Couple Wrestles With Communication Breakdowns
DEAR ABBY: I love my wife very much, but we are, unfortunately, having a communication/interpretation issue. She is inquisitive and asks a lot of questions. I become defensive when I'm questioned. Sometimes I feel it shows a lack of confidence or trust in me. My wife says I am being too sensitive.
There are times when I infer a negative tone where there is none, and others when I believe my perception is spot-on. Sometimes, I suspect she's unwilling to accept any answer that does not match her own thinking. She comes from a family where correcting each other, even over the smallest thing, is common. She's an educator, so in some ways, it's part of her job.
My wife seems unable to use alternative phrasing that is less likely to trigger a defensive response. When we have conflict over this, it seems I am always the one who has to give ground. When I try to explain my feelings, it only makes things worse. When I choose to be more assertive, it results in more escalation. I am blessed with a spouse who is independent, strong-minded and outspoken. How can I develop a thicker skin so I won't feel like I am second-guessed at every turn? When should I speak up? -- MISUNDERSTOOD IN TEXAS
DEAR MISUNDERSTOOD: NOW would be a good time to speak up. When you do, tell your wife -- the educator -- that you feel second-guessed at every turn, and it's time to enlist the help of a licensed marriage and family therapist so you two can improve your communication skills. If she's willing, it could be helpful for your marriage. If she isn't, then go without her to help you figure out whether you really are "too sensitive."
Be our guest: Favorite Chuseok dishes explained
Chuseok, the traditional fall harvest holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar, is an occasion when family members get together to give thanks for the past year while wishing good fortune for the remainder of the year over a special meal.
The festive mood of Chuseok remains the same today, but social customs deeply embedded in the holiday have changed. Just a few decades ago, men in the kitchen during Chuseok, or any time of the year, was a rarity. But today, more men are taking part in the preparations for the large family gathering.
Another noticeable change is the number and variety of dishes served.
Instead of a Chuseok table laden with rows of dishes, many households today pick only a few to lessen the burden of meal preparation and to allow all family members to spend more time together instead.
Meanwhile, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Chuseok gatherings remain restricted. Family gatherings at home are allowed for up to eight people, including up to four people who have not been vaccinated, from Sept. 17 to 23 during the Chuseok holiday season under the current social distancing rules.
For large extended families, this Chuseok might be different from usual, but a hearty home-cooked meal can still warm up the soul.
Following are recipes for three all-time Chuseok favorites. The degree of difficulty varies from beginner to advanced.