Hi coaches, I generally have a good enough relationship with my husband. We’ve been together close to 20 years and have a teenage son. We do have though these repetitive arguments that can get quite bad & they wear me down. I’ll bring an example from what happened yesterday. I really want to work on my own response and make a change as this is such a stuck pattern. I would appreciate some advice on where to start.
What happened yesterday: in the afternoon husband and I were driving to a lovely area near us to have a coffee & take away. On the way, in the car, we started talking about our current research underway to possibly sell our house. I made a comment about feeling pretty confident as our local property market is strong & it’s a good step for us financially (we live in a big city). Then husband wanted to talk about the property ‘bubbles’ in big cities & how ‘every bubble always bursts’. I got irritated – as I have been the one researching all this and from my perspective have been taking very careful steps, which he knows and agrees with, the move we are planning on will not overstretch us by any means. Listening to him, from my perspective he was implying I am not being careful. I asked him repeatedly why he was talking about this right now. I was aware also we were going on a walk & felt he was spoiling our day out. He took my question ‘why are you talking about this right now’ concretely & tried to answer, saying that he feels knowing about property bubbles a valuable thing to offer in the conversation. I found myself increasingly irritated, shutting him down. He felt unheard I think and then talked about the ‘arrogance of those who believe in these property bubbles’ and told me eventually that I want him to just ‘stop talking’.
At this point the argument worsened: I felt misunderstood & un-appreciated. I also felt he was spoiling our day out. He of course couldn’t see any of this, he still believed for ages afterward that he was just ‘offering his opinion’.
I really am not clear whether my husband literally doesn’t get it – didn’t pick up at all on how I was feeling. Or was he attacking/feeling competitive (without being aware of it) of my contribution to the house selling process & was trying to ‘bring me down to earth’.
The bottom line is that the way I reacted – angry, accusing him, talking to him for ages to explain – just didn’t work – it never does as he then shuts down completely in those conversations.
I want to explore this further & think of ways to help myself with this, as it’s impossible to change another person, I know. But I’m very unhappy in this situation & the arguments are wearing me down.