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Discussion Starter #1
Hubby and I have been together for 10 years and married for 5. There are lots of problems that we believe mostly boil down to crappy communication. What are some good things to read to break the bad communication dynamics we've developed over the years? Also how come when a man brings up something from the past it's an example but when the wife brings up something from the past it's dredging up s***? MC can't happen right now because hubby is working out of town most days. Thanks.
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I think it's often the case that marriage problems ultimately boil down to communication problems. It's good that you have recognized this in your marriage :)

I wrote this article on this very subject, it may be helpful to you and your particular situation:-

Good Communication Is The Key To a Loving, Trusting Marriage | Marriage Advice Online

As for bringing up the past, I don't think it is ever a good idea when it is done in a negative and non-constructive manner. If there are issues from the past that still plague the present, then they may need to be worked through so they aren't of such relevance any more.
 

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Maybe counseling for yourself can help. Changing your approach sometimes is all that's needed to meet on common ground.

Also, His Needs Her Needs, and The Five Love Languages are great books. Establish rules about bringing up past hurts. My husband and I have a 24 hour rule. It gets talked about within 24 hours or dropped. Bringing up stuff from weeks or years ago isn't fair fighting.
 

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Also how come when a man brings up something from the past it's an example but when the wife brings up something from the past it's dredging up s***?
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Women have 4x the amount of brain power devoted to remembering events that were emotional to them. When women recall emotional events, they start experiencing the emotions they are recalling. Men do this too, but not nearly as strongly as women do.

When a man brings up something from the past, it is generally considered an "example" because he is looking at it objectively. This certainly isn't always the case, but in general, he's not remembering anger and therefore getting angry about it.

When a woman brings something up from the past, it is "dredging up s***" because they are much more likely to re-experience what they were feeling at that time. So if you are bringing up a memory that was linked with a strong anger or frustration, you are much more likely to start getting angry or frustrated.

There's a reason for the saying "Men forget but never forgive; women forgive but never forget". A man is much less likely to even remember a wrong done, and if recalled he is more likely to see it as a third party. Women may never forget a wrong done, but they try their best to get over it.

You should bring up examples in arguments, but try to not get emotionally invested in the memory. And yes, it is a double standard.

Sources:

The Male Brain by Louann Brizedine, M.D.
The Female Brain by Louann Brizedine, M.D.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There are a lot of past hurts and resentments on both sides. Our past dynamic has been that I bring something up, he clams up, I jump up and down to get his attention, he stays quiet... Nothing ever gets resolved. He either acts like nothing is wrong or gies the silent treatment. Long
ago I would apologize to break the silence. Since I quit doing that, the silence just drags on until we're both willing to act like nothing happened. Our rug is pretty full. I have changed the way I approach him. That didn't help. Now that I've pretty much decided I'm done and told him so, he's willing to work on things. The question is where to start.

I think forgiveness is a good starting point, but how if he doesn't acknowledge hurting you?

Thank you for the article. I'll forward itto hubby. He's not a reader tho. I tried His Needs/Her Needs years ago.
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Thanks for the explanation PAC. That actually makes sense. I'll be sure to keep that in mind and make sure my tone doesn't change when we're talking. The specific example I'm thinking of I don't remember being really emotional but will pay extra attention next time. I asked my husband the difference at the time, and he could not give me an explanation.
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Our past dynamic has been that I bring something up, he clams up, I jump up and down to get his attention, he stays quiet... Nothing ever gets resolved. He either acts like nothing is wrong or gies the silent treatment. Long
ago I would apologize to break the silence.
How much time passes between the hurt and you bringing it up? That could be the difference right there.
 

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Over the years the time has varied from at the moment to quite a while. U quit bringing up things when the conversation goes no where. U know? He never brings up anything. I don't know if he content or conflict avoidant. I really like the 24 hour rule and will probably use that in the future. :)
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Over the years the time has varied from at the moment to quite a while. U quit bringing up things when the conversation goes no where. U know? He never brings up anything. I don't know if he content or conflict avoidant. I really like the 24 hour rule and will probably use that in the future. :)
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If it's important enough to you to be mentioned, then don't let it start collecting dust. Processing what happened and choosing your battles is very important too. Not every thing is meant to offend or hurt but may be perceived that way. Check yourself first. All of that can be done within a few hours.

The 24 hour rule works very well. It makes you prioritize and it also doesn't give it a chance to fester if it was serious. It will stop the resentment process before it gets going.
 

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Also how come when a man brings up something from the past it's an example but when the wife brings up something from the past it's dredging up s***?
How come when a woman generalizes about men it's getting something off her chest, but when a man does it he's a misogynist?
 

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Our past dynamic has been that I bring something up, he clams up, I jump up and down to get his attention, he stays quiet... Nothing ever gets resolved. He either acts like nothing is wrong or gies the silent treatment.
Men are big on avoiding shame. When you talk about all the things wrong, he feels like a failure. He feels like all the problems are his fault (regardless of what he says). He brings out every defensive mechanism he's got, and your attitude doesn't help. Based on the way your post reads I can only imagine how you're talking to him. I wouldn't want to talk about it either.

If you want him to talk about issues you;re going to have to bring them up in a way that's constructive and non-threatening to his ego.
 

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There are a lot of past hurts and resentments on both sides. Our past dynamic has been that I bring something up, he clams up, I jump up and down to get his attention, he stays quiet... Nothing ever gets resolved. He either acts like nothing is wrong or gies the silent treatment
You are being bombarded here with articles, books and links...here is a little more :

Resentment test within this Link >> http://talkaboutmarriage.com/sex-marriage/41826-resentment-sexual-emotional-etc-how-robs-us-intimacy-we-crave-most.html


A peice from one of my threads (every thing in blue is a link) >>
4. COMMUNICATION is VITAL, the root of all that can go wrong
....know how to resolve conflict !! There is more hope for a couple who fights over a couple who stuffs..... When I hear of couples who have been going out a few months, they think they have found "the one" my 1st question to them is...."Did you have your 1st brawl yet ?" Until you have a few of those , you simply do not know each other ! Excellent rundown on healthy communication here - Conflict is spoken here in paragragh #5.



Every marraige will struggle if communication is not used Properly & unoffensively. The Art of not being Offended If one is a Silent Treatment holder, it IS emotionally abusive & RESENTMENT building. Passivity, Irresponsibility & Resulting Partner Anger

Be a LISTENER as well as an effective communicator of your needs, be approachable always without a scowl. Ask questions, be open, honest in all things, understanding & learn the beauty of forgiveness ....we all have weaknesses & flaws, & loose our way sometimes. Learn humility & apologize . Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve


Vulnerability should be acheived -excellent 20 minute video within within 1st line of this link >> http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/29460-vulnerability-fear-power-its-pain-its-beauty-how-vulnerable-you.html

Validation is important also: http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/39565-validating-your-spouse.html
Drover said:....... Men are big on avoiding shame. When you talk about all the things wrong, he feels like a failure. He feels like all the problems are his fault (regardless of what he says). He brings out every defensive mechanism he's got, and your attitude doesn't help. Based on the way your post reads I can only imagine how you're talking to him. I wouldn't want to talk about it either.

If you want him to talk about issues you;re going to have to bring them up in a way that's constructive and non-threatening to his ego.
I have not read all the replies on here... but very true.... It makes all the difference in this world how we approach and respond to those attempting to speak with honesty....with flawed feelings/ emotions... we need to be treat them with grace & understanding, listening -before we speak... pause... try to walk in their shoes -before we respond.


That vulnerability video within that link (above) ....is presented by "the SHAME Researcher"~ Brene Brown... if you want to understand SHAME & how it hinders us... men & women , in our relationships......this IS the book >>

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are: Brene Brown: : Books

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow! Thank you for all the reading suggestions. I will be busy tonight. :) I also heard of a book about improving your relationship without talking about it. Does anyone have any experience with that? Is it worth reading?

Oh Dover, can you be specific on how I come across badly? I assume you're a man and would be interested in specific details and outside perspective.

Thanks!!!!!
 

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Oh Dover, can you be specific on how I come across badly? I assume you're a man and would be interested in specific details and outside perspective.

Thanks!!!!!
In your first post you were generalizing about "men" and sounded really frustrated and resentful. The next post you're talking about jumping up and down.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ur right I should have said me and my husband instead of generalizing. Jumping up and down was an exaggeration. I should have said "done everything I can think of to get his attention." :). I've tried many different approaches and really don't sweat the small stuff. It's just so frustrating. I've been beating my head against the wall (not literally) all these years. Thanks for your input.
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Oh, I am frustrated and resentful. After all this time of being unwilling to do anything, he waits until I am so frustrated I want to leave to decide he's willing to do something. I'm willing to give it one last shot. I miss my best friend, but that doesn't magically make the anger go away. I wish it did. I pulled my foot back in the door, and we're working on forgiving each other. Hopefully I can get some good advice here.
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