DH becomes distant when we have a fight

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
DH becomes distant when we have a fight
8
Mon, 11-15-2010 - 3:20pm

Ok, so here's some background:

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Mon, 11-15-2010 - 4:29pm

Hi Sunina7, you certainly have some problems here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Tue, 11-16-2010 - 1:03am

If I have this right, you disagree and he pulls away, which makes you feel hurt, and then you get angry and resent him.

"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

Community Leader
Registered: 05-14-2001
Tue, 11-16-2010 - 1:04am
Welcome to the board, Sunina7 ~

In as far as how you're thinking of dealing with it, I think you're on the right track – you should be looking to compromise; you recognize he has a preferred way of dealing with issues and recognize yours is 100% different from that. Each of you should be giving some – you allowing him some space, him being willing to talk about it before he'd actually prefer to left to his own devices. That can be an easy agreement to come to when the pressure's off, but when there's an issue at hand, it can be pretty hard to stand by.... I also agree with you that it's not fair that your needs in this area have been ignored in favor of his preference (not talking about it).

My suggestion would be that you talk to him about this at a time when there isn't a current issue between you and there is nothing stressful going on. Yup, I'm suggesting that when things are going great you should bring up an issue that you know won't be fun or easy to talk about. It's the only time to talk about these things; if you talk when there's an issue, emotions are high and the issue at hand gets in the way as well. Talking about it when there are no issues afoot lets you talk about what you need to talk about – the pattern of how you deal with problems. It's a time to tell him you're concerned about how the two of you deal with issues, how you're concerned about the tension and damage that's done to your relationship when the issue drags on for days without being talked about, how you don't like always having to drag the issue out, etc. If you keep the discussion to your concern and how you feel you're likely to get much farther than if you criticize him or tell him that he's doing it wrong. It's easy to get defensive when you're being told you're doing it wrong, harder when you're hearing your partner speaking of concern for the health and welfare of your relationship. I'm going to post some links to therapists recommended articles on constructive arguing at the end of my response.

You also mentioned that you have insecurities and baggage and that is most definitely having an impact here. Insecurities and baggage that you bring with you is damaging to your relationship and quite honestly, isn't your husband's to deal with, it's your job to resolve your issues so that you have a relationship that isn't negatively affected by your past. Seeing a therapist is exactly what you should do to get to the bottom of your issues and work through them so that your relationship is no longer affected by them. This is for you to do yourself, this isn't the place for couples counseling, it isn't your husband's place to be. I'm not saying that couples counseling couldn't be helpful to you two, but your husband has no place in therapy that deals with your issues, and that is something that definitely should be dealt with.


~ cl-2nd_life

cl-2nd_
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Tue, 11-16-2010 - 2:55pm

First, thanks True Blue Strine for responding.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Tue, 11-16-2010 - 3:09pm

Thanks so much harmony 08 for replying.

If I have this right, you disagree and he pulls away, which makes you feel hurt, and then you get angry and resent him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Tue, 11-16-2010 - 3:18pm

Welcome to the board, Sunina7 ~

Community Leader
Registered: 05-14-2001
Wed, 11-17-2010 - 1:45am

It's good that he's agreed to compromise. I'd really recommend that he (and you) come up with a tentative plan rather than to leave it open ended until you find yourselves in the heat of the moment. Without something in place it's going to be pretty hard to make a rational decision on what is a reasonable compromise, considering it's already a given that it will be outside of his comfort zone. Something like agreeing to come to you within 24 hours of the argument/upset is a good place to start. He'll have already committed to a definite deadline and has control over when within that time frame he's ready to approach it again. It's certainly true that often having a cooling off period is wise, and some people need time to walk away from the situation before they're ready to deal with it, but days isn't reasonable. For me, the longer I let it go the harder it is to come back and approach it. There never is a good time once you've walked away (for me), but the longer it is the harder it is, and the beauty of days without approaching it is by that time the intensity has died down for both of you and it's not such a big deal any more. That said, unresolved issues can ultimately kill a relationship; your relationship can only stand so much before you've got too much built up for your relationship to survive. The articles I posted, especially 10 Rules for Fair Fighting, might serve as a helpful set of rules for how you conduct yourselves in an argument.

There are some articles on how to choose a therapist in the Information and Resources section of the board that you might find helpful too. Let me know if you'd like, I'd be happy to link them in a post for you too. You know it occurs to me, if you resolve your insecurities and baggage, your reaction and approach may well be completely different, which in turn may make his response completely different and resolve the problem you're having on its own.

Keep us updated on how all this is going for you guys.




~ cl-2nd_life

cl-2nd_
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2010
Wed, 11-17-2010 - 3:21pm

When I'm upset, I do not like