Andrea could feel overwhelmed at times by the demands of young kids, including an infant, in addition to her working. The kids struggled more than most with health and developmental issues, meaning more appointments than most with various specialists. Her husband Rob traveled quite a bit, which put an enormous strain on her.
She wanted to share these feelings with Rob, but when she did, he often got locked into what she could do differently. Other times he would talk about how his work provided for their lifestyle. When he was really stressed, he would respond with some form of you just got to suck it up and deal with it.
Andrea shared that she was just looking for understanding and compassion. Rob shared that since his job at work was to fix problems, he felt compelled to come home and fix Andrea’s problems. Andrea was clear that was not what she wanted or needed.
She just needed to share her frustrating experiences. Especially when Rob was on the road, she could be extremely stressed when the kids had multiple appointments and commitments, including sports. She didn’t need Rob to figure it out for her, she just needed to vent.
What Rob did need to figure out was how to move from fixing her problems to allowing her to share her experiences. Their happiness depended on it.