Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

What bothers you that you purposely stifle around your spouse?

Asked by JLeslie (60165points) November 20th, 2013

It can be something about him/her or something like you can’t stand family birthday parties anymore or you hate your kitchen countertop. Do you hold in complaining about it because you don’t want to hurt their feelings or because you know they don’t want to hear you complain? It can be something they are already aware of, but you just try your best not to bring it up. How long have you been living with stifling yourself?

Assuming it isn’t about him or her directly, what stops you from changing what you are complaining about? I figure money is the biggest obstacle for many things.

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23 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

I held a lot in when I was married. She was spendthrift, continually second guessed but never made a decision, It took a lot of therapy for me to realize that was not helping our marriage at all, just set up resentment.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Going to his daughter’s get-togethers. She’ll have these huge birthday parties for her kids, and they always turn into adult drunk fests in the evening, even if it started out as a birthday party for a 2 year old. But they’re few and far between so I just go and make the best of it because it IS his family.

KNOWITALL's avatar

He’s a little selfish (youngest of his family) and a little careless because he knows I’ll clean up his messes, literally and figuratively, his entire family is really loud on the phone, other than that, he’s a prince, and my best friend…lol

As far as money goes, I handle it because he’d spend all his money a day after payday (see the youngest son reference above.) We discuss all this stuff but in the end, he is who he is and I don’t want to change him, much anyway.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

When I give somebody a present, it’s fine with me if the person doesn’t like it. That never offends me in the least. Everyone has different tastes, so I don’t take it personally if a gift recipient doesn’t care for, or doesn’t need, my choice. I’m happy when the person’s honest, so that we can return the item and find something that he/she will enjoy. It’s win-win – I don’t waste my money, and the recipient isn’t stuck with something useless.

Some years ago, Paul surprised me with some earrings. They weren’t my style at all, and I knew that I wouldn’t care to wear them. I told Paul this, immediately, and said that we should return them. I’ve never seen him look so wounded. He’d chosen the earrings carefully, just for me, and asked every woman in the store if they were nice and if she liked them. He even bought them from his personal savings; he wanted the gift to be from him, not just an outlay from our joint money.

Because I followed Lori’s Rules of Gift Giving, and hadn’t considered how Paul might feel, I deeply hurt and disappointed him. He’d been so thoughtful, and gone to all that effort, and I rejected his present.

Yes, I learned a lesson. Since then, I’ve appreciated every gift from him. I don’t go over the top and gush about it; I just smile, say how lovely it is, and thank him sincerely. Whether it’s jewelry, clothing, or perfume, I wear it sometimes, when I’m with him, and tell him how much I’m enjoying it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hard lessons, huh. :(

MadMadMax's avatar

Full fire and ready to roll since we were in our teens. Now has become complacent and too accepting of what he’s determined is his “fate.” There is no reason other than money, for us to have to be where we are. There is nothing at all for us here. And I don’t want to sit in a waiting room.

“We are in the wrong place my friend, I think we better leave.”

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@Dutchess_III You said it. I like to hope that I learn from those lessons.

By the way, the earrings? When I saw how I’d destroyed Paul’s surprise and stomped on his kindness, I did a quick 180 degrees and said that I’d been too hasty; I really did like and want to keep the earrings. I started to wear them, often, when we went out together. The next summer, when we made our yearly trip to Martha’s Vineyard, I found a necklace that complements the earrings beautifully and asked Paul if he’d buy it for me. I spent the rest of August wearing, and genuinely enjoying, that jewelry combination.

I have very thick, shoulder-length hair. The earrings are gold hoops, each with a faceted topaz swinging in its center. Paul recently told me that he chose the earrings because they sparkle beautifully through my hair.

Yes, I learned a lesson.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Nothing. I don’t stifle a thing. If I’m bothered by something, he most likely knows it.

YARNLADY's avatar

He seldom shares anything with me. The worst thing was when his grandmother passed away, he didn’t even bother to tell me. I never sent a card and his mother wondered why.

When he was working late, he never bothered to call me. I once mentioned it to our son, who told his Dad. It worked for awhile, he started calling me, but he recently left off calling, again.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I continue to be amazed that with all the barriers into which we have run, she still loves me and refuses to give up! She must have some irritating fault other than her involuntary feedback when I am behind the wheel. After 10 years, I still have not found anything worse than that!

Blackberry's avatar

This is a reason why I dislike socializing. The whole thing is stifling around anyone that isn’t a significant other. Always walking on eggshells.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sometimes, yeah. That’s what needs to be done. You adapt or quit @Blackberry

Coloma's avatar

Oh jeez…well…my ex was an OCD, anal, controlling egotist. I am a free spirited creative.
You can only IMAGINE the conflicts.

Ex: THIS is HOW you make a fire! You ONLY need to use 3 sticks of kindling and 2 sheets of newspaper! Now WATCH ME and I will SHOW you how anal boyscout boy makes a fire!

Me: WTF…I will make my fire MY way and I will use 6 sticks of kindling and 4 sheets of newspaper so I am sure my fire does not collapse and go out.
Piss off you control freak, the objective is burning!

This is the guy that also told me that I, are you ready for this?
Displaced the gravel in the driveway when I drove up it!
Luckily I divorced him before I stuffed his ass in the fireplace with 20 sticks of kindling and 30 sheets of newspaper and then ran over him in the driveway of displaced gravel. Fuck me! lol

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@Coloma He sounds absolutely lovely and charming. My goodness, I’m so glad you got rid of him and moved on.

I’m curious about something. When you and he got married, were you still young and perhaps a bit na├»ve? Was he older and very paternalistic?

I ask because I sometimes meet that sort of couple – a child-like bride being controlled by her domineering husband. Those marriages never work out. Sooner or later, she’ll grow up and rebel against her dominator. She’ll become a different person – a mature adult – and her husband will find himself married to a complete stranger. Next stop, divorce, preferably followed by the ex-wife in a healthy relationship with a true partner.

Coloma's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul

Yes, very…but I grew, and he didn’t. Typical story.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@Coloma Wow. Your ex-husband is a cultural stereotype, and one that needs a victim to thrive. You, by contrast, are a functioning adult. You grew up, but he’ll never change.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think I can stifle anything re: relationship stuff because that’s not how I roll but if we had a difficult conversation, I always think I should see improvements faster than he believes he needs to take to improve. So I hold back on having the next conversation because I know sometimes our time periods are different.

fluthernutter's avatar

For better or worse, I don’t really stifle stuff.

Haleth's avatar

My ex was a real social butterfly, and everything had to be about his cool, fast-moving life. We were constantly going to parties, vacations, and restaurants, and he loved talking about his cool car, fashionable wardrobe, all our friends and their personal dramas, team sports, expensive hobbies, etc. etc. etc.

If I ever tried to do something “quieter,” or talk about something deeper, he would instantly get bored and impatient. Like, one time we tried to go to an art gallery together and he ended up just waiting for me at the bar next door. If I tried to read a book when he was around, he would literally pace the room until I was finished. He never read for fun, so we couldn’t have a simple conversation like “this is the book I’m reading today, and what I think about it.”

He seemed so fun at first, but at the end it just felt really stagnant. Like, there was fluff and air where that part of his brain was supposed to be. I’m so glad we’re not dating anymore.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Coloma reading your answer I got hung up for a second on “anal controlling…” and I was trying to envision exactly how one goes about controlling their anus, much less other peoples….but then I saw the comma. :)

Boy, that’s right @Simone_De_Beauvoir.

fluthernutter's avatar

I take that back.

While I don’t usually stifle things when I have a problem with my spouse, I do find myself stifling things around him. Not because I’m trying to hide anything from him. Rather, I stifle things and he happens to be around.

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