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what to do when only one of you is the 'talker'

(17 Posts)
NamesNick Tue 02-Dec-14 19:07:15

in terms of resolving minor disagreements?

dp and I had a disagreement last night (the only topic we ever argue about really) and the reason this particular thing upsets me so much is mainly down to the fact that I don't feel it was properly resolved the last time. or the time before that..and before that..

so, disagreement last night and im fed up, so haven't been speaking to dp. he is acting like everything is normal...kisses, pet name, hugs etc. I have been stand offish, talking about important stuff but not necessarily chatty iyswim.

previously I have just got on with it and brushed it under the carpet, but I don't want to do that anymore.

now dp just avoids any type of confrontation, I genuinely feel that he merely 'survives the shit storm' until it's all blown over but to me that suggests he is not arsed about why im upset about this particular thing or even wants to do anything to change how I feel.

how do you manage with a dp who just won't discuss disagreements in order to clear the air and resolve.

Happymum1985 Tue 02-Dec-14 19:09:15

Sorry I would love to help but my DH is the same (sigh!) xx

NamesNick Tue 02-Dec-14 19:10:39

so what do you happymum?

being in a bad mood is so exhausting! grin

overslept Tue 02-Dec-14 19:18:24

We both just forget about it. Me and DP are not the sort of people who can stay angry (often to my own frustration as I suddenly go "hang on I was meant to be angry and now we are joking and I'm making him coffee, how did this happen?!"). We get annoyed sometimes, but honestly it lasts minutes and we are back to how we usually are. Neither of us can be bothered to sulk or argue when we could be having a laugh.

What is the topic that you always argue about?

Happymum1985 Tue 02-Dec-14 19:24:50

Well I think you need to figure out how important this particular topic is to you. If it is really important, maybe you need to think of a middle ground you can meet at and then put it to him in a non confrontational way.. maybe over dinner and some wine?!

PaisleySheets Tue 02-Dec-14 19:33:31

I had a husband like this. Brutally honest, I suppose I liked the fact that we never argued but he was not being truthful all the time about how he felt so he could keep me happy. Not that I was dominant, I was always asking what he thought and wanted, I think he was just too con-confrontational.

I think it becomes a problem sometimes ecause they bottle up resentment and after many happy years they snap and turn around and say all sorts of horrible things.

I'd suggest a book called Mr Nice Guy.

Looking back on my marriage, I wish I'd had a monthly counselling session for HIM so he could have a free place to express his feelings and maybe have help communicating them to me.

It might seem OTT but sometimes people like this are a house of cards waiting to collapse.

Joysmum Tue 02-Dec-14 19:40:29

My DH was like this. I started ending a statement with a question which would prompt him to acknowledge what I'd said and then project he thought that'd make me feel.

I'd aim to engage in 2 way conversation and let there be silence which I'd then ask him to break by saying "well" to get his response to the question id finished with rather than me fill the silence with more.

NamesNick Tue 02-Dec-14 19:48:58

its about his ex wife tbh. he seems to drop things at her request regardless of the effect this has on me. ..countless times I have felt he is doing what he can to please her to my detriment (not sure if that makes sense, but you get the gist)

last night when he collected dc, I had dinner on table ready and he appears an hour later after having run some errands for her saying 'oh I couldn't say no' so dinner cold and im angry
(this is despite her being engaged to someone else and has a car) its not the first time either.

thanks for the suggestions, I will look for that book.

and joysmum, I will start to ask for a response before saying anything else

PaisleySheets Tue 02-Dec-14 19:55:02

NamesNick, my H did that too. Exactly that.

This goes beyond "I couldn't say no". People CAN say no, they just don't WANT to. They want to be liked. They want to be liked MORE than they want to do the actual right thing.

Definitely read that book, it explains how "people pleasing" is actually quite a selfish way to behave.

If you're anything like I was you let him get away with a lot because he is so soft, gentle, easygoing, with good intentions? the end, that translates to weak. Weak is okay, but when hard times come, weak "can't" do anything that's hard.

I am sorry if I am projecting, but my H was a lot like that and I loved him all the more for being such a sweet pushover, but that sweet pushover was deeply troubled inside.

PaisleySheets Tue 02-Dec-14 19:58:05

Think of it like this...he "can't say no" to her...why? because it will upset her? he's upsetting YOU.

Don't let the Mr Lovely persona get in the way of the fact that you should be his priority

PaisleySheets Tue 02-Dec-14 20:01:11

This describes my exH to a TEE:

^Are you concerned about what other people think of you? Do you often make decisions based on what you think will please others? Does your sense of self-worth come from the approval of others? Do you often withhold from sharing what you truly want, think or feel because of fear it may upset someone? Are you often last on your list of priorities?

Believe me, you are not alone. Our egos love to be liked, approved and validated. It is natural to want to fit in and not “upset others” because it feels safer. All it takes one small experience of feeling criticized, not liked, thinking we’ve upset someone, or getting tons of praise and validation for making others happy to develop people pleasing as a bad habit.

People pleasing is a terrible investment because it depletes your most valuable resources: your time and energy. Just think about how much energy you waste by obsessing about what other people think of you or trying to strategize your actions to appease others.

Clarification: I am all for being a considerate and generous person. And it feels wonderful to love others! But being and acting from love is NOT people pleasing. People pleasing is different because there is an attachment to someone else’s reaction and/or a motivation to please in order to avoid an undesired negative response or judgment or get a positive one.

You may think being a people pleaser makes you a “good” person and is perhaps even a generous or loving way to be. Nope. It’s selfish to be a people pleaser. Why? Because being attached to pleasing others is really about you. You are the one who wants to be liked. You are the one who does not want to upset anyone. You are the one who wants to look good for others. You are the one who is not okay with other people’s reactions. You are the one protecting yourself from confrontation. And you are the one who is choosing to withhold expressing who you TRULY are. And by doing all of those things, you are keeping Yourself, your Light and your Love from the world – and that is selfish.^

This characteristic made him very pleasant and easy to be around (he wnated to please ME, but it also made him unstable, inauthentic and I frequently had issues with being dropped or made a low priority so he could look good for other people.

He ended up having a full blown nervous breakdown, and two years on from that is only just recovering.

NamesNick Tue 02-Dec-14 20:04:56

Paisley, thanks for that.

I believe he should be able to say no, but he just does whatever for an easy life...and sticks his head in the sand when I have a go.

he maintains he needs to keep a good relationship else she will take the children from him. .this, imo, is bollox! and there is a difference between having a good relationship and being her go to guy.

sometimes I think he wants to appear the forever good guy ti her, to show her what she is missing (she had an affair and he left when he found out)

I will most definitely get that book

PaisleySheets Tue 02-Dec-14 20:07:31

While it's harmless now, all I am saying is that he is essentially saying that him being liked is more important than you feeling like his main priority. When you break it down (and I could not see it at the time), it's a pretty disturbing message.

I hate to say this, but have you considered the possibility he still has feelings for her? Perhaps not necessarily love, but unresolved grief?

How long have they been divorced? Why did they divorce? Did he grieve the marriage or sweep that under the carpet too?

mooth Tue 02-Dec-14 22:21:08

I would certainly be in a major strop about that. Of course he could say no.

Taramara Wed 03-Dec-14 16:08:10

I've just got the Nice Guy book and it's scarily close to home
Anyone else found this ?

PaisleySheets Wed 03-Dec-14 17:23:31

Yes, Mr Nice Guy described my ex to a tee.

Seemingly lovingly doing anything for anyone and scared to have an argument but underneath teeming with rage and resentment.

Fairenuff Wed 03-Dec-14 22:35:39

What you need to do is say to him 'I need to talk to you about x. I feel that we never really resolve this issue and it keeps cropping up. I need us to come to an agreement. When is a good time for you?'

Agree a date and time. Make sure it's when you have plenty of time. If necessary, book a babysitter and go somewhere quiet to talk. If he tries to avoid setting a date, be firm. Tell him that you are not happy and you want to firm a date.

Write it down. Both sign it. Make it official. If he tries to change the date, tell him no. There is nothing else that is as important as your relationship. Everything else can wait.

When you have the meeting, set the ground rules. No shouting, no swearing, no storming off. If either of you get angry and need a break, say so. Take a ten minute break then come back together.

No interrupting, no changing the subject, no blaming. If he brings up other topics, just say 'We can talk about that later but right now I want to talk about x'.

Say what you think and how you feel, then ask him to say what he thinks and how he feels. If he doesn't talk, just remain silent and wait for him. If he still doesn't engage, tell him that you cannot resolve this on your own, he needs to contribute. Don't tell him what to do, talk to him about how you can, together, overcome the problem.

He should realise himself that he is treating you unfairly by, in effect, putting you in second place. If he doesn't realise this, you can tell him that, although he might not intend to do this, it is, in fact, happening. Ask him what he will do to change this.

Put all your agreements in writing and sign them. Set another date in two to four weeks time to come together again and discuss how it's working out and follow the same process.

That's how you get him to talk.

If he won't agree to any of this, then he is showing a lack of respect and your relationship is in trouble.

If he agrees to talk but refuses to change his behaviour then that also shows lack of respect and, again, the relationship is probably not going to work unless you are prepared to put up with it like this.

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