“What wrong, honey?”
Hmmm. The silent treatment begins! You are aware she’s on the brink of an explosion, but still none the wiser about what really went wrong. Silence is often the woman’s loudest cry. Clue: You know she’s hurting when she begins ignoring you.
Maybe she thinks I can read her mind. Maybe she wants me to ask her again. Maybe nothing is wrong, but why is she shutting me out? Maybe she’s in a bad mood. Maybe she just need downtime, or sleep. Maybe she just needs a hug. Why can’t she just tell me what’s wrong? Why is she being so cryptic? What am I supposed to do?
Perhaps one of the reasons she can’t bring herself to tell you what’s wrong is that you’ve not been very receptive to hearing about the issues in your relationship. If that’s the case, you now know what you have to work on.
This is not necessarily just a “woman thing,” though it’s often stereotyped that way. Men do it too. Women are often hard to understand. Men, too. This is never a good way to handle conflict in an adult relationship. Women (and men) need to know that you have to spell it out.
“How can you not know what’s bugging me? You should know considering YOU did this to me.”
The truth is, nothing means something. This is often not about what you did wrong, but more about what you failed to do, or what you didn’t do at all. Some men flat don’t get the gist and just blindingly continue as if nothing is wrong. Big mistake. Others are fixers. They feel that the sooner the truth comes out the sooner you both can work out the issue.
“She doesn’t want to talk about it yet. If she betrays any hint of this, then proffer: “Maybe you don’t want to talk about it now. That’s OK. Why don’t you let me know when you’re ready to talk about it? I’m always here and I’ll be all ears.” You might want to hug her at this point too so your actions and words reek of sensitivity.” ~ Chelsia Toon
“Okay, sweetie. I think something is bothering you. I trust you when you tell me there is nothing wrong and I know you wouldn’t lie to me, so I won’t ask again. (Keep your word and don’t ask again). Please know that I love you and you can talk to me about anything. I’m here to listen even if what you say is hard for me to hear. I promise. Let me know when you’re ready.”
Generally speaking, if it needs to be shared, trust that it will be in its own time and don’t rush her on it. Hopefully she will snap out of her funk. It’s important to be as sensitive, supportive and as helpful as possible so she doesn’t need to worry about anything else on top of her current concerns. Give her some space.
The #1 problem in most relationships is “undelivered communication.” We withhold something that needs to be said, or someone withholds from us, and we get upset. In a situation where there is something that needs to be said, we get stopped for some reason, and communication doesn’t happen. Withholding never works.
It’s the things you don’t say. You don’t say them because the last time you did, someone got really upset and you don’t want to go through that again, so you clam up. Then one day he doesn’t take out the garbage and you want a divorce and it’s not about the garbage… it’s about all the things you didn’t say. Not talking about what’s going on inside your head can be a relationship killer.
Communicate. Talk. Communicate in the most loving way you can. It’s from this place of taking responsibility that your communication with the other person will have real power. If you are angry, stop and “think” before you speak. You can’t un-ring a bell.
Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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