Today, I took a calculated risk and told my husband that I felt the need to talk about a subject that is very painful for him, his failure to look for a job since he was fired three years ago. He has said in the past that this topic always makes him feel inadequate and guilty and so on and so forth, and so I have grudgingly avoided talking about for several months. But I was thinking today once again that it just isn't fair to take a major issue off the table because of one person's discomfort. So, anyway, I talked, I didn't cry, I didn't yell, I just expressed my concern about the taboo nature of this topic and about how frustrating it was to me that whenever I talk about it, it always turns into a discussion of how inadequate and guilty my husband feels and how he feels as though i'm dumping on him and that really, I just want him to take responsibility and deal with his fears of looking for a job.
I talked, husband listened, I felt a sense of relief, no resolution was reached but one didn't seem necessary.
Later, I sent my husband an email thanking him for letting me talk without him responding in the usual way ("wife, this is making me feel really bad about myself"). Well, the email caused my husband to bring up how bad he feels about himself when I talk about this topic.
I feel so sad. I feel as though in my husband's world, it always has to be my fault.