How Can Feeling Messages End Up “Heated”?

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angerThe Question:

“Rori, Not sure if anyone has had this problem with feeling messages. Sometimes when I’m going back and forth with my husband and using feeling messages, he will abruptly respond with, “Well, I’m sorry YOU feel that way.”

We listened to a Wayne Dyer self help thing many years ago that basically said we aren’t responsible for how others feel and when someone tries to make their anger our problem, we could say, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

The self help was more talking about when someone doesn’t like changes your making or things you are doing, you’re not responsible for their resentment towards you and what they think about you isn’t any of your business. I understand that concept however I feel the feeling messages are different. I’m not accusing him and I’m not saying, “You made me feel mad when you did xyz.”

However, I often find myself stuck when in a heated discussion and my husband wants me to give him instructions or make a decision or tell him what to do. Sometimes he outright calls me out on using feeling messages, although he knows nothing about this program..

Sometimes he even has responded with,” It doesn’t matter how you feel, what do you think?” Does anyone else have this problem? When he apathetically says, “Well, I’m sorry you feel that way.” Sometimes I respond with, “Me too. I don’t like feeling (insert feeling) It doesn’t feel good.”

Another time I was stressed and I said, “I just feel like I have so much said, “When I am asked questions and feeling vulnerable and expressing how I feel and someone dismissively tells me they are sorry I feel a certain way, I feel disconnected and when I feel disconnected, I feel like withdrawing.”

I withdrew and backed out of the room, but he angrily followed me and I eventually just got frustrated and flustered and couldn’t go any more rounds and went back to my old ways of communicating as that was clearly what I felt pressured into doing- explaining myself and saying what I think and all that…..

Any tips on how to navigate this and stay on track with feeling messages? Also another question is how do I respond when he does say how he feels? You teach us men are to be the thinking ones, but what do we do when they are speaking in feeling messages? Frustrated”

My Answer:

Frustrated, Basically, it sounds from your letter that you’re resisting giving him the information he needs.

You may keep saying that you feel hungry – but he wants to know what you feel like EATING – WHERE you feel like going! And that’s all part of the “Scripting!”

If it’s getting “heated” – there’s something not going right – as soon as you notice that, check to see if you’re leaning forward, backing off, shutting down…

Love, Rori


  1.  #1forest siren on June 25, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Over the years following Rori I really have learned that less is more with my man. I don’t really ask him questions anymore and find that when he talks and shares with me its coming from him. I’ve become a much better listener .. I was always a good listener, but I was used to doing it in a way that listened and offered advice (like you do with girlfriends) .. I still can fall into that but I’m much better at it.

    My man ‘catches’ my feelings all the time. I like that, and when I share that I’m happy, sad, contemplative, feeling quiet or feeling joy or disappointed etc he used to get so defensive but he now has more tolerance to listen without having to fix it or get angry. But if I am feeling depressed etc he will ‘catch’ that and then the emphasis will shift to him and how he is feeling. When I stay focused on me I can ‘outgirl’ him, just wondering if anyone has ever noticed that? I think that he is very sensitive and he constantly picks up on other’s feelings.

    Or he will say I know how you feel and then pull the focus to him. I think that’s probably a guy thing but any tips for how to get the focus back on me? Or is that the goal? That we both empathize with each other?

  2.  #2Femininewoman on June 26, 2016 at 2:51 am

    Sounds like a good man forest

  3.  #3jessie1001 on June 27, 2016 at 9:01 am

    My bf wants to live with me for the rest of the summer even though he has abruptly decided without any of my input that hes homesick and hes going back to his own country…likely for good.
    He cant understand why i dont want to see him as of TODAY …asap…
    He seems to want to talk about it?? which I find so insensitive and it boils in me so much nothing but omg drop on your head and get away from me comes out of my mouth and no feeling messaages….I cant even seem to say in my head anything that doesnt sound like self pity…like I feel like u just effectively dumped me with a move forward date which is very useful for u to use me and sit with me for the summer regardless that u dont want any future with me….i get so angry i cant calm down and I have alot of problems with my 18 year old and doing drugs that I really dont need this right now….this was like the worst weekend of my life…my son almost overdosed on xanex and meph amphetimine as he is experimenting and while going to addiction therapy he has no control right now over his drug use….now my bf dumps this on my head i just want him to get out of my face and never talk to me again
    AM i wrong? Or just reacting to everything
    is anything salvageable…i dont feel like a siren I feel like a psycho who wants to kick his ass out of my house and step on my phone so I never hear his voice again
    ANy advice would be wonderful

  4.  #4Indigo on June 28, 2016 at 12:53 am


    I think you are probably under an immense amount of strain and now may not be the best time to make rash decisions about breaking up with your boyfriend.

    If it were me I would try to figure out what I need from him and then ask him for that. Maybe it’s a few days of space, can he find somewhere else to live while you get your head straight?

    Maybe it’s emotional support or helping you out with what needs to be done for your son. Maybe it’s clarity on exactly what he sees for his future.

    It sounds like you are under a lot of pressure, and it is understandable that you would be getting angry.

  5.  #5Hope&faith on June 30, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    I need love script help. Im getting the hang of saying I feel and what do i thing just like Rori Rayes states to do so . I also got the hang of not twlling him what i would ike to do but to say I want to watch a movie …. even thought I feel is sounds demanding , but i need help most of the time my long time boyfriend always ask me what are the plans for the weekend , what we doing , or what I wanna do, mostly I would like to do alot of stuff but Im not sure how to respond to him , today he ask me whats up for the weekend ,I said i cant wait to see him and I want him to tale over and make the plans . Is that correct ??
    What else could I said ..any suggestions !
    How about if I got invited somewhere last miute and I want him to come do I just say , Im going here ____do u wanna go? Is that correct way to talk to him , i just need a little help to get the hang of it.