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Is it me??.... Would love your 2 cents on me & husbs "heated discussion" last night...

Kids were away all weeked (woohoo!) but we kinda failed to have any decent quality evenings together due to a couple mishaps and evenings spent with friends instead. So our final night without kids I have an appointment after work but tell my DH "I want some quality time with you. Watch the game, relax, whatev for an hour and then when I'm back let's do something besides just watch TV tonight. I don't care what, just anything. If you need ideas, here are some if you need, but whatever you want to do, I'm down". 

.. I'm gone for an hour and a half...

I come back - "Alrighty, what do you want to do?". He doesn't move from his slumped position watching the game. He simply says "it's my thing" so tell him what I want to do. I say ok, a little disappointed, but agreeable, I name a few to see if there is any sign of life from him. He just sits there in silence half watching the game. So I say nevermind, I'll just clean and go upstairs. I do so with tears streaming down my face. I'm still mad so I go out for an hour alone. He calls but it's to ask "why I'm being this way and that it's not ok". No apology, no empathy, just him trying to get ME to apologize.

I felt SO hurt. We've been married for almost 8 years and it feels awful to think all we know how to do together is take care of our kids or hang out with our friends. Is it so wrong to want a little romance, a little fun, a little something else? 

Where did we go wrong? What was supposed to have happened here? What would you do at this point?

Re: Is it me??.... Would love your 2 cents on me & husbs "heated discussion" last night...

  • Although I understand where you are coming from and why you were upset, I suspect to your H your behavior was just baffling.   You wanted him to take the rare opportunity to sweep you off your feet and have a fun night already planned...like back in the days, before kids and marriage, when you all were more carefree.  But I bet he only heard, "I want to do something other than watch tv when I get home."

    Generally speaking, men are much more literal creatures than women.  You were asking him to behave in a manner that was different from how he normally is and I think he needed a little more guidance with that.  If it had been me, I would have said...in a joking, but ever so slightly annoyed tone, "Come on now!  Can I turn off the tv so we can talk about the plans for our "no tv" evening (insert little laugh)."  Or just taken him at his word and said, "Great!  I want to do X,Y,Z tonight.  Let's go get dressed and get ready (or whatever the next step would have been)."

    Honestly, I see this as being more a miscommunication and misunderstanding than either of you doing something wrong.  From here, I would sit down with him...somewhere quiet, after the kids have gone to bed...and talk about that you feel the marriage has gotten stuck in a bit of a rut.  Explain why you were upset the other night...not in an accusatory way, but so he better understands.  Because I don't think he does.

    Tell him you want to add...using your words :)..."a little more fun, a little more romance" and were disappointed so many things got in the way for that to happen while the kids were away.  Then the two of you can work together on ideas of how to make that happen.  Maybe a once a week date night.  Maybe an overnight trip without the kids every other month.  You will need to lead the way on this, at least at first.  But its really important for this to come across as a problem the two of you created together and the two of you need to solve together...not an attack, or even a perceived attack, on just him.

    Xstatic3333LittleChick2
  • GilliCGilliC member
    Ancient Membership 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited June 2015
    yaykarin said:
    Kids were away all weeked (woohoo!) but we kinda failed to have any decent quality evenings together due to a couple mishaps and evenings spent with friends instead. So our final night without kids I have an appointment after work but tell my DH "I want some quality time with you. Watch the game, relax, whatev for an hour and then when I'm back let's do something besides just watch TV tonight. I don't care what, just anything. If you need ideas, here are some if you need, but whatever you want to do, I'm down". 

    .. I'm gone for an hour and a half...

    I come back - "Alrighty, what do you want to do?". He doesn't move from his slumped position watching the game. He simply says "it's my thing" so tell him what I want to do. I say ok, a little disappointed, but agreeable, I name a few to see if there is any sign of life from him. He just sits there in silence half watching the game. So I say nevermind, I'll just clean and go upstairs. I do so with tears streaming down my face. I'm still mad so I go out for an hour alone. He calls but it's to ask "why I'm being this way and that it's not ok". No apology, no empathy, just him trying to get ME to apologize.

    I felt SO hurt. We've been married for almost 8 years and it feels awful to think all we know how to do together is take care of our kids or hang out with our friends. Is it so wrong to want a little romance, a little fun, a little something else? 

    Where did we go wrong? What was supposed to have happened here? What would you do at this point?
    This is something that you definitely did wrong. I suspect that this was your way of saying, "I'm very disappointed. I think you should have realized how important that this was to me. See? I'm crying. Jump in anytime and make this right." If that's the case, this was a very passive-aggressive move, and most people rarely respond to passive-aggressive communication the way we want them to. More likely, they're either confused or annoyed by it.

    Chances are that your H simply didn't understand how important this was to you, he was afraid of choosing the wrong activity, or he really didn't feel like doing this. That doesn't mean he didn't want to go out and do something, just that he totally failed to plan it.

    Of course it would be nice if our partners always swept us off our feet and/or prioritized romance, but in real life, things get in the way and it often doesn't happen. Good for you for making the effort to initiate the kind of activity that you wanted! That's a great first step!

    Unfortunately, we can't control our partners' behavior, so the first step isn't always enough. :( In this case, it sounds like you needed a contingency plan. For example, you could have chosen an activity that you thought sounded interesting, so that if he failed to come through, you had something ready. That way you didn't end up completely disappointed.

    This is almost entirely rooted in communication, so here are a few things you can work on:

    1. Make your desires/expectations clear. Be sure he understands when something is very important to you. This is as easy as saying, "This is very important to me, so I need you to support me/go along/etc."

    2. Reconfirm. For example, if you want him to make the plan, confirm that he is willing and able. "Could you pick an activity from this list? If you don't have time, let me know." (Unfortunately, if your partner is anything like mine, he could still forget to get it done, which is why the contingency plan is unfortunate, but potentially important.)

    3. Never assume. Not only did you assume that he would do what you asked, you also assumed that he didn't care about your evening together. This probably isn't the case. Rather than storming off, open a dialog about why he didn't follow through. Maybe he's just tired? Maybe he forgot? Maybe none of the activities appealed to him? Or maybe he was just happy doing nothing and didn't realize how important it was to you. Talk to him and find out what's going on.

    4. Don't be passive-aggressive. In addition to other people's reactions to it, it's not fulfilling. If you're really to the point of being aggressive about something, just be aggressive. According to psychologists, expressing your aggression directly will make you feel much better than using passive-aggression. Plus, having to directly address the thing that's bothering you makes it clearer what's actually wrong, both to you and your partner.
    image
    groovylocks
  • Thanks. In retrospect I did apologize for my own behavior, but I think what is frustrating is he can't see or understand at all anything he did to contribute to the situation. I feel like I set the bar SO low and he made zero effort, which is really hurtful. At least when kids are around there's a decent excuse, but after several kid free days I just didn't understand. 

    I totally get that I shouldn't be passive aggressive that way, but in the moment I was so angry I just didn't know what else to do. I thought there was at least a chance that either he'd see how upset I was and make any type of effort, or at a bare minimum I would cry it out, get over it and move on. 
    nyc artist
  • RevJenRevJen member
    Ninth Anniversary 25000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Sometimes, boys are dense. You have to flat out tell them what you want.

    image

    My favorite Cake Wreck ever.


    babigrl87
  • I totally get how you were feeling. In fact, thank you for writing this post. I had a very similar situation last night. I have been feeling in a rut with DH, and I wanted to do something silly, and dance to some music. DH used to be more silly with me but he's been so serious lately. Anyway, we had dinner together, and I had put on some music, made him dance to one song and he sat back down. Then he asked if he could go on the computer. I told him he didn't need to ask my permission. So he went on it, and the music was playing, a great song from our wedding came on and he didn't even look up.
    Well, I had virtually the same reaction that you did, I started crying and left to go clean. Then later he noticed I was upset and asked why? After all we did have a nice dinner and he danced once, AND even asked if I minded him going on the computer. He's right. But I was still disappointed.

    I don't know what it takes for guys to do the romance thing after a few years (we've been together 11 years and married for almost 4, no kids). It sucks when things get so complacent. Anyway, I'm sorry to turn this into a story about myself but I wanted to you to know you're not a freak for acting the way you did, and that you're not alone in your frustrations, and desire to get more romance out of the hubby. If you figure out some fun ways to get that feeling back, please post about it, I'm all ears!
    [IMG]http://i1118.photobucket.com/albums/k613/nycartist/16755_197219638704_518460_n.jpg[/IMG]
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