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Emotionally Drained

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Old 05-08-2009, 12:32 PM   #1
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I've been with my boyfriend for almost two years and we have started to talk about marriage and getting engaged. But last night I almost wanted to just give up!

Now... I know that he loves me with all his heart, I can't BEGIN to explain to you the many ways he's helped me (especially supported me through this weight loss journey and bought me a gym membership) It's hard for him to open up because his father died when he was 10 and he distances himself emotionally from a lot of situations because it's the only way he knows how to cope. It's taken him quite a lot between the time we first met and now to get him to open up and even now it's still a struggle. I'm someone who wears my heart on my sleeve and he couldn't be more secretive with his emotions.

He's been really busy at work, coming home around 8, 9 sometimes 10 at night. And then when he comes home he's doing MORE work. He designs Nuclear Protection Systems so I can imagine how stressful it is trying to keep people's faces from melting right off... But lately he has been SNAPPING at me. Almost every night when he gets home it's just something new that has him irritated or upset and I finally had it.

I had to explain to him how hurt I was that he was doing this. I understood his situation at work but that doesn't give him a free ticket to take his stress out on me. I was standing there crying and he. Just. Stood. There.

Then he left to go upstairs. I followed him into the bedroom and asked him why he couldn't just show some sympathy and he said that he did love me but he needed to distance himself and he didn't want to argue because he had to relax so he could go to sleep. How could he be so oblivious to my pain? He just shrugged and in the most insincere tone he could muster explained that he was sorry and then continued to surf the internet on his computer.

It took him sometime afterward to come over and hug me and TRULY tell me he was sorry but dammit... What the ****? I know his career is important but I'm important too. Not only that but he is terrible at reading emotion. I could be standing there glaring at him screaming and he would ask if I was going to make dinner.

Anyway... That's my rant. I was so upset I barely ate the dinner I made which was pretty damn tasty too. But I did wake up this morning to see that I dropped a pound (technically down to 179 from 183 when I decided to start loosing weight but I decided to start my ticker at 180 because I usually hovered around their in the mornings when I weigh myself.) And my boyfriend came over again to tell me he was sorry about last night. Whew.

So in summary, men are clueless about what to do when a girl is crying and I lost a pound.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:42 PM   #2
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I wish I had some brilliant insight that would make the world make a little more sense and you would feel instantly better... but unfortunately I'm terrible with that and would probably act just as you did last night.
All I can say is that I'm sorry that you're going through a tough time but that I really like your attitude at the end there with:
"So in summary, men are clueless about what to do when a girl is crying and I lost a pound."

That is brilliant in my opinion. and congrats on the loss!
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:47 PM   #3
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you know, without a whole lot of effort and learning, that emotional stuff is not going to get better.

if you are committed to one another, now might be a really good time to start to do real work on the nuts and bolts of your emotional lives. marriage doesn't fix anything. in most cases it amplifies previous discontents, especially as a year or more is eaten up in the excitement and throes of wedding planning.

too many people wake up a month into their marriage and realize nothing has changed between them. panic sets in.

i know this was probably hard to read, but maybe you can start to think about what's really important to you in a relationship before you find yourself stuck or worse.

i am super glad for your pound!

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Old 05-08-2009, 12:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillclock View Post
you know, without a whole lot of effort and learning, that emotional stuff is not going to get better.

if you are committed to one another, now might be a really good time to start to do real work on the nuts and bolts of your emotional lives. marriage doesn't fix anything. in most cases it amplifies previous discontents, especially as a year or more is eaten up in the excitement and throes of wedding planning.

too many people wake up a month into their marriage and realize nothing has changed between them. panic sets in.

isolde
Definitely. I was thinking about it for the past few weeks, if marriage is going to happen between us something has got to change and lot's of things already have. But I don't want to be in a relationship where my emotions are considered a nuisance and for a while there that's what I felt they were.

And holy crap, I haven't even thought about PLANNING for a wedding. I don't even know where to begin with those things...
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:12 PM   #5
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Your Situation sounded so much like mine i could not believe it.. My hubby had a "step dad" whom did stuff with him but his mom kept him from his real dad (long story) and just in the past few years did he get reaquainted with him..

DH acts the same way and his emotions are so deep down inside it is not normal i swear.. I do cry like you and he just stands that and STARES at me.. Does not saya thing!!!

I totally understand where you are comming from and i totally feel for you more then you can imagine.. We actually went to counseling and it helped him big time and it helped me deal with the fact that he will never be as emotional that i want him to be or as emotional as he wants to be.

Best of luck to you i hope all is well but DONT GIVE UP!!!!
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:39 PM   #6
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Thank you Shannon, It helps. I know he's never going to be as emotionally in touch as I wish but we work together and as long as there is constant communication I think we'll be ok.

I think he takes him a while to process it all... Then his man brain finally turns on and he realizes "Oh... Yeah I think I should hug her..."
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:05 PM   #7
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You've got some good advice here. A good place to start is to ask yourself "If we were to get married today, could I accept how things are currently?"

My own personal jury is out on whether or not people can change. In some cases, you know, like your bf is never going be this super emotional guy. But I do think that people CAN change...if they want to. And that is really the key - if your bf wants to change, he can. He doesn't have to be Mr Sensitive, but he can make small changes that mean a world of difference to you.

Some of this stuff, too... ya have to communicate it to them. For example, when my husband and I were doing pre-marital counseling, it became apparent that I really need to talk out my feelings in order to get them sorted out. Sometimes I just need my husband to listen, and sometimes I need him to give suggestions for working through/solve a problem. But he can't read my mind so I had to learn to communicate this need with him.. such as "I just really need someone to listen to me vent right now..." or "what should I do about x, y and z problem?" I know it feels like you shouldn't have to ask, but when they do not operate like we do, the best thing you can do is communicate your needs to him.

Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:17 PM   #8
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Have you ever read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? I say this because several years ago I had a long term cohabiting boyfriend who would increasingly withdraw into his office, play video games for hours, and ignore me. We had other problems, and eventually ended the relationship, but afterward a friend recommended that I read that book.

Here's an excerpt that I think may help you understand where your boyfriend/fiance is coming from (and vice versa). It has really helped me in my relationships since (I seem to date a lot of introverted nerds).
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:17 PM   #9
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For what it is worth, and speaking from experience, you really BETTER love what you have RIGHT NOW, before marriage. Because it generally doesn't get better AFTER marriage. You can definitely work on things now, but if things don't change and you don't feel "heard" in this relationship, it isn't going to be better after you've made the committment.
Good for you for verbalizing all of this and for starting to figure it all out now, before you've done anything more permanent...
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:23 PM   #10
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There's a big difference between being clueless and being unwilling.

Sometimes you have to suck it up and accept that he won't intuitively know what you need, and *tell* him. You know, "Would you give me a hug right now?" "Would you just let me vent for a few minutes and just agree with me instead of giving advice?" "Does my new haircut look nice?" You might prefer not to have to tell him, but if in the end, he's willing to give you what you ask for, you may decide it's all good.

But if he consistently says no and walks away, that a whole different problem.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:27 PM   #11
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I did actually. I spell things out for him. His excuse last night was that he thought I was going to "push him away." -_-
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:35 PM   #12
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I think a tremendous amount of people right now can identify with your situation. The economy has brought fears and anxiety to the forefront of so many of our lives. I am not making excuses for his behavior. I don't know the situation well enough to comment. What I can tell you is to take care of YOU. Whatever that entails, just do it. Only then, can you begin to nurture the kind of relationship that will be worthy of you.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:45 PM   #13
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Thanks Thighs... I really think that these things are stepping stones. It really has illuminated some issues between us and it's a process that we are both working on. I'm excited though to be on this journey with him. Being in a relationship is work sometimes but I love it.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:50 PM   #14
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Oh believe me--I know--been married 16 years. Yes, WORK. I am very much in love w/my hubby and being a mother and the whole family deal actually. But yes, relationships are definitely WORK.
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:52 PM   #15
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I don't even want to think about trying to deal with that AND kids!
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