Author Topic: Communication issue & need perspective  (Read 16479 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5303
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2012, 06:02:36 PM »
So, would it be better to ask if he wants to be alone, or just assume that he does? How can I improve on reading these cues better?

In light of everything that's going on with you two, I do think that the counselor you plan on seeing can help you both with this.  Giving/understanding cues, both verbal and non-verbal, on both sides.

I think posters have given you some excellent advice and the perspective you've asked for, but honestly, I don't think that this is something that is going to improve on our advice alone. 

You seem open to hearing his side of things and where you may have erred in this whole thing, so I think you're in a great position to move towards some healing.  In the meantime, I like the idea of "are you up for a chat?" as a way to guage when he does/doesn't want to be alone.

hobish

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18187
  • Release the gelfling!
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #46 on: February 21, 2012, 06:12:35 PM »
I really like the suggestions (from quite a few posters)  to come up with a longer "code phrase" if "I'm tired" isn't clear enough for the OP.   

I think where we're diverging is the phrase "I'm tired." To me, it is a simple statement of fact and means nothing more. To you, it means "I need space; please leave me alone." I'm a literal person and I often don't "get it" when a person says one thing and means another. If he's laying on the bed and saying he's tired, I'm going to think that he's tired, but I am not going to understand that that means he wants to be left alone unless it's spelled out for me. Tired does not automatically exclude conversation, in my mind.

I shouldn't think it would be too hard to pick up that going forward if he - or anyone really - says they are tired, and they are laying down, it is probably a bad time for chitchat. I understand having a hard time reading nonverbal cues; but if laying down in the bedroom and speaking "I'm tired" does not convey a lack of wanting interaction I donít know what does. The need for trying to pick apart whether it is this that or the other kind of tired or make up a code phrase Ö yeah, you have some communication issues, on both sides. I am not trying to be harsh, I really just donít get how that could be unclear, especially from someone you purport to know well enough to marry and procreate with.

I have to echo WillyNilly in much of that.
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

Allyson

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2041
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #47 on: February 21, 2012, 07:40:09 PM »
It really does depend on the people though. My boyfriend and I are both extroverted. For either of us, an 'I'm tired' and lying in bed would mean 'feel free to come join me to snuggle and talk'. I'm another who has a hard time interpreting non-explicit statements/cues, so to me that wouldn't be an obvious thing either.

NutMeg

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1914
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #48 on: February 21, 2012, 08:04:20 PM »
I guess that I'm still stuck on the fact that they have a toddler. I don't think it is right for one of the parents to disappear somewhere and leave the other parent with the task of childcare without a quick discussion. He didn't say, "I'm tired and need to lay down for a little bit, can you watch the kid?" In fact, he didn't say anything at all until CakeBeret came to find him. When you have responsibility for a small child, that's just unacceptable. I don't think that childcare is automatically the mother's job, but that seems to be what he assumed here.

This all could have been prevented if he took 15 seconds to communicate his needs. I really think people are being too hard on CakeBeret here. It shouldn't have to be her job to extrapolate from morsels of information what the correct course to take is. This is her husband, not a PA co-worker. I don't think there is anything wrong with having a bad day and needing time to oneself, but you have to be upfront about that, particularly when childcare is involved.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 08:06:09 PM by NutMeg »
"You're hostages! This is a life-and-death situation here. Start acting like it! We're your captors. We're armed. There's rules. There's a whole school of etiquette to this!" - Dr. Daniel Jackson                

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10867
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #49 on: February 21, 2012, 08:26:15 PM »
NutMeg, I reread the OP and I'm a little lost on the toddler thing, so I wonder if there's backstory I don't know...did he promise to watch the toddler that night?  In the OP for this thread it didn't seem like something she was upset about so I think that's why a lot of people aren't focusing on the child (whereas others who know the OP's previous threads may see it as a recurring issue?).

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5562
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #50 on: February 21, 2012, 08:43:14 PM »
It really does depend on the people though. My boyfriend and I are both extroverted. For either of us, an 'I'm tired' and lying in bed would mean 'feel free to come join me to snuggle and talk'. I'm another who has a hard time interpreting non-explicit statements/cues, so to me that wouldn't be an obvious thing either.

I have to echo this.  If I told Dark Boyfriend I was tired, it would mean I didn't get enough sleep but that I'm still up for just about anything.  If I tell him "I need to be alone for a bit" it means I need to be alone for a bit.  Lying down in the bed? Well come lay with me, we'll chat and snuggle.  Laying down on the couch? Sit down so I can put my head in your lap and we'll chat/watch tv together.  "I'm tired" does not automatically mean "leave me alone for a bit" so I can't blame CakeBeret on that one.  Further, she gets props for, once she figured out he meant "leave me alone for a bit" she did exactly that. 

Up until he got mad at her feelings being hurt, I can also see how her DH didn't talk.  Sometimes, when I get in my own head, I don't talk a lot but more than one word sentences/answers, and I'm a talker, so it's obvious something is wrong/up.  All he had to do was communicate that to her in a way that she would understand, but he didn't.  I don't see at all how the OP was being overbearing by following him into the bedroom because she didn't understand that he said one thing and meant another.  He needs to communicate better exactly what he wants.  Also, the OPs miniupdate in which she explained that sometimes music blaring means one thing and sometimes it means another, he definitely needs to figure out say exactly what he wants because of that.

That being said, CakeBeret, I think you should sit down and tell your DH exactly how you saw the interaction in your mind.  "I didn't know you meant that you wanted to be left alone for a bit.  To me, tired means that you didn't get enough sleep.  Please, in the future, let me know exactly what you need so that I don't misinterpret it."
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

June24

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 835
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #51 on: February 21, 2012, 10:09:10 PM »
I guess that I'm still stuck on the fact that they have a toddler. I don't think it is right for one of the parents to disappear somewhere and leave the other parent with the task of childcare without a quick discussion. He didn't say, "I'm tired and need to lay down for a little bit, can you watch the kid?" In fact, he didn't say anything at all until CakeBeret came to find him. When you have responsibility for a small child, that's just unacceptable. I don't think that childcare is automatically the mother's job, but that seems to be what he assumed here.

This all could have been prevented if he took 15 seconds to communicate his needs. I really think people are being too hard on CakeBeret here. It shouldn't have to be her job to extrapolate from morsels of information what the correct course to take is. This is her husband, not a PA co-worker. I don't think there is anything wrong with having a bad day and needing time to oneself, but you have to be upfront about that, particularly when childcare is involved.

I don't think one parent should have to ask the other to watch their own kid in their own house. It's not like they were out somewhere where the kid could wander away and would require constant supervision. A toddler can play on his own for 30 minutes - OP doesn't have to actively watch and entertain him. I assume there's an area of the house where the child can play safely more or less on his own, unless the OP and her husband are actively engaging the child every moment he's awake. Again, it just seems like a lot of work to communicate every.single.thing like that. Anyways, it should all balance out at the end - at some point the OP may want some time alone, and go to another room and leave the kid with Dh for a while. He's not an acquaintance who should have to be asked to watch the kid - I would assume he'd keep an eye out without having to be told. I don't think it really requires so much explicit communication - that seems very draining. I guess I just don't expect to have to communicate about everything in such a close relationship. It really hasn't been my experience at all.

MsMarjorie

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1464
  • The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2012, 01:23:57 AM »

Was it unreasonable for me to expect a few minutes of conversation, even if he was tired, since I barely get to see him tonight?  How do you act towards your spouse/SO when you are tired after a long day's work, and what do you expect of your spouse?

OP, I am assuming that you and your husband have been together for quite a while, is this really the first time this has come up?


CakeBeret

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4263
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #53 on: February 22, 2012, 09:08:33 AM »

Was it unreasonable for me to expect a few minutes of conversation, even if he was tired, since I barely get to see him tonight?  How do you act towards your spouse/SO when you are tired after a long day's work, and what do you expect of your spouse?

OP, I am assuming that you and your husband have been together for quite a while, is this really the first time this has come up?

We have been together for 7.5 years and married for 3. This really is the first time we have ever had this issue.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5303
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #54 on: February 22, 2012, 10:32:09 AM »
NutMeg, I reread the OP and I'm a little lost on the toddler thing, so I wonder if there's backstory I don't know...did he promise to watch the toddler that night?  In the OP for this thread it didn't seem like something she was upset about so I think that's why a lot of people aren't focusing on the child (whereas others who know the OP's previous threads may see it as a recurring issue?).

I don't think it's a matter of promising/not promising.  I have a toddler and even when DH and I are both at home, someone has to take some responsibility for supervising her.  She can't just be locked up in her bedroom so that both parents can have downtime.  When we are both at home, but not actively involved with each other, it's just a simple matter of saying "Is DD with you?" or "Are you watching her?" so that the other one doesn't have to worry about it. There have been plenty of times that I or my DH have come home from work and said "I'm tired and need to be left alone.  Can you watch DD for half an hour?"  It's not that hard or overburdensome (like another pp said).

Nutmeg is saying that it's not automatic that childcare at home should fall on the OP.

I'm a little lost on the details of this half hour to converse.  I'm not quite sure if this was prearranged time together or not.  My responses assume that they were, and that's why I think he should have just said "I'm tired" when he came home, instead of disappearing and leaving it to her to go find him and find out what was going on.  And I'm also unsure of what the status quo is for caring for the toddler, but if there is any assumption that the OP always takes main responsibility for supervising the child so her DH can downtime whenever he feels like it...I do think that's a problem.

anonymousmac

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 332
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #55 on: February 22, 2012, 10:36:17 AM »
I guess that I'm still stuck on the fact that they have a toddler. I don't think it is right for one of the parents to disappear somewhere and leave the other parent with the task of childcare without a quick discussion. He didn't say, "I'm tired and need to lay down for a little bit, can you watch the kid?" In fact, he didn't say anything at all until CakeBeret came to find him. When you have responsibility for a small child, that's just unacceptable. I don't think that childcare is automatically the mother's job, but that seems to be what he assumed here.

I completely agree!  When a couple has young children together, someone going off by themselves isn't as simple as just walking away and closing the door and expecting everything to be made smooth for them.  One partner is really saying to the other, "I'm tired, and I'd really like some time to myself.  Can you please be on duty with the kids and take care of all of our joint responsibilities for a while so I can rest?"

When one partner just checks out with no warning, the other partner has no choice but to step up and handle things.  It's rude and disrespectful to put someone in a position where they have no choice in the matter, giving them no input into what they're being forced to do, especially with no warning.  What if CakeBeret also needed down time?  I bet her husband would be furious if he came home and she simply walked away and closed the door, and left him to deal with their son for an unknown amount of time, and then got angry at him if he got upset at "I'm tired" being the only thing she bothered saying to him all evening.

I completely understand needing down time.  But partners with joint responsibilities need to do each other the courtesy of communicating about it, asking each other to take over duties, not just dropping the ball with no warning.  I agree that CakeBeret and her husband need to find ways to give each other down time more smoothly, with more warning and better communication, but I can completely understand why she's upset in this situation.

Furthermore, let's not forget that CakeBeret -did- recognize what was going on, and took responsibility so her husband could have the downtime he clearly needed.  It's unfair to keep taking her to task as if she kept nagging him to talk to her.  But it's fair for her to be upset over being treated that way, and really unfair of her husband to get mad at her for being upset.

CakeBeret

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4263
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2012, 10:56:13 AM »
NutMeg, I reread the OP and I'm a little lost on the toddler thing, so I wonder if there's backstory I don't know...did he promise to watch the toddler that night?  In the OP for this thread it didn't seem like something she was upset about so I think that's why a lot of people aren't focusing on the child (whereas others who know the OP's previous threads may see it as a recurring issue?).

I don't think it's a matter of promising/not promising.  I have a toddler and even when DH and I are both at home, someone has to take some responsibility for supervising her.  She can't just be locked up in her bedroom so that both parents can have downtime.  When we are both at home, but not actively involved with each other, it's just a simple matter of saying "Is DD with you?" or "Are you watching her?" so that the other one doesn't have to worry about it. There have been plenty of times that I or my DH have come home from work and said "I'm tired and need to be left alone.  Can you watch DD for half an hour?"  It's not that hard or overburdensome (like another pp said).

Nutmeg is saying that it's not automatic that childcare at home should fall on the OP.

I'm a little lost on the details of this half hour to converse.  I'm not quite sure if this was prearranged time together or not.  My responses assume that they were, and that's why I think he should have just said "I'm tired" when he came home, instead of disappearing and leaving it to her to go find him and find out what was going on.  And I'm also unsure of what the status quo is for caring for the toddler, but if there is any assumption that the OP always takes main responsibility for supervising the child so her DH can downtime whenever he feels like it...I do think that's a problem.

The half hour to converse was not strictly prearranged, but a few weeks ago I did tell him that since that's all the time I have with him on Monday nights, I'd appreciate him spending that time with me.

I have, in the past, told DH that I was tired and needed to lay down and have quiet time after work. I went into the bedroom and shut the door. This upset our son, and DH was watching TV, so he let our son pound on the bedroom door and call for me. He would sometimes occasionally say "DS, leave Mommy alone" but not make any other effort. Not exactly restful, and so I gave up on resting while DS is awake.

Childcare at home does fall on me, and I kind of resent that, but with our bigger issues right now, I don't make a big deal out of it.

The funny thing is that I am an extreme introvert, and people exhaust me. DH, on the other hand, is sort of neutral, not terribly introverted and not terribly extroverted. I do need quiet alone time, but I've learned that I have to wait until after DS is in bed to find it.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10867
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2012, 11:56:19 AM »
I'm a little lost on the details of this half hour to converse.  I'm not quite sure if this was prearranged time together or not.  My responses assume that they were, and that's why I think he should have just said "I'm tired" when he came home, instead of disappearing and leaving it to her to go find him and find out what was going on. 

Ahhh, now I'm starting to understand a little better.  I was definitely *not* assuming this was prearranged time that he promised to spend with the OP -- I didn't know any of the background about promises re: communication and spending time together, so I think that's why I've had such a different approach to this thread.  Some posters are seeing a broken promise where for me it was just a guy who wanted to relax a little after a bad day  :) 

rashea

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9700
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2012, 12:02:24 PM »
I'm a little lost on the details of this half hour to converse.  I'm not quite sure if this was prearranged time together or not.  My responses assume that they were, and that's why I think he should have just said "I'm tired" when he came home, instead of disappearing and leaving it to her to go find him and find out what was going on. 

Ahhh, now I'm starting to understand a little better.  I was definitely *not* assuming this was prearranged time that he promised to spend with the OP -- I didn't know any of the background about promises re: communication and spending time together, so I think that's why I've had such a different approach to this thread.  Some posters are seeing a broken promise where for me it was just a guy who wanted to relax a little after a bad day  :)

I think a lot of us are thinking with references to CakeBeret's recent thread: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=112016.0

ETA: I think it's helpful that some people are coming into this without that whole background, because it helps define "normal" boundaries. I added this, because I didn't want people to feel like they shouldn't post if they haven't made it through 20+ pages of backstory.

And I think the automatic default that you are taking care of your child, and that even if you ask for downtime you don't get it, is a major relationship issue that needs to be addressed.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 12:39:30 PM by rashea »
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10867
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #59 on: February 22, 2012, 12:07:25 PM »
I'm a little lost on the details of this half hour to converse.  I'm not quite sure if this was prearranged time together or not.  My responses assume that they were, and that's why I think he should have just said "I'm tired" when he came home, instead of disappearing and leaving it to her to go find him and find out what was going on. 

Ahhh, now I'm starting to understand a little better.  I was definitely *not* assuming this was prearranged time that he promised to spend with the OP -- I didn't know any of the background about promises re: communication and spending time together, so I think that's why I've had such a different approach to this thread.  Some posters are seeing a broken promise where for me it was just a guy who wanted to relax a little after a bad day  :)

I think a lot of us are thinking with references to CakeBeret's recent thread: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=112016.0

Thanks!  Whew, that's a lot of pages...if it's extremely relevant for this thread I think it's time for me to back out, no way I'll manage to get through it today  ;D 

Quote
And I think the automatic default that you are taking care of your child, and that even if you ask for downtime you don't get it, is a major relationship issue that needs to be addressed.

Was that also in response to me?  I don't think I've argued anything about the child, I just asked a question because another poster was referring to the toddler, so you probably have me mixed up with someone else.