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The Art of Diplomacy? AKA How to go about this 'Ego Massaging' malarkey?!

(7 Posts)
BadgerBadger Wed 04-May-05 00:56:41

DH works five days a week. He enjoys the company of his colleagues, half of whom are female. On occasion they meet socially - after work drinks now and then and the odd social gathering to mark special occasions. I am absolutely fine with this .

I on the other hand have devoted my life over the last 3 years and nine months or so to our two wonderful DD's, happily albeit lonely for adult contact outside of my marriage, and in need of a purpose in life other than mum (which, don't get me wrong, I truly feel is a worthwhile and fantastic occupation!).

Recently though, thoughts have arisen about returning to work at some point.

Coincidentally, six months ago I took up a martial art once weekly, which I really enjoy. My instructor has offered to train me to become an instructor and self defence instructor for his academy.

He and his wife have several children and are fully understanding of the fact that that whatever I do will have to be compatible as far as possible with my ideal of being a SAHM until the LO's are otherwise occupied (nursery/school etc....).

DH needs reassurance, he's not used to me having my own life, independent (well, by comparison!) of him or the children. He in essence sees my training (which has escalated to thrice weekly in preparation for future job) as a good thing. Not only will it provide a second wage, but also makes me happy - therefore a nicer person to be around!

But, though he tries, I know that he isn't comfortable with it, he snipes when I get home in the evenings following training, moans about household jobs and so on. He isn't meaning to be a PITA, I know that he is just having trouble adjusting to the new situation (and me spending several hours per week with a group, of which the larger proportion are male), but I don't know how to ease him through it.

I mean, my belief is that I shouldn't have to! I have every right to do what I am doing, that he should happily care for our DD's while I do train, just as I do every weekday while he's at work or when he socialises, etc. But, I don't want this to become a contentious issue for us, he is a great partner, a great father, a good person.

So, how do I help him? When I'm so tempted to just say - "Like it or lump it, stop being so pathetic! And hey, how about showing me some support while you're at it!"

We had a good long chat over the weekend, but TBH he was still in a grumpy, moping (in a 'woe is me' kind of way) humour when I returned from training since.

Can any diplomatic MNers please advise? I'm not used to this ego massaging malarkey! How does it work?

It's currently not a serious problem, but I've found that these things tend to escalate!

Many TIA's

BadgerBadger Wed 04-May-05 10:54:27

Oh pleeease! Give me a clue?

Blu Wed 04-May-05 11:07:58

What would you do if he was a toddler and you were in full 'model parent' mode?
Be firm in what you are doing, continue to show that he is important, but ignore any bad behaviour or attention seeking when he throws a tantrum!

There you go!

I honestly wouldn't do any extra 'ego massaging' - all that does is re-inforce that there IS something for him to feel insecure about. Just be nice, positive and 'partnerly'.

And congratulations - it sounds fantastic!

alexsmum Wed 04-May-05 11:11:00

no, got to say i would go for the like it or lump it approach(today anyway...grr bloody men!)

congrats by the way! well done you!

gggglimpopo Wed 04-May-05 11:12:07

And not being flippant but on the same theme as Blu - positive association/reinforcement - more sex or something at the same time......!!

colditz Wed 04-May-05 11:15:09

don't massage it! he's being pathetic, as you quite rightly said. If you "ask" him if you can do these things, he will start to think you should ask him!

BadgerBadger Wed 04-May-05 12:39:26

Yes, treating him like a child - that could work!

Brings to mind my Nanna's words of wisdom - men tend to get on with young children because they are generally on the same wavelength .......

so yes, you'd have thought they would react similarly to the same methods.......

Just off to find a suitable time out step for tantrum time.

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