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OK to delay an important marital conversation?
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queston posted:
I had an argument with my wife this weekend. That in and of itself is not a terribly big deal. Husbands and wives argue, in great marriages and in not-so-great marriages. The argument got followed up on Monday morning, which is when her most confusing and hurtful words were said.

Some of the things she said lead me to believe that she has a dangerously negative image of me. She took one of the most unequivocally positive and unselfish things that I do for our family and twisted it into a negative. I don't think it's possible to do that if you have a positive general image of your spouse. (Longtime readers here know that there have been plenty of other signs of this in the past.)

We literally had no chance to talk last night (Monday night). Here's my concern: we are taking our daughter off to college (for the first time) on Thursday, so our family life is fairly consumed by that right now. We'll be staying with old friends on the way there Thursday night, then driving home Friday night (our younger son will be with us.)

So, I'm hesitant to press the issue any further with my wife right now, when it's all really about my daughter for the next few days. I'm thinking we could let these days revolve around her and continue to address our issues afterward.

But, OTOH, I hate "letting the sun set on my wrath" or otherwise letting issues stew for that long. I feel like my concerns will be easily derailed by "why did you wait so long to bring this up. I can't believe you're still stewing over that."

Thoughts?
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3point14 responded:
I'd say try to enjoy the next few days, let it still be all about your daughter.


In my crappy experience, the fights are always waiting when you can emotionally/mentally get back to them.

Though I'd maybe calmly tell her something along the lines of "I'm still hurt by (the things she said that hurt you), but I want this to be a peaceful time for the sake of our daughter" and schedule a time to talk when you both have the time to devote to a truly meaningful conversation.

The easiest way not to stew is not to stew. Sincerely enjoy the things about your friends and family when you're around them, try to lose yourself in the joy of what your daughter's doing with her life. Congrats to her, btw!
 
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Ferry_j responded:
The easiest way to get in trouble is to be right on the wrong time. Yes you are absolutely right that you need to talk. Your wife might be going through a tough time seeing her daughter leave home and I am sure this has also a big contribution to it. Finding a better time and place will be the best way to handle it. You might want to wait until you come back home and may be you might want to take her out for a walk or even just to McDonald's. But till then, act normal as if nothing happened. She needs your support and patience more than ever. I know you do too. The more you show her love and attention it will open opportunity for a calm and smooth conversation. It is not what you say, it is how you say it. What ever you do or say should not make things worst so you should focus on the outcome rather than the time it is taking to say what you want to say. Go out of your way and create a quite and comfortable atmosphere. "Honey, did you really mean it when you say.......... last Monday morning or were you just angry or stressed with something else? You have two kids and you have come a long way. Most of the fights starts with miss-communication and misunderstanding. For that all you need is a time to sit and talk. But timing matters. Good Luck
 
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fcl responded:
I understand why you don't want to discuss this now. However, there's no reason for you to stew about it while waiting for the right time. Set aside maybe 15 minutes per day (and put it away into the depths of your mind for the rest of the time) until then, take notes and work it out. Use your time usefully to draw up your argument.

Make sure you have a perfect answer to "why are you still stewing about that".

It seems to me that your reactions to negative situations are often emotional so, this time, by taking notes, preparing in advance, having a clear mind you 'll be able to state exactly what you want to without letting the situation take over. It might be a shock for her. Don't let her interrupt and stay calm.

Good luck.
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
 
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Kloudnine responded:
I would try and enjoy the next few days, put the issue at hand with your wife on the back burner, and make it all about your daughter. After all, it is about your daughter this week, and it really is a life changing event. However, do remind your wife about how you feel, and that you have not forgotten the issue, and also that you still would like to discuss things. Be respectful, and civil, but make it known that things have not just "blown over", and it was not just forgotten about and you can just move on from it.

It also gives you an opportunity to think about it for a few days, to think about what you want to say, and how you want to approach it. I think this would be the best way to go about it. Good luck to you and good luck to your daughter in college! How exciting to start a new chapter in life : )


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