Originally Posted by sinew
Sometimes my husband is great, and sometimes not great. For him, the idea of supporting me is, I think, very tough. He says he feels like he messes up on this front all the time, but that sentiment doesn't seem to actually compel him to work harder at it. There is definitely an element of frustration on his part that what he believes ought to be plenty isn't enough (for me or Juliet, frankly).
In the end, I want to tell him when I'm in pain, but it causes so much confrontation that I dread it, too. It makes him defensive, and that doesn't help either of us.
This is one of the hard parts about getting on the same page. Although I haven't personally read the book either, I like NYC's advice to check out that Love Languages title. I've also heard good things about it and maybe something in there can help the ball get rolling.
I suspect you're dealing with 2 things right now and maybe it can help just to identify them together and see what each can do to bridge the gap.
There's likely a male vs female issues here. Men and women think differently in many cases, interpret differently, and work on problems differently. That's neither good nor bad - just different. You each have to make 'allowances' for this WITHOUT letting it become a source of conflict.
There's also the logical vs emotional thing happening. One of you is trying to proceed based more on pure logic and the other struggling more with the emotional conflict. You CAN choose, during any discussion, to only allow one side or the other to be discussed and analyzed. But you MUST take turns addressing both parts so that one or the other isn't slighted. But pick one and start there, work through some stuff - then switch to the other for awhile. I think this will help both build their skills understanding the other side even though your base nature may lean one way or the other.
That make any sense ?
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