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1bigidiot79 posted 7/28/2014 12:35 PM

To say that good communication is a problem I struggle with would be an understatement. As part of the introspective process I am undertaking I have acknowledged that this is a major weak spot for me. I realize it always has been but I have never done anything about it other than tell myself I need to do better. But the problem is I don't know how to do that. It's not just a matter of doing it. I need to know how.

I see so many posts where people posit a problem and the advice in many cases is "talk to your spouse about it." Even now my BS and I struggle to talk about our situation. I don't bring it up out of fear. Fear of ruining a good day, fear of not knowing what to say or how to say it. I feel like this has been a major source of trouble within our marriage. Part of my "why" is the fact that I acted out of a sense of rejection. The problem is the rejection probably wasn't rejection at all, it was a lack of communication between us. I take responsibility for that now and know that I should have recognized it sooner and done something to improve it.

So how about some advice? Is there a good book you've come across that would help? Especially pertaining to communication within marital relationships.

I've always used the excuse that I'm not a good communicator but I've never done anything about it. That needs to change.

bionicgal posted 7/28/2014 12:39 PM

"Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

You have to be brave. Communication takes bravery, and kindness by both parties.

StartingFreshNow posted 7/28/2014 12:51 PM

"Fighting for you Marriage"

It's a book on communication that I found to be wonderful and unbelievably helpful. Multiple counselors I've seen have also given me advice that is in this book so I feel it's a safe book to recommend :)

1bigidiot79 posted 7/29/2014 10:33 AM

So I can't be the only person in the Wayward forum who doesn't have good communication skills

Just wanted to bump this to see if anyone could give some advice.

Startingfresh, thanks for the book recommendation. I've already put it on my list.

tangledknot posted 7/29/2014 10:56 AM

This is a huge, huge problem for me as well. Fear keeps me from communicating. I stuff my feelings, especially when I am angry or when someone is running over my boundaries. I am extremely non-confrontational, and I really struggle to initiate difficult conversations with my spouse. I knew there were issues and problems for a long time, but I was too scared to confront my BH. I don't know what I was and am afraid of. He is not a violent person, but it's like I'm afraid he's going to hit me or something. And a lot of our problems were shared, but I took responsibility for them all. This is pre-affair, btw.

oh well. I don't have any advice. I am too much of a mess to offer anything constructive, but I can identify. I will be interested to see what others say in response.

GetEvenInAZ posted 7/30/2014 01:47 AM

I have always been horrible communicator. Turns out, through a ton of work and IC, that i just didn't have the words, especially for my emotions.

Pre-DDay, emotions were simply the basics: happy, sad, love, hate. Now i'm learning to differentiate between frustration & hate, disappointment & sadness, etc.

I thank god have great IC and friends that don't laugh (too much ) at my ignorance and help me work through them.

Its a long road I'll be traveling for awhile, but it has enhanced all my relationships.

Remone posted 7/30/2014 08:46 AM

Great topic, I have struggled with exactly this and I have come to a conclusion. It's that my communication comes from a very inward place. I don't use the skill of seeing how a situation might be affecting my BS, only me. That is hard for my BS. I realize that if I approach communication from a place of curiosity about her perspective rather then just blurting out my take on it, that there is then communication. If I don't say it then it festers inside of me and my perspective of only thinking about myself and how I'm feeling gets worse. It's a progress.


DrJekyll posted 7/31/2014 08:42 AM

"7 principles of making marriage work" - Gottman

Start learning about "Active Listening"

Try this:
when your BS tells you something, repeat it back to her in what you understand her to be saying. This is an important part.

Do not get lost in the beginning of the conversation thinking about the first part of what she is saying so that you miss the next 10 sentences before you are listening again.

These are 2 things I have worked diligently on. and have made a difference.

somethingremorse posted 7/31/2014 08:56 AM

I don't know if it gets to the "how" of better communication, but one thing has propelled me. I used to stuff my feelings, too. Typical guy, right? My reactions to these stuffed feelings is what got me depressed, and withdrawn, and then all the rest.

When BW said she wanted to see outward changes in my behavior, this was one of the biggest, most important ones.

I still have problems with it, but I can start conversations with "I know you want me to share my feelings, so..." It's sort of a permission to say anything, even if its unpleasant.

Even if it's bad, BW's reaction is tempered with relief that I am communicating.

Hang in there.

DrJekyll posted 7/31/2014 10:20 AM

Another thought

Read "understanding the tin man" this could help shed some light on that subject for you and your BS

1bigidiot79 posted 7/31/2014 11:25 AM

I used to stuff my feelings, too. Typical guy, right? My reactions to these stuffed feelings is what got me depressed, and withdrawn, and then all the rest.
somethingremorse, your post resonated with me because my problem might not be so much of how to communicate within or after a conversation has started so much as it is how to get one started in the first place. I like you tend to bury feelings as well and you hit the nail on the head as to what that leads to.

I admit that I have a hard time starting conversations with BS. I'm not sure why. Still trying to figure that out. What am I so afraid of? I think your tip of just coming right out and saying, I need to express my feelings and just doing it is probably best. I have to remind myself that no matter what the reaction is, it has to be better than the alternative of continuing to bury them.

sorrowfulmate posted 7/31/2014 16:13 PM

No you aren't, I need to learn this too.

PainfulReminder posted 7/31/2014 16:26 PM

Unfortunatly communicating is a two way street andif a person doesn't want to listen or learn to open up you can't help that..

BUT, you can express yourself and listen.

Some things that help is either writing things out and reading it over to see if that is really how you feel or talking out loud to yourself. Sometimes we don't "communicate well" because we actually don't know what to say.

Don't be afraid of being misunderstood or rejected. Fear stops us from being honest so many times.

Have empathy. Don't get mad when your spouse is telling you something but rather look at things objectively. If you stop yourself from jumping to conclusions, projecting or being closed minded it can be easier

Communicate don't convince. A lot of people (raises hand) try to convince the other person of our opinion. But, sometimes we are wrong or just have a different perception. Letting go of the outcome of a disussion can keep tempers calm and pressure off.

Be vunerable. Don't let pride stop you from saying something.

Those are a few things I have learned. The other is to not stew on something. And to not just want other people to "get it". The whole "he should know" causes so many problems.

So many.

shiftingsand posted 8/3/2014 07:31 AM

Yes, my WH has the same issues - "stuffing" things, having conversations in his head without me - although he thinks I am there with him - it is only what HE thinks I would say - not neccessarily what I WOULD say. Remember that when you do not share those things you deny your spouse the opportunity to respond POSITIVELY!

My counselor suggested the following to help conversation rolling - pick three things or at least one thing that happened to you that day tell him/her about it and How it made you FEEL and why.

Also, try asking questions of your spouse about how he/she feels! Ask open ended questions- those that are not answerable by Yes,NO.

Struggling with conversation myself! lol

Neznayou posted 8/3/2014 15:46 PM

There are so many of us in this same boat, it's beginning to get a little crowded! I started another thread not too long ago about talking about the Affair. I stuff(ed); I got/get scared; I have/had difficulty identifying my emotions. I'm developing an awareness of these traits and more importantly what to do about it. You aren't the only one.

theseseatsRtaken posted 8/4/2014 06:22 AM

Wow, BW and I had not 10 minutes ago been dealing with my fear of ruinung good days (I was always a dismal communicator, now im just a shit one lol) and needing to come forward with feelings and my own struggles as a wayward on my own rather than always waiting to be asked.

Look I am not a master at this by a long shot, but I have come a long way with it. It was fear for me as well. I have always been terrified of confrontation. Even with the person I am supposed to trust the most. Trust, for me, never extended to vulnerability. And thats the key right there. You need to be brave enough to be vulnerable.

As someone who has always feared communicating, the way I have learned to be more vulnerable was by coming to believe with my whole heart that it was central and pivotal to the survival of my marriage that I do so. I realised I feared the collapse of my family and my life more than I feared confrontation and I CHOSE to be vulnerable instead. Of course, its not always that easy! And I dont always succeed. But with time and pratice, im getting better at it.

Your BS will appreciate this more than almost anything else you could do. Because every little thing you volunteer that your BS doesnt have to ask for is another brick in the new house of trust you are building.

I just want to ask about one other thing you said - you mentioned part of your why was a feeling of rejection. Are you saying you think you may hve cheated because you felt your BS didnt want you? If thats the case, I strongly encourage you to dig deeper. Rejection isnt your why. Your why, is why you chose to deal with feeling rejected by cheating. Why did you feel that was an ok way to cope?

If im off track above, please ignore. If im not, keep working at it. The statement 'that needs to change' is a great one.

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