I’m about 13 days behind now – AHHH! I was really teetering on a “catch up” where I meld all these challenges together, but I felt it would be super unfair to my hubby and my readers that they all get smooshed together. I have been doing the challenges since my trip but stopped at day 11. So, I’m going to catch up from challenges 5-11.
Since my last entry, it’s been a whirlwind.
Today’s challenge was: ASK YOUR SPOUSE TO TELL YOU 3 THINGS THAT CAUSE HIM TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE OR IRRITATED WITH YOU. YOU MUST DO SO WITHOUT ATTACKING THEM.
Okay, I’ll be raw and super honest. I WAS TERRIFIED to do this! LOL! Mainly because when I ask my husband these types of questions, I think HE thinks, I’m cornering him. Somehow, like it’s a trick/bait question. I went through several bouts of motivating myself and positive self-talk to pump up my nerves and then I would deflate and talk myself out of it. It was sort of insane that I couldn’t muster the words to ask! Part of me was also not willing to try to ask because I didn’t want to upset him because at this point of our relationship, it’s the assumption that we should just “know”. I, personally, half agree about this but this is one of those nuance areas of a relationship that becomes pretty taboo. Like, you should know your spouse so why ask; but the flip side is, it’s not a good idea to assume the other person “knows” and you have to communicate these things. Communicate uncomfortable ideas so there’s clarity between two people. So, I again, had to set myself aside and ask myself a series of “Why” questions.
Why am I scared to ask?
Why does knowing this benefit us? Even if I knew what annoyed him, why would that even change his thought about what annoys him. I mean, if something annoys him, it annoys him, amiright? Not doing it still doesn’t mean that it doesn’t annoy him…….
Why would knowing this benefit me?
Why is this even part of the challenge?! (LOL!)
The questions rolled on like this for most of the morning. I was really THAT nervous and worked up about asking him.
When he finally woke up, I took my morning break and sat next to him. In the midst of us joking around, he made a comment about something “annoying” him. In the spur of the moment, my mouth just came out with – “Oh, well, what else annoys you? What do I do that annoys you?” and I waited. He just stopped and repositioned himself on the sofa….and silence. So, I repeated myself – “What do I do that annoys you?”
Didn’t even look at me.
I took it as my cue that he wasn’t going to answer me. I didn’t push it.
Honestly, I became pretty annoyed that he didn’t want to answer me. Coupled with the fact that he just kept silent instead of communicating that he didn’t want to answer me made me really feel upset. And, of course, a few more questions swirled in my head. Mostly negative which I am going to withhold from sharing. But, enough for me to challenge myself, and make notes of the many times that I would get the “disengaged” response when I did ask him questions like this; asking something negative about me.
As a woman, holy heck, can we come up with our own critical and self-loathing labels to adhere to ourselves. But I’ve been working pretty hard on my mental health that I really had to step back and disarm myself from treading through dark water. Lord knows I could but I didn’t want to lose control just because he made it clear not to answer.
From my journal (separate from my blog):
I did ask but he didn’t reply. I literally asked 3x. since I was met with no response, I’m going to write the top 5 things I think I do to annoy him or make him uncomfortable.
- I have a hard time understanding him
- I don’t listen.
- It seems I don’t see the best in him.
- I shop too much.
- I ask questions that seem challenging to his authority.
This is my list. I guess, I have to explain a couple of the points. But, I just want you to know that there’s a reason I did it this way. I want to later prove, how well I know him, and that my point I said earlier about “knowing” your significant other is legitimately true – that it’s a half-truth. I always tell my friends that BIOLOGICALLY, men and women are built differently therefore, that translates to how we perceive the world and how we will always have clashing perspectives. It is just the way we were made, so we have to respect these differences and work together to be on the same page. It’s constant work!
So, my list is pretty blunt. I think the only real point I want to clarify is item 1. I have a hard time understanding him. Ok – so the ironic thing about this is – I DON’T HAVE A HARD TIME UNDERSTANDING HIM. LOL. But, what I take notice to is when we have certain conversations, he gets pretty wound up when I assert my perspective. His reaction to me appears as if I don’t understand what he’s saying because if I did understand him, than I would not have a completely different view point from him which conflict with his “logical” reasoning. I would just “agreeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” with him.
Ok. So – to make this abundantly clear as to how men and women often FAIL at communicating, is understanding that we do not LISTEN. Simply, that, is our damn problem. When we listen, we can connect the (fucking) dots. It’s not that hard to do but our egos get so big that we find ourselves prioritizing being right rather than getting on the same page. Ugh. Ok. I digress, again.
Moving on. So, maybe I should have written item 1 as: I appear to have a hard time understanding him. However, it’s the way I wrote it in my journal so being honest about it, that’s what I’m sharing.
I think I have a pretty good understanding of my husband. But, in 16 years, I have learned that he wants to display his independence from me, which I’m glad he does, so this also translates into to – “If he wants to say it, he will.” And all I need to do, is take it at face value. People say what they want to say and they mean it the way they say it. Even when they’re angry. That’s when it’s the most raw and uninhibited; un-orchestrated. That’s when it’s the truth.
Maybe, I will revisit this challenge in the future. I think this challenge poses a few marks of higher thinking. Basically, it’s a conversation for a more mature couple who do not have the same worries as the youth of today. I think, it’s a strained topic as well, since I think it has a more negative connotation built in.
Anyhow, this challenge made me see that maybe I…..maybe I am not as secure as I like to think. I don’t think I was scared of hearing the response because I think it would help me adjust certain things. But, in no defense of myself, I probably wouldn’t know how to absorb what he says since I value his opinions (sometimes). We shall see, how far I dig into this as well. (I’ll save for another post.)
Overall: I think this one was a semi-fail; ok – a fail. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’ll be punching out the next 7 posts, hopefully, pretty rapidly. Let’s see where the next challenges take me! Hope you’ll come back and keep up. See you in the next post!