Part 2 of 2.
"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 --
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.
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: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!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.
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!
Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-15-2012 at 05:21 AM.
I have gotten so much good advise on here. Thank you so much!
I figured an update would be good.
So I did go over and help with food prep. It was much more pleasant than I'd built it up in my head to be. She and I got a good talk in and it turns out she took something he said when voicing his concerns differently than he intended. She said she thought that because he said she wasn't the only source that had him concerned.
Hold up wait what? I set it aside rather than grow angry over it. He has gotten so transparent in his deeds I just couldn't take that information on its face without talking to him.
We did hash out what we could without him as far as trust and open communication and our differences in style goes. She is better at answering direct questions than she is at offering information. I'm better at offering information and waiting to see what gets offered in return than I am at asking direct questions. I fear coming off as nosey when people don't seem forthcoming. I told her that long ago but - as GG has pointed out (thank you!) that is not clear communication. It is not a question or a request. It is just a tidbit of info and doesn't mean people get my aim or even if they do, they don't always see it as something they have to act on.
I also talked to her about trying to expressing myself clearer moving forward. I wanted her to know it might seem different and could be perceived as growing bossy or demanding compared to my normal style.
She asked if some of the choices he has made in regards to date nights and frequency is due to my struggles and I let her know that in the beginning that was more likely but not so much of recent. That stuff falls mostly due to his go big eliminate all troubles reaction if I have anything to talk to him about at all habit. I assured her we are working on that not even just for how it plays out for her but how it plays out with us; it simply cannot continue.
She seemed relieved. She was having trouble with hearing my words and then seeing his actions being overboard compared to what I'd said were my limits. I guess she was hearing my words better than he has been and noticing it too! that means I've not gone completely mad yet!
The rest of the night was enjoyable till the gift opening. Most were just funny and small but one ended up being something I'd really wanted to get him and figured I would come xmas since I couldn't for his bday. I'll get over it; he is always wanting something. I didn't fuss about it or anything. The boys wanted to play a card game after that and I stepped out for some air. She was nice enough to check up on me and make sure I was okay. I didn't see the point in telling her I'd intended to get the item for him. I didn't think about it that she might buy it even though it was on his amazon list. No villain. No sinister motives. No point in making her feel bad when she only got it wanting to make him happy. And that was why I was still doing okay. Stepping outside was just to have a quiet moment to remind myself of the facts of the matter.
It was run by him about what he'd said that had her thinking I'd gotten in his ear with worries. I'm so glad I was able to recognize that he has been doing the extra effort with being earnest and sincere and not just get pissed. It turned out to be he meant that the class reunion trip wasn't the only instance that had him concerned. THAT TRIP she told him about wasn't his only source. It was well worked out and did a lot to ease my concerns about her.
I appreciate the advise I've gotten here for adjusting communication. Change the approach to circumvent the triggers. And it really helped steady me for giving it one more try. It feels good to have handled it and he took note of it too that "doing it my way" instead worked out better than his plan. It might have been the belly full of yummy cake talking. We'll see.
Could this be moved to journals or blogs? It feels like a good start.
You could write here to tell a mod to move it to blog area.
You also handled some disappointments (like the gift you wanted to get him for xmas) in a good way without letting it get the best of you. Now you have learned that you could call her up to coordinate on gift giving in future. (I do this with my sister on the kids and our parents, so why not the meta?)
Better still -- you learned that you can go to her direct, speak your truth in a clearly communicated way, and get useful feedback from her. You do not need to fear being nosy or whatever.
Your DH has agreed doing it your way yielded better results -- and now you have an example to hold up the next time this appears in another form. "Look, DH, remember the cake thing? This is just like the cake thing. Even you said it went better doing it like _____. So why not just roll with it again THIS time and see how this one turns out if we try it again like the cake thing?"
That's probably the biggest win here -- knowing you CAN change your approach to circumvent triggers. Now you can start to move so many other things forward as you keep experimenting with your communication style.
Way to go!
Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-16-2012 at 12:34 PM.