Hey ladies! I’m following up my article about things every man should know, with an article written by an Atlanta couples counselor and written just for you.
I know, I know. We like to think that he’s the one with the problem. We are perfect angels who should be treated like princesses. But ladies, that’s just not the way it is. We have to own up to our portion of things. Like, now. If we want things to get better we’ve got to realize some things. I share some of these things in my Atlanta couples counseling office, and am glad to share them here too.
- Say what you need, and please don’t play games, be passive aggressive, or expect him to know without you saying it. You may feel frustrated that you’re repeating yourself. But say it anyways if that’s what he’s asking for. He can’t read your mind. He’s not wired to think like you, and in many cases he thinks quite opposite of you (which may have attracted you to him.) So, state your feeling, why you’re feeling that way, and ask for what you need.
- He really doesn’t care about the things you care about, and that’s normal. And, he doesn’t see things the way you do either. He’s not going to worry about there being dirt on the floor or dishes in the sink. He’s just not wired like that, and it’s okay. You can ask for his help, but don’t expect him to care about the same things you do. That’s setting you up for frustration. Don’t’ ask things like ‘Why don’t you care about the floor being dirty?’ Because, we know the answer. He doesn’t think like you. It is, however, okay for you to ask him to care about your needs, and to ask him to take care of them.
- Becoming defensive? Take responsibility. It’s easy for us to blame him for things, and we’re often times a lot better at arguing during times of conflict (because we’re raised to be more verbal about our emotions and accepting of feelings). Watch it though. If you blame him for everything that’s not really realistic. Noone is perfect. Own up to your part in things. Take responsibility for any behaviors, imperfections, mistakes, or similarities on your part.
- Shutting down? We know how we do this. I’ve seen it in my Atlanta couples counseling office too many times to count. He says something mean. She becomes angry. She shuts down. She emotionally punishes for days. They never figure out the solution….Let’s stop this pattern. If you’re worked up (emotionally flooded), then cool down. Take a break. Do some deep breathing. Calm your blood pressure. Then, come back to the discussion.
- Your words are strong. Ladies, we’ve got to be aware that judgment, labels, criticism, contempt…they can be extremely damaging. When you talk to your spouse, talk to him like he’s a friend that you are kind to. This doesn’t mean you don’t share your feelings or needs. It just means you eliminate judgment, labels, criticism, and contempt from your vocabulary. So, instead of saying ‘You’re so lazy. You never clean the house. I’m disgusted at how irresponsible you are’, you can say something similar to ‘I feel frustrated that the house is not cleaned up and disappointed because the agreement was that it would be cleaned every day. Can you please help me by cleaning the dishes and the living room?’ You share your feelings, you share why you feel that way, and you ask for a need to be met.
Okay ladies, as an Atlanta couples counselor, there’s so much more where that came from. But, it’s a start. Have fun implementing some of these things.