harder they try to get close, the further he alienates himself from them. He admits that he doesn't even miss them and can't wait until they are old enough so he can stop paying child support and then not have anything to do with them.

He has known my children since they were babies (my twins are 11 now). He has never really had a warm relationship with them either; especially one of them which he's admitted that he just doesn't like her.
As for myself, I have learned to distance myself from him when I feel he is in a dark mood...he is not the romantic affectionate type (never was; only when he wants to get amourous); we kiss goodbye in the morning, but most often, he will go to bed at night without even saying "good night".

I have always had a warm, open, affectionate loving relationship with my twins of which he has been exposed to on a daily basis; I felt that if he saw how a loving family interacted on a daily basis, he would open up and participate. I have suggested therapy, of which he states rather emphatically he doesn't need ... only his children need it.

He honestly feels that he doesn't have a relationship problem; it concerns me that he can so easily turn himself off emotionally to those who should be the most important to him.......I might add, that he will go absolutely out of his way to to things for others, no questions asked.
I have asked him why it's so important to him to do this, but tune himself out to the emotional needs to those who are supposed to be the most important and close to him; he maintains this doesn't happen.

I have pointed out to him, that he had better hope he doesn't end up in a nursing home because neither his biological nor step children will feel the need to take care of him and he will end up alone like his father. It has given him food for thought, but hasn't improved the situation.

He's aware that others use him when they need something done, but still doesn't hesitate to run when called. I need to understand his need to impress others, while fostering contempt in his family. Thank you so much for your time.

Dear Trudie,

It may shock you, but there are millions of people just like him - and I suspect it's an increasing number. It might be your problem, not his.

Now, it may be that he isn't as happy with things as he likes to suggest - but that's up to him; this has been his life, it's not a sudden thing. It might be your problem, not his.

Finally, there just may have been some major trauma in his life, he may be emotionally scarred. But it's his business, until he makes it yours. It might be your problem, not his.

On the other hand, you took him on as he was, knowing him quite well. And now you are trying to force him to change. If that's the case, you'll fail, and ruin your marriage. It might be your problem, not his.

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