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I’ve GOT to get this book …

with 16 comments

… if only to keep Katie from killing me because I continually fail to really undertsand what she’s trying to tell me 😉

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Written by The Canuck

August 15, 2008 at 3:35 pm

16 Responses

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  1. You could certainly follow my hubby’s lead and just master the man-nod-ehrmmhmm and reply, “what do you think?” to everything she says. 😉
    Although, the down side is that once you get caught in that one you are pretty much SOL.

    Jill

    August 17, 2008 at 12:49 pm

  2. The key is to validate her feelings, even when you think that she is being completely irrational and illogical. She probably is, but those feelings are more important than trying to make sense, so better to calm her down and tell her she has a right to be mad, sad, whatever — even when you don’t agree. At this point, it’s not about *winning* the argument. You can still disagree and say, “I understand you are upset, and you have a right to be.” Most of the time, that recognition means more than saying, “Honey, you’re right.”

    Man-nod, for me, would drive me crazy, because I would think that you aren’t really concerned with what is legitimately bothering me (even if it’s bothering me for illogical reasons). If you cared, you would listen and let me/us/her vent.

    We had lots of “communication” issues, so learn from my failed marriage of what NOT to do! 🙂

    Top thing to remember:
    Love.
    Love as Christ loved.

    I don’t think you will have any problems. 🙂

    Jaibee

    August 18, 2008 at 8:43 am

  3. Canuck,
    Seriously, you are one of the best guys I know – you will be a great hubby to our beloved Kasia!
    The very fact that you even brought up getting the book clearly indicates how much you really care about what she is saying (or trying to say) and that you really are listening and want to understand.

    I think love and laughter go hand in hand. Rick and I have found humor to be one of the biggest graces in our marriage. The fact that we can laugh at ourselves and with one another is a real blessing. We do our share of “translating” to each other too.
    Rick has his “man-nod” moments, and did in fact reply once or twice with, “what do you think?” when he actually wasn’t really listening (he would then pay close attention to my explanation so he could form some sort of response) — but he copped to it and then we hastled and teased each other and we laughed about it. Now it’s our standing joke.

    Honestly, I certainly have my own moments when I’m being a nag or a gnat. So I’ve had to learn when and how to discuss things with him so that he can hear me out. Communication goes both ways and we each have to pull our weight.

    You and Kasia have great love and respect for one another. You’ll work out a successful “code.”

    Jill 🙂

    Jill

    August 18, 2008 at 11:49 am

  4. I don’t know how I managed to spell “hassled” incorrectly, but I threw in a “t” and mangled the word — oops! I hate when that happens!

    Jill

    August 18, 2008 at 11:51 am

  5. Jaibee,

    I completely understand what you’re saying and (I’d like to think) I’ve done a pretty good job so far of being understanding and caring when my sweetie’s upset. What I was thinking about when I posted this was more along the lines of moments like this:

    Sweetie: “Are you hungry?”
    Me: “Hmmm, not really”
    Sweetie (thinking to herself): “Hasn’t he learned yet that when I ask if HE’S hungry, it’s code for ‘I’m hungry, let’s get something to eat’ “?
    Me (thinking to myself): “Doo dee doo dee dee doo dee …”

    Of course I have to mention that men have “code” moments like that too (lest I get in trouble for being sexist 😉 ).

    Jill,

    Thanks 🙂 Kasia and I have said (on more than one occassion) to each other, “Look at Jill & Rick – that’s the kind of marriage we’d like to strive for. Sure, they’re not perfect, they bicker from time to time, but, at the end of the day, you can tell that they really love and respect one another and, apart from being husband and wife, they’re really good friends”

    We are VERY lucky to have a few couples that we can try to model our marriage after 🙂

    The Canuck

    August 18, 2008 at 11:59 am

  6. ROFL!!!

    You are all correct… 🙂

    The only thing I have to point out is that I didn’t have exactly that reaction when I asked if he was hungry and he said no. My actual thoughts ran more along the lines of “Oh. Darn. He’s not hungry yet. Um, well, how hungry am I? Should I try to wait until he’s hungry, or should I get something to eat independently of him? Of course, if I do that, then the problem of being hungry at different times is compounded rather than minimized…but if I don’t eat, will I be grouchy and unfairly crabby with him?”

    Meanwhile, while he may be thinking “Doo de doo dee dee doo dee…”, he is also observing the expressions on my face as I run through this scenario, and is cluing in that something isn’t quite in synch. Because I have no kind of poker face. 🙂

    Kasia

    August 18, 2008 at 12:07 pm

  7. Yeah, I’ve seen the “unhappy Kasia face” once or twice 🙂

    The Canuck

    August 18, 2008 at 12:09 pm

  8. ROFL. Only once or twice, eh? 😉

    Kasia

    August 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm

  9. OK, maybe two or three times, but one was in those old home movies we watched at your mom’s house 😉

    The Canuck

    August 18, 2008 at 12:11 pm

  10. Kasia,

    Two words. Candy Bar. (I suppose I could have said energy bar, or granola bar – but what is the fun in that?)
    Keep one handy and go eat it in secret. That way you will keep the hunger-monster at bay but still be hungry enough to be able to eat with your sweetie-pie once he’s hungry!

    😉

    Jill

    August 18, 2008 at 12:43 pm

  11. Heeheehee.
    I still think that in every marriage there will come a time where the husband will come across the wife:
    W: *sob*
    H: “What’s wrong??!?”
    W: “I don’t know!”

    🙂

    And, sometimes, the correct answer isn’t to try and rush out to fix it and/or slay the dragon (normal boy response), but to say, “Come here,” and just hold her. 🙂

    During pregnancy, “Are you hungry?” can mean, ‘Make sure I’m fed in the next 30 minutes.’ “I’m hungry,” usually means that you should drive like the Fast and the Furious to feed her within the next 5 minutes, before she starts biting at you. 🙂 Just saying. 🙂

    Jaibee

    August 19, 2008 at 8:59 am

  12. Jaibee! You are giving the Canuck an “advanced course” before he’s taken Husband 101. No fair! 😉
    *Hormones and Pregnancy: The Survival Course* should only be taken after the prerequisite classes!!

    Jill

    August 19, 2008 at 9:27 pm

  13. Hey, now! You are supposed to give your kids “The Talks” (sex, drugs, strangers, etc), BEFORE they need them. 🙂

    He’s doing very well with his prerequisite courses, I would say.

    We should tell him about the super-secret bonus points events, but maybe not where Kasia can read…. Some things are better as surprises…. 🙂

    Oh, and the warning….
    While that book MAY be helpful, all books of this nature are necessarily stereotypical and may or may not apply to your particular woman. So…. Grain of salt…. Insight, not Gospel. 🙂

    Jaibee

    August 20, 2008 at 8:38 am

  14. HAH 🙂

    “Hormones & Pregnancy: The Survival Course” – kinda scary
    “Super-secret bonus points events” – kinda intriguing

    I do have to admit that my normal response to almost ANY unpleasant situation is to rush out and try to fix it and/or slay the dragon. I’m still working very hard on learning when that is not an appropriate reaction. My sweetie can probably tell you how I’m doing on that front.

    The Canuck

    August 20, 2008 at 9:41 am

  15. Not that rushing out to slay the dragon is *always* the less appropriate response – it’s highly conditional, which is where most men get tripped up. 🙂

    Jaibee

    August 21, 2008 at 6:34 am

  16. Mrs. DJ and I have been married for 10 years, and I still struggle to find the appropriate way to respond to her.

    When Mrs. DJ presents me with yet another dilemma (and if you know anything about our children, you know what I mean by that), especially if I suspect it will consume too much of our time to allow us to attend to more pressing and persistent matters, my first instinct is to Solve the Problem and Make It Go Away. Intellectually, I know she’s just trying to share an experience or concern and would love to have sympathy, but I just can’t seem to get it right. I can’t switch from problem-solving mode to sympathy-and-sharing mode.

    Jaibee, I understand your point about the mad rush to slay the dragon, but I have the hardest time doing as you suggest in your earlier comment. I guess when I see a household full of difficult situations, and my wife presents me with yet another difficult situation, my instinct is to try to eliminate the new one so we can focus on the persistent ones. And that mad rush of problem-solving fervor has landed me in more than one heated, ummm, discussion over the past 10 years.

    Apparently I’m a slow learner on the communication front. I wonder if my older daughter inherited some of her Asperger traits from dear ol’ dad…

    djrakowski

    August 26, 2008 at 10:16 am


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