Husband formulates comments

Dear Brooke,

(This is long and I’m sorry!)

I had a really difficult time today managing my thoughts around several comments my husband formulated about my behavior in relation to him and our kids (see how hard I try to keep the description neutral).

Over the course of this single day he said:
– I often interrupt when he’s having a conversation with one of our sons,
– when one of our sons hurts himself or cries and he’s trying to comfort them, I often highjack (his exact term) the child and do the comforting in his place,
– after we bought some bread and I offered our sons to slip a piece of chocolate in, he privately said he didn’t think I should do that, they eat enough sweets as it is, and soon they won’t think bread alone is enough,
– after I responded that I saw his point and had in fact thought the same about him offering to add syrup to the boys’ raspberries at breakfast, he gestured that the kids were now within earshot and he didn’t want me saying this when they could hear.

I feel hurt and frustrated and angry as a result of my thinking around this, and would like your help to move forward.

Here’s what my old (pre-SCS) models would have been:

C: husband formulates comment
T: he’s displeased with me
F: chided, criticized, shameful
A: justify myself, criticize him back, then mull over conversation all day
R: I’m displeased with how the conversation went

C: husband formulates comment
T: he’s so demanding, I can’t keep track or be myself
F: angry, resentful
A: justify myself, criticize him back, then mull over conversation all day
R: not myself, disconnected from husband

I’m now trying to change my thinking to see what truth can be found in his comments — and certainly there is, I can see that.

So in all of these conversations today I have chosen to not argue back (except about the raspberries apparently), acknowledge his point of view and say I would try to take it into account next time.

But then later that same day, our son came to us at the park with a slightly scratched knee. My husband offered to dab a little saliva on it, I then offered to give him a wet tissue to rub on it, and my husband turned to me and said in a low voice, did we not just have a conversation about this?

And I’m like COME ON! And I went right back into the shame and anger of feeling criticized and held to impossible standards.

I think I tried to change how I feel from my A line (acknowledging his point of view and reacting neutrally) but that’s not enough.

My question is, what could I think that would help me be ok with him voicing comments, taking what feels true for me, and not feeling constrained by what doesn’t?

I’ve tried just thinking “I’m an amazing mother” which is my cure-all thought in many parenting woes, but it doesn’t seem to help in this wife/co-parent situation.

I want to acknowledge also that I recognize a bit of self-pity in me: I have worked hard to change my thoughts around many complaints I had about him (though the work isn’t over obviously) and feel aggravated that I also have to change my behavior to better fit his thinking so he won’t feel however he feels when I do those things.

I’m sorry this is so long winded. It’s helpful just to write it out. Maybe I can get some sleep now!

Thanks in advance for your insights, Brooke.