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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3778
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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My husband wanted to retrieve some pictures of his from my

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My husband wanted to retrieve some pictures of his from my phone, which I was holding. He reached for it, wanting him to let me do it himself. I moved my hand away, and told him to explain to me how to do it instead. He said, "fine, do it all yourself then". I then asked him if he wanted a specific picture, and he replied, "I don't want anything anymore". I tried to understand why, and asked him, but it resulted in him shutting me off, and telling me to shut up. I kept talking to him, feeling that if I was to stop then I would be sending a message that telling me "shut up" is an acceptable way of addressing me. He kept saying "f**k you", and I kept saying "this is not how you will get what you want out of me". I would have responded very differently to him asking me for some time for himself, or saying "I don't want to talk to you right now". I feel that if I stop speaking on his demand, I collude in his power game. Could you please suggest some possibly more constructive ways of responding to demands of not being talked to this way?

Hi and welcome. I'm a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

It seems like the two of you can get into this type of struggle as you both are trying to maintain your positions. One way to look at things moving forward is to consider yourselves allies rather than the other one trying to hurt or control. With two strong personalities this kind of dynamic can exist but that does not mean it always needs to be this way. One of the things to ask yourself is what and how were you feeling when he asked for the phone and what got in the way of you giving it to him? Was it because it felt he was demanding it from you? Once you figure out how you feel in response to some of his ways, then it will be easier to advocate for what you need.

His disrespectful way of addressing you is hurtful and in that exact moment most likely you will not be able to get through to him. so, I would suggest that when things feel quiet, calm and happy between the two of you you can let him know how you love and care for him and desire that both of you do better in how you communicate with each other and how hurt you can feel when he uses bad language while addressing you. It also sounds like he has some anger built up so it may be important to address this possibility. Keep in mind your goal...and that is long term improved communication. Go to him in love and caring and request that you both work on things to connect better and care for one another even in tense and difficult moments.

Hope these tips are helpful.

I am in the US so I will check your response when I am back online.

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