Dear Dr. Elia,
How about a question from a husband for a change?
I have some issues that I’m working through. I’ve been told that having
open communication with my wife is critical, so I try to be open and
talk with her. But every time I do, It sure seems like the conversation
always ends up that she’s perfect and I’m just screwed up and only
barely worth saving.
How does one maintain objectivity in their communication in these
First of all, thank you for the question! I believe you are the first
husband that has posed a question on www.AskDrElia.com I certainly hope
this encourages other men to share their concerns, issues and thoughts
In The Multi-Platinum Marriage cd, I address both the issue of
communication and the idea of “being right” all the time. When couples
get into conversations or arguments and the end result is that only one
person is always right…what has that person actually achieved? Perhaps
a satisfied ego/pride. So your wife walks away from these encounters
with you and feels successful.
If she claims that she loves you and wants to be with you forever and
yet you end up feeling like a second class citizen in your own
marriage…then what has she really won? So every time she wins, you
lose… but if she loves you and you lose all the time, then what has
she really won? Absolutely nothing!!!
I wonder if you can sit down and explain to her this idea and ask her
what it would feel like for her if the roles were in reverse. Say to
her, “What if every time we argued, I came across as right and you were
entirely at fault? How would that make you feel towards me? Here, I’m
supposed to love you and yet you feel like you never get it right…”
If you can get her to walk in your shoes for a minute, to experience
what you must feel like after each one of these interactions, then you
have a chance for a different outcome. If this is not a possibility with
the two of you alone, then I would suggest finding a third party to
discuss this. Perhaps a Bishop or a counselor or a mutually agreed upon
Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.