What should I do after I turn and face the situation with pure emotion since my spouse doesn’t respond effectively?




When I’m the Buffalo with my husband, he will listen nicely, but his lack of empathy and concern leaves my cup half empty, and I feel like I didn’t get anywhere in our relationship progress.

Being a Buffalo doesn’t mean that you’re going to progress, it means that you’re going to be heard that you’re not going to go away from your own voice. It means that you’re going to stand up, you’re going to say those things, you can do it with kindness, you can do it with caring, but it does not mean you’re just going to back down. It means you’re going to give yourself the opportunity to have that voice.

In fact, I usually regret spending 10 minutes talking about it, and wish I had time back and to just be a Buffalo in my own personal work since it is in my control, I can control my progress. For example, when I’m the Buffalo with household tasks, he may respond that he needs rest. And if I want to have the kitchen clean, he has to be able to be rested to work tomorrow because that pays the bills, not picking up after our little ones. Or if I express how his addict makes me feel in the moment, he says I don’t know his thoughts and then I notice he becomes less vulnerable with me because my raw emotions cause shame for him.

So what’s interesting here is we can speak our truth. But sometimes that truth either it’s going to create change or them, or they’re going to be resistant and they’re going to go into shame. I’m not going to be able to control whether they go into shame, but what I can do is I can speak my truth and I can do it in a way that’s still valuing to them. In other words, I’m not going to be able to keep up either. I’m not going to be able to do all of this and I can use some help, it would be helpful. But there’s going to be limitations on what I can do right now because I’m dealing with a lot of things. Anyway, my point then is being able to express your truth in a way that still look, he’s going to be him, if you need help, express I need help. The point then ultimately is can you do it with being true to yourself and still send value? And those are the core concepts.

A few years ago, I’ve shared this story many times, I was working with an individual whose husband came home and would go into the bedroom, look at pornography most of the evening. Finally, she came to my office just fed up, I can’t do this anymore. And so she said, I’m going to take the kids and leave tonight. So we role played what she was going to do, how she was going to say it. And then when he came home, same routine, got his food out the fridge go into his room, she said, Hey, I just want to let you know, I can’t do this anymore. I just, it’s too hard to see you not connecting with me and the children, so I’m going to take the kids and I’m gonna stay at my mom’s and I’d like you to think about our marriage and if you still want us, and this relationship. So she got the kids in the car, her bags at the door knob, she turned around and she faced him and she said, I don’t want to do this. I do want our marriage, but I can’t live the way we’ve been living. And as she grabbed the door knob, she said, I love you. And at that point he told me later that was the first time in his life that he felt loved. Her boundary enabled him to really look in the mirror and reflect. To me that’s an important part of this healing and recovery process.

Join Bloom for Women

For women seeking healing from betrayal trauma.

Join Bloom for Partners

For men seeking help for unwanted sexual behaviors.