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- Advice & Tips for Women in Relationships
What To Do When Your Hubby Frustrates You
You love your hubby, that's why you're with him, but sometimes he drives you so crazy that you swear you hate him! It has happened to us all at one point or another.
How can someone who was so charming and wonderful when you first met be the same immature, irritating, selfish guy you now find yourself fighting with? How did you not see this coming? What the heck happened to him!
He's actually the same guy... pretty much exactly the same guy he was when you fell in love with him. The difference is you! Yip, like it or not, that's the truth and I'll tell you why:
We women put different expectations on men depending on their status. You don't expect the same thing from a father, a friend, a lover, a brother, or a son. Each one has a different set of rules, things that are expected, and behaviors that are acceptable.
In the beginning of the relationship, he had a different status. He was in "test" phase. You were enjoying the good and overlooking the bad or annoying. He didn't have the expectations on him that you currently hold him to. You don't expect that on a first date he's going to whip out his checkbook and pay your mortgage. You're thrilled if he pays for the meal.
If he was just a friend would you still be as upset if he didn't take out the garbage? Nope.
If he was just a roommate would you still get as irritated that he didn't remember to pick up his socks? No. Why? Because of the expectations we place on men determined by their status in our life.
What to do about it:
Now that we've identified that it is how we changed our view of him and not the man himself that has changed, let's look at how we can go about altering those oh so irritating habits of his that drive us up the wall!
He's your husband (or live in boyfriend), so of course your expectations are reasonable and rational.... at least to every other woman on the planet. Why shouldn't you expect him to do his fare share, to grow up, to be responsible? Why shouldn't you expect that he love and respect you the way you deserve? You should!
You just have to work around the already existing frustration, resentment, anger, or negativity that you currently have toward him for not living up to your expectations (to date).
He Wants You To Be Happy
Your hubby wants you to be happy, he really does. It may not look like it sometimes. It may not feel like it, but it's true. Men just have a completely different way of thinking, doing things, acting, sharing, and expressing themselves than we do.
Men make mistakes... a lot of mistakes. Even while every other woman on the planet would look at the situation and agree with you that someone would have to be brain-dead or intentionally trying to piss you off by doing some of the stuff they do... men really just don't get it sometimes.
Men are "go-getters" ~ if they have a need, they go get it filled. They don't wait for someone to notice. They don't ask permission. They just do what needs to be done and that's that. Women don't do this (we should, but we don't). It seems wrong or unnatural for a woman to think or act in this way. That is one of the main reasons we end up thinking our hubby is selfish. Because he'll take care of his needs, not ours.
Meanwhile, he's looking at you thinking "Why doesn't she just take care of it herself?" Not because he doesn't love you, but because that's what he would do. You aren't acting like a man (because you aren't one), so he's confused. He wonders if you enjoy being upset, causing drama, or picking fights for "no good reason".
Telling him once isn't going to cut it. He just doesn't grasp that you don't get your needs filled the same way. You have to explain it to him in a way that he both understands and is motivated by.
"I just want you to mow the lawn already." ~ He honestly thinks you just want him to mow the lawn. If he does this he is victorious and deserves a trophy, victory dinner, and sex. He has done the only thing you wanted so it should make you happy, which means that you are ready to share in all of the festivities and activities of being grateful and excited.
When you aren't thrilled, don't say "thank you", and still have a chip on your shoulder because for the love of all that is good in the world, was it really that hard to go mow the stinking lawn? It was expected. It was a responsibility, a duty! It wasn't worth a pat on the head or reward. It just needed to be done. ~ You have just successfully told your man that there is NO way to make you happy and nothing he does is ever going to be good enough for you.
Instead try this:
"Honey, I would really appreciate it if you would go mow the lawn. It looks so nice when it's freshly cut. You're the best. Thank you." ~ alright, now you've already given him appreciation, recognition, gratitude, and praise and he hasn't even done it yet! He's feeling like this is something he can do - this is something that will make you happy. He can succeed.
We can't stop there though, stick with me.... Once he's done mowing the lawn, you need to notice. "Oh wow! Thank you so much." (remember to be smiling) "It's amazing how much better it looks, it's just fantastic." now give him a kiss.
Congratulations! You've done it. No nagging, no frustration, no yelling... He feels like king of the world, and you got the lawn mowed. The same or similar technique works for every chore you want/need him to do.
Dirty clothes on the bedroom floor?
His shoes in the walk path tripping you?
Toilet seat left up?
The list of irritating "man habits" is endless to say the least for us ladies. Luckily, there is a solution. All you have to do is be positive! I know, it's difficult. He's gotten on your last nerve and you feel like you have a foster-child instead of a partner sometimes... take a breath. It will be okay. You can do this.
You're not his mom. You're not his maid. Don't put yourself into that role or he'll start thinking that's where you want to be. Remember, men have a need - they fill a need. So if you do these things, he's thinking you must want to.
Ask him questions which allow him to "think of it on his own" - men love ideas they think of all by themselves. That way you aren't telling him what to do ~ it was his idea!
"Sweety, I was looking at the bedroom the other day and I noticed that not all of the clothes are getting into the hamper. I'm not sure what to do about that. What do you think? Should I move the hamper somewhere more accessible or is it fine where its at? The room looks so much better when its clean, don't you think? I would really appreciate your insight on this."
"Honey, the most terrible thing happened to me this morning. I was walking to the bathroom and I tripped over a pair of shoes. Well, it was a good thing I caught myself or I could have really been hurt. Is there anything you can think of that might help prevent that from happening again. I would just hate for it to happen to you. What do you think?"
Don't make yourself sound like a complete idiot or totally helpless and clueless. Tweak the above suggestions to fit your own style.
* Note that these phrases do not attack him in any way. He is never blamed. They aren't his shoes. They aren't his clothes.
You present him with a problem he can "fix" for you ~ men are all about fixing problems. This will catch his attention and allow him to feel the pride of coming up with a solution while being successful.
Women need to vent ~ do it! Do it away from him! That's what sisters, moms, and girlfriends are for. We need to get everything that bothers us out before we address our man. Deflate the anger, frustration, rage, or negativity so that when you approach him it can be done in a positive manner.
If you're pissed about something someone did at the office, you can use him as a venting buddy. Because it isn't about him. Just tell him you want to vent, be clear that you aren't upset with him and you just need to get it out. Specify that all he needs to do is listen and he doesn't have to fix anything.
If you're pissed at him ~ vent to someone else! Never tell him what you're upset about when you're still upset. Men don't work that way. If he is upset he goes away until he can sort it out himself in his own head. He doesn't need to talk about it to get clear. We do. Since we run on different systems, a man has a nearly impossible time accepting criticism from his upset wife/girlfriend.
Step back, talk to another woman or write it out to yourself if no one else is available, but get it out first before you approach him. When you do, try to talk to him in as positive of a manner as possible. Never attack him personally. Take the labels out of the problem.
Let's say he has (once again) left his dirty, un-scraped, un-rinsed dishes on the counter near the sink. This is enough to make you want to snap!
1. vent to a girlfriend.
2. plan what you are going to say
3. present him with a problem he can fix without attacking him directly.
Possible things you could say:
"Honey, have I told you how much I appreciate it when you scrape and rinse your plate after dinner? It's just one of those little things that really means more to me than I tend to say. I just wanted to let you know because I don't always remember to thank you for it."
"Snooky, I've been having a difficult time with the dishes lately. It's taking me a lot longer to wash them than I would like because there seems to be so much crusted food stuck to them. Do you have any suggestions on how to fix that problem? If I spent less time on the dishes it would leave more time for me to spend with you."
"Baby-Cakes, would you mind washing the dishes for me tonight please? Scrubbing off all of that crusted on food makes my arms hurt, unless you can think of a way to make washing dishes easier for me..."
No More Codes
Men don't understand the subtle messages we give them. They aren't experts at body language, tone, or gestures. (Unless it is about sex)
We need to get better at expressing what we want in a clear way that allows them to know what the mission is and that they can/will be successful at providing it for us.
Any time you want to say you don't like something he does ~ STOP
Change your wording! Tell him what you do want and what you do like. Tell him what you do need.
When he hears you say you don't like something all he really hears is that you don't like him!
You don't approve, he has failed you. He cannot succeed.
Even in the middle of the event, remember to say your do's.
I want to spend more time with you -or- I want you to spend more time with me.
I want to talk to you more -or- I like when we talk, I would like us to do it more often
I like when you _________. I want you to ___________. It makes me happy when you _______.
Give him the information he needs to do what you want. Give him the availability to make you happy. No more using "girl language" - it confuses him!
Don't say it's okay if it isn't.
No more "Sure, I guess" or "If that's what you really want to do I guess it's fine".
We are excellent at passive-aggressive language. Men are terrible at understanding it!
Be assertive. Be positive!