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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My husband and I have been in a relationship for a year and a half. We have been married since June 26 and we have a 5 month old daughter born June 7. Just a little background.

When we met, this were incredibly difficult for us both. He was grieving a major tragedy in his family and I was in the process of leaving my ex-husband. But from the second we met (before we had any of these issues) we have been thick as thieves. He has been my best friend from the first conversation we have ever had. We have prided ourselves on never having a fight. We have disagreed and maybe had a little spat every few months but never, to this day, had an argument. So what's the problem, right?

Well, we are both so similar in though and personality that our main communication issue is a dual problem, I feel. The situation will usually go as follows: One of us will have their feelings hurt inadvertently by the other person. The first person knows that it wasn't on purpose, but it still hurt their feelings enough that they work up the courage to bring it up to the other person. The second person will typically react in one of two ways. Either they become defensive, saying that wasn't their thought process or intent and the first person should know that. Or they become so regretful for their inadvertent actions that the basically clam up almost in shame. After that, the conversation will either transform into an verbal spat or into a heavy, award silence with not much being resolved.

He and I are both guilty of being on both sides of this situation. It has made it to where, on occasion, the first person will just remain silent almost to the point of bursting as their feelings are continually bruised, because obviously since the second person isn't aware of the cause of their actions, they continue to perform the same actions.

I hope that all made sense....

But this situation happened just moments ago before my husband left for work. It was a strange mixture of him being defensive and hurt by how I that felt he had hurt my feelings. It ended with me promising from this day forth to be open and willing to hear how I can improve, and ways for me to be more aware of my treatment of others, especially him. I also promised that I wouldn't hold in some of my hurt feelings until I explode just because I am afraid of how he will react. I feel I have a right to know when I am causing him pain, and he has a right to know when his actions unknowingly hurt others. I told him I would not be perfect, but I wanted to try.

My ex husband and I divorced because we were unable to have effective communication and I am willing to do anything not to make that mistake with this man. He is truly my mate for life.

My main question is am I even on the right road? I don't mean in my staying married to him, but should I let these situations go and ignore them, or am I right to try to communicate through them? Not getting many answers from him right now, so hoping for some third party wisdom.
 

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The second person will typically react in one of two ways. Either they become defensive, saying that wasn't their thought process or intent and the first person should know that. Or they become so regretful for their inadvertent actions that the basically clam up almost in shame.
What's going on is neither of you know how to communicate your feelings wrapped in love. To do so without invoking feelings of shame or defensiveness requires being vulnerable and that's what's missing.

Here's an example. My husband comes home late from work hurting my feelings because I made a nice dinner for him.

I could say something shaming "You're late. You ALWAYS do this to me and now dinner is cold.". What he hears is he's a failure and he might defend. He might tell you all kinds of reasons as to why he was late and why he didn't bother to call.

Or you could say "I'm sad that dinner is cold. I missed you and wanted to have a special dinner with you".

See the difference? There are lots of books out there on how to communicate without shaming or putting the other on the defense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much. I need to research books for me to read. Do you happen to know of any off the top of your head?

We never hurt each other intentionally, so thats why it has been so hard to communicate this to one another. It sways our dynamic and we aren't sure how to communicate when that happens. It feels foreign for each of us to be on opposing sides of a situation involving each other, because it happens so rarely. Especially since, when it comes downs to it, we are always fighting FOR each other, in any given situation.

And again, thank you so much. What you said helped reinforce what I was thinking needed to be done.
 

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The Surrendered Wife is the most recent one I've read. It's a good one for how to communicate hurt feelings to men. Don't let the title fool you. It's not what you think.

I'd suggest a book for your husband but unless he seeks out this information don't go there. It only takes ONE to change this kind of communication dynamic.

I've done it and my husband hasn't read one book. Once I changed the way I talked to him he automatically responded in kind.

The 7 habits of highly effective people/families/marriages also has a chapter on how to listen and how to communicate in a win/win fashion.
 
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