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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Another Relationship Problem

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Author Topic: Another Relationship Problem
Roxie102
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The other day I decided to tell my boyfriend about the fears I was having concerning our futures, how perhaps our plans and goals may not be compatible in the long run. He basically told me not to worry about it but he refused to talk any further because my birthday was the next day and he didn't want to say or do anything that might upset me more. I thought that was sweet and considerate, but now I'm feeling even worse.

He told me he thought maybe we needed a break so I could think. He said he felt like he was causing me emotional distress, even though I told him he wasn't, that this fear was my own problem to work out. After we talked, I ended up thinking about it and found some comfort and closure about the situation, and I feel more ready to face my fears of the future head on, knowing that I can only live in the present and take things as they come. My problem is, he still refuses to talk about it at all. If I bring it up, even in a small way, he gets all defensive and moody and threatens to hang up the phone. I told him we'd never feel better about it as a couple if we didn't talk it through, especially since I'm in a better position to now, but he just keeps telling me not to talk about it. I even asked him why, and he didn't even really give me a solid answer, kind of just blaming his mood on the bad day he had.

My problem is this - even though I've worked out my fears and my emotions myself, I still want to talk to him about it so I can tell him how I feel now and so he can tell me how he feels. He's putting me under a lot of stress by refusing to talk to me about it, and honestly, it's all I think about. I asked him if he still wanted to be with me, and he said yes. I of course still want to be with him as well, but I really just need some closure, and I'm kind of stuck feeling like ****.

I told myself I'd just wait till he brought it all up again, but that's proving to be harder than I'd imagined.

[ 10-04-2011, 09:53 AM: Message edited by: Roxie102 ]

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Heather
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So, all of the things you have said here, you have told him these things? Like that it is very stressful for you he is refusing to talk this through and get to some resolution as a couple? That it's not okay with you he keeps telling you not to talk about something you really need to resolve?

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Roxie102
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No, I didn't tell him that this was stressing me out, but I did ask him how he thought we could reach a solution and both feel better if we don't talk, and as I recall, he just stayed silent. I realize he wasn't in the greatest mood yesterday, and maybe I was wrong for bringing up such a heated topic, but it's just gnawing at me. He'd said we'd talk about it this week since he was afraid of ruining my birthday (I asked him why, if we were in no danger of breaking up. He said he knew himself, and was afraid of saying something negative that he maybe didn't mean.), but it's this week, and it seems to becoming less of him caring that it's my birthday and more of him just having an internal conflict that he's too bothered by to even talk to me about. I mean, maybe that's it - maybe he needs time to think it all through. But if that's the case, why can't he say that?
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Heather
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If he said this week, how about going through this week and giving him the chance to get there. It's very early in the week, and maybe he does just need more time to be able to talk with you about it well. After all, people we're with intimately won't always be able to talk about the big stuff at the same time we are, and vice-versa. Sometimes we need to accept bookmarks people put in like this so we can get to a point where we can have a productive conversation everyone involved feels able to have and have well.

You up to waiting this one out this week? Then, if he doesn't bring it up at all by the weekend, we can discuss how you can put it back on the table?

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Roxie102
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I'll try that. I guess I haven't been very considerate of HIS emotions in the past few days. Maybe if I slack off, he'll open up more.
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Heather
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I suspect some of this might be that YOU just need to really talk about this, which is understandable. Are you talking about it with more than just him? If not, and you need somewhere you can talk about it more in the meantime, we're happy to talk with you if you'd like.

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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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Roxie102
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I don't really have anyone else to talk to about it, so that'd be great.

I have had a bunch of unresolved negative feelings about the future of our relationship. I'll be going to college next year, and he'll be finishing up his last year of high school. That isn't what really bothers me, because I'll probably end up going to college in the same town my boarding school is in, so our distance won't change. What I worry about is that he's planning on going to one of the military academies, which at the closest, would be about 500 miles away, and at the farthest, 1500 miles away. I had just been stuck on thinking the distance and time constraints he'd be facing would ruin us, and it's something I think about kind of frequently, regardless of the fact that's over a year away, and who knows, may not even turn out like this.

Anyway, I decided I needed to tell him how afraid I was, and the few things he ended up telling me were the fodder I needed to get some closure. I realized that if things don't work out, it just wasn't meant to be and that there are most certainly lots of other guys out there if this relationship comes to an end. Realizing all of this, for real, has made me feel a lot more comfortable with the uncertainty of the future, and I'd really just like to tell my boyfriend where I stand now, and that I do indeed feel better. I'd also like to see how he feels about it now. We clearly want to be together currently, so really, the future shouldn't be an issue. He's even told me he feared ME going to college, on multiple occasions actually. I tried my best to help him through that, so I'm a little confused as to why he's making this, my fear, such a big deal. I know probably a lot of it is that he himself is a little insecure and questioning of his future and his wants, and really, I'd be willing to help him with that if he so pleased.

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Heather
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No problem!

I get -- and think it's great -- that you've gotten to a place where you feel much more comfortable with this relationship even if it doesn't turn out to endure over many years. I think that's really sound, especially during times of life when everyone is in so much flux.

Do you have a sense of where he's at with that? Obviously, you might not, and this might be some of what you're waiting to talk about. But if you do have any ideas about that, does it feel like he's at or near that place, too, or like for him, a lot more of being together now is tied to his sense or desire to have this continue for a long time, and/or for your own desire for that?

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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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Roxie102
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he's told me that he wants to stay with me, through college and all, but at the same time, he's more serious about his career and goals than our relationship, and I totally understand and respect that because I know it's all something he's wanted a long time. so right now, he's telling me he has his goals, which may or may not pan out, and he's willing to make our relationship work, but knows that it's not the end of the world if it doesn't. In relation to that, my goals are a lot more fluid. I suppose this is still how he feels, but at the same time, I'm wondering if maybe he's rethinking a lot of stuff, especially in these past few days.

Oh, one more think, I think maybe I've made him a little uncomfortable because prior to my realization, I was freaking out because I was afraid we'd not last when I felt he was all I wanted. He just told me that there are lots of other guys out there besides him, and I know that now. I really just want to clear that up with him now, because I know putting the pressure of such a long term commitment can be a bad idea.

[ 10-04-2011, 02:24 PM: Message edited by: Roxie102 ]

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Heather
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It sounds like you're thinking about all of this in really sound ways, and with a lot of room for the ways you two are different.

I know waiting things out like this suck, it's just that when we make an agreement with someone about something and they say they're going to do something, we owe them the chance to honor it. That's also another good way to leave room for each other.

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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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Roxie102
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I understand. He sent me a text about an hour ago and apologized for his behavior. He said he'd been "going through a lot". I told him I was there for him when/if he wanted to talk about it, and it sounded like he would take me up on that offer, maybe later today, since at that time, we were both busy.

It's good to have some affirmation that I'm handling this correctly, because I can't help but feel like I've done something wrong when things like this happen.

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Heather
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quote:
I can't help but feel like I've done something wrong when things like this happen.
Why do you think that is?

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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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Roxie102
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Well, I always end up rethinking everything I've said in situations like this, wondering if certain things may've been hurtful or inflamatory, and I think of how I could've approached things better or said things differently.
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Heather
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It might help to recognize that when people get close to one another and stick around, there are going to be conflicts. That's just because we're not the same people, and because when we get invested in a relationship, things can obviously get scary or loaded or just matter a great deal.

So, even if someone was doing everything "perfectly" in a relationship -- whatever that means! -- it would be highly unlikely conflicts still wouldn't come up.

But really, we're all people: none of us are perfect nor can we have relationships and not have people act like people, you know? [Smile]

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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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Roxie102
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We talked tonight...I just got off the phone with him actually.

He ended up telling me that he's been feeling confused and conflicted and not sure he wanted a relationship for about a month now. He said it's nothing I've done, that he just really doesn't know what he needs. He said he had planned to tell me this in the spring, maybe early summer because he didn't want to hurt my feelings and didn't want me to go to prom alone. I told him I was glad he let it all out tonight because it would've been horrible to hold in all of that for such a long time. He'd just be prolonging his hurt, and I most certainly don't want him to be hurting. I know he didn't really want to let it out tonight, but I knew something had been up with him; he hadn't been acting like himself.

He started crying, and told me how great I was, how I was the best girlfriend he's ever had. He kept making it out that he "knew" he wasn't right for me, that I need to branch out (he's my first boyfriend), especially since I'll be going to college next year. I of course told him that he couldn't possibly know what I want or need, now or ever, so I knew it was more about him and his conflicting feelings. I told him I was wearing his shirt and he started sobbing and revoked everything he'd said, feeling like he had been wrong.

We had some mutual crying and screaming and sobbing, and after a good while of me telling him exactly how I felt - that I'm happy now, that he's what I want now, that neither of us can know what's going to happen, he said we were destined to fail, and I made him remember that anything could happen, that all we have is the present.

I told him I wanted to see him again, and that I wanted him to come to my dance performance and my prom and graduation and be around for Christmas. All of that made him sob even more. I know he cares about me very, very deeply, and I also know he's really freaking confused.

I don't know how I feel about all this, honestly, because it pretty much all happened so fast, prematurely maybe even. I am crying, a lot, but I know it's just because I care about him very, very much. We ended up deciding to take a break for a few weeks, talking occasionally but not bringing up love or romance or anything, just so we can both sort out our feelings. I'd been opposed to the idea of a break, but now, in the immediate aftermath of this all, it feels a little liberating. We're not going to tell people about this, we're not going to date other people, and we're not going to cut off contact. I told him that for this interim time, at least, I want us to treat each other like friends, and he said he'd go for that.

By the time we got to this, he was crying hysterically, but we told each other good night and agreed to talk sometime over the weekend.

*Sigh*. This kinda sucks. [Frown]

[ 10-05-2011, 09:22 PM: Message edited by: Roxie102 ]

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Roxie102
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sorry to bump, but I still feel pretty stuck with this... :/

[ 10-09-2011, 08:38 PM: Message edited by: Roxie102 ]

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Saffron Raymie
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Hi Roxie, I'm sorry this is so hard on you. Can I ask some questions to gain a little more information about where you are now?

Did you and him talk over the weekend? Are you still on a break?

It doesn't really seem fair that he witheld the information about wanting to end the relationship from you for so long. It's better to be honest and communicate.

Also, it sounds like a pretty confusing break-up, as he told you it was time for a split, then went back on it.

How are things with you today?

[ 10-10-2011, 10:06 AM: Message edited by: RaeRay2112 ]

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Roxie102
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I gave him the space he asked for and didn't initiate contact, and surprisingly, he's talked to me everyday since then. We've only talked on the phone once though, and that was Friday.

He made it clear that he never intended it to be a breakup. He told me he was glad I still wanted to talk to him because he thought he messed up. He texted me on Friday afternoon and asked how I felt and other things like that. I made it clear that I still loved him and wanted to be with him. When he called I told him exactly what I wanted - to stay together at least until I go to college - and he said, "Of course. We're not breaking up."

The whole reason this even came about was because he had started acting strange. I knew something was up. Because of that, I was acting strange, and he thought I didn't want to be with him anymore. He didn't want to talk about any of it because he wasn't ready to let go.

So, as of right now (he's going to call me tonight), we're still on a break, but he tells me it's solely because he needs time to think about what he wants and needs in his own life. He says he's got a lot of shit to deal with, and that it has nothing to do with me. I feel a lot better about it now knowing that it wasn't just a cowardly, ill-timed attempt at a breakup and that we're still going to be together, but do you think he's obligated to tell me what his problems are? I want to ask, but at the same time, I don't want to make him talk about something that will make him uncomfortable.

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Saffron Raymie
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I'm glad you're feeling better. [Smile]

Unfortunately, we can't make someone open up to us about issues that they might have which don't affect us and aren't about the relationship they share with us.

All we can do for someone that has unrelated problems is offer that we're there to listen if they would like that.

Hope you have a nice talk tonight.

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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