Post # 1
So my FI and I had a big fight yesterday and I’m really at a loss…
The backstory is that we have been seeing a counsellor since we got engaged because we’d been fighting a lot over very minor things and were worried. Since we got help, the fighting has stopped completely. We spent a lot of time talking about what kind of marriage we wanted and in that we both decided that in our situation a more old fashioned marriage is what we wanted. It’s old fashioned in the sense that my FI focuses more on work and providing, while I take care of our home and family and him. In this sense, I do a lot ‘taking care’ of him and his needs. This works for us and we’ve been a lot more content understanding how we can each contribute and what our roles can be.I’m not looking to change this.
So yesterday I was reviewing a few wedding items with my FI, specifically the number of toasts and who would give them. I was suggesting 3 and he felt that was too many. So I said fine, and reduced it. Not a big deal. But then he said, he was not looking forward to being the centre of attention adn was not going to enjoy any part of the wedding where the attention was on him, be it toasts, our first dance, etc. I was crushed. I’ve worked so hard to plan a wedding that he would like and enjoy. I’ve fought with my parents, his parents, everybody to give him a wedding he would be happy with.
I told him that I thought what he said was harsh and it really hurt my feelings. He was instantly pissed off and said I had no right to attack him and criticize him. How he hadn’t done anything wrong and he had the right to tell me his opinion. Somehow this just kept escalating. I’ve tried twice to go talk to him and make-up. But we both loose our tempers and it just starts all over. We haven’t spoken since yesterday morning. I’m done trying to make up with him.
Here’s the part that I need help with- when he does something that I don’t like or hurts my feelings and I tell him, he gets instantly pissed off. And it turns into a giant fight. Once he’s mad, it’s all about him and his feelings and mine seem to get ignored. And in our marriage agreement, when he’s upset, my role is to take care of him. This whole fight started because he hurt my feelings and then got pissed off when I told him I was hurt. Now it’s all about how I criticized him and how he is mad. We never actually addressed my issue. When I tried explaining this to him, he disagreed and said that we only fight when I have a problem or issue with something and therefore it’s my fault and it is really abotu me. He is only mad “in response”.
Am I crazy here? I feel like because of the marriage we agreed to it’s in his benefit to just get mad adn then not have to deal with my issues. Is telling him what he said was hurtful really an “attack”?Any perspective or ideas on how I can get him to comfort me when I’m hurting rather than blow up would be so helpful.
Sorry this is so long…
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
Truth? You were being too sensitive. He said that he will not feel comfortable and enjoy moments where he is the center of attention. That’s a completely understandable (and rather common) sentiment. That statement had nothing to do with you. YOU made it all about YOU. You chose to be “crushed” and have your feelings hurt when his statement had absolutely nothing to do with you, your planning, any sort of personal criticism, etc. I can totally see how he would feel attacked when you got all upset because he expressed his feeling on being the center of attention.
That said, it’s unhealthy for a fight to escalate to the point that neither of you are speaking to the other. A simple misunderstanding and a touch of oversensitivity have been blown way out of proportion. Maybe you two need an emergency session with your relationship counselor.
Post # 5
@sj8082: You’re not crazy but it sounds like you’re under wedding-stress overload. Give the guy a break – he’s not trying to hurt you by saying he’s uncomfortable being in the spotlight. He has a right to feel how he feels. You have to respect his feelings.
Before you overreact to what he says, try to think of the tone of voice you’re using and de-escalate things rather than amping them up. People get defensive when they feel they aren’t being heard. Your FI probably feels that you didn’t hear him when he explained his feeling uncomfortable, and that made him angry.
You’re doing the right thing with counseling. Remember that healthy communication between men and women takes lots of work. Neither of you are wrong here, you’re just learning how to understand each other. Don’t give up on it! 🙂
And try to give him some time and patience, too. Weddings are a ball of stress for everyone.
Post # 6
Honestly, I think you might have been a little bit oversensitive. I understand you’ve done so much to make him happy regarding the wedding, but you do need to take his feelings into account that he might not be super jazzed being the center of attention. It’s how he feels and you need to respect that.
That being said, in the “marriage agreement” you said, I do worry where the equality is in that relationship. You said you need to take care of him but who takes care of you? Or, why does he need taking care of? It sounds strange to me, but we may have different cultures and I respect that.
It may be time to head back to the counselor so you two can work on your fighting styles. Fighting is healthy, just not all the time, and only when it is constructive and can be handled in a respectful manner. You don’t want to hurt each other, you want to be able to calmly express your disagreements and be able to work out a compromise. Not bite each others heads off and go pout.
Post # 7
I agree that you were being sensitive about his opinion, who is he supposed to tell if not you? Also I think you should be trying to plan the wedding YOU want and he will contibute his wants and needs as you go along.
I’ve been in a similar situation with my FI which we have resolved naturally, meaning it just seem to work its self out. I think when I had this issue my problem was the way I expressed my hurt feelings. I used “you” and “dont'” in the same sentance alot which made him deffensive right away.
Next time you have this type of issue try expressing how you feel without saying who caused it or what brought it on. Instead say this is how I am feeling and I think it can be fixed in this way.
I hope this helps a bit, I know everyone is different and each relationship is unique, but things will always work out, it may not be how you think they will work out, but they have to go one one or another.
Post # 8
I agree with the others. He told you being the center of attention makes him uncomfortable, which you chose to take super personally. He got defensive and pissed because he was telling you how he felt about something that had nothing to do with you or your wedding planning, and you accused him of hurting your feelings.
If this is a chronic problem, then perhaps you are in the habit of taking things too personally. Saying, I don’t like being the center of attention is not even close to saying, I hate everything you’ve planned and already think I won’t enjoy our wedding.
Post # 9
I think you’re confusing ‘taking care of him’ with ‘bowing down to every wish’. My parents had a very traditional marriage – my mom stayed home, handled the house, ran the finances, kept everything going smoothly, so I certainly have a frame of reference to your situation. There has to be a balance, and it seems like there isn’t one in your relationship. Traditional does not mean that he rules the house. Traditional means that you both have jobs. His happens to be outside of the house and yours is in the house, but there are clearly defined roles. Taking care of him doesn’t mean he can just run over your feelings. If he can’t handle a simple disagreement, and it’s always all your fault, I’d be concerned about a whole lot more than just the reception.
Post # 10
OK, I can see that I was being sensitive here and accept that. But was it then wrong to say I was hurt? I feel whenever I dislike something or am hurt by something he said- he gets mad and it’s all about him again.
Post # 11
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@Tatum: If this is a chronic problem, then perhaps you are in the habit of taking things too personally.
+1. It sounds like this might be something that happens with regularity? It’s important to try to identify these patterns that feel very natural / normal to you, but your partner views differently.
Sorry he hurt your feelings, but it sounds like it was accidental and he feels attacked for just expressing his opinions…
Post # 12
Thanks for your post. To help clarify, “taking care of him”– I do all the housework, meals, and cater to his feelings. Essentially he is a surgeon so works very long and unpredictable hours. He’s been very busy and stressed at work, so as the counselor put it, essentially my role is to gauge what kind of day he has had. If he’s been stressed then don’t let anything get to me and that on those days I can’t bring up any issues. The trick is that “bad days” are most days. He hasn’t had a normal day in 4 weeks. Even when he is off from work he’s in a bad mood and then if I try and talk to him about anything he tells me I’m not doing my part in the marriage. Does that help?
Post # 13
OP, you took what he said personally, when it seems obvious he didn’t mean it that way. That said – his defensive, angry react to your sensitivity is totally counterproductive.
It sounds like the is a great issue to discuss in counseling – how to communicate effectively in these situations so that a) you understand he isn’t criticizing you personally and b) he doesn’t instantly react by being defensive and angry when misunderstandings occur.
Also – both of you should stop trying to assign blame. That’s just a waste of time and energy.
Post # 14
@MariContrary: Yes, that’s my concern. This is just one example and one where I did react too personally, so I see that. Even with the counsellor he has articulated that my needs are not being met in the relationship and that he doesn’t see an issue with that. I don’t know how to make him see that being the ‘home’ person doesn’t mean my feelings are less important.
Post # 15
It’s good to tell someone when you’re hurt. The problem is when you get hurt too easily and the other person feels like they can’t say anything without running the risk of upsetting you. We only have the one example, and it seems the consensus is 100% that you took offense at something that was not intended to be an attack on you. If this was an isolated incident, that’s one thing. But you mention that you frequently tell him you’re hurt. So either he is ungodly insensitive, or you are oversensitive. Only you and he can decide which.
Post # 16
@sj8082: it helps to clarify but I can’t understand being in a relationship that is so skewed against someone. So he has a big important job that stresses him. It is my belief that a relationship and marriage is about fairness, give and take equal for both partners. Not one partner gives and the other takes.
However if this life is what makes you happy and content, genuinely, then don’t listen to a stranger on the internet.