Have Relationship Questions? Ask a Counselor for Answers ASAP
Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.
Hi, have I paid for this session?
I am sorry you are going through this
you put a deposit down but I am not paid until you click accept.
are you not desirous of continuing?
I am. Last time I didn't have a chat room, just a written response.
do we have a certain amount of time to chat?
ok and are you comfortable being in this chat with me? I dont put a time limit on things but we stay within reason, but i am not here to rush you.
oh, i see. that sounds good
I might get tired after hours and hours....:-)
:) i'll keep it short and to the point :)
so, i am engaged to a man who has been divorced
and this behavior is new and seems to be around this stress?
and I am beginning to see some communication faults that make it difficult
and him not taking responsibility for things does not make it easy for you to try to comuicate
does this particular stress have an ending in sight? when are the exams?
one exam is next month. the other is in october. on top of that we are moving states next month
new state, new job, everything
ok so we cant say lets wait the two weeks and see how it goes.
and i agree with you that there wil always be stress and that cannot influence how we treat our loved ones
nope. the thing is, that his job will always be stressful, it is the nature of the occupation. i don't want to be treated this way forever
sometimes we all act a bit nutty and feel poorly afterward but this seems more than that.
I agree with you
and somehow you have lost yourself here and your ability to trust your feelings about this
so we need you to regain the power and take some control back
You feelings are valid and seem to me to have a handle on things well and it doesnt sound like you are making things up
just to validate your experience
so how to talk to him to tell him how you feel....
thank you. i try very hard to see things from different perspective so i don't take things out on other people.
what have you said to him when trying to communicate your feelings?
and you have that ability and it seems like he may not
the issue with that is, because i have tried to express to him my point of view, he is very stressed and doesn't want to talk about it
not atypical of men
thats the bad news
his job is stressful and the last thing he wants is to feel demands from me
but the good news is that doesnt mean you disappear and silence your feelings and your needs
he wants to come home and feel relaxed and peaceful
expressing yourself isnt a demand it is wanting to be heard and responded to
and he deserves that peace but you can carve out some time to talk of how you feel and in a way that he might be able to take it in without feeling attacked or demands placed on him
so tell me how you have brought things up in the past
in the past, i don't think i have done a good job of pin pointing what it is that i want him to do differently
he is a guy, he has a 'fix it' mentality
he wants me to tell him what to do so he can 'fix it'
i need to find out what it is that i want him to work on
honey when you speak to me and say things like....I feel hurt and tend to withdraw...do you think that maybe you can not put me down? you may not think you are and i understand that, but it feels that way to me
as an example
it is not attacking and focusing on something specific that he can grab onto and letting him know how you feel
for example, he will act in a demeaning manner, and talk to me as if i cannot understand him
it makes me feel terribly
I get that.... hoeny when you speak to me as if I dont understand you, I feel small. I am your equal.
and if he denies that he is speaking to me in that way, what is a good way to respond
he wil deny it because it is hard for anyone to feel that they may be hurting someone but I would say...
I hear you when you say you dont feel like you are doing that, but all I am asking is that you think about it a bit and maybe you will hear it. I love you and i am not attacking you, i just want to speak to each other in a way where we both feel good.
that sounds good.
i think my shortcoming here is my ability to express myself. i can formulate it in written words, but speaking it is challenging for me
I appreciate your honesty about that...it is very difficult and it takes some practice
but if you dont practice and continue to shrink away then you could have a marriage filled with that and things wont change
it can feel scary but do it in baby steps.
yes, i agree
and if you have a tough time then it can come to a breaking point for oyu and then it could be coming out in a way that feels demanding of him
sounds silly...look in the mirror and practice
exactly. the only way i know how to express myself is , 'you talk to me in a belittling way and i don't know if i can deal with that'
it sounds like a ultimatum
yes and that can be tough to hear it in that way and causes him to shut it down immediately.
dont beat yourself up here...it takes practice and i am so glad we are here together to go through it
yeah, it is helpful for sure
we have scheduled a time to talk tonight
and we often do better talking about our feelings not in the heat of the moment but in a quieter time when things feel calm
and i want to make sure i express myself in the best way possible
that is perfect
because this is something i need to learn to do if i want to be in any close relationship
I love you and I am working on my end of things and i want to communicate better and I want to feel heard too. I dont want you to feel attacked I hope that you can hear me
I am sure you do not do it intentionally but sometimes when you talk to me I feel belittled...how can we speak to one another with more love rather than that stuff?
I am so excited for our life together and want things to feel wonderful for both of us
I am proud of you for being open to it all!
see how great this chat thing is?
yeah, its definitely helpful
it's so easy to blame the other person
yes and we ALL do it
so hard for any of us to look within but that is growth and we get to a new space and it is very freeing
it's challenging because the way he speaks to me is very belittling and hurtful. but i suppose that isn't even the point, the point is how i react to it and what I do to make the relationship change
yes and how you communicate your feelings about it
i think he had this issue in his past relationship
are you feeling more strength than when we first started?
and he might have for sure
yes, i am.
I am happy for that
it is his weakness for sure, but it is also mine for not communicating where i am coming from in regards XXXXX XXXXX
because if i knew how to do all of this from the beginning, it would have never fully come out the way it is now (his belittling talk)
and you are so strong for being able to look within and see your part and that is fantastic
it will help when you have your talk and any other talk moving forward
well take responsibility for your part only not his...he needs to make some changes to but do not force that sentence on him...that is just girl talk
i wonder if there is a book about this i could read? do you know?
on what...how to commnicate?
How to talk so people will listen!
I agree. so you've got homework and practice.
this is awesome, thanks so much
I truly am proud of you.
and you can always come here and request me if you want my support.
thanks. i will if i get stuck the way i have been lately
it will be my pleasure. do you feel satisfied for now?
this is kind of an abstract question, but :if i feel hurt about something, and it isn't obvious to point out what it is, it makes it challenging for me to be so elequent about my feelings. at this point should i retreat into myself or find a way to talk about how i feel?
its a great question and one that i think comes up for most of us...I will answer it based on what i do is that okay?
I dont attend to everything.....meaning that i may feel some hurt about something but i choose to let it not get the better of me and maybe find some understanding about it and then let it go.
yes, that makes sense
I am fortunate in that we dont assign tremendous meaning to things said or how it was said but rather look at why it may be coming up and what factors caused us to speak sharply
i see... that is smart
that takes practice too
i can see why we are having these issues now
do not beat yourself up at all...you are growing as we speak
it is true
this is my first long term relationship too
yes so give yourself a break here too please
i suppose that is another thing, i happily take blame
yes and you dont have to
your part only
it makes me feel better, in fact because i feel that i can control things if it is my fault
it is a challenge to seperate my part from his
yes but in the end you dont feel better you feel worse and then you boil over
this is true
you are a pleasure...I must say
I am serious
am i giving you a lot of work? :)
I love my work and so it doesn't feel like a lot when you love something
you feeling okay and ready to tackle it all?
yes, i think i got it
thanks for your time
btw, how do i pay?
excellent. so come back to me anytime