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Old 05-06-2013, 09:21 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,630

You seem like a nice person. But maybe not great at being assertive? Could learn it.

Is this a valid desire, in your opinion?
Of course it is valid. You want to know things about how your relationship will weather this new change with the move.

"I work on my things. You work on your things. Then we work on OUR things together next" is a reasonable approach... but are YOU working on toning down your anxiety witter? Or are you FEEDING your own anxiety witter? Accept that you cannot know a thing before you get there. You can't know how the story goes until you have read the whole book, right? She cannot give you answers if she doesn't know them yet.

That is one thing.

If you need enough response to know she IS working on things within herself and not jsut foot dragging, ASK her for accountability. WHAT things is she doing to work on it? So you can know she's not just talking like she's doing something but not really. That is another thing.

Her breaking promises? That's a third thing. You have a lot of things going on. Organize yourself and which things you want to sort out in what order. Because you are not going to get them all at once!

If you come at her with some laundry list, I could see where she feels like crap. Why do you save it all up for a laundry list instead of nipping it the bud as it comes? Lack of assertiveness? Then it piles up til you blow?

This example is not you writing verbatim what was spoken. I'll try to give feedback anyway.

When I ask her if she is ok, she very aggressively asks "are YOU ok?" in a tone that conveys to me that I shouldn't dare ask her that question.
Could stop going silent because of "tones." Maybe she does it to shut you up and she gets off the hook? Dare to talk to your partner about the relationship things that concern you.

Could be assertive and just respond to the words at face value. "No. I am not ok. Are you willing to talk with me about that at this time or set a later date?"

If you are confused, get the clarify. Could be a "mirror" and reflect back what you perceive to get clarification from her. Could not judge the behavior. Just report the weather.
"Your tone of voice confuses me. I am wondering if you really want to know how I am or you want me to just stop talking to you. Are you willing to tell me which it is? "
Either way is better than going silent.

I will take the liberty of clipping that down as best I can to what was said and remove all emotion. Just keep it to behavior done/not done.

Could get yourselves OFF the hamster wheel so you can move it forward. Look how short it is removing all the "feelings stuff."
  • She told me she would call me and we would talk on the phone that day.
  • She never called and didn't respond to any of my texts.
  • Finally I called her at midnight and was very upset. She was with a girl that she is courting.
  • She also had promised she would let me know when they were going out, which she didn't.

(So far so good... just reporting the weather. Behavior done/not done. Now it derails into the hamster wheel game of who's feelings matter more...)

  • So I told her that I was feeling rejection and that I felt like her not calling or responding to my texts seemed to suggest that I was becoming a low priority for her, whether or not she meant for that to happen. (<--- this is what YOU feel. But it is not describing action done/not done clearly. It doesn't talk about what you want INSTEAD of what she did. So you guys stay stuck. )
  • She told me that it made her feel really shitty when I tell her that I am not getting what I need from her, or when she is not calling me enough. (She's not suggesting anything new for "actions done/not done. She too keeps it in the feelings hamster wheel going round in circles. One of you has to learn to break out.)
  • I told her I wasn't expressing my needs to make her feel shitty, but so that we could figure out how to fix the issue. I told her exactly how it felt to be stood up for another girl when I she knows I am having a hard time. (You are not giving suggestions to fix the issue. You are talking about fixing the issue rather than...fixing the issue. Get ON with it. Move it forward.)
  • She said "well I'm sorry, I'm trying to spend time with my friends while I figure things out". (Does not apologize for breaking promises to you. Just spins it around to make you the baddie for holding her accountable to broken promises. You also do not ask her to apologize. Why not? )
  • I felt like in those moments, she was not validating my feelings or saying anything that would help the communication. I felt like it was up to me to bend to her needs despite what I might be feeling. (There is you distracted by your feelings. YOU are not putting forth issue solving suggestions.)
But I am trying to understand how I can frame it differently, so I very much value your opinion. I know I probably shouldn't have called her like that.
You DO need to hold her accountable to her word. She made you a promise and did not deliver. It's good you are now examining HOW you call her into account and where that could improve -- at least on your end.

Again -- you could be more assertive. And just leave the feelings out of it for now, since it seems to be the point of derailing.

Note that when you guys derail into the game of "who's feelings matter more" you are also not helping to keep the spotlight on the behavior done/not done. Keep it on the one thing. Not pile on other issues or distractions.

You feel whatever it is you feel about it. She can feel whatever she feels about it. But in the end? What's the behavior done/not done? You guys are not getting to that part because you allow it to go off elsewhere in conversation.

I would replay it this way if it were me.

ME: Hi. I was expecting you to call me. I was worried, and wanted to touch base.

HER: I was out with X.

ME: When you promise to call me and do not call, I get worried. WHen I find you are fine but just not thinking to call I am disappointed. I would like you follow through so I can believe in your promises.

Thank you for telling me you were out with X and are ok. I am relieved you are not hurt. But that is case in point. You also promised give me the heads up when you have a date with X. You did not give me the heads up. You are not keeping your promises to me. I have a problem with that.

HER: I feel shitty when you hold me accountable to promises I make to you.

ME: I am sorry you if you feel bad that I expect you to be a person of your word and follow through on your promises to me. I would like you to keep your word when you make promises or just not promise at all to begin with so I'm not set up for disappointment in your behavior. That is my suggestion for solving this. Can you be willing to do that? Just not promise if you cannot deliver?

I do not want to expect things of you that you cannot deliver. I end up disappointed and you end up feeling shitty. Not fun for either of us. Can you tell me what you CAN deliver so I can know it and have more accurate expectations of you? What's your suggestion for moving forward? I am willing to hear alternatives.

She said "well I'm sorry, I'm trying to spend time with my friends while I figure things out".

Me: I am willing to talk about problems you may have about your friends or "things" after. One thing at a time. Please keep this conversation focus on track.
You hanging out with your friends is not a problem for me. The problem is your breaking promises to me.

I am not hearing you say are sorry for breaking your promises to me. If you are sorry, I would like you to say "I am sorry I broke promises to you."
If you are not sorry, I would like you to say "I am not sorry I broke promises to you." Which is it?
You could expect accuracy and request it. And if she cannot or will not tell you what she can deliver? And then demonstrate that she can actually deliver it?

You could change your expectations of her and update your picture of her in your mind. You could expect that she is a person who makes promises she cannot keep. She is a person who does not give you the level of responsiveness/accountablity you desire in relationship.

There. Saves you being disappointed later. When you get mixed messages and she says one thing but does another? Believe what she DOES. The actions done/not done. Not believe the pretty talk because her talk is just fluff. Her word is not bond.

Then you have a new thing to consider called... The issue of "Is what I ACTUALLY get here from her enough to sustain me so I can thrive in this relationship?"

You could then choose to enjoy her for who and what she is and not expect her to meet any wants or needs of yours, or move on to someone else who can meet your wants and needs better.

Up to you.

Hang in there.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 05-06-2013 at 10:42 PM.
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