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18 Jul 2010

RE: 1037 Unappreciated and husband doesn''t get it
Thank you cybershrink, you hit the nail on the head. I''ll try and get us to some counseling because he is a great husband otherwise, I just can''t live with all the negativity. It''s dragging me down along with him. I''m trying to help him see the good as well. It''s affecting his mood and work situation and I''ve run out of ideas. This was just one exercise I attempted to help him see some positives and it was quite shocking and hurtful for me to see how difficult it was for him.

Sue I think you misunderstood me. Certainly it is kind to say he appreciates me but that was the exact exercise question (What do you appreciate about me today?) It is to help him see positives, yes small things (such as taking the dog for a walk) but he has an honest inability to see things positively. Answering a question with the question subject matter is not an answer. " What do you appreciate about me? You."  Does that seem like an effective exercise to do daily?

However I do agree with your basis that I should be happy with his answers which I would be if there were any. I gave simple examples in order to try and help him give basic answers but he couldn''t even show appreciation for the most basic things. I will and do thank him whenever he does say something but it''s pointless to do the exercise if his answer daily is going to be " I appreciate you" . The point was to help him see specifics. It''s a generic answer for him, when asked why he appreciates me he can t elaborate at all, he''s very good however at pointing out every flaw. I hope I''m being more clear this time. I realize it can sound very mean and one-sided (I just want a pat on the back type of thing) but that is definitely not the case. Have you ever lived wth a person who costantly only points out your flaws? I''m hoestly trying to help him see the good in life too and not just what bothers him.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Its nice to be able to hit the occasional nail ! As you now show, although this persistently negative attitude on his side is unpleasant for you, it can't be much fun for him either, and as you saym, affects his work and presumably other relationships, too.
In your exercise, maybe "appreciate" is a difficult concept for him, but he apparently has no dificulty in recognizing things he DOESN'T appreciate, though that may not be how he conceives of them - what, to him, ARE his criticisms or negative statements about ? Things that could be done better ? ( then can he think of things that are done pretty well ? ) It could be useful to parse his vocabulary for such things, to clarify what his categories are, because whatever he thinks of them as, they're handy examples of the opposite of what you are seeking
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