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Discussion Starter #1
For the last few years, my husband and I have argued more and more often. He feels like I'm not supportive enough. I do recognize that I often shut down my emotions, but even when I catch myself putting up walls, I don't know how to take them down. We argue, then I feel horrible, then I feel defensive, then confused. It's a horrible cycle that I don't know how to stop.
:confused::confused::confused::confused:
 

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Need more info... Do you work outside the home?

How many hours a week do the two of you spend doing things, just the two of you?
 

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I'm a teacher and grad student. While that keeps me busy and at times stressed, I still spend plenty of time at home. I tend to disappear into tv land though. I watch a lot of tv. The last two years have been rough on my husband; he's struggled with unemployment and issues with his parents, but we always ending up talking about me. He's perceptive and emotionally supportive, but I have difficulty reciprocating.
 

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We physically spend a lot of time together, hanging around at home. Sometimes we go out for a sunday drive or antiquing. He signed up to take a class with me that for a month meets 8hrs a week.
 

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As the spouse of a distant person I can tell you it is often very painful to desire that emotional closeness and reciprocation, only to be met wiuth defensiveness, blame-shifting and stonewalling - if not even hostility. (I'm not saying you do these things, just speaking from my experience).

If it seems like your husband "picks fights" or complains a lot, it could be that he just needs you to stop what you're doing for a moment, take the time to really listen and understand, offer hugs and kisses and some reassurance. I know my husband finds this very awkward to do, and will sometimes resist. When he does offer these things to me, I feel much better because I feel like he CARES and is showing it by making me a priority, even if for just a few moments. It can really turn me around, as far as I'm feeling, and sometimes that's all it takes!

I think you're very honest and caring to be seeking ways to self-improve and be there for him! I hope I've helped! Best of luck to you! :)
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Why are you disappearing into TV land and not spending time with your husband?

To remain emotionally connected a couple should spend at least 15 hours a week doing date-like things… anything from simple thinks like having a discussion about just about anything to going out to a fine restaurant.

Perhaps you could make a list of things that you could do to show interest in him. Then make sure you do some of them every day.
For most men, esteem support is very important. Most men love encouragement, appreciation and praise.

Do this every day: Make a pot of coffee (or whatever), ask him to join you and sit where you can look at each other. Ask him how he’s doing. Ask about his job hunting. Ask about his family issues. When he talks just listen to him. The point is to just be a good listener. If the conversation turns to you, tell him that this is his time. Spend at least 15-30 minutes a day doing this. Of course if it turns into a longer discussion, good.

Plan a date once a week where the two of you go out together. This should not be a movie date. You cannot talk at the movies. Conversation is important here. Do the two of you have a problem finding topics to discuss?

Find an activity that the two of you can do together. This is best if it includes the two of you learning something new: dance class, scuba diving, horse riding, golf, painting, etc. or join an activity club together… bike riding, jogging, hiking. This gives the two of you a joint purpose and something that you can help each other lean and excel at. It makes you a team.
 

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Something that I learned in a Marriage Encounter weekend is what they call dialoging.

One of you picks a question, the two of you go off and journal on it for10 mintues. At the end of 10 minutes you exchange the written pages and read them to yourself. Then you discuss them for 10 minutes. Many couples do this just about every day. It’s amazing how much you learn about each other and how much closer it brings you. It’s also a very good way to give your spouse support because he can come up with questions related to areas in which he is feeling a need for support.

Here is a link to the Marriage Encounter Dialog page. It has links to their question catalog which has thousands of questions for dialoging.

Dialog | Worldwide Marriage Encounter

You can make up your own questions or use one from the catalog. Or just tweak one from the catalog. After the question always have the second question: “How do I feel about that?” (HDIFAT?).

What fear have I not shared with you lately? HDIFAT?

What is the most difficult situation facing us as a couple right now? HDIF about this situation?
 

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Thanks for the link, Elegirl! I think that will be helpful for both myself and OP. :)
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Hope it is.

I know couples who have been Dialoging for 20 years. They have kept every one of the dialogs in notebooks. The notebooks read like on going love letters spanning the years.

One thing that I forgot is to always start and end them with love... When you write them never be negative, find a positive way to say whatever you have to say. This does not mean that you cannot say things that are bothering you. But just find a way to get that across with out attacking, being angry, etc. I'm sure you get the point.
 

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Ele, my husband and I were looking over the questions... Unable to find the acronym index... Is there one on the site? (For the questions like WAMFAMA, DILD or HDIFAMA).

I feel like a dummy because I've searched the FAQ's and am unable to find it! LoL! :p
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Ele, my husband and I were looking over the questions... Unable to find the acronym index... Is there one on the site? (For the questions like WAMFAMA, DILD or HDIFAMA).

I feel like a dummy because I've searched the FAQ's and am unable to find it! LoL! :p
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DILD............Describe in loving detail.
DYFILD.........Describe your feeling in loving detail.
HDIF............How do I feel?
HDIFA..........How do I feel about ____?
HDIFAMA......How do I feel about my answer?
HDIFAT........How do I feel about that?
HDIFSTWY...How do I feel sharing this with you?
WAMF.........What are my feelings?
WAMFA.......What are my feelings about _____?
WAMFAMA...What are my feelings about my answer?

eMatrimony - Supporting, Encouraging and Challenging the WWME Community
 
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