The Free Article That Helps Our Marriage

It’s no secret that I mention Mr. FAF quite often on my blog.

I wrote about how we save on his clothes, go on frugal dates, travel on a road tripeat out together, do weird things to save money, and maintain our 4-year long-distance marriage.

Mr. FAF is undoubtedly the fugal man of my dream. I’m so glad we have each other on this long journey to financial freedom. However, we’re not a perfect couple.

We’ve been married for almost four years. There have been times when we felt like we could no longer walk together on the same path.

Arguments

Recently, the stress of career choices, personality clash, and family responsibilities have been taking a toll on our relationship.

It doesn’t help that Mr. FAF and I have been doing long distance ever since we started dating. With the arrival of our son, Baby FAF, the stress seems to have intensified.

I am not someone who posts on Facebook about my feelings and emotions every time Mr. FAF and I fight. I’m not sure if it’d help if I did.

I share the details of our marital conflict only with a few colleagues and friends. But since my blog is anonymous, I feel like I can just be true to myself and share my thoughts here with you all.

Maybe I will go back and look at this post one day to see how far we’ve gone. Maybe it will help someone else. I’m not entirely sure, but I know I just need to write something.

I’ve read almost everywhere that communication is the most important factor in a happy marriage. But what does it really mean to communicate?

Ideally, it means a couple sitting down together, talking about the problems in their marriage without playing the blame game, admitting their flaws, and discussing how to move forward.

It sounds so simple and straightforward. But if you’re married, especially for a couple of years, you might probably agree with me that that’s not how every disagreement or argument gets resolved.

Usually, when Mr. FAF and I disagree about something and feel strongly about it, it often leads to yelling, anger, frustration, disappointment, and everything in between.

Marital conflict can be costly and damaging to a marriage. And I learned and know for a fact that a $300 dress will do little to resolve a heated debate. It’s like a band-aid that can temporarily alleviate the tension. But unless Mr. FAF and I get to the root cause of our problems, the tension will linger, intensify, and explode any time.

In this post, I won’t talk about the specific topics Mr. FAF and I fight about. I will discuss the systematic reasons why we can’t reach an agreement peacefully and how we figured out how to move forward after almost four years of marriage. It was all thanks to a free article my friend sent me, not hours of expensive marriage counseling.

Change

It all happened three months ago.

Mr. FAF and I had been stuck in an argument for days. We finally made up, but I still felt really sad since I knew there was something we had yet to resolve or put our finger on.

Everything seemed peaceful on the surface, but I had a feeling the underlying problems could re-surface any time.

Knowing what I was going through, my best friend sent me the 7 Habits Of Truly Resilient Couples article. I followed the link out of curiosity and immediately thought that article was speaking directly to us.

I called Mr. FAF to tell him about the article and read it to him. To my surprise, he was listening attentively. We discussed the 7 habits mentioned in the article and how we had yet to develop some of those habits.

I will share our conclusions with you all.

1. They don’t play the blame game. 

Problem

Me: I’m mainly to blame for this. Every time something goes wrong, I immediately point the finger at Mr. FAF and criticize him for making it happen. I’ve been fully aware that this is wrong, unfair and unhealthy for our relationship. I’ve told myself multiple times to stop, but whenever something makes me upset, I’d blame it on Mr. FAF.

Blaming him makes me feel better about myself and the situation. It tricks me into thinking that I am not the one responsible for the mistake, so I don’t have to change anything about myself. As much as I hate to admit, I like to change Mr. FAF, but I don’t like to change myself.

Criticizing Mr. FAF gives me the illusion that I am actually solving the problem by giving him a lesson on how not to make it happen again. In reality, the only thing I’m doing is exacerbating the problem by creating a divide between us and, worst of all, skirting responsibility.

I know this behavior is toxic and damaging to our relationship, but I’ve been doing it for years.

What I’ve been struggling to understand is that this is something I NEVER do at work or outside of our relationship. I am known at my job for having strong work ethics. If something goes wrong (which rarely happens on my watch), I’d be among the first one to admit it although it might not be my fault. I’d apologize to my colleagues and draw lessons from it.

However, when it comes to my marriage, the model above is not what I follow. I do indeed feel guilty for treating Mr. FAF that way. One time I confided in a colleague I trust and asked her why that is.

She said that for someone as close to me as my spouse, it is hard to separate personal feelings and the problem at hand.  But at work, I’m conscious about not letting my personal feelings dominate my professional relationships and my job. I think she was right.

Mr. FAF: Mr. FAF is an excellent example of the no blame game habit. If it’s his fault, Mr. FAF will admit it willingly and apologize.

Normally, when I do something wrong or make a mistake, he will just say it’s ok, laugh it off, or say that it’s his fault, not mine. And in this process, he will help me fix the problem without complaining or criticizing me. This is one of the traits that I like the most about him: calm, patient, and understanding.

Sometimes he does get upset and blames me. However, that’s when it’s pretty obvious that it’s my fault, but I don’t want to admit or do anything to fix it.

Solution

Me: I fully admitted this problem to Mr. FAF and explained to him why I always blame him. As usual, Mr. FAF laughed it off and said it’s ok. But I know it’s about time I changed this blame game habit and stopped my accusatory tone.

Mr. FAF: I don’t think there’s anything he needs to do. He’s already been doing a great job.

2. They can find humor in tough situations.

Problem 

Me: I tend to get anxious, irritable, and scared in tough situations. And boy, do I show it.

Mr. FAF: He is very good at alleviating tension and/or preempting a potential fight with a laugh or a joke. Sometimes his jokes are not funny and are easy to be misunderstood.

I’d get even angrier at him, thinking he’s mocking me. But he’s just trying to prevent an argument from getting worse.

During tough times, I know Mr. FAF might be freaking out inside, losing his sleep and not being able to stay focused. But he always tries to find a solution while assuring me everything will be ok.

Solution

Me: I need to learn to calm myself down in stressful situations and not to worry too much about the future. This is something both my family and Mr. FAF have been telling me to do. I need to learn to let go and not overthink everything.

Mr. FAF: I think he needs to learn to communicate his jokes better or not tell jokes that are easy to misunderstand.

3. They ask for help when they need it.

Problem

Both of us: We saw our parents fight constantly when we were growing up. However, they never saw a marriage counselor. They’d talk to their close friends or family members, but that was it.

I think it might be just an Asian thing. In Asia, problems between a couple are often seen as private and usually are not exposed to public scrutiny. They fear that if others know about their rocky marriage, they will lose face. In order to save their dignity, many couples pretend to be happy when they actually are not.

I think another key reason why our parents never sought professional help is because they didn’t have the money to do so. It was just not a priority for them. Food and shelter was.

To this day, Mr. FAF and I sometimes still see marriage counseling as something only people in developed countries, especially rich couples, do since they can afford it.

Me: Sometimes when I get too upset, I will tell my friends about it. What I didn’t realize was that by being supportive, my friends tend to take my side and give me a biased view of the situation.

Seeing that they agree with me reinforces my decision not to compromise with Mr. FAF. I’m by no means blaming them for their good intentions. It’s just to show the importance of having a professional, experienced, and objective take on the problem.

Mr. FAF: He usually doesn’t talk to anyone about our issues. When things get too intense and he sees no way out, he will reach out to my family. It can either help since my family will talk some sense into me or exacerbate the situation since I’ll get even angrier with him for going behind my back.

Solution

Both of us: We have agreed to make changes by ourselves first. One reason is because we want to see if we can change ourselves for the better instead of spending $75-$150/hr on marriage counseling. I’m not ready to spend that much money on an hour of service when I don’t even make close to that figure.

We have also decided to see a marriage counselor if there comes a point where we just can’t agree on anything. Sometimes some things are just too important to save money on. And our marriage is worth more than any amount of money I can think of.

4. They’re not afraid to be vulnerable.

Problem

Me: I have no problem showing my vulnerability to Mr. FAF. Sometimes I can seem too strong-headed, but it usually masks a fear that I have. If I do something my way, I will accept the outcome no matter how bad it is. But if I do it Mr. FAF’s way, I might regret listening to him later. That’s why sometimes it’s really difficult for us to reach a compromise.

Mr. FAF: Sometimes in a heated argument, Mr. FAF will use my vulnerability against me, which hurts me deeply. I feel betrayed since he’s using my secrets to launch a personal attack on me. He insists that he only does that to help me improve myself. But I just can’t stand the negative words and energy coming from him.

Solution

Me: I need to communicate my vulnerability to Mr. FAF better so that he can understand why I want to do things in a certain way. I also need to be willing to let go of my fear and trust Mr. FAF a bit more in order to reach a common ground with him.

Mr. FAF: He needs to give constructive feedback, using his words more carefully instead of launching a personal attack on me.

5. They don’t expect their partners to read their minds.

Problem

Me: I usually tell Mr. FAF everything that’s on my mind. At times I feel like I’m the only one talking. I’d get frustrated because Mr. FAF won’t say much. Mr. FAF says sometimes I ask too many questions. But it’s only because I want to know how he’s doing, but I won’t get much information from him.

Mr. FAF: He’s particularly guilty of this, in my opinion. In many cases, Mr. FAF won’t say much or won’t explain to me why he wants to do certain things. He assumes that the logic is there, so I should understand it without him saying anything.

However, oftentimes I’m left clueless and confused due to the limited information that I get from him. That leads me to make assumptions about Mr. FAF. When I feel frustrated and upset, those assumptions tend to be pretty negative. That ensues is a big fight about things we could have prevented with better communication.

Solution

Mr. FAF: He needs to be more willing to communicate with me in words instead of expecting me to know what he is thinking.

6. They’re committed to solving problems, not ignoring them. 

Problem

Both of us: Mr. FAF and I don’t ignore the problems the other has. I know his flaws and want him to change them. Mr. FAF sees what part of my personality I need to improve upon.

What we have not been committed to is fixing our own flaws, which can help solve the bigger problems that both of us face. If I didn’t play the blame game and if Mr. FAF didn’t expect me to read his mind, we would be able to avoid a lot of misunderstanding and arguments about trivial issues.

Solution

Both of us: We discussed points 1-5 and agreed to change our current habits of dealing with conflict.

7. They have a genuine desire to move forward. 

Problem

Mr. FAF: Whenever we have a fight or disagreement about something, Mr. FAF will recite incidents that happened 2-3 years ago just to show that I am currently making the wrong decision.

It is very frustrating since I just want to focus on the current topic, but he won’t let go of the past. I have never done anything morally wrong to hurt Mr. FAF. But the fact that he recites every little thing I’ve done for the past 3 years seems pointless to me since we cannot undo those.

Me: I tend to do this sometimes but not to the extent that Mr. FAF does.

Solution

Both of us: We have agreed to not dwell too much on the past. We will focus on the issue we currently face and what we will do in the future.

Conclusion

Below is what Mr. FAF and I agreed to change about ourselves to have a resilient marriage:

Me

1. Stop the blame game.

2. Calm myself down in tough times and don’t try to control the outcome of everything.

3. Don’t let fear take over the willingness to compromise

4. Trust Mr. FAF more with his decisions.

5. Don’t ask too many questions about the same thing.

Mr. FAF

1. Don’t make jokes that are sensitive or easy to be misunderstood when there’s tension.

2. Choose his words more carefully to give constructive feedback instead of being negative.

3. Be more willing to communicate with me in words.

4. Don’t recite past problems and mistakes to make a case for the present.

Both

Seek marriage counseling when really needed.

Conclusion

It has been three months since we agreed to improve ourselves and our marriage. We also reached a compromise on a topic that has caused ongoing and probably the most tension between us over the past 4 years. Mr. FAF wants to pursue his Software Engineer career in Silicon Valley while I want to follow my career path in Washington DC.

I want to support Mr. FAF in his career, but I also want to pursue my dreams. We have agreed to stay in DC for now and revisit the move to California in the near future. Each of us has taken a step back to listen to the other and agreed on a solution that makes both of us happy.

It also helps that I have been busy blogging over the past  few months and don’t want to waste time on a frivolous argument. Sometimes I don’t agree with Mr. FAF about certain things, but I choose to let it go and focus on my blog instead. In fact, the only two fights we have gotten into after the discussion were about my food expense reports.

If we have a big argument in the future where we get stuck, I will go back to this post and ask myself what Mr. FAF and I can do differently to improve our marriage and pursue financial freedom happily together.

 

Related:

How Frugality Brought Us Together As A Couple

The Costs Of Marital Conflict

The Struggle For (Financial) Power In A Marriage

How Mr. FAF and I Handle Our Finances As A Couple

 

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36 thoughts on “The Free Article That Helps Our Marriage”

  • You and Mr. FAF have such a strong relationship because of your commitment to communication! It’s so, so important in any relationship,ESPECIALLY marriage! And it’s really great that you guys seek professional help via a therapist when you need it. Me and Mr. NA have gone a few times and it’s so incredibly helpful to have a trained professional help dig through the layers of emotion.

    I 100% agree that there [unfortunately] seems to be some sort of stigma associated with seeking marriage counseling in the Asian community. I know quite a few older couples who pretended to be happy for years and finally ended up getting a divorce 10-20 years later- which is a shame because it sounds like many of them were unhappy for decades! Also, most insurance policies cover marriage counseling, so you only have to pay the co-pay, so it’s totally not just for rich people!

    • I totally didn’t know about the co-pay. Thanks for letting me know, Ying! I would hate for a divorce to happen to anyone, especially us. So yes, I’d be willing to do anything I can to make our relationship better. 🙂

  • I am currently in a long distance relationship and the stress has been telling on me. I like how you admit that sometimes, the fault may be from you.

    I find it difficult admitting I am wrong. It has always been easier to blame my partner for every single thing. I am trying to work on this, but it’s hard.

    About the humor part, my boyfriend also has a good humor and laughs at everything. Most times, I find his humor sarcastic and insulting; which in turn makes me to give him the cold shoulder.

    My years resolution was to stop seeking relationship advise from people because no matter how I tried to explain the problem, they’ll never get it. They will only offer an advise based on the story I told them, and not based on all the events that led up to the problem.

    Relationships aren’t easy and I’m learning to put in the work required( because I do have a lovely boyfriend)

    I wish you all the best in your marriage

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Mr. Weird Hacks! I’m with you on the sarcastic humor. I sometimes find Mr. FAF’s jokes irritating and insulting. I know he means well, but my emotions just take over >_< Mr. FAf and I have been in a long-distance relationship for years, so I can totally relate to you. It's great that you've set your mind on improving your relationship. I wish you and your boyfriend all the best! 🙂

  • I have been married for almost nine years now and I noticed a few things that will ease our marriage tensions.

    1) honesty is the best policy. I don’t dare lie to my wife because she can read me like a book.
    2) let it go. If something is not improving your lives or the situation at hand, just let it go. It’s too much stress to pick on fights over little things.
    3) tell the others what you really want and be honest about it.
    4) when something happened, instead of blaming, try to learn from this mistake and improve.
    5) there is no you vs me. It’s us. We are on the same team. Let’s work together. Two heads are better than one. So are two incomes ?

    • Great advice, Leo! I didn’t know you’ve been married for almost nine years. I’m always inspired by people who have been happily married for a long time and want to seek advice from them. And I totally agree with you: Two incomes are better than one! ^.^

    • This is great advice. After reading the post I was about to write something similar, but Leo summarized my thoughts perfectly. 🙂

      We’re newly weds so we don’t have everything figured out – but like you said, it’s ‘us’ and we’ll grow together.

  • Great analysis Ms FAF!!! It’s a good reference point to come back to down the road.

    Jared and I don’t fight too much. Only because he’s a huge softie. I like to pick fights sometimes so there problems in the list are all me. He’s a terrific husband.

    We don’t fight much but maybe once a month we have a hour long fight about something stupid like a (no joke) burrito…I think I told you about that before. He scampers up to the bedroom during a fight…to sleep. Sleep!!! Lol. I find him snoring because I think he knows I’m picking a fight and he can sleep through it.

    • And most of the time it’s true. I am temperamental and I pick them for fun because haha that sucker loves me :p

      Our fights last 1-3 hours before reconciliation. Exactly the time it takes for us to both nap. Coincidence? I think we all just need more naps…

  • Thank you for sharing this resource, Ms. FAF! Each of these habits are incredibly key to maintaining a solid, honest and open relationship.

    I think we are on a similar timeline… we will be celebrating our 4 year anniversary in October and our son will be 2 next week 😉

  • This is awesome! We’ve been married for 7 years and have come across many times where we struggle with these. We used to have issues with the blame game, but made the rule that we can’t bring up the past. If we worked through an issue, we can’t bring it up in another argument. It has helped us let go of things and work through the current problem better. I agree with you about how he assumes you understand the logic behind his decisions. My husband tends to do the same, and is something we still stumble with. I think marriage is definitely about working together and communicating and most of all, the commitment to stick together even when it gets hard. Thanks for sharing and being so open about it!

  • Thank you for sharing your story and the article. I think every married couple deals with similar issues. Those 7 habits definitely provides a good framework to improve your relationship. I’m especially bad at communicating. It’s is tough to change that but I’m like Mr. FAF in that I figure my wife should be able to read my mind at times.

    • I know it’s tough because Mr. FAF has been trying really hard to improve his communication with me. But he’s been making great progress, and I believe you will too! ^.^

  • Ms. FAF, Thank you for sharing something so personal. It is really understandable that there are conflicts. You both have stress from a new baby, hubby in school, you working to support the house, he wants to be on the west coast and you want to be on the east coast.

    It is tough to admit being part of the problem but it takes two to tango. Happy to hear that the free article is helping you.

    Marriage is about compromises and no resentments from the person that gives in.

    We have seen our own parents fight. They go back and forth hurting each other. My mom told me that they used to argue over money. My wife’s parents constantly fought over many things. We have been married for 26 years. We rarely have arguements to lose any sleep probably because we communicate.

    What I have learned.

    1. You CAN’T change people! Only they can change themselves.

    2. What you see is what you get.

    3. Most Men usually don’t talk about their feelings and we use humor to defuse the situation which may or may not work. Forget about the old school asian men from China! I have never seen my father or his peers talk about their feelings. They just man up and get thru it which is not healthy in the long run.

    4. I can have a hot temper and I have to walk away to cool off before I say something I will regret. Over the years, I have evolved.

    I watch the TV show Little People Big World where the parents got divorce recently after 27 years of marriage. On the show “Jeremy and Audrey Roloff with Little People Big World, recently got married and have a weekly ritual they practice together every Sunday.”

    Jeremy is one of the sons and he said that these questions help fine tune the marriage before it gets bad like their parents. On the show you can clearly see constant unresolved issues with the mother and father. Years of this can bring on a divorce.

    http://www.aujpoj.com/our-6-questions-for-marriage-lets-beat-the-50-percent/
    http://thetraditiontree.com/2015/11/a-marriage-journal/
    “A routine or ‘ritual’ in a marriage is very important. It reconnects us to the intimacy of these sacred relationships on a weekly or monthly basis. This focus of time can be displayed through monthly dates, end of the day talks or an idea of a weekly ‘marriage journal’.”

    Weekly ‘Navigator’s Council’ Questions

    What brought you joy this week?

    What was something that was hard this week?

    What’s one specific thing I can do for you this week?

    Is there anything that’s gone unsaid, convictions, confessions, unresolved hurt?

    What’s a dream, desire or thought that’s been on the forefront of your mind this week?

    Ask each other a question.

    When I heard these questions for the first time, I thought what a great idea if our parents did this. Maybe these questions will help you guys bring up any unresolved issues so that it doesn’t fester like a pressure cooker.

    Adam

    • That’s an amazing list of questions! I read about the split too and was very sad to hear. I thought they were just a happy couple. I will discuss your suggestions with Mr. FAF. I can definitely see how answering those questions can lead to a healthier marriage. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  • I think it’s great that you’re working things out. Keep at it. The location issue is a tough one, but it might improve at some point. Maybe Mr. FAF could work remotely most of the time or something like that.
    Good luck.

    • Thank you, Joe! Neither of us want to telecommute. We both want to have the interaction and discussion in the office. But we will need to work on our long-term plan because life’s not easy 🙂

  • It’s great that you two are trying work out your differences and that article made you guys realized the tendencies when getting into an argument. Shows that your bond is strong and willing to look for ways to resolve your differences by any means…especially if its free advice.
    That’s a big move if your family were to relocate to the bay area but it seems you are settled in DC for the long run. Hopefully both of you decide what’s best for everyone. But if you guys do decide to move out here, you can always get advice from me and the other PF bloggers here in the bay area to make the adjustment a bit smoother. =)

    • We will stay in DC for now and might move to the Bay area in the near future. I’ll let you know. I appreciate the offer! ^.^

  • I’m sorry to hear you have such troubles in your marriage. Must be tough especially since you live apart.

    I think, regardless of the reasons you argue, it’s important to remember why you love each other. Thinking of the bigger picture always helps. As long as there’s a strong connection between you two, arguments won’t do that much damage between you two.

    I haven’t heard of these 7 habits, but good to know they help you gain a better understanding about what’s happening and about how you could ameliorate things 🙂

    • I totally agree with you that we need to look at the big picture. I tend to get lost in emotions and thus can’t think straight when things get tough. There’s definitely room for improvement. 😉

  • Thank you for being so open and honest, Ms. FAF. The fact that you and Mr. FAF talk about your marriage means you’re committed to making it a success. Many couples are more worried about appearing happy rather than actually work on their marriage.

    By the way, some companies have Employee Assistance Programs that offer free counseling.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Tina! I have never heard of Employee Assistance Programs before. I’ll need to check it out. 😉

  • Thanks so much for the post and sharing these! I don’t have a partner, but I was a huge proponent of communication when I did.

    I think there’s a lot of ways that people can take this into their everyday lives though – things like asking for help when you need it, or being committed to solving problems instead of just complaining about them. People need to vent, but at the end of the day, nothing’s gonna get better without a solid plan of action 🙂

  • I think you need to look at the other side of the situation, too — all the positives count more than the negatives. We tend to focus on the things that bother us, or that we want to improve, and not tell our spouses how great the are. Or thank them for things, even little things. Mr. G thanks me for making dinner. I thank him for doing the dishes. If he brings the trash out on trash day before I remember to, I say thank you. When I’m upset over something that has nothing to do with him, he comforts me. And I tell him he’s a great husband.

    Also, it’s one thing to share your thoughts here, anonymously, and to discuss difficulties you might have with close friends. But I know this — don’t ever bad mouth him to your friends or family by saying “He’s _____” (fill in the blank – thoughtless, bad with money, selfish). Even if you think these things — long after you’ve forgotten what you’re annoyed at they will remember what you said. You should always be a united front to others. It’s like you need to wrap an invisible bubble around your marriage and protect it.

    • You brought up such a great point, Mrs. Groovy! It’s so easy to just focus on the negatives. Mr. FAF has a lot of positives, and that’s why I decided to marry him. I am guilty of badmouthing Mr. FAF to my family and best friends when I’m angry. I do feel much better after venting to them. But you are right, they will remember what I said while I won’t. I will keep your advice in mind. Thank you! 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing your story, and your strategy/ plan of action. A relationship/ marriage can be very difficult long distance, with a lot of the communication more easily misinterpreted, especially if there isn’t nonverbal communication visible (e.g. talking on the phone). It’s very good that you are both committed to learning about yourselves and each other and trying to improve communication.

    I think counselling is a great investment and a counsellor can be a great mediator (very objective). My husband and I did premarital counselling just because we like to leave no stone unturned, and the counsellor suggested that we each plan a ‘date day’ for each other (we agreed to once a month, something that you think the other would enjoy) so we can make each other feel special.

    Also one free thing that might help, you’ve probably heard of it, is “Five Love Languages” you can take a quiz online (it’s actually a book) to see which love language you are and then your spouse can try to show you love through your primary love language. Some people prefer words of affirmation whereas others prefer acts of service.

    • Thank you so much for your great advice! My best friend also suggested I read “Five Love Languages” the other day. She said it helps her and her husband improve their relationship a great deal. I will definitely need to check it out now that it’s recommended by you too! 🙂

  • It takes someone honest and brave to write this post. It reminds me of the books _Blink_ by Malcolm Gladwell and _Mindset_ by Carol Dweck. Basically, people can tell with a high degree of confidence if a couple will get divorced within like 15 minutes. They can tell by the existence of contempt (thinking you’re better than the other person), which it doesn’t appear like you have. And the reason contempt happens is because of fixed mindsets that prevent you or your partner from believing in and working toward your growth. You just think they’re that way (inferior to your way) and that they’ll never change.

    • Thank you, JT! I don’t think Mr. FAF is inferior to me in anyway. I haven’t read those books before, but I think it’s a great idea to look more into marriage guides 🙂

  • Such a great article – I think I’ve seen it before!

    I was nodding so hard at your comments on the first 3 items … totally us. OTOH I am not good at opening up, I probably do get stuck in my own head (I don’t THINK I expect him to read my mind but I could def communicate more) and I’m still TBH getting over some things that have happened in the past (mainly on his side, although I didn’t deal with them in the best way either). So yeah, baggage there that still weighs on my mind from time time.

    Realising that I have enabling/codependent tendencies has helped A LOT and not trying to take on responsibility for his feelings and to fix everything myself is helping. Trusting him to pull his weight. and as you mention, focusing on solutions – something I do at work but need to translate more into my personal life rather than wallowing.

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