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post #31 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 03:43 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

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Originally Posted by barbieDoll View Post
1. Please listen and not just hear us when we speak.

There are differences to the two: hearing us is basically hearing background noise. "Pick up deodorant". Listening is when you actually got the details of what we were saying. "Pick up the same deodorant I use".


This is where I also fall into the trap of ASSUMING he knows or HOPING he'd be smart enough to check out what deodorant I use or know to go to where I keep it to find out. I learned that I have to specifically say what brand, what scent and sometimes what it looks like. I had to get over the fact that he doesn't care to waste time to figure all that stuff out when it was easier for me to tell him.
Not trying to be intentionally pedantic here, because I think you would agree.

Communication is inherently the responsibility of the communicator. It's the one consistent lesson that's pounded into our heads as managers, as writers, as speakers or any other avenue where information is conveyed via language.

If we have to fall back onto tired canards like "I would hope you would have been smart enough to figure out...." (-->Insert detail we neglected to communicate<--) then we've failed.

Here's a simple experiment: Try going an entire day without using a single demonstrative pronoun when communicating with your spouse. It's surprisingly tough!

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post #32 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 10:16 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

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Here's a simple experiment: Try going an entire day without using a single demonstrative pronoun when communicating with your spouse. It's surprisingly tough!
What's a demonstrative pronoun and why is it significant that it is difficult to communicate without them?

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post #33 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 10:36 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

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What's a demonstrative pronoun and why is it significant that it is difficult to communicate without them?
Demonstrative Pronouns - Glossary Definition - UsingEnglish.com

The answer to the second is probably pretty clear after seeing the definition. It would be a challenge ... Sometimes, though, they may help clarify since we can get lost in too much verbage.
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post #34 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 09:48 AM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

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What's a demonstrative pronoun and why is it significant that it is difficult to communicate without them?
Demonstratives are words in speech that require an external reference for the listener to grasp. The technical term is deictic words.

In English, 'this' and 'these' are proximal demonstrative pronouns and, 'that' and 'those' are distal demonstrative pronouns.

Demonstratives streamline our speech and make it more pleasant, but the more we use, the more the listener will need to understand not only what we're saying, but what we're experiencing and thinking as well.

The classic, corny (And slightly sexist) example from television sitcoms involving married couples is when the wife hears a noise and the husband does not. The dialogue starts off like this:
Her: "What's that noise?"

Him: "I don't hear anything."

Her: "There it is again. Don't you hear that?"
Obviously we wouldn't want to eliminate them from our speech entirely, but trying to go a day, or even a single conversation without using them can sometimes give us a feel for how much we're simply assuming the other person knows.
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post #35 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 10:57 AM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

It can go a little farther than just demonstrative pronouns to a lot of non-specific language we use. I know in our house, I often ask where something is, and I'm told what would translate to English as "It's right over there," even when we're not in the same room. Another example: there are the times when I ask where something is and I'm told "It's in the cabinets." I look and there are about 20 cabinet doors in the room where I'm standing, so I ask for clarification and it becomes "In the top." It takes several questions before we finally get to "Second door from the left on the top." It wouldn't really need to be quite that specific, but it needs to be specific enough that I think I have a reasonable starting place.

Last edited by shy_guy; 02-24-2012 at 11:50 AM. Reason: grammar - subject, verb agreement.
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post #36 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 10:26 AM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

Isn't the top enough? That just took away 10 of the 20 cabinet doors. Now you just have to look through 10. Just kidding! LOL
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post #37 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

I like that there's discussion about this on both ends... all totally valid and all good!

I agree; there comes a time when we all need our quiet time. Fair enough! As much as I love my H, I do enjoy reading my book in bed while he enjoys his time with his xbox.

I also agree that there are some tasks that are just physically better suited for men and/or women.

Yup, better descriptors are also a valid thing to want when describing something. haha. But what I find hilarious about myself is that I can go on and on in detail as to what something looked like but when I have to tell H to get something or go somewhere or do something... I have to be brief. haha. But I acknowledge my shortfall and am working on it.

All this debate is great... keep at it!!
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post #38 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 01:51 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

two things come to mind:

1) my wife loves to talk *at length* about her job/school/whatever - often, there's nothing for me to do but say "mmm-hmmm" and nod, or the occasional "you did fine" or "don't worry about that". I'm happy to do this, but after a really long time, it gets old and it feels like she's being really self centered. Problem is, I *don't* like to talk about my work - I'd rather leave it at the office, and so I can't do a clean reciprocation (or even get a word in edgewise, to tell the truth). I understand that she has a need for this "conversation", so I do my best to fill it. It can sure seem excessive, though, and I haven't found a great way to shut it off when I've had enough without causing problems.

2) She doesn't really want to hear about my feelings. She does if they're good and they re-enforce the stability she likes to feel, but if I feel depressed or other negative emotions, it appears to freak her out and make her very anxious. She ends those conversations as soon as she can. It may be related to the fact that I'm the primary breadwinner and if I were to spiral out of control and lose my job or something, our lives would take a big hit.
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post #39 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-01-2012, 04:29 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

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two things come to mind:

2) She doesn't really want to hear about my feelings. She does if they're good and they re-enforce the stability she likes to feel, but if I feel depressed or other negative emotions, it appears to freak her out and make her very anxious. She ends those conversations as soon as she can. It may be related to the fact that I'm the primary breadwinner and if I were to spiral out of control and lose my job or something, our lives would take a big hit.
WHOOOOAAA!!! The lights just went on. Ditto for me too. Ditto, Ditto, Ditto. Very early in our marraige I tried to talk about "my feelings" about struggling to find a good job and provide enough. I felt bad and I shared my feelings. Well, my wife reacted like she had been waiting all her life for this opportunity to ATTACK. She absolutely SAVAGED me. Demeaned me, ridiculed me, compared me to the worst person that she could think of. She did her utmost to make sure that I would never ever express thoughts like this ever again. Cut me to the core and I cried, no wept. No apology ever came, no attempt to understand me. To be honest, I never really got over this and I was more careful about expressing any fears, doubts, anxiety. After a couple more similar episides of me expressing my fears, anger, anxiety, and getting SAVAGED, I largely shutdown. In other episodes I tried to talk to her, but it was apparently an unwritten law I was not allowed to say these things, and certainly would never get empathy and support. When I tried to persist in talking and explaining, I was labelled a whinger and a complainer. Apparently it was not OK for a MAN to feel these things. I shut down or alternatively communicated in a destructive manner, in hindsite often passive-aggressive behaviour which sure didn't help things. The ony way I could show her that I was sad, angry, upset, insecure was to communicate my message in an aggressive way...or alternatively not at all. It was not a deliberate strategy on my part, just a very unhealthy way of trying to cope.

Just like you, wife was quite happy to talk about happy things, but bad things were 100% off the list of things to talk about...unless I wanted another round of emotional abuse that would scar me.
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post #40 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-01-2012, 10:03 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

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Originally Posted by barbieDoll View Post
So, after reading shy_guy's very insightful post about what he (and for similar men) would like from women, I think it's also fair for us to do the same.

I titled the post to be similar to shy_guy's. It made me laugh when someone posted that all she thought her husband heard was "blah blah blah Musinex blah blah blah liquid" because I often think all men hear is the voice from Charlie Brown.

Anyhoo... here's my best stab at something similar.

==============================================

1. Please listen and not just hear us when we speak.

There are differences to the two: hearing us is basically hearing background noise. "Pick up deodorant". Listening is when you actually got the details of what we were saying. "Pick up the same deodorant I use". This is where I also fall into the trap of ASSUMING he knows or HOPING he'd be smart enough to check out what deodorant I use or know to go to where I keep it to find out. I learned that I have to specifically say what brand, what scent and sometimes what it looks like. I had to get over the fact that he doesn't care to waste time to figure all that stuff out when it was easier for me to tell him.

Men FAIL
: Hearing only "Pick up deodorant"
Women FAIL: Be specific. STOP assuming he knows.

2. Reciprocate.

Myth: Women/Wives love to clean the house, do laundry, cook dinner... yada yada.
Truth: We (or majority of us) do it because we like a clean house, clean clothes and food.. not because we enjoy it. We (or marjority of us) would also prefer to come home, sit in front of the TV and have things magically done for us.

We nag/b!tch because we have a reason to. If we feel like we are doing more work than you are, that'll begin the nagging/b!tching. I would prefer that while I'm cooking dinner, H is putting in a load of laundry or putting away dishes. Then we can eat together, cleanup and wash the dishes together and then have our down time TOGETHER. It really irritates me that as soon as I get home, I'm busting my butt to prepare dinner, wash/put away the dishes from that morning, have supper ready for H then have him retire himself to the den after dinner so he can relax only to leave me in the kitchen to clean up and wash more dishes. You think I'm going to be happy after that? NOPE.

Share the chores, share the nag free quiet happiness together.

I'm working on this by the way...it's not a free ticket!

3. Just because we're married, it doesn't mean I'm dead.

I know this is an issue for many people and we're no different. Each couple differs in in this department though. Personally, I would love it if my H complimented me more. I get the odd "you're cute" every few months. That's the extent. This wouldn't be an issue if there were physical things he did to show me that he's still attracted. I'm not asking for a compliment about everything, every day but it would be so nice to be complimented on odd days or when I put an extra effort.

Of course I can't put anything to do with sexuality in this post because being on here long enough has taught me that both men and women can be sexually deprived. So nothing in this department.

4. Talking about your issues/feelings is NOT a sign of weakness.

Ok, we get it. If you "talk about your feelings" other guys might think you're lame or a pansy. But what you fail to realize is that you would save yourself and your wife or S.O. so much wasted energy and time by just spitting it out. By not telling us what's going on, we automatically ASSUME and that's when we get creative with our thoughts. On the flip side, we women should also STOP saying the word "fine" or "It's fine". This does nothing but piss off men. Communicate, communicate, communicate!!

Men FAIL: Talking about my feelings is lame. It'll go away.
Women FAIL: FINE.

=========================================

This can go on and on and is not an exhaustive list but a good start I would think.

I also have to put a disclaimer that every situation is different. I am NOT painting everyone with the same brush but merely stating some things that are ON AVERAGE, a pretty good representation of situations.

And remember; Men, you fight with fists and are physical about it. We, on the other hand, do not... we fight a great game of mental warfare . LOL!

Like it, love it, hate it... it's my view/opinion.

ENJOY!!
-In regards to requests like deodorant to men, Make a list and write it down. We do not know that there are 15 different fragrances of the one you use. ;~)

-In regards to compliments, accept them and quit blowing them off as " He has to say that he's my husband"

- In regards to laundry and chores, This is stuff you should talk about when you are first married. Don't fester about it for years, set guidelines about who does what and when.
Don't yell at us for putting one frilly bit in the dryer after we've been doing several loads of a laundry perfectly, we'll never offer to do it again....

-In regards to feelings, 9 times out of ten it's us figuring out what's on your mind, because you keep saying everything is "fine" ;~)

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post #41 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 03:21 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

I told my wife, "while you are out, pick up some pistol ammo for me"....Did I have to say it was for my .44 special, and that I wanted the 200 grain Winchester silvertips?

Did she not know that I bought a new speed loader for my Rosi .44, and needed to fill it, and that Winchester silvertips is what I keep in my night stand gun...Sheeesh!

I mean she sleeps in the same bedroom, and knows the .44 is what I keep in the night stand.......

In my shower I have a bottle of head and shoulders daily use, and a bottle of generic body wash..

My wife has 15 bottles of shampoo, wash, yogurt conditioner, color shampoo, textured body scrub, oatmeal wash, tinted hair shampoo, bath oil, yadda yadda yadda..........

If she said get shampoo, I wouldn't have a clue, and that is without getting into coupons, bottle size, two for one sales, or rebate deals.....

I would not expect my wife to get my ammo, fishing lures, spark plugs, motor oil, lawn mower blades etc...

I have a whole lifetime of male culture and knowledge, that I don't expect her to understand.....and vice versa

On the other hand, when I get sent to the drug store for yeast infection cream, please be a little understanding if you get the 7 day cure and wanted the 3 day....You have me at a disadvantage...

In either case, a good faith effort should be accepted as good enough.....

As far as housework, I mow the yard, keep rhe cars maintained, buy most of the groceries, look out after my 95 year old dad and am a gourmet cook.

However, I find that anything I do around the house is instantly forgotten.

Yesterday, I got up and fixed breakfast for my dad and myself, cleared off the table, and got him settled in to watch TV (he is 95).

My wife came in after I had eaten, and had a cup of tea and a bowl of cold cerial. I never know when she will get up, or what she will want, so I don't fix her breakfast often.

I made dad a sandwich and chips for lunch made a great lunch of venison steaks for the wife and I (dad can't chew steak), went to a medical appointment, picked up groceries on the way home, cooked fabulous fried chicken,and milk gravy...The wife made microwave rice and heated up some green beans..

She later commented on her aching feet, and that I had spent the day PLAYING ONLINE.........

Once a task is done, it is instantly forgotten.....

I frequently give her compliments on her looks and clothing...After 47 years of marriage she is still hot.....

I give hour long full body massages, even bought a massage table.....

She always says I am just trying to work up to sex......
(sometimes I am, I am old, not dead)...

Our biggest arguments are about how much work I do around the house...She currently wants me to rip out the ceramic tile (that she picked out), in the back bathroom put down new tile and a new (to replace a perfectly good) toilet...

We hade a huge blowup abuut 4 months ago when she wanted me to put in a flower bed in the back yard (30 ft x 4 ft.)......

I told her I was not feeling too well, and took a lot of breaks...
She chewed me out frequently, said a MAN shouldnt need so many breaks (I am 65)....

The temp was mid to upper 90's , and the gound was so hard from the drought It was almost impossible to till, I NEEDED A POST HOLE DIGGER TO MAKE THE HOLES FOR THE SHRUBS. Spread 20 bags of top soil and 12 of mulch.

We later found out I was a little tired because I had a severe urinary tract infection,(28 days of outpatient I.V. antibiotics) undiagnosed diabetis (blood glucose 365), and the post hole digging knocked loose a kidney stone which showed up 4 days later after I had driven her 300 miles to visit her sister. Spent the whole night in the inlaws guest bedroom trying to pass the stone.

Forgive me for being weak and unmanly.....

In my view, women fight by nagging and *****ing, a man is conditioned to defend himself physically, but can't....

Perhaps that is why we tune you out.........
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post #42 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 12:46 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

Had I been expert in reading body language and her "mind", my ex wife and I wouldn't have been together for more than six months of the twenty years she was burying me.
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post #43 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 02:06 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

Quote:
Originally Posted by barbieDoll View Post
So, after reading shy_guy's very insightful post about what he (and for similar men) would like from women, I think it's also fair for us to do the same.

I titled the post to be similar to shy_guy's. It made me laugh when someone posted that all she thought her husband heard was "blah blah blah Musinex blah blah blah liquid" because I often think all men hear is the voice from Charlie Brown.

Anyhoo... here's my best stab at something similar.

==============================================

1. Please listen and not just hear us when we speak.

There are differences to the two: hearing us is basically hearing background noise. "Pick up deodorant". Listening is when you actually got the details of what we were saying. "Pick up the same deodorant I use". This is where I also fall into the trap of ASSUMING he knows or HOPING he'd be smart enough to check out what deodorant I use or know to go to where I keep it to find out. I learned that I have to specifically say what brand, what scent and sometimes what it looks like. I had to get over the fact that he doesn't care to waste time to figure all that stuff out when it was easier for me to tell him.

Men FAIL
: Hearing only "Pick up deodorant"
Women FAIL: Be specific. STOP assuming he knows.

2. Reciprocate.

Myth: Women/Wives love to clean the house, do laundry, cook dinner... yada yada.
Truth: We (or majority of us) do it because we like a clean house, clean clothes and food.. not because we enjoy it. We (or marjority of us) would also prefer to come home, sit in front of the TV and have things magically done for us.

We nag/b!tch because we have a reason to. If we feel like we are doing more work than you are, that'll begin the nagging/b!tching. I would prefer that while I'm cooking dinner, H is putting in a load of laundry or putting away dishes. Then we can eat together, cleanup and wash the dishes together and then have our down time TOGETHER. It really irritates me that as soon as I get home, I'm busting my butt to prepare dinner, wash/put away the dishes from that morning, have supper ready for H then have him retire himself to the den after dinner so he can relax only to leave me in the kitchen to clean up and wash more dishes. You think I'm going to be happy after that? NOPE.

Share the chores, share the nag free quiet happiness together.

I'm working on this by the way...it's not a free ticket!

3. Just because we're married, it doesn't mean I'm dead.

I know this is an issue for many people and we're no different. Each couple differs in in this department though. Personally, I would love it if my H complimented me more. I get the odd "you're cute" every few months. That's the extent. This wouldn't be an issue if there were physical things he did to show me that he's still attracted. I'm not asking for a compliment about everything, every day but it would be so nice to be complimented on odd days or when I put an extra effort.

Of course I can't put anything to do with sexuality in this post because being on here long enough has taught me that both men and women can be sexually deprived. So nothing in this department.

4. Talking about your issues/feelings is NOT a sign of weakness.

Ok, we get it. If you "talk about your feelings" other guys might think you're lame or a pansy. But what you fail to realize is that you would save yourself and your wife or S.O. so much wasted energy and time by just spitting it out. By not telling us what's going on, we automatically ASSUME and that's when we get creative with our thoughts. On the flip side, we women should also STOP saying the word "fine" or "It's fine". This does nothing but piss off men. Communicate, communicate, communicate!!

Men FAIL: Talking about my feelings is lame. It'll go away.
Women FAIL: FINE.

=========================================

This can go on and on and is not an exhaustive list but a good start I would think.

I also have to put a disclaimer that every situation is different. I am NOT painting everyone with the same brush but merely stating some things that are ON AVERAGE, a pretty good representation of situations.

And remember; Men, you fight with fists and are physical about it. We, on the other hand, do not... we fight a great game of mental warfare . LOL!

Like it, love it, hate it... it's my view/opinion.

ENJOY!!
"Hmmmm sorry babe, did you say something? Sorry I was watching tv"

"Communication? Oh yes we must do more of that." "wanna watch the simpsons?"
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post #44 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 02:15 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

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Originally Posted by Hopefull363 View Post
So true. My husband shuts right down if I start talking about feelings. I keep telling him I don't have a crystal ball. I want to know how he feels so I can do the good things more and the bad things less. I also wish he'd compliment me more and realize the contributions I bring to this family. That can be done by listening to what I need emotionally. I certainly tell him, but go back to the beginning where he doesn't listen if he doesn't want to hear it. Ugh
On a more serious note to my previous post, I am a bit of a stewer and a bottler upper.
Mrs Wysh has got very good at spotting when something is worrying/bugging me and will call me out on it. there is no hiding place.
She says that one of the most benficial changes that I have made within our marriage is that I listen and talk more.

Incidentally, I don't know if it is just me but I find one of the best places to talk is in bed. I find myself very much more open there. We will often snuggle up and chat about the day, week, whatever is bugging me etc.
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post #45 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 02:34 PM
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Re: Men, please listen (and not just hear) when we speak

For me, and me only, listening means doing what I tell you, when I tell you to do it. This is a no no.

Hearing, for me and me only, means hearing the words you are speaking, then asking questions to clarify your feelings or desires about an issue you have brought up in conversation. Then making sure, by saying what you just explained to me in my own words, you get that I understand what you are saying. No guessing involved.

As far as deodorant is concerned, why not just write down what you want? If there is something specific, what's the big deal? Just write it down and I'll be more than happy to get it for you. Problem solved, no guessing and no chance of getting the wrong thing. If you are that afraid that he will get the wrong thing and you don't want to make sure, get it yourself. It's the alpha way.

You know, I can remember asking my wife to get me deodorant when she was at the store. She asked what kind I wanted and I told her. She asked what scent and I told her whatever she liked. If I want to smell nicely for her, why wouldn't I want her to pick the scent?

I did the same for her as well. Although, when I asked if she wanted me to pick the scent, she said no. I guess she didn't like what I chose. No problem, get your own.

I bet this gets the conversation started. Go for it. I'll check back later.
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