Tue 14 Nov, 2023 05:27 pm
This is more for the women as your perspective is different from me as a male. My wife complains about so many things that she has the power to change, yet she is not willing to do so. Instead, continues to complain in a cycle.
Now, I know men are fixers, we see a problem and want to repair it. I've listened to my wife over and over, some times offering opinions, other times noting if she can't change the situation then remove herself or accept it and other times just listening.
On my way home from work today once again there is some issue with her kid (no kids between us). I can pretty much guess what the issue is, which has been an ongoing problem for years. I told her I was in traffic and if she wanted to talk, I'm here, if she wanted to cool off, then we could talk later. So I get home and after settling in (she went for a walk and was coming up the driveway when I got home) I asked quietly what happened. She begins to respond then just says: "nevermind", which is her passive-aggressive way of projecting on me. I asked again and her response was, fine but I don't need to be criticized or told what to do. At that I got annoyed because once again, she wants to just unload the same situation /story onto me without making any change. Mind you I am serious when I say this has been going on for years. I said fine and walked away.
I'm to the point where I don't want to hear about it anymore, especially since it usually results in the day/evening or whatever being ruined since she can't let anything go. She made this situation and will do nothing about it except complain over and over again.
Asking for a woman's perspective, what response am I supposed to offer? Listening does nothing, offering opinions results in "you're criticizing me" or "you're telling me what to do", damned if I do damned if I don't.
I feel I should either stop asking what's wrong or tell her I don't want to her about anything from now on unless you have a way to handle it without affecting the relationship.
Next time, just validate her feelings. E.g.:
* That's unfortunate.
* I can see why that would upset you.
* Yeah, I'd be angry, too.
* That's gotta be frustrating.
And then... you're done. Sometimes, she may just want to vent and not be offered a solution. So, don't offer one.
I appreciate your response, thank you. I have done all the below, ad-nauseum. Consoled, sided with her, empathized, sat quietly. Trying to avoid a fight but I just don't want to hear about it anymore unless there's a change. If I say that she get's pissed as well. So, what is the least bad choice for me....
Next time, just validate her feelings.
My ex-wife would tell me of her professional and personal struggles and I tried to problem solve them (a trait of mechanical designers and production engineers.) What she needed was for me to just listen. And to use some of those comments you've suggested.
That's a shame. All she wants from you is to just listen and not fix anything.
Consoled, sided with her, empathized, sat quietly. Trying to avoid a fight but I just don't want to hear about it anymore unless there's a change. If I say that she get's pissed as well. So, what is the least bad choice for me....
The least bad choice is to do as others have said; simply console with her. I'm sorry you are going through this, basically have a little empathy for her.
Your choice in the end, but if you say you don't want to hear about it any more you know what will happen. Just hear her out; sometimes you need to do something that you would prefer not to simply to please another person. Isn't that a small thing you can do for her?