Question QUESTION: Hello. My husband and I have been having problems.....usually we argue the week I am PMS-ing and we get over it, but this isn't that time and we just can't get past this one re-curring theme: he thinks I overreact to situations and that I'm over-emotional, and I think he is insensitive towards my feelings. The incident tonight was that over the last couple of weeks he's asked me to make more of an effort when it comes to showing up for his work things/events/dinners. We had a date night (just the two of us)scheduled for tonight. He worked earlier in the day and called me from the car while he was riding with his boss. They suggested a place where we could ALL go out for dinner. My husband texts me and asks if I'd like to go. His text prompted me to think that it was one of those occasions where I "need to make more of an effort with work stuff" seeing as though it was date night otherwise. So, I really wasn't ready to go anywhere b/c I had just finished cleaning the house. When I texted him that he said "no worries". But I was worried. I didn't want that to reflect badly on him to his boss, etc. He kept texting me to reassure me it was no big deal, but it kind of stressed me out. I asked him about it later on....kind of grilling him on the details of his conversation with his boss in order to reassure myself that his boss wasn't really mad. I felt like I needed to do that b/c all he was telling me was "don't worry about it. It's fine". He got really frustrated with me over the extra questioning and basically said that I totally over-reacted, I'm way too emotional and he can't deal with it. Once he said that to me I just lost it starting to cry. It makes me CRAZY when he dismisses my feelings. He knows that, too. He always promises he won't do it again but then something else comes up and he's like "well what about MY feelings?". This is such a major hurdle and we have yet to clear it....and it's been years. Do you have any advice??
ANSWER: Hello Jill - it sounds like you have several concurrent problems:
1] one or both of you may lack empathy for the other in some situations. If so, you can improve this:
3] You may distrust your husband at times if he says "No problem," and he becomes frustrated with your anxiety and questioning him further. The opposite possibility is he isn't honest with you about certain feelings and won't admit that, which causes your distrust. Significant distrust and withholding are both symptoms of inherited psychological wounds, which are the most common causes of marital stress:
This is a LOT to absorb and discuss, so take your time. If you have questions about any of this, please ask - Pete
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I'm unclear about the reference of my possible distrust when my husband says "No problem". Also, the reference about him not being "honest with me about certain feelings". Can you please elaborate? I'm a really literal person- so the more clarity the better....thank you so much!!
Answer My impression from what you wrote is when your husband said your decision not to social oize was "no problem" you didn't trust that he meant that. If true, that may occur becausae at times he doesn't honestly disclose some feelings and needs to you. I may be wrong.
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I've been a professional family-systems therapist in private practice for 33 years. I have specialized in helping people avoid and adapt to divorce, and manage remarriage ans stepfamilies, since 1979. I've studied and taught classes in interpersonal communication for over 40 years, and have presented over 200 seminars on a wide range of human-relationswhip topics to Chicago-area churches, schools, menyal-health agencies, and businesses, and have been featured on Chicago and national radio and TV. I have been married and divorced.
I now believe all marital and family problems are caused by five little-known factors - see http://sfhelp.org/hazatrds. This forms the basis of my work as therapist and educator.
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