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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

Hi I have another thread going below but wanted to keep this separate for some feedback.

Entering Divorce proceedings

During MC last night it was discussed my inability to effectively show emotion has caused my W or STBXW to feel unloved and lonely and to detach from me, I do have a lot of feelings but maybe don't always show them in a way that she wanted. I was told that I am a fixer and I need to not try and fix everything all the time and sometimes just listen.

He recommend I read a book called Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson, has anyone read this book and did you get anything out of it? Also any other recommendations for books which have resonated well would be appreciated.


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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 02:29 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

I haven't read it, but it has really great reviews on Amazon. I would say, give it a try.

(In)effectively showing emotions can be a huge roadblock in relationships, and it's about communication. My guy, if he's especially stressed or upset emotionally about something (upset not including pissed off--if he's pissed off about something, I hear about it)--for example, if he's scared about his sister being in the hospital again or his dog not recovering well/fast enough from surgery, he won't tell me. He won't talk about it because talking about something like that brings up other bad feelings, like feeling ineffectual, because he can't do anything about it. Talking about it makes him feel worse. And he will start pulling away and not be as available because he is pre-occupied with this thing that he won't talk to me about, that I may not even realize what is happening. The last time he did this, it ended up in a big fight, because I felt like I was the last priority for him and he wasn't making time for me after we had just spent a week and a half apart, plus limited time together before that due to his dog's illness... I was feeling hurt because I wasn't getting the attention that I needed after being apart for so long, and he was feeling overwhelmed with everything going on. I could have been more empathetic to his needs in that moment... if he had just communicated to me what was going on and that he felt overwhelmed. Instead, it turned into a huge fight over expectations and the future of our relationship.

Communication is key.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:02 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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Originally Posted by MovingForward View Post
Hi I have another thread going below but wanted to keep this separate for some feedback.



Entering Divorce proceedings



During MC last night it was discussed my inability to effectively show emotion has caused my W or STBXW to feel unloved and lonely and to detach from me, I do have a lot of feelings but maybe don't always show them in a way that she wanted. I was told that I am a fixer and I need to not try and fix everything all the time and sometimes just listen.



He recommend I read a book called Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson, has anyone read this book and did you get anything out of it? Also any other recommendations for books which have resonated well would be appreciated.


I got the book from Amazon months ago. I haven't read it yet because life happened. It was recommended by a TAM veteran that I respected. That was enough for me to buy it. Maybe I'll read it this weekend.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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Originally Posted by FeministInPink View Post
I haven't read it, but it has really great reviews on Amazon. I would say, give it a try.

(In)effectively showing emotions can be a huge roadblock in relationships, and it's about communication. My guy, if he's especially stressed or upset emotionally about something (upset not including pissed off--if he's pissed off about something, I hear about it)--for example, if he's scared about his sister being in the hospital again or his dog not recovering well/fast enough from surgery, he won't tell me. He won't talk about it because talking about something like that brings up other bad feelings, like feeling ineffectual, because he can't do anything about it. Talking about it makes him feel worse. And he will start pulling away and not be as available because he is pre-occupied with this thing that he won't talk to me about, that I may not even realize what is happening. The last time he did this, it ended up in a big fight, because I felt like I was the last priority for him and he wasn't making time for me after we had just spent a week and a half apart, plus limited time together before that due to his dog's illness... I was feeling hurt because I wasn't getting the attention that I needed after being apart for so long, and he was feeling overwhelmed with everything going on. I could have been more empathetic to his needs in that moment... if he had just communicated to me what was going on and that he felt overwhelmed. Instead, it turned into a huge fight over expectations and the future of our relationship.

Communication is key.
I ordered it and the 2 books from womensinfidelity figured I suck at being a partner so I can work on being successful in future or with current W if we end up staying together.

I admit I do and have always had an issue opening up and letting people in, I like to help people and do things for people but to be someones emotional support I have no idea where to start or what to do, hopefully more MC/IC and plenty of reading and practice i will be ready.

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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I got the book from Amazon months ago. I haven't read it yet because life happened. It was recommended by a TAM veteran that I respected. That was enough for me to buy it. Maybe I'll read it this weekend.
I should get mine in the week and intend on starting to read right away so will let you know.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 03:54 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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I ordered it and the 2 books from womensinfidelity figured I suck at being a partner so I can work on being successful in future or with current W if we end up staying together.

I admit I do and have always had an issue opening up and letting people in, I like to help people and do things for people but to be someones emotional support I have no idea where to start or what to do, hopefully more MC/IC and plenty of reading and practice i will be ready.
Being someone else's emotional support is pretty easy. You let them talk about their stuff; don't offer solutions or say "What you gotta do is..." but instead empathize. Whatever your version of "that really sucks and I understand how you feel, your feelings are completely legitimate" is, say that. Rinse and repeat until the other person feels better. Sometimes it can be more complicated, but that's basically it.

I think what your wife was saying about you not being open emotionally is that she wants to be YOUR emotional support, but it probably feels like you don't want that from her because you don't open up readily, and to her that feels like you're shutting her out.

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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Being someone else's emotional support is pretty easy. You let them talk about their stuff; don't offer solutions or say "What you gotta do is..." but instead empathize. Whatever your version of "that really sucks and I understand how you feel, your feelings are completely legitimate" is, say that. Rinse and repeat until the other person feels better. Sometimes it can be more complicated, but that's basically it.
That sounds really simple I generally try and do something which is why I was referred to as a "fixer' and is apparently the wrong way to go about it.

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I think what your wife was saying about you not being open emotionally is that she wants to be YOUR emotional support, but it probably feels like you don't want that from her because you don't open up readily, and to her that feels like you're shutting her out.
Yes this is mostly what she told MC and me although there was some of the above also. I told the MC last night its weird I cannot explain it I want to open up but I can't and I do not know why. Also never really thought that not sharing problems could be an issue.

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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:27 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

To me, MC is a speed bump on the way to divorce. A friend of mine was a MC and his wife divorced him to be with the man she had been cheating with for a few years. So much for that. I believe that adults rarely can change who they are. You are a fixer and you can read all you want but you will still be a fixer. MC often will convince you to act as someone you are not to save the marriage, but after a while you cannot hold back the true you to be happy. If you think you can change who you are by reading a book, go ahead, it cannot hurt. If only it were that easy, but I do wish you luck.

I am married 44+ years. Loving each other has enabled us to consider the wants and needs of each other and accept who they are. I often wonder how strong love can be with couples in trouble. I always thought that love conquers all but after joining this website, apparently not. I was engaged to my wife three weeks after we met. It was love at first sight literally. I could never change who I am. I am an alpha male who needs to be in charge. I married a woman who wanted a man like me. Says I make her feel safe and protected. I think the problems that many married people have are due to love blinding them to each other's faults during the courtship or thinking they can change them after they are married. Then again what do I know. Do what you feel is best. It is easy to give advice when you do not have to suffer the consequences so take what I say as just my opinion. Feel free to ignore me. Give this a quick read. Interesting about the cycle of love and marriage.

How long does passion last? The four stages of love - TODAY.com

Many prefer to drown in a pool of their own morality rather than seek the safety of a different morality.

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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:35 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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Hi I have another thread going below but wanted to keep this separate for some feedback.

Entering Divorce proceedings

During MC last night it was discussed my inability to effectively show emotion has caused my W or STBXW to feel unloved and lonely and to detach from me, I do have a lot of feelings but maybe don't always show them in a way that she wanted. I was told that I am a fixer and I need to not try and fix everything all the time and sometimes just listen.

He recommend I read a book called Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson, has anyone read this book and did you get anything out of it? Also any other recommendations for books which have resonated well would be appreciated.
Don't know the book but it sounds great.

I feel for you because men and women seem to be wired very differently in this area. Men by nature want to "fix" problems, but when women talk about their problems, at that moment, they want to be heard and understood. They feel connected to you when they feel like you feel their pain and understand their frustration. As a woman, it is frustrating and disappointing to me when I tell my husband about a problem and he immediately jumps in with ideas to solve it. I know he's trying to help, but I feel like he is saying "your issue is no big deal, just do xyz, now can we talk about something interesting, or better yet, not talk anymore at all?"

I heard a speaker once say there are three things every man needs to learn to say. I was sitting beside my husband and before he said what they were I leaned over and whispered "Tell me more..." because that is the #1 thing that I, as a woman, would want to hear from my husband (and never do 0 his instinct is to throw up a solution and try to just get the conversation over with). Anyhow, that was #1 on the list! I just found this article online by the guy if you're interested:

The Charged Life ? Be Great in Relationships

Three things to master saying to your wife:
1. Tell me more...
2. I'm sorry that happened, that sucks, that's so lame.
3. I'm here for you. Anything I can do.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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Originally Posted by Vinnydee View Post
To me, MC is a speed bump on the way to divorce. A friend of mine was a MC and his wife divorced him to be with the man she had been cheating with for a few years. So much for that. I believe that adults rarely can change who they are. You are a fixer and you can read all you want but you will still be a fixer. MC often will convince you to act as someone you are not to save the marriage, but after a while you cannot hold back the true you to be happy. If you think you can change who you are by reading a book, go ahead, it cannot hurt. If only it were that easy, but I do wish you luck.

I am married 44+ years. Loving each other has enabled us to consider the wants and needs of each other and accept who they are. I often wonder how strong love can be with couples in trouble. I always thought that love conquers all but after joining this website, apparently not. I could never change who I am. I am an alpha male who needs to be in charge. I married a woman who wanted a man like me. I think the problems that many married people have are due to love blinding them to each other's faults or thinking they can change them after they are married. Give this a quick read. Interesting about the cycle of love and marriage.

How long does passion last? The four stages of love - TODAY.com
I partially agree but also feel that part of our issues is general communication, we made it 12 years and only really hit a hump over the lack 12 months or so, for me MC is having someone neutral try and get aside all the BS and figure out what the real issue is and then if we can/want to fix it.

Thanks for the link


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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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I feel for you because men and women seem to be wired very differently in this area. Men by nature want to "fix" problems, but when women talk about their problems, at that moment, they want to be heard and understood. They feel connected to you when they feel like you feel their pain and understand their frustration. As a woman, it is frustrating and disappointing to me when I tell my husband about a problem and he immediately jumps in with ideas to solve it. I know he's trying to help, but I feel like he is saying "your issue is no big deal, just do xyz, now can we talk about something interesting, or better yet, not talk anymore at all?"
For me and maybe the same for your husband it is not to say its no big deal or a want to move onto a more interesting conversation its just that it comes across as asking us to fix something and we want to take it on as our problem and make it right, I know that sounds kind of stupid when I wrote it down but that's really what is it


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Three things to master saying to your wife:
1. Tell me more...
2. I'm sorry that happened, that sucks, that's so lame.
3. I'm here for you. Anything I can do.
This is similar to what FIP was saying earlier and makes sense

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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 05:05 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

@WorkingWife said pretty much exactly what I was going to say. Most men are inherently fixers. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just not what most women need.

Sharing in a marriage IS important. It leads to emotional intimacy, which is what most women need in a relationship. Because many men are like you @MovingForward and are reluctant to share, when you DO share with your wife all these things--your hopes, your dreams, your fears--they become hers, too. And that's what makes a marriage special and intimate the way no other relationship is, because she knows you truly intimately, the way no one else ever possibly could.

This is why emotional affairs (on the husband's part) can be so much more painful than just a physical affair (CAN be, not making grand sweeping generalizations), because he is sharing with his AP things that are emotionally intimate and should be reserved for the special intimacy between a husband and wife.

When you keep things from your wife, you are denying her the emotional intimacy that she needs in a relationship, and when that happens, she stops feeling SAFE in the relationship. If she stops feeling safe, she will likely pull away from physical intimacy--which is usually the husband's biggest need in the marriage. It makes HIM feel safe, and allows him to be emotionally vulnerable. When she starts pulling away physically, he withdraws even more emotionally--which in turns causes her to pull away more physically. It creates a vicious cycle which can eventually spiral out of control and ruin a marriage. It takes at least one person--preferably both--not pulling back, despite the feelings of (sometimes extreme) discomfort, to keep the cycle from continuing, and to turn it around.

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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 05:11 PM
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Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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Don't know the book but it sounds great.



I feel for you because men and women seem to be wired very differently in this area. Men by nature want to "fix" problems, but when women talk about their problems, at that moment, they want to be heard and understood. They feel connected to you when they feel like you feel their pain and understand their frustration. As a woman, it is frustrating and disappointing to me when I tell my husband about a problem and he immediately jumps in with ideas to solve it. I know he's trying to help, but I feel like he is saying "your issue is no big deal, just do xyz, now can we talk about something interesting, or better yet, not talk anymore at all?"



I heard a speaker once say there are three things every man needs to learn to say. I was sitting beside my husband and before he said what they were I leaned over and whispered "Tell me more..." because that is the #1 thing that I, as a woman, would want to hear from my husband (and never do 0 his instinct is to throw up a solution and try to just get the conversation over with). Anyhow, that was #1 on the list! I just found this article online by the guy if you're interested:



The Charged Life ? Be Great in Relationships



Three things to master saying to your wife:

1. Tell me more...

2. I'm sorry that happened, that sucks, that's so lame.

3. I'm here for you. Anything I can do.


Well you have never listened to my wife tell a 30 minute story that i can summarize in 30 seconds. Sometimes i just want to put a gun to my head.

When i ask what time do we have to be at an event, I don't want a 10 minute story. I want a 5 sec reply. To me, it is disrespectful to be subjected to that.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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@WorkingWife said pretty much exactly what I was going to say. Most men are inherently fixers. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just not what most women need.

Sharing in a marriage IS important. It leads to emotional intimacy, which is what most women need in a relationship. Because many men are like you @MovingForward and are reluctant to share, when you DO share with your wife all these things--your hopes, your dreams, your fears--they become hers, too. And that's what makes a marriage special and intimate the way no other relationship is, because she knows you truly intimately, the way no one else ever possibly could.

This is why emotional affairs (on the husband's part) can be so much more painful than just a physical affair (CAN be, not making grand sweeping generalizations), because he is sharing with his AP things that are emotionally intimate and should be reserved for the special intimacy between a husband and wife.

When you keep things from your wife, you are denying her the emotional intimacy that she needs in a relationship, and when that happens, she stops feeling SAFE in the relationship. If she stops feeling safe, she will likely pull away from physical intimacy--which is usually the husband's biggest need in the marriage. It makes HIM feel safe, and allows him to be emotionally vulnerable. When she starts pulling away physically, he withdraws even more emotionally--which in turns causes her to pull away more physically. It creates a vicious cycle which can eventually spiral out of control and ruin a marriage. It takes at least one person--preferably both--not pulling back, despite the feelings of (sometimes extreme) discomfort, to keep the cycle from continuing, and to turn it around.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
That pretty much sums my how things have happened for me and my current W, I never thought it could be such a big deal

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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 05:37 PM
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Re: Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson Questions

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That pretty much sums my how things have happened for me and my current W, I never thought it could be such a big deal
That's probably why the MC said it was a textbook case. A lot of people--men AND women--don't realize that it's such a big deal, each seeing it from their own sides. They don't know or understand how their partner thinks or what they need.

A lot of people live by the Golden Rule: Do unto others and you would have them do unto you. And that works in a lot of situations.

But sometimes, you have to remember, do unto my partner as my partner would prefer, not the way I would prefer. If you can do that, you're in a. Much better position for success.

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