Same fight for 12 years now. He wants me to be "open, intimate, vulnerable and let him in". While I understand the concept and what he is saying, I don't know what to "share".
We have always acknowleged that he is the "woman" in the relationship and I am the "man". Meaning, he wants to talk, share, etc. I am of few words. I am a little OCD, controlling and thrive on routine. Vanilla. Coupled with my "lack of communication", he is going nuts and feeling unloved. Of course I love him. I tell him all the time, but I am a demonstrator, acts of service, when he needs WORDS.
He says I am repressed and he is tired of banging his head against my closed door. Probably true. He insists that he just wants me to be ME, but that obviously is not the case. He doesn't like that I don't communicate well verbally, I can very easily compartmentalize, and still be a happy person. I'm a strong, only-child, independant wife and he doesn't feel like there is room for him or appreciation for him.
We went through counseling last year and I have made an appointment for just me next week. What can I do? He believes our whole problem is my lack of communication and that it is ruining our marriage. I agree he has a point. I don't communicate so well with words, but actions. So is the problem ME? I'm going to the counselor to see if she can help "un-repress" me. Or is the problem that he wants me to do it his way and so far I am not capable? We haven't been able to find a middle ground.
It's not talking about my day. We do that. He says I can talk about the logistics of schedule, family....everything, but he never knows "where I'm at, how I'm feeling" etc. I am neutral, uptight.
I believe it is a mixture of him being needy, and me being "closed".
Get one of those fridge magnets with all the smiley face moods on it where you can put a frame around one of them. Then change it accordingly. Tell him to reference the fridge if he wants to know how you're feeling!
All seriousness though. I still think a discussion about HOW you can provide that information to him could help.
MsStacy that (was) our situation exactly until I finally realized that that's how she is. What still often bothers me is in wondering why she knows it's an issue with me and doesn't make any real effort to change that. We did the 5 languages and identified what's most important but she never followed through. It isn't that she doesn't love me, just hard to get into a new routine. It's difficult to get into the habit of not being who you are. She (like you) shows love the only way she knows how. My wife works in an office and schedules appointments, she loves tasks. If i'm out of coffee she will run to the grocery store before work, bring it home, brew it and leave a little note. She will take my car to the wash and clean it like new. Women like you are wired different, I remember years ago, I dated for two years a whiny, clingy little drama queen that I couldn't stand (but a fantastic lover) but I'd rather take my robotic wife.
We have had discussions. I have asked him what he wants me to say. He wants to know what I think, feel, who I am, what's in my head. I agree that I keep to myself. I'm an "in my head" type of person. He wants to know when I'm angry, mad, happy, disappointed, etc. And yes, I should tell him when I'm mad at him, or happy with him.
I SHOW my feelings, moods. He wants to HEAR them.
For example...when we see a movie, he wants to know what I thought about it. Either I liked it, or I didn't. It's that cut an dry with me. He likes to disect, debate. I'm either yes or no. He is all shades of gray. He knows my past, but he says he knows nothing because I haven't shared. I've told him about it. I don't think about those things anymore, they're done and overwith in my mind. He doesn't feel I have "shared". He doesn't understand how I can be done with something. Does this make any sense?
The movie is the best description I have. I like it or I don't, and he needs more than that.
We went to the movies yesterday and I forgot to get his junior mints at the counter. Even though the movie had started I went back to get them. I DO so much for him.
It makes him crazy, and insecure, when he asks for more and I say there is nothing there. He will not, or cannot, accept that is how I am wired. It's not that I am not willing. I hope that I can learn how to give a little.
He says he just wants me to be ME. In fact....that's the exact thing he doesn't want.
Monday is my birthday and we are supposed to go out to dinner tonight with family. He told me last night that I need to do something about the plans tonight. I can compartmentalize what is happening and still go and have a good time tonight. He is unable to. So my change in plan is he just doesn't have to attend. Happy Birthday to me!
What he wants psychologically is for you to attend to him in the ways that are most reinforcing to him. You (like my wife) attend in ways that are most reinforcing to you. You are a cut and dried person that moves from point A to B efficiently and precisely in everything you do. He wants some gray area, some creativity, sponteinaity, show your vulnerable self, open up. Let me guess, he often will withdraw in anger to show you what it feels like right? It all goes back to that love languages concept. You and spouse take inventory on what you need, then are supposed to start delivering. It's really to me just a inventory meeting on what is most reinforcing to each.
Yes, he will withdraw and I'll know something is wrong because he is quiet and the dance begins.
I try to open up some, and he even admits he has noticed lately. But I will never be able to become what he wants me to be. I can try to be more verbal, he can try to be more demonstrative. We both know and are aware and have talked about this. So far it's not working. He says I'm a bully because he has to bend to my way of doing things or it's nothing.
I'm really putting a lot of hope into my appointment next week. I don't know what else to do. I sometimes feel he married me this way, go join a book club! Posted via Mobile Device
You know, I asked for years for some cuddling or touch from him that does not lead to sex. The only time he touches me is when he wants some. I quit asking. That is not who he is and I've accepted that. I'm not holding resentment. It's just not how he opperates. Why can't he accept me that way? His resentment is exploding! Posted via Mobile Device
I'm at peace but don't fully accept. I view it really as laziness. I've spelled out clearly what I need but she'd rather do things her way. Tried a little counseling but that was a joke for us. It really hit home for me when her best friend told me out of the blue that she never tells her anything about herself. She's one dimensional, can't help it. I just weighed the pro's vs con's, and the possibility of breaking up my family certainly doesn't guarantee i'd be happy with the next woman anyways. That make sense?
There's a lot of compromise in a relationship too though. So if you are willing to make the effort to try and open up more, he should be willing to meet you on some of the things that you would like from him.
Hopefully you'll both be able to find some middle ground.