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Old 12-08-2013, 10:47 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by Brianne View Post
I don't if maybe I didn't make myself clear, but I dont feel that my husband has "made" me feel any way, nor that I think he's trying to hurt me or neglect our relationship on purpose.
That's good to hear. I'll just add one other tidbit of human socialization: many men have been raised to believe that they are responsible for the happiness of their female partners. The lesson goes: If your wife is sad, it's your job to make her happy. If your wife is scared, it's your job to make her feel safe. If your wife is angry, figure out what you did wrong and fix it. And so on. So even when we ourselves take ownership for our feelings, it can still happen that other people feel responsible for "making" us feel that way.

In Gralson's case, the lesson was explicitly taught by his mother. She literally blamed him for making her sad, angry, or scared, and genuinely expected him to make it better. If he didn't want to, then she played the guilt card. So even though I'm completely different and I don't blame him for my feelings, he sometimes blames himself for them.

I'm not saying this is the case in your relationship, and I hope that it isn't; but it's helpful to be aware of this cultural education, because no one is completely immune to these lessons. I find that for me, being aware of when Gralson is going into "make the wife happy" mode, it's a sign that I need to be more explicit about owning my feelings and be clear that I'm just asking for support and compassion.
As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.
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