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  #1  
Old 05-02-2013, 08:20 PM
mmmothra mmmothra is offline
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Default resources/advice on communication and intimacy issues?

Hello people,

Sorry in advance for the wall of text. So I'm having some issues in my relationship that I would love any resources or advice on. The communications issues are the most concrete type of advice I'm looking for, but I also want to know what people think about the intimacy issues I'm having with a partner as well - so I'll start there because that gives us some context for the rest.

Me and my girlfriend (lets call her B) of 3 years (we are in a vee, I also have a boyfriend of 8 years, lets call him L) have been going through a rough time in the last few months. It has been largely precipitated by a big change in our lives which we are trying to work through, but I am not convinced that is what it is all about. Essentially, I will be moving with L in a year, which we have all been trying to deal with and plan for. B and I are not breaking up, and I will come live with her for 4 months out of the year. This has been hard to work through, but for a while we were making a lot of progress - but in the last month I feel that we have come up against a wall.

She has been totally withdrawn from me in terms of intimacy and affection. We have not had sex in a month and a half, she often pulls away from me when I try to kiss her, she does not reach out to me for affection almost at all, and she rarely sends me sweet (or any) texts anymore. 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.

So the communication part. For a long time, and until the last few months, we worked hard on our communication. Recently though, it seems like she isn't invested in working things out. We used to talk anytime something seemed wrong, and now I get shut down anytime I bring stuff up. 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. It's hard for me to engage with because I want to take things at face value when she says them, but her actions and words don't match. She is distancing herself from me through words, too - where she used to use pet names for me all the time, she doesn't do it as often - instead she calls me 'dude' or by my name. When I bring these issues up, she reacts as though I'm making things up. How can I bring these issues up, which seem small but to me speak volumes, without sounding nitpicky?

And here is where I was hoping for concrete communication advice or resources in terms of what we are actually saying to each other. 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. So anytime I bring up my perception of these things, she gets extremely defensive. 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". 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. From my vantage point, this completely shuts down the conversation and invalidates how I'm feeling. I have said this to her before and it goes nowhere.

So I know that was meandering, but my questions are really about how to communicate with a person who is so defensive, but at the same time refuses to admit that they are being defensive? Are there any tricks you have used that help? Although I feel like I am very gentle and compassionate in my wording, should I try to be more? At this point I am really losing my patience and am finding myself wanting to react more and more. I want to get us to a healthy place of communication. I know that I can't force her to do this, but I want to try before I reach my wit's end.

Randomly, if it helps - I am ENFP and she is INTJ.

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2013, 04:58 PM
willowstar willowstar is offline
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Hi mmothra

It sounds like there are several things going on right now, but here are my initial thoughts as I read through your "wall of text" (which is fine by the way.. )

It sounds like you are concerned that things have changed between you. Which they HAVE. You are moving away from her. And she is not coming with you. It also sounds like you probably have a lot of feelings about that, perhaps guilt or just anticipating that you will miss each other. And you want to check in with her, a lot, to be sure she is okay and that there are not issues you should be addressing with her, etc.

It also seems to me like she does NOT want to be talking about it all the time. Every time you "check in" with her, she is reminded of what is going to happen. She may resent the feeling that she needs to be checked in with in the first place.

Can you go for a while without checking in about this? Can you not bring it up for a week or two? Ask her if all this attempt to communicate is just NOT what she is actually needing? Sometimes there can be too much communication, talking things to death. I have been in relationships where people just wanted to "process" what was happening ALL THE TIME and it was difficult for me. Once I am done processing, I kinda dont want to talk about it anymore. It's done.

So, my communication advice would be to back off a little for now. I know that your need to communicate with her may feel high to you right now, but it may be more than she really needs. I suspect this is more about your desire to "make it right" with her, and not feel so bad about leaving her? Maybe letting her set the pace on that would be helpful and allow her to feel like she has some control over the communication. If you are not leaving for another year, there is plenty of time to talk about things.

Hope that helps.
Willow
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Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming... ~ Dori


Willow ~ 44yo bi woman, married to TB for 18 years
TB-Maybe poly/maybe mono straight man
BF-Mostly mono, married, but poly friendly boyfriend since Jan 2013 (also my high school BFF)
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  #3  
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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  #4  
Old 05-06-2013, 07:45 PM
mmmothra mmmothra is offline
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Thank you so much for your detailed response. I realize I didn't explain everything terribly well - sometimes it's hard to know how much detail people will tolerate

I'll try to respond as well as possible. A lot of what you said is very helpful.
That reads off. You "consistently bringing things up" is NOT "giving her space to deal." Do you realize that?

Yes, I see how that sounded. In my mind, I am holding back a whole lot in terms of bringing things up when she doesn't want to talk, but it is likely that we are on opposite ends of the spectrum in our desire to talk right now (I feel the need to talk a LOT and she wants a LOT of space). I have messed up with this, in that I have not respected her desire to not talk because I just couldn't hold it in. I see that now, thank you for explaining it this way. I have tried to ask her for a time that we could talk, and have gotten nowhere with this. I will try again. I guess I feel a little bummed out because previously, anytime she was struggling at all, I was always there to talk, even when it was hard for me. I guess I operated under the belief that this was how we support each other - which I see now is not the best way.

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.

This is a great idea, I will try that. Thank you!

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?

You are right, I have done this a few times when I just can't handle not talking, when I feel like I'm about to burst. Maybe then I should put physical space between us so I am actually able to respect her needs. But many times, I do - She tells me she can't, or she isn't in the mood, and I respect that. But I have screwed up - good to be able to reflect on how.

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?

She has told me that she is putting distance between us to deal with the move, and I have told her I respect and understand that. She is protecting herself emotionally, which is understandable. This has been happening for several months. I think the issue that is most difficult for me is that I know we are at the point of a relationship redefinition, and I know that things are changing. However, because we haven't had as good communication lately we don't know what that means for us yet. Yes, the uncertainty is scaring me, and that's why I'm going freaking nuts right now. She told me a week ago that she has dealt with a lot of her issues and is coming to a place where she feels a lot better now. We are still very distant though, and she still doesn't want to talk. She has been making some efforts, which I am trying to recognize are a big deal for her although they seem very small. I still feel like there is a silence around what our relationship is evolving into. As I explained to her the other day, I realize we both need to work on our own internal processes alone, and be able to deal with our internal issues, BUT what I am really hoping for is to feel like we are working on our relationship together, not just on our own and then informing each other about it later. Is this a valid desire, in your opinion?

How does her asking you that shut the convo down? Could you type the whole conversation out so forum people can read it?
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?"

Good point, it is hard to see what I am trying to convey the way I wrote it. This one is difficult because it is more of a tone, which is tacit and hard to address, because it can be easily denied. 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. A better example would be a conversation we had the other day. The context was that she told me she would call me and we would talk on the phone that day. I was alone in a different city and was really struggling with all of these issues, which she was aware of. 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 sort of courting (this is another issue, I am very supportive of her being with this girl but in the midst of all the shit we are dealing with it makes it very complicated for me. She also had promised she would let me know when they were going out, which she didn't. That was a boundary and not a rule, and I know for some that seems smothering but it was on her suggestion and I said that would be the best way to make me feel positive about their blossoming relationship. Moving on...). 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. 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. 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. She said "well I'm sorry, I'm trying to spend time with my friends while I figure things out". 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. 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.

Thanks so much again for all your suggestions and advice.

Last edited by mmmothra; 05-06-2013 at 07:57 PM. Reason: not good at quotes here...
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:21 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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You seem like a nice person. But maybe not great at being assertive? Could learn it.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.)
Quote:
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.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 05-06-2013 at 10:42 PM.
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  #6  
Old 05-06-2013, 10:27 PM
Oly1 Oly1 is offline
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Default Mirroring/ Imago

In terms of communication techniques, I find this one does wonders. It may seem stupid or artificial at first, but we've found if you really commit to it it's very helpful. The basic steps are talking in turn, using "I" sentences, and mirroring what you heard from your partner (and making sure there is nothing more) before you respond.

Google "imago mirroring technique" to get some instructions, or go straight to the source with this recommended book:
http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Love-Y.../dp/0805087001

We've used this at a critical communication point, and in my experience once you use it you'll find you listen better, and when your partner is mirroring (rephrasing) what you've said completely wrong, you get to nip the misunderstanding in the bud.

On a more personal level, I see myself in your GF, as I also tend to create distance and protect myself emotionally when change is disruptive. I can only recommend you make damn sure she wants you to give her more space before you do, as I know from experience I often want my partner to do the opposite and insist on communicating/closeness in order to feel like she still cares. I know this doesn't make much sense, and it's not very productive, but that's the nature of this "self defense" mode, for me at least.

I also find it feels like your mind is creating these "defense walls" even when you know they are not good for you, and are actually pushing you away from the person you love, but (for me) there is a feeling that "I can't help it". So maybe check with her if this emotional distance is something she chooses right now, or if it's more of an "automatic" response she's not necessarily happy with, in which case you could re-frame it as something you both want to battle, and try figuring out ways to bridge the gap together. Again, these are just my experiences, she might have a totally different attitude, but I thought it worth mentioning. GL!
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:19 PM
mmmothra mmmothra is offline
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Galagirl, I cannot thank you enough. This has clarified so much for me. You are absolutely right in that I need to be more assertive and direct in my communication, while also respecting her need for space when it's valid and not evasive. Also, seeing how we have been trapped in the 'feelings' hamster wheel makes it seem so much more attainable to get out of that. Thank you, truly. This is a great community!
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:43 PM
mmmothra mmmothra is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Hi Oly1,

Thank you so much for this! I will certainly look into this method and talk with her about it. I'll report back

You know, it is so helpful hearing your insights about the distancing behavior. Part of how I'm responding to her with the (perhaps overzealous) checking in is that I was under the assumption on some level that she was pulling away in the hopes that I would push back. She has said something along these lines to me before, and she has also told me that she has the tendency to 'ruin things' (her words) by placing this distance, which people react too with more distance, and it creates too much space to bounce back from. That's part of why this scares me, as I really deeply care about this girl. As people have mentioned here, including you, I will try to be more clear and upfront about where that is coming from, what it means, and if she truly needs more space or if she is somehow expecting me to overcompensate for her distance. Not that I will keep doing that if it's what she's searching for, but if we can talk about it directly maybe, as you say, we can work on it together.

Thank you so much!
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