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I Cannot Talk to This Man

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Why is it so hard to talk to my husband about MI issues, specifically my not getting well, and my functioning poorly while I am not so well?

Is it that I'm ashamed of myself? That he's the silent, non-perceptive type? That I have recurring bouts of intense paranoia about his hating me because I run the household poorly, have hurt myself, whatever?

Does anyone have tips on how to talk to your SO about these things?



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Dear SG,

There is probably one crucial tip (as has recently come up in my own situation).

You need to talk to each other about your MI. Personally, I both like and loathe this idea. On the one hand it's a relief to finally let my husband know what I've been feeling like, and how hard it has been keeping it together sometimes, and how much I need his support (he's also the silent type). But I also dislike revealing some of these thoughts and feelings. It's too much exposure. But avoiding all talk leads to me imagining that my husband is annoyed when in fact he may be worried about me (or even thinking about something completely different, like his job). Depression makes you mindread, and never something good, right?

So as uncomfortable as approaching the topic may be, I think it is for the best. It could bridge the distance we tend to feel beween ourselves and others. Unfortunately, it isn't like talking about your ulcer or your asthma...like or not we still tend to be secretive about our MI, even with those closest to us.

I think you have to break the silence. If he doesn't like to talk (maybe he feels afraid to ask too many questions), ask if he minds listening to you. Tell him you need him, that you miss him, and it would help you to connect if you could spend time with him and not feel so alone.

Feeling united with a person can be a motivation to get back to doing things that seem overwhelming when you feel isolated. It can make a big difference in how well you feel, and that can only help you both. He will probably be glad you initiated the conversation. He may feel too shy or awkward to do it himself. Guys are not operating in their area of expertise here. Remember, they are problem solvers. They like to take some action to fix something, and move to the next problem. You have to help him a little here. Show him it is enough to be present, and accept and understand what you are telling him, that you don't expect him to fix everything, you just want to know he is still on your side. They don't get this. It might even take a few reminders. (If that is what you want, of course.)

I hope this is somewhat helpful. It is a difficult situation, I know.


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