20-Somethings - Emotionally Drained




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MadameZombie
05-08-2009, 12:32 PM
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. :mad:

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.


prepping
05-08-2009, 12:42 PM
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. :p
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! :D
:hug:

stillclock
05-08-2009, 12:47 PM
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!

isolde


MadameZombie
05-08-2009, 12:55 PM
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...

Shannon1983
05-08-2009, 01:12 PM
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!!!!

MadameZombie
05-08-2009, 01:39 PM
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..."

Fat Pants
05-08-2009, 02:05 PM
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!

rocketbunny
05-08-2009, 02:17 PM
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 (http://shirleysun.blogspot.com/2007/03/men-are-from-mars-women-are-from-venus.html) 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).

kiramira
05-08-2009, 02:17 PM
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...
Kira

JulieJ08
05-08-2009, 02:23 PM
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.

MadameZombie
05-08-2009, 02:27 PM
I did actually. I spell things out for him. His excuse last night was that he thought I was going to "push him away." -_-

Thighs Be Gone
05-08-2009, 02:35 PM
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.

MadameZombie
05-08-2009, 02:45 PM
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.

Thighs Be Gone
05-08-2009, 02:50 PM
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.

MadameZombie
05-08-2009, 02:52 PM
I don't even want to think about trying to deal with that AND kids!

Rowenna
05-08-2009, 03:12 PM
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!!!!

Both of your stories resonated intensely with me. I am an extremely emotional person, and also a very curious person. My boyfriend (due to his upbringing, and previous relationships) is very closed off, not in touch with his emotions, and not forthcoming with information. I have a hard time getting his plans for the day out of him!

I have two pieces of advice. One is to figure out whether the differences between the two of you are worth working out, or not. I never pictured myself with someone I couldn't communicate easily with. In previous relationships, these things came easily, and my SOs and I talked about everything and they related to me, etc. My relationship with my current BF has been work work work. I wondered at first, since it wasn't "fluid" and "easy" like others had been, if it was wrong. Then I realized those other relationships didn't work out, because just being compatible is not enough. A relationship is about working together with each other, moving forward, and making progress, not just being perfect with each other always (this is true for me, at least). My boyfriend and I have very different ways of dealing with things, and we cannot assume that we are similar in any situation, or things will fall apart.

This is my other piece of advice, which echoes Thighs Be Gone's - get to know yourself. It is easy to blame your BF's reactions for insecurities or issues that actually spring from you, and this doesn't solve them! Figure out why his reactions upset you so much - what is it about you that makes you easily agitated by certain things he does? Are you looking for validation from him that you should be getting elsewhere, or not even needing?

In regards to marriage, obviously, if you're not happy, don't marry him. But don't assume that everything between you has to be picture perfect before you get married, either. No married couple is perfect, we all have shortcomings that need to be worked on. Ask yourself if the issues you have are ones you can both benefit from the improvement of, and if you and your BF are both equally invested in making that necessary progress.

Some people say "you can't change people." I think this is bull****. It is the nature of people to be affected and changed by events around them, and opening yourself up to another person, and especially marrying another person is an event that SHOULD and WILL change every person. While you shouldn't try to manipulate someone else to fit into your ideal picture, it is reasonable to have expectations of progress and change in a relationship. The key is to make sure both members of the couple have the same values and goals which they want to work towards.

beerab
05-08-2009, 03:18 PM
My husband used to take out his bad days on me. It was to the point where he'd come home mad and I wouldn't know obviously, and I might say something like "hey can you take out the trash?" And he'd just go like "gosh is that my JOB or something" and storm out leaving me looking like WTF is his problem?

Finally one day I just sat down with him and said that I know life gets stressful but we should come to each other for support- not to tear off each other's heads at those times. I told him when he did that if left me hurt and confused and afraid to talk to him because I didn't know what would make him go off again.

Since then we just warn each other "hey having a bad day here..." and we talk about it and that usually helps :) And if we find we have had a bad day and are starting to snap we stop and apologize.

Oh and just to add, crying doesn't solve anything, if anything all it does is annoy guys more because it makes them feel like 1- you are just manipulating them into saying sorry and 2- you aren't acting like an adult but a child.

I've met many women who just cry and cry to their husband's and get no reactions, but when I've told them do NOT cry, talk it out, let them sit and mull it over, they have found that their husbands/bfs do listen. When a woman cries all the man wants to do is end the talk.

Again take my hubby when something is bothering me I don't cry about it, I tell him how I feel and leave it at that, half the time I just say "you know this is really bothering me right now when such and such happened, I'd like to talk about this" and leave it at that, for my hubby he gets to hear what's bothering me and think about it. 99.99% of the time he comes to me the next day and we talk about it and get the issue resolved. If I come at him full force he just feels like he has to defend himself, but if I let him think it over he usually realizes "hmmm yeah I shouldn't have acted like that," or "yeah my wife is right money is tight now" or whatever the issue is.

Good luck.

MadameZombie
05-08-2009, 03:45 PM
I agree with the first half but not to cry?

I don't cry because I'm trying to 'get' something out of him, that sounds silly to me and kind of offensive actually although I'm sure you didn't intend for it to be. I'm not about to address every issue with tears, I certainly don't either. I would never use my 'crying' to try to manipulate him and if he really felt that my raw emotional response after our conversation was just a tool to TOY with him then I think we'd have a bigger issue here. I understand that mindset but with any situation we both talk about it, I don't just burst into tears to make him feel like he needs to do something EVER. That sounds so sleazy to me that any one, man or woman, would do that.

aneleh
05-08-2009, 06:07 PM
I've been in the same situation with my BF. He used to snap at me after work because he was already stressed out and just wanted to relax (whereas I'm opposite and want to go go go! lol). After all, what is the point of working all day and then coming home to stress some more? That is not a life well spent IMO. In my situation I decided that a relationship shouldn't be that much work, and I shouldn't be tip-toeing around so I don't set him off. He quickly changed when I said that we weren't working out anymore, and doesn't do that anymore.
There's something to say for at least respect for the other person. You don't walk away from someone if they're that upset.

CJZee
05-08-2009, 07:07 PM
Some years ago I read an article in Oprah Magazine by Dr. Phil in which he gave "directions" to men in what he called "a MANual". Now you may or may not like Dr. Phil, but I really loved this article.

In it he explains why it is so hard for men to just listen, they listen for a nanosecond, then try to come up with solutions to your problem. It is because they are taught from an early age that men are supposed to "fix" things. You are their beloved girlfriend, so they want to fix what is hurting you.

They are also taught that words don't mean much but that ACTIONS do. So if your husband isn't emotionally communicative but takes care of the family and you, what he is telling you in his own way is that he loves you very much. It is just not a way that women understand so much.

The last thing I will mention before posting the link to this article is hopeful. He said that men and women do, in many respects, speak different languages. Men think we cry to try and get something, for example. I know, for me, I cry because I truly cannot help it when I'm angry or frustrated or sad. Believe me I have tried and I do think it is physically impossible. So, of course, men and women misunderstand each other because of this "language" barrier.

But, that said, he gave us hope because -- just like learning French or another foreign language -- we can become fluent in the language of the other sex (and so can the men!)

I did find the article online in case you want to read it.

http://www.oprah.com/article/omagazine/omag_200306_phil

sunflowergirl68
05-11-2009, 03:54 PM
Such is life. My boyfriend and I have had our share of differences (we've been together for almost 5 1/2 years and currently live together) and you just have to realize that he's just stressed out and it's not you. I've learned that when he's stressed out, I leave him alone, I'll still cook dinner, and rub his shoulders and if he needs to focus, I just let him be. It sounds like he has soooo much going on in his mind and at work that it's just stress stress stress, so if you just continue to be there for him, it'll get better. Marriage is going to be so much more stressful and when you have kids, 10 times worse. You two just have to figure out how to release your stress without releasing it on each other. It takes a lot of work.