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  1. #1

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    My boyfriend CAN'T communicate!

    My boyfriend and I were together for 10 months, split for a little over a month and are now back together. We both want to make things work but I don't know if we can because well, how can you work things out with someone who can't communicate. He is very uncomfortable talking about almost everything. He does a few couple of things to avoid a serious conversation. He'll make jokes, he'll change the subject, he'll zone out and think about something like pizza or anything else that's totally irrelevant and worst of all he'll get angry, really angry so then we get into a fight. He hates talking about anything that's wrong but how is anything supposed to get resolved if we just pretend a problem doesn't exist? It doesn't even matter what the problem is really, I just need some help. I don't yell or scream or anything really. It's not like I start fights with him, it's just that if something bothers me I would like to be able to talk to him about it but I know of no effective way to approach him. Any adivce? Please?

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  3. #2
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    When you push someone they push back or retreat. So when you want to solve a problem, make it about you. Let's say you want him to be more affectionate by giving you a hug every now and again. Instead of saying, or implying, that he is a bad boyfriend because he doesn't hug you, try saying "It makes me feel loved and secure when you give me a hug". That way you are asking him for something that pleases you and people like to please their partners. It makes it a request for something, rather than a demand and it also is a much less aggressive way of getting what you want.

    You can apply that method to almost anything in your relationship. And when you get what you want, make sure that he knows you appreciate it.

  4. #3
    Member adidas7fire's Avatar
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    Communication is the key to any type of relationship, regardless of friendship or courtship. If he can't even talk to you about simple things that you may bring up, how will he be able to talk to you about serious issues? If you are unhappy with anything in your relationship, you have to let him know, otherwise you are just going to spend another 10 months wondering if it's going to be the same. No one should have to go through the "wondering" relationship (which is an awful feeling, btw). He's your boyfriend and should want to be your confidante; if he's not willing to do that, you might want to reconsider giving him another shot. It's all about compromise, trust, and communication. If a relationship lacks even just one of those, you might be heading down a path of unhappiness. I wish you the best of luck and I commend you for looking to others when you need to talk to someone.
    --- Amanda (Modest Mandie)
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  5. #4
    Member OceanEyes's Avatar
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    I could have been you posting this three years ago. I completely understand how tough it is to thrive in a relationship that you feel is one-sided, with you giving more all the time.

    What is the major issue between the two of you? Or are there many? I'm curious about what you're actually trying to discuss with him that he's avoiding. It's tough to discuss an issue when you're the only one who thinks it's an issue. Let me guess: you'll bring something up in discussion that bothers you, and he'll say something like, "I don't see the big deal. I'm happy with the way things are going.". Doesn't leave you with a lot of options or comfort, does it?

    All you can do is keep trying. The way that he avoids any type of confrontation leads me to believe that there may be family issues from his past that prevent him from really opening up. Are his parents still together?
    There is no map to human behaviour. - Bjork

  6. #5

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    Thank you for your replies everyone. I'm at my wits end really.

    DN, I've tried phrasing things in similar ways in the past and I can't remember if it worked or not. I will try again. I am not one to accuse or name call but rather than request for a behavior that pleases me I usually say that I am unhappy with the one that does not. He's very defensive so maybe this could help in some cases but still, he has a problem having a serious conversation, even if it's about something that bothers him. He likes to pretend that nothing is wrong and thinks for some reason that talking about things makes things worse.

    adidas7fire, that's EXACTLY how I feel and I know it's true too. I know it will never work out unless we learn how to talk to each other.

    OceanEyes, there actually aren't too many issues between us. For the most part we do get along very well. I don't want to put what we actually disagree about on the internet but to be honest, in my situation it doesn't matter. It could be anything and it's everything big and small. And you guessed correctly, his parents aren't together.

    I just find that our relationship is fine in a surface only sort of way so long as I don't bring up any issues. He has a hard time discussing his feelings, good or bad...

  7. #6
    Member OceanEyes's Avatar
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    He has a hard time discussing his feelings, good or bad...
    Some guys have a tougher time with this, in my experience. You seem like the type of person who really values open communication, so this might be a bit of a red flag for you. It may not seem like that big of a deal now, but may result in tiring you out over the years.

    The thing that bothered me the most were the lack of responses from the non-communicative guys. When I'd try to have a serious discussion, I'd usually have to do most of the talking, with little input from them. Or I'd ask for a response, very calmly most of the time, and get answers like, "I don't understand why this is such a big issue". It's really frustrating, and what the guy usually doesn't understand, is that THOSE comments are what actually MAKE it a bigger deal. When you say nothing, we usually assume the worst. And why wouldn't we? You know the saying, "if you don't have anything nice to say ...".

    This may be something that never changes with him. If he grew up watching his mother and father argue, and felt the tension from that, he may avoid any type of confrontation because of it. He may be conditioned to just keep quiet when he feels any type of conflict brewing. That kind of hard-wiring is difficult to change.
    There is no map to human behaviour. - Bjork

  8. #7
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    are you sure it's a communication problem? mabe he's just abusive.

  9. #8

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    Teacup, here's what you replied in my thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by teacup
    are you sure it's a communication problem? mabe he's just abusive.
    Here's what you replied in another: (http://www.enotalone.com/forum/showthread.php?t=123187)

    "he sounds like he could be abusive. this could be the start of it."

    Hmm..... Not all relationship problems stem from abuse. My boyfriend is NOT abusive and I'm offended that this is the advice you have to offer, to myself and to others.

    OceanEyes, You are correct, I do greatly enjoy and value open communication which is why this is such a big deal to me. And it sounds like you've experienced the same thing and you're so correct, it actually does make it worse! So I guess my choices are to accept it, hope he'll improve with some age and maturity but accept it if he does not.. Or move on. Hmm.. Difficult decision.
    Last edited by LiquidCherry; 11-16-2005 at 11:20 PM.

  10. 11-17-2005, 05:22 AM

  11. #9
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    Your pushing him, if you want him to be the loving open man you want then leave him be. He's a man and he doesn't think like you do i.e a woman, he doesn't need to talk about his feelings and thoughts like a woman does. He doesn't want to have a serious conversation and when he does he will. Men will only talk when THEY feel like it and the more you push him the more he will refuse.
    YOU are making this a problem. He doesn't want to talk seriously yet and doesn't like the pressure or to be pushed. Back off with the pressure, he resents it and he may even want to talk but when he is ready.

  12. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bethany
    Your pushing him, if you want him to be the loving open man you want then leave him be. He's a man and he doesn't think like you do i.e a woman, he doesn't need to talk about his feelings and thoughts like a woman does. He doesn't want to have a serious conversation and when he does he will. Men will only talk when THEY feel like it and the more you push him the more he will refuse.
    YOU are making this a problem. He doesn't want to talk seriously yet and doesn't like the pressure or to be pushed. Back off with the pressure, he resents it and he may even want to talk but when he is ready.
    Your advice is exactly the route I have taken and THAT is my problem. I am forced to drop an issue or never even bring one up in the first place because of his dislike for communication. But some things need to be discussed, trust me on this one, and a relationship will never be successful if an important issue is swept under the carpet. I don't mind so much if he doesn't care to discuss things that aren't really of any great concern but he can't do this every time, which he does and again you'll have to trust me because I am the only one here who knows my partner but he will NEVER be ready on his own to have an important conversation. He CAN'T communicate. Your advice works very well in that surface only sort of way but with an important issue (or future issues) it just isn't going to cut it.

    I just wanted to add that you may have missunderstood me. I am not trying to get my boyfriend to be open so that we can discuss love and feelings and thoughts. Bah. I am having problems resolving important conflicts/issues in our relationship because he is unable to communicate. OceanEyes nailed it on the head when she said that he may be conditioned to just keep quiet when he feels any type of conflict brewing.
    Last edited by LiquidCherry; 11-17-2005 at 10:41 PM.

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