Author Topic: Communication issue & need perspective  (Read 14975 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Bexx27

  • Striving to meet the minimum requirements of social acceptability
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1867
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2012, 10:36:02 AM »
The part of this that bugs me is that he seemed to expect you to understand, accept, and be OK with his bad mood/bad day, but wouldn't let you have your reaction to his aloofness. He asked you what was wrong, and you told him. You didn't get accusatory or angry as far as I can see, but he still got snarly with you for feeling that way at all.

This. By asking you what was wrong it almost seems like he was baiting you. He has to realize that emotions are contagious. He doesn't get to be grumpy and short-tempered without triggering a reaction in you. How hard would it have been for him to come home, say "I'm really tired, I need to lie down by myself for a few minutes," and retire to the bedroom? No conversation and no negative emotion for you. It sounds like he has a hard time understanding how his words and actions affect other people. Is he like that with everyone, or just you?
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10740
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2012, 10:42:46 AM »
When I am tired from work I need alone time and I can't even spend 5 minutes talking. I can listen but usually all I am thinking is "Why can't you just shut up for a few minutes!" I just need that time to relax and unwind and de-stress. If your husband is the same way then I wouldn't be too worried about it. If it happens a lot then I would consider worrying!

I'm the same way.  There's nothing worse when I'm stressed out and exhausted than having someone keep trying to get me to talk.  I think you should have respected his "I'm tired" answer and given him some alone time.  It's perfectly valid to not be up for talking 24/7 -- so I'd cut him some slack on this one.  It sounds like he kept his temper pretty well when he must've felt pretty stressed by your repeated attempts to get him to talk.

However, I don't have the background everyone else does, so I'm only commenting based on this specific incident.

ShadesOfGrey

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12682
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2012, 10:48:06 AM »
Quote from: Cosmasia

I feel that in relationships there needs to be space for bad days without it shaking the very foundation of your relationship.
As I understand you have a history on here that I don't know of, so I'm not familiar with your marriage problems so feel free to ignore me if what I say doesn't at all fit your problems. :)

But I definitely feel there needs to be room for that, for days where you just don't wanna talk, where you want to be mr/ms grumpy pants without it meaning your SO gets offended or hurt (as long as you aren't lashing out of course).

IMO he was communicating pretty clearly. As I said I don't know your history so maybe this one particular day is of importance, but to me as an outsider it seems off to me that it's a problem that his monday was bad because he communicated quite clearly IMO.

I have to POD this - I wouldn't have tried to talk to him while he was trying to rest before what was going to prove to be a busy night. I think you need to allow space for that sort of thing - where he just wants to be alone.

That said, given your history, I can understand your concerns. It's going to take practice to get it right, but it sounds like you are on the right track overall.
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning. - Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou

Winterlight

  • On the internet, no one can tell you're a dog- arf.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9648
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2012, 11:00:05 AM »
The part of this that bugs me is that he seemed to expect you to understand, accept, and be OK with his bad mood/bad day, but wouldn't let you have your reaction to his aloofness. He asked you what was wrong, and you told him. You didn't get accusatory or angry as far as I can see, but he still got snarly with you for feeling that way at all.

This. I think if he'd said something like, "I'm in a lousy mood, let me go wind down a bit," that would have been more useful.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

CakeBeret

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4241
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2012, 11:06:10 AM »
When I am tired from work I need alone time and I can't even spend 5 minutes talking. I can listen but usually all I am thinking is "Why can't you just shut up for a few minutes!" I just need that time to relax and unwind and de-stress. If your husband is the same way then I wouldn't be too worried about it. If it happens a lot then I would consider worrying!

I'm the same way.  There's nothing worse when I'm stressed out and exhausted than having someone keep trying to get me to talk.  I think you should have respected his "I'm tired" answer and given him some alone time.  It's perfectly valid to not be up for talking 24/7 -- so I'd cut him some slack on this one.  It sounds like he kept his temper pretty well when he must've felt pretty stressed by your repeated attempts to get him to talk.

However, I don't have the background everyone else does, so I'm only commenting based on this specific incident.

I did. Once I determined that he wasn't up for talking (and it took me a bit to realize that since he wouldn't just say it) I took the kid outside to play and let him have his quiet time.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

hobish

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18186
  • Release the gelfling!
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2012, 11:08:32 AM »
When I am tired from work I need alone time and I can't even spend 5 minutes talking. I can listen but usually all I am thinking is "Why can't you just shut up for a few minutes!" I just need that time to relax and unwind and de-stress. If your husband is the same way then I wouldn't be too worried about it. If it happens a lot then I would consider worrying!

I'm the same way.  There's nothing worse when I'm stressed out and exhausted than having someone keep trying to get me to talk.  I think you should have respected his "I'm tired" answer and given him some alone time.  It's perfectly valid to not be up for talking 24/7 -- so I'd cut him some slack on this one.  It sounds like he kept his temper pretty well when he must've felt pretty stressed by your repeated attempts to get him to talk.

However, I don't have the background everyone else does, so I'm only commenting based on this specific incident.

I agree. Heck, even on a good day, if i am getting home from work and then have 30 minutes before getting in the car and running to do other stuff i would appreciate a few minutes to myself without having to chat and talk about my day - even a good one - even with the person i love most, and especially without it being an issue that i just want to have 10 minutes of my own time. It sounds like that communicated it pretty well.



It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10740
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2012, 11:14:18 AM »
When I am tired from work I need alone time and I can't even spend 5 minutes talking. I can listen but usually all I am thinking is "Why can't you just shut up for a few minutes!" I just need that time to relax and unwind and de-stress. If your husband is the same way then I wouldn't be too worried about it. If it happens a lot then I would consider worrying!

I'm the same way.  There's nothing worse when I'm stressed out and exhausted than having someone keep trying to get me to talk.  I think you should have respected his "I'm tired" answer and given him some alone time.  It's perfectly valid to not be up for talking 24/7 -- so I'd cut him some slack on this one.  It sounds like he kept his temper pretty well when he must've felt pretty stressed by your repeated attempts to get him to talk.

However, I don't have the background everyone else does, so I'm only commenting based on this specific incident.

I did. Once I determined that he wasn't up for talking (and it took me a bit to realize that since he wouldn't just say it) I took the kid outside to play and let him have his quiet time.

Glad to hear it -- I misinterpreted and thought you tried to talk to him more than once (when you saw him cleaning his gun) or were sulky about it later (when he asked you what was wrong).  If you left him alone and respected his space after the first "I'm tired" then I think you were fine, and there's no need to bring it up or worry about it.

rashea

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9654
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2012, 11:14:55 AM »
I think he needs to be more clear. And sometimes that's about finding a trigger word or phrase that communicates, "I'm tired and need some quiet alone time before we do dinner and then I have to go be 'on' for a while. Can I just come find you later?" when he's too tired to find those words. And, he needs to be okay with him being grouchy meaning that you're feeling a bit hurt. If you're feeling a bit hurt just because he wanted down time, that's a problem on your end, but until he communicates that, it's on him.

On the other hand, someone too tired to talk to their spouse at any point in the evening should also be too tired to go out and play xbox. And I would have a problem with the fact that he felt it was okay to be grouchy at you so soon after you've turned a corner.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5046
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2012, 11:47:27 AM »
Your title has it right.  This is a communication issue.

On the surface, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal.  I think everyone probably has days when conversing after a rough day is just not possible.  We all need time to wind down.  When it comes, though, at the heels of other marital problems and during the only time, all day, you have to talk, it turns into a bigger deal.  Even though it doesn't need to.

I honestly think most of the hurt feelings could have been avoided if he had simply said "I had a long day, and I'm really tired.  I need some time to unwind (cleaning his gun could have been a calming thing for him) before we go to dinner.  Please understand that I'm not angry at you."

Yes, it would be dissappointing to miss out on your time to talk, but if it's a one-off thing, I'm sure you'd understand. 

After the damage was done (disappearing and not telling you why/being snippy when you asked), then you could have said something like "I understand that you were tired and needed some time to yourself.  But it hurt my feelings when you didn't tell me that up front.  I'm ok with it now, but please just let me know in the future, ok?"

I do think that it's a bit narrowminded of him to expect you to know what's bothering him (tired) and not react to it, without having to ask him first...and yet would openly bait you by asking you what's wrong and not validating those feelings (hurt feelings). 

Hopefully, this mode of communication that you guys are in will improve with the counceling.  Hopefully, it's just as easy as learning that just because one partner feels something strongly, doesn't mean that's clear to the other partner, unless they're told specifically.  Not that the skill itself is "easy", just that it's a simpler problem to solve than deeper reasons why communication isn't happening.

June24

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 821
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2012, 12:29:47 PM »
I don't know any of you relationship background - it sounds like there was some serious stuff. But in a healthy relationship, I think a person should be able to go to another area of their own house for relaxation without having to let you know that they're going to lie down (which is what you said you would have wanted him to tell you). It seems confining to have to  report every move like that. I think it also puts pressure on him to constantly have to "communicate" with you. He should be able to relax without having you follow him and continue tying to talk to him when he's obviously tired. What does seem strange is that you didn't talk at all at the dinner - married couples usually talk to each other even when they're in public. The problem isn't that he was tired and wanted to rest for 30 minutes. The problem is that he continued to act like he was mad at you for the rest of the day, and then got snippy about it when you got upset. 

Bexx27

  • Striving to meet the minimum requirements of social acceptability
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1867
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2012, 12:38:48 PM »
I don't know any of you relationship background - it sounds like there was some serious stuff. But in a healthy relationship, I think a person should be able to go to another area of their own house for relaxation without having to let you know that they're going to lie down (which is what you said you would have wanted him to tell you). It seems confining to have to  report every move like that. I think it also puts pressure on him to constantly have to "communicate" with you. He should be able to relax without having you follow him and continue tying to talk to him when he's obviously tired. What does seem strange is that you didn't talk at all at the dinner - married couples usually talk to each other even when they're in public. The problem isn't that he was tired and wanted to rest for 30 minutes. The problem is that he continued to act like he was mad at you for the rest of the day, and then got snippy about it when you got upset.

As to the bolded, I would agree if it were just the two of them. But they have a toddler who, if he's anything like my kid, requires constant attention. DH's alone time is CakeBeret's child care time, so she at least needs to know that he won't be around for a while.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4137
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2012, 12:40:40 PM »
I don't know any of you relationship background - it sounds like there was some serious stuff. But in a healthy relationship, I think a person should be able to go to another area of their own house for relaxation without having to let you know that they're going to lie down (which is what you said you would have wanted him to tell you). It seems confining to have to  report every move like that. I think it also puts pressure on him to constantly have to "communicate" with you. He should be able to relax without having you follow him and continue tying to talk to him when he's obviously tired. What does seem strange is that you didn't talk at all at the dinner - married couples usually talk to each other even when they're in public. The problem isn't that he was tired and wanted to rest for 30 minutes. The problem is that he continued to act like he was mad at you for the rest of the day, and then got snippy about it when you got upset.

There is quite a bit of history, and it's in the "hugs" folder.

bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5046
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2012, 01:13:42 PM »
I don't know any of you relationship background - it sounds like there was some serious stuff. But in a healthy relationship, I think a person should be able to go to another area of their own house for relaxation without having to let you know that they're going to lie down (which is what you said you would have wanted him to tell you). It seems confining to have to  report every move like that. I think it also puts pressure on him to constantly have to "communicate" with you. He should be able to relax without having you follow him and continue tying to talk to him when he's obviously tired. What does seem strange is that you didn't talk at all at the dinner - married couples usually talk to each other even when they're in public. The problem isn't that he was tired and wanted to rest for 30 minutes. The problem is that he continued to act like he was mad at you for the rest of the day, and then got snippy about it when you got upset.

This is ok...but not in every situation.  And even in cases where a couple isn't constantly communicating, there is still some communication.

Examples...this is the 30 minutes during the day that they had time for each other and it was presumed (agreed?) by each that they would spend that time together.  If one suddenly isn't up to it, he/she needs to communicate it.

In the case where people need time to themselves when they first get home or whenever, this is usually something couples talk about at some point.  When I wake up in the morning, I need 15 minutes of not being spoken to, so that I can get a cup of coffee and fully wake up before having to be pleasant.  I didn't just up and start ignoring my DH in the mornings.  I told him "this is what I need and I'll need it every single day".  I don't have to repeat myself, because I told him and we agreed to the time.

But the other thing is what you mentioned "a healthy relationship" and this one is one that has problems and they working to resolve those problems.  When a relationship is going through a rough patch, non-communication can hurt way more...and it's even more vital that each of them try that much harder to communicate so that what shouldn't be a problem, turns into a big one.

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10740
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2012, 01:16:37 PM »
But the other thing is what you mentioned "a healthy relationship" and this one is one that has problems and they working to resolve those problems.  When a relationship is going through a rough patch, non-communication can hurt way more...and it's even more vital that each of them try that much harder to communicate so that what shouldn't be a problem, turns into a big one.

For people who aren't comfortable with constant communication and need their downtime, though, wouldn't that be equally important in a relationship with problems? 

I have trouble reacting well when someone tries to get me to talk and I'm not in the mood.  I imagine it would bother me even more if I was already feeling stressed about the relationship.  I'd feel like I was pressured to be "on" all the time and couldn't relax around my significant other. 

So I think it's important recognize the needs of both parties, and not just the one that prefers lots of communication.

DavidH

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1660
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2012, 01:24:34 PM »
Looking at the original post:

"When I got home today, DH gave me a halfhearted hug and said hi, and then he went off to the bedroom. I waited a few minutes but he did not reappear, so I went to look for him and he was laying on the bed. He said he was tired. I tried to ask him about his day and he gave me grumpy one-word answers, so I decided to leave him alone."

I don't really see the issue.  He went off to the bedroom to lay down and when you went to find him he said he was tired.  The combination of the action and telling you he was tired sound like a clear signal to me, but apparently not.  When you continued to ask about his day, he remained grumpy, but once he said he was tired, why press the point?  Tired and not wanting to talk and not being able to do a repetitive task are very different.  Sometimes tired doesn't mean go to sleep, but not interact with anyone.

I took our son outside to play and when I came in a few minutes later, DH was cleaning his gun (so I guess he wasn't *that* tired?) but he was still unwilling to converse with me. We left for dinner and we talked briefly in the car, although it's extremely hard to have a conversation in the car with our chatterbox toddler in the backseat. We did not get to talk at all during dinner

Just before he left for his xbox night, he asked what was wrong with me. I explained that his aloofness all evening had hurt my feelings. He said he was tired. I said "I know, but it still hurt my feelings that you grumped at me and ignored me." He repeated, "I. Was. Tired." I said okay, told him goodbye and said "I love you". He left without saying anything.

It sounds like you were then upset with him the rest of the night and he picked up on that and asked what was wrong.  your answer of, "I know, but ..." can translate to, "I know you were tired, but I don't really care, I just wanted you to interact with me" whether or not that's how you meant it.

I think that the signal he sent, laying down, saying he was tired was clear, but I agree, he could have verbalized it better.  I can see how you wanted more interaction, but on the other hand, if you are tired and just need some time alone, someone pressing is likely to not go over well.