Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
D13's birthday approaches. Mrs. Hold wants to make it special. Apparently going to NYC, where my Mom has flown up to visit, and going to a theme restaurant + entertainment for dinner with my sis, BIL and nephew is not special enough (to her credit, we did POJA the restaurant and me paying for everyone). Later that day (after we POJA), Mrs. Hold went into D13's room to see hwo she is doing. D13 seems not impressed by the birthday plans. Mrs. Hold suggests D13 invite a friend. D13 complains she has no friends. Mrs. Hold suggests inviting the entire swimming team (6 girls). That means several more expensive dinners and 2 hotel rooms so they can stay over in NYC. That idea perks up D13. Then Mrs. Hold invites me into the room to see what I think. I feel ambushed. Yet again. By an expensive request for the kids.


Somehow I have a problem with adults taking direction from their children on defining things like this. Are we really in the business of catering to children when it comes to shaping their worldviews on what is important? Are we not indirectly teaching a lesson here to find your value outside of yourself rather than defining our worldview from our internal values and living those values from the inside out? It's all about bling bling and not about what truly matters it seems. Just spouting off here, but I increasingly find the concept of "making kids happy" by doing whatever they want to be a long term guarantee for struggles with depression for both the parents and the children as a result of basing self esteem on things and values external to ourselves.

Quote:
This morning I commented that emotional safety works both ways. That I have told her many times how much I hate her guts (yes, I used those words) when she discusses something with the kids that is expensive without checking with me first. She said "my child was upset and I panicked and that was the only thing that I could think of that would help her feel better". I replied "so it is OK to solve the problem by putting me in a no win situation where all my choices are bad, despite knowing how much I hate when you do that". She said something like "well, we had discussed bits and pieces of it earlier." I said "yes, but dinner for 14 is not dinner for 8, and 2 hotel rooms is not 1 hotel room. This is the same feeling as when I ask you for sex. You feel trapped. You feel like I don't care about your feelings and I just want to get my rocks off and it could be anyone." She started crying, said "is that how you think I feel", and ran out of the room. Then it was time for her to go to work. She left. I feel guilty. But I don't think I should feel guilty. Thoughts?


First off, I'd say don't lose the opportunity to follow up on exactly what Mrs HOLD meant when she started crying and said "Is that how you think I feel?" Obviously you have misinterpreted something here, so it will be valuable to find out what went wrong with your analogy at some point.

Secondly, what you've outlined above is a hot button issue between Mrs Hitch and I as well. Mrs Hitch is an HSP (at least I believe she is), or a Highly Sensitive Person (studies show as much as 20% of the population are HSPs). Empathic abilities and a general tendency to want to make other's happy at any expense comes with HSP territory IME and from what I've read. Specific to Mrs Hitch, she generally functions under the auspices of "it's better to apologize than to ask permission." So, I feel your pain. I'm oftentimes roped into situations like what you've outlined, where I feel trapped and I feel as if I'm the bad guy because I have to deliver disapointing news. This is IMHO mostly because I feel that Mrs Hitch has already indicated, with her words and/or her mannerisms, that she's OK with whatever our children want at that particular moment. So, I get to be the heavy and the cheapskate that says no because we cannot afford it. I've repeatedly asked for us two as adults to discuss such things prior to discussing them with the children, but my repeated requests have, for the most part, fallen on deaf ears with Mrs Hitch.

Should you feel guilty? Well, I'm not a big fan of guilt in general. Specific to your scenario, I think you need clarity on why what you said was offensive especially since it appears that you have misjudged in some way how she does in fact feel. You could apologize that there was a misunderstanding and express a desire to better understand her point of view. I generally find that taking a disarming approach via a heartfelt apology encourages our spouse to feel safe and to be open and honest about the misunderstanding.


Last edited by HitchHiker; 01/28/11 08:38 AM.

God Bless,

HitchHiker

All I want to do is learn to think like God thinks. , I want to know Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details. , When the solution is simple, God is answering. - Albert Einstein

INTJ married to an ENFJ