Monday, October 22, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Spouse and in-laws’ poor communication

Spouse and in-lawsí poor communication

Q: My spouse and his parents seem to have a huge rift when it comes to communication ó meaning, what someone should be told versus what they ask. My husband gets upset because his parents donít share something with him and their response is usually, "Well, you should have asked." And itís not always clear he would know when or what to ask.

We seem to be coming into this issue with the passing of a family member while we were on vacation. None of the details and funeral arrangements have been communicated to us, so Iíve asked, but I know my husband is fuming that they have not let him know details such as date, time and place.

Is there a way to bridge this? They have a long history of different emotional and communication styles, and theyíre not going to go to therapy. My husband doesnít seem to want to accept them as they are. I often either feel caught in the middle, or like I am supposed to try to communicate or explain the otherís behavior.

Asking Versus Telling

A: No. You are not "caught" in the middle, and no, you are not supposed to help him communicate or to explain one party to the other.

These are kind things to offer when people have generally functional relationships that misfire every once in a while. But when you have a pattern of dysfunction like the one you describe here, stepping in to help merely helps to perpetuate the problem.

Worse than that, it actually widens the scope of the problem to include you, too.

So hereís what I suggest. When your husband fumes about his parentsí failure to communicate X or Y, then you say, "Theyíre just doing what they always do. Expecting otherwise seems like a good way to drive yourself nuts."

Or variations: "In other words, theyíre just being themselves. Would it help if we just expected that and had a Plan B ready?"

Comments

Tell Me About It: Husband plays loud music despite wifeís hearing loss

Q: My husband enjoys playing music in our home. He recently installed speakers throughout the house and in our yard as well. Now we have music on all the time, at levels that prohibit conversation. I have moderate hearing loss in one ear as well, so ...
Published: 10/22/18
Is the annual pass worth it? As Disney changes pricing system, we help you decide

Is the annual pass worth it? As Disney changes pricing system, we help you decide

Though costly, annual passes at Disney World, Universal, Busch Gardens and other parks can sometimes be a smarter choice. You just have to know what you’re getting.
Published: 10/19/18

Tell Me About It: Tips for introverts when partners host a party

Q: Iím a borderline extrovert married to a definite introvert. I used to enjoy hosting parties/social events before we got together, but I know heís not a fan and havenít done anything for ages. I also didnít try because we lacked space when we first...
Published: 10/19/18
Riverview Chamber readies for another Trick or Treat Street

Riverview Chamber readies for another Trick or Treat Street

Annual event draws thousands to Riverview High School for seasonal fun
Published: 10/18/18

Tell Me About It: Friendship changes after sister-in-law has a baby

Iíve always had a warm and close relationship with my sister-in-law. Then, she had a baby, and everything changed. She seems to resent me if I talk about things Iím doing for fun. Sheíll say things like, "It must be nice to have that much free time,"...
Published: 10/18/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay this week: MarineQuest, Dia de los Muertos, Brian Kilmeade and more

Top things to do in Tampa Bay this week: MarineQuest, Dia de los Muertos, Brian Kilmeade and more

Top things to do in Tampa Bay this week: MarineQuest, a Dia de los Muertos celebration and Fox co-host Brian Kilmeade.
Published: 10/17/18
5 things to do under $5 this week: Pops in the Park, Circus McGurkis

5 things to do under $5 this week: Pops in the Park, Circus McGurkis

On our list for Oct. 18-24: Free concerts in the park by the Florida Orchestra, free trolley rides in Ybor and a Native American flute gathering.
Published: 10/17/18

Tell Me About It: Friendís inability to make plans feels like ghosting

Q: A former co-worker/friend moved about an hour away several years ago. We were close, texting, talking multiple times a day. Once she moved, that slowed down to a meal a couple times a year and intermittent texts/calls.Since last year, I have been ...
Published: 10/17/18

Tell Me About It: Friend stars dating the guy that broke her heart

Friend stars dating the guy that broke her heart"target="_blank">Friend stars dating the guy that broke her heartQ: My friend "Jane" just told me, as a courtesy, that she has struck up a connection with my ex-boyfriend "John" and that things are hea...
Published: 10/21/18

Tell Me About It: Momís offer to help with twin newborns is rejected

Q: My son and daughter-in-law are expecting twins, their first children together ó she has older children. My husband and I have enjoyed a warm and happy relationship with them and live nearby.My son is a twin so I am fully aware of the need for extr...
Published: 10/16/18