It works better than crying at him :)

My primary love language is words of affirmation.  That is SO very opposite of the way hubby is.  Go figure.  We’ve talked about it plenty and sometimes he takes a hint and says something nice when he knows I really need to hear it.

The other day one of my lovely teenagers was being a terror the way only teenagers can do and I was feeling guilty and sad that she “hated” me.  I needed him to tell me I was a good mom – despite her screaming at me that I was the worst.  He was getting ready to leave for work.  I said I really need to hear it – I’m a good mom right???  He just laughed and kept getting ready.  I said “seriously hun!  You don’t think I’m wrong do you?”  He said I wasn’t wrong (about saying no to kid2).  So when he was leaving he gave me a hug and I said “Can you just tell me that I’m a good mom??? It will make me feel better!”  He said “I told you that you weren’t wrong!  Why are you bugging me about this?” and got a bit irritated.  He left for work and I cried.

The whole night had been tense with kid2 trying to get her way and being angry at me for not giving in.  I needed a hug and some reassurance from him.  As I typed that sentence up there – me asking him to tell me I was a good mom, it sounds pathetic on my part.  I see that.  Especially now that its typed out.  But really!  I am a person that doesn’t have a lot of self-confidence.  I’m much better than I used to be and still working in it.  BUT he knows this about me.  He knows all about my childhood and why I am the way I am – why couldn’t he have just thrown me a bone!?!?  Yea, that reference makes me look even more pitiful doesn’t it?  Ugh.  Hopefully you know what I mean.

I’ve figured out that what hubby needs is for me to give him my undivided attention when he’s talking to me.  He wants eye contact – that makes him feel loved.  No, he didnt tell me this.  That would be mushy and involve talking about feelings….lol  But I’ve learned this about him.  So I do it as often as possible.  It’s not always possible, but I try.

And there I was, telling him exactly what I needed. (Cuz I don’t expect him to guess cuz that doesn’t work)  And he wouldn’t do it!

And that hurt.  That was … rejection.  Being rejected sucks.

I think that he wouldnt say it because I asked him to say it. In his mind, I told him to say it.  Hubby hates being told what to do.  He digs his heels in and won’t budge if he feels like he is being bossed around.

My heart was crying out and begging for his approval.  And he refused.  I wasn’t being bossy, I was being pathetic and begging.  Wow.  This post sucks.  Who knows where it will lead next!  lol

Anyway, I calmed down and sent him the text below.

2014-01-21 14.10.23 - Copy

The point of this post is that I’ve found texting him a summed up version of the problem works so much better than an intense conversation.  I try to keep it short & to the point, offer a solution and keep it light.  And if I can make it funny at all, I add that too. Now that I’ve typed this all out I wish I had a better example.  (One that didn’t highlight my neediness!)  but the point is the same.  I’ve done this with a lot of things.  Sometimes he’ll reply.  Most of the times he wont.  Sometimes he’ll comment the next day.  Most of the times he won’t.  Sometimes things will change and I know he got my point.  Other times it makes no difference and things continue as they were.   Only time will tell if that last text makes any difference.

But isn’t that the same as the big “we need to talk” conversations?  I hate those.  I’m trying to avoid those because they don’t work for us.  He immediately feels attacked and shuts down.  That makes me feel like he doesn’t care how I feel – which means he doesn’t love me – which makes me wonder why I bother trying so hard to fix this marriage….which leads to the divorce discussion.  Those conversation go downhill fast for us and do nothing to help us fix things.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. judi
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 16:18:30

    I don’t think you sound needy at all. I think you sound like a person asking for the strokes she needs. Nothing to feel bad about. This is a great idea. I bet it would have helped with my husband.

    Then again…..it pains me to see how much you (we) have to adapt to them and do things to suit them rather than the other way around. Really it’s not fair.

    Reply

  2. rootstoblossom
    Jan 29, 2014 @ 16:48:04

    I also need constant attagirls, goes with self-loathing, I’m always trying to prove my negative thoughts aren’t real by external praise. Don’t feel bad about that need, it is good that you recognize it. If Hubby isn’t good at that, don’t hold it against him though. I have had a similar request get rejected by my Hubby, and I know how much that hurts, especially when they are out the door and you are home alone crying trying to make sense of it all. Let me share what Hubby did say to me once when I asked him point blank, he said,”The thought of you NOT being a good mom is so far from my mind, how could I think I have to tell you? Our kids are lucky to have you as a mom and it hurts me to think you don’t know that” So when Hubby brushes you off, he may not know much you need those words, and may be protecting himself from your own pain. So I now get this confirmation from my therapist, and try to remember that even when I make mistakes, that I’m still a good mom, because I always love them and do my best.

    Reply

  3. Zoe
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 23:03:08

    Thats wonderful that he said that to you! I have to admit that makes me a little jealous. If my hubby ever says something like that to me, I’m going to write it down so I never forget it! ha.

    Reply

  4. Fern
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 16:12:25

    Asking my passive aggressive husband to do something is without a doubt a sure-fire way to get him to *NOT* do it. As such I must use reverse psychology constantly, as just a part of every day life.

    Reply

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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.
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