We can go through all the cliches: Men and women speak different languages; we're from different planets; we should live next door to each other and visit only occasionally. But when you're desperately trying to get through to your partner and you're not, it's easy to start seeing your whole relationship unravel. Here are five common scenarios, with tips from iVillage members on how to cope with them.
Problem: He won't listen to my pleas to change, or shuts me out when I try to discuss an issue.
Member solution: "Write him a letter telling him how you feel, then he would be a 'captive audience' to your letter." --stretch123
Problem: We never argue. He avoids all confrontation and refuses to deal with problems. How do I get through to him?
Member solution: "Not arguing is healthy. But not discussing things may not be. If you NEED his opinion about something, give him several choices that are acceptable to you ... 'Honey, give me your opinion ... Do you prefer A, B, or C?' It might just not matter to him and that is certainly ok." --junest
Problem: When we disagree over something he's done, he throws everything back at me and makes the entire issue my fault -- in other words, it's not his behavior that's a problem, it's that I'm upset about it.
Member solution: "Who is 'right' is not important. The fact that you are arguing over it is. Tell your husband calmly and without accusing him of anything how his behavior makes you feel. Tell him why. Then ask him to tell you candidly and honestly why he does what he does. Don't get angry, just listen. Try to see his point of view, don't necessarily agree or disagree, just see where he is coming from." --mctaylor
Problem: I'm stressed out about everything and I need some support from him, but he seems oblivious. Is a little TLC too much to ask for?
Member solution: "I found out that listening to me complain was very frustrating for my husband. He felt as if he had to fix all my problems. All I wanted was for him to listen and say that he understood how I was feeling. Once he learned that he didn't have to make everything all better, but just be a sounding board and a friend, our relationship has grown a lot." --pl.wv
Problem: We can't even finish a conversation before we get into an argument; nothing ever gets resolved in our lives.
Member Solution:"If you can't even finish a conversation, about whatever, and a decision needs to be made, maybe say, 'Since we can't finish the conversation, I'm going to decide XYZ on my own and handle it myself'. AND DO IT. This WILL cause some trouble at first, but maybe when he sees that you aren't taking any garbage, he'll be interested in being part of the equation." --stretch123