Please help me understand this communication issue with my husband.
May 25, 2014 7:27 AM Subscribe
I am feeling upset about an exchange my husband and I had the other day. We have had communication issue in the past, because we have drastically different styles o expression. He had trouble controling anger and he lets his frustrations show often in his actions. Nothing violent, but a lot of huffing and puffing and frustrated sighs & sometimes slamming things a bit firmer that necessary. He knows he does this & tells me that it is just how he is, despite the fact that I have told him that it makes me uncomfortable. He thinks I read his actions wrong. They are usually not directed at me, so maybe I am too sensitive (although no one else puts me on eggshellslike this.)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (38 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
So the example in question is this:
We are working on something together, and he is frustrated that I might not be doing it right. We were approaching a dinghy dock to tie off to, in the past when doing this, I have needed to grab on to another boat to pull it out more so we can fit in. Once in a while I let go too soon, I'm not perfect, and sometimes my grip isn't right or the boats are wet. We do this a lot. So upon approaching the dock I reach for another boat, & my husband rapidly repeats "don't let go of it!" 3 times. I get annoyed because I know what I 'm supposed to do & don't feel the repetition was completely necessary. In the meantime, a gentleman is walking past on the dock and iffers to help. My husband quickly responds "no, we're fine, we're fine!" I feel he said this in a snippy and rude manner. So I get quiet, and continue to tie off & unload things on to the dock. Yes, I am annoyed, and I am getting things wrapped up in a hasty manner. The husband askes harshly "What the F#%k is wrong with you??!" I say I think he is in a frustrated mood based on his tone & say I will not discuss while he is in this mood. He says I am incorrect, and thay he was not rude at all & I am interpreting this whole thing wrong.
So today, I say that I am upset with the way he talked to me, specifically the "what the F$%k is wrong with you?!" part. He says "sorry, but...." basically explainig that I am again reading into this & should know he does not intend this. I said, then just say you are sorry, with out the "but..." and went on to say that I do mot like to be talked to like that, & that I feel he needs to control his anger before he swears like that to me. I still never received a genuine acknowledgement that the question was inappropriately worded, an am left feeling like this whole situation is my fault because I read things wrong. For the record, I have never had an issue with misreading things, I am a good and calm communicator, and I have never been spoken to in that tone or manner by anyone else, ever.
So Mefi community, please tell me what the heck is going on here, and what I'm doing wrong? Thank you!