Caring is sharing

For the discussion of relationship issues between engaged couples.

Re: Caring is sharing

Postby LadyLoveBug » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:46 am

I feel as if all the positive things I am saying are being disregarded and that the context I am giving for this is being ignored. This is not a problem now arising that we are closer to marriage. After years of being together, we understand each other better, and continue to. The To Love Honor and Vacuum blog by Sheila (can't think of her last name) talks about loving your husband no matter what, but I do know there were some entries that talked about influencing your husband. Just because I want to influence someone like my FH doesn't mean I'm manipulative as someone said. I love my FH unconditionally and that should be taken at face value. I didn't think I'd have to go in depth about it to validate the sincerity of that. None of you personally know me, so you're better off trusting my word for what it is. I simply wanted advice on a specific thing in a specific context. And I think in a lot of ways, not doing a lot to influence someone is ironically exactly how to influence them, because you are more concerned with yourself. God changing you could change them. I think the fact that so many people come to this site with deep seated issues is taking this post completely off the trail. Even though I was asking for advice, this was meant to be a more light-hearted conversation!

My original second post was a lot more light-hearted than what I had posted and I think not wanting to retype all of it lost that feeling...

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Re: Caring is sharing

Postby SnowFallsSoftlyDLA » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:56 am

I understand where you're coming from, my DH is a quiet and reserved man, I'm like a "bubbling brook" as it were. I don't think you're being manipulative or have bad or wrong intentions...I just think that there is more than likely nothing you can do about it.

I really like Sheila Gregoire (most days anyhow), but really take a look at what "influencing" and "changing" mean. You can have a positive influence on someone by being generous, possible causing them to be more generous in return. In that way, I get what you're saying-your behavior changes their behavior. "Changing" someone is where the other posters are warning you about heading.
So to really get at the root of the question, ignoring the questions of motives or rational; I can not think of any way you can change your behavior to alter your FH's in the matter of sharing personal feelings. Chatting a lot to a reserved person doesn't typically evoke great responses; from your posts I can see that your pattern of sharing your own feelings and thoughts has not evoked your FH to share his; and I can't imagine that you staying silent to leave room for his responses would do well either (unless you just like the quiet, lol)

*edited for grammatical clarity

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Re: Caring is sharing

Postby NaiveHusband » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:07 am

You're right, we don't know you personally. And, I would like to apologize if I have misunderstood your motives or your attitude.

Even so, I think it's worth pointing out that you're clearly not backing down on this issue, despite unanimity from everyone who has participated in this thread on the following points:

    1.) You can't change someone else, only yourself
    2.) The thing you want to change about your fiance is not necessarily a weakness; in fact it's probably a strength
    3.) Continuing efforts to change him, no matter how subtle or tactful, are going to result in unhappiness for you both.
Marriage has a way of helping spouses see through tact, anger, or whatever else is on the surface, and see the underlying need or desire. That can be a double-edged sword. For instance, it's a pretty good thing when one can see through the other's anger to notice an underlying emotional need. But it will cut the other way when your husband sees right through all your tact, diplomacy and everything else and knows that, beneath it all, you really just want to change him in a way that goes against his very nature.

In other words, you may have the sweetest voice and the most tactful words in the world, but they'll still be a constant dripping to your husband if you use them to try to make him change.

I don't know how to say it more clearly than this: Everyone who has participated in this thread, without exception, has said that this path will not lead you toward happiness. You need to work on yourself, accept him as he is, and learn to communicate emotionally in a way that works for you as a couple. (Most likely that will mean sharing your feelings with him, knowing he's happy to hear about them, but without any expectation of hearing what [if anything] he's feeling in return. True communication can take place at this level and it's not even a one-way street; it's just a different paradigm for many women.)

If you really want your fiance to change, and if you're really not willing to just accept this part of his personality and learn to be content with it (or even come to admire it, as others in this thread have shared), then here's what you need to do:

    1.) Don't make it an issue in your relationship (i.e., don't talk about it)
    2.) Accept the fact that he may never change
    3.) Determine that if he never does, you will still be content
    4.) Pray that God will show the truth to whichever one of you needs to change, and provide the grace to do so
    5.) When your fiance/husband does share something with you, let him know you appreciate it
Finally, even if nobody else's opinion matters to you, can I encourage you to at least listen to Leah? Her wisdom is the kind that comes through years of hard-won experience. You would do well to listen carefully to anything she says.

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Re: Caring is sharing

Postby The Knight's Lady » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:19 am

What bothers you about your fiance is a personality trait; not a sin, not a bad habit, not something that needs to be "fixed." It's one thing to try and lead/influence a spouse to change a sinful behavior. Confronting sin in Biblical. Your desire to change a non-sinful personality trait is dangerous ground. It is not your responsibility to change your husband. Actively trying to do so will only cause heartache for both of you.

I think you would be better served working on yourself and how you relate to your fiance. Instead of focusing on what you think he needs to change, why not try to improve how you support and encourage him? Don't see his personality as a weakness; instead think about how your differences in communication complement each other.

FWIW, my DH is a "still waters run deep" kind of guy. He does not share his emotions lightly or with just anyone. And there are times, like NaiveHusband said, where truly my DH just doesn't have an emotional response to share. But the longer we have been married, the better I can read him, and understand how he is feeling. Maybe it's because he has started opening up more to me, and maybe it is because I have learned more about him. It's probably a bit of both. Regardless, this was a natural progression for us. I never actively tried to make him share his feelings with me, and (even though it took me a while) I learned to trust he was being truthful when he said he didn't really have an emotion to share at the moment.
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Caring is sharing

Postby Dgenerous » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:54 am

LadyLoveBug wrote:God changing you could change them.

That's exactly why we've been advising you to work on yourself instead of trying to change your FH.
I have found the one whom my soul loves.

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Re: Caring is sharing

Postby Leah » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:02 am

Please note that almost everyone has given the same advice.

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”--C.S. Lewis

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