About those communication problems Pt 1
Obviously I've condensed my life story to highlight that's my problem. I'm a talker, I want to talk about everything all the time. I donít know how we got here because I thought I was a good communicator. Since ďthe blow upĒ I know I havenít been though. I just can't do it. Both guys are very open to listening but I rarely feel like I'm getting much response. Herman says that is a guy thing. Ugh! This cliche has caused me so much pain. I don't want to be the girlfriend who is always saying "we need to talk..." but I feel like if I donít, no one else will. I could go on and on about why I don't talk, but the guys have never done anything to discourage me. They just don't start conversations and either don't have all that much to say or are bottling it all (which they claim not to be) That doesn't mean I put the blame for lack of or ineffectual communication on them. If I recognize the problem that I need to start the conversations I should fix it by just starting the conversations.
I have a lot of hang ups. My dad impressed on me a great importance to ďplay the gameĒ and present yourself in a certain way to the outside world. (as mentioned before he managed to hide who he was from the outside until he was 50 and then had a mental breakdown so I know itís a bad road to follow) I feel like I need to hide who I am from the world and that weighs on me. At the very least I want to be able to go ďhomeĒ and be safe to be me, and be completely open and honest with my partners. But I donít like myself, so Iím afraid they wonít accept me either. I think if I don't hide some things something bad will happen, I'll lose what I have, or I'll hurt or disappoint someone. The guys have never given me any reason to feel unaccepted. After all theyíre still with me right? That said, I donít feel like I was always this afraid to express myself. No matter how much acceptance I get from them, I still can't let myself be open and free.
I am so envious of the communication I've read about here. People talk about establishing wants and needs and limits. People talk about negotiating and compromise and agreements and check ins. I wanted that stuff. Maybe they think I want the freedom of no discussions and expectations so I can do whatever I want and that will make me happy but that isn't what I want. I want them to be happy and for them to pursue what they want to do and to feel like they have a say in the direction their lives take and I want partnership for a reason. I never asked to be the leader.
I have neglected to spell it out yet but I'm sure its obvious, they are both worry most about me being happy. I worry that I make them miserable and they won't bother to tell me. A lot of times I try to keep my mouth shut because we're pretty happy and I don't want to create drama. During the day I will think about a conversation I'd like to have and as soon as I have a chance, I'm just so happy to be spending time with them that I just want to enjoy it. So that's me.
Jasper will just fret in his own space. When I try to talk about something with him I get a lot of "I don't know" or self hatred melt down. In the past I have been more likely to push him to work through things with me. He and I have had a rough time the last couple years based partly on the fact that he never sought help for his depression and I was becoming impatient with issues in our relationship basically being on hold for years. That sounds terrible in writing too but I believe I was as supportive as possible to someone who says he needs to "get out of it on his own" but isnít actually doing anything to improve. I finally withdrew a lot from the relationship and now we are working on rebuilding it but I donít have nearly the same comfort level that I did before his behavior took such a major shift during that time. We have simple misunderstandings which lead to fights easily. He has some anger issues that I do not respond well to but he is working on that. It seems like most of the time we have to have some kind of fight or melt down before we can actually get in to talking about an issue. I think we're both unsure how to handle that and have been going back and forth about when it is or isn't appropriate to walk away from an escalated situation or stick with it and work through it. My main problem with that is if we do walk away to calm down, the issue doesn't get picked back up again. I've tried to avoid the initial confrontation by moving to writing. Also he often requests more time to think about something before continuing a discussion but won't follow up so I thought writing would make that easier as well. Didn't work. From my perspective it seems to go like this. I muster up the will to send an big deal email. He'll call and not reference it or he will acknowledge receiving it and that he will respond when he has time to give it thought. We go along with our regular conversations, time goes by, I get easily upset by the lack of response. I try my best to wait and not be upset with him. Eventually a week goes by, I get no response and now I am upset when I ask... "sooo do you have anything to say about it?" This leads to a fight about him not responding. He is hurt and upset, we have to get through that, and then it's over. Still never got a response. I've tried different things to fix it. I know he sometimes reacts defensively to my thoughts so I've asked him to share his thoughts on a topic first. I sent an email asking for his thoughts on a subject and said I would not worry about a response for a week. I asked if that would be enough time and if not he should let me know. He agreed that amount of time would be fine. The date came and went. I waited another 2 days. I said I guess thats the answer I needed to hear. He says he had done all this writing but it isn't finished. Why didn't he check in on the expected date? He says he mixed up the days by accident. I ask how much longer then, he doesn't know. I'm upset. If he ever wrote anything or had anything to say I never saw it.