Originally Posted by joejoe
When we started piecing my wife explained to me about my ego, pride, and how I couldn't be wrong and took over rooms and not always in a good way. I always had to get my point across, even if I was wrong. I didn't let her in, blah blah blah. Well, I had a hard time, letting her in after the A. Over the years, I have become more emotionally available. She talks and tells me literally everything. I use to get so annoyed and frustrated listening to all her girl gossip, gripes and complaints. And I would zone out of the conversations, when I wasn't annoyed. But I had to work on being an active listener. But before, I became a better listener, I had to tell my wife how I felt about talking about all that stuff, now, when she see's me zoning out are getting anxious, she doesn't get mad, she has found ways to bring me back in.
You honestly sound a lot like my H, no offense intended. He would get very frustrated with the gossip, gripes, work stuff all of it. But had zero problem just completely unloading on me when he had things to complain about and expected me to actively listen. He also has a bad habit of still being angry and annoyed even after he unloads. Since recon this dynamic has gotten much better. He understands now that he can't be annoyed at me for talking to him the way any W talks to her husband about her day, work, friends etc., especially if he does the exact same thing. He's also gotten much better at understanding my daily dump is just that. I word vomit my day and then I'm done. If it was a bad day and I'm crabby I said it, I need a hug and I'll move on. Because of that he's become more conscientious of not unloading and continuing to brood.

Originally Posted by joejoe
Also my W is very head strong, and likes to take charge, so we but heads a lot. I'm very head strong as well. We have had to learn how to compromise. She grew up watching her mom, cut the grass, be a referee, and a pastor/evangelist. And her dad did all the cooking. But, her dad is a retired SGM in the Army after 29 years of service and he was a cook. Her dad is very social and love doing things for people. So my W has this weird dynamic, about her, she likes making people happy, doing things for people and being social, but she fights me when I tell her to do something, she don't like men telling her how to feel and what to do. So she pushes back, when she thinks, I'm being to masculine. But, now she has actively work to catch herself when she's about to get upset about me just telling her to do something. We both fight the urges to push back, and that has been a huge growth in our relationship. The first few years of recon, we really struggled with this. Over the last year or so, we have done a lot better with relenting and lifting our foot out the sand of what we think our PERSPECTIVE is. And, after we smile and laugh and go on like normal.
Honestly your wife sounds a lot like me...lol. But no military daddy here. Just a complicated upbringing with a single working mom until she married and then I also had a really, really awful step-father. I do find myself trying to actively avoid fighting when H says or does things that get my "you aren't my daddy" hackles up. I'm a relatively quiet person, with a very long fuse. But my fuse isn't one that should be lit, like ever. So I've been working on trying to not snap and instead to ask myself why something is getting under my skin and to make it a conversation and not a blow up. H is trying harder to ask me what he can do to help. What I need him to do, because he rarely tells me to do things because I do everything. And not in a sitcom mom kind of I do everything. I literally do everything but yard work. And even that isn't finite.

Originally Posted by joejoe
I spent a lot of days, letting my W actions and her moods affect mines. I will get all moody when she was moody, and I would act all down, when she was down. I would catastrophize what her mood was. I was saying to myself, what's going on. It must be something. Than, I would go out my way to try and cheer her up. Then after a while, I just stop and left her in her moods, which she saw as punishing her. And, I was punishing her for her moods. But, over the last year, I have just been there in a none judgmental or emotional way. It took almost three years to get to the point of, she is human and has a right to be moody, upset, sad, and not be my fault. And understanding that she's her own person and has to work out some of her feelings and emotions on her own.
My H could've written this. He took all of my moods personally. He would actually tell people I would take my bad mood out on him when that truly wasn't happening. Like at all. If I'm in a crappy place emotionally I tend to kind of collapse into myself or have an incredible short fuse, but I avoid people at all costs when I'm like that because I don't want to snap or cry. This apparently was me taking my bad mood out on him. And /or getting irritated at the H show of him actively trying to cheer me up in the way he thought I would cheer up, never actually asking what would cheer me up. We've only very recently gotten to the point where he understands the whole I'm human I'm allowed to be moody, upset and sad and it's neither his responsibility for it or for making it better. What we do need to work on is him making his negative feelings and bad days everybody else's problem.

Originally Posted by joejoe
So now, if she's moody, I say, "is there anything I can do". If she says no, I sit next to her and just be there. Sometime she says, she just needs some time to deal with her emotions. So, I've made myself a safe place, and I'm still working to make myself safer, and my wife is also still working to make herself safer for me. But the most important part of being a safe place is communicating, when an action or comment, is making the other feel uncomfortable. It allows the other person to learn and grow in the relationship and for you. It took me a while to understand this, and maybe it will take your husband sometime as well.
He's getting there. But it's a process.