So, suggestions for when...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Last night, I really didn't want to do the chores I needed to do. I'm sure you've all been there... I just had no motivation or desire to keep plugging along. In addition, I was in a lot of pain. I don't want to give in to the pain, 'cause frankly, that's gonna just be how it is.

    And I just kept thinking of husband saying he doesn't change the oil in his car because he just doesn't want to do that anymore. Or <insert chore> he doesn't do 'cause he doesn't like to.

    And dang-it, it made me MAD. He's been doing what he agreed to do, for the most part (doing dishes, to me, means you clean them, and you clean them him, it means he runs what he can thru the dishwasher and if it gets clean, great, if not, oh well. If it doesn't fit, it sits...but I'm not picking that bone right now.) And he has occassionally done a tad extra, but we're still talking minor stuff in the scheme of things. the case of last night, I didn't want to pick a fight. But I wasn't sure what to do with that anger. Its valid and justified, and if I was dealing with any semblance of a normal person, I'd have pulled him over and just said it. But I didn't want to get another "you're right to be mad. Now leave me alone to do nothing." That would have made me even madder. Add to it I hurt, and I can't tell him that, either, cause his response just infuriates me....

    So, you people who wear rose colored glasses...any tips, ideas, suggestions for handling my own anger at that point?

    (or should I have just opened the flood gates and let him have it? lol)
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'm an open the floodgates after it's already started running over person, but keep in mind I'm on my second divorce.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    My husband is a lot like this too - he'll put the stuff that goes in the dishwasher in, the rest he'll "do in a minute" which usually means in 3 or 4 days. (ugh)

    Maybe... "I'm going to need you to do X, Y and Z tonight because I'm in more pain than usual. Thanks ahead of time." And walk away???
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    tough one.

    (And yes, there are days when the lenses in those "rose colored glasses" aren't quite thick enough....and we get mad at each other anyway.)

    One of the techniques we have used when we've been really angry about a sensitive subject is to discuss it over the phone. Sometimes it's easier to say things when you don't have to look the other person in the eye. And when it's REALLY sensitive - we will talk about it in the third person. Cause let's face it - you both KNOW the problems, you're not really saying anything new...but you still need to let the other know how you feel.

    So I might start the conversation by saying (over the phone) "Hey. I just called you because you are my best friend and I love you and I really just need someone to talk to about my jerk of a husband"

    to which husband will say "O yeah? What did that jerk do now?"

    and I will say my piece...and husband will tell me "That guy sounds like an axx - would you like me to punch him?"

    "No - how about just remind him to _______________"

    Then husband will tell me his complaints: His wife's been a nag....or she was snapping at him...or whatever she did.

    "Wow! What a B! Let's run away together so we don't have to deal with all that nonsense"

    And once we "get it out on the table", and can laugh about it a little and admit when we've felt like an axx or a B - it's easier to speak about things more seriously.

    The key is - you have to tell him what role to play. You have to say to him: "Look, I'm really upset and I just need you to listen." OR "Look, I'm really upset but I don't know how to fix it - can you help me come up with ideas?" or even "Look, I'm really upset, and I really want to talk about it - but YOU are the person I am upset at. Do you think you could listen and pretend you're just a friend?"

    Tell him how you are looking for him to respond - in advance. Right now, he's appeasing you by agreeing with you. He thinks that's the response you want. He thinks this because he is a man, not because he's lazy or anything, he's a man...and he wants to please you. So if you need a different response, tell him so right at the beginning. "I wanna hear your side", or 'I wanna hear some ideas" or even 'I don't wanna hear anything - just listen."
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I love this idea!!! I'm going to see if husband will do this. Seriously!!!

    Yesterday, husband and I had lunch, and since it was a neutral place I brought up the "dump" that I am writing, per the counselor. I told him that while I agree with him on the fact that men (as a whole) get treated badly in many situations, he kept going on and on and on ad nauseum about it - and it was making ME feel like HE thought I was inferior, 'cause I am a woman. (Men's health, custody, domestic violence, yada yada yada). I told him facebook was fine, just - I was tired of it.

    ...So last night? He had a couple of things on fb - but he only once mentioned anything about a recent situation - a comment about a news report on the radio - and that was IT!

    I told him later, as we were getting to sleep, that THAT was what I was talking about, and he did an awesome job, and thanked him.

    NOW. I don't know if that helps you at all, but it's a thought...
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Problem is, I've told him what I need. In no uncertain terms. "I need you to do X." And any mention of my own pain is simply met with how awful his is, so that can not be an excuse for asking for additional help. Heck, when I was unable to use either my arm or my leg, he wouldn't do things I told him needed to be done....

    And until we went to this counselor, he did not do it. So I'm not sure I want to venture into that territory just yet on my own. For whatever reason, saying it there, even tho it was said in the very same way, he's doing it. (and i really think accountability to someone else is part of it, so I don't know how all this is going to end up, anyway.) I also can't walk around here boiling.

    I'm also miffed that he accused me being on the computer as his reason for diving into the tv, and his "long work hours" and "the farm" justification of being tired. I just got a smart phone....prior to that, I can promise you, unless I was working, I was not on that computer 4-6 hours a night (with the exception of during the accident - and even then, he'd come home and I'd be dying for company and he'd flip on the tv and park). And his "long hours"? He's worked 3 weeks this year longer than 40 hours. And "the farm"? Please. Now that the animals are on pasture, he doesn't do anything with regards to them every day. Heck, sister in law picked up the pony 2 weeks ago for her daughter to ride, and he just missed it Monday when he went to check the livestock.

    I don't want to ruin any chances by dredging things up when he's trying, but as exMIL says, its hard to see the good til the bad stops happening...

    I love the 3rd person idea. Just don't know if husband would go for it.
  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    husband was infamous for shutting down; I'd get angry ~ nothing happened. We often met in a restaurant - neutral territory & discussed many of the issues. For my husband it was like the tweedles - I had to repeat myself often. However, I did it in a very heartfelt & sweet natured way. Eventually some of it sunk in.

    When we had the income, husband agreed to bring in a cleaning service along with a service for the lawn & snow removal. husband also promised to step away from the computer for family time on agreed upon times & events. It really worked for us.

    I'm not a screamer nor can I vomit up negative emotions - makes me literally ill to do so. I often emailed husband. That was a way that we could communicate with-o saying mean or hurtful things we cannot take back.

    DF has a lot of good suggestions ~ I only shared what worked here.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    My H's behavior is cyclical when it comes to EVERYTHING. He may be a big help to me at times, especially when I'm in pain and can't do for myself. Other times he comes across as the most self centered person on the planet and even if my back is out or my knees are swollen to twice their size, he will comeback to me about his long hard hours and how he's soooo much more tired/in pain than me.

    The one thing I have learned is that he appreciates having his efforts and long hard work hours being acknowledged. So, sometimes before I ask for his help, I may say something like, "Hey, I know you've worked a long day/week, but I really could use your help with __________. I would really appreciate it, honey" and usually I can get him to help me. Sometimes, when he's on his own personal PMS cycle, he will bark back at my request and make it seem like he just rebuilt the entire island of Manhattan or something!

    The point is to acknowledge his labors, pain, tiredness, whatever it is or takes to get him to know that although you understand where he's coming from, as your partner in life, you sitll need his assistance. For the past year I feel like I've been on auto pilot in terms of household chores, school, work, and caring for everyone. Last week, out of the blue, H came over and gave me a hug and said "I know you sometimes feel underappreciated, but I want you to know I appreciate you putting away my laundry" - HAHAHAHAHAHA, as if that's all I do for him!! But it was nice to hear and it made my chores go easier that day. So, that works both ways...acknowledging that we're BOTH tired, angry, in pain, whatever. H giving me that small thank you enabled me to finish my chores without resentment that day.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    We've done the "that guy" over the phone thing - and if "that guy" ever came home? Wow would "that guy" ever "GET IT" and I don't mean in a "good way"

    Especially the night he went to WM and bought a George Foreman grill for $100.00 all on his own. He was SO proud, SO happy, SO (stewart on SNL) 'look what I can do' and I was so "OMW are you the last of the great white idiots or what? SERIOUSLY $100.00 for an electric grill?

    -turns out...we're on our second grill and it makes the best fat reduced meals ever. OH and "that woman" has had to hear it over, and over and OVER about her mistake for years. Don't even get me started about the garden cart -----but we handled it the same way. Ended in laughter too.
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I think you are on the right track....(eg I need you to do the dishes.)...tell him what you need during discussions, also...(eg I need some pity right now because I feel bad).

    And sometimes, I think it's necessary for couples to agree that certain things are just going to have to be 'off limits'.

    Years ago, when the kids were little, husband worked as an OTR truck driver. He was gone a for all intents and purposes, I was a single parent-working, managing the house and two kids - one of whom was a raging difficult child. I was EXHAUSTED! Physically and mentally...

    But when husband would arrive home, all he wanted to do was tell me how TIRED he was. And no matter what my complaint or would be met with how EXHAUSTING his work week was...and we would go round and round - and I would get so frustrated! I am sure he was tired, but my fatigue was just as valid as his was...and I felt like my feelings were always being dismissed.

    Finally, after many unresolved arguments and endless discussions - we agreed that any conversation about TIRED was just "off limits". You could mention it ONCE - but then you must move on...

    So it went from a constant debate about who was more tired and should be excused from chores to:

    "I'm tired and I don't feel like cooking tonight."

    "Me too and I don't feel like cooking either."


    "Flip ya for it?"

    If you can't resolve the "who's pain is worse" issue - maybe you just need to set it aside for awhile...
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Yeah for the most part, I dont say anything about hurting. I didn't even volunteer about getting hit last night tho my wrist was swollen and bruised. When Wee told him, he asked me which wrist got hit. I just said the left. Nothing more was said, not even a 'you ok?'. I already don't engage in the contest and haven't since the first followup with the surgeon.
  12. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Shari, this has been brewing for a long time. Even though he's making an effort now, you have years worth of frustration and resentment. I think it's going to take time for that to resolve itself, but I think it will as he continues to work on things.

    Regarding not being able to say "I hurt" because he's going to respond the same way (which happens here with me and my daughter, so I know how completely invalidating that is), I would have a conversation with him. Tell him that you want to be able to tell him these things, but when he responds the way that he does it is invalidating to you. (I'm sure you'll think of a better way to put it.) It's not uncommon for one to relate to another by saying, "Oh, yeah, I hurt, too." I don't think that necessarily means it's a one-upping or diminishing the other's expression, but it does come across that way. For some people it is a way of saying they understand, especially those that don't know what to say in a situation like that. If that makes any sense - having a hard time getting my thoughts out today.

    Just my thoughts.
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Heather I thought that at first, too. But at my doctor appointment, he took over the conversation with the surgeon regarding his ankle. He didn't want me to use a waking cast...he wanted me to go straight to the little ankle support, passionately did not want that walking cast and when I later asked why, thinking he might have valid experience to share, he had nothing. In his mind, i just didn't need it. He has NEVER asked how
    I'm doing. And out and about, if someone asks me something about it? He'll immediately answer for himself... The conversation can *never* be about me when it pertains to this. And his comment today? 'Thats it?' I had about 60'degrees of motion and lost close to 20. That's a third of he motion I had gone.
    I dunno. Maybe I'm wrong but it sure feels like he can't have it not be about him. Don't know if it's competitive thing or attention or what, but it's very frustrating to have him literally never show concern.
    And regardless I gotta find a way to deal with my anger without making things worse.
  14. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I wish I knew what to say to help you deal with the anger. Like you said, it's justifiable. I'm sure knowing you can't say anything because of how it will be met just makes it worse. When someone we care about is doing something that makes us feel bad, we need to be able to express that and actually be heard. I think expressing it or not expressing it - either way it's making things worse. And I don't know what to do about that.
  15. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I wish I knew what to say, Shari.