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Old 05-05-2013, 02:45 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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This may not be opening from a 2 person thing to a 3 person thing since you were already in a "V." But it is dealing with your moving in with the other person -- a big change.

We have talked about this at length, and she contends that she is dealing with her emotions about the move (which is something we are all negotiating together btw, I am not leaving her out of it), and in my recognition that this is a very difficult situation for her (and us) I have given her that space with a lot of patience. I consistently bring it up to discuss, trying to understand her feelings and firmly (but lovingly) expressing that this is having a huge affect on me.

That reads off. You "consistently bringing things up" is NOT "giving her space to deal." Do you realize that?

Perhaps she has not told you HOW to she wants to be treated while "she deal with her emotions."

You could ask her. "Am I checking in too much? Am I treating you how you want to be treated while you are processing your emotions about the move?"

WHEN YOU DO CHECK IN... A SUGGESTION

When she's done sitting with herself and sorting her thoughts out... and she's ready to talk to you?

Could ask her how she feels.

Maybe she is feeling "poly hell" things because of the move. Or jealousy things. Or stages of grief things because the old arrangement is ending and the NEW NORMAL is not yet here. Or maybe YOU are feeling those things.

Could ask her if she's willing to read articles with you and circle anything on there that she or you are feeling. If she is willing, give her copies and a pencil to cover at her leisure.

Could ask her if she's willing to talk to you more about it using the article as a guide for the conversation next time. If she's willing, make a date to do that part too. Make a date.

Some people are not good at articulating what's bugging them. "Circle things it could be" is easier than "here's a blank paper. Write what it is" to them.

When the date time arrives... could start at the top and work to the the bottom of the page when you talk about it and agree if anyone gets overwhelmed just make an "X" where you left off, put it away, and come back later and everyone go collect themselves and take a break. Continue the convo later. It doesn't have to be solved all at once. Can always make another date.

COMMUNICATION THINGS

Ok... I'll take a stab at it. Correct me if I am wrong, ok? I'm only guessing here on partial conversation examples. The conversations you cite aren't esp long examples.

Quote:
For example, I was just out of town and she knows I have been struggling a lot with all this. I asked her if we could talk, and she said she just wanted "one day to relax and not think about this" after a long few days of work. It felt like she just didn't want to deal with it, even though she knows it's eating me up. The overarching feeling is that she is less invested in our relationship, but when I express feeling like I am low priority right now she gets upset and denies that.
Summary? From my POV?

You ask her a question -- "Are you willing to talk about serious relationship stuff?"

She answers you -- "No. Not right now. I am tired."

You then continue talking about your needs and how it eats you up etc. In essence... ignoring her answer and her need for rest. How does this make her want to do anything for you and YOUR needs when you ignore her needs?

Instead, could tell her "Ok. I can respect that you need rest right now. But I do want to talk about this at some point. Could you be willing to give me a date for WHEN we could talk about it? Then I'll leave you be so you can rest."

Then she can just say "Saturday, 5 PM" and you both get something out of that interaction. She gets to rest in peace, you get to feel like you are a priority in her life too because you will get her attention for this talk on Saturday at 5 PM.

Look, I am INTJ. I don't know her and if she responds the same way, but the best way to piss me off is to not give me space when I need it. I am willing to talk things out, I'm willing to reassure, but suffocating me drives me nuts. So perhaps could review your stuff from that perspective?

Is she ACTUALLY pulling away or you just PERCEIVE she's pulling away? Then go chasing her down and she feels crowded and argh? The it BECOMES something wrong between you because of the tempest in a teapot when there was nothing wrong at the start? Other than her wanting some space and you wanting attention and to know WHEN to expect attention from her next?

Quote:
There is a lot of under-the-surface level communication going on here, like the distancing I described above and mannerisms, such that she will come off as irritated or say something in 'that tone of voice' or be dismissive. This happens constantly. When I bring it up, what I usually say is "are you doing ok, babe?", and she comes back at me with an angry "are YOU doing ok??" which completely shuts the conversation down.
How does her asking you that shut the convo down? Could you type the whole conversation out so forum people can read it?

When she says "are YOU doing ok??"

Do you not answer something like "No. I am not ok. I crave connection with you. I am worried we are growing apart now or could grow apart after the move. Could you be willing to just hold me for a moment so I can feel connected to you through body contact? Or disclose how you feel right now so I can feel close and connected through heart-to-heart talk? Or make a date with me to cover these things so I know that connection time is coming soon?"

You aren't a mind reader. If you want to know how she is, you have to ask. If you need reassure, you have to make it known.

But right now I honestly cannot tell if you are being cling-on and she's being driven nuts by it. Or if she is being remote and you are being nuts by it.

What's the ACTUALITY and what's the PERCEIVED REALITY?

Quote:
I use "I" statement, like "I feel dismissed when you say something like that" etc, and then she comes back at me with "It makes me feel shitty when you say those things".
Possible answer:

"I am sorry you feel shitty. Could you be willing to tell me how you would like to receive feedback from me when I have to bring things to your attention that I want you to know? So that you can feel good and I can have my thing aired out and we both get what we we want?"

But before considering that... note your statement is not complete if you are shooting for NVC style. Maybe that's part of the problem?

"When you say __(whatever it was she said)___, I feel dismissed. I would like to feel _____ instead and need ____. Could you be willing to repeat back what I just said to me in your own words? So I can know that you understood me and are aware of what I want to feel and what I need?"

Quote:
So right now, it seems like everytime I bring something up that isn't ok with me in how we are interacting, instead of hearing me she turns it back on me as some kind of attack. She sees any remotely critical thing I say to her a as me telling her she is not fulfilling my needs which makes her feel like a bad person.
Could you type a conversation verbatim? It's hard to tell here without an example.

GL!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 05-05-2013 at 04:08 AM.
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