Question: Why does it come back to haunt YOU? Is it because YOU end up getting too frustrated & eventually erupt - on him ? (like I would describe myself if I kept it in) or HE gets frustrated because YOU are clamming up -and he would rather KNOW where your mind is, he is secure enough to deal with anything you can throw at him? If so, trust him in that.
I think HOW we deal with our spouses has ALOT to do with how they might respond also, no one wants to end up in the doghouse for the next week or so or bring on World War III.
IF you know your husband gets MORE frustrated with "clamming"/silent treatment behavior, then by all means -Do EVERYTHING in your power to become more OPEN with him-and more quickly, let things out to help him understand your world, even little things you may think are insignificant.
But then IF Being genuinely Open/honest/constructively critical will result in his getting "Offended", this is more tricky, some spouses will throw these little frustrations we share back in our faces in future fights - and never let it die. That is something to consider also. For these spouses, we need to weigh our words incredably carefully & timely.
To me, this would be SOOOOO much more difficult to deal with. That really has little to do with you though and how you share your pain, it is more a reflection on the spouse who can not handle "the truth" or want to work on getting along better. I feel bad for anyone who has a spouse they have to literally "walk on egg shells" in order to keep the peace, that alone would be a form of pent up frustration for many.
It’s not so much that I explode as a result of holding it all in, I just get extremely resentful and eventually shut down emotionally even when my "process" has determined that I need to let something go. It’s not logical, I know. People can’t know that something bothers me unless I tell them so I can’t hold resentment towards them for bothering me when they don’t know they’ve bothered me, but that’s the cycle. I’m working on it big time. Opening up is number one thing I’m working on actually as a result of marriage counseling but it just doesn’t come naturally to me.
My H is also an expert at turning things around. For a long time when I did try to communicate, if it was anything he had done that I reacted negatively to (or that was causing me frustration) he would turn it around and point to something I had done to cause his reaction which I therefore deserved. He does very much bring up “old stuff” whenever a new problem arises.
H says he is more bothered by the claming up response. He’s working on his reactions to me sharing my feelings (he also has anger issues) but it’s hard for both of us not to take everything so personally. We seemed to share many opinions and such in the beginning and a deviation from the same opinion is regarded as an insult. Also ridiculous, I know.
Oy, I sound so dysfunctional! The thing is that I know the right way to handle things, I can advise people all day long on their problems, but when it comes to my own I fail to use the tools I have.
Half of the battle is over if you come to the place you both are bound & determined to openly share -with understanding - all that is on your hearts & minds, all your frustrations, all your joys.
I love this statement and I might print it out to tape to my monitor if you don’t mind
Sorry to have hijacked your thread, Harvard, but hopefully some of that is helpful to you too.