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.

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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.

A Whole Week

Thursday – Thursday were good days in our relationship.

(A whole week!  woo hoo!  I am mocking myself.)

We got along very well.  Maybe even great.  He took off work Thursday night and we actually slept in the same bed for 3 nights in a row.  I smiled a lot.  And so did he.

On Tuesday when we were leaving the house to go to kid2’s basketball game, he went out to the car through the basement door without even telling me he was ready to go.  I was upstairs waiting for him.  I didn’t know he went out until I wondered what was taking him so long and went to check on him.  It was time to leave and he hates to be late so I knew something was up.  He wasn’t there.  He was already outside, sitting in the car with it running.

He has done this many times before and I hate it.  I very nicely asked him to please tell me when he is ready and going out to the car.  He said “I figured you’d come out when you were ready, it’s not like I was sitting her revving the engine or anything. I wasn’t mad.”  I told him I had been ready for a while and was sitting there waiting for him.  Please just holler up the steps to let me know you are going out.  I don’t remember if he said OK or not but it was an OK conversation.  He didn’t get irritated and seemed to get my point.

Well.  Last night (Friday) we were getting ready to go to the football game and he did it again.  I was seriously just sitting at the kitchen table playing candy crush while I was waiting for him to be ready.  I heard the basement door this time.  Man, it pissed me off.  I didn’t get up right away.  I considered sitting there until he finally came looking for me.  Afterall, I didn’t know he was ready did I?  I waited a few minutes and calmed myself and then went out.  He had his window down and as I walked towards the car I said “Really?!  Will you please just tell me before you go out?”

I didn’t yell.  And yes I even smiled, like I was frustrated but it was OK and I was making a joke of it.   He didn’t say anything.  Kid3 was laughing.  I went around to get in the passenger side and he said something to kid3 that made him laugh even more.  I said what?  He said nothing.  At that point it still seemed ok.  The mood was still light and he was smiling and I kinda wondered if he just did it again to pick on me?  Whatever.

So we went to pick up my nephew and on the way there – like a 2 minute drive – it all changed.  He wouldn’t talk to me.  He didn’t answer kid3 when he tried to talk to him either.  A chill swept through the van for sure!  I asked him if he knew who we were playing that night.  He ignored me.  I asked him again and didn’t let him off the hook.  He finally said he didn’t know. (Which was not true, he was just trying no to talk to me. )  We picked up my nephew.  Hubby stared straight ahead with no expression on his face and I wanted to throw up.  He drove back past our house and I wanted to scream “Let me out!” cuz I really didn’t want to deal with his crap all night.  But I didn’t.  This is the last home game.  Our girls are in the band.  I wanted to go for them and I wasn’t gonna let him be the reason I wasn’t there supporting my kids.

So I pretended I didn’t know he was having a problem.  ha.  I gabbed with the kids, I talked to him even tho he wasn’t replying.  He did talk when we were looking for a parking space and having trouble finding one.  Then as we were walking to the football field, a friend of his (who he cant stand) saw us and walked with us and gabbed hubby’s ear off.  I was laughing hysterically inside cuz he really cannot stand this guy.  That kinda broke the ice I guess.

Probably the whole first half of the game was awkward though.  It’s like I was there with the kids, and he was there with the kids, but we were not there together.  Later in the evening when the kids ran off to hang out with friends, he started talking to me kinda normally again.

Sigh.

Around 11:30, I was ready for bed and said goodnight to everyone – they were all watching baseball in the living room.  I told him I’d turn the heating blanket on for him.  He very decidedly said no.  I said why?  He said – I won’t need it on tonight.  I knew this meant that he would not be sleeping with me that night.

And I was right.

When I woke up this morning I was pissed that he never came to bed.  I knew he wasn’t going to , but I guess I was hoping he would anyway.  That is childish and sucky.

When I came downstairs he was eating breakfast.  I said good morning and he actually replied so I asked him why he didn’t sleep with me last night.  His face got hard and he shrugged his shoulders.  He was instantly pissed off.  I said “Are you seriously mad that I just asked you that?”  (I promise I was not mean the way I said it!)   He said “Well why would you ask that?  I don’t want to feel like I’m in trouble ALREADY today.”)

Inside I’m yelling “Well I didn’t want to feel rejected again last night either!”

So I went back upstairs to get dressed.  He and kid3 were going to a sale or somewhere this morning with his dad.  He left the house quickly, before I even came back down.  Nice.

So friggin nice.

Last Friday night, the kids were all somewhere else so we ran around together.  We did a little shopping, ate some ice cream, just hung out.  We talked about how it’s been a long time since just the 2 of us hung out and that it was nice.   We slept in the same bed.  We loved each other.   I felt loved.

And this is the cycle of our relationship.

I WANT More.

I want you to WANT to be happy.

That’s true.  I want more than that though.

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I want you to WANT to get along with people.

I want you to WANT to make our marriage better.

I want you to WANT to sleep in the same bed.

I want you to WANT to make me happy.

I want you to WANT to stop swearing.

I want you to WANT know God.

I want you to WANT confident kids, not kids you control.

I want you to WANT to teach our kids right & wrong, not just how to look out for themselves in this world.

I want you to WANT to go on dates with me.

I want you to WANT to share your life with me.

I want you to WANT to have sex with me.

I want you to WANT to get off 3rd shift so you can sleep more and feel better.

I want you to WANT ME.

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Because I WANT YOU.

I want to do / be all those things for you.  I want the same thing from you.

WWYD: Tractor Show Breakfast

OK so here is another one.

What would you do?

We camped out at a tractor show over the weekend.  They served breakfast the last morning – pancakes and sausage.  Hubby was there last year too and has gone on and on about how good the breakfast was.  And he mentioned it a few times when we were there this year.  So Sunday morning arrives, we all get up and get ready and head down to the pavilion to get breakfast.  It’s $5 each.  As we are in line he says he doesn’t think he’s gonna get anything to eat.  I wonder why and know I have to be careful about how I ask cuz it seems like he is already in a mood.  I wonder if perhaps he was getting low on cash or something.  I asked him and he said he had enough cash.  So I touched his arm and said “You’ll feel better today if you eat breakfast.”  He glared right through me.  Such a nice way to start the day!  He said nothing else and I ignored him and chatted it up with my kiddos and other people in line.

The rest of us got our breakfast and we headed back to our site with our plates to sit around the fire and eat.    As soon as we sat down, Kid3 laughed and said he forgot to get a fork.  As I was trying to tell him that we have some forks in the camper, hubby yelled at him and told him to “use his head god dammit!” and on and on.  I said “Hubby relax!  (Insert his actual name here!)”  He got even more pissed cuz I said that and sat down in his chair with a horrible look on his face that let us all know that he can’t stand us.  We already know that, no need for the face.

I got Kid3 a fork and we all sat in uncomfortable silence for a while as hubby stewed.  Finally I asked him what his problem was?  Didn’t he sleep good or doesn’t he feel good or what?  Of course he didn’t answer me.  Kid3 piped up and said “Probably cuz I forgot my fork mom.”  I told him that was crazy and it wasn’t his fault.  I told him you’re allowed to forget a fork, everybody forgets things and I thought it was kinda funny.  (Dear God, PLEASE help my kids to know that it is not their fault that their Dad acts like a jerk!!)  Hubby got up and went into the camper to find something else to eat for breakfast.  Of course not without asking me in rude ways where stuff is.  I answered his questions but offered no help.  Maybe I shouldn’t have even answered him.  I don’t know.  But I want to model respectful behavior for my kids… If someone is trying to talk to you, you should not ignore them!   (At the same time, maybe it would be a good lesson to show them that they are allowed to ignore bullies!)

A little while later when things were a bit calmer and it was just hubby and I sitting around the fire I asked him again what the heck his problem was.  You know what his answer was???  He said “I don’t like to be told what to do.”

Let that sink in a minute will you?  When exactly did I tell him what to do??  When I told him I thought he’d feel better if he ate breakfast.  Are you freaking kidding me!

I sat there kind of stunned.  All that proves is that it doesn’t matter AT ALL what I say to him.  If he wants to be mad or be a jerk towards me, he will find something to be mad at me for.  I already knew that.  But this just put it right back there in my face.  I had no response to him.  I mean anything I said would not have mattered.  He wouldn’t ever admit that he was being stupid.

So I let it go and we went about our day.  No need to have a war when we are stuck at the tractor show together for the next few hours.  He got over it and was happier the rest of the day.  Well, until we came home later and went to his mom’s house for the birthday party picnic.  You’ve already heard that story though.

I think typing these out is already helping me to realize exactly how ridiculous our marriage is!  I tend to minimize these things in my mind.  I guess I’m just happy when he’s out of his crappy moods.  But these types of things are regular occurrences and are really so stupid and they stress me out.  There is no need for a grown man to act the way he does!   Sadly, it just makes it more and more clear that staying married to this man is NEVER going to be easy.

Bullies in Marriage

This is a great article!  Click below to read it :)

Adult Bullies and their Enablers

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My husband is the bully and I am his enabler.

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“They think they have the right to tell other people how to live their lives and demand things a certain way. “

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“You’re being bullied if someone is constantly making helpful “suggestions” and laying guilt trips if you don’t take them.”

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She tells us to stand up to them by calling them on their bad behavior and leaving the room.

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“There is no law requiring you to sit in a chair and be insulted.”

Salt & Pepper Fury

I cooked supper in the crockpot yesterday and later asked hubby if he liked it since it was something I had never cooked before.  He said it was great.  I said “You must have put salt & pepper on it huh?  Because …”  And that’s as far as I got.  He immediately got mad and yelled at me that he only put salt & pepper on his own, not the whole crockpot full. And he went on and on and was so mad at me!  OK……

Once again, we had a big issue where I had to explain that I am not the devil and was not accusing him of anything.  Right away he assumed that I was giving him heck cuz I thought he ruined a crockpot full of food maybe?  He’s on the defensive.  Lately, he interprets anything I say as me attacking him.

I wasn’t attacking him.  I was just talking about the food.  I didn’t like it and thought it didn’t really have any flavor.  I put salt on it and then it was OK.  He puts tons of salt & pepper on everything so when I asked him if he liked supper and he said he did, I thought that must be why.  That is all!  I don’t think my tone was accusing or angry or loud.  I know it wasn’t!  He is just all defensive again and I don’t know why.  And it sucks.

I know he’s stressed. Our schedule sucks right now.  Kid2 has basketball practice from 8:30-10am.  Then both girls have band camp from 10-2:45am.  Then Kid1 has volleyball practice from 4:30-7.  This started Monday and continues all next week too.  Then school starts and basketball, volleyball and football games (band!) are in full swing.  Yesterday we threw in an eye dr appointment and an orthodontist appointment too.  Oh, and Kid2 went to her running group last night too at 7pm.  It seems all I do is run back and forth to town – about 10 minutes each way now cuz there is construction.  In between that I am working cuz, you know, I have a job.  My family seems to forget that and it is definitely not high priority to them.  Grrr.

Of course there are projects that we wanted to complete this summer that didn’t get done.  So there are half finished things everywhere you look, the house needs cleaned.  There are laundry piles in the living room.  We are back-to-school shopping ( in a very limited way!)  The farm show in our town is this week and the kids are all in it with their different groups.

Today we add team photos to the regular schedule so that is more running around.

The other day he woke up around 4.  2 of the kids and I were sitting in the living room with the TV on, eating sandwiches.  Kid1 had to be at vball in half an hour and that was supper.  Well he came down and saw me sitting there and I swear he thinks I do that all day while he is sleeping!  I had been sitting there maybe 10 minutes!  And then we were off running again.   Geesh.

Give me a break.  And give me some credit!

And get your head out of your butt and realize that I am not out to get you!  I have proven that time and time again.  What more will it take??

Back from The Beach

We went to the beach and are home.  Hubby went with us.  It was nice.  He did really well with my family and I’m happy to report that we didn’t fight once.  What??!!  lol  We did have a misunderstanding once where I got my feelings hurt but we talked it out and all was well.  And since we shared a bedroom and the opportunity presented itself, I got to have sex.  woo hoo.

Another Good Thing: He’s Interested.

He will actually ask me where I was when I come home from somewhere (if he didn’t already know).  What?  That means he is admitting that he has an interest in me. He would NEVER ask before.  He would just have a big attitude and I’d get the silent treatment.

Killing Ants Together

When it rains a lot we get ants in the kitchen.  Usually I just spray them with clorox cleanup or whatever cleaner I have under the sink and it kills them and they are gone after a few squirts.  This time they are more persistent.

And hubby saw them around the basement door too.  This led to a discussion about what I was spraying them with.  This time I’ve actually just been spraying them with 409.  I still have the bottle of clorox cleanup that I usually use but the sprayer is broken or something cuz it’s not squirting right.  I’ve refilled this bottle many times and I have heard before that squirt bottles that have bleach in them often wear out quickly – something about the potency of the bleach messing up the mechanics of the nozzle or something.  I have no idea if that is real or not.  I didn’t tell him all that about the clorox bottle, I just told him I was spraying the ants with 409.

Anyway, he wanted me to spray around the basement door too.  Instead I gave him a bottle of cleaner so he could do it.  Score one for me for passing it back to him, score one for him for not throwing a fit about it!  So he did that and later told me it didn’t work very well.  So then I told him how I usually use the clorox cleaner, but was using this instead because the other bottle wasn’t spraying right and blah blah blah.

Here’s the thing.

1 – Before, he would have first blamed me for the ants that were coming into the kitchen – not cleaning enough or something.  And then somehow the ants in the basement would have been my fault too.  Seriously.  He would have angrily let me know that it was all my fault.    That didn’t happen.  I was waiting for it, it never came.

2 – Before he would have been completely irritated again that the stuff I gave him to kill ants with didn’t work.  This would have been VERY upsetting to him cuz I made him look foolish – trying something that clearly didn’t work.  He would tell me to “use my head” or some other wonderful way of telling me he thinks I’m stupid.  That didn’t happen.

3 – He listened while I talked about the spray bottles and the different kinds of cleaners and all that.  He listened.  Before, I would not have been able to explain any of that to him.  He would have just been irritated and cut me off and refused to listen. He would have barked out some rude comments and told me I was on my own with the ants.  But he just listened.  I was trying to quickly say what I wanted to say because he always cuts me off when I’m talking and he is irritated about something.  It realllllyyyy struck me tonight that I was able to finish what I was saying.  I actually got to explain the whole thing without him jumping down my throat.  He just listened and then we had some sort of discussion about it and we moved on.

This whole stupid thing – this story about killing ants with cleaning products – is very trivial isn’t it?  But yet it’s not!  I felt so so happy that I was able to actually say what I wanted to say without him degrading me.  Without him cutting me off with more rude comments.  Without him just walking away while I was talking.  I was able to completely voice my thoughts about the situation!  All of my thoughts!  I didn’t walk away feeling frustrated and misunderstood and like I just wanted to scream the rest of what I was trying to say to him.

That right there is progress folks.  Indeed.

(I know there are actual ant killing sprays and traps and all that.  We do use those sometimes.  This actually works well though and is quick and easy.)

Waffles & Spaghetti

Men Are Like Waffles–Women Are Like Spaghetti: Understanding and Delighting in Your Differences

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I bought this book.  I have been looking and looking for a marriage book that my husband won’t immediately hate.  Hubby isn’t a reader.  The only thing he likes to read are tractor manuals.

I recently ordered a book called “ How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It “.  It has a lot of good reviews on amazon and sounded perfect since hubby hates “talking” about our marriage, which usually ends in an argument.   It was horrible .  Well not horrible, just not what I am looking for at all.  It is not something hubby would ever consider reading.

Excerpt:  “We believe the chronic stress of disconnection, which eventually afflicts most unions between men and women, stems from a slight difference in the way the sexes experience fear and shame, a difference that is observable shortly after birth.  This subtle difference is inherent in the question….”

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Yea.  That’s not gonna happen.  And even for me, having read SO many marriage books already, I don’t need  someone to explain to me that we are different and the psychological reasons why.  I’ve already heard it I’m sure.  I just want to know some practical steps to take to fix it!  Practical enough that hubby will participate.

Back to Waffles & Spaghetti, the reviews made this look like it might be on the lighter side.  ‘Simplistic’ was the word one reviewer used.

It came in the mail last week, I opened it and held it up to show it to hubby.  He said “I’m a waffle?” and started looking through it.  Then he looked at the table of contents and read “Waffles & Spaghetti in the Bedroom.  Hmm.  Waffles & Spaghetti in Conflict.  We should probably start there.”

YAY!

We have not read any of it yet, but his reaction to it was better than expected so I’m hopeful.  I’ll let you know how it goes :)

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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.