Part 2 of 2.
I tell him I don't like it. He responds with whats wrong with trying to make life easier for you? And it can take about an hour or two to get him to run out of white knight steam. It doesn't make life easier; quite the opposite. Somewhere into the second half hour of that's sweet but no thank you I don't need you to do that, I snap and start to get angry.
That is where I do not think you hear him. If you sing your song like this...
"I am thinking about doing X. Is that ok with you? How would you feel about that? I'm not sure if that's what I want to do."
And your people pleaser guy goes "Aw, I perceive you to be stuck and not sure. And I can do that for ya, babe! There. I solved you not sureness!"
Then later you be cranky? And he goes "What is wrong with trying to make life easier for you?"
I perceive him to be actually asking you "Did I not do the job well? Did I not solve your stuckness-not-sureness problem?" I perceive he wants feedback from you on his job performance. (tho not asking you in a way you can understand).
You try to explain you do not like it because _______.
He KNOWS you did not like it. That is why he is asking your for feedback. But he is not asking you clearly "Ok, that was not it. Can you give me the spec up front please? WHAT is my job?"
You guys end up both derailing and emotional flooding in frustration. Coming sooo close yet so far. Next time don't tell him you do not like it. Try this maybe --
Him: What is wrong with trying to make life easier for you?
You: Nothing. I know you love me and care about me. This is great. But we have a miscommunication. That needs work. Let's back it up to examine:
- Did I fail to give clear job specification on this one? Should I ask you to repeat the job spec back to me so we're on the same page?
- Did you clearly understand your job when I gave the spec? If you did not understand, did you ask me for clarify so we're on the same page?
Let's learn calibrate together here. So we are on the same page.
Assuming you DID tell him in clear, concise words what you are asking for so he HAD the specifications. Then it is on him. Point his Mr Fixit nose back on the right track. Hold him accountable. Encourage him to hold himself accountable.
If you did NOT give him specifications all the way across? On you. Own you own baggage there -- learn to communicate more clearly. Hold yourself accountable and tell him you expect HIM to hold you accountable too.
Be clear in your communication. Keep Mr Fixit focused on the job you DO want him to execute.
Just last night, I tell him about this thread and he starts talking about cancelling cake and bday and breaking up with her. This overkill solution only makes me regret saying anything to him at all.
That's a 2 parter -- the pissing contest and emotional flooding. Or that's how I call it.
He's emotionally flooding. Overwhelmed. You are emotionally flooding. Overwhelmed. And now cranky because it feels like he stole your stage, it was supposed to be YOUR support/nurture "There, there hon" time and now you (who are drained) have to tend to his there, there.
Am I right?
We do that here sometimes. We even named it. It's the Pissing Contest. That one I know!
Here I have learned to try minimize Pssing Contest by giving him THAT mission to spec.
"DH! You mission if you choose to accept it:
I need to vent about Stupid Shit Things til I have unloaded them. I think I have about 6?
I need to hear "There, there! I appreciate you and yes, those things suck! You handled it anyway!
Your job: Say "There, there" kind of stuff to me. Til I get to the end of my 6 reports. Then in gratitidue I will give you a chance to unload your Stupid Shit Things and steam valve. I will do you some There, There's. But I called it first so I get mine first. NO PISSING CONTEST. Do you accept your mission?"
Because in the past I would not clarify my need first and then it would devolved and piss us both off. And Pissing Contests trigger my emotional flooding! Argh.
As for the pissing contest? Used to be like
ME: I hate doing the dishes! Dammit!
Him: Well... I hate mowing the lawn!
Me: Who cares about lawn? Damn dishes, laundry, bills. ARGH!
Him: I have lawn, work outside home, crazy clients, now crazy wife, argh!
Me: You stole my freak show. ARGH! This is NOT about you!
Him: Yes it is. You are yelling at me!
Result: Mr and Mrs Huffypants each feeling even more underappreciated and stressed out and NOW feeling devalued by partner.
So much nicer when I tell him his mission. The "Your JOB is to there there me at the end of my list. There's 6 things I must air out without interruption!"
Me: ARGH! Stupid shit things! 1) Dishes! 2) Laundry! 3) Bills! 4) PTA madness! 5) My parents! 6) migraine!
Him: There, there. That was a hard day. You did so much. That's a lot to spin all at once. I love you, I appreciate you. There, there. Tomorrow is a new day.
Me: Oh, thank god. It is out off my chest! Thanks. You need a there, there? Your turn.
Him: Do I need a there, there? OMG! 1) Stupid Lawn cinch bugs! 2) Stupid clients at work! 3) Crazy driver on interstate! 4) Missed lunch due to meeting snafu! ARGH! 5) My own migraine
Me: Oh, you had a bad day too. There, there. I appreciate you. Was there NOTHING good/funny today? There, there.
So much better managed when mission is clear and no pissing contest ensues.
And it can take about an hour or two to get him to run out of white knight steam. It doesn't make life easier; quite the opposite. Somewhere into the second half hour of that's sweet but no thank you I don't need you to do that, I snap and start to get angry.
Well, you know your trigger point. That's good. If you know you got a personal Limit of 30 min before you trigger. Why you going on for 1-2 hrs then? Check out to regroup. You have 90 min excess then that can immediately be chopped off. Get a timer.
I am NOT good at emotional flooding yet. That is a work in progress place for me. I aspire to this place -- where in the head of the moment I could say
"DH! Triggered! I'm flooding. I am spilling my bag and I need to stop to collect my marbles or else you are going to be talking to a crazy lady and you do not want that do you?"
It is HARD for me. So I have no suggestions for fitting into a 30 min time frame. For me I had to work on reducing other triggers first like the pissing contest. And growing a longer anger fuse to get me to 60 min time chunk. He can do about 60 min himself. Now it's coping with giving me enough VISUAL cues when I am on the train. We keep trying.
All anyone can do is TRY. Keep trying on your end.
Hang in there!