Re (from Helo, Post #7
"You don't have to throw tact out the window but most people I've dealt with confuse tact with redacting what they say."
This is the core paradox to good communication. You don't just spew out abusive language toward your partner to show how upset you are, but on the other hand, you don't bottle things in either. You have to find a way to say, with reasonable calmness, "This is what I feel," without insinuating blame against anyone. It is a fine line to walk.
@ sparklepop: The biggest obstacle I see in your situation is that you and your girlfriend *disagree*
about what constitutes good communication, and about what constitutes due cause for communication to occur. Your girlfriend believes that stuff should be internalized as long as possible. You believe in putting all the cards on the table, always. I happen to agree with your philosophy, but that doesn't make your girlfriend agree.
You can, of course, try to reason with your girlfriend about this. You can point out how bottling things up causes resentments to build, and while the problem may be swept under the rug for the moment, it will tend to re-emerge later at the worst possible time, after it has grown in size by tenfold.
However, your girlfriend could take that as a personal affront, or she could just dig her heels in and turn it into an argument in which nobody wins and nobody's opinions change.
It's even possible that she may agree, but won't be able to follow through because she's just not good at this whole communication thing. Or she might defend her reticence if she knows change would be hard or impossible.
Some people have communication handicaps. They don't know how to express themselves appropriately on a personal level. Sometimes they can learn and change, but sometimes not. So it is possible that this stonewalling by your girlfriend may be something you'll have to learn to live with and work around, if you decide to stay together. She may get a little better about communicating over time, but it might not be a big improvement. By the same token, your girlfriend may need to get used to the way you communicate.
Re: apologies ... I feel that they're important for good relationships. However, your girlfriend seems to have developed a way of looking at things that always makes you the culpable party. So she sees no reason to apologize. She needs to realize that her withholding communication makes her responsible, and that you aren't obligated to be a mind-reader.
Re (from sparklepop, Post #1
"GF believes that in many situations, small or large, one person is more hurt than the other."
The person who is hurt more may merit some extra leeway, but that doesn't excuse that person out of treating her partner with some basic dignity. People need to be taking care of each other, not one person taking care of the other person all the time.