Husband won't change his phone settings so I can reach him in an emergency

HealingMama

Sponsor
@Freida I never said he made me hit him. Of all the places where I clearly am taking responsibility for my actions, I think that is an unfair reading of my position. I didn't know how to communicate my desperation and fear and frustration that he was not being a grown up. That doesn't mean he "made me do it."

I don't know why I'm staying with him when I'm unhappy and there's so much about him I want to change. I guess some of it I would expect anyone would want to change.

I was up til 5am last night partly because I was flooded with all the things that aren't working and all I've asked him to change. My answer is I don't know why I'm still here. As I said I try to go then my personality reorganizes itself and I forget why I wanted to go. I also feel guilty for all the times I said I wanted to leave, and how much that hurt him, and have tried to stay to fix the damage from that. There's no way he will get the emotional help he needs left to his own devices. I feel like I owe it to him to stay til he gets some help at least.

But I don't know. Fear. Shame. I'm afraid if someone that made me feel so loved can also make me feel so devalued then there's no way I can find anyone that feels good to be with and if I am doomed to be in toxic environments then why not stay with the person whose bullshit I at least know and understand? I don't know. I don't trust myself to find a relationship that works better than this one. All my relationships have one issue or another. Because a lot is me, my attitude, my anxiety pushing me to sniff out all possible danger and that gives a negative mindset all the time.

@anthony yeah, we are working on our communication.

Tonight my husband pointed out that I feel left out in larger family gatherings but I also keep myself outside of them. I said family isn't safe (bc for my background it's not, it's trauma and drama and manipulation) and I don't want to go where I'm unwanted and if nobody is telling me I am wanted I will assume that I'm not. He explained to me in healthy families the assumption is that you're wanted, your presence is valued and you are welcome and accepted. I wonder what it's like growing up that way.

So he was trying to help me get over my avoidance so I can experience the love of a less dysfunctional family. In spite of everything that he's done and I've done. I guess that's why I stay. He still tries to be there for me and help me let love in.
 
Last edited:
I don't know why I'm staying with him when I'm unhappy and there's so much about him I want to change. I guess some of it I would expect anyone would want to change.
Can you see how incredibly selfish this is? I will never understand why people marry other people and then expect them to change because they should just WANT to change. It's borderline abusive to me.

In any case, I don't know why you're staying with him either. I get there's a lot you're not saying about your relationship that might be more positive, but I just feel so sad for your poor spouse whenever you post.
 

HealingMama

Sponsor
I haven't read everything and I may be missing context. I wondered if there was another way for you to see this above? As it sounds as though you are stuck at the moment given the importance you hold this event in.

I think it might be an impossible standard for someone to live by. I.e. always being available in case of an emergency. I think if you have an expectation that your partner will respond to you within 30 minutes when you need him to, that any partner , however great or flawed, will fail to deliver that every time. Yes on this occasion he turned off the function. But I think, whilst that must be painful to hear, the reasons why he did that might be something to explore ?

No one can be there for someone at all times at a drop of a hat. Painful. But true.

Whilst this triggers attachment issues for you. It doesn't mean, in itself, that there is an attachment or care problem.

Is there a way you can reframe this in your mind that helps a bit?

I can see that might be challenging as there ar emany accounts you have written about difficulties in your relationship.

One thing I have learnt in my relationships in terms of healthy and unhealthy. A healthy relationship is one that when a disagreement occurs and it is discussed and resolved: that resolution is sincere and it is moved on from. An unhealthy relationship, one or both parties say it is resolved, but one or both actually hold onto the pain and bring it up again and again and again. So that the pain of the previous disputes is brought into all the next disputes and it gets weighed down and confusing and hard.
I have been in both types of relationships.
It sounds as though you are in the second type a bit? And I wonder if there is a way for you both to reframe, readjust, reset.
Thank you these are all good points.
I try to move forward but my partner doesn't like to resolve things the way I do. If I could manage my emotions better in the moment then he would probably participate better in the type of conversation I want to have.

You are right that I am stuck in the moment and how I interpreted it. He and I have talked since and it's helped some but I still have a hair trigger around this issue from unresolved trauma before we met as well as how he handles his own unpleasant emotions (checking out emotionally or leaving the room/conversation etc).

I wish I had the presence of mind to realize I'm getting triggered and sit with it like you're supposed to but I often get lost in it. I know mindfulness skills and they work when I use them. I just have found it hard to put stuff into practice consistently as it requires a level of self esteem and mine has fluctuated a lot in recent years.
 
Last edited:

HealingMama

Sponsor
Can you see how incredibly selfish this is? I will never understand why people marry other people and then expect them to change because they should just WANT to change. It's borderline abusive to me.

In any case, I don't know why you're staying with him either. I get there's a lot you're not saying about your relationship that might be more positive, but I just feel so sad for your poor spouse whenever you post.
That hurt but thank you for sharing honestly.
Problem is he changed as soon as we were actually married. If he had remained the person he was when we were dating and living together I would never have felt like this. I am sure other stuff would annoy me but he seriously did a bait and switch. Probably not intentionally. I've been needy, capricious and all since he met me. I had no idea he was functioning so much better because of what limerance was doing to his ADHD brain until it was over.

But I hear you. You're right I don't talk about the positive here. I wish he would leave me honestly. I do the best I can, and I'm still crappy. But I can't follow through with leaving either. He does the best he can and should be with someone that can love him better than I have been able to.

But no I didn't marry him expecting to change him. I married the person he was and then he became someone else, as well as just no longer being on his best behavior and I had no idea what I was really getting into. It's not very fair to speak about it as if I knew going in what it was like. But it's fair to say you shouldn't stay with someone you can't accept for who they are. I accept his basic personality but I don't accept the level of functioning and skills he has in communication and self management. It's really those areas that bother me so much.
 

anthony

Founder
I don't know why I'm staying with him when I'm unhappy and there's so much about him I want to change. I guess some of it I would expect anyone would want to change.
Here is what I've learnt from two failed marriages, a line of one nighters and some monthly relationships thrown in for good measure - you can't change another person, nor them change you.

The only one who can change a person, is themselves. Because they want to make that change. The reason for that change is theirs, and theirs alone, based on all information they have in their life.

You have to be happy with 95% of a person that you want to be in a relationship with. Meaning - shit they do, whilst some may irk you, you're ok with and am happy to commit that that's who they are.

You have 5% that is a fudge factor. That margin is usually stuff that both people will change when entering a relationship, usually for the other person in order to be in that relationship. Everything else a person says they will change, bullshit. Come back to 5%. If you think a person will change more than about 5% within a relationship for you, you're doing it wrong.

These are my learnings. You have to be super happy with the person you meet, beyond just sexual attraction which is the opener for most relationships. Be honest, if you don't want to f*ck the other person, usually you're doing it wrong to begin the relationship. That is the first thing. Then you have everything else, which is wayyyyy more than sex.

If you don't like the way they hang the toilet roll, then get out now. Apply this to everything you think you will change. Wrong. This stuff is engrained in people, years and decades before meeting one another.

People can and do change. We're all changing constantly. But those changes are OUR doing, not someone elses doing. We make decisions for ourselves only, and then if we're happy to make a change, we do so.

Both people have to be 95% ok with each other for a relationship to survive. At all times. You don't have to like everything the other does, but you have to be truly ok with it and allow and acknowledge we all like and do different stuff.

People fall into this shit time and again. Its the common stories that end relationships.

Oh, he went to the pub most nights when I met him. Why is he resistanting to stop doing it now we're living together?

Oh, she really loves her meditation and yoga time each day. Why is she still doing that shit now we're living together?

You can write a novel on the things we each do. 95% ok with what another does in order to stand long term in a relationship.

Men and women do this one. They're hot looking, take care of their health, body, well-being, get in a relationship and one or both get fat. One or both are then unhappy with themselves, or their partner, they want what they started with to be a constant, yet neither party said anything or did anything about it. They separate and then both go to the gym, lose weight, become happy with themselves again in order to repeat the dating cycle.

We are all adults. People need to do less putting up with shit and more talking and making points serious. Like said, two marriages, the third and so far the longest one for me, and I'm still as happy today as I was when I met her, I've been the most honest, she has been super honest with me, we both look after our health for the most part as we both like each other healthy (not fit and muscles everywhere, just healthy for our ages). We talk and be honest. We take each other seriously when things are not good for the other. If one is not happy, we figure shit out to find a resolution, then stick to that.

If you aren't 95% ok... and can't get their yourself, then you have a decision to make. Keep being unhappy or make change. Either way, your life, your decision on what suits you best. That is the moral of the story. You change you, nobody else.
 

HealingMama

Sponsor
I take that back. Staying with someone through jail time, and all the stuff I may still resent, I did that because of love. I had fear too, and selfish motivations, but there was compassion too. I love him as best I can, based on not being loved myself through most of my life, and the things that were called love... Weren't. It's very hard to love when you feel unworthy of it and also don't understand it or how to do it. But I try.

Anyway. I responded to your message with huge waves of shame @somerandomguy and while I need to continue being the best person I can be, wallowing in shame is not productive. I'm doing the best I can and maybe he would be better off without me, but he can leave if he chooses to. He doesn't want to. He just wants me to be happy and to not need to talk about heavy stuff constantly which is reasonable and I'm trying to do the work behind that compulsion but it's taking a while.
 

HealingMama

Sponsor
Here is what I've learnt from two failed marriages, a line of one nighters and some monthly relationships thrown in for good measure - you can't change another person, nor them change you.

The only one who can change a person, is themselves. Because they want to make that change. The reason for that change is theirs, and theirs alone, based on all information they have in their life.

You have to be happy with 95% of a person that you want to be in a relationship with. Meaning - shit they do, whilst some may irk you, you're ok with and am happy to commit that that's who they are.

You have 5% that is a fudge factor. That margin is usually stuff that both people will change when entering a relationship, usually for the other person in order to be in that relationship. Everything else a person says they will change, bullshit. Come back to 5%. If you think a person will change more than about 5% within a relationship for you, you're doing it wrong.

These are my learnings. You have to be super happy with the person you meet, beyond just sexual attraction which is the opener for most relationships. Be honest, if you don't want to f*ck the other person, usually you're doing it wrong to begin the relationship. That is the first thing. Then you have everything else, which is wayyyyy more than sex.

If you don't like the way they hang the toilet roll, then get out now. Apply this to everything you think you will change. Wrong. This stuff is engrained in people, years and decades before meeting one another.

People can and do change. We're all changing constantly. But those changes are OUR doing, not someone elses doing. We make decisions for ourselves only, and then if we're happy to make a change, we do so.

Both people have to be 95% ok with each other for a relationship to survive. At all times. You don't have to like everything the other does, but you have to be truly ok with it and allow and acknowledge we all like and do different stuff.

People fall into this shit time and again. Its the common stories that end relationships.

Oh, he went to the pub most nights when I met him. Why is he resistanting to stop doing it now we're living together?

Oh, she really loves her meditation and yoga time each day. Why is she still doing that shit now we're living together?

You can write a novel on the things we each do. 95% ok with what another does in order to stand long term in a relationship.

Men and women do this one. They're hot looking, take care of their health, body, well-being, get in a relationship and one or both get fat. One or both are then unhappy with themselves, or their partner, they want what they started with to be a constant, yet neither party said anything or did anything about it. They separate and then both go to the gym, lose weight, become happy with themselves again in order to repeat the dating cycle.

We are all adults. People need to do less putting up with shit and more talking and making points serious. Like said, two marriages, the third and so far the longest one for me, and I'm still as happy today as I was when I met her, I've been the most honest, she has been super honest with me, we both look after our health for the most part as we both like each other healthy (not fit and muscles everywhere, just healthy for our ages). We talk and be honest. We take each other seriously when things are not good for the other. If one is not happy, we figure shit out to find a resolution, then stick to that.

If you aren't 95% ok... and can't get their yourself, then you have a decision to make. Keep being unhappy or make change. Either way, your life, your decision on what suits you best. That is the moral of the story. You change you, nobody else.
You're right. That's part of why I stay too I suppose. A lot of what's wrong is steming from my attitude. And even just being chronically sleep deprived. I want to do better and have a better attitude. I want to communicate better.

My therapist said based on what she knows of me and what she hears of him, that she believes that we both have changed a lot for what is normal to expect. In many ways we are both unrecognizable. He's changed a lot, and the changes that he made on purpose he says he mostly likes. Of course the ways he changed in response to my poorly managed mental health are not desired by either of us.

I had avoidant attachment in every other relationship before this one. I am learning that anxious attachment often thinks it is being clear in communication when it is not. It is angry about unmet needs instead of asking for needs to be met. The latter works better.

We spent like 2 weeks in Hawaii this summer. It was amazing and we did have a couple of hiccups but for the most part it was wonderful and we got along better than we have in ages. So it's something about our routine life that is causing so much friction.

I believe that I have too many responsibilities, and not enough fun. I need to make room for fun. Can't have fun with him right now because I get so easily anxious but maybe I can have fun in other situations and bring that better mindset back to my family.

We moved right before COVID and I need more relationships besides this one. It's been hard to make friends during lockdown. And bonding is hard AF for me anyway but in the past I found activity groups to join and haven't been able to here yet. Before we moved we worked opposite schedules and that caused friction in a different way.
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
I had a husband like yours. He barely contributed to raising our child, working, keeping house, our relationship, or even planning outings. He would sneak out after I was asleep and come home at 4am and sleep the next day no matter what the plans were. He couldn't hold a job longer than 6 months. He would take no responsibility for any of it. These were the major problems and I couldn't live with them so I left. I am so much happier and can continue working on myself and not being responsible for his spending and not paying personal bills. I lost 40 lbs without trying after leaving him. One can try and try, one can love the other person and not want to mess up one's child, but sometimes the answer is to get away. Spend some time taking care of yourself.
 

Freida

MyPTSD Pro
There's no way he will get the emotional help he needs left to his own devices. I feel like I owe it to him to stay til he gets some help at least.
uhmmm... "Left to his own devices?" He's not a child
Hes a grown man who is perfectly capable of getting it himself
Would having you do it for him make it easier?
Sure
But he doesn't want to.

And you don't owe him anything.

I accept his basic personality but I don't accept the level of functioning and skills he has in communication and self management. It's really those areas that bother me so much.
If you don't accept his functioning, his communication skills and his self management what part of his personality do you accept?
He doesn't want to.
Exactly
He doesn't want to.
And he wont until (and if) he decides to
No matter how long you stay, how hard you work, how much you do to try to fix it
but he can leave if he chooses to. He doesn't want to.
Because he wants to stay or because leaving is too much effort and drama
Of course the ways he changed in response to my poorly managed mental health are not desired by either of us.
That's crap.
You had poorly managed mental health - true
You caused him to change because of it? - False

You keep taking on the responsibility for his behavior, but no one can make someone else change. If he turned into an ass because of how you behaved? That's on him. Not you.

You can't make someone mad, happy, sad, suicidal
You can be who you are and they will feel how they feel about you.
If they feel happy, great.
If they feel unhappy? Then they have to deal with their own emotions about that.

His behavior is not your fault
But his behavior will never change until he decides its worth the work.
And the work is hard - so it's easier for him to stay put, let you take care of him and handle everything and just hang out than it is to actually man up and do the work.

Y'know, Like all the hard work you are doing.

Maybe a question for your T is why you are afraid to leave?
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
everyone else is dealing with the way more important real communication and emotional stuff - so - I’m just going to ask - does anyone else use a two communication system? Dh and I WhatsApp through the day while he’s working . This is the non urgent but time sensitive stuff … ‘ did you already feed the dogs because the bowls are on the floor but they are saying they haven’t had breakfast, I’ve given them a treat til I know’ ‘ I’m on a really important call mee, and then have another one with no space to breathe between - if you can, may I have a coffee because I’m dying in here? ‘. Plus not time sensitive chat , photos of the pets we have with us through the day so the other can see their cuteness.


If i sms or email it’s serious, time sensitive. If it’s a phone call there is a possibility it’s not me calling him but the hospital.

It’s never been officially discussed between us but it works - And feels instinctive. I think having a ldr helps make things like this make more sense because if you are I. Different time zones for part of the week you learn ways to deal with it and maintain communication ( especially with modern technology- no more cruddy phone cards or going to the weird building with the telephone in it) And it just kind of sticks around as a useful tool in sane country / place living.

If knowing you get worried by no contact/ response is an issue ( it has been for me ) text works well because I accept I’m sending it to be read at a time convenient to the other. That could be instant or hours. It’s a really comfortable way to deal with owning only what we can control I think .
 

Friday

Moderator
If I told my wife she could only contact me in a real emergency, wholly shit, the world would end as I know it
LMAO… Ahhhh… but there is a difference between not allowed to call EXCEPT in an emergency & not allowed to blow up someone’s phone UNLESS it’s an emergency.

To be sure, not everyone has that rule in their life, or has different definitions than what blowing up someone’s phone means. I know people who cheerfully call 30 or 40 times (is there an automatic redial app or something? How do they even manage that?!?) just because they’re bored/lonely/mildly irritated at something they read 2 weeks ago and were reminded of as they waited in line at Starbucks, and oh, now their coffe is ready, TTYL! >.< Someone calls ME even half that many times in a row? They’ll get warned once; someone had better be in the hospital, watching their house burning down, just been raped, stranded on the side of the freeway… or I will block their number.

But I was a kid before voicemail was a thing… 5 rings for normal conversations, 10 rings if it’s important or international, tie up the line & let it keep ringing for hours (or dial zero and ask the operator to do so, to not tie up your own line) if it’s an emergency. My kid’s generation? Has totally different phone-etiquette. 8 missed calls from the same number doesn’t even make him blink, meanwhile I’m all 😲WTF HAPPENED?!? Meanwhile 15/25/40 missed calls from the same number? I’m expecting the person to answer to be the homicide cop standing over their body, not complaints about my failing as a human being for not picking up when I was in the middle of doing anything else.

All of which falls under that 95% of what makes up a person lining up. For some people blowing up another person’s phone is the normal order of things, whilst for others it had better be an emergency.

- so - I’m just going to ask - does anyone else use a two communication system?
4 part, actually.

- Day to day.
- Important.
- Emergency.
- FUBAR.

Abusing that system? Means exit from that system.
 
Top