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Discussion Starter #1
I feel like my dp and I have the same arguments/disagreements/discussions month after month. Things get better for awhile, and then they slowly start to slide, and we start all over again. I am SO tired and frustrated with this process, but I don't know how to change it.<br><br>
Fundamentally, we agree about most things, and all major things like values and parenting practices. Day-to-day, though, dp's negativity, moodiness, and lack of appreciation for me really wear me down. He knows that he's difficult to live with, I know that I enable this difficultness to a certain degree. Once I reach my threshold of tolerance for his grumpiness, I break down, he gets better, and then once I finally quit feeling resentful, he starts being grumpy again. I'm just tired of that cycle because it's always me who ends up feeling badly.<br><br>
So those of you who have achieved long-term, day-to-day change - how the heck do you do it? Or it just normal for things to go in waves?
 

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In a way I'm not the best person to answer this question right now, bc I'm trying to make some changes in my relationship that will stick. But I still have an opinion ....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
I think it depends on the kind of change. Like, if it's a habit (like getting home when you say you will, or verbally acknowledging something specific someone else does) then it's easy enough to change. But if it's something that's more a persons way of responding to a particular situation (like being grumpy, or losing one's temper) then it's really hard to change. In the situation you describe, you don't say how your dp manages to respond when you have had enough. He stops being grumpy? Because if that's a constant effort for him and the circumstances that make him FEEL grumpy don't change, then it seems unlikely he would be able to maintain it. Maybe there's a practical thing that would help him (like having 20 minutes time to himself when he comes home, or whatever) or maybe therapy would help him deal with whatever he's struggling with, or maybe some change that involves more of a renegotiation of how the two of you relate to each other.<br><br>
Maybe I'm not really understanding the problem well enough, though.
 

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I think the problem is that it's the latter - he has a temper and reacts to everyday, little situations by getting angry, and that upsets me because I like nice, calm, peaceful living. And he's overly anxious and uptight. When he's trying really, really hard, he can control it, but apparently not long-term.<br><br>
So I guess the problem is that I want him to change who he is to a certain degree because who he is stresses me out. Not overall, but somewhat. And that's not a very nice thing on my part. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>crwilson</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10325337"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think the problem is that it's the latter - he has a temper and reacts to everyday, little situations by getting angry, and that upsets me because I like nice, calm, peaceful living.</div>
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Okay, now you're in familiar territory for me. This is true for me too.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">So I guess the problem is that I want him to change who he is to a certain degree because who he is stresses me out. Not overall, but somewhat. And that's not a very nice thing on my part. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></td>
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I've been thinking about this a bit lately. Why did I marry someone with such a temper if that upsets me? In my case, part of it is that *I* have issues with anger from my childhood (where I had one parent who was quite angry, and one who repressed anger with logic and encouraged me to do the same). I am re-creating some of the tension from my childhood, AND at the same time I was consciously aware that I had "issues" with anger when I got married and thought that the ability to express anger was a positive and healthy thing about my dh. So although I think I want my dh to change, part of what I'm trying to do is change myself, so we can hopefully meet somewhere in the middle.<br><br>
Another thing is, are you sure this is as much part of your dh's personality as you think? Especially if it is often day-to-day irritability, is it possible that he is depressed? Or is it possible that he is taking out work stress or other built up stress and discomfort by "letting off steam" in these smaller ways? Maybe there are other things that could help him feel less stressed or anxious in general, and as a result not react to the world so negatively.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>crwilson</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10325337"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So I guess the problem is that I want him to change who he is to a certain degree because who he is stresses me out. Not overall, but somewhat. And that's not a very nice thing on my part. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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This thread is so relevant for me right now! I've been struggling with this exact same question all week. Like Mavery said, "Why did I marry him? I knew him well, I knew who he was." And he's not stressing me out THAT much, but I am feeling frustrated and irritated a lot, and like we have the same issues/arguments, too.<br><br>
For us, I believe we are going to make permanent changes. We already have in a lot of areas. It's taken a while, and we've had some relapses. There are some things that we seem to have resolved permanently, though, but it's hard to remember. For example, I was thinking back to a fight we had when we first moved in together, which was about eight years ago. We wouldn't have that fight now, we've DEFINITELY solved that problem.<br><br>
And, I also think that my dh is depressed a little bit. And he just quit smoking a month ago, which is making life a little bit stressful for us both. And, I think that spouses mature/grow/change/have epiphanies at different levels and times. So, yeah, I knew how he was when we got married. But also, I have changed. And I want him to. And he probably will. He might feel the same about me in other areas.
 

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Counselling - we went through a very violent patch in our relationship...... I realised that I was just continuing the life of violence started by my mother and my DH realised that he had gotten so used to being betrayed by people etc that he just wasn't giving me a chancee, we remembered the fact that we fell in love, why wee fell in love and tthings have been rosy ever since (admittedly, there have beeen thorny patches but nothing like before, we are just your average couple these days!!!!).
 

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we achieved long -term change in our relationship by counseling. We're still in counseling and things are getting better and better. It's taken *a lot* of work, though, on both our parts. We've had to deal with so many issues from our childhoods as well as from our own relationship.<br><br>
Apropos of the OP DH, I was the one who was angry and irritable and grumpy all the time. It was a learned behavior from my childhood, but also because I felt out of control in a new environment, was, in retrospect, depressed, and generally overwhelmed. I'm also a perfectionist who was constantly let down by my DH (some of that was because he screwed up -- a lot -- and some of that was due to my own unrealistic expectations of him. I simply had to realize a lot of this and work to change my life so that I was happy. I still get annoyed or grumpy, but the anger and, sometimes, rage, I used to feel has dissipated.<br><br>
I hope that your DP can get to that point with individual and/or marital counseling.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Yes, we have! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> The conflicts still come in waves, but the waves keep getting smaller and smaller.<br><br>
How did we do it? Well, mainly because I got pretty deeply into teachings based on the "law of attraction". The idea is that if you experience the same general feelings that you would if you had what you wanted, then what you want will come about. This may be harder to understand when it comes to some life events, but where relationships are concerned it's not that mysterious--if I act calm and content, my DH is likely to chill more quickly, and become calm and content himself. That's a very simplified example.<br><br>
Anyway I was desperate enough to try it, last February. It took some time. Things were pretty intense back then. I used affirmations like "I am safe and secure. I am respected. I am listened to completely." I'd really sink myself into those affirmations until I felt them. I'd use them in the middle of a conflict (sometimes, when I managed). My DH was annoyed, then intrigued, and now while he's not really into law of attraction stuff he has a very high opinion of 'positive thinking'.<br><br>
We also got into counseling, but frankly we spent almost all of our time waiting as DH slowly adjusted to the fact that we were in counseling (ie, most of the sessions were spent on him complaining). We did get some useful techniques there, though--at least one! And more than that, I think it can help to air one's problems to a third party, especially a rather dignified professional third party... Sometimes in relationships weird dynamics can develop, and involving a third party reminds everyone what is reasonable and what isn't.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>crwilson</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10325337"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think the problem is that it's the latter - he has a temper and reacts to everyday, little situations by getting angry, and that upsets me because I like nice, calm, peaceful living.</div>
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Wow, that's very similar to our problem! Although that wasn't the cause of our worst problems...<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>tireesix</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10327655"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">and my DH realised that he had gotten so used to being betrayed by people etc that he just wasn't giving me a chance</div>
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For me as well, after some time had passed I realized that I'd been approaching him very mistrustfully because of general past experience. He also had real issues, but in this respect I contributed to the dynamic.<br><br>
You know one little detail... I've learned not to use the word "fight". It's a word that can bring up a bit of energy and emotion, at least around here. Instead I use the word "conflict" which is a bit more boring.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mavery, are you me, married to my husband? I know that I have issues with anger from my childhood. My family does not get mad - I was taught that people who express anger are weak and irrational. I never saw my parents disagree, let alone argue, until I turned 18, and they started fighting and got a divorce 6 months later. I "know" that not expressing anger ever is unhealthy, and my dp's ability to express anger openly made me feel better able to be honest about my own emotions. But now I find that it really makes me uncomfortable, and sometimes I feel like I'm living with an enormous toddler who's throwing a temper tantrum. I mean, I would be more understanding if he got upset over real things, but it's usually a variation of two things: 1) He's hungry, or 2) He's doing something that makes him sweat (which is nearly every activity). I feel like it's completely ridiculous.<br><br>
All of you have said things that seem completely relevant and apropo - thank you! It helps me to think that change is possible. Sphinxie - I don't know much about law of attraction, but I do know that when I keep my cool, dp is much more mellow too. It's just so hard to do. NatenSarah - I too knew my dp well before we got married, and if anything, he has gotten better not worse over time. So why is he driving me bonkers? DariusMom - DP is an obsessive perfectionist, and he feels like until everything's secure in our life, he has to be on guard constantly. Tiresix - your situation makes sense to me, too.<br><br>
Part of me feels like I shouldn't complain because dp doesn't take out his frustrations on me - his ire is never directed at me and dd. He just stomps around, glowering, and huffing and puffing. But we have a really good life, and I think he should be happy instead of depressed and anxious. (I do think that he has a clinical anxiety disorder, which he is on medication for, but I think he needs antidepressants, which he won't consider because he had a bad experience.)<br><br>
Whew- this has gotten way too long. It really helps just to write it down because it forces me to sort out my own feelings. Thank you for listening and sharing.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>crwilson</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10328429"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I never saw my parents disagree, let alone argue</div>
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Wow, it seems like we all have a lot in common--this is the same for me too! I mean my parents did disagree very quietly now and then, and I could sense there were a few issues. But it is a huge departure from my relationship! We have just been talking about this lately, in fact. My parents are so peaceful, sometimes falsely, while my relationship has been so fiery--both are a bit uncomfortable for me.<br><br>
I have to go, so that's it from me for the moment <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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