When you focus on what isn't instead of what is...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    What do you call that? When you focus on or obsess over what's NOT going to happen and your disappointment over that instead of what IS going to happen and the positive aspects of it?

    Let me see if I can give an example:

    You like to bowl with your wife. Because of life getting in the way, you don't get to go bowling as much as you'd like to.

    You're going on a week-long trip with your wife to a fun place, but there won't be any place to bowl where you're going. You're not bringing your lucky bowling shoes or ball on the trip.

    You want to extend your trip a few days when you get home and pick up your lucky gear so you can go to a bowling alley in another town for two days with your wife. You're not even thinking about the trip you're about to go on, or considering the impact of taking off for a few more days. All you're worried about is whether or not you're going to get to go bowling with your wife and your lucky bowling gear.

    Is this Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)-type behavior? Is it an addiction? Is it part of depression?

    Would it make you mad that your spouse was more concerned about what he's NOT getting to do than what he IS getting to do?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm assuming the example is relatively real - i.e. not necessarily the "bowling" specifically, but... a husband story, right?
    Then, try and put yourself in his shoes, and look at that upcoming trip, and ask WIIFM? (what's in it for me?)
    Is this YOUR idea of fun? Or did you truely sit down and plan it out to include interests on both sides?

    We've done that to the kds - once. We learned the hard way. Major trip, total flop. It was stuff we "thought" they'd be interested in... and weren't. And did NOT include the stuff that really mattered to them.

    I don't know, just rambling, probably
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    It's real, but much more complicated. The bowling analogy was the best I could come up with.

    It's related to our upcoming trip, which WAS my idea (he's been before) but he did agree to it. And I've asked him for suggestions on what to do while we're there since he did LIVE there for a year.

    I'm annoyed that he wouldn't just say he didn't want to go rather than whine about all the things he CAN'T do or won't GET to do while we are there. I'm a little tired of the glass-is-half-empty-poor-me attitude. That is just completely foreign to how my head works.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hmmm...tough one.

    Well, depending on the specifics it could be a bit of mourning - such as "I'm getting older and this is just reminding me of all the things I can no longer do/enjoy/etc".

    It could be a bit of pouting - such as "Well, I really REALLY wanted to ________, and this version of next-best-thing isn't even close so I'm going feel sorry for myself."

    It could be a bit of sour grapes - such as "Well, everybody ELSE is doing ___________, why can't I?"

    It could be emotional manipulation...if he whines enough - maybe he will get his way.

    Or it could be that he just hasn't accepted this idea yet - but will eventually come around and have manage to have a great time.

    I will hope it's the last option....and that he will eventually come around and stop whining and have a wonderful time and enjoy all the blessings he has.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'd say someone is a tad obsessed with bowling, with or without the wife, but it's nice that he at least seems to want to include you. (with no clue what the bowling part means....well, yeah)

    Otherwise......I'd say he's pouting because he doesn't feel like he gets to do something he wants to do.
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Oh jeez my h does this too. I asked him to accompany me to FL (I had one day of business but the rest was playtime) and he said yes. We get there and all he wants to do is hang out in the hotel room and sleep, yes...SLEEP. Then he feigned illness. After we were back home he stated that he doesn't like traveling. Funny, he's always talking about sailing trips he'd like to take!

    Sounds like your H is being a whiny baby. Can you ask him to plan a couple of days for you so he feels more involved. I'm suggesting it, but that's never worked with my H. Good luck! Enjoy yourself despite him!!!!
  7. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Can you go without him and take a friend while letting him stay home and go bowling the entire time? I often take inexpensive trips without my husband because he wants tosave his vaca time for other things like fishing which I hate. No biggie as long as you make time to do things together also. -RM
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    "Glass half empty" seems about right. It sounds as though he is depressed, and has chosen this trip as his justification for the depression. This is the trip to NOLA? I know it's an awful lot of money.

    So, it comes to how much is peace in the marriage worth? Do you go without him? (I probably would.) You might find friend who is nearby NOLA who would like to join you at the hotel and split hotel costs with you without having to find airfare there. I know you wouldn't want to cancel the trip (neither would I) but if you go without him and it causes more trouble to come along in the future, you may have to do it. You could either cancel and pay the cancellation fee or sell the room online to someone who wants it. Call the hotel in advance and tell them there is a work situation and you want to give your room to your daughter, can you just write a letter to for them to take to the hotel saying "This letter is to confirm that I made arrangements by phone on 2/4/12 with Susie the Manager that my daughter is using my resevervation number..." You get the full refund, or even make a profit on it. Cancel the airfare and take the $100 hit to keep the peace, and you have a year to rebook. Then again, maybe you're at the point that you don't give a rip what his problem is, and you do what makes you feel good.

    Hope it works out. You know that if I was anywhere nearby I'd join you and split the cost in a heartbeat and we could both leave our husbands at home!
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I would be ticked if the focus was on the "nots" rather than the "haves" especially since your trip sounds so incredibly cool! What would he say if you wanted to go without him? Or would that bring about another fight?
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    He does want to go. I think it's partly him obsessing over something he wants to do, like HD suggested. He doesn't (openly) do that as much as he used to (before Lamictal), but I think it's still there in his mind most of the time even if he doesn't express it. :hamwheelsmilf:

    I told him his comments were REALLY annoying and gave him the option of staying home. He insists he wants to go. So we'll go as planned. Now that Lamictal has evened him out, it's much easier for me to get in his face about behaviors like this without risking a meltdown from him. He takes things in stride much better and is not as emotionally reactive as before.

    Oh, and it's official now: he's cyclothymic.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well since I know what the bowling is, I would tell him that there are bowling ally's in NOLA and that you are will to bowl a time or two but this trip isnt about spending all your time at bowling ally's or staying your room polishing your bowling balls. It is in fact, about the trip to NOLA and you intend to have a wonderful time in NOLA. There are 24/7 bowling ally's in NOLA and if you are not too tired in NOLA, and if he treats you with care and respect during the day, he may just find that you want to bowl that night.

    As far as extending his vacation, if he plays his cards right, he may not have to extend that vacation because he will have had a lovely time bowling in NOLA.
  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    You're right about that, Janet. And he KNOWS how ticked he's made me over the years turning EVERY TRIP into something other than the trip which should be enjoyed in and of itself.

    Sigh. Thank GOD for medications, because I think I'd either be divorced or widowed by now. :winks:
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Well, if your husband is anything like my husband, if you promise him you'll have sex as soon as you get into the hotel room, he'll get over it. :smartass:
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I happen to get more interested in bowling when I am in hotel rooms. I am not so interested in bowling at home, but hotel rooms seem to bring out the bowling interest in me. Especially if he might go to the drugstore and buy a pack of KY Yours and Mine!
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Snicker, snicker!!!:bravo:
  16. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!


    Witz, I wish he were THAT simple! :rofl:

    Janet, I get very distracted by my "LIFE" -- difficult children, medical bills, appointments, difficult children, school, illnesses, laundry, cooking, cleaning, difficult children, pets, yard, taxes, difficult children, carpools, sports teams, difficult children, listening to husband whine, and of course, difficult children. Leaves very little room in my head for bowling, :winks: . And yes, leaving all this chaos behind is much more conducive to my being able to concentrate on bowling a perfect game in scuba gear while tap dancing to the Star Spangled Banner. Or whatever floats your boat.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Or a whole lot of "other" things either...!
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thats why I have always loved motels or hotels. I always loved it when I could go visit Tony when he was working out of town. I didnt care if he was in some cheap hole in the wall. It was away from home. Amazing how much bowling we got done during those times. In fact, that is how Cory came to be. We were bowling too much and the shoes broke on us!
  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    my brother in law really got into internet bowling. Liked bowling on a team. Taped a lot of games and lost a job due to it too....

    He is now my ex brother in law.
  20. keista

    keista New Member

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), perseveration, whatever you want to call it, it won't stop until he actually gets to go bowling. By the same token, you need to gently explain that the more he pesters you about bowling, the less interested you are. As difficult as it my be to fit it into the schedule, you may have to force yourself to have at least one night of bowling.