Author Topic: Communication issue & need perspective  (Read 16169 times)

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CakeBeret

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #60 on: February 22, 2012, 12:21:52 PM »
Sorry for not posting the link to the other thread. I wasn't sure if it was relevant and didn't want posters to feel obligated to slog through a billion pages. ;) I should have been more precise in the OP that I'd told him previously it's important to me to spend this time together.
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rashea

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #61 on: February 22, 2012, 12:27:05 PM »

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.

Nope, sorry, I should have been clear. That was more to the thread as a whole.
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Surianne

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #62 on: February 22, 2012, 12:44:26 PM »
Sorry for not posting the link to the other thread. I wasn't sure if it was relevant and didn't want posters to feel obligated to slog through a billion pages. ;) I should have been more precise in the OP that I'd told him previously it's important to me to spend this time together.

It's hard to know sometimes what's relevant until you start the discussion, so no worries, I doubt any of us will hold it against you  ;D 


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.

Nope, sorry, I should have been clear. That was more to the thread as a whole.

Ah thanks!  Carry on  ;D

Jaelle

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #63 on: February 22, 2012, 09:24:07 PM »
Commenting on the toddler thing. When DH and I are both in the house, we are both in charge of keeping tabs on the kids unless one or the other of us lets the other one know. (As in, "Hey, I need a break; I'm going to go hide and read for a little while" or "Hey, I need some quiet time to get this chore done.")

It bothers me that some seem to think that, unless the OP's DH was specifically planning on watching his child by prearrangement, he's considered absolved from the responsibility.  :( Parenthood is teamwork.

(And no, I've found you really can't leave a toddler alone for 30 minutes (as a prior poster said) unless you want to find box of tissues emptied out into the living room room or a stamp pad used as warpaint. (Before true examples ... with my younger son given less than 10 minutes for both. In fact, it was more like five.))
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lollylegs

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #64 on: February 22, 2012, 11:54:35 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.

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.

Regarding the bolded, I think that's a bit of a generalisation.  Every household has their own arrangements regarding childcare.  My partner and I never explicitly say, "I'm going to do this now, can you watch the child?"  I often sneak off to have a shower or read in our room while my partner's playing with our son, and vice versa.  It works for us.  Neither way is right or wrong, they're just different.

I do agree with your last paragraph though.

Surianne

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #65 on: February 23, 2012, 08:40:58 PM »
It bothers me that some seem to think that, unless the OP's DH was specifically planning on watching his child by prearrangement, he's considered absolved from the responsibility.  :( Parenthood is teamwork.

Actually no, near as I can tell no one has said anything like that. 

What I'm saying is that because the OP didn't seem to feel the toddler was part of the big issue re: why she was upset with her husband, I thought it was safe to assume that it *wasn't* an issue for her -- or she'd have mentioned it in her first post.

It seems to me like posters have just jumped on childcare as a reason to pile even more blame on the OP's husband, even though we don't actually know it's a problem for her.  Why make it an issue if it's not?

If she were to say "Actually I think he really let me down on the child-watching front that night, too, and it's a big part of why I'm mad", that would be different.  If she has said that in this thread, and I missed it, please correct me, of course.  I did a pass through again to double check but may have still missed something.

Bexx27

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #66 on: February 23, 2012, 08:46:20 PM »
It bothers me that some seem to think that, unless the OP's DH was specifically planning on watching his child by prearrangement, he's considered absolved from the responsibility.  :( Parenthood is teamwork.

Actually no, near as I can tell no one has said anything like that. 

What I'm saying is that because the OP didn't seem to feel the toddler was part of the big issue re: why she was upset with her husband, I thought it was safe to assume that it *wasn't* an issue for her -- or she'd have mentioned it in her first post.

It seems to me like posters have just jumped on childcare as a reason to pile even more blame on the OP's husband, even though we don't actually know it's a problem for her.  Why make it an issue if it's not?

If she were to say "Actually I think he really let me down on the child-watching front that night, too, and it's a big part of why I'm mad", that would be different.  If she has said that in this thread, and I missed it, please correct me, of course.  I did a pass through again to double check but may have still missed something.

She has said that she is primarily responsible for child care and is unhappy that he doesn't step up more in that area. This is an example of him assuming, without any discussion, that she will take care of the baby while he does his own thing.
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Surianne

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #67 on: February 23, 2012, 09:52:02 PM »
She has said that she is primarily responsible for child care and is unhappy that he doesn't step up more in that area. This is an example of him assuming, without any discussion, that she will take care of the baby while he does his own thing.

Thanks Bexx.  I completely missed that.  Must've overlooked an update somewhere.

Elephantschild, my apologies for trying to correct you when I was wrong myself  ;D 

kareng57

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #68 on: February 23, 2012, 10:06:33 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.


I do have to politely disagree here.  We were anything but overprotective parents - but we still established which one of us was actively "watching" the child(ren).  I can't recall exact details - memory gets blurred when there are two kids in 15 months - but it can't have been that complicated.  After all, many childhood accidents occur when each parent assumes that the other one was supervising.

While my late Dh was the extrovert (I'm an introvert), every now and then he'd be kind of uncommunicative and would really get irritated if I kept asking what was wrong.  "Can't a guy just be tired!?"  But for OP - I do think it's kind of unfair for him to be "too tired" to look after the child at the end of the day, if that's been the standing arrangement.  Mothers get very tired, too, and still have to do it.

Petticoats

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #69 on: February 24, 2012, 11:03:27 AM »
CakeBeret, knowing the background, this episode set off sirens for me. What happened to the guy who was stepping up to save the marriage? Now it seems like he's returning to his poor communication habits and (as Allyson said way upthread) snipping at you when you understandably respond in a less than delighted way.

I'm also concerned that all the at-home parenting defaults to you, and I hope that's something the two of you will discuss in counseling.

Reason

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #70 on: February 24, 2012, 01:04:22 PM »
I find more of an issue with the grumpy one word answers and a grumpy "leave me alone, I am tired" behavior. Nothing wrong with being tired. We've all been tired and we've all needed time to ourselves.

But is it really so difficult to just say that to your wife.
"I am sorry, but I am really tired right now and would like some time to myself to unwind."

The fact that he instead chose to act like a toddler instead and then got mad about it is quite troubling. Especially given his history of apparent manipulation in the past. It really looks like the pattern has not changed much, at least to me.

VorFemme

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2012, 01:15:35 PM »
I remember seeing a letter to an advice columnist decades ago where if the family came home and Mom's apron was tied on the side (so a lot of years ago - I think that it was an older book of reprinted columns), they knew that they needed to walk warily around her and Dad thought about going out or at least going for takeout (it was her "down to my last nerve" signal)

Perhaps a non-verbal signal that lets the rest of you know that he wants/needs fifteen to thirty minutes to "catch his breath" while he changes from WORK to FAMILY mode?  A baseball cap?  Sunglasses?  A "Me Time" timer that can be wound ONCE when he gets home (also useful as a kitchen timer).  A little time to eat a small snack (VorGuy sometimes skips lunch to get something done in that thirty minutes and then comes home ravenous AND cranky) to get his blood sugar and energy levels up? 

But he needs to talk to you to set up some kind of arrangement - just being grumpy is not going to work due to the past history of the last couple of years..................

Maybe something that the joint counseling can help set up...............but YOU need time to yourself, too.  Toddlers are exhausting to follow around...............you never know what they are going to do because THEY don't know either.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 01:35:26 PM by VorFemme »
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

JenJay

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #72 on: February 25, 2012, 12:20:12 AM »
I find more of an issue with the grumpy one word answers and a grumpy "leave me alone, I am tired" behavior. Nothing wrong with being tired. We've all been tired and we've all needed time to ourselves.

But is it really so difficult to just say that to your wife.
"I am sorry, but I am really tired right now and would like some time to myself to unwind."

The fact that he instead chose to act like a toddler instead and then got mad about it is quite troubling. Especially given his history of apparent manipulation in the past. It really looks like the pattern has not changed much, at least to me.

This is my concern, as well. It's absolutely fine if he was mentaly worn out after work and needed to be alone. It is not fine, IMO, for him to repeatedly snip at CB and blame it on being tired when he seemed to have enough energy and good will for everyone else. It's easy to put on a fake "I'm in a great mood" face for friends and family but let your guard down and be a grouch to your partner. It's important not to do that, though. Especially in this case with this background. CB might have asked if he wanted some time alone, but he could have offered that information, too. I don't think it was fair for him to expect her to just know he wanted to be left completely alone as he went about his normal routine.

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #73 on: February 25, 2012, 01:23:03 PM »
I find more of an issue with the grumpy one word answers and a grumpy "leave me alone, I am tired" behavior. Nothing wrong with being tired. We've all been tired and we've all needed time to ourselves.

But is it really so difficult to just say that to your wife.
"I am sorry, but I am really tired right now and would like some time to myself to unwind."

The fact that he instead chose to act like a toddler instead and then got mad about it is quite troubling. Especially given his history of apparent manipulation in the past. It really looks like the pattern has not changed much, at least to me.

Not to excuse CakeBeret's husband too much but its only been a few weeks. That isn't really enough time to change ingrained habits. He has made an effort to change - but to expect him to change everything overnight is unrealistic and will only lead to unhappiness. This is something that should be brought up to the marriage counselor when you go and if he doesn't make an effort to change then it is a red flag. But for now I wouldn't make this a make or break issue.

RandomAngel

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Re: Communication issue & need perspective
« Reply #74 on: February 25, 2012, 05:04:53 PM »
I find more of an issue with the grumpy one word answers and a grumpy "leave me alone, I am tired" behavior. Nothing wrong with being tired. We've all been tired and we've all needed time to ourselves.

But is it really so difficult to just say that to your wife.
"I am sorry, but I am really tired right now and would like some time to myself to unwind."

The fact that he instead chose to act like a toddler instead and then got mad about it is quite troubling. Especially given his history of apparent manipulation in the past. It really looks like the pattern has not changed much, at least to me.

Not to excuse CakeBeret's husband too much but its only been a few weeks. That isn't really enough time to change ingrained habits. He has made an effort to change - but to expect him to change everything overnight is unrealistic and will only lead to unhappiness. This is something that should be brought up to the marriage counselor when you go and if he doesn't make an effort to change then it is a red flag. But for now I wouldn't make this a make or break issue.

I agree...not to mention that he's very, very deep in "relationship debt." It sounds like he's been making an effort to pay it down, but it's not realistic to expect that he'll be "on" and in full making-things-up-to-OP mode all the time. That would be exhausting! I think it would be fair to give him a "day off" from working on things now and then...but ONLY now and then.

As for the specific incident...well, if my DH goes into the bedroom and lies down, I assume he needs some time without me. Otherwise he'd choose to be in the room where I already was! And if I had reason to worry that something was wrong, and poked my head in and ask, I'd consider "I'm tired" to be a full and complete explanation. And I can tell you that, if I kept trying to converse with him after that, he'd probably launch a pillow at my head. ;)

I see what PP's are saying about setting up a signal, but there's a lot to be said for taking things at face value, too. It sounds like your DH GAVE you some pretty clear signals, and then was upset when you held a grudge. And I don't mean to sound harsh at ALL, but I'm genuinely curious: being tired and not wanting to chat comes up now and then in seven years--have you guys really never worked out how to convey/understand that mood? Is it that he usually handles it in a radically different manner, or do you just argue about it every time?