All of this week, my husband has been…distant, detached.  When I asked him what was wrong, he would say “nothing”, quietly.  I began thinking that he was hiding something from me, perhaps cheating on me.  I was ruminating and just going crazy.  No matter how many times I asked him, he would say the same thing:  “nothing”.

Yesterday at the cognitive behavioral therapy program, we talked about DEESC scripts.  They are a way to be more assertive, a way to get you to express your needs.  They do not guarantee that you will GET your way (who gets their way all the time anyway?).

D.  —- describe the problem, e.g.  “Yesterday, when you came home and didn’t talk to me…”

E.  —-  express (emotion) e.g. “…I felt sad and confused.”

E. —- empathize e.g.  “I understand you are tired when you get home from work.”

S. —- specifics (I want… I need…) e.g.  “I want you to communicate how you are feeling more.”

C. —- consequences (If… then…) e.g. “If you do communicate with me, then I will understand what is going on more.  If you don’t, then I am going to continue to be suspicious and our relationship will suffer.”

So, it would go:

“Yesterday, when you came home from work and didn’t talk to me, I felt sad and confused.  I understand you are tired when you get home from work.  I want you to communicate how you are feeling more.  If you do communicate with me, then I will understand what is going on more.  If you don’t, then I am going to continue to be suspicious and our relationship will suffer.”

Sounds simple, right?  Just 5 sentences.  It actually isn’t so easy.  In the lecture, we practiced doing a DEESC script.  I did this particular one.  The therapist played my husband.  He kept interrupting me, rolling his eyes and not wanting to listen.  This was to get me prepared for a different reaction than I wanted.  It was difficult.

This morning in the car, I did this DEESC script on my husband.  He asked how I was feeling and I said sad.  He asked why and I immediately went into the DEESC script.  It worked beautifully.  He told me why he was not talking when he came home and it had nothing to do with anything suspicious.  The therapist warned us though, this doesn’t always work and sometimes you need to do them over and over again until you are satisfied with your results.

It’s not easy to communicate your needs, but using a DEESC script makes it much easier.

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