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Need some perspective on spousal emotional support

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I just returned from being gone for four days visting family. The first day that I was gone, my wife fell and hurt herself. While she luckily did not require medical attention, it was quite a scary incident, and she was shaken up and in a lot of pain. On top of that, she discovered a bad pipe leak, had a big blowout with her parents- In other words, almost everything that could go wrong, did go wrong while I was gone.


While I was gone, and since I have returned, she has expressed frustration that I showed little concern and support, particularly about her injury. I did not call every few hours to check in, but I called usually once or twice a day, and 'tried' to be as supportive as I could at a distance. However, I felt stuck on reassurances such as 'I'm sorry that it happened' and 'it must be really difficult' and 'I wish I could be there/ do more for you', which really didn't ring through as being supportive to my wife..


I completely recognize that the situation of a husband leaving for a few days and everything going wrong can be very frustrating for a spouse, and was very frustrated myself that I was not able to be there in person to be more supportive. However, I wasn't (and am not) exactly sure how to express my concern more than I was doing.. I feel that this is a case of 'feeling' supportive, but not expressing it in the right way.. Any thoughts? Perspective? Words of wisdom?

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i can only tell you from my perspective...


my fiance is away at a training right now- his day is FILLED. But he makes time to call me and just say "hi" .... even if the phone conversation is only a few minutes long- its good to hear his voice and know that he is thinking of me.


if he wasn't doing that - and i had to chase him down - or i had to wait hours and hours for phone calls.. that would bother me a lot.


If the tables were turned- he would be getting as many calls and text messages from me -


i just think your wife expected and needed you to be more supportive- "hey honey .. checking in.. how is everything- did you call the plumber? did you take something for the pain? i'm sorry i'm not there... i'm thinking of you honey and when i get home we'll take care of everything... i love you" ...


and then give her a call the next time you have a few minutes.. don't let hours and hours go by without letting her know you are thinking of her and what she is dealing with at home.

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I have a similar situation so I'm interested in knowing what people think on this as well. If I may ask, has your wife expressed to you what would have been a sufficient response to her circumstances?


This is a good point. I'd suggest saying to her something like "Honey, whether or not you believe it, you were on my mind a great deal. What could I have done differently so that you would have understood that? I wouldn't want you to think that I didn't care. Please be honest with me so that the next time, I know what you need from me."

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Sounds like good advice to me.


If I was away visiting my family and my husband had an injury causing him much pain but not requiring medical attention I'd leave and come back home. But that's just me. i couldnt enjoy myself with my family or really concentrate or be there with them mentally.. knowing that happened to him. So provided it was possible (financially and otherwise) to go home I would have.


To be perfectly honest if it were me who had the fall, I would at the very least want him to offer to come home (if that were possible).


But if that isnt going to be done then yeah, several text messages throughout the day even - about the fall, about the plumbing, abdout the family. Asking if there was any change. How was I feeling? How am I doing? that kind of thing..


Basically.. just... some attention!

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Did you tell her that you wished you were there to help, or that you were frustrated that you couldn't be by her side?


It sounds like you felt those things, but might not have told her.


If I feel like I'm the only emotional one when things go wrong, it doesn't really help. Maybe if you opened up to her about your own feelings, and how much you were thinking of her, that would be more the kind of response she had been looking for from you.

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