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Old 06-21-2013, 02:22 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I see that you are upset. I am sorry you are upset.

When you are ready to take a step back from it... could consider this POV. (I am tired so a bit rambly. My apologies....)


Quote:
I told him that I did not want to witness him doing it that night. I made it clear that I was fine with him doing that thing with her in general, even in front of me, but that particular evening I was struggling. I asked that he at least not do it in front of me that evening.
That's what I perceive as the bottom line. "Don't do it in front of me if you are going to do it. "

Now you are upset this happened:

Quote:
Brian not only did not discuss with other girlfriend what was going on between us, but instead, did exactly the thing he had (I thought), promised not to do that night, and it was very clear to both me and other boyfriend that they were doing it.
Well, he met the bottom line didn't he? He didn't do it in front of you. Nowhere did you state:
  • Could you be willing to not do that thing at ALL tonight?
  • Could you be willing to let me know you updated GF what's going on with us before doing that thing?

If this is not what you wanted and you had unspoken expectations and really you wanted him to do something other than your bottom line? How would he know it?

Could change your communication so you ARE getting the message you want out there in a way he hears it. And then doublecheck to make sure it got absorbed. Could say something like "Ok, repeat back what you just heard/understood so I know we're on the same page."

Quote:
Brian says that saying, "Don't worry, I don't need to do that with her tonight"
It seems he went off thinking "Bottom line is don't do it in front of you. Ok. I don't need to do that with her in front of you tonight."

You went off thinking "Yay, he won't do it at all."

I think that's where it went wahoonie.

Quote:
I think he's just rationalizing breaking a promise in his mind because he doesn't want to be a person who breaks promises.
He didn't make or break any promises. He heard your bottom line and met it. It wasn't a promise, but he met your request.

You are projecting what goes on in his mind. You can't know what goes on in his mind. Doing that causes you distress with all the "what iffing" you are doing in your own mind about it. Could not do that. Could assume positive intent of your partner. Could bring it on down to practical things to be doing to move it forward and improve communication between you.

Could take a step back and LISTEN to each other. Conflict is opportunity for greater understanding.

Quote:
Brian says that saying, "Don't worry, I don't need to do that with her tonight" was not a promise to limit his behavior that evening, and that he never considered it to be a promise.
Ok. So to HIM, it is not making a promise. Could ask him how he makes his promises and learn when you want to ask for one how to approach him then.

You now know the "DO NOT do it like this." what is the "DO?" for him? You could listen and understand how he operates rather than be upset he doesn't operate like you.

Quote:
I maintain that saying that is of course a promise, because if it is not, then one is just pointing out that an optional activity is indeed optional, which makes no sense
He could listen to how YOU operate rather than fuss because it is not how he operates. He could avoid making statements that register as "promise" to you now that he has that understanding of you. Or agree that between you it will be a promise only when the word "promise" is invoked so both of you can be clear next time.

Quote:
It seems very disingenuous for Brian to keep telling me that he never made me a promise. I think he's just rationalizing breaking a promise in his mind because he doesn't want to be a person who breaks promises.
Alright, let's say he promised you. Stop quibbling about "was it a promise or not" for a moment. Let's just say it was a promise. Then WHAT was the promise? To not do the thing in front of you. Which he met. He met your bottom line. So why this arguing?

If you are unhappy that he met "only" the bottom line and you wanted him to meet the other line of "Don't do it at all?"

Could stop giving the man a "range of options" and just give him "one key point" to consider when you ask if he's willing to meet it. Maybe that could serve you better going forward?

You could also flip YOUR behavior and try on how that seems.
"She said the bottom line is X. I meet X. She wigs out. So how can I trust her NOT to wig out and tell me what is REALLY the thing next time? I cannot mind reader her. "
So he could be frustrated with you also, right? You guys could talk this out, come to new agreements, and then let this go and see if next time you both handle it better. Could think of improvements to your communication like "Ok, repeat back what you just heard/understood so I know we're on the same page."

Maybe other techniques people could share?

Hang in there. Talk this out.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 06-21-2013 at 02:41 PM.
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