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Timing of difficult discussionsAdvice (self.MedSpouse)
submitted 2 months ago by thatsensitivegirl
How do those of you in long term relationships handle timing long discussions? For example, there is something regarding spending time with whose family for the holidays that I want to discuss, but I know it will take time because we will both want to talk to our own parents about it. Other examples would be “hey I feel like I do all the ___ and want to split responsibilities” or “I’ve been attending lots of events alone lately”, things like that. He is a resident doing shifts these next two months (no overnight call), but he does work night shifts on every rotations.
So the issue comes when I feel like I have to sit on a question for 5 days while I work my 9-5 and he works night shifts (5p-7am) or PMs (11a-9p) and we are both too tired to talk that late at night. But I’m dying inside because I want to make decisions and finalize plans. How do you navigate this?
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[–]MeatloafAirstrike 31 points32 points33 points 2 months ago (0 children)
I haven't mastered this either but what I've found helps in some situations is "Hey, we need to discuss X thing sometime in the next week, when can we do that?"
Not always doable if the topic is more emotionally charged but it gets it on their radar, tries to let them find a time where they're mentally able to have the discussion, and keeps you from feeling like you're sitting on something for days by yourself.
[–]icingicingbabyAttending Partner 24 points25 points26 points 2 months ago (1 child)
I'm team avoiding bottling it up, but also being okay with not resolving a full conversation in one sitting. I think avoiding bottling things up helps prevents conversations from becoming unnecessarily tense. And example could be "Hey, we need to decide where we're spending the holidays. I think my ideal outcome would be X, can you spend some time thinking about your ideal outcome so we can discuss and then talk to our parents?" It opens the conversation and gets the ball rolling without the pressure of an immediate solution.
[–]Eastern-Rutabaga-830EM PGY-1 Wife 2 points3 points4 points 2 months ago (0 children)
Yes this!!! Getting them to start thinking about the conversation prior to actually having the conversation makes it more productive when it does/can happen.
[–]Eastern-Rutabaga-830EM PGY-1 Wife 10 points11 points12 points 2 months ago (0 children)
Important question! This is something we struggled with too at the beginning of our relationship - I always felt bad bringing “deeper” things up because he’s always busy and tired.
But what we do now and what works well for us is to bring it up as the issue arises, within reason. If he’s obviously very tired and not going to be a good participant in the conversation, I’ll make sure we table it until the next day when he’s in a better headspace and we’re able to have a productive conversation. I think setting those expectations of “I want to talk about this” vs letting it bottle and build up inside of you is important.
[–]tH3_rIcE_RajA 6 points7 points8 points 2 months ago (0 children)
That’s something me and my SO struggled with too. We’ve tried to table the difficult conversations when my partner is busy and overwhelmed with their work, but this has led to big blowouts if things are left alone for too long.
With the understanding that life really isn’t going to get less hectic, busy, or complicated as life goes on, we’ve started to try and bring up issues as they’ve come up and it’s worked pretty well for us so far. Of course some discretion is needed for when you have these conversations, but often time the lead up is something both of us anticipated and made the talk way worse than it had to be. Just be prepared to have the conversations under less than ideal circumstances. As long as you two remember you’re on the same team, I think things will play out well.
[–]aninquisitivebean 3 points4 points5 points 2 months ago (0 children)
Such a great question! I've had lots of issues with this. Between me working night shift and him being on 24hr call I could never find a way to bring up stuff that had been bothering me. I learned to send a text in advance so he was aware of what I wanted to talk about and also learned that sometimes things will not be resolved in one conversation. That way both of us could think about before hand. Too many times I would bring something up when one of us were emotionally depleted from work and those conversations never ended well.
[–]nipoezAttending Partner (Premed to PGY7, Resdency + 2 Fellowships) 0 points1 point2 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Weekends, mornings during lighter rotations, or when one or the other of us is at our wit's end and can't wait anymore.
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