Author Topic: Only wids would understand this...  (Read 982 times)

Melbar

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Only wids would understand this...
« on: April 28, 2017, 08:14:46 AM »
So this would probably be a very strange complaint to most people, but not here.

My husband's colleague texted him Monday morning, "I'm sorry, I will not be able to make the meeting this afternoon.  My husband died of a heart attack last night."  Needless to say, I felt the wind kicked out of me when he read that to me.  I've felt just terrible for this lady all week because, you know, "I know."

So we were supposed to go to a party Saturday night at some friends' house... but my husband remembered that he had already RSVP'ed to a retirement party for two people at his work, and he thought we should go to that instead.  So I canceled on the friends.   

But THEN, the funeral for this lady's husband turned out to be scheduled also at the same time.  So my husband forwarded me the funeral information, and I replied, "Shall we attend this instead?" His response, "Yes - or I will.  I do not think it is necessary for you to go."  Really?  But it was "necessary" for me to attend a retirement party for 2 people I've never met? 

I cannot figure it out and I don't know how to respond.  I have attended 3 other funerals of widows since my LH died, and he knows I am very capable of handling it.  So I do not think he is just trying to protect me, nor do I think it has anything to do with the fact that I didn't personally know the guy, because again, I go to things all the time with him to honor, remember or celebrate people I've never met. 

So now I have canceled on the friends (and do not have any desire to attend their party alone), and I would MUCH rather be by my husband's side at the funeral anyway.  I would just point blank tell him this, but his response was so abrupt, I kind of feel like he doesn't want me there. 

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.  Any advice as to how I should respond? 

hachi

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2017, 08:52:25 AM »
I would just ask him. But I am pretty direct, generally and do not waste time trying to read peoples minds anymore. If I have a feeling that I was not wanted there, as you seem to, I would want to know why. And if my feelings were hurt, I would say so.

I tend to accept the answers I get to these questions more easily and let it go, but it helps me immensely to understand and live the reality that my feelings are just as important as anyone else's. In the past, I would tend to care more about other people's feeling than my own, but I finally asked myself, "why do I think it is okay for my feelings to be hurt?"

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.      ~ A. Einstein

Melbar

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2017, 09:00:05 AM »
Good for you hachi, and thank you.  I think I will not only do this, but continue to remember this and follow suit from now on!  Great advice. 

serpico

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2017, 09:08:11 AM »
In the past, I would tend to care more about other people's feeling than my own, but I finally asked myself, "why do I think it is okay for my feelings to be hurt?"

I believe my answer would be 'because that is the essence of kindness - caring more about others than oneself'.  Of course it has its limitations, but I wish it was practiced more in this world.

Melbar - I've done the same thing with my current wife and also my deceased wife, neither of whom are/were keen on going to funerals of people they don't know.  I realize it's not something they will enjoy - unlike, presumably, the retirement party, which is normally a festive atmosphere - and their presence won't be 'missed', so I give them a pass.  If my wife were to tell me that she'd really like to be there with me, I would of course be glad to have her, as I suspect your husband would.
'I think I got some of your pickle'

Wheelerswife

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2017, 09:36:24 AM »
I think that this is an opportunity to address communication and sensitivity with your new husband.  I see this not as "just" an incident that occurred about whether or not you go to an "event" with your husband, but more a sign of the communication style between you.  It sounds to me like you haven't quite ironed this out fully yet...or he thinks that you are okay with it, but I suspect you are not.  I believe you can use this as the opening to a conversation that will allow both of you to open yourselves up more and come to a deeper understanding of each other.  Sometimes, things come up like this that give us opportunities to enhance the intimacy between partners.

Best wishes,

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

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Mizpah

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2017, 09:44:16 AM »
Is this problematic because he is regarding a funeral as less important than a retirement party, and we're sensitive about death/honoring the dead, or because of the few changes in plans for his people over yours, or because he doesn't think it's necessary for you to accompany him?  You say you'd rather go to the funeral, and he said yes or he'll go alone - he gave you an out if you wish to take it, but you don't want to.  I don't know.  I'd just say, "Of course I'll come with you," or something.  I don't know.  I think I'm missing what's problematic here. 
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

Melbar

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2017, 10:37:01 AM »
I think as Maureen pointed out, this is likely at its heart a communication style issue.  My current husband and LH are sooo very different.  Blunt (LH) vs. overly courteous to the point of being ambiguous.  They also had very different expectations as a married couple.  My LH would never have dreamed of suggesting I go to a party without him while he went elsewhere - we were a team and went to things together, period.  Maybe that is not everyone's cup of tea, but at least it eliminated confusion and misunderstanding. 

We do need to iron this out because it does pop up from time to time and will continue if I don't say anything.  He is truly the kindest and most wonderful man, and I know he doesn't mean anything by it, but if I am asking him to be more clear, then I have to be as well.  :/   

Portside

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2017, 12:10:37 PM »

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.  Any advice as to how I should respond?

At the heart of this is a perfect example of how men and women many times have different communication styles.

I think most men would not understand why you are a bit put out. In my reading, all he is saying is "I'm going to go. You don't have to if you don't want to." He is trying to let you off the hook. If you want. Don't read more into it.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Mike
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

Mizpah

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2017, 01:38:15 PM »
At the heart of this is a perfect example of how men and women many times have different communication styles.

I think most men would not understand why you are a bit put out.

But I'm a woman and I don't get it either, so maybe it's a personality thing.  (Unless I'm a man on the inside?  No.)
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

Melbar

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2017, 02:51:48 PM »
Well I decided to respond that if he wanted me to go I would be glad to and if he didn't want me to go I wouldn't. He responded, "Really, do not go to the funeral."  So this isn't just him giving me an out, which is what I thought instinctively because he would normally say something like 'of course I want you to go but please don't feel you have to.'  This just had a whole different tone about it that made me unsure how to take it.  So I guess I will go to the party I originally was invited to after all. :/

Mrskro

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2017, 05:42:05 PM »
Melbar;

Honestly, in my opinion there is still a communication breakdown.

"if he wanted me to go I would be glad to"  You bounced the ball right back into his corner forcing him to make the decision for you.   

It always infuriated me when my DH would say that.  "I'll go if you want me to" it comes off sounding begrudging and like I'm forcing the other person to do something. 

Melbar

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2017, 09:00:14 AM »
Well yes, I suppose if you asked someone, "Do you want to go to the movies?" and they replied, "I will if you want me to..." that would be quite irritating.  But if you read my original post, my husband literally gave me two different answers in the same sentence, so I simply let him know that whatever he wanted was fine with me. 

Fortunately he understood what I meant and we have communicated about all of this just fine now.  It would be silly to get "infuriated" over such a thing IMO.  People are only human after all, and sometimes our wires get crossed when we communicate, especially via email or text. 

hachi

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2017, 06:45:37 PM »
In the past, I would tend to care more about other people's feeling than my own, but I finally asked myself, "why do I think it is okay for my feelings to be hurt?"

I believe my answer would be 'because that is the essence of kindness - caring more about others than oneself'.  Of course it has its limitations, but I wish it was practiced more in this world.

This is, of course, how I justified never calling out someones behavior when it happened. What I have learned is that it is also unkind to let someone believe that something is okay when it actually isn't. I do still let a lot go. But now, if something is going to really bother me, I just try to clear it up. It is better than having to let go of resentment.
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.      ~ A. Einstein

arneal

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Re: Only wids would understand this...
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2017, 11:57:12 AM »
I have to agree with Mike and others here about the communication issue; however, it goes beyond the male - female dynamic. If your current husband has never been widowed, he would not have access to this 'communication style' about funerals. Not to say that those who have never walked this path cannot feel empathy about it. It's just ... different. No harm, no foul, but worthy of a deeper conversation perhaps. I dare say that an unspoken assumption about this club is that we are sensitive about the notion of funerals for people, even if we don't know them ... that we will be whisked back to our own spousal loss straight away. I've had friends feel like they couldn't tell me that someone died. We all deal differently, right? Like hachi, I tend to be blunt (probably the Jersey in me LOL) and I say, "I can take it -- I've been widowed twice." Needless to say, the conversation changes and folks are no longer afraid to tell me and realize I might be able to bring a different level of encouragement to those who have lost their loved one than some others.
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b