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Old 12-30-2012, 10:18 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,236

I told my husband it might be good if he cleaned off his part of the dresser today before he left and he just got frustrated with me, because he was late already.
So the TIMING of the telling was not good. You were catching him when he was already feeling "Ack! I am late."

What did you say verbatim? Sometimes it's the HOW you say it, as well as the WHEN you say it. Is he better with email than verbal with the "honey-do" lists?

Then there's letting him own the METHOD. If the goal is clean dresser by ____ time?

How about just say "Could you please make sure the dresser is clean by 8 pm? Would you be willing to take that on?" And leave it to him to deal with the method -- before work, after work, 2 seconds before 8 PM -- so long as it is done by then, right?

All purpose template around here?

"I feel ___. I need ____. Would you be willing to please _____? By (timeframe?) So I can _____?"

That usually works out with kid or DH or me. If they are not willing at this time, they are not willing at this time but maybe later. If not willing at ALL, I deal with it another way. If they are willing, great! It's part of the give and take of life around here.

Where things go awry is if I'm incapacitated by anxiety/emotional flooding and I cannot broadcast the information verbally like I usually do. My DH is not good at paraverbal. DH can't yet assess that way and go "Weird. She's not transmitting like normal. I could ask her if she's about to flood or is flooding" yet because her body language right now is screaming "Help! Help!" We work on it.

In your case? Are YOU transmitting clearly to him in a way HE understands? Could check on that. Maybe that could help with the frustration. You have to broadcast on a frequency he can pick up. (Ex: Can't hand a blind guy a paperback book for them to read. They need a Braille version.)

Give him the specifics -- the who, what, when, where, how, and why in the situation when you are trying to get a need met.

I suppose I'm looking for advice on how to communicate with my husband in a way that leaves me feeling understood instead of frustrated because he just wants me to solve my own problems. How do I get out of this loop without the usual physical and emotional support I get from my boyfriend, how do I help my husband learn these things that help me?
Before going too deep -- could ask if he is willing to learn the things that enable you to solve your problems more yourself.

If he's a Mr Fix It personality, could telling him his job is "Be Mr Ear and LISTEN to me for an hour. That's it. Not be Mr Ear with Feedback, but just Mr Ear. Feedback time will come later."

Then you get listened to and he has "his job to do" and can deliver to spec: LISTEN. Let her know if she goes on longer than an hour.

You both get what you need. Is that the bottom line needs that need meeting for each person? You need listening and he needs a job?



Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-30-2012 at 10:26 PM.
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