Jewel of Denial
Every time I try to talk to my husband about a problem I think we have, he says, “Don’t be ridiculous. You’re making something out of nothing. Everything is fine.” What can I do to get him to listen?
I gather you haven’t tried parading around naked while playing the Star Wars theme on a kazoo. Or strapping him into the Barcalounger and making him watch you smash the remote. Not that any of that would work.
Your husband is doing a really excellent job of demeaning you and invalidating your needs. And you still love him because…? But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself.
If you dutifully say nothing after he says “Everything is fine,” you’re letting him set the agenda and shut you down each time. You’ve got to start saying, “NO, it’s not.”
You must be prepared to tell him exactly what’s bothering you AND you must also be firm about the consequences of things staying the way they are. You cannot be afraid of rocking the boat – that’s the only way you’re going to change his behavior and yours.
But you ALSO need to think long and hard about your feelings for this man. What exactly keeps you with him? What makes you feel good about being with him? And if you can’t think of anything that does, your inability to speak up may have less to do with him and more to do with you. In fact, I think the next person you might want to talk to is a counselor.
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