Did you ever notice how one bad action can produce another one? Of course you have. Or, maybe you haven't. I was talking with a friend today about relationships, and she was telling me how lately her husband is always in the garage building things he sells on the side. While she loves the money this brings in, she is spending an awful lot of time alone, which is causing her to feel abandoned. So now whenever her husband goes to the garage, she has a snide comment to make. He however, thinks he is doing this great thing making extra money for Christmas, and he has NO idea how abandoned she is feeling. Probably because she hasn't told him either. (Ladies, Men can NOT read our minds!) Her inability to thank him for all the hard work he is doing, coupled with the, now rather frequent, snippy little sidebars are providing him with the foundation to feel vastly under-appreciated. The pressure builds as they each continue to suffer silently in there own agony. Thus allowing their frustration and feelings to drive them farther and farther apart. He is staying in the garage just to avoid her snide comments. This produces in her more and more feelings of loneliness. Until... Someone snaps under the pressure at something trivial. For this couple it was simply that he took her out to dinner and she did not say "thank you". They did not speak for two whole days! I don't know anyone who has not had a similar experience in a relationship.
She did not understand this so, I explained it like this - If you get up every Friday and eat a big breakfast, when you get to work and someone has donuts - you don't really notice or care because, you're not hungry. So one Friday you get up and you think Oh it's Friday, donut day! I will skip breakfast at home and eat a donut at work. Only the person who ALWAYS brings the donuts doesn't come to work. What's that you say? NO DONUTS?!? BUT THERE IS ALWAYS DONUTS ON FRIDAY AND I SKIPPED BREAKFAST!!!
You only cared because you were hungry and you weren't getting what you needed.
So - her spouse is so hungry for appreciation that he notices every time he doesn't get it. And she is feeling so abandoned and alone that she doesn't have anything nice to say when he is around.
My advice... did you ever notice how one good action can produce another one? Be the grown-up. Show a lot of appreciation until he really feels it. This will probably motivate him to want to reciprocate your sentiment. If she tells him she appreciates him, he will begin to feel validated. Then he will probably in turn want to spend more time with her and - TA DA - she will not feel so alone. He may even ask her if she minds before he goes to the garage, which my guess is, she won't, because all she ever really wanted was for him to notice her to begin with.
That is my relationship advice for the day! Until next time...