July 23, 2012 12:53 PM Subscribe
Our communication sucks. What can I do about this?
posted by 3491again to human relations (33 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I have a lot of issues with my boyfriend -- he's a wonderful guy but I always wind up feeling put down, or put upon, or not getting my needs met. Our communication sucks and I don't know how to fix it.
He just doesn't seem to hear me unless I get upset, which I hate to do.
For example, I want to go out to events with him. He has refused to go, stood me up, panicked and had to leave... he says he won't make plans, doesn't like crowds, is a homebody. Yet, he is traveling in a far-off country right now with a friend/work colleague of his and they are going out to see the sights. (He works with some very good friends so he has extended the work trip from a few days to two weeks.)
Things seem to work best when I get more confrontational than I would like. He planned the trip with me when I got upset and asked him why he never goes out with me yet will travel with his friend/work colleague. He went to one event with me (finally) when I got upset and said that I was going to go with someone else unless he came with me.
I mentioned in an earlier AskMe that our conversations "fall flat". I've been paying more attention over the past couple of weeks and I think that's just because he can only talk about whatever is on *his* mind. So if I bring something up that he can't relate to (like what I did that day), he just says "Oh, nice" or "That's great" and doesn't follow up with "Yeah, I did that once" or "How did that feel?" or anything. It's like he can only talk about what he wants to talk about.
It's like he's stuck in his own head and completely self-centered unless something jars him out of it (like me being upset). He is like this with his other friends, so I know that it's not just me.
At the same time, he tells me he loves me, wants to marry me, I'm the love of his life, etc. We have so many things in common and he is such a wonderful loving person in so many ways -- and also he is everything I've dreamed of in a partner. But our communication sucks and always has.
When I tell him something I want, I just don't feel any certainty at all that I have any chance of getting it, or even knowing if I ever will. It seems like I have to get upset for him to hear me.
I don't want to DTMFA yet. Let's leave that out of this for a while.
- Are you like this? What does your partner do to relate to you better and get her needs met?
- What are your suggestions for better communication?
- How do I ask for what I want in a way that he can hear?