View Full Version : Can I vent ?

Stella M
12-04-2010, 11:10 PM
About ballet schools that are selective about who they acknowledge in the after concert awards ( long story, dd in tears though ), homeschoolers who don't see anything wrong in letting their children hang in cliques and reject kids who don't fit the 'fashionable' template, religious people who don't act the way jesus would, vets who don't cure the pet guinea pig, even after $600 has changed hands, husbands who leave all the emotional caretaking up to their wives, homeschoolers who let their kids bring their DS's to activities so that now my 6yr old feels sad that he doesn't have one, and everyone else who is making my day miserable!!!!

I am over other people. Not my friends, but all the other irl people. I want to go and live in the wilds with my kids and the guinea pigs and a lot of good books. And a supply of tea. Argghh!!! I am seriously in need of sympathy :(

12-05-2010, 12:36 AM
You've got my sympathy. I pretty much gave up on people several years ago. Too many years in the ER has jaded me a bit. Sorry to hear that you and yours are having troubles right now-I hope it gets better.

12-05-2010, 07:05 AM
Oh dear Melissa....I hear you on that vent, get it off your chest, it will make you feel better.

12-05-2010, 07:08 AM
I'm with ya on this, you are not alone (so to speak).

Shoe, "ER"? as staff or as a patient?

12-05-2010, 08:00 AM
Sorry you're having a tough time. Sympathy aplenty winging its way across cyberspace to you.....

12-05-2010, 08:05 AM
Oh Melissa, you definitely are not alone! I'm so sorry to hear you are having "one of those days"; I have them all too frequently. Sending you ((hugs)) and virtual chocolate from eastern Canada!

12-05-2010, 09:55 AM
Maybe this will at least bring a smile as far as the religious people not acting like Jesus -- there's a comedian named John Fugelsang who has a great line about his personal faith, which is pretty close to my own views: "Jesus to me is like Elvis -- I love the guy, but his fan clubs freak me out."

Venting is good. It's a defense mechanism to balance our psyches. I'm also sorry you feel your spouse isn't sharing in the emotional caretaking.

12-05-2010, 10:35 AM
its funny, in my circles its always the moms who are the emotional caretakers, but i've met a few ppl, esp women, here and there who say, you know, its DAD . . .he's so soft-hearted and .. . i've come to believe that its just a specialization . . . usually one emotionally supportive person pairs with one emotionally needy or broken person . . . .

sorry about the really bad day, tho

12-05-2010, 11:27 AM
I'm with ya on this, you are not alone (so to speak).

Shoe, "ER"? as staff or as a patient?

Staff-I've spent the last 20 years in a combination of roles as a nurse, nurse practitioner and paramedic. In that time, I've seen a lot of the worst of people (and the best of people, too), but I'm not the wide eyed idealist I used to be.

12-05-2010, 12:13 PM
its funny, in my circles its always the moms who are the emotional caretakers, but i've met a few ppl, esp women, here and there who say, you know, its DAD . . .he's so soft-hearted and .. . i've come to believe that its just a specialization . . . usually one emotionally supportive person pairs with one emotionally needy or broken person . . . .

It's totally good cop/bad cop at our house. When one of us gets frustrated and upset with a child, the other one seems to instinctively know that it's time to calm things down. The roles switch, usually depending on who has been around the kids most that day (the bad cop)!

Melissa, do you talk to your DH about your need for him to pitch in more in that area? Speaking as a man, sometimes ... okay, most of the time ... we need specific instructions about what it is that's asked of us. Maybe that'll help? Guys just often see things through their "logical glasses" and have trouble comprehending the emotional impact of things. That can come in handy sometimes but not when some TLC is needed.

Stella M
12-05-2010, 04:18 PM
Ok, I feel better just knowing that I can now describe my complaining as 'a defence mechanism to balance my psyche' :)

I've been a bit resistant in the past to provide dh with specific instructions, because it ends up like this:
Me: Could you help dd calm down ?
DH to dd: Do what your dr told you to do. Don't have an anxiety attack. ( Pat on shoulder. Walks off )

Sigh. Maybe he just hasn't had a chance to develop his caretaking skills, unlike me who has had one of my three kids crying about some drama or other constantly over the last month!!!!!

Also - just for the sake of my psyche - the kids put up a Christmas tree. With tinsel. They are sabotaging my plans for replacing Christmas with a Summer Festival. Boohoo.

Ok, done. Thanks.

12-05-2010, 05:06 PM
Ok, I feel better just knowing that I can now describe my complaining as 'a defence mechanism to balance my psyche'

Yeah, that's a good one.
((hugs)) Hang in there, Mel :)

12-05-2010, 06:01 PM
Glad I could crystallize it for you. :)

I wish your DH could see things through your eyes. And I wish I had more helpful advice to give to bring him into it more. I do know that if you decide to talk to him about your need for him to engage more, it's best to phrase things in a way where you're saying "I feel like" such and such when he leaves it to you, rather than saying "You make me feel like..." The latter way of speaking tends to put people on the defensive and conversation goes downhill. It might be worth a try, although I obviously don't know the ins-and-outs of your relationship. Just hang in and know that you're doing the right thing by your kids.

12-05-2010, 10:05 PM
"could you help dd calm down" doesnt sound very specific to me tho . . . just like training kids to do chores, if you spend more time (when the kids arent around) explaining to dh exactly what helps (ie, just sit down next to her and talk calmly and slowly. tell her it will be ok and that you will stay with her while she works it out - and then STAY. " Of course, sometimes they fiegn incompetance to get out of jobs, but sometimes they really just dont understand but MAY be willing with more precise instruction.

Stella M
12-05-2010, 10:25 PM
Cara, I take your point. It just feels kinda pathetic to have to talk to a 40yr old the way I'd talk to a litttle kid, kwim ? How hard is it to calm a crying child ?? ( when it's only the first time for you that day, I mean. ) Even my 6yr old knows you stay close, fetch the tissues or a glass of water, murmur comforting things...

However...in the interests of experimentation, I might try being really specific for a while and see if it works. Surely it isn't a forever thing though ?? I already feel this household uses my brain as a storage area for things they are too lazy to work out for themselves.

12-06-2010, 12:21 AM
Melissa, how good is your husband at comforting YOU . . . just curious.

Stella M
12-06-2010, 12:30 AM
Umm...not particularly, superbly good. Why ?

12-06-2010, 09:54 AM
See, that was my point. He doesnt know how to comfort ppl in general. Not a skill he's ever mastered. I would say 'typical insenstive male' but my mom was the same way.

Miguels mommy
12-06-2010, 10:40 AM
I hope today is better for you.

12-06-2010, 10:47 AM
"Jesus to me is like Elvis -- I love the guy, but his fan clubs freak me out."
BAHAW I should say that to my mom! hehe

And Melissa! I too have given up on the people who are not important to me! That's why I love this site so much everyone here has always brought a smile to my face and let me see a different take on any situation that I have been in. Keep venting in helps you stay sane!

12-06-2010, 01:06 PM
See, that was my point. He doesnt know how to comfort ppl in general. Not a skill he's ever mastered. I would say 'typical insenstive male' but my mom was the same way.

Not only that, it's not a skill most men are taught. It's the effects of gender socialization. Boys are taught both directly through lectures from parents (usually dads), coaches, etc. to be "tough," as in "Don't show sensitivity" -- and indirectly by watching the behavior of male role models around them. I have never seen my father cry. (My mom says the last time she saw him do so was when his dad died -- when my dad was 16.) Luckily he never told me it was unacceptable to do so, and believe me, I can let loose, but only after having held it in for a while. So most of us just aren't in touch with that sort of emotion in ourselves, so it's doubly hard to be aware of it in other people, let alone what to do to ease it.

That's why we need specifics. It might be frustrating to you because it does seem rather like speaking to a child, but consider -- you wouldn't expect someone who had never studied algebra to be able to solve calculus problems. By the same token (and this is me making an assumption about your DH that might not be true, I don't know), to expect a person who has never learned the basics of emotional support to externalize any sort of empathy is only going to cause some hurt. He needs to know you need his help in this, even small things that he can do, because it's getting to be too much to take on yourself. Think of something easy for him to do that maybe plays to a strength of his, and that might lay the foundation for more to come.

I'm just trying to provide a male perspective. I hope it's helping somewhat. Bear with us cavemen -- we still love you guys even if our way of showing it is clonking you on the head with a club. :)

Stella M
12-06-2010, 03:33 PM
Mark, I get what you're saying, I truly do. I can see the potential effectiveness of what you're suggesting. I still feel that you shouldn't need to be 'taught' at the age of 40. Teaching how to deal with emotions is what I happily do with my son. Surely once you are an adult, it's your responsibility to do the learning for yourself ? What do you think ?

Stella M
12-06-2010, 03:36 PM
Michelle, yes it makes life easier when you can just give up on the idiots!! I just have to get over my guilt at feeling so cynical about fellow beings...I agree with what you say about this site...lots of smart people here, thank God! Or not :)

12-06-2010, 03:47 PM
Teaching how to deal with emotions is what I happily do with my son. Surely once you are an adult, it's your responsibility to do the learning for yourself ? What do you think ?
I'm going to pull a doctor phil - how is that working for you? It doesnt matter what YOU THINK SHOULD BE. If your husband hasnt learned how, you have two choices. Accept that he will never comfort people, or work with him to help him learn how. Saying 'shouldnt need to be taught' isnt reality. Its your expectation. If you just wait around for people to meet your expectations, you will be dissapointed. If you accept people as they are, where they are, and work out a plan which INCLUDES that bit of reality, you will be much more likely to reach your goal instead of pulling your hair out. But you have to be willing to let go of those expectations, no matter how 'right' you think they are.

12-06-2010, 03:48 PM
Which leads me back to my current crisis - martail arts classes leave me too tired to teaach anything the rest of the day. Martail arts testing - i think i need a full week off. I hate this.

Stella M
12-06-2010, 04:52 PM
Well, I guess I'm not willing to have a 4th child to 'teach'. It isn't that hard to learn. It's not like I went to mama school, you know ? I talked to people, read books, asked questions - and no-one 'taught' me to do it. It isn't my family culture. I just sucked it up and went on to learn. And many people do live up to others expectations (or try to.) I know I try to. Failing isn't the problem for me, it's not trying in the first place.

I guess I'm just not at the point of being big enough to let it go and be practical about it. Wow. Don't think I'm quite up to being challenged atm.

12-06-2010, 05:36 PM
fwiw, my husband keeps saying he doesnt know how to do any basic home maintenance, nor does he 'notice' when anything NEEDs maintenance. his father fixed hvac for a living and built complete working bathrooms in several family homes, as well as decks and a full cottage and you name it. I owned an old houes when married to someone who used to frame houses . . . and somehow this makes me the expert. Ok, if I point something out and make it clear I expect him to do it, he will ask someone at the store for advice - he has succesfully painted some furniture and some walls and the mailbox and lamppost - after I pointed them out. The toilets running? he had to be convinced it NEEDS to be fixed, and expected me to figure it out by myself, cuz 'i dont know, no one ever taught me.' He's not great at comforting, but probably better than your husband. But mostly he is a great raid leader in world of warcraft. Great. very useful.

12-06-2010, 10:52 PM
This is one of those Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus moments. Most people in relationships should want to try to connect with how the other person thinks and feels, and if they can't do that, then perhaps there are more serious conversations that need to be had. But...and I maybe I'm stressing this because I'm a guy...that doesn't mean only the man must change outlook and behavior. More often than not, both genders can contribute to the balance of a relationship.

An idea: I know it may sound silly, but maybe you guys can make it a point at the end of each day, you each express appreciation for something the other did that day. Could be small, could be big, but by showing that you notice something that contributes to the functioning of the house, family, etc., it will build the basis for neutral conversations that can get at deeper stuff without confrontation. Worth a shot?

Stella M
12-07-2010, 05:05 PM
Thanks Mark, good suggestion - I'll file it away until I'm feeling in a more constructive mood. Right now, I'm good with venting :)

12-07-2010, 10:53 PM
Sure, I understand. I can't guarantee it'll work, but it might be the way to open the lines of communication. Something else might work just as well, as long as it starts off in positivity. I've seen things like this work first-hand.

12-08-2010, 01:38 PM
Mark, you have some truly excellent advice! I have learned a lot just by reading your replies in this thread, so a big thank you to you for sharing some wise words! Although sometimes I think if men are from Mars, then women must not even be from this solar system! ;) We must be from some other galaxy entirely. Melissa, your venting is something I understand all too well. I have had those same thoughts and "conversations" with my significant other. Mostly with me thinking that I should not have to be teaching him to do things that he should have figured out by now (and I don't mean auto repair.) However, as has been pointed out, no one starts out doing mastery level of anything. We can only start at the beginning where we are and go from there. For an adult, this is trickier than for a child, as our slates are not clean. They are full of plenty of "useful" things (usually clutter) that we have learned along the way. We are all "taught" whether directly or indirectly each moment of our lives from sources that bombard us often without our realization. So while you and I may fret that DH is not doing what we believe he should be doing (the expectation that Cara mentioned), poor DH is doing what he has been "taught" to do. Just like you and I have probably both been "taught" to notice the things that we do (and the things DH misses.) It is hard to balance expectation and fairness. God knows, I fail spectacularly at this, often enough!

Anyway, no real advice here other than to say that the advice you have already gotten is great! Hang in there, and keep venting, if it is helping. Have a great day! :)

12-10-2010, 03:52 PM
Hope time has helped, but here are extra hugs from across the waters.

01-02-2011, 11:25 AM
The vets/pediatricians, the cliques, the DS's in public places, been through them all. I'm over people too and just wish we could live in a big field with no neighbors, with a huge garden and we can learn about plants, flowers, and the kids can continue to fish/take boat out in the bay, go crabbing, learn piano at home, and never be influenced by their "friends", never ask about TV and such...and you're right about the books - I love to read and my kids do, too. Books, paints, arts/crafts, nice big field...my dream.

01-02-2011, 01:09 PM
The problem is, i go back and forth between being glad that I have very little contact, and thinking i'm doing my kids a disservice by isolating them

01-02-2011, 01:48 PM
What a great thread! May have gone in a different direction than you expected Melissa, but isn't that true of so much of life?

Mark, I do appreciate your sticking your neck out to give the other side.

Some of this reminds me of a country song I heard once - a woman sang about the fact that she loved her husband but right now she was angry and she wanted to stay angry and not be reasonable. It was funny, and true - she went on to say she knew she'd get over whatever sin he'd committed (and the song was clear it was a trivial wrong) but that right now she just wanted to be mad.

I no longer expect my husband to learn any new tricks. It's clear he either isn't interested or isn't able to do any of what I consider normal grownup stuff: find a job, take care of the house, put the boys' needs ahead of his own at least occasionally, or do anything beyond what he wants to do (a pretty sweet life if you can pull it off and in his defense he does some fun stuff). Which is sad because it may well break us up in a matter of months. We are all creatures of habit and if your habits are working, even if they aren't working well, we continue doing them - I know my new year's resolution is to eat more veggies but I'm not terribly optimistic about my chances for success.

I do hope the days have been better since you originally posted. I know just how frustrating and infuriating it is to work so hard and have everything go wrong because of other people. At least you've got swimming weather now, right? And did you survive Oprah's visit?

01-02-2011, 02:53 PM
Been following this thread along. Mark has most certainly become an asset here. Great advice Mark.

01-02-2011, 06:00 PM
All I hope to do is show a guy's perspective on things. And really, in the end I'm just giving my perspective, because I can't speak for every husband/significant other. We are just wired differently -- not better, not worse. In general, men are more adept at some things, women are more adept at other things. It all balances out, although too often we fall into the trap of thinking that our gender's way of thinking is always the right way, because we're used to it. We don't know any different from being in our own heads. But if we all can just realize that certain things simply will not change and if we try to change someone else then we're only going to frustrate both people, things at least reach a state of "grant me the serenity to accept them."

I'll give a personal example just from my own life today. DW had to do a bit of weekend work at home before heading back out into the real world tomorrow, but the grocery shopping needed to be done. Ordinarily she does it, but since this work really needed to be done and this was the day to do it, I offered to go and take Tornado with me, because it's near impossible for her to get work done with him around since he's so demanding of her time. At first she was reluctant because I "don't know where anything is at the store." (Which isn't exactly true, although she does know the layout better than I do.) I've also been known to be somewhat forgetful at the store in the past (typical male! :)), which probably contributed to her anxiety. She kept saying, "I'll just go, I'll just go," but I knew that if that happened, her work wouldn't get done later. So I insisted. To set her mind at ease, we made the most thorough list we could, planned out the meals for the week, etc. Off we went, and I did just fine. :) And she got the work done. I probably didn't go through the store exactly the way she would've, but I got everything eventually, and Tornado did fine without his mom around. It was a success for both of us because I don't often volunteer for shopping, and for her because she trusted me to do it. Happy, productive family (today, at least).

We are not by any means perfect, however. For instance, I really missed reading her non-verbal language in an earlier exchange today. But we do communicate and try not to be accusatory. And it takes both people to want to do that. If one isn't willing, or doesn't respond positively to reasonable requests by the other to see their point of view, then it's a much tougher road. So while I appreciate being ...um... appreciated :), I'd rather the people here who need some understanding from their DHs get what they need emotionally. Maybe if their men are willing to try, things will get better. I sure hope so.

Stella M
01-03-2011, 12:40 AM
I didn't realise this conversation was still going on!

I'm happy to say that the guinea pig is better :) And we are all enjoying swimming, reading, watching movies and generally ignoring the rest of the world!

Two good things came out of this vent. Firstly, I realised that I feel extremely uncomfortable about the way that homeschooling - around here - is becoming more and more like school - organised, institutional and with an emphasis on valuing the group over the individual. So I'm starting 2011 with the awareness that I don't want to get caught up in that and will choose our activities with that in mind.

Secondly, I'm thinking a lot about the things Cara and Mark mentioned - getting what you need vs being right. I'm beginning to think it might be helpful to just let go ( a little! only a little! ) of being right and try looking at our family dynamics in a more pragmatic way.

Oh, and my daughter is doing better. The summer break is doing her good. It's been a very hard way to learn about what and who makes a good friend, but she's getting there, learning to be discriminating and assertive.

It was great to have this space to think aloud.

01-04-2011, 07:36 AM
I think we all get comfortable doing something one way and when somebody else comes along with a different solution (especially if that person is our spouse) we criticize. Sometimes it's hard to keep things in perspective - 90% of the time does it really matter what clothes your kid wears? Or if you buy x peanut butter not y?

01-04-2011, 07:17 PM
Exactly. And I'm as guilty of it as she is about different things, usually involving routines we have set up around the house and often about the layout of the days during homeschooling. In fact, she called me today while I was on the road to say that they were spending a lot more time on art and were probably going to scrap a couple subjects for the day as a result, thinking that I'd be upset about deviating from the schedule. I'm proud to say that I was okay with it. :)

01-04-2011, 11:18 PM
Cliquish homeschoolers....grrrrrrrr. I'm sorry about every else too. Here's to things getting better!