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Old 01-16-2005, 07:49 PM   #11
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I got a good giggle out of the brick wall/ brick-layer comparison too.

Your boyfriend sounds like an Irishman--constantly cracking jokes.

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Old 01-16-2005, 08:04 PM   #12
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BTW, I don't know if this fits your boyfriend at all, but it reminds me of what used to happen when I'd try to have "deep talks" with my husband. Like, whenever I'd try to talk about my feelings, basically, he'd run or change the subject. We figured it out--it's talked about in the book, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus....

Sheldon didn't know that talking and listening was an important part of dealing with stress for me, and an important part of my process of accessing my feelings so I can communicate them. I guess the way he deals with emotions, as a lot of guys do, is much more direct. He doesn't talk about them, but rather takes time to himself until he knows what he's feeling, and what he wants, and then he's ready to talk. He doesn't explore feelings, but rather gets to the point, and communicates what he wants, very clearly and concisely. I, on the other hand (like a lot of women) am in the habit of talking and sharing, in order to get to the core of my feelings and what I want. Since Sheldon couldn't relate to this process, he assumed that when I was upset, and talking about feelings, that I was talking because I was blaming him for my feelings, or that I was asking him for advice on how to fix my problems. He really just didn't understand that talking was a helpful part of the process; to him it just seemed like I was complaining. (No wonder he wanted to run!)

It took practice, and lots of reminders and encouragement, before he understood. What he needed to learn was: that it helped me to be able to talk; that most of the time the talking would seem to make me feel worse before it made me feel better; that I didn't want him to try to solve my problems--in fact the less talking he did the better (it sounds selfish, but he was actually very relieved to hear this--it made his job much easier); and that him just sitting and listening (and holding me and being close, not being stolid), was all he needed to do. Oh, and make little listening noises, like "mmhmm," or whatever. At first he could only listen for 5 minutes at a time, and he'd tend to sit far away, and look uncomfortable. He didn't get the process at all. Now he totally gets it, and he's a better listener than any of my girlfriends! (Lucky me!)

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Old 01-16-2005, 09:36 PM   #13
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Now he totally gets it, and he's a better listener than any of my girlfriends! (Lucky me!)

Amy, Lucky you is right. Count your blessings.
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Old 01-17-2005, 12:20 AM   #14
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Maybe I shouldn't say "lucky." It definitely took work! LOL. I thank John Gray, the author of that book, for helping us figure that biggie out. It's made us much closer.
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Old 01-17-2005, 02:54 AM   #15
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I was reading and was just going to say...this sounds like "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"....LOL

Here's an idea too...pranksters are always hard to deal with because once they get your reaction....they know they got you! How about non-reaction as a way of dealing with it? I find people who "joke" like that are looking for reaction and when you give it, you fuel them to continue.

If he picks up your needle and uses it, let him have it...instead...go to your supply and get the same size needle and continue knitting....and create a box of needles for him...in full view...somewhere for him to find...and always by your knitting stuff....and in fact, put on it..."MY HUSBAND'S KNITTING NEEDLES". And make sure when you go and pick up your replacement needle that you say nothing...and when he asks if you need your needle back, say "no, that's yours now, you can put it in your box".

That gives you the excuse to buy lots of needles...because for every one he uses you don't use again...just keep piling them up. And if he says you have lots of needles, tell him, no, those are yours now...you used them....LOL

I always love the reverse psychology approach when dealing with pranksters.....LOL

Good luck!

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Old 01-17-2005, 03:11 AM   #16
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Wow! I didn't think one fight with my husband would generate such a great discussion!

My husband is an Irishman, in case you are wondering, and yes, it seems to be 'the Irish way' for men to be arrogant, stubborn and emotionally stunted! But I do love him as he has some great qualities.

In reply:

Anne, I'm knitting him a scarf at the moment, hoping that he will be happy that I am finally knitting him something. He doesn't have a tool belt, he has a tool box/bag. It is so heavy I cannot even lift it! I could knit him a handy carrying bag though for the smaller stuff...I'll have to think about that! On Saturday we will be going to Bray to check out a wool shop, I'll drag him along and have him pick out some needles for himself. Hope it works!

Amy, I read Mars/Venus a long time ago! It was a really great book and I should try and find it again and leave it lying around where he can see it. I think it's great that you and Sheldon were able to sort through your differences. It seems as though you are both able AND WILLING to understand each other! Maybe he could give my husband a few pointers?!

Thing about men is (and my hubby has confirmed this) they usually want to fix a problem, not hear about it. If I'm upset and need to talk or whatever, he always assumes I'm asking him to fix the problem. He can't always do that and gets upset because he can't. Whereas, like you Amy, I just need him to listen!

Roxanne, that's a great idea! He is always questioning my need to buy knitting supplies so this is a great excuse to buy more more more!! I was going to tag his needles with a little label as well so that I don't use them by accident.

Gosh, all this trouble over little ole needles :-)
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Old 01-17-2005, 01:01 PM   #17
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**soapbox warning**

I guess I have a different view than most people. I'm almost finished with classes for my masters in education, and one of the very first lessons we learned was "accept reality." Once I applied this to everyday stressful/frustrating/annoying situations in my life (not just the classroom), I became a much happier, easy going person. So Mr. Jones thinks that my class is a waste of time, and his son shouldn't haveto do the work (I teach music)... okay, I accept that and I can't change it, so I'm not going to argue, plead, or get angry when the kid refuses to do his homework. My mother-in-law is habitually 45 minutes late to EVERYTHING... I accept that, I can't change it, so now I just tell her to meet me 45 minutes earlier than I really want to (or bide my time with knitting for an extra 45 minutes).
SO, regarding this situation, IMHO it's not worth an argument, reverse psychology, or get-back-at-him tactics. Let him play with your needles; what's the worse than can happen? Yes back scratching with needles is gross... you could try buying him a back scratcher, scratching his back for him, or a million other things, but the easiest thing might just be to accept the reality that he is going to do it, and keep a rag in with your needles and wipe them off before you use them.

**end of soapbox**
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Old 01-17-2005, 02:04 PM   #18
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I have adopted that "accept people as they are" mentality too and for the most part, I'm pretty easy-going. There is a fine line to being "accepting" and to be "walked on" too so even though it's fine to just "accept" who he is, that doesn't mean you can't work to improve the dynamic between the two of you. That doesn't mean changing WHO he is but rather, working with WHO he is and making the situation more tolerable for the both of you. I spent 14 years trying to and hoping to change my first partner and it got me nowhere...now I'm with a loving man who I wholeheartedly accept as a person but we are constantly working on our relationship dynamics.

Anyways, my 2 cents worth...it's easier to just "let go" of how people react when they are not close to you but when you are in a household with someone and with them all the time, dynamics need to be worked on so both people are happy and an environment of mutual respect is fostered.
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Old 01-17-2005, 03:39 PM   #19
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Hiya Hildegard, thanks for your reply! I would agree with you on the 'accept reality' idea but in my case, I generally accept certain situations that I cannot change. If my bus is late for example, rather than rant and rave like other passengers, I sit and read or knit and be thankful for the extra time! When it comes to things that happen during my day I am a little more accepting of it, especially when I cannot and know I cannot change things.

However, like Roxanne said, with people the dynamic is different. Living together means my husband and I have to make allowances for each other (like I don't rail at him for drinking out of the carton and he doesn't get upset when I squeeze the toothpaste from the middle) and that's fine with me.

But when I specifically ask him to respect my space and my hobby I feel I should be able to expect him to show that respect. And accepting that he does not respect me is, in my opinion, unacceptable! I don't want to roll over and think my husband can't (or simply won't) show me respect!!

Does that make any sense?! Or am I splitting hairs here?
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Old 01-17-2005, 04:30 PM   #20
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you're right! marriage is about mutual respect, and he should respect your space. maybe you'll have to get a safe for your stuff!
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