So…I’m a talker. I got in trouble a lot as a kid for said talking. I’ve never had an issue with it. However, I do have an issue sometimes with communicating properly and expressing how I actually feel. This weekend was a bit of a wake up call for me. My husband and I argue sometimes, as couples do. But the problem with me is that I’m an emotional wreck. I have insecurities and issues with myself that play into any argument I have with him, and he bears the brunt of every disagreement.
Let me try and give you an example of how an argument can snowball out of control in my house. So this weekend, my husband told me that I had hooked in our daughter’s carseat wrong. Now, this may seem like a simple thing. You did it wrong honey, so now we need to fix it. He goes on to say he can show me how to put it in right. Now I have to express how I reacted (in his eyes) to this. To him, he sees my fists clenched and the tears spring to my eyes, but he can’t hear any of the running thoughts in my head, so he assumes I’m very angry…at him. I’m an upset mess and can’t even get the words out properly (other than the word “no” as if that’s supposed to clue him in) to express to him that I’m not actually mad at him for telling me about the carseat. His issue is to run away with the tangent that I’m mad. I’ve given him all the indicators that I have in the past, so why wouldn’t he think that. He also lists off reasons as to why he didn’t even want to tell me, because he knew I would react poorly and that if our roles were reversed, I wouldn’t have pointed out the mistake so nicely. Let me tell you honestly, and for the record, that he is absolutely right. I would have been a jerk about it and very upset with him. But that is an entirely different issue that needs to be worked on (one that no doubt will be addressed in a different post). Back to the problem at hand.
Here is the actual way I reacted in my head (it’s scary, but not as scary as usual). I think to myself, What? No way!! I put it in right, I know I did! But… it was dark. Was it reclined? Shit! Maybe it was reclined! No!!! He can’t be right! He’s always right. I always get it wrong. Damn. Wait, he thinks I’m mad at him for telling me. No, I’m not. That’s not why my hands are fisted. Tell him, you fool. Tell him that you’re sick of being such an idiot. Tell him you’re sick of forgetting things all the time and that a simple task like reinserting the carseat has proven you a fool again. Why can’t you do it right just once? Ugh, now he has to show me how. I feel like such a child. When will I be able to do something without needing his help? I’m making him upset…again. Wait, don’t make that sad face honey. I have to say something. He’s not gonna hear it though… he’s stopped listening. Dammit, Monique!
What really comes out is: “No…that’s not what I…I don’t feel that…but I’m not…” and then I sigh and have to walk away from it, because once again I’ve left him with the wrong impression that he’s done something wrong. I tell myself that I can’t keep doing this to him, but can’t seem to stop the cycle. It’s so hard to speak sometimes when I’m upset, without the wrong words coming out. So, I’ve decided that I have to try and get the truth out to him. I can’t keep doing this to him…to us. He needs to work on trying to hear me, but I need to work on getting him to understand that the one I’m ultimately mad at is me.
I need to explain that I should have checked the carseat better, or inserted it in the daylight, or even asked for his advice on putting it in (since he’s the one who usually does it). I can’t keep seeing everything as a competition between us, or I’ll always feel like I’m failing when I don’t succeed at something he’s been doing longer than me. I need to start communicating how I truly feel and not just let him run off with an assumption based on my body language. He can’t possibly hear the crazy in my head or know that I can be mad as hell at myself, without any help from him.
I’ll still get mad at him for stupid stuff, but I want to make sure that he knows that I’m actually mad at him and not just appear to be. So many arguments could have been avoided if I had just expressed myself better and in turn, I need him to realize that sometimes I’m mad…but not at him. I will always be a “work in progress”. I should get a sign to hang just to warn people. A “beautiful mess”. Yep. That’s me. But my hubby shouldn’t suffer for it. I know I can be better. I know I can do better. I will try to get the truth out. I will wipe that sad look off of my husband’s face and stop putting it there in the first place. It won’t happen overnight, but if I keep trying, I know I can do it. For now the status on my life is: I’m working on it.
Do you have trouble communicating how you really feel too? You can tell us here. We will listen.