Quiet husband, lonely wife
Both of us are introverts. We bonded over things like Star Trek, Marvel/Ghibli movies, and playing Nintendo games together. We have similar values though I'm far more optimistic. Our circles of nonfamily friends have dwindled from moving far away from the people we knew and not getting new local ones.
I grew up with parents that'd talk at length about work or the actions of our extended family. This seemed to inspire in me a pattern of monologuing or being monologued at as my normal communication flow for something like 'how has your day been'. But I could definitely have a normal conversations on topics but I'd seldom want to repeat them if nothing had changed on the matter. She is an anxious person and finds comfort in repeating or revising plans for various worst case scenarios, or venting on something upsetting her.
Raising a family has made it a lot harder to share experiences together, and thus conversations. She no longet enjoys activities that involve watching say movies together, (or watching a 1 player game). Occasionally we can find a YouTube video to share but she won't tolerate longer than a single episode of tv an evening. While occasionally I can find a game to play with her, she'll rapidly lose interest. We both like to read or listen to podcasts but seldom enjoy the same books/spoken topics. She also catches colds from our child fairly easily and is often debilitated by illness more than anyone I know, so it limits when we can do more physical activities. Further more, taking our son someplace else to let her rest she considers being abandoned, but will get irritated if we stay close and are too loud. Boy is 7 so it's hard to get him to play quietly.
My wife has expressed that letting her speak with acknowledgements and interjections of attentiveness are unsatisfying. I find myself at a loss at what to initiate a talk about, because nothing I think she'll enjoy hearing has happened since our last good conversation, or she'll accuse me of monologuing if I spend too long on something she isn't invested in. There are also times she'll be saying things at me when I'm focused on something and feel ignored when I ask for a repetition of a missed word or legitimately did not realize I was being talked to;that shortens her patience with me.
I want to be a better partner for her. Not sure what _ how I can change.
Eugene Kayser, lic. Marriage & Family Therapist