Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our discussion forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,998
*
Member
OP Offline
Member
*
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,998
Hi all! (this is also posted at EN...I need opinions!)

You don't see me here very much lately. My marriage is fine (just celebrated my third anniversary)but as usual, I need some advice on how to understand my Husband.

In a nutshell, we haven't had a "serious" discussion since Christmas. I think I posted about our Christmas issue and it was settled nicely. Unfortunately, I was faced with the same issue this week, except I really had to be proactive about settling it.

My Husband has become quite obnoxious about telling EVERYONE we know how much my Mother annoys him. He doesn't hold back--he's mentioned it to my Sister and her boyfriend, my Brother, my friends, my Sister's friends--just about anyone who brings up my Mom has heard how much she annoys my Husband. Strange thing is, in all these situations, the other person was mentioning how sweet and kind my Mom is...so, instead of just saying "yes, she is sweet, but my gosh can she annoy me"....he says "i can't STAND her"....which is a stronger comment and gives quite the negative vibe....

My Mother knows that my Husband is annoyed by her and has asked me what she can do to be less annoying. Unfortunately, the things that my Husband finds "annoying" are things she can't change. He hates the fact that she's interested in ghosts and alchemy, he hates how she speaks loudly (she's partially deaf) and numerous other things that annoy all of us.

My Husband feels that since we (my siblings and I) are also annoyed by her from time to time, that's it's ok to proclaim how he "can't stand her" all the time. The unfortunate part is that we appreciate my Mom's good points...she's just a sweet person who would give you the shirt off her back....

I understand that my Husband doesn't know my Mother the way the rest of the family does, so I respect that he doesn't enjoy being around her. In the past, I have given him the opportunity to stay home when I visit my family (he always opts to visit with me) and I have given him the opportunity to tell me when he wants to leave and we leave my parent's house prompty afterwards. This doesn't stop my Husband from showing his displeasure with my Mom for the duration of the visit. He doesn't smile when he's there. He broods. He watches what he wants on TV and if my Mom suggests something else, he'll get up and say "let's go home"...

He's been doing this for so long that my family approached me and suggested that I speak to him. They feel that it isn't their place to say something to him because he would have the right to be angry at them. They have suggested that I visit alone if he's miserable so that they don't feel uncomfortable. I thought his was reasonable and although I didn't look forward to it, I decided to speak to my H....

My problem is, I can never have a conversation with my H without him getting extremely angry at me and not speaking to me for days. When he asked me what was wrong on Tuesday evening(I was thinking about how to tell him all this) I told him that I would share what I was thinking, but he had to promise not to walk away and end the conversation. He said "well, then you'd better not tell me". Knowing that he wasn't open to the conversation, I didn't tell him.

On Wednesday night, I asked him to tell me when he was free to have a conversation so we could discuss what was bothering me. All the while, I was thinking about the best way to approach this. I decided that he would't walk away or feel defensive if I began the conversation with "I love you" and explained how much I cared about him. I thought it would put him at ease and allow him to actually hear what I was saying.....

The conversation went something like this:

Me: You know that I love you very much and.....

Him: CAN you just cut out the BS and tell me what's bothering you?

Me: Ok...here's what is bothering me....

So, my H just wouldn't accept me starting the conversation that way. I felt that I was behind the eight ball after that because he was already angry at me for even HAVING an issue in the first place.

I calmly explained that it hurt me when he spoke poorly about my Mom. I told him that his feelings are his own and it's ok to feel that way, but it was hurtful to me when he told this to everyone we know. He didn't agree and said "well, you say your Mom is annoying, too"....*sigh*...it's like he doesn't get it--when I come home and say "argh, my mom drives me nuts"...it's not the same as telling my friends and family that I can't stand my Mother....

I mentioned to my H that he knew I was close to my family before he married me. I used the example that I spend my free time with my Mom(sometimes H works on holidays and I'm home alone. I choose to spend time with her, so it's obvious that I don't feel as annoyed by her as my H does. My H said "you spend time with your Mom because you have no friends". This actually isn't true--my H usually gets upset if I spend time with my girlfriends when he's home, so I don't go out with them anymore. I told him I choose to see my Mom on the days that I can because she's always happy to go out with me (my girlfriends don't call me anymore)....So, I felt that my H was implying that I spend time with my Mom because I'm a loser with no friends....It felt like he was trying to tear me down....

SO, fast forward to Thursday...my Husband is angry. He's not speaking to me. He hasn't spoken to me since we ended our conversation last night. When I went upstairs to ask if he wanted a snack, he said "I'm up here because I'm avoiding you"...I asked him why...he said "because you're annoying me"...So, having a civilized conversation is "annoying" to him. This morning, he said he didn't want to hug me and he may consider it "later"....He withholds affection when he's angry...but what can I do to make sure he's not angry?

SO...any suggestions on how to make my Husband feel love for me again? I'm at a loss (as usual...)

If anyone needs any clarification, please let me know--this is a long post, so I left out some details..


Married 6 years on July 23, 2011--no issues and deeply in love--thanks, MB!

I'm convinced that I'm married to the most wonderful man alive....

I hear and I forget. I see and I believe. I do and I understand. Confucius (B.C. 551-479)

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
Originally Posted by *^aeri^*
On Wednesday night, I asked him to tell me when he was free to have a conversation so we could discuss what was bothering me. All the while, I was thinking about the best way to approach this. I decided that he would't walk away or feel defensive if I began the conversation with "I love you" and explained how much I cared about him. I thought it would put him at ease and allow him to actually hear what I was saying.....

The conversation went something like this:

Me: You know that I love you very much and.....

[b]Him: CAN you just cut out the BS and tell me what's bothering you?[/b]

Me: Ok...here's what is bothering me....

So, my H just wouldn't accept me starting the conversation that way. I felt that I was behind the eight ball after that because he was already angry at me for even HAVING an issue in the first place.

I think this went all wrong when you said: "I asked him to tell me when he was free to have a conversation so we could discuss what was bothering me." Then you started beating around the bush, which would send my H to the moon. [and me too] That sets him up to feel defensive and lets him know you are getting ready to [censored] him out. Saying "I love you" in front of it does nothing to erase the fact that he knows he is going to be nailed. So by the time you do have this "serious discussion" he is extremely defensive.

See, men don't LIKE having "relationship" talks in the first place, so when you tell him he is bothering you, it just compounds the defensiveness and causes a wedge. They also don't like all that beating around the bush. Just say it in a respectful way STRAIGHT OUT without all the drama.

Here is how I say it to my H and it works for me. I never ask to have a "discussion." That would get his back right up. I just calmly and pleasantly say it out right:

Me: Dear, it really upsets me when you trash my mother. I know she can be a PIA but it upsets me when you do it.

Him: I had no idea! I will stop that

ME: THANK YOU, DEAR! BIG KISS!! [And you might even let him cop a grope here and you could reward him with a grope too! grin]

Then if he continues, you will know it is his intent to upset you and that means you have a bigger problem.

To clarify though, it is important that you tell him the things that bother you so you are on the track there. Just be straight with it and be respectful.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,998
*
Member
OP Offline
Member
*
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,998
Yes, I know that was wrong, ML....it's just that I tried it the other way (just coming straight out with it) and he reacted the same way (angry, withholding affection)...I thought that if I began the discussion with something positive, he might not feel as defensive.....I guess I'm two for two on that...neither approach was effective for what I was trying to avoid, but next time I'll definitely get right to the point....In fact, next time I won't even ask him when he has time. I only did THAT because he'll just tell me he has no time to talk about it if I don't "schedule" something in....

Thanks for your advice---I appreciate it!


Married 6 years on July 23, 2011--no issues and deeply in love--thanks, MB!

I'm convinced that I'm married to the most wonderful man alive....

I hear and I forget. I see and I believe. I do and I understand. Confucius (B.C. 551-479)

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 5,906
A
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 5,906
what a crock of crap filled to the brim by your husband....

quit playing games...

state the FACTS and walk away....

like this

SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE

tell your family to tell him every time he says something nasty about the women...
tell them to immediately say

SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE


fact I'd encourage my husband to deck the guy in his pie hole next time he said something to me about MY mom...

who drives me as crazy as I surely drive her....

but I'd be DANGED if I'd [censored] foot round any one putting her down for no reason...except that she's breathing

just as I'd be DANGED if I'd [censored] foot round any one putting down my spouse...so atelast tell him when they say mean things about him you tell them to shut up as well.... wink

next time he says the first tid-bit bout my mom...

I'd say

SHUT UP

and walk away...

and I wouldn't care if he didn't talk to me...


there is nothing to discuss tell him to shut up each and every time.....

unaceptable behavior...
that he gets away with cause no one wants to upset him...

him not talking for days...

sounds like nervana to me...

he has NO excuse for his disrespectful choices...and hides behind passive aggressive bullying punishment....

there's no excuse....

he needs to keep his crappy thoughts about his mom cause NO ONE on this planet is interested or CARES what he thinks about her...

no one asked him....

watching my husband mourn the loss of his mother this month....

this crap makes my blood boil


don't give him a second to defend the indefensible..

tell him to shut the $%^%#$#$ up...

I am so serious bout this...

this is nothing to discuss or powerstruggle...

ARK



Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,278
D
Member
Offline
Member
D
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,278
Ummmmmmmm....what ARK said!! ITA!! (*WHOA!!*)

Charlotte

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,998
*
Member
OP Offline
Member
*
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,998
Hi Ark...

Thanks for your comments....

I'm kind of mad at myself for NOT reacting that way the first time he started with this BS. I wish I had just told him to shut up...but I guess I understood what he found annoying and assumed that it was something that would work itself out. I feel SO guilty now...I really should have said something then...

I think your approach is a good one, although he has agreed not to broadcast his thoughts about my Mother any longer....

Thanks again....


Married 6 years on July 23, 2011--no issues and deeply in love--thanks, MB!

I'm convinced that I'm married to the most wonderful man alive....

I hear and I forget. I see and I believe. I do and I understand. Confucius (B.C. 551-479)

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,998
*
Member
OP Offline
Member
*
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,998
Quote
Ummmmmmmm....what ARK said!! ITA!! (*WHOA!!*)

*sigh*...

You're so right...I should have dealt with this head on in the beginning...I don't know what the heck I was thinking....


Married 6 years on July 23, 2011--no issues and deeply in love--thanks, MB!

I'm convinced that I'm married to the most wonderful man alive....

I hear and I forget. I see and I believe. I do and I understand. Confucius (B.C. 551-479)

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,278
D
Member
Offline
Member
D
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,278
Originally Posted by *^aeri^*
Quote
Ummmmmmmm....what ARK said!! ITA!! (*WHOA!!*)

*sigh*...

You're so right...I should have dealt with this head on in the beginning...I don't know what the heck I was thinking....

I have to say...when I read your story it reminded me SO much of an ex-BF that acted very much the same way.

He wanted to marry me but he cheated on me (he was a serial cheater, probably still is,) which is a GOOD thing because I didn't know how to get out of the situation with him. I was scared.

So YEAH, nip it in the bud!!

Charlotte


Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,956
C
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,956
Quote
*sigh*...

You're so right...I should have dealt with this head on in the beginning...I don't know what the heck I was thinking....

I think you try your best to be so respectful to him that it results in you being disrespected in the process.

You fear his emotional blackmail tactics. I would rather have someone in my face with issues than have them ignore me. He knows how to push your buttons in this regard.

Also, I think that his behavior comes from FOO. It worked with them, he expected it to work with you, and unfortunately it has. frown

I say it isn't too late to retrain his type of behavior toward you.

When he makes those comments tell him...

"STOP RIGHT THERE...you are talking about MY Mother and I won't accept that kind of talk about MY Mother. You wouldn't want people dissing yours....you are NOT gonna dis mine."

I would do it in front of people too. He's rude ....put him in his place...call him on it.

You are gonna have to stand firm and when he starts the silent treatment I would behave normally.

I would chatter around the house...and be sure to insert "I sure do Love you" when he starts sulking. It is almost like shaming him into behaving better. Dance through the house...make comments about the weather....go about life just as happy as you can be. He will soon realize that his bahavior is causing him to miss out on the good stuff.

JMHO

committed

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
Hey, while we're kicking his [censored] and humiliating him in front of the family, why not make it complete and knee him in the groin and say "take that you pansy!!" If we are going to repay obnoxious behavior with abuse, why not get it all in and get a bigger bang for your buck!?

Give me a break, y'all. How will disrespect SOLVE disrespect? It will only ESCALATE the problem. She can't very well ask him to respect her if she won't treat him with respect. I am not inclined to behave respectfully to anyone who is in my face telling me to shut my PIE HOLE. Those are fighting words!

If my H told me to "SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE" when I trashed his momma, which I did, there would have been World War III. No way in he11 would I tolerate that abuse and neither should her husband. Talking down to a man and purposely trying to humiliate him in front of other people is not the path to marital bliss. And I should know, I have been married 3 times! laugh


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
sheesh, you crazy chicks! crazy


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
aeri, you can help your H become LESS DEFENSIVE about your complaints if you train him to believe that complaints will actually HELP your marriage. I told my H that I WELCOMED his complaints because that way it gave me an opportunity to stop doing something that makes him unhappy. That makes him much less defensive about recieving complaints since he knows the point is to protect love. I taught him that UNSPOKEN complaints are a big threat to marriage, because they have the potential of eroding love when the spouse does not have a chance to correct it.

And the main goal should be to make the other person happy. That is how I would approach with him and maybe he won't be so defensive if he understands that the goal is PROTECT THE LOVE IN THE MARRIAGE:

Quote
Complaining in Marriage

Dear Dr. Harley,

My wife says that she wishes she could talk to me about the things
she is dissatisfied with in our marriage, so they could be addressed.
But when she does talk to me about these things, I get frustrated
because it seems like she is never happy with me. The progress I
make doesn't seem to matter.

I often see her explaining what she is upset about as complaining and
only focusing on the negative. I don't often feel like she has
recognized the good things about us. I want her to be more positive.
I think she complains too much and does not see the good in some
situations. I want her perspective to change, but she doesn't think
she has to do something different to make this happen.

Thanks for your help.

R.D.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Dear R.D.

On average, women complain far more often than men, in both good and
bad marriages. But there is a difference in how the complaints are
received in those marriages. In good marriages, a complaint is
regarded as a problem to be solved with wisdom and compassion. In
bad marriages, a complaint is viewed as an unnecessary irritant --
something that should be either ignored or reacted to with anger and
disrespect.

Remember what a complaint is -- it's a reminder that you are losing
love units in your account in your wife's Love Bank. She is simply
giving you accurate information about the present state of your
relationship. While it may be discouraging to hear that you are
losing ground, to be kept in the dark about such losses would be
worse in the long run.

More than anything else, your wife wants to be in love with you, and
you want her to be in love with you. So to achieve that crucial
objective you must know when her love for you is being threatened by
behavior that makes her unhappy. If your marriage has any hope of
recovery, she must tell you how she feels about your behavior, and
you must make corrections to eliminate her negative reactions.

Your wife's high incidence of negative reactions simply reflects the
number of issues that have yet to be resolved in your marriage. If
you want her to be more positive, you must address those issues, and
eliminate them one at a time. You've had success in the past, and
she has been very encouraged when that happens. But when you seem
to be overwhelmed by it all, and tell her that she must learn to be
more positive, she feels hopeless because there remain many issues
that must be resolved if she is to be happy and in love with you.

The harder you try to become sensitive to your wife reactions, the
more successful you will become in doing what it takes to make her
happy. The more you try to avoid anger, replacing it with empathy
(an effort to try to understand how your wife feels without being
defensive), the more your wife will feel your care for her, and
that in itself will make massive Love Bank deposits.

Remember, all of your efforts on your wife's behalf make a
difference in the way you think and behave. You are rerouting
neural pathways in your brain that will make it easier for you to
care for her in the future. While it may seem like a lot of
effort now, in the future, it will be almost effortless to address
your wife's complaints, and solve her problems with compassion.

Best wishes,

Willard F. Harley, Jr.



"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 5,906
A
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 5,906
sorry melody

I wouldn't waste a precious moment on this earth powerstruggling with a grown man who doesnt' have the common decency to not put his spouses mother down
to everyone

to his spouse
to his inlaws
and the icing on the cake...
to the women herself when he is a GUEST in HER house...

in fact I thought under Texas law...that warrants taking the said "gentleman outside behind the shed with a little introduction to a branding iron"

this is a GROWN man....
who is choosing out of NO good reason to be hurtful.
like a school yard bully....

So you better be clear that if one my brother in laws were to consistantly say NASTY things about my mom to me or my family that I or they would certainly make it clear that we are NOT interested in his opinion about her....

AND

that while telling one to shut one's pie hole is an underated saying...I would without hesitation tell my spouse I don't CARE that he thinks such bad things about my mother...my expectation is that he keeps them ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL to himself in words AND actions

PERIOD>>>>>

be very clear that I wouldn't waste an ounce of breath on discussing this insane behavior with my spouse but would tell him to keep it to himself....

and if he is such a victim to diarrhea of the mouth and has not control over NOT saying nasty things bout her...
well lets hope the screen door doesn't hit him on the way out...

this a grown man
this is immature cruel actions
with NO excuse...

totally in his control


Too bad if feels humiliated when an in-law says

hey bozo shut up bout my mama...

he should feel humilated...

it is inexecusable....

what excuse could he have...

sorry honey I wanted to kick the dog but thought that was mean so I just said nasty things about your mother....

I can not imagine you pandering to someone disrespecting your mother for sport....

there isn't anything that he can say that justifies such disrespect....


ARK

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,278
D
Member
Offline
Member
D
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,278
Quote
I have been married 3 times!

Three???!!! I thought it was 2!!

Charlotte

(sorry for t/j!)

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,499
N
Member
Offline
Member
N
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,499
What the heck is FOO????

not2fun

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
Sorry, Ark, I ain't buying it. It is not a federal crime to be thoughtless and insensitive. Getting in his face and being a [censored] is worse than thoughtless and insensitive, though, and is unlikely to solve the problem. It will escalate the situation. That will cause more problems than him trashing her momma.

I said a few unflattering things about my H's momma to someone once. I thought it was FUNNY but my H was very offended. All he had to do was just tell me and I stopped doing it. But I assure you if he had got in my face and told me to shut my pie hole, he might have been nursing a bloody nose.

Telling someone to shut their pie hole is FIGHTING WORDS and this doesnt have to be a fight. Why pick a fight when the problem can be resolved amicably?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
Originally Posted by not2fun
What the heck is FOO????

not2fun

I think it means someone is big FOO when they spend good time and money sitting in a counselors office bloviating. laugh

Charlotte, yep, 3 times, baby! grin


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 5,906
A
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 5,906
melody..

here's what I would say..

I am not interested in all the bad thoughts you have about my mother...
I am only interested in you keeping them to yourself and NOT disrespecting HER in HER home...

I wouldn't waste my time calling him insensitive
I wouldn't waste my time if worrying he would think I was a [censored]....
I wouldn't waste my time worrying if saying don't do it in word or action causes an escalation...

cause the next escalation would be escalating him out the front door....

he chooses this behavior
he has total control over it
he knows better

she has told him probably over and over and over and over and over...

he reacts like a sulking two year old and punishes her....for days

there's no defense for it....
your husband told you it hurt him and you stopped
she has told him the same...
and he hasn't stopped...

period

no love busters
no threats
no name calling

just the facts

ARK



Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,278
D
Member
Offline
Member
D
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,278
Yeah!! I wanna know, too!!

wink

Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,970
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,970
FOO = Family of Origin

A quick acronym to say the family you grew up with, distinguishing it from the family you made when you married...like immediate family? Gets confusing...some say "extended family" after marriage means parents and siblings. Until you're married, though, they are your immediate family, aren't they?

MelodyLane...

I don't understand, either. You've been married three times? How did I not know this after these years on MB? Were you married to a Texas rock star for a minute before your previous, 20-year marriage?

Did you shoot him?

LA

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Fordude 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 24 guests, and 56 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
MikaylaVaux, I.P., Alex82, Dezzeiemm, love spells
71,725 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,545
Posts2,322,787
Members71,726
Most Online3,185
Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2020, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.  |  Web Development by SunStar Media.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5