She can’t let anything go! What does she want from me? I can’t change the past. Yet, she keeps harping on what I did wrong —- last week, last year, even 20 years ago, remembering every little detail of what happened. She takes everything so seriously. Why can’t she lighten up and let go?
He needs to see the pattern. He thinks everything is over once it’s over; no big deal. Well, some things are a big deal to me. He doesn’t appreciate how my feelings get hurt. That what he does or doesn’t do affects me. Some of his behavior is inappropriate. And I’d like it fixed.
He fires back:
Yup fixed! That’s what she wants to do to me. Fix me. I’m not all right as I am. Funny thing, she liked me enough before we were married. But now, it’s all about fixing me to conform to her way of thinking, speaking, dressing, driving, drinking, eating, you name it.
He’d love it if I never said anything about what’s bothering me. He wants me to shrug off what I’m feeling and just move on. A lot of times I do let things go; I don’t say anything. But if I can never talk about what’s troubling me, what kind of marriage do we have?
When she says she needs to “talk about it,” this is what she really means. She wants to be able to bring up any incident that has happened over the years, any time she wants, for as long as she wants, whenever she wants. Rest assured, her interpretation of the “facts” is the correct one, while my interpretation is always wrong. Tell me, how does she get to be judge and jury, while I get to be the defendant?
What’s so bad if I need to talk about what’s happening? It’s true that he doesn’t let things bother him. He thinks that’s normal; I think it’s weird. How am I supposed to let go of what’s irking me if we don’t speak about it? How can I stop thinking about it, when nothing’s been resolved?
Here are a few suggestions:
When you are the listener, avoid:
Who ever said communication was easy? Yet, despite the difficulties, if you value your relationship it’s worth putting effort into improving it.
So, instead of accusing, try pooling your accumulated wisdom, compassion and kindness to find a way to deal with each other’s differences.