Posted by: Discussion | 2008/06/19

Talking to my man non-confrontially

Dear Cybershrink

This is a long one, but I really need your advice so please bear with me.

I have been with my current boyfriend for just on 10 years now. Of course there were things we did not know about each other upfront like in any relationship which subsequently became issues on both sides. I have put on a lot of weight which he hates (I am working on it and have lost 7kg but another 15kg to go), I hate his smoking (I am Asthmatic), he is not religious and detests anyone who is. He does not have time for birthdays or Xmas. I grew up with those things and I really miss it. I find it incredibly difficult to talk to the man (he gets defensive & angry and I get frustrated and angry). E-mails don't work (he says he does not read them) and phone calls are worse. I feel that we have lost the intimacy we had (have not had sexual contact for about 2 years). There is an emotionall divide between us, which he denies completely. I think I hurt him emotionally (as he hurt me) and we just don't want to admit or talk about it. I think that we have reached the point (as most couples do) where you lose the initial passion and reach a different level. I am finding this very difficult to cope with. He says nothing is wrong. I on the other hand know that I love him and care about him as a person but I just find him emotionally unavailable/too busy for me. He is having a rough time financially and struggling to find work. But, I have a hectic job and lots of problems of my own and I always have time for him no matter how tired I am. I have been patient with him in setting up his business which has made things very difficult for me financially. We are struggling and my mom just had to move in as I could not afford to pay her rental where she was staying. She has been uprooted and is depressed, I am trying to keep the peace between them. It upsets my mom greatly when we have words in-front of her (last night we snapped at each other and he swore at me). I feel torn in two - trying to keep us financially afloat (we are using my mom's pension even) and trying to keep the peace all round. On top of it all the house is a mess trying to find place for her things. Last night I moved heavy things around without any help and I really resent that. I am not to blame for his personal (acrimonious divorce 11 years ago about), business issues or the way that my mom's life turned out, yet, I seem to be the one in the middle and suffering. I am not coping well at all emotionally I am on anti-depressants and tranquiliers and even on that I feel close to tears all the time. I am putting on a false face at work, but people have asked me what is wrong, so I just say that I am tired from the move. I feel like I give and give and give all of me to other people and in turn I get negativity, snapped at, ignored. There is just me and my job keeping it all together - does no-one realise what I am going through too? Without me we ALL go down, but me is the one that is going DOWN and fast. I try to be as accommodating towards my man and my mom but it just gets worse and worse. He seems to think that I am creating sh1t deliberately when I try to talk to him, he misinterprets what I say, my mom thinks she is the reason for it all. I am tired of treading on eggs around everyone trying to keep the peace, trying not to upset anyone, trying to keep us going and in general I am just tired. There is no communication between my man and I (he will deny this). I greet him first, he eats, he goes to his study and stays there until he comes to bed at about 3am. I feel like an intruder if I even go in the door. My mom tidies the house daily and I know she feels like she is an intruder as well. I am exhausted from moving and trying to get things into order. When we go to the movies he walks ahead of us, so really what is the point of even going out together? There is no together. We don't talk anymore or laugh like we used to, we don't kiss each other like we used to, we don't have fun together anymore, we don't have sex, we snap at each other, we basically pass each other like ships in the night. Like housemates. I will show him this letter and I am sure that he will get angry. How do I explain to him that I love him and I want him to love me back but in ways that show me he loves me. He is a loyal and reliable person, but not very demonstrative. I need that. Maybe he just can't give me what I want and its not his fault? My heart is breaking and instead I come across as moody and angry and demanding. He cannot see this. I phoned him today to say could he meet me for coffee to talk. He said what about? I said about us. He said he does not see any reason (maybe he means he is happy) but if I want to talk we talk. I said you make me feel like a school teacher that wants to rap you over the knuckles. I said I made a list of things to talk about. I said so that I remember everything. He does not know what he will finish work today, fair enough, so I said we can leave it for the weekend. I had huge row with my mom. I said to her that I tried to make this transition as pleasant and smooth as possible. I said you moaned so much that you beat it out of me and finally last night I blew my top. I said I am not responsible for the situation my mom finds herself in (she lost all her pension and thats another long story) and neither is my man's history or current situation my problem or doing. I think he carries baggage from his acrimonious divorce still, he will deny this. My man got angry and told me to "f-off" infront of my mom because he told me I did not listen to me when he told me where the bed should stand. Maybe he meant to help and I was irritated so I said that you are not doing much. He got furious and she overhead things. I told him that speaking to me badly is a deal breaker in a relationship for me whether it is alone or in company. I have told them both that if they cannot control their tempers and depression then they must go onto medication and I really mean it. I think they are both depressed but both will deny it hotly. Even the damn dog is depressed. So, what a happy family we are. All I really want is a close and loving family consisting of my man, my mom, myself and our dog. It just feels like it will never happen and it makes me really sad. Maybe its me. I feel like asking for a transfer and just leaving and never coming back. So, what to do? Don't suggest therapy he will never ever go and besides there is no money for that. I am 42, he is 44 and mom is 66. The damn dog is 8 years old and she means the world to me.


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sorry, but I must say this first --- folks it is simply cruel to expect me, or anyone but your pai therapist, to spend a long time reading through such very long and dense messages, Please don't do it. And the exercise of summarizing and recognizing the essential elements, is in itself valuable for you to do.
Its really hard to see why you have chosen to stay in such an unpromising and unfulfilling relationship with such a selfish and unloving man. I hope you haven't decided, based on low self-esteem, that he is your only chance at a lasting relationship. NO relationship is very much better and happier than such an unfulfilling one. He has already invoked several deal breakers --- so break the deal, and move on.

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