I've made it a goal of mine the past several months to be much more self-aware when it comes to engaging my wife with any kind of expectation. I'm not saying I don't have them, but, I'm making an effort to not attach any negative emotion to them and when I share my feelings, I'm trying to do it in calm tones ONCE:) and only when I have her attention, and only when she is calm and listening....It has been very fruitful for our communications, which has always been very limited at best....
Over the past few months; I've noticed her working on being more open with me, more concerned about my feelings. I've also found out through the grape vine she has been seeking counsel from another happily married lady she trusts....And at times she has even made comments to me that show's ownership of her add and the effects it plays in her behaviors....This is Big!
Something happened that almost froze my heart this past Sunday; I would have never thought possible outside a miracle!...We were setting together with about 10 or 12 people in a small group setting, she had been uncharacteristically quiet for most of the meeting. And when the Brother who was facilitating the meeting ask if anyone had a pray request, several people spoke up with things they wanted prayer for....One of these requests came from the Gentleman setting to my left...He is a Foster parent to a 12 or 13 year old boy who is ADHD, (I'll call him Sam) ...So as he was telling us about the struggles to communicate with Sam, and when he thinks that they are making good progress, he will do things that or so disappointing and makes him feel like the progress is lost and they just end up back at the beginning....I laid my hand on his arm and consoled him; and spoke a few words that I felt was needed to encourage him....After I spoke; it got quiet...Then my wife spoke up and said "please pray for my husband; I'm his Sam".....This may not sound like much to some of you; but, I can't tell you how huge it is for us....All things are possible with God;)
Blessings my friends...
C, this was so very wonderful
Submitted by Bou (not verified) on
C, this was so very wonderful to read.
Ah yes, calm tones. : ) My partner and I are both working on that one.
Blessings to you and to your wife.
Yes, calm tones but only when the ADHD person isn't ......
Submitted by overwhelmedwife on
Yes, calm tones but only when the ADHD person isn't already upset or anxious or emotional.
the problem can be.... When anxious, upset, or emotional people are being told something that is in some way a criticism, even if it's told in calm tones, they can "hear" it as "yelling". I was glad when our kids got old enough to be witnesses because when I would just "matter of factly" or even "very gently" tell my H about something I didn't like him doing or saying, H would later say I was "yelling." Once our kids were old enough, they started chiming in, "mom didn't yell at all." (I'm not a yelling person anyway.) But, it was amazing how he would "think" I had used a tone....simply because he associates a "correction" to his younger years when his dad would SCREAM and be abusive as a correction.
So, if H doesn't fully close the freezer (a frequent mistake), I will gently say, "the freezer isn't closed," not only will he respond with a "tone," but he'll generally say, "yes it is," and I'll ask him to come look at it.
I think it's odd that he'll just automatically say, "yes it is." Does he really think that I would look at a freezer and wrongly claim that it's not properly closed? Really? I don't think so, but I think it's an "auto response" that he long developed as a child because his brothers, sisters, and dad likely often corrected him about things that he broke, did wrong, etc. (H's mom never corrected anything he did.).
One thing that had "hit H in the face" lately is the frequency that he spills whatever drink I have. At first, H was denying that he was frequently doing this...by not paying attention, trying to carry too much, being too rough, etc.. Then we had SEVERAL days in a row where he was either knocking over my drink, carrying my drink and dropping it, or squeezing the fast-food cup so hard that he broke it and the drink spilled out. It became actually amusing to the point that he now realizes how often he ruins my drink.
But....back to "calmer tones"..... I have found that if I talk to H BEFORE he's made the mistake....like showing him ahead of time how to use a new appliance, or how to clean something, THEN he handles that better....because he's not be corrected for a mistake.
Curself Glad to hear that your wife may becoming more self-aware..... Hope that leads to something!
Submitted by Bou (not verified) on
What you have described has happened in our house.
But we're also dealing with this: both of us came out of hard times as children, I'd say very hard times on some things. Both of us, not just my partner, have a very old habit of defensiveness: if something fails, is dropped, is forgotten, is not done well, is something the other one has a puzzling reaction to, etc, etc., those very old tapes from a tough younger life play for both of us, not just my partner, and both of us came into the relationship going on the defensive, if any of these kinds of things in daily life happen. So we both have the defensive habit of raising our voice while doing whatever we can to get the "failure" as we see it, dealt with. We both are ace rationalizers, for example.
My partner and I have talked, very explicitly and repeatedly about this voice-raising thing. If either of us does it, it's an old, deep, ancieant trigger to the other one to go onto the defensive, something bad just happened. Not just my partner. Me, too.
So like I said, my partner and I are each working on toning down the loud voice. It' aint easy. But when we pull it off, dealing with whatever happened, is easier dealt with. I'm not the only one working on the softer tone. I'm grateful for that.
Best to you.
I hear you both....
Submitted by c ur self on
It's very hard to not point out all the little things that get left undone or half done...So, no matter the tone, no adult wants to hear what they consider negativity directed at them all the time...It's pick your poison many times....