Have Relationship Questions? Ask a Counselor for Answers ASAP
Hi - I'm Dr. Greene and I'd be happy to help.
Can I ask how long you knew each other before you got married? Did you live together beforehand at all?
Okay - thank you. The reason I asked is because it typically takes two years for a relationship to "settle." For the first 12-18 months people are in the infatuation stage of a relationship (where everything the other partner does is adorable, etc), and fights don't occur that often. It's when we are at our best - - - and on our best behavior.
Given that the two of you weren't together that long before you wed, it's difficult to know what your husband's typical long-term relationship behavior really is. This could, actually, be typical of him, and isn't a reflection of you at all!
That said, I think you're right not to rush into having kids because you need to have a stable connection (where communication is more open) before bringing more variables into it.
Are you open to trying some new tactics when fights arise?
Okay - so, how does it go now? Do you approach him to talk during the fight? Immediately after? When the crying happens, is it in response to what he is saying, or kind of a defense mechanism for you?
I completely understand that, and don't blame you for becoming tearful. It can feel very callous when someone ignores our pain. Though, I'm not sure it's meant as a callous gesture, as yet... Oftentimes it can be very difficult to see someone cry - especially in response to our words/actions. Men, in particular, can be very bothered by this. I'm wondering if it's making him feel guilty/inadequate/upset? If so, he might respond by angrily telling you to leave the space because he doesn't know how to handle those feelings. Basically, I'm wondering if he, too, is hurt by the situation and it's becoming a vicious circle, of sorts.
Have you ever tried giving him gentle feedback that his words are upsetting you, and leaving the room of your own accord to gather your emotions (1- so you don't cry, and 2-so he knows it's not alright to be inconsiderate)?
I hear you - and I'm very sorry that you're experiencing this. The stress must be so tough. Please know that I'm acknowledging that. I hope you can take some time to do what you need to do to self-soothe or spend time with friends/family that loves you. You need/deserve that.
And, the more you tell me, the more I think you're right on the money. It sounds like he may be projecting a bit (not much we can do about that, for now); but, more importantly, he may also be internalizing that helplessness. That feeling of "I used to make my wife happy and now all I do is make her cry!"
So, I'm wondering if it wouldn't help to make sure to compliment him on the things he's really doing right - make him feel like the strong, amazing man that you married again. Then, when you guys are in a really good place, it might be time to gently ask him about an issue you two have. If it's brought up when you're feeling happy (in a way that's nonconfrontational), it may work better. He'll feel less threatened, and you'll feel less attacked. Does that make sense?
Okay. Well, I'm rooting for you. I want things to work out to where he feels like the good man you married, and you feel taken care of/adored. I think this can happen with some changing of the cycles that you've been in.
Best of luck to you and don't hesitate to ask anything else or give me an update!