We can write our own...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by HopeRemains, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    This is a spin off of Bunny's post. husband and I are at a standstill at the moment. I simply can't shoulder all of this and end up the main target all the time. I see that many of you are in the position and need help. Maybe no one has a handbook on how to train husband's... but if you could write one, what would you say the most important things for him to do are?

    Tonight is going to be a serious talk about what will happen in the future. I'm going to try to make it easy for him and use bullet points, such as

    -We are a team, no disagreements in front of difficult child at all.
    -Stick to the consequences.
    -No idol threats of consequences you know you will never follow through on.
    -No 3rd, 4th and 5th chances...

    These are things that are specific to difficult child and our situation, so they may not apply to how your difficult child handles things. Please add your own. What would you like most for husband to do/understand?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The biggest thing we ever did that got husband to really "see" the situation was when husband and difficult child worked side-by-side one summer. All the things I'd been saying about school started to happen before his eyes. Then things got ugly before they improved. Had to be "around" every hour or two, take the pulse, and intervene, intervene, intervene. Examples: Showed up with snacks every 2 hrs. husband thought that was a waste of time, until I got tied up and missed one... and difficult child's performance and attitude went majorly downhill. Now? husband provides snacks if I'm not available... It was like this with issue after issue after issue... it's taken a lot of effort for husband to see the whole picture, but he realizes now that I'm the one who spent night after night for years, doing all the research, and I'm the one who's been in most of the appointments, and I'm the one that difficult child talks to (when he talks)...

    Usually, guys are "hands-on" for learning... the tough part is when you can't get them involved. I've been more fortunate on THAT front - so no advice on how to get them involved.
  3. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    take turns being "bad cop" I get tired of being the one who gets/has to enforce the rules/consequences.

    sometimes, I just need to vent... and understand that I don't expect you to "fix it" Sometimes things can't be fixed.

    Try to find something positive about difficult child every day.

  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    One thing that I would want to tell husband (and have on MANY occasions) is that if I am venting to him about one or both of the kids, don't just sit there and ask, "So? What am I supposed to do about it?" Most of the time there is nothing that he can do, but maybe some suggestions, or just a kind shoulder to lean on would be nice.

    Another would be that he needs to participate in "family" counseling. Unless both parental units participate, it's not really about the "family" as much as it is about what mom does wrong all the time.

    And don't throw me under the bus to the therapist by telling him that if I actually knew how to handle difficult child things in our house would be so much better (yes, he really did that when we started counseling with difficult child. I don't think there are enough words in the English language to say how angry and upset I was about that). We are the parents and we need to work as a team and telling the therapist that it's all the fault of one parent simply undermines that parent.

    I'm sure I could come up with more, but those are the ones that I thought of off the top of my head.
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    FWIW HR, I took a fabulous workshop a hundred or so years ago and I learned so much about men and how to communicate. Just a few points, if you're interested, I learned that they cannot 'process' info the way we can, so your bullet points are great, stay clear and focused on the task and don't go off on an emotional ride, you'll lose him. Stick to the facts. Make it short. The facilitator of this workshop was a man and he stated, "get your points across in as short a time as possible, do all processing of emotions with your girlfriends. Men are hard wired for action, results, fixing it, not processing."

    Having said that, my first point would be when presented with an issue or situation right in the moment to say to difficult child, WE have to discuss this and you guys take a time out. Often right in the middle of an upset, it all falls to pieces, this way it gives you time to talk later and come up with options when you can both be calm.

    Another good communication tool I've learned is to lose the judgment in your voice, if there is any, I have found the other party goes south quickly. (I'm not saying you do this at all, you may not, just a point I'm making) The way you communicate it will be the difference between him hearing you and wanting to be an ally and him being defensive and ultimately stopping listening to what you have to say. Believe me after a lifetime of not being heard, I have learned a few simple things to do and it makes a world of difference. I would also let him know that you need his help, in the points you state, that you cannot do it alone and his input, his support, his taking over a part of the load would mean a lot to you. Not from a place of judgment and blame about what he hasn't done right, but to expand upon the things he does right, and emphasize how important his help will be with x,y and z. We have to be very clear about what we want and be able to communicate it very clearly in order to be heard and have our needs to be met.

    The other parents likely have better points on the list you want, but I thought I'd throw in a few points that have helped me when I have an important communication to make where I want something and being heard is very important. I try to create an atmosphere that is safe for everyone to show up in, so that all parties feel as if they are getting heard, listening is a skill that is valuable in all successful negotiations. You may already excel in all of these things and if so you will do great! Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Find WIIFM points for your husband. (What's In It For Me i.e. for husband)
    Negatives don't work well... the "don't" and the "stop doing" ... because then they totally disengage.
    What do you want him to DO, and what is HIS WIIFM?
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Great job recoveringenabler there! :bigsmile:

    Both telling and demonstrating how to do it at once.

    You are of course very right, but unfortunately I think most of us (if not all) are in our worst as communicating when it comes to those closest to us and matters closest to our hearts. People who are extremely good listeners and communicators for example in their work go home and have inane fights with their SOs or kids or parents over even blatant miscommunication. Of course we can always try to better our communicating skills also with our loved ones (at especially with difficult children it is often absolutely necessary) and psychiatric ourself up for most important discussions with our SOs. But it is often very difficult to be a good communicator with your loved ones.

    With my husband I have found that writing letters often tends to work better than talking in most difficult matters. And at times we have also times our says during debate. Other one gets two minute say to make their point and other one is not allowed to interrupt, after that other one has a say and so forth. We also take time outs and cool off middle of the arguments especially when we are getting too heated. Those are things that have helped us at least somewhat to hear each others.

    And you can never press too much how important it is to validate other person if you want something from them.
  8. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    These are all great. I love your reply, recoveringenabler. I did have a talk with husband last night, but I don't want to pollute this thread so I'll start a new one.