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#403354 11/21/00 06:12 PM
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Is the hardest thing to achieve...<BR>I tried to tell my husband of how I feel like I am slipping into a depressed state here. I explained that I had felt this long before this "crisis" had occured.That I am really bored with my life and want to make changes but don't know how.<BR>I tried to tell him how the only goals we have right now are long term ones....me learning how to drive, us moving out of this house to a better neighbourhood where there are more facilities etc.<BR>I was hoping he would just put his arm around me and give me some encouragement...try to make some suggestions, just SHOW that he cared.<BR>And what did he do?<BR>I felt like Alice in Wonderland down the rabbit hole...Suddenly he was angry, almost shouting at me saying that it's not his fault I feel this way and what can HE do...I would only tear down his suggestions anyway, blah blah blah...<BR>He just got SO defensive...I could see that suddenly he was acting the victim ..."Im to blame...I'm to blame...Can't do anything right by her."<BR>I started crying and tried to explain that I didn't intend on making him feel like he was to blame. I just wanted him to LISTEN to me.<BR>Then he started saying how I backed him into a corner....<BR>God. I felt like I was talking to an insane person...or that *I* was going insane.<BR>How could a casual conversation suddenly turn so mean and full of hurt and anger?<BR>In the end I just told him I needed to leave the room because I couldn't deal with the way he was acting.<BR>"It won't help running away!" He said/shouted as I went into our bedroom.<BR>A bit later he came in, calmer and kept talking about how I make his opinions feel worthless...I ignore them. I make him feel rejected when he tries to tell me how he feels.<BR>The conversation STILL felt insane.<BR>There I had been trying to tell him something about ME and the next minute he is raving on about HIM.<BR>It felt unfair and I felt like I hadn't been heard at all.<BR>He ended up storming out of the room again and went and laid down on the couch.<BR>After a while, even though I didn't feel like it I went out and just sat next to him and we held hands.<BR>He said how hard this was to learn to communicate and that he was really trying but felt frustrated with his attempts.<BR>I didn't say I felt the same way.<BR>I just felt exhausted and thought to myself that next time I wouldn't even bother because I don't want a repeat of this.<BR>I just don't understand.<BR>Seems so crazy.<BR>I feel like the tables have completely turned in our relationship.<BR>Now *I* am the one hurt and vulnerable and feeling guilty for how *I* have made him feel over the past ten years.<BR>I don't know....maybe he has been bottling up all these feelings for so long now and they need to come out.<BR>I just wish that it didn't feel like he is somehow now trying to punish ME.<BR>I feel overwhelmed.<BR>I am letting go of my pain and anger...not being a cold hard unemotional person.<BR>Trying to feel good about intimacy and sex...trying not to focus on the kids too much..trying to satisfy HIS needs...Rediscovering who I AM.<BR>To be honest I feel like crawling back into that cold hard space because it was SO much safer there.

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desertrose,<P>I would seem that your H has been very deeply wounded and everything that seems to [censored] that would brings out a strong defense.<P>I wish I could site the correct book for you, but there is one on active listening. The basic idea is for you to say something. Your H's response is to repeat what he thought he heard you say and what he felt you were meaning. You are to then repeat what you said and explain to him what you meant.<P>This sounds very cumbersome and it is, but it does often defuse misunderstandings. Perhaps you could go to him tonight and explain to him how you feel and what you meant. Perhaps you could print out your post and show it to him and tell him you would like to talk with him.<P>Not about him, but about you. Tell how you feel, how sorry your are for what you have done, and obviously how much you have hurt him. Tell him you want him to listen to you and you want to listen to him. Finally, think about the possibility that he doesn't know how to compromise. <P>I believe I have mentioned this to you, but one poster here, Heartache, finally realized that his W always felt controlled by him because she didn't know how to compromise so she just gave in to his wishes and then felt controlled.<P>It was an eyeopening revelation to both of them.<P>Is something like that going on in your home? <P>Finally, desertrose, talk with your H about your goals short term and long term. Your goals with him, what you would like from him, what the perfect marriage would be to you. And then ask him to tell you what he thinks about those same questions.<P>Don't judge each other, just listen and remember what he says. You two need to work on the ability to communicate and the best way to do that is to practice listening. <P>Talk with him and see what he thinks. Would he like to try it? Would he like the marriage to be happier with less stress? So many things.<P>One last thing desertrose, before you start to talk with him, touch him. Take his hand or his arm, or hold his head in your lap and then talk. Your touch will sooth him and I suspect allow him to hear more of what you say. <P>You know us guys. Always a sucker for a woman's touch. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>God Bless,<P>JL

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.<p>[This message has been edited by TeeAreOhYouBeEL.Eee (edited July 25, 2001).]

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You know us guys. Always a sucker for a woman's touch. <P>First of all....Just Learning are you MALE?<BR>If you are what a revelation!<BR>Your posts have come across with such a womans sense of caring and understanding. LOL,I know that sounds SO sexist [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<BR>Anyway :: [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]icking my jaw up off the floor:::<P>I agree with what you said in your reply.<BR>I am just beginning to understand the depth of how much my behaviour has damaged my husbands self esteem over the years. Wow.<BR>And there I was thinking he was such a "black and white" unemotional guy.<P>I understand what you were saying about that particular kind of communication too..."Mirroring" each others feelings I think it's called. Just to make the other person feel like what they have said has been interpreted the correct way.<BR>The councellor actually took us through that process on Monday and I was shocked to see how badly *I* did with it. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] My husband seemed to do much better....then.<P>I wrote him an email today of how I wanted last nights conversation to go...Like a little play.<BR>He replied back saying he felt we were both at fault and he shouldn't have got so angry and that we both need to think more before we say things and in turn respond.<BR>Gee it's exhausting though...Just having a conversation seems like attempting to paint a great work of art...One misplaced dab and the whole picture is ruined.<P>I guess this is the hard work huh?<P>Oh and the feelings of having to compromise....I guess that is how *I* am feeling now, and feeling a little controlled because of the fear of his reactions.<BR>Perhaps in the past that was exactly how HE felt.<BR>

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desertrose,<P>Yep, I am a guy. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] And you are shocked??? [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] Well, I think I will take your response as a compliment. Although, if you ever saw me you would be surprised I guess. I am a relatively large guy and very much into guy things. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] <P>You know you and your H had a good discussion. You both see the errors you made the other night. That is good.<P>As for the discussion techniques, they do seem to be cumbersome, but I suspect that as you two do this for awhile you will get yourselves better calibrated. You will be able to read each other better. Many of the hurts and pains of the past will be healed and therefore everyone won't be so touchy.<P>See if your H will try it. To just listen and then "mirror" back what you thought was said. It is revealing, isn't it. By the way your H won't always be better than you at it. It will depend on the subject.<P>As for the "black and white" male thinking. That is more training than natural. We are just trained to hide our feelings and weaknesses at a very early age. You cannot go wrong assuming if it would hurt you it will hurt him. He just won't show it. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] It is a guy thing you know. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>It seems to me from your posts that you are making some really good progress. You are both beginning to see each other differently. The fact that in your email you both took "credit" for how the discussion went was good. The fact that you cleared up how you feel was excellent.<P>If I may I would like to offer one other thing to consider doing when you want to have a discussion such as you wanted to have the other night. Tell your H you need his help and opinions before starting the discussion. <P>It puts him on your side. It tends to diffuse the defensive mechanisms, of which he seems to have a few. If he is there to help you and listen to you and offer comfort tell him that is what you want, first.<P>Also please tell him if you really don't want to "fix" the issue, you just want to talk about it. Us guys love to "fix" things, and when someone (Yah you ladies) starts talking about problems, we automatically go into fix it mode. Then when our suggestions of how to fix it are ignored [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com], we are frustrated. <P>So if you don't want it fixed and rumor has it that women like to talk about problems much more than they like to fix them, tell him. This is a listening job, not a fixing job.<P>We do need guidance you know. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>God Bless,<P>JL<P>

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Just Learning:<BR>[B]desertrose,<P>Yep, I am a guy. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] And you are shocked??? [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] Well, I think I will take your response as a compliment. Although, if you ever saw me you would be surprised I guess. I am a relatively large guy and very much into guy things. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] <P>You SHOULD take it as a compliment, totally...I found it amusing that you felt the need to defend yourself though by adding that last bit [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<BR>Perhaps if more men had a little bit more female thought training and vice versa then we apposing sexes wouldn't always be so much at odds with each other.<P>If I may I would like to offer one other thing to consider doing when you want to have a discussion such as you wanted to have the other night. Tell your H you need his help and opinions before starting the discussion. <P>Good idea...Seems like we will soon be speaking a whole different language to each other.<BR>I don't mind..as long as it works. <P>So if you don't want it fixed and rumor has it that women like to talk about problems much more than they like to fix them, tell him. This is a listening job, not a fixing job.<P>LOL! Yes you are so right. Men are from Mars Women are from Venus?<BR>I did try to tell him that..I'm not sure he "gets" it though.<BR>Hey, do you think I keep telling him how much the broken pantry door is troubling me that he will want to "fix" IT ? [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>

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desertrose,<P>As to your last question: Not a chance! [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Actually, he just might if you approach him right. It is all in the technique desertrose, it is all in the technique. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Have you ever noticed how some women can seem to get men to do anything? Well they can! We can be easily manipulated [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]. But what they know that you don't is we like to be manipulated. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] It is all in how it is done.<P>Think about it.<P>God Bless,<P>JL

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As to your last question: Not a chance! <P>Actually, he just might if you approach him right. It is all in the technique desertrose, it is all in the technique. <P>Well, to be honest, it is *I* with the collection of handtools in the garage.<BR>The last time I asked him to fix something he nailed the kids clothes to the back of the wardrobe while trying to put the back on properly [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<BR>But the manipulation thing....hmmm, I will have to give that some more thought. <P>

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desertrose,<P>Yes, definitely think about it. In many ways that is what Plan A is about. Finding those needs and meeting them, as you do things start to change. You will notice that he can be persuaded to do somethings or not do somethings with the right motivation. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Heck, desertrose, it could even be fun for you as well.<P>Have a good one.<P>JL


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