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Old 07-14-2011, 10:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Worried

I have a great husband that I love very much. I'm worried that he has contempt for me. His mom and dad have never argued. They have been married for over 50 years. His dad is the most unhappy man I know. Instead of dealing with feelings or issues, my hubby's parents ignore nor it or bury it. Of course this leads to unresolved anger, hurt feelings, etc. My husband said something to me today that made me feel like he was becoming his dad. We were at a movie and he started to walk towards some seats that were behind a couple with a toddler and in front of 2 teenaged girls. I immediately said, "Can we go up here?" while motioning to the upper rows. He followed me while sporting his "tense" face. When we sat down I said that we could move closer if he wanted and that I was trying to get away from the noisey people. He looked at me and said, "You always do that. Whatever I choose something, you choose the opposite." My face must have said it all because he then said, "It's just how you are. You do always do what you want." I must have sat in stunned silence for a full 15 minutes before I felt the tears well up in my eyes. I wanted to tell him that I'd rather he speak his mind when something bothers him instead of waiting until he's so angry that he pops but I know it would've turned into a "See, I can never tell you how I feel because you always take it the wrong way" kind of discussion. So, I followed his lead and ignored it. Now I'm worried that we're becoming his parents and that TERRIFIES me. Any advice???
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Worried

Just my two cents:

If that is how he feels, then I'd make an effort to go with his choice at least 50% of the time.... I think I'd talk to him about it tho. I'd say something like "I didn't realize I do that, but I will try to make an effort to respect your choices more often." He may be right, or he may be one of those people who don't ever state a preference but ***** about it later... either way, it bothers him and it's fixable...with some effort.

But I'd also say then.... that I wish he didn't bottle things up because it sounds angry and ugly when he says it like that and makes you cry. Well, I'm sure there is a way to turn that into an "I statement".

Even just saying these things makes you less like his parents! Maybe you could read up on male vs female communications... if he won't read them, you could just casually share relevant parts.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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His mom and dad never argued??? Think of all the fun they've missed!

It sounds like you need to communicate more. Wait for an appropriate time (you are probably correct that the movie theater was not the right time) to bring the issue back up. Let him know that your parents "way" bothers you and is not good, and that you don't want to fall into the same pattern. I think you are being very forthright and responsible in wishing that he would tell you when things bother him rather than letting them fester.

In the future, try anticipating situations that might require a decision. He's obviously sensitive about his perception that you are making all the decisions. Perhaps he feels he has been to submissive and is trying to break that. The next time you go to the movies, discuss WHERE you want to sit before heading out but make it sound like HE is making the decision. "When we get to the theater, if it's not too full, can we sit away from any kids?" This should please him since you are asking his permission and letting him make the decision.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Worried

I appreciate the feedback. These are great suggestions. I can't stop wondering what else I do that really, really bothers him that he's not telling me about and when I'm going to hear about it. BTW, we've been married for 24 years and this is the first time he's ever mentioned this particular behavior.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Worried

We've been together 10 years and still have major communication issues, quite a few it now transpires resulting from his perception/belief that I try to control too much. BigToe's para:
In the future, try anticipating situations that might require a decision. He's obviously sensitive about his perception that you are making all the decisions. Perhaps he feels he has been to submissive and is trying to break that. The next time you go to the movies, discuss WHERE you want to sit before heading out but make it sound like HE is making the decision. "When we get to the theater, if it's not too full, can we sit away from any kids?" This should please him since you are asking his permission and letting him make the decision.
is a good starting point though as we well know, examples don't fit all scenarios and I'm sure for you, as me, it won't go well quite a lot of the time. Most important is to try to demonstrate you're making an effort - though whether or not he sees it as sufficient is down to him.
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Worried

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyT View Post
Maybe you could read up on male vs female communications... if he won't read them, you could just casually share relevant parts.

Open and honest communication always have the highest chance of solving relationship problems or at least getting into a compromise.

I suggest you go read up Leil Lowndes' material if you really want to avoid becoming like your husband's parents.

Best of luck!
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Worried

If this is the first time this has happened in 24 years, I wonder if there is more going on. I wonder if you husband is stressed about work, the kids, or something else. I would talk to him (or write your thoughts in an email) and ask him how things are going for him? Point out the incident in the movies and ask him what else was going through his mind? Listen to everything he has to say before forming any opinions so he can say everything he feels he needs to say.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Worried

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Originally Posted by Riverside MFT View Post
If this is the first time this has happened in 24 years, I wonder if there is more going on. I wonder if you husband is stressed about work, the kids, or something else. I would talk to him (or write your thoughts in an email) and ask him how things are going for him? Point out the incident in the movies and ask him what else was going through his mind? Listen to everything he has to say before forming any opinions so he can say everything he feels he needs to say.


You may also want to start keeping a journal devoted to decisions. Simply write down when decisions are made and who makes them. See if a pattern exists and if his complaint has merit. I have found that simply writing things like this down help me "see" a situation more clearly.
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