Don’t Just Shut Up

I had an email from a guy who talked about how his wife had stopped complaining about something and he assumed that meant it was resolved. I suspect most of the women here know this was not what had happened. The issue was unchanged, but the wife had given up because it was clear to her that her husband wasn’t going to change.

Don't Just Shut Up

I certainly understand getting tired of beating a horse that refuses to move (how’s that for a messed up metaphor?). The problem is men will generally see this as “I win” or “She’s changed her mind”. So just letting it go is the same thing as saying “You were right, I was wrong”. If that’s not what you want to communicate to him, then do something different.

My suggestion would be to drop it after telling him why you’re dropping it. Tell him whatever still bothers you or still seems wrong to you, but it’s clear he isn’t going to change. Explain you’re tired of going round and round about it so you are going to shut up about it. At the very least this lets him know you have not changed your mind. If he’s cleaver it will do more than that.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I made this mistake more than once

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10 Comments on “Don’t Just Shut Up

  1. My husband has made it clear that he doesn’t see it necessary to talk about the same things over and over. It’s left me feeling like if it doesn’t resolve in one discussion (which it usually doesn’t) that I can’t bring it up again. Out of respect for him, I don’t bring it up. But then I’m left to deal with it alone. You bring up a good point. I need to figure out a way to let him know it’s still an issue without re-hashing it every week.

    • I’m in that boat. I am not ok with it, and he knows, but it is a complete roadblock.

      It reminds me of the song lyrics in The Music Man, “and we’re so by-god stubborn we could stand touching noses for a week at a time and never see eye to eye.”

      What else is one to do when it is a firm and everlasting no?

    • So I’m curious, if he has no intention of capitulating to what you want, what is your goal with continuing to discuss?

  2. There are things I don’t bring up anymore because it’s a waste of frustration. I bring whatever up, he feels bad, nothing changes. I love him and we have a good relationship so there’s no point in beating that proverbial dead horse. If he begins to address these issues it will be because God deals with him. I don’t have the power.

  3. I think it depends on the nature of the issue. If it’s getting socks in the hamper or unloading the dishwasher, it may just not be worth fighting over any more. If he wants to take that as a “victory,” fine, whatever.

    If it’s a big issue, though — porn, adultery, drinking, money issues — then it’s almost not worth saying why you’re dropping the argument. Either you accept that your husband could not care less about you (so why bother starting another fight over why you;re not mentioning it anymore?) or you’ve accepted your husband doesn’t care about that issue and you’ve decided to leave, and then it’s not worth fighting over because you’re just biding your time.

    I will say this — men seem to give themselves this huge hall pass on how they treat their wives that they wouldn’t let fly in their office or even in, like, a volunteer group. And then it’s the wives’ fault for not fixing it for them.

    • Not all men.

      I used to think this about hubby, but then I noticed he treated others similarly. So, I looked at the similarities between those he treated like me. I also took notes on the similarities of the people he treated how I wanted to be treated and how they differed from those he treated like me. I discovered that he did Not respect the people he treated like me. But, he respected those he treated better.

      So, why didn’t he respect me? Apparently, he didn’t appreciate my conservative christian demeanor, my mousey attitude, my fear of life. I was a legalistic wuss parading as a woman striving for holiness. I cowed and bowed at him, feared him, even, thinking it was biblical submission. Oddly enough, when I stood up to him, started speaking up, and started taking command, he started respecting me.

      • Libl, is your husband quite different from you in terms of religion? As in do you see things completely differently? Your comments lead me to believe that you place a much greater emphasis on your faith in your everyday life than he does.

      • Oh, I see this scenario you describe, but what I really mean is, a lot of men wouldn’t (for example) blow off their boss or a colleague consistently pointing out a problem at work. They wouldn’t consistently break their word about X or Y at work or even in a social group — because they would reasonably expect repercussions. But they’ll lie to and blow off their wives and then blame her for not speaking up more or giving them notice that this time was serious.

      • Libl, I am having some difficulty interpreting your last paragraph. Specifically, the intended tone. If you are saying that if you act like you are a partner to your husband, then he treats you like one, I say GREAT. And, to me, it doesn’t seem to be odd (“oddly enough”) at all.

        As a note, I do not see a mousey attitude, a fear of life, being a legalistic wuss, and acting cowed to be part of my picture of a conservative Christian demeanor, nor does it approximate any sense I have of biblical submission in marriage. I wouldn’t appreciate that kind of behavior towards me from my wife, though I would hope I could manage to find the strength to be kind even if she did so.

        I do value the strength she lends me when she shares with me her thoughts and feelings with love and respect. I benefit from her challenges – when presented in the proper context. And her understanding that sometimes the decisions we have made are not what she would have chosen on her own. Her strengths have often shored up my weaknesses, of which I have many. In my opinion, biblical submission and respect do fit with this picture.

        We strive to pull together in the same direction, each with our own abilities. Perhaps we’re not very good at it, but we try. And, God willing, we will try again tomorrow, and for as many tomorrows as we are blessed to have together.

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