Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Needing some major advice.

We've been married for 4.5 years, dated for 6 years before marriage. Everything seemed great, we had our arguments, but who doesn't? We were young when we met (16 and 17) and there were some things about him that bothered me such as how he handled me telling him I was upset with him (he would get mad at me for being mad at him), or trying to have a discussion about our future together. He was immature about it in that he wouldn't look at me, he'd brush it off and say something like "I don't know, we'll figure it out later" (but never bring it up again), and basically make it a big deal to have any kind of serious conversation that I feel most couples have. (correct me if I'm wrong!) Things he'd say (and still does): "uhhh, why are we talking about this again?!" "I don't know what you're talking about" "No, we don't need to do that" - basically, shutting the conversation down.

Flash-forward to now... it's the same story. I try to engage conversations with him, he gives me one-line answers. If I ask too many questions (because he gives me one-liners), then I'm annoying and he gets an attitude with me. I thought he'd grow up by now and act more like a mature adult who can have conversations about serious things without it being too big of a deal.

Side note: I don't try to have these serious conversations a lot, but when we do need to have them, it's difficult. Even just talking about our days is sometimes like pulling teeth. I have to ask a million questions just to hear a glimpse of how his day went. Sometimes I'm so tired I don't ask.

He plays video games a lot of the time and doesn't ever try to be romantic with me, or spend a lot of quality time with me at all. I enjoy going out to dinner or to a show or whatever, just out and about, and he wants to stay home all the time.

I just feel stuck and unhappy. I've voiced most of this to him and he says that he knows I'm unhappy......but he has yet to try to really change things up. I got onto him recently about helping around the house more (we have a toddler = messy house!) and he's been a little better about that. It's the interpersonal stuff between him and me that needs the most attention and I feel like he's kinda ignoring it.

I've told him how I feel... now what?? :scratchhead:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,885 Posts
Marriage counseling?

Writing letters or emails to each other during the week?

Reading (together) The Five Love Languages, His Needs Her Needs, or something else?


Why is he so taciturn in general? Is he unable to handle conflict well because of some specific event or goes he just not know how to communicate through the uncomfortableness?

What kinds of problems have you been trying to discuss with him? Of you bring them up later? Do you offer solutions? Are these the kinds of things that he views as attempts to control him? Is he depressed?

If he has always been this way, then he may not have any desire to change or any sense that you feel the problem is so big. You're going to have to work on getting him to understand that 1) you have a problem with the way certain issues are being handled 2) you would like his help in addressing these issues 3) you need him to deal with these issues with you because they won't go away and you're feeling frustrated and abandoned that he is not communicating more openly when you being up things and 4) you need his input and opinion on how HE would like to bring up these issues when they arise, just in case the fix is as simple as his objection to your style of addressing problems.

In my opinion, a good marriage counselor is what you should seek to help you guys learn to communicate better.

Just trying to help...Good Luck.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,885 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,361 Posts
BEG, it sounds like you might be discovering that men and women aren't the same when it comes to communication.

I found myself in situations like yours a LOT in my young adult years. I believed in the whole idea that "relationships take a lot of work" and "talking about things is the only way to resolve issues."

I didn't understand the differences between male communication and female communication, but now that I do I wouldn't change it.

1. Men assume others will do whatever they need to in order to take care of themselves. When a guy feels sad, he does not run to his wife to vent. He handles it. He expects her to do the same when she's feeling sad/angry/unhappy. It confuses him when she wants to talk about her feelings because he's accustomed to DOING something about the things we don't like. I think this is why when women talk to their men, guys tend to offer suggestions for how she can fix her problem instead of volunteering to change themselves or simply letting her vent.

2. Boys grow up tuned into movement/action more than communication. From the time of infancy, boys track motion while baby girls are making eye contact. As women, we can get far better responses by demonstrating our unhappiness than we ever can from talking about it.

3. We need to own our problems and not foist them off on others. This means that if you must ultimately have a plan for how to solve your problem without someone's cooperation. Once you know how YOU will address the problem, you can say, "I'm unhappy about XYZ and I am going to solve it by (this plan), unless you'd like to do (this other plan) instead."

The last thing I will mention is something that has been described by John Gottman, I believe, as a "harsh startup." When men hear things like, "We need to talk," their blood pressure immediately shoots up and they get defensive and less likely to cooperate. A better approach is to avoid those words and instead lead in to those conversations with non-threatening statements and questions. You must create a safe environment if you want your guy to be safe enough to talk to you. This means you must withhold your judgment and criticism while still getting your point across in a way that doesn't damage his self-perception as a provider and protector.

One way you can soften your start-up might be to talk about someone else's similar situation and ask him his opinion about it, letting that lead in to how you feel/think about your own situation. You can sometimes describe an article or book chapter and ask his opinion of that. Whatever methods you choose, the idea is to have a casual conversation, not a serious one, whenever you need cooperation.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top