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Frustrated. Any suggestions?

My ex and I having difficulty regarding our children. It's very stressful and I'm very upset about the situation and feeling like my children are not getting the best they should get. When I expressed this to my SO, he basically says he can't do anything about it, he doesn't want to stick his nose in. I explained that I just need some sympathy hatred (you know, like "what a douche"-about the ex : ) ) but he seems not to be good at empathy and I feel very unsupported.

When we (the SO and I) argue, it's usually over me not feeling like he's into the relationship, etc, and he is, he just doesn't show it as much. I need advice on how to bring this up and discuss it without him feeling attacked. He knows I want a partner that will stand with me through anything and I want to feel supported, and right now I don't. I don't want to fight, but I'm apparently bad at communicating politely. Any help?

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:33 PM on Jul. 13, 2010 in Relationships

Answers (9)
  • he doesnt want to bash your ex, and neither should you. it's not going to get you anywhere. try keeping a very neutral tone when you talk to him. and watch your body language, it can mean a lot more than what you are really saying.

    Answer by jennifer588 at 2:36 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • Maybe "sympathy hatred" isn't his thing. Maybe he's a more logic/devil's advocate kind of guy.

    Sympathy support and understanding doesn't necessarily need to come in the form of mutual hatred, faux hatred/outrage ect. But him truly understanding your feelings, and helping you to deal and get through those feelings. Maybe he feels that throwing out faux hatred just to make you feel "better" does nothing but allow you to be miserable angry and wallow in those feelings. Some people just don't do the misery loves company thing. Just sharing a different perspective.. OK? :-)

    The best way to communicate to him what you need is this.. 1) communicate to him in HIS communication style so that he understands what you are saying 2) tell him what it is you need 3) why you need it 4) and how the two of you can work together to give you what you need. Also listen to him openly honestly and try to understand his views on this.


    Answer by pixie_trix at 2:39 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • Your SO sounds like a logical, rational, emotionally mature adult who does not feel the need to call people derogatory names and does not wish to participate in your "sympathy hatred". Perhaps talking to a professional would help you learn how to better process and deal with difficult situations. Perhaps a little more restraint and the ability to work through a problem without anger/offensive language will also improve your situation with your ex and thus improve the situation for your kids.

    Answer by BuddyRoo at 2:42 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • I agree with pixie, she hit the nail right on the head!

    Answer by nicolemstacy at 2:44 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • I can't reply anonymously, but I'm not terribly concerned at this point : ) I appreciate the advice ladies. Thank you BuddyRoo for your "advice", but I'm rather ok dealing with my emotions. If you'll notice, that was put with a smiley face after it. I wasn't being serious about that. I do not use rude and offensive language when I'm dealing with my ex. I'm actually very matter-of-fact and try to resolve issues. But I appreciate your concern.

    My SO is very logical person, and I know that, and I appreciate him not wanting to stick himself in the middle of my situation. What I need is a little more empathy and understanding about the situation.

    I want to be able to tell my SO how I'm feeling and what I need without it sounding like an attack. I am generally nice and say "I need X. I feel like X is missing and you could use that", but apparently I don't do it well. I don't want him to feel attacked.

    Answer by MeandMyBabes at 2:52 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • The best way I have learned over my years (nearly 25 ) of marriage to bring something up without it coming across as an attack is this.

    1) Don't be emotional or overally emotional when you start the conversation. That usually causes the other party to be/get defensive.

    2) Make it an "I" conversation.. Discuss what you feel, what you need, what would help you fulfill those needs. Not a "you " conversation. Those usually go something like "YOu don't...." "You make me feel.........." "You should"... KWIM

    3) Try to keep the conversation at an even keel, and as calm as possible.


    Answer by pixie_trix at 3:02 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • Oh yeah.. Oops.. Damn pain meds.. I keep forgetting stuff. LOL

    Be sure to approach your "I" conversation in HIS communication style so that he actually comprehends and understands what you are saying to him..


    Answer by pixie_trix at 3:04 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • You want him to have "sympathy hate" for your ex or you don't feel he supports you? Is he there for you through all this? Sounds like he is. I wish I had your problems because my fiance gets pissed about everything my ex does and expects me to feel his "hate". I know things are frustrating at times but I don't get upset about every petty thing. There are some things that are expected to be irritants...but divorce is like that. Relax!!

    Answer by worriedmommy600 at 4:39 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

  • He's not great with empathy. I get it, everyone is different. It's just hard to not have that support from him when I need it. Especially since I am a very empathetic person, so it's a different perspective. I don't want him to hate my ex, I don't hate my ex. There's just a big issue going on between us right now (me and the ex) and he can be difficult to have a rational conversation with, so I get frustrated and wouldn't mind some support from my SO.

    Answer by MeandMyBabes at 5:34 PM on Jul. 13, 2010

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