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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Silent Treatment

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Author Topic: Silent Treatment
kamille
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When ever I have an argument or get frustrated with my boyfriend, he always have nothing to say. I don't know if it's because he doesn't care that I'm angry...or if he doesn't understand that I am... or if he is nervous and doesn't know what to say... It's really annoying, because he doesn't say anything, and I'm too proud to be the first to speak out (probably because I know I'll say something that will blow the argument out of proportion.)

For example, today he chose not to tell me until the very last minute (only when his friend called) that he actually was going to hang out with his buddies tonight. This has been the first day in over a week that we've had a full day to hang out, because he is constantly working. In fact, Sunday is his day to hang out with his friends he says. I was not aware of this, and I'm not happy that practically the only day he has free, he is out with his pals. I don't mind if he spends week day nights with his pals, but it would really be nice to have a full day where we can go to the beach, and on drives without having to be somewhere else at a certain time.

So, you can see that I was angry, or frustrated, and you could tell that I was steaming. He didn't say ANYTHING. Anything at all. We drove the whole way home back in silence. I just feel trapped and sad that our schedules won't match up together. I mean, I've got friends too!

I feel like I need to argue it out in order to make a change, or make the situation better instead of just mulling around and not talking and then subsequently forgetting about it next time we speak and acting like it never happened.

What should I do? It's so hard to get him to talk about stuff.

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Heather
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How long have the two of you been dating? have you ever talked about the communication problems you're having and addressed the fact that communicating and working out conflict is really important in a healthy relationship?

If so, how have those talks gone?

I'd also add that it sounds like you're saying you ALSO are not bringing your feelings to the table either when you say you're too proud to speak out first. Thing is, someone has to speak first, and when it comes to working through conflict, people really need to set pride (though I'm not sure how this is about that, anyway) aside.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kamille
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I think I may have expressed my feelings wrongly. It's not that I'm too proud, it was really more of a matter in testing whether or not he will speak.

Because, when ever I want to talk about something, and tell him how I'm feeling, he either stays silent or gives me a one sentence answer that is completely unhelpful. And I tell him that I would like some more help, because relationships need support that's two sided.

I agree, I should have said something instead of keeping silent during the car ride. I just wanted to shut my eyes. We haven't been able to talk about anything recently...I don't even know how he felt about the whole school year. When I brought it up, he said, "Well I'm glad it's over."

Yet, when ever we do have a long chat, he always says he feels better after wards and I do too. I have to admit that I often have a hard time telling people what's wrong. I prefer to listen to other people and solve their problems. I have girl time, and all my friends talk about their problems and then look to me expectantly, waiting for me to talk about something...

It's not that I'm afraid of talking about what's going on.....

We have been dating for 2.5 years. Our strength of communication is great, we have only had one fight before and it was solved by the end of the night. He's a really awesome, easy going, fun loving guy...and maybe I've just been to uptight with school recently...We are talking today, but I don't know what to say...

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Heather
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But I don't hear that your strength of communication is great, I hear you saying that there isn't any if there is any kind of upset or conflict. Am I misunderstanding?

Two and a half years without any movement on this issue at all is a long time: has it been this way always?

When you do manage to have a long talk, like you're saying you do sometimes, what makes that finally happen? Do you have to get very upset and explode, or is something else (hopefully something healthier) forging that communication?

Also, when you say you need more help and things feel one-sided, how has he responded? Has he tried to change his behaviours when you've said that?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kamille
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The strength of our communication varies. For example, we had a huge, huge talk today, and he told me things that had been bothering him for months that I had no idea about. I told him that that has to change and he has to let me know if something is bothering him.

No, it hasn't been like this always. Probably for 3 months it's been stagnant.

During our long talk today, there was a lot of hoing and huming to the tune of "I don't know...(what's going to happen/what are we going to do/how is it going to be/what if, what if, blah blah)..."

Because...well...he is in a band with a couple of his good friends and he's very serious about making music. He believes that this is a great opportunity for him to go to a different province and try his hand at music (21 yrs old).

As you can see...this makes me very upset. We had a really long talk and decided that we would continue to make things work and start to communicate a lot more and work out our schedules so that we get to hang out with each other a lot more because school kind of put a damper on everything.

I'm still at a loss for words right now though. I don't really know what to feel or how to react. This is one of the biggest decisions ever, and I want to be there for him, but I also don't know why he wants to go somewhere I'm not.

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Heather
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Okay, so if this has only been going on the three months, y'all might just be dealing with a rough patch.

As far as the stuff with his music goes, if he does want to be a professional musician, traveling is almost always part of that deal: that's just how it goes. This likely isn't about going somewhere you're not, per se, but about where the opportunity is. heck, that's the case with a lot of different kinds of work for a lot of people.

If he's very serious about making music for his life, perhaps the talk you need to have (if you haven't already) is about how you two, as a couple, plan to deal with travel and times of absence? In other words, in practical ways: how will you talk when apart? How will you see each other and be sure you have dedicated time together? Do you even want to stay together as a couple given the travel, is that something you can live with (if not, then I don't think asking him not to pursue his music is fair)?

If you can have these talks without getting too upset, or making this about him leaving you -- rather than about him choosing to pursue the work of his life, which is no small matter -- and keep it practical, it'll probably go a lot better. Take notes!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kamille
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Yes, I understand that.

Thank you, I just don't really know what else to say.

[ 05-05-2009, 02:39 PM: Message edited by: kamille ]

Posts: 125 | From: Canada | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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