I‘m making Husband read this book.
There have been times in our relationship where I have suggested that he should read it, but this time, he has no choice. This time it‘s going to happen, one way or another. And if he thinks THIS is bad, I shudder to think what he’ll do the day I drag him to a marriage conference.
We get along very well, Husband and I. And I have a strong network of people who I can go to for emotional support. I’ve never leaned heavily on him to fulfill my emotional needs, and I’m starting to wonder if this hasn’t been a detriment to our relationship. Sometimes things happen that deeply upset me and I really don’t want to talk to anyone else about it. I want to talk to him. Because he knows me.
I think we have a classic case of a woman who knows how to express her feelings, and a man who isn’t comfortable with that … unless he can fix it. He doesn’t know what to say, so he says nothing. He stares blankly at me, or worse — checks out completely, playing on his phone or watching the TV behind my head. And then I end up getting mad at him, at a time when I need him the most. Rather than feeling loved and supported, I feel like I want to punch him in the face. Then we have a conversation that goes like this:
Me: You are so not listening to me right now.
Husband: Yes I am.
Me: You are clearly NOT listening. You’re reading something on your phone.
Husband: I am a good multi-tasker.
Me: YOU’RE A HORRIBLE MULTI-TASKER!
Husband: WELL, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY?!
Me: I don’t know. All I want to do right now is punch you in the face.
And so. The book.
I told him, “I pick up your belly button lint, which is unpleasant but I do it because I love you. Therefore, you WILL learn how to be emotionally supportive, which apparently you find unpleasant but you will do it because you love me. This book will help you. I am not equipped to teach you, but John Gray, Ph.D. will do a FANTASTIC JOB.”
I’m not trying to be critical of Husband, because he loves me. I mean really, truly loves and accepts me. He just doesn’t know how to communicate with my Venus-y side. I think it scares him, to be quite honest. And now that we’re having a daughter, I think it would behoove him to proactively try to improve his skills.
I had a flash-forward last night of him trapped in the car by himself with our 12-year-old daughter, who is having a total adolescent meltdown, and he blankly stares at her and she gets more and more upset so he then says the wrong thing (like “WELL WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY?!“), and then he has to fix that problem … and so on.
Such. A. Train. Wreck.
I’m really doing us all a favor.
I’ll be chronicling his progress via my blog. Hopefully the added pressure of the masses will keep him on track. If nothing else, I’m sure most of you can relate to this problem and will learn something from my successes — and my mistakes. Mistake number one may have already happened (writing about how I am making Husband read a self-help book, but to be fair I need to brush up on the Martians as well), and if so, then …