Thin skin...easily hurt. - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thin skin...easily hurt.

How do you make marriage work and keep honesty at the forefront when you're married to someone who is hypersensitive to any type of requests for change/constructive criticism? Also how do you know what you need to improve upon when they're so afraid of rocking the boat that they won't even offer constructive criticism?

I prefer to speak plainly and communicate what I need from my husband. I try to use the "i need" and "when you do this I feel this" type of statements. It never works.

He ends up getting sullen and saying things like how awful he is and how horrible he is at being a husband. That's completely not what I've said at all. I also couch my thoughts in positive things to avoid this but it never works.

When I ask what I could do to improve as his partner he offers nothing. He says he's happy and doesn't want me to change a thing. How is that even possible? It makes me feel like I'm a jerk for needing improvements on things like intimacy,communication, and sex.

I'm starting to shut down and push him away :/

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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:41 AM
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

Landmine people are difficult to deal with.

OTOH, it always helps to find the right way to phrase things - to try to make requests positive rather than negative.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

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Originally Posted by uhtred View Post
Landmine people are difficult to deal with.

OTOH, it always helps to find the right way to phrase things - to try to make requests positive rather than negative.
He always finds a way to make it out to be like he's the most horrible husband in the world. Which in turn makes me feel like anything I need or want from him is unreasonable since it makes him feel like a horrible spouse when I ask for things.
It sucks.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:46 AM
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

It sounds like he needs to read the book "No More Mr. Nice Guy".
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:51 AM
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

You might want to read "When I Say No, I Feel Guilty" by M. Smith. It is far more than the title suggests. It will give you some good verbal tools to use with him.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 11:04 AM
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

There are a thousand ways to approach this, but not knowing your partner's languages make this a penlight in 30 days of night.

Confidence carries it's own light differently in each of us, and it's measure lies not from another but within ourselves.

There came a time when I had to exchange new confidences for old... I had never felt insecurity when walls came down and I found myself standing open, suddenly every word of improvement that was directed at me felt like an attack. My wife looked at me like some alien that had inhabited her husband replacing a stranger with a stranger stranger... I now complicated everything especially when her "plain talk" was callous and hurtful, and it was not nice at times not that I didn't have an ability to step aside from it, even when it was simply rude and intended to hurt.

Self love, respect, and worth are a critical foundation... if one is weak here then new eyes are so important because our scenery doesn't change, just ask a mirror but remember a mirror only see's what's on the outside.

May I ask what he does for a living?
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 11:56 AM
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

One thing that helps with my wife is letting of the little things and picking my "battles". Not enough info to say if that might help you.

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Originally Posted by Sixlet View Post
When I ask what I could do to improve as his partner he offers nothing. He says he's happy and doesn't want me to change a thing. How is that even possible? It makes me feel like I'm a jerk for needing improvements on things like intimacy,communication, and sex.
That's my wife too. I do keep asking, occasionally, while working what I know I need to improve on. Also pay attention to his non verbal communications, he's likely sending signals. My wife will often verbalize something but it's too cryptic to understand at time. How is the communication in general?

One more book recommendation "How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It", parts of it really helped me.



Sigh, my wife gives me the speaking treatment.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

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One thing that helps with my wife is letting of the little things and picking my "battles". Not enough info to say if that might help you.



That's my wife too. I do keep asking, occasionally, while working what I know I need to improve on. Also pay attention to his non verbal communications, he's likely sending signals. My wife will often verbalize something but it's too cryptic to understand at time. How is the communication in general?

One more book recommendation "How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It", parts of it really helped me.
Thanks,Charlie! I have started to let go of a lot of those little things realizing they don't matter in the long run. It definitely has helped my happiness level and I'm sure has helped him feel less unworthy. My main focus is our lack of intimate communication and his lack of initiating sex. He's so responsive and it's making me feel very undesirable since I'm always the one making the move for sex. We also get stuck in this pattern of only talking about work,tv shows,politics,and other things like that. The conversations don't ever go deeper.
He genuinely seems happy and is sweet and loving so part of me things he really just wants me to stop trying to fix things. I don't know :/
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

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Originally Posted by Thor View Post
It sounds like he needs to read the book "No More Mr. Nice Guy".
Part of me wonders if he's truly blaming himself and throwing himself on the sword bc he's too nice but then the other part of me wonders if it's not a manipulation tactic to make me stop asking things of him.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:27 PM
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

Sounds to me like he's insanely afraid of rejection. That and his sense of ego is in the toilet. That could explain why he never initiates sex - if you said no he would be devastated. Better to expect disappointment and not be disappointed than to expect the best and be let down. At least that's how I perceive his thinking.

He needs counseling. Something has happened to him in the past to make him so meek. Maybe he was bullied as a child, maybe a traumatic experience in school or college. There's no telling. But a counselor can help him realize that hey, I am worth something and I am a damn good husband.

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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

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Sounds to me like he's insanely afraid of rejection. That and his sense of ego is in the toilet. That could explain why he never initiates sex - if you said no he would be devastated. Better to expect disappointment and not be disappointed than to expect the best and be let down. At least that's how I perceive his thinking.

He needs counseling. Something has happened to him in the past to make him so meek. Maybe he was bullied as a child, maybe a traumatic experience in school or college. There's no telling. But a counselor can help him realize that hey, I am worth something and I am a damn good husband.
You're probably right. I've spent our entire relationship building him up and helping him find his voice. He always says the thing he admires most about me is the fact that I'm not a doormat for anyone and say what I feel. But over time I'm starting to lose that part of myself at least with him bc I don't want him to feel beat down by me.

As for rejection he has never had to feel that from me. But I understand the fear of it.
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:39 PM
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

He sounds intimidated.
He sounds passive.
He sounds like he does not want to rock the boat.

He sounds, but nothing comes out of his mouth.

Mark.....Twain....two meters deep, shallow water all around.

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

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Originally Posted by SunCMars View Post
He sounds intimidated.
He sounds passive.
He sounds like he does not want to rock the boat.

He sounds, but nothing comes out of his mouth.

Mark.....Twain....two meters deep, shallow water all around.
That's a great observation. anything helpful to add?
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:50 PM
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

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Originally Posted by Sixlet View Post
I'm always the one making the move for sex.
Was that always the case? Or did he initiate in the past but stopped?



Sigh, my wife gives me the speaking treatment.
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:53 PM
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Re: Thin skin...easily hurt.

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Originally Posted by Sixlet View Post
As for rejection he has never had to feel that from me. But I understand the fear of it.
I'm not saying you would reject him. But if he made a sexual overture at a time when you weren't in the mood, had a headache (a real one) or had something else going on that totally put you out of the mood, then he might see that as a reason to blame himself rather than accept the explanation at face value. He needs to gain some self confidence. Maybe integrate some humor into your sex life. Humor is a great tool.
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