An Emotionally Frigid Environment

I don’t even know where to start except that it’s 3 am and I’m crying in the living room again.

I feel so lonely. God I feel so lonely.

I get the distinct feeling that my husband doesn’t like me very much. We don’t connect. If we do, it’s literally for like, 3 seconds maybe here and there. I feel like a fixture in his life, not an asset or a treasure. I feel like I’m just here.

He never touches me. I get a few kisses throughout the day but only because I literally had to beg for those. I can feel that he doesn’t want to. I can feel that sort of, I did it! 🙂 There ya go! energy behind it.

I am someone that needs a lot of physical contact. To be honest, probably too much. I probably need too much, but it’s something I know about myself. It’s something I had in mind when I met Michael. I was completely myself with him, no secrets, no surprises, the good the bad and the ugly. And he stayed around. He stuck it out. I thought, okay cool, here’s a guy who likes me exactly how I am. I like to drink. I like to fuck. I’m opinionated and crass at times. I like to have fun, be loud and rowdy. And I like to snuggle all night long.

But now, here I am 3 and a half years later, and I don’t drink. I don’t fuck. I don’t snuggle. And if I have an emotion, I’m in trouble.

Michael has all these prepared scripts for when I get sad. He doesn’t relate to me or look me in the eyes, he doesn’t hug me. He just goes, “wow, yeah that sucks,” and keeps playing his video game. “wow yeah, that sounds hard.”

That’s what he does when I’m sad. But when I’m angry, he gets this look his face and freezes. He literally backs himself into a corner of the room closest to the door until the perfect moment that he can walk out, like a little kid saying “Can I go now?”

Everything seems so robotic and cold. On the surface, he does do things. He buys me presents. He takes care of the baby. Het lets me nap when I need a nap. He supports me going out with my girlfriends on my birthday. But I feel like our house is a refrigerator. I feel like a piece of furniture. An appliance that needs too much maintenance.

Sometimes I get so mad at him because I feel like he tricked me. He tricked me into this life. He’ll vehemently say otherwise, but I feel like he sold me a false dream. He made me feel safe. I turned it all in for a chance at what I thought would be a beautiful, real relationship, where I would be seen and understood, valued for my quirks and zest for life. But it’s just the same. I’m just all alone in a loveless, stagnant environment. The only difference this time is now I have no friends and no family around either, so I’m truly all alone.

Sometimes I lay in bed and I cry quietly and I ask myself how did I get into this situation? How did I get myself into this fucking situation? Then I remind myself that I know exactly how I got myself into this situation. Then I get so, so angry. Then I try to calm myself down and say shit like, look at the bright side! count your blessings! things are great! Over and over and over and over again.

How I got myself into this situation is I didn’t trust myself. Every time I was over here, my stomach was screaming at me GET OUT GET OUT NO NO NO NO WRONG TURN NOOOOO but I just drowned it out with wine. I told my gut it was wrong. That it this was the sensible and practical and smart thing to do. After all, I’d trusted my gut before, and look where that got me. No where good, that’s for sure! But what I didn’t understand yet was there was a difference between what I was calling “my gut” in the past and my actual body giving me an alarm.

When I hang out with Michael’s friends, it’s awful. It’s not just like…ehh I don’t really dig these folks. No, it’s like…I actually hate them. They’re immature losers. 30 year old super stoners with dead end jobs, still live with their parents, one worked at McDonald’s for a while. It’s so weird, because I’ve never been a person who thinks this way about other people. I worked at McDonald’s, too, but I was in friggin high school! There comes a time when you have to look at your life and realize you’re not growing. Smoking bongs all day and working at the restaurant is what you do in your 20s. I did it! I get it! But I’m a 36 year old mother and something about hanging out with them makes my stomach turn. It feels like a step backwards into my past, when I was 19. I moved to LA to meet important people, creative people, activists. And instead I’m sitting with these dipshits while they rip their bong. Ugh god, so gross. So gross! I WANT TO SCREAM IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS THIS IS GROSS YOU PEOPLE ARE GROSS GET AWAY FROM US!

Michael is getting his PHD. I thought he would have scholarly, smart, intellectual friends who are writers and readers and thinkers. I thought it was just the Pandemic that was bringing these historical friends around. Historical friend is a term I read once about people that you’ve probably outgrown but you keep them around because you’ve known them forever.

Just perfect examples of me rationalizing and explaining red flags away. I was trained to do this by my mother. She had excuses for everything. Everything. And I remember thinking, “this doesn’t sound right. this doesn’t feel right, but Mama knows best. She knows better than me.” So here, we are.

And don’t get me started on his “band”. I call it a band quite loosely because, matter of factly, I’ve been in bands. I’ve had my own bands. I’ve played and been on tour with bands, professional musicians who do this as their job. My father was a hit songwriter. I grew up around real musicians and songwriters. His band is not a band. This is a 21 year old girl who knows nothing about the world, who has that classic Gen Z dissociative thing going on where she’s just not really there, another kid–I call him a kid but he’s 32– who works at a restaurant and wants to “make it big one day” even though he’s well past his prime and can’t play for shit because he’s always so high, and another guy who’s also in his 30s but literally lives with his parents and doesn’t have a job, who–might I add–just started playing bass. Literally months ago.

This is not a band. This is you and your buddies fucking around. The only thing about it, is he treats it like it’s real professional and important, and it takes prescient over our time together or even time with the baby. And if I treat it as anything less, he’s really hurt.

Also, I want to be clear. I want Michael to have hobbies. I want him to play music. But that’s not what he’s doing. He’s dedicating an entire day to “cutting their album” like what the fuck are you even talking about?? You’ve never played a show! Just rehearse some songs and have some fun doing it first! Then when it all gels, then record your album and get some gigs on the books. One time Michael came in the house and was clearly frustrated. I asked him how it was going, and he was like oh we haven’t even done anything yet because we’re still working on all the technicalities. I was floored. The technicalities?!? It’s band rehearsal with a guy who’s only played bass for a few months. What the fuck have you been doing for the last 4 hours while I’ve been sitting here with the baby, wishing to god I could just get 15 minutes of real sleep. Are you fucking serious??

Ugh! And then he frames it like I don’t want him to have the band. I’ve sucked all the fun out of it. I don’t want him to be happy. Please. God, give me a break.

I want him to realize he’s better than this. He’s too smart and too talented to be dedicating what should be family time to these children and stoners.

And sure, I saw this in the beginning. I didn’t understand it fully, but I saw it. But I kept talking myself around in circles. I said to myself, all that matters is that he’s a good guy, and he craves the same amount of physical touch you do. He’s a good, supportive, kind person, and he meets the snuggle requirements.

Look on the bright side! He likes music! Sure, he loves all the music you absolutely hate. Sure you guys don’t really even like even a single band or group that’s the same. But…music! He likes music. I like music. We like music! Now here I am, with a dude who just looooves Sublime and considers himself a professional Kendrick Lamar scholar. That’s how serious his thing with Kendrick is. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s nauseating.

He dresses goofy. But I said to myself, I said Katy… clothes don’t make the man. Granted, it’s MILES absolutely miles better than when I first met him, but still. It’s bad, folks. It’s real bad.. socks with sandals bad. but I thought, no, it’s his heart is what matters.

But here I am now. With a dude who dresses like goof troop, with no friends who aren’t just creme de la creme bottom feeders, who fancies himself a professional musician, AND he doesn’t like me to drink, he doesn’t hold me, he doesn’t make love to me, and he doesn’t do anything with me at all. At all. We’ve had our baby for 7 months almost and we’ve done absolutely nothing together as a family. Not a single thing.

Oh! Oh I forgot one last thing. Michael is a scaredy-cat. For real. This one he’s done a good job of hiding, but I’m figuring it out now. I think he has true agoraphobia or something because he orders all his food delivery. All of it. He ordered dishwashing detergent today on Instacart. He does not leave the house unless it’s to go to school, and he never stops anywhere afterwards. He wouldn’t go anywhere with me during the pandemic, not even on a road trip. He said it was bc he was nervous bc he has bladder issues and didn’t want to use public restrooms. But you know what I think? I think he’s scared. I think he’s genuinely scared of the world. And I think he’s scared when I go out into the world.

If I’m completely honest, it has me on the brink of suicide. Living this way has me very, very depressed. I’ve been thinking about suicide a lot lately. It started creeping in about a year ago. There’s nothing in my life that brings me joy except my son, and even that is twinged with sadness because I see him and I know I can never leave this life. I have to find a way to stuff it down and make it work for him.

[edit: reading this back, I want to say that I would never commit suicide because I would never ever do that to my son. But the truth of the matter is that at least twice a week, I’m really thinking about it. That’s how bad the emotional pain is.]

I just want to live. I want to be around people who are alive. I want to talk about adult things with other adults. I want to laugh.

Jesus. I knew. I KNEW. I knew to run. I actually tried to run. But he wouldn’t let me. He talked me out of all the things I wanted to do. He said they were unsafe. He said they were dangerous. Then the pandemic hit and bam, there I was, living in his house, with his disgusting roommates, in their disgusting filthy house, with their disgusting dog, with their trash couches, literally from the trash. I had a beautiful apartment with foliage and two hot tubs and a gym, a bike’s ride away from whatever I wanted. And I traded that in for this.

And sure, I made the house better. It’s gorgeous now, the roommates are gone. But what if I had spent that energy on myself instead of his shitty old house. I could have gone anywhere, done anything. The world was closed, but it was also completely open. It was years long do whatever the fuck you want day. And I chose to live in the suburbs, with people I hate, beautifying someone else’s home, sitting patiently waiting for the world to become “safe” again.

God what a waste. My whole life is a big waste. Every part of it. My childhood was a waste. I wasted my 20s. I blew every opportunity I ever had by telling myself it was bullshit or another one was right around the corner. I wasted the pandemic. And now it looks like I’ll waste the rest of my life until my disability gets so bad I can’t walk anymore, because I just let other people make decisions for me at every turn. Because I didn’t think I knew better or because I thought people were looking out for me. It physically makes my stomach hurt. It doubles me over. I can’t live like this much longer. I can’t keep feeling this deep, deep pain paired with his loneliness.


Okay, okay, okay. I’ve calmed down.

I just have to remind myself that I have to make the life I want somehow. I have to start going out to Mommy and Me groups. I have to meet other moms. I have to find friends who are like me. Surely I can find one or two out there.

That’s what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to remind myself to go out there. I’ve got to take an improv class or something at night once a week and I’ve got to find a Mommy and Me somewhere, too. That’s it. It’ll be okay. You’ll be okay. Don’t blow everything up. Don’t give up. It’s not hopeless, it’s just gonna take some work. It’s okay.

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February 17, 2023

First off, I’m sorry you’re going through it. I can feel the emotion through your words. It’s heavy and its not black and white its a grey area with a lot of roads to take leading out. It’s messy, it’s confusing it’s all consuming. I hope to not over step by saying that you’re not too much. You’re not to affectionate, you’re not to emotional, you’re not too much of anything. It sounds like maybe some where along the way you’ve out grown him, and now you’re waiting for him to catch up. It could be done, but in the mean time please don’t let his cold shoulder make you feel like there’s anything unlovable about you. You sound awesome, and interesting. You sound like a great mother, and an adventurous soul. Don’t loose the light that shines so brightly inside of you.

Wishing you all the luck, love and courage to remind yourself that you are a bad ass who will get through this.


February 20, 2023

@thegirlwiththemessyhair Wow. I’m speechless.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a beautiful, compassionate message. Thank you.

February 21, 2023

@ohmylanta yea of course. I like to think everyone on this site is a little community of support when we go through hard times.