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Big communication problems with DH

(17 Posts)
LostintheMiddleoftheSea Tue 29-Sep-09 21:28:25

I am really in need of some advice. DH & me don't seem to be able to communicate in a meaningful way.
So tonight, I was having some problems with our youngest child, was upset about it. We were in the kitchen together, me explaining the situation whilst getting on with preparing the meal etc... I then turned round to realize he wasn't there anymore. He had gone somewhere else in the house to do 'something'. When I pointed out to him that I was finding that upsetting, the only answer I had was 'But I am listening to you.' Well not from the other side of the house, no you can't. It's hapening all the time. He just disppears in the middle of the conversation or start reading a magazine hmm. But apparently, he is still listening.
Now, if he was still participating in the conversation, I could belive/understand. But he doesn't. As he never has any opinion on anything. I can't manage to make him say what he thinks about X or Y. His excuse is that if it's something you can't do anything about, then there is no point talking about it. He is not 'into children stuff' either so rarely has an opinion re parenting/school.
Oh and he never ever gets angry (except with the dcs...) so I don't know whether he agrees or diagrees with me, whether he think my ideas are OK or not or if he just gets along with what I propose for an eeasy life...

No matter of explaining seems to change his behaviour and I am getting really fed up.

Any advice??

SolidGoldBrass Tue 29-Sep-09 21:34:06

TBH if you are several paragraphs into your monologue before you realise that the person you are talking to has left the room, it's possible that you are not that interesting to listen to. Some people like to discuss a problem or situation or whether or not they should go and take a dump now endlessly, others prefer to either fix the problem or put it to one side. Some people claim this is a Gender Issue but I don't think it necessarily is.
How is your H as a partner otherwise? Is he affectionate, sensible, does he pull his weight domestically, is he a good shag? If he has lots of other good qualities but just isn't up for long conversations that go round and round the subject, it might be as well to seek other people to talk at to rather than trying to make him change and be something that he is not (you can't make a person change their behaviour for your benefit, people only change when they want to).

hobbgoblin Tue 29-Sep-09 21:36:07

there isn't much more to add to that from SGB

IsItMeOr Tue 29-Sep-09 21:43:56

Hmm, so we think it's okay that he never ever gets angry except with the dcs? That's alright then hmm.

TBH it sounds like there is more to this than that he just finds your desire to discuss things boring.

MaggieVirgoLeo Tue 29-Sep-09 21:50:06

Maybe you are venting and maybe he feels it's an endless monologue, but still, he's not trying to reassure you. He's wandering off even though he knows it upsets you. He sounds quite disengaged from family life.

Maybe try boiling your problem down. He can't cope with so many words.... if you were sending a text message to a friend could you express the problem in a head line format to him?? and then offer up the rest in chunks?

I know that that is kind of spoonfeeding him, but some people need to be helped to have a conversation!!

Their his children too though, I think he should have opinions and should have input. It's a little weird that he can sit there with nothing to say, no advice, support, opinions....

Even if you ARE going on and on, it's probably a reaction to not getting blood out of stone for so long. Blood being a reaction and him being a stone!!

LostintheMiddleoftheSea Wed 30-Sep-09 08:35:54

Sorry haven't been able to get back to this thread yesterday. Will come back to it later this morning

LostintheMiddleoftheSea Wed 30-Sep-09 09:27:24

I have calmed down today.

Re leaving the room, I think that when a friend is talking to you, leaving the room is just plain rude and i think few people would do that, especialy when the friend is upset. Yesterday, I was talking about dc3 who had problem with (low level) bullying at school last week. I was in effect updating DH about it. So not something he already knew about and a subject I would have like him to be involved with. In any case, I would have expected DH to stay, at least out of respect to me.

It is more complicated than just having a boring conversation.
The main issue is that he never says when he is angry (just stays quiet) so I don't know what to think.
Because he isn't saying how he feels about things, I never know where I stand. I am getting worked up about things because I see him going away and I just assume that there is something he isn't happy with but isn't telling me about (There have been a couple of occasions where he finally said he didn't like X or Y, a long time after the issue had arised).
I want us to do things that we are both happy with. I would like us to decide what to do re school or how to handle our dcs together in a way that suits us both. But I don't know how to

Saying that, I have taken your point re venting and boring conversations and will be careful not to overload him.

IsItMeOr Wed 30-Sep-09 15:25:35

This is frustrating for you, but it is true that many people struggle to talk about how they are feeling. Was there anything specific about the occasions when he did manage to say he didn't like X or Y which might give you a clue as to how to gently encourage him to communicate more with you about how he's feeling?

Just to forewarn you, when I first succeeded in getting my lovely DH to open up about his feelings he did initially confirm my worst fears which I found very scary and upsetting at the time. We got through it, and are loads better at communicating now, albeit challenged when sleep-deprived grin.

freename Wed 30-Sep-09 16:39:24

Actually it's a big responsibility making all the DC decisions on your own. Perhaps your reaction is to his lack of input into something that should be quite important to him. I would find that quite hard if I was discussing an important DC issue and he wasn't on board.
Could this be the core underlying issue?

minervaitalica Wed 30-Sep-09 16:44:52

Lost, I have to say often I find that it is difficult to communicate with DH because I do not make it plain enough that something is very important to me, and that I really want his input. Also, if there is something that is really important I would not discuss it whilst pottering in the kitchen as it may send the wrong signal (e.g. it's just lightweight conversation - not criticising you, it's just a strategy I use sometime to get things agreed).

Equally like isitmeor, my DH also would not necessarily disclose his feelings unless I REALLY prodded him. And sometimes, I have had to accept that he simply does not have a big opinion on some things, and he is happy to go with whatever I prefer (e.g. holidays) - as long as that is not all the time, I now see no problem with this attitude.

I know it is annoying to deal with comms problems, but I do believe that as long as there are no other major issues it is possible to improve on them with "practice"...

purpleduck Wed 30-Sep-09 16:54:36

SGB How do you know she's "going round and round" and she should not have to insert jokes or whatever to keep her dh entertained whilst she tries to discuss THEIR children with him.

Sorry, his behaviour is rude rude rude!!

minervaitalica Wed 30-Sep-09 17:13:49

Oh it is rude - definitely - my DH never left the room but would just watch telly instead. Until I got really cross and told him it was very rude.

He was really apologetic and made an effort to change that - took a while but he is a lot better... Lost have you ever discussed his attitude to communication seriously?

IsItMeOr Wed 30-Sep-09 20:25:13

I think freename could be onto something.

nje3006 Thu 01-Oct-09 10:04:52

Maybe he thinks you're not really engaged in your own conversation b/c you're not facing him and have no eye contact (I assume as you didn't see him leave) and you're doing something else (preparing the meal) so maybe from his POV you haven't fully got your mind on the conversation so he treats it with the same importance you do...?

PlumBumMum Thu 01-Oct-09 10:11:37

Lost if I thought dh wasn't listening I would insert "and then I found out I was pregnant" and carry on,
believe me you will soon find out wiether he was listening or not, then pull him up on it,
tell him you feel like Shirley Valentine talking to the wall

hobbgoblin Thu 01-Oct-09 10:54:48

I just don't get how you can be having a conversation and then 'lose' the listener? It makes it sound as though you were talking to yourself.

Communication skills are required on both sides. It's not enough to be able to say what you need to say, the Speaker needs skills in addressing the listener too. There must be some degree of lacking here I feel.

How can you be respectfully addressing someone, giving the impression that their attention and opinion is valued and yet have been continuing to speak without realising they are not there?

I think it is a little bit of a communication problem on both sides.

Lostforwords Fri 02-Oct-09 14:26:39

Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to answer me. I haven't forgotten this thread.
I have discovered another thread on here re living with a partner with AS and this seem to answer a lot of the problems I am having with DH, incl and especially the communication problems. I need to investigate that side much more.

All your comments are still relevant though so thank you

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