Author Topic: This communication error is solely on me...  (Read 6899 times)

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Mental Magpie

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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2012, 02:41:35 PM »
Ok, for ease of explaining this, this is how the convo went:

DM: So when I was outside fixing the fence, I saw a car with a bumper sticker that said "I don't just hug trees, I kiss them, too."
Brother: You mean while DB was inside putting the groceries away? -grin-
DB: Yeah, that she bought with my money.
DM:  Yeah, but you didn't have to go shopping (something we both hate), so you got off easy.
DB: I've had to go shopping lately.
DM:  Yeah, but when was the last time you went alone for the both of us?
DB:  Like a year ago -chuckle-...-pause-  Well when was the last time you had a job?


I think this is a relationship issue, not an etiquette issue. It sounds to me like your boyfriend is a bit resentful that you don't contribute financially to the household, and in turn you are self conscious about it.

Yes, that is the truth and kind of how I see it, too.  At the very least, he isn't resentful and I'm being sensitive about it.  My etiquette question was whether it was worth addressing, and if so, how.  I am awful at wording things nicely when I am hurt, and that's why I need help in how to say it if it is worth saying.
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amylouky

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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2012, 02:47:42 PM »

Ok, for ease of explaining this, this is how the convo went:

DM: So when I was outside fixing the fence, I saw a car with a bumper sticker that said "I don't just hug trees, I kiss them, too."
Brother: You mean while DB was inside putting the groceries away? -grin-
DB: Yeah, that she bought with my money.
DM:  Yeah, but you didn't have to go shopping (something we both hate), so you got off easy.
DB: I've had to go shopping lately.
DM:  Yeah, but when was the last time you went alone for the both of us?
DB:  Like a year ago -chuckle-...-pause-  Well when was the last time you had a job?

Please refer to my previous post in response to WillyNilly.  Dark Boyfriend has thanked me for the very things I do that are "more masculine", like playing video games.  I can see where if I was daily saying I'm masculine, he would feel resentment.  He has only ever thanked me for these things, so I don't think that's the case in our situation.

Ah okay. Actually, that does change my opinion a bit, but I don't think you're going to like my new one.. this convo sounds like you were both getting a bit defensive about who pulls more weight in the relationship. The fact that DB pointed out that it was his money that bought the groceries does seem like he's at least somewhat sensitive about being the provider, or "the man" in the relationship.

I'm not in your relationship, so can only know what you post about, but it does sound like you and DB don't always communicate so well. Just a thought, and forgive me if it's completely off track.. but the fact that you two were friends for so long before dating made me think that maybe you are still relating in some ways as just buddies.. not thinking how those interactions can be different as part of a romantic relationship? What I mean is.. like, in this case. A guy being teased by his friends about his SO fixing the fence instead of him can feel completely different than being teased by his SO about the exact same thing. I thought that somewhat in your thread about the video game too.. seemed like he was treating you like "one of the guys" instead of thinking about how his actions seemed to you as his partner.


Mental Magpie

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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2012, 02:48:46 PM »
We have been friends for 12 years and have had crushes on each other for 9-10 years; we've been dating for the last 2.  If he hasn't figured out by now that I'm a tomboy, he hasn't been paying attention.  Frankly, when he brags to his friends that he doesn't have to worry about his girlfriend nagging him about playing video games all day because she is doing it, too, or when he thanks me for not being "crazy" like a girl we have just seen behave "crazy", or thanks me for refusing to watch shows like "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" or "Jersey Shore", I don't think he has any problem with the way I act.  I am more like one of the guys, and that's what he likes about me.


FYI none of those things are "feminine" or "girly" things especially.  I'm not a tomboy and I do not watch the Kardashians or Jersey Shore nor do any of my girlfriends... but I know plenty of rather masculine guys who do (well Jersey Shore at least, and I know masculine teenage boys who watch the Kardashians).  And FYI being "crazy" has zero to do with gender at all either.  Same with video games - I know as many female gamers as male, perhaps more simply because I'm closer friends with more females then men.

But you [know] what does have to do with gender?  Joking about being masculine.  And calling yourself "one of the guys".

Thank you, I am fully aware that they are not particularly "girly" or "feminine", nor that only females can be "crazy", nor only men play video games.  I am saying specifically that boyfriend has thanked me for not being someone that watches those or acts like that or harps on him for playing video games.  Those are the specific things about which I joke about being more masculine.  Another one is fashion.  I joke about my fashion sense being that of a teenage boy's: whatever is on top of the laundry pile.

Re the bolded:  I honestly don't know what you're saying here  :-[ I am thoroughly confused by it.

But him thanking you for not doing things he thinks are annoying is one thing.  You turning that into you being masculine is a whole new other thing.  The first that's cool and fine - my DF would probably not enjoy spending as much time with me if I watched those programs or was "crazy" either, but he sure as heck would be insulted, emasculated and bit disgusted if I referred to myself as masculine regularly - especially if I referred to myself as masculine to his brother and his male friends.

There is a huge difference between not being a "stereotypical girly-girl" and calling yourself "masculine".  Its coming across as though you think the two ways of being are one and the same.  I described earlier why I think the usage of the specific word "masculine" in reference to yourself and the roles you play in your relationship/home life can be problematic in a romantic relationship.

His male friends are my friends, too.  There are friends that were his first and friends that were mine first, but they are all mutual friends.  The jokes about me being a tomboy started before he and I were ever together, the entire time we were friends before that, and with my guy friends that later became his friends, too.

I was using the word masculine as to say that I am more masculine than most girls, or as you put it, not stereotypically girly-girl.  I didn't mean it any other way, because, well, I do thing they are one and the same.  I don't think I've ever actually said, "I'm masculine" but I have definitely said, "I'm not a girly-girl", and I have said that regularly.  I do not see why your DH would be a bit disgusted by that, but I think it comes down to how you and I are using the word "masculine" differently.  So that we are on the same page, I have been using "masculine" in the way that I first described at the beginning of this paragraph.
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Mental Magpie

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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2012, 02:50:20 PM »

Ok, for ease of explaining this, this is how the convo went:

DM: So when I was outside fixing the fence, I saw a car with a bumper sticker that said "I don't just hug trees, I kiss them, too."
Brother: You mean while DB was inside putting the groceries away? -grin-
DB: Yeah, that she bought with my money.
DM:  Yeah, but you didn't have to go shopping (something we both hate), so you got off easy.
DB: I've had to go shopping lately.
DM:  Yeah, but when was the last time you went alone for the both of us?
DB:  Like a year ago -chuckle-...-pause-  Well when was the last time you had a job?

Please refer to my previous post in response to WillyNilly.  Dark Boyfriend has thanked me for the very things I do that are "more masculine", like playing video games.  I can see where if I was daily saying I'm masculine, he would feel resentment.  He has only ever thanked me for these things, so I don't think that's the case in our situation.

Ah okay. Actually, that does change my opinion a bit, but I don't think you're going to like my new one.. this convo sounds like you were both getting a bit defensive about who pulls more weight in the relationship. The fact that DB pointed out that it was his money that bought the groceries does seem like he's at least somewhat sensitive about being the provider, or "the man" in the relationship.

I'm not in your relationship, so can only know what you post about, but it does sound like you and DB don't always communicate so well. Just a thought, and forgive me if it's completely off track.. but the fact that you two were friends for so long before dating made me think that maybe you are still relating in some ways as just buddies.. not thinking how those interactions can be different as part of a romantic relationship? What I mean is.. like, in this case. A guy being teased by his friends about his SO fixing the fence instead of him can feel completely different than being teased by his SO about the exact same thing. I thought that somewhat in your thread about the video game too.. seemed like he was treating you like "one of the guys" instead of thinking about how his actions seemed to you as his partner.

I think you're on to something...that sometimes he may forget that I am not just one of the guys any more.  It rarely happens, honestly, but I can definitely see where you're going with this. 
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WillyNilly

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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2012, 03:03:06 PM »
We have been friends for 12 years and have had crushes on each other for 9-10 years; we've been dating for the last 2.  If he hasn't figured out by now that I'm a tomboy, he hasn't been paying attention.  Frankly, when he brags to his friends that he doesn't have to worry about his girlfriend nagging him about playing video games all day because she is doing it, too, or when he thanks me for not being "crazy" like a girl we have just seen behave "crazy", or thanks me for refusing to watch shows like "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" or "Jersey Shore", I don't think he has any problem with the way I act.  I am more like one of the guys, and that's what he likes about me.


FYI none of those things are "feminine" or "girly" things especially.  I'm not a tomboy and I do not watch the Kardashians or Jersey Shore nor do any of my girlfriends... but I know plenty of rather masculine guys who do (well Jersey Shore at least, and I know masculine teenage boys who watch the Kardashians).  And FYI being "crazy" has zero to do with gender at all either.  Same with video games - I know as many female gamers as male, perhaps more simply because I'm closer friends with more females then men.

But you [know] what does have to do with gender?  Joking about being masculine.  And calling yourself "one of the guys".

Thank you, I am fully aware that they are not particularly "girly" or "feminine", nor that only females can be "crazy", nor only men play video games.  I am saying specifically that boyfriend has thanked me for not being someone that watches those or acts like that or harps on him for playing video games.  Those are the specific things about which I joke about being more masculine.  Another one is fashion.  I joke about my fashion sense being that of a teenage boy's: whatever is on top of the laundry pile.

Re the bolded:  I honestly don't know what you're saying here  :-[ I am thoroughly confused by it.

But him thanking you for not doing things he thinks are annoying is one thing.  You turning that into you being masculine is a whole new other thing.  The first that's cool and fine - my DF would probably not enjoy spending as much time with me if I watched those programs or was "crazy" either, but he sure as heck would be insulted, emasculated and bit disgusted if I referred to myself as masculine regularly - especially if I referred to myself as masculine to his brother and his male friends.

There is a huge difference between not being a "stereotypical girly-girl" and calling yourself "masculine".  Its coming across as though you think the two ways of being are one and the same.  I described earlier why I think the usage of the specific word "masculine" in reference to yourself and the roles you play in your relationship/home life can be problematic in a romantic relationship.

His male friends are my friends, too.  There are friends that were his first and friends that were mine first, but they are all mutual friends.  The jokes about me being a tomboy started before he and I were ever together, the entire time we were friends before that, and with my guy friends that later became his friends, too.

I was using the word masculine as to say that I am more masculine than most girls, or as you put it, not stereotypically girly-girl.  I didn't mean it any other way, because, well, I do thing they are one and the same.  I don't think I've ever actually said, "I'm masculine" but I have definitely said, "I'm not a girly-girl", and I have said that regularly.  I do not see why your DH would be a bit disgusted by that, but I think it comes down to how you and I are using the word "masculine" differently.  So that we are on the same page, I have been using "masculine" in the way that I first described at the beginning of this paragraph.

Again though, I'm only going by what you are posting here on e-hell - the usage of the word "masculine" in reference to what you call yourself was introduced by you into this thread.  I (and everyone else) had every reason right up until this post to believe that was the specific word you were using.

amylouky

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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2012, 03:11:13 PM »

Ok, for ease of explaining this, this is how the convo went:

DM: So when I was outside fixing the fence, I saw a car with a bumper sticker that said "I don't just hug trees, I kiss them, too."
Brother: You mean while DB was inside putting the groceries away? -grin-
DB: Yeah, that she bought with my money.
DM:  Yeah, but you didn't have to go shopping (something we both hate), so you got off easy.
DB: I've had to go shopping lately.
DM:  Yeah, but when was the last time you went alone for the both of us?
DB:  Like a year ago -chuckle-...-pause-  Well when was the last time you had a job?

Please refer to my previous post in response to WillyNilly.  Dark Boyfriend has thanked me for the very things I do that are "more masculine", like playing video games.  I can see where if I was daily saying I'm masculine, he would feel resentment.  He has only ever thanked me for these things, so I don't think that's the case in our situation.

Ah okay. Actually, that does change my opinion a bit, but I don't think you're going to like my new one.. this convo sounds like you were both getting a bit defensive about who pulls more weight in the relationship. The fact that DB pointed out that it was his money that bought the groceries does seem like he's at least somewhat sensitive about being the provider, or "the man" in the relationship.

I'm not in your relationship, so can only know what you post about, but it does sound like you and DB don't always communicate so well. Just a thought, and forgive me if it's completely off track.. but the fact that you two were friends for so long before dating made me think that maybe you are still relating in some ways as just buddies.. not thinking how those interactions can be different as part of a romantic relationship? What I mean is.. like, in this case. A guy being teased by his friends about his SO fixing the fence instead of him can feel completely different than being teased by his SO about the exact same thing. I thought that somewhat in your thread about the video game too.. seemed like he was treating you like "one of the guys" instead of thinking about how his actions seemed to you as his partner.

I think you're on to something...that sometimes he may forget that I am not just one of the guys any more.  It rarely happens, honestly, but I can definitely see where you're going with this.

That can be a tough switch to make, and I think that it can be on both sides.. Like.. before you two were dating, would the video game situation have bothered you as much? I can't see two friends really caring if they're playing a game in the same group/arena/whatever (can you tell I'm not really a gamer?) but I can definitely see getting my feelings hurt if my SO went off and did his own thing when we were supposed to be having "together time".
It just sounds like maybe you two are having a little trouble adjusting to the rules changing.. but that's just learning to relate to each other in different ways, and it sounds like you two care enough about each other to figure it out.

Mental Magpie

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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #36 on: January 30, 2012, 03:12:38 PM »
We have been friends for 12 years and have had crushes on each other for 9-10 years; we've been dating for the last 2.  If he hasn't figured out by now that I'm a tomboy, he hasn't been paying attention.  Frankly, when he brags to his friends that he doesn't have to worry about his girlfriend nagging him about playing video games all day because she is doing it, too, or when he thanks me for not being "crazy" like a girl we have just seen behave "crazy", or thanks me for refusing to watch shows like "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" or "Jersey Shore", I don't think he has any problem with the way I act.  I am more like one of the guys, and that's what he likes about me.


FYI none of those things are "feminine" or "girly" things especially.  I'm not a tomboy and I do not watch the Kardashians or Jersey Shore nor do any of my girlfriends... but I know plenty of rather masculine guys who do (well Jersey Shore at least, and I know masculine teenage boys who watch the Kardashians).  And FYI being "crazy" has zero to do with gender at all either.  Same with video games - I know as many female gamers as male, perhaps more simply because I'm closer friends with more females then men.

But you [know] what does have to do with gender?  Joking about being masculine.  And calling yourself "one of the guys".

Thank you, I am fully aware that they are not particularly "girly" or "feminine", nor that only females can be "crazy", nor only men play video games.  I am saying specifically that boyfriend has thanked me for not being someone that watches those or acts like that or harps on him for playing video games.  Those are the specific things about which I joke about being more masculine.  Another one is fashion.  I joke about my fashion sense being that of a teenage boy's: whatever is on top of the laundry pile.

Re the bolded:  I honestly don't know what you're saying here  :-[ I am thoroughly confused by it.

But him thanking you for not doing things he thinks are annoying is one thing.  You turning that into you being masculine is a whole new other thing.  The first that's cool and fine - my DF would probably not enjoy spending as much time with me if I watched those programs or was "crazy" either, but he sure as heck would be insulted, emasculated and bit disgusted if I referred to myself as masculine regularly - especially if I referred to myself as masculine to his brother and his male friends.

There is a huge difference between not being a "stereotypical girly-girl" and calling yourself "masculine".  Its coming across as though you think the two ways of being are one and the same.  I described earlier why I think the usage of the specific word "masculine" in reference to yourself and the roles you play in your relationship/home life can be problematic in a romantic relationship.

His male friends are my friends, too.  There are friends that were his first and friends that were mine first, but they are all mutual friends.  The jokes about me being a tomboy started before he and I were ever together, the entire time we were friends before that, and with my guy friends that later became his friends, too.

I was using the word masculine as to say that I am more masculine than most girls, or as you put it, not stereotypically girly-girl.  I didn't mean it any other way, because, well, I do thing they are one and the same.  I don't think I've ever actually said, "I'm masculine" but I have definitely said, "I'm not a girly-girl", and I have said that regularly.  I do not see why your DH would be a bit disgusted by that, but I think it comes down to how you and I are using the word "masculine" differently.  So that we are on the same page, I have been using "masculine" in the way that I first described at the beginning of this paragraph.

Again though, I'm only going by what you are posting here on e-hell - the usage of the word "masculine" in reference to what you call yourself was introduced by you into this thread.  I (and everyone else) had every reason right up until this post to believe that was the specific word you were using.

Yes, I agree, that is the word I was using.  What I was using it to mean is different than how it was being taken.  Again, this communication error is solely on me  ;) I should have been more descriptive.
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Mental Magpie

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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #37 on: January 30, 2012, 03:14:11 PM »

Ok, for ease of explaining this, this is how the convo went:

DM: So when I was outside fixing the fence, I saw a car with a bumper sticker that said "I don't just hug trees, I kiss them, too."
Brother: You mean while DB was inside putting the groceries away? -grin-
DB: Yeah, that she bought with my money.
DM:  Yeah, but you didn't have to go shopping (something we both hate), so you got off easy.
DB: I've had to go shopping lately.
DM:  Yeah, but when was the last time you went alone for the both of us?
DB:  Like a year ago -chuckle-...-pause-  Well when was the last time you had a job?

Please refer to my previous post in response to WillyNilly.  Dark Boyfriend has thanked me for the very things I do that are "more masculine", like playing video games.  I can see where if I was daily saying I'm masculine, he would feel resentment.  He has only ever thanked me for these things, so I don't think that's the case in our situation.

Ah okay. Actually, that does change my opinion a bit, but I don't think you're going to like my new one.. this convo sounds like you were both getting a bit defensive about who pulls more weight in the relationship. The fact that DB pointed out that it was his money that bought the groceries does seem like he's at least somewhat sensitive about being the provider, or "the man" in the relationship.

I'm not in your relationship, so can only know what you post about, but it does sound like you and DB don't always communicate so well. Just a thought, and forgive me if it's completely off track.. but the fact that you two were friends for so long before dating made me think that maybe you are still relating in some ways as just buddies.. not thinking how those interactions can be different as part of a romantic relationship? What I mean is.. like, in this case. A guy being teased by his friends about his SO fixing the fence instead of him can feel completely different than being teased by his SO about the exact same thing. I thought that somewhat in your thread about the video game too.. seemed like he was treating you like "one of the guys" instead of thinking about how his actions seemed to you as his partner.

I think you're on to something...that sometimes he may forget that I am not just one of the guys any more.  It rarely happens, honestly, but I can definitely see where you're going with this.

That can be a tough switch to make, and I think that it can be on both sides.. Like.. before you two were dating, would the video game situation have bothered you as much? I can't see two friends really caring if they're playing a game in the same group/arena/whatever (can you tell I'm not really a gamer?) but I can definitely see getting my feelings hurt if my SO went off and did his own thing when we were supposed to be having "together time".
It just sounds like maybe you two are having a little trouble adjusting to the rules changing.. but that's just learning to relate to each other in different ways, and it sounds like you two care enough about each other to figure it out.

Definitely would not have been as upset had we been just friends.  I would have been secretly hurt because I had a crush on him, but it would have been nothing like the hurt I felt recently.  You've definitely given me something to think about...
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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #38 on: January 30, 2012, 03:17:22 PM »
I think it is completely possible to continue to have a teasing rel@tionship with one or two of the touchier subjects taken off the table. DH and I are both teasers and enjoy wicked banter but every now and then something will sting more than expected. It took a couple of conversations to iron out which insecurities we each had that just aren’t laughable no matter what. Which for us was better than just cutting out the jokes altogether because If I wasn't allowed to mercilessly tease my DH about how bad he is at Guitar Hero or what a scaredy cat he is about blood onscreen I would probably have to leave. I can only control the sarcastic beast inside me for so long.

Obviously you're rel@tionship is it's own thing but here is how I remember one of our conversations going:
Me: "Hey remember the other day when you said my nose looked like a rabbit?"
DH: "haha yea that was hilarious"
Me:…really quietly…"do you really think that? Because I've always been really self conscious about my nose and now I can’t stop staring at it in the mirror. All I can think about now is how rabbit-like you think I look" (sidenote- obviously this was not the actual issue we were discussing)
DH: "no honey I was just joking. I don’t think you look like a rabbit at all"
Me: "OK, would you mind not ribbing me about that again? I know its silly and I can usually take a joke but I'm feeling pretty irrationally bad about this whole rabbit-nose thing"
DH: "Of course! As long as I can still get digs in about your ridiculously large animal print sock collection that only crazy ladies wear we're good!"

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Mental Magpie

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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2012, 03:31:53 PM »
I think it is completely possible to continue to have a teasing rel@tionship with one or two of the touchier subjects taken off the table. DH and I are both teasers and enjoy wicked banter but every now and then something will sting more than expected. It took a couple of conversations to iron out which insecurities we each had that just aren’t laughable no matter what. Which for us was better than just cutting out the jokes altogether because If I wasn't allowed to mercilessly tease my DH about how bad he is at Guitar Hero or what a scaredy cat he is about blood onscreen I would probably have to leave. I can only control the sarcastic beast inside me for so long.

Obviously you're rel@tionship is it's own thing but here is how I remember one of our conversations going:
Me: "Hey remember the other day when you said my nose looked like a rabbit?"
DH: "haha yea that was hilarious"
Me:…really quietly…"do you really think that? Because I've always been really self conscious about my nose and now I can’t stop staring at it in the mirror. All I can think about now is how rabbit-like you think I look" (sidenote- obviously this was not the actual issue we were discussing)
DH: "no honey I was just joking. I don’t think you look like a rabbit at all"
Me: "OK, would you mind not ribbing me about that again? I know its silly and I can usually take a joke but I'm feeling pretty irrationally bad about this whole rabbit-nose thing"
DH: "Of course! As long as I can still get digs in about your ridiculously large animal print sock collection that only crazy ladies wear we're good!"

I spend a lot of energy keeping mine at bay when I'm in public  ;D  That's just it, we tease about a lot of things (how I leave fingerprint bruises on his forearms when he tries to tickle me because he bruises easily, how if he touches my nose he may get zits on his fingers, how he doesn't love me because he elbowed me in the throat once when I leaned down to kiss him), this time it just wondered into sensitive territory.  I've never actually told him I'm sensitive about not having a job, so he couldn't have known it was going to effect me so much.  The last time he teased about something I was sensitive about, I got really sarcastic with him (he was talking about Anna Paquin's gap...though mine isn't as big, I still have one, and I don't like it).  It got my point across that what he said was really insensitive to say the least, but I know I could have gone about it better.

I was thinking the conversation would go something like what you described.  In my own words, it would be a bit along the lines of:

"I know we were joking about you putting the groceries away and me fixing the fence, but what you said about me not having a job really hurt my feelings.  I am a bit sensitive about that.  The way you said it made it sound like you resent me for it.  Is that how you really feel?"
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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #40 on: January 30, 2012, 04:33:29 PM »
The above sounds good, as long as you're prepared for the reply.  And possibly prepared to delve deeper to work out what's going on.  I agree with the others above who claim that this is more a relationship than an etiquette issue and that you might benefit from a bit of thought about how what you're saying affects how he sees you.

You don't need to be a girly-girl, but treading the line between femininity and not can be difficult.  I am also not a girly girl - I played rugby, lift weights, ride horses and play with my dogs.  However, some years ago a friend and I decided we'd try to move from being 'low maintenance' to 'medium maintenance'.  Which just meant remaining capable and strong, but dressing a little different, allowing people to take care of us and taking care of them in more 'traditional' ways.  For me, it also meant doing things like getting hair cut regularly, stopping biting my nails and so on.  This still works for me, despite very strong feminist beliefs, because DH is able to feel that he is nurtured and nurtures in response. 

Jokes are one thing in private, but many men like to 'win' and will usually carry on until they do.  You might need to think about how to manage that.

Mental Magpie

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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #41 on: January 30, 2012, 05:06:18 PM »
The above sounds good, as long as you're prepared for the reply.  And possibly prepared to delve deeper to work out what's going on.  I agree with the others above who claim that this is more a relationship than an etiquette issue and that you might benefit from a bit of thought about how what you're saying affects how he sees you.

You don't need to be a girly-girl, but treading the line between femininity and not can be difficult.  I am also not a girly girl - I played rugby, lift weights, ride horses and play with my dogs.  However, some years ago a friend and I decided we'd try to move from being 'low maintenance' to 'medium maintenance'.  Which just meant remaining capable and strong, but dressing a little different, allowing people to take care of us and taking care of them in more 'traditional' ways.  For me, it also meant doing things like getting hair cut regularly, stopping biting my nails and so on.  This still works for me, despite very strong feminist beliefs, because DH is able to feel that he is nurtured and nurtures in response. 

Jokes are one thing in private, but many men like to 'win' and will usually carry on until they do.  You might need to think about how to manage that.

The etiquette issue is how to word bringing up it it because I have a tendency to be sarcastic (and thus unhelpful) when I'm hurt.  All I asked was if it was worth saying anything and if so how to say it nicely.
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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #42 on: January 30, 2012, 05:34:52 PM »
What about just putting a moratorium on the nasty teasing for a specific amount of time?  Say, a week or a month?  See how it goes, and if you guys have fewer communications problems without the teasing. 

You keep emphasizing that it's fun, but it seems to be causing you a lot of hurt and confusion -- and I wouldn't be surprised if he was feeling the same way.  When you both describe it as "teasing" and "fun" rather than "insults" it can be very hard for one of you to say "Actually, this particular insult isn't fun anymore" because you worry you're taking it too seriously.    Maybe making a pact to try interacting without insults, even if only for a few days or a week, would give you some insight there.

Similarly, whether or not you feel you're masculine or feminine, does it really matter?   Does it matter whether it's the man or the woman who fixes the fence or watches Jersey Shore?   Could you try just deciding for a set amount of time that you're both "people" and not male or female stereotypes, and just talk to each other without the manly/girly elements to it?   

I wonder if that might help identify which issues are developing because of the teasing, and which ones are actually bigger problems in your relationship.

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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #43 on: January 30, 2012, 06:52:18 PM »
From the conversation you posted it sounds to me like he is sensitive in this area also. I think Suruanne's idea of backing off the teasing for a while is a good idea. It sounds like you are hitting each other's hot buttons.

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Re: This communication error is solely on me...
« Reply #44 on: January 30, 2012, 07:41:25 PM »
I have absolutely no problem with really harsh teasing, but it can be used to 'subtly' get across real resentments. So I think if this is starting to happen, backing off the teasing for awhile could be really helpful. My ex boyfriend (who is still one of my best friends) and I would say absolutely terrible things to each other all the time and it was truly a non-abusive, non-PA situation. That wouldn't work as well in my current relationship, though we do tease. Not because either way is better, just for the personalities involved.

Oh and also just because many guys like their girlfriend to behave feminine-ly, doesn't mean all do, or even care, or will feel emasculated by the same things. My boyfriend loves bringing up how he does all the cooking and I am the full time worker. But he's had people who are convinced he must secretly feel badly about it, because they would. Everyone's different. So I say the teasing about gender roles is totally fine if it doesn't bother you guys. It doesn't necessarily seem related to the overall communication issue too. Just as you need to tell him that it bugs you when he jokes about you working, if your joking about being 'manly' bugged him, it would be on him to tell you.