Ideal Conversations

I'm so sick of having crappy conversations that just end in a bunch of hurt feelings because everyone is a raw nerve right now.

Two conversations in one night.

Conversation #1 (from the point of view of the man)
Ideally:
Man: What do you want to do for your birthday
Woman: City museum and hotel and my tattoo
Man (internal dialog): I haven't finished her tattoo design yet, and money is tight (grimaces and thinks about options for a second)
Woman: What's wrong? Is that going to be a problem? Should we do something else?
Man: I just need to check finances and see what I can do. I don't want to disappoint you and I'm trying really hard to make your day special.
Woman: I know you are trying hard and I appreciate that

Reality:
Man: What do you want to do for your birthday
Woman: City museum and hotel and my tattoo
Man (internal dialog): I haven't finished her tattoo design yet, and money is tight (grimaces and thinks about options for a second)
Woman: No? Well then I give up. I tell you what I want for my birthday and I can't have any of it!
Man: SCRAMBLES FOR COVER!

Conversation #2 (again from the man's point of view)

Ideal
Woman: What are you doing?
Man: Working on a logo for Syed
Woman: Oh okay. It's getting late and I'd like to spend some time with you. How much longer do you think you'll be?
Man: I can always come back to this. What do you want to talk about
Woman: Thank you... (and conversation ensues)

Reality
Woman: What are you doing?
Man: Working on a logo for Syed
Woman: UGH!
Man: What?
Woman: I'm going to bed... (and griping about what the man should do or isn't doing right)

And now everyone's feelings are nice and hurt because the man tried to explain why he got angry after the women pitched a fit because he didn't respond in the proper tone, or the proper speed, or with the proper words, or with the right excitement. Because when he says he doesn't like being treated badly or yelled at or made to feel abandoned he's an asshole and being hurtful. But if the women want to say the same thing, they're just expressing their feelings and the man should be okay with that.

It's this stupid double standard bullshit that happens every single day. Any woman within my household gets to tell me what a dick I'm being or how I hurt their feelings or how short I am with them or how I was rude or you name it. But if I stand up and say "I don't like being yelled at" or I point out a behavior that seems common, then I'm mean or hurtful or wrong or what-have-you. But regardless it's always my fault. ALWAYS! I'll be the one to say sorry in the morning. I'll be the one to beg so that I don't lose the ones I love. I'll be the one to prostrate myself at someone else's feet every single time.

That's fine.

But all I want is someone to breath through things for 15 seconds. Just stay with me, be patient. That's all I need. Just talk to me and give me 15 seconds of your time to answer you, or give me 15 seconds by saying what you really want of me, or give me 15 seconds to work out the calculations in my head over whether I buy tires for the car or buy a tattoo.

I'm under a pressure like you wouldn't believe right now and I'm running on zero sleep and I'm getting behind in my work again and I have demands coming from every angle and my tank is empty. I'm in full caregiver exhaustion. All I need is someone to sit patiently with me and hear me... really hear me... and acknowledge what I am saying and not try to find their position to defend, but just hear me.

There's no war here. We're not opposing sides. I don't have a weapon. But I feel like every conversation is a bomb waiting to go off. If I pause too long, if I use the wrong word here, if I make a comparison, if I repeat to try to understand and get it wrong, BOOOOOM! Dead!

If it's not the person I'm talking to then it's me. It just goes round and round because we're all trying to find our own in this. We're all trying to get our needs met and when someone isn't meeting them we become volatile instead of communicating. And on the rare instances where we try to honestly communicate it's hard to time it right so that the other person is in a responsive mood, a listening mood.

Is it really too much to ask?