Saturday, January 26, 2013

Because he asked...

My husband hasn't asked me to write anything specifically but he did ask that I write something.  He says that most of my blog posts mentioning him are negative.  I've written blog posts that defend him and I've written day to day stuff about him that had nothing negative to say on a regular basis.  There are so many blog posts that mention him on a regular basis that I think it's pointless to attempt to link them all.  It's completely untrue that I bash Hubby and that I do so frequently.

That being of the two main things that we hashed out this morning was dreams and goals.  He has muuucchhh work to do on this areas as he tries to quantify things to much.  It's odd that the man who proposed that we emphasize that our children follow their dream vocation even if that only means that it simply takes care of themselves, has decided to quantify my dreams.  I've never once said/not supported Hubby's dream.  Not.  Once.  Even when he was out slugging it working long nights and weekends to finish up his dissertation, I stayed home and tended to HB and never whined.  I've never whined about living in a shoe box apartment being any of his fault because he's chosen to walk the hard path to follow his dream of being a professor.  I've never gotten upset.  Not.  Once.

Is it easy?  Hell, no.  But he's doing what makes him happy and I'd rather him have a goal to live toward then listen to him whine about what could have been.

But in his defense he asked what my dream was again and then proceeded to tear it down as it would take time and money even without me even putting out feelers.  Not. Fair.  Hypocritical.  But at least he showed that he cared enough to ask.

People have dreams.  And other people should support that even if it doesn't happen or isn't feasible.  Don't quash people's hopes.  Otherwise you're reading the wrong blog.

My husband is having a hard time seeing the intrinsic value of having a goal and the need to have that goal supported.  But then again, I've said before that he puts me into some categorical nightmare that I want to self-harm. 

On the up side...the other thing we discussed is sympathy.  It's something that's learned.  We aren't born with the ability to sympathize; we are taught.  Maybe through watching others or being instructed, but we are taught.  My oldest is just now mastering the art that is three year old sympathy.  He gives kisses and says he's sorry (even if he's done nothing wrong).  And some small children will give a special toy to a friend who is upset.  We learn the steps slowly.  But sometimes we get off track.

For men, I think, there's sometimes a need to be macho.  And therefore showing sympathy is sometimes perceived as being not masculine enough (unless there's a kick to the nuts or something). 

Let me just tell you right now.  Sympathy is necessary for all humans because all humans are social and need to be heard/understood/accepted.  Whether you think it's too girly doesn't matter.  You're a complete Ass if you cannot show sympathy of some kind.

My husband hasn't been able to divorce the compelling feeling to fix the situation from the need to show sympathy.  So he suggested we role play.  The following is a list meant for his benefit but if it helps you, great.  Hubby, tattoo it to your fraking arm!

1) Someone calls you, talks to you, is visibly upset about something
2) You ask if everything is okay.  Don't ask what's the matter unless you know this person well enough.
3) You actively listen.
4) You can also ask if the person is looking for help or is in need to blow off steam/cry on someones shoulder/fill in manly cliche here.
5) If the person wants help, ask what you can do.  If they want to blow off steam, continue to actively listen and use phrases of empathy like "I know what you mean."  "I know how you feel."  or "That sounds awful."
6) Offer support.  If the person doesn't need you to do anything, offer support.  "Sounds like you're having a bad day.  Do you need a break/bubble bath/talk glass of wine/chocolate?"  "Is there anything I can do to help you feel better" The distinction is not to fix the problem but to assuage the person's emotions.  You're offering to help them calm themselves down.  If that means helping with the problem, great.  But mostly it's the person wants to be acknowledged, that their feelings are being heard.

Got it?  Good!

Am I happier?  Well, we'll see.  The other thing we discussed was showing encouragement along the way and not wait until the goal is complete.  So I'm going to encourage his progress, but he's very very forgetful and very very difficult to move out of his bad habits.  But hopefully he'll offer encouragement back.

At dinner tonight he asked about offering feedback.  I've said this before.  I'll say it again.  Do. Not. Offer. Advice. To.  Anyone. Unless. They. Ask.  I don't care if it's your mother or your best friend of 20 years.  It will bite you in the butt.  Unless they say they are asking for feedback, don't give it to them.  So no, I don't want to know about grating damn cheese, dear.  If I want to know, I'll ask.  Learn to keep the comments to yourself.  And if you find it hard to do, start thinking about something else.  Maybe come up with a different place in your mind and go there.  Because offering unsolicited advice is hazardous to your health.  Capice?  Good!

Whew!  There that wasn't so bad.  I've managed to survive the aneurism.  Now I will dwell peacefully thinking about my shopping trip tomorrow that I've been planning out for days and all the glorious coupons I will be using.  BTW, thanks to my MIL.  She's made it official.  I'm a Couponing Queen.  She's been sending me coupons she doesn't want in the mail.  I now have three coupons for French's mustard.  Huzzah!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you're bringing things under control. Sometimes Men need to be told (nicely) how to manage certain situations. It's hugely frustrating because you end up trying to cope with the situation and help them learn how to respond best, but hopefully, if you make it clear that it's important to you that he shows commitment to learning these things, your husband will respond lovingly and with effort. My husband certainly sometimes doesn't understand WHY something's important to me/affects me/upsets me. His standard response lately is "That's silly" so I have to explain about 4 times in 4 different ways to try to help him to 'get' it.


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