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The Strawberry Letter: I Cut Him Off and He Stopped Asking

Subject: I cut him off and he stopped asking

Dear Steve and Shirley, I’m married to a very stubborn man and out of 8 years of marriage, he’s ignored me for most of that time. I’m a charge nurse and I have been really stressed out lately, as you can imagine. I come home to my husband and I expect him to listen to me vent and console me, but instead he has his head in his phone and he tunes me out. I have asked him to do favors for me or pick up groceries and dry cleaning and he will lie and say he will do it and when I ask him about it, he either says he doesn’t remember agreeing to do it or he will say he didn’t have time to. I got so fed up with him, that I stopped talking to him. He didn’t care because I was still having sex with him so I could unwind at night. I realized he was enjoying the sex and didn’t have to deal with my mouth, so I cut the sex off and he eventually started talking to me and paying attention to what I had to say. I played that game with him whenever I got really irritated with him. Back in May, I had a colonoscopy and he took me for the procedure and left me there. I had to be put into a holding room because the nurse couldn’t find him. He eventually came to pick me up and that was it for me. I’d had enough of him, so I went back to ignoring him. He apologized and begged me for sex for the first 3 weeks and then he stopped. He seemed to be okay without sex and his mood changed. He let me vent to him and he started helping me out around the house. I tried to reward him for good behavior with sex and he turned me away. I’m not sure if what he’s up to, but he will not have sex with me now. Has my ignoring game backfired? What’s up with him?