And here I will leave you with a question to ponder. Am I the 'castrated/spineless' husband. Or am I instead the 'wife whisperer'?
The beauty of it is - I don't care what 'you' meaning what anyone else thinks. Because I know what is true - which is that both those statements are true in a sense. The former is true - because it feels bad to me to cause M2 needless distress. And she is very skillful when it comes to shaping/discouraging behavior that causes her angst. And it is also true that - by asking her permission - I am putting her at ease in a fairly effortless manner. In a very real sense - this isn't about me. It's about helping the person I love most - manage her phobias.
The reason for all this explanation is this. If you wish to be happy - you need comprehension. That is what you currently lack. Comprehension generally eliminates anxiety.
As for the meta conversations this enables - they are easy and light hearted.
Mine sort of went like this:
We all get dealt a hand. Usually includes some phobias. There is absolutely no difference between my fears of wasps and heights and your fears of being left out or losing control. You have been extraordinarily considerate of mine. I genuinely strive to handle yours in the same manner.
MEM2020, this is a wonderful close to your most enlightening post...
In the last two weeks EB2 has been presented with our son (my stepson) being convicted of a felony, her brother dying, being told her job will be made redundant in June, and on top of that she hurt her back the first 10 minutes of Spring yard cleanup... distress was foremost and past practice would have had us not speaking when she needed me the most.
Instead, I was your "wife-whisperer" that you spoke of... what a difference.
She asked last night what I thought of her retiring, seeking a permission that was not mine to have to give, and I gave her my thoughts but in the end told her that no matter what she decided, I had her back. I got the biggest hug and I love you this morning as we were trading places in the shower and body to body, we were at peace body and soul... my calm is her calm when she does need it the most, and I was there "effortlessly" without terms or conditions, what a great place to be.
Thank you for sharing...
, this is good stuff to think about..