I’m Gonna Have To Add Barbwire To These Boundaries

Last night I made sure my husband knew any TV watching beyond 10pm had to be moved to the living room. He wrapped up a few minutes after 10 and sent the boys to bed, and I settled down to listen to music and hopefully sleep. He came over and affectionately squeezed my arm and I visibly tensed and moved the arm away from him.

“Okay fine, I won’t touch you,” he said, moving back over to his bed.

He then said something else, which I didn’t catch.

“Unless you can hear me and you’re just not responding,” he said.

As it happened, I had been silent because I couldn’t think of what or how to say it.

“You cost me an entire night’s sleep,” I snapped.

“Okay, if you think that’s a normal way to respond,” he huffed.

Normal? He thinks because I was calm and didn’t make a fuss the whole day while our kids were home from school that I was perfectly fine with him costing me a night’s sleep and should have just forgiven it and moved on? Maybe he thinks he’s the one that has something to forgive, given how twisted his perceptions of reality have been lately.

I told him I wasn’t discussing anything – not even my reaction – and that I was working on getting to sleep. Then I put on my noise canceling headphones and listened to Enya until I fell asleep.

Sleep is what started all of this. Sleep is why I had to put my foot down and give him the ultimatum that ultimately led to our relationship falling apart and put us on the path to divorce.

He’s still prioritizing his feelings and what he wants over one of my most basic needs, and then he thinks it’s not normal for me to tense up and respond poorly to his touch. Oh, buddy, you have no idea what’s normal. You got an incredibly calm response given the circumstances.

6 thoughts on “I’m Gonna Have To Add Barbwire To These Boundaries

  1. Gosh you are so angry with him I feel for you. So angry that even when he did as you’d asked you were unable to let go of it. I don’t know your history or how it’s been for you both over the years, but I do know as I’ve been there myself that holding on to anger and resentment eats away at us and trying to manage that by asking others to do differently doesn’t work. It’s much more productive to focus on ourselves and how we respond to things and manage them as that’s the part we can control. Divorce is very hard and painful and without focusing on the anger at first I don’t think anyone would do it and sometime it is the right thing. The anger is destructive for children though if it takes centre stage too long. Hidden behind anger is often a need for comfort so I’m sending you virtual hugs 💞 take care of yourself 💞

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    1. You’re right, you don’t know my history. You don’t know me in real life. And it might be wise if you knew more before you jump in here lecturing me. I’m sure that’s not how you intended this to sound, but that’s how it reads none-the-less.

      Anger is a natural reaction to people failing to listen to you and take your needs seriously, but just because I let my hair down here on an anonymous blog does not mean I’m going through my day simmering and exploding in the presence of my children, or even at him.

      16 years of chronic sleep deprivation, by the way. Do you know how serious that is, medically speaking? A night of lost sleep is pretty damn significant to me, and this is not the first time this, or something similar, has happened.

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  2. I’m so sorry if my comment upset you – that certainly wasn’t my intention. I was just reaching out to you as your words and experiences resonated with some of how I felt before I divorced and almost 7 years on I look back and see it differently and would have done some of it differently. But that’s me and this is you and I wish you all the best and hope you can find some peace and rest

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  3. I feel like your husband wants a lot more out of your non-relationship than you do, it seems like an awful limbo to have mentally cleaved yourself from someone but then be expected to still fulfil their needs (emotional and physical). He sounds in no way like he’s mentally accepted the break up…

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    1. This is an accurate assessment. I naively accepted what he said at face value when we first established our goals for what I said would probably be our last year together. I’m sure he believed what he was saying, at the time, too.

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