Relationship Replay: Jeff and Pam have moved to Hollywood so that he can explore his love of acting. Meanwhile, Pam gave up a life she loved back in the Midwest and now feels stuck in a job she hates along with caring for Jeff’s ailing father. She is a supportive, giving partner, but is she giving too much?
Dr. Berman’s homework:
Learn to express anger: Angry isn’t unhealthy, as long as you express it in the moment and do not allow it to fester under the rug. You don’t have to be negative or name-call. Just be frank and open, such as “I feel angry that you forgot my birthday” or “I get upset when you are late for dinner and don’t call to let me know you are okay.”
Don’t use humor to deflect your true feelings: It’s easy to use humor or jokes to try to gloss over problems in the relationship. However, it can be passive-aggressive and serve as a barrier for true communication. Instead of relying on jokes, be open and honest about how you really feel.
Don’t be a martyr: It’s easy to sit and stew when your own needs go unnoticed, but the truth is that your partner might not even know what your needs are. As much as we want men to be mind-readers, the truth is that they need clear, concise directions in order to give us what they want…and they actually crave this open communication! Most men want to make their partners happy, they just need to know how, so speak up and let him know.