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Can you teach a partner to be perceptive, sensitive, attentive, etc, or is this something implicit to their character?<br><br>
My spouse is not at all in tune with me, and I see many signs that he is not in tune with our child, either. My DH is not perceptive, sensitive, attentive.<br><br>
DH has read exactly one book on relationships and that is Men are from Mars Women are from Venus. That one book gave him enough information to constantly say one excuse for every problem in our marriage: men and women interpret things differently. Men are not intuitive. Women are emotional.<br><br>
He constantly says this. I get so upset with his behavior and level of involvement with me and roles as parents and partners, and this is how he always responds.<br><br>
He dismisses me as too emotional. Too sensitive. He doesn't value emotions at all and says that all the time. Or he'll roll his eyes and say it must be that time of the month, when in fact it is no where near that time of the month I'm simply upset with HIM and HIS actions. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
Is there any chance of teaching him or training him how to be more emotionally available, sensitive, perceptive, attentive, etc. Bascially to have a clue to what I'm feeling and why?<br><br>
Or is it a lost cause? It feels like a lost cause. He's not prone to empathy towards or understanding of other people and their thoughts or emotions, either. So, it just seems like he doesn't have it in him to be a very emotionally available person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alexsam</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11527149"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Therapy/counseling?</div>
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Thanks. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I've gone to therapy...alone...on and off for several years now.<br><br>
DH went to a therapist once, a long time ago, and it was only because I made him, and that one visit took months and months to arrange. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
DH really thinks, and says, the problem is not him. If we went to counseling, he's smart enough to cover his own bad behavior, and I don't think he'd really listen to the counselor. DH is disconnected emotionally and too full of himself and his own intelligence to think he should change.<br><br>
Am I part of the problem? Yes, of course. It's a two-way street. But the way he acts is so out of line all the time.<br><br>
But he wouldn't admit that behavior to anyone, let alone a counselor. And I've asked him to go to counseling and he's not interested.
 

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I'm sorry <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><b>He dismisses me as too emotional. Too sensitive. He doesn't value emotions at all and says that all the time.</b> Or he'll roll his eyes and say it must be that time of the month, when in fact it is no where near that time of the month I'm simply upset with HIM and HIS actions.<br><br>
Is there any chance of teaching him or training him how to be more emotionally available, sensitive, perceptive, attentive, etc. Bascially to have a clue to what I'm feeling and why?</td>
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The bolded part sounds like my husband. In the past I wondered if he even had a beating heart. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> He does, though, and he's a sweetie underneath his tough shell. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> He simply doesn't know how to be emotional. He never saw it in his childhood and went through many things that I think made him shut down emotionally just for survival's sake.<br><br>
One of the problems in our early marriage was that dh and I each expected the other to comform to our own expectations and needs, rather than accepting and loving each other without a whole lot of demands. Left to himself, dh is quiet, but generally kind and well meaning. But back when we were pushing each other's buttons trying to make each other change, he would get totally overwhelmed by my emotional state, and either go into a shell, or explode in anger.<br><br>
As it turns out, whatever he lacks emotionally, I eventually realized that I couldn't change him, but I could change my own behavior and the way I responded to him. I don't expect him to commiserate with me when I'm down like a girlfriend would. And I quickly discovered that we had absolutely no communication problems at all when I had my good cry *before* I talked to him, so that I could talk rationally and without the wobbly chin and tears running down my face. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> It was never my intent, but he always felt under attack and manipulated when I would burst into tears in the middle of a disagreement. He felt like I wasn't allowing him to let him have his say at all, and just playing the "Bad man, now you've hurt me" trump card, kwim? He is also much, much more laid back about the <i>occasional</i> emotional outburst from me now that he is not under a constant barrage of emotional stuff.<br><br>
I'm not saying you have to stop being emotional, or never get upset or speak up about something he does that you don't like. But I have found in my marriage it has been soooo helpful (although terribly unpleasant) to take a step back and look at what *I* have been doing wrong, and what I can change in *myself*. I also decided that I don't need to get my knickers in a twist about everything dh does that I don't like (a lot of it I just ignore, other times I let him know I don't appreciate it and why, and leave it at that), and I don't have to force him to come around to my way of thinking, and that we can love each other and live peacefully and happily together without either of us being perfect. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
I don't like using the word "training" for a husband. But I do think that sometimes modeling the behavior you would like to see, rather than pushing, fussing, or nagging him directly can do wonders. It depends on the kind of person you're with. Psychopaths don't generally respond to that sort of thing, but most reasonable, decent people, whatever their flaws, will start to respond in kind if they are treated the way you want them to treat you. I guess you have to decide if you're married to an unredeemable jerk, or a decent but imperfect man, and work from there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 
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