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Thread: Ex states that we have 'different communication styles'?

  1. #1

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    Ex states that we have 'different communication styles'?

    I've noticed this recurring pattern/relationship problem with her where something would bother her, and she won't bring it up voluntarily and she won't tell me if I ask her what the issue is. When this happens she's quiet and withdrawn and is noticeably in 'some kind of mood'.

    It seems that these things don't get resolved, resentment builds up, causes things to bother her more easily, which of course doesn't get talked about, which causes more resentment. It seems to be a vicious cycle of lack of communication and resentment that culminate in a major fight.

    After this happened a few times, I've tried to tell her multiple times that if something is bothering her then its best to bring it up so we can talk about it and resolve it, and that proper communication is key for a relationships, but I'm having a hard time getting through to her and making her understand, and getting her to change her behavior.

    Her explanation is that I don't understand her and that our communication styles are different and incompatible. She also states that I should know whats bothering her, and that this has never been a problem with other boyfriends. Its ironic because this has never been a problem with any of my ex-gfs.

    As I can tell the main issue is that she is an introvert and naturally has an inclination to not talk about things and be inward facing. She has an aversion to conflict which might happen if she brings up something that is bothering her. To me it seems like an immature way of dealing with relationships and ones feelings, and I mean that in the sense that she hasn't learnt how to deal with these things effectively yet, and instead uses destructive passive aggressive behavior.

    I'm also an introvert, and I've recognized this in myself in past relationships. Something has upset me, I didn't talk about it, it doesn't get resolved, resentment builds up, things get worse, and it contributes to the relationship failing. I've been through this.

    I'm trying to be understanding, but when certain behavior is contributing significantly to the detriment to a relationship, then it seems that it would require more than just understanding.

    Here's an example:

    One night she came over and she was going to hang out while I worked on homework. She walked into my room and I immediately noticed that something wasn't right (didn't want to hug me, she was somewhat withdrawn). We did kind of tickle each other a bit but even that was awkward.

    We kind sat there on my bed. She asked if I ate because she was somewhat hungry. I wasn't, and I told her that I didn't really have anything that was quick and easy to eat. It gave me an idea to ask about what specifically of those kind of things that she liked so I can have them on hand, and she told me.

    Previously we we're talking about visiting an Italian grocery store which has a deli and bakery, and I asked if she wanted to go there to grab something to eat. She said no, and didn't make any suggestions. She mentioned that she was going to phone some people about rooms to live in (she wanted to move from her current place), so I went back to doing homework, which was our plan for the night.

    We did this for a few hours. The entire time I felt I was being mindful of her mood and her hunger. I asked what what was wrong, and she mentioned that she was upset that she hasn't found a place at this point in the month, but it seemed like there was more to it. Throughout that time I made several suggestions/methods to get food. I asked if she wanted to go to Superstore (grocery chain in Canada), she said no. Later I asked if she wanted to go to a closer one (5 minutes away), she said no. Later I stated that I'm going to go grab something from the closer one to grab something and if she'd like to come with me. She didn't respond.

    A bit later I was done with homework, and I was trying to get her out of her shell, so I said that I didn't really want to sit up in my bedroom and do nothing, and I said that I was going to go downstairs and put Harry Potter (she loves the movies) and that she should come and watch it with me. She didn't respond. I stood in front of her as she sat on her bed, touched her shoulder as she was looking at her phone, and asked "sweetie whats wrong"? She didn't respond. So I went downstairs, and went to the bathroom before putting the movie on. As I came out, she stormed out the door.

    I gave her some space, but we ended up talking a few days later, which turned into a massive string of text messages, mostly negative perceptions from her about me and us. Regarding the above situation she stated that I wasn't accommodating her need of food, that when she left she sat in her car and expected me to come chase after her, and how I don't understand her or know whats going on in her head, and that its my deficiency.

    Talking at that point was constructive and helpful and we reconciled. The issue about this is that she only seems to want to do this after things escalate into a major fight and we 'break up'. This is something else that I brought up as another communication problem in our relationship.


    tl;dr: Recurring pattern where ex-gf experiences something that she interprets as aversive, doesn't bring it up, won't admit that somethings bothering her. Then when resentment builds up and things escalate, there's an expectation that I should've known whats wrong, and that I don't understand her, and that we have incompatible communication styles, and ultimately we shouldn't be together because of that.

    Please give me your opinions! Is this some kind of incompatible communication style? Am I suppose to deduce what her problem is? Am i somehow deficient? Be honest!

  2. #2
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    This sounds EXACTLY like my soon to be ex wife when she was in a mood.

    She's not happy with herself and is playing games. I'm biased at this point, but my suggestion is to put an end to it all before you get involved too deep.

    Breaking it off is my suggestion, but if you really want to still try, you could consider couples counseling and hopefully she will pick up on what is acceptable communication behavior.

    I doubt she will. She has to want to. Sulking, storming off, and sitting in her car waiting on you to chase her is immature petty bull. Childish at best.

    Tell her, no counseling, no relationship. Stick to your guns.

  3. #3
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    Her explanation is that I don't understand her
    She wants to talk to you and she wants you to listen to her.

    She also states that I should know whats bothering her
    She is telling you that she doesn't expect you to know what's bothering her but expects you to know to get her comfortable enough so that she opens up and talks to you, while feeling confident that you will listen and not try to fix the situation.

    that this has never been a problem with other boyfriends
    She is testing you, she had issues like this before, boyfriends wouldn't listen to give emotional support when she feels down.

    As I can tell the main issue is that she is an introvert and naturally has an inclination to not talk about things and be inward facing. She has an aversion to conflict which might happen if she brings up something that is bothering her. To me it seems like an immature way of dealing with relationships and ones feelings, and I mean that in the sense that she hasn't learnt how to deal with these things effectively yet, and instead uses destructive passive aggressive behavior.
    I'm also an introvert, and I've recognized this in myself in past relationships. Something has upset me, I didn't talk about it, it doesn't get resolved, resentment builds up, things get worse, and it contributes to the relationship failing. I've been through this.
    You are looking at things logically but looking at what she is doing wrong. You are not putting yourself in her shoes and looking at it from her perspective. You are trying to rationalize why the relationship is failing and coming to a conclusion that "if she did X,Y,Z then things could be better" while you are not thinking about your own actions. Your actions make sense to yourself and should make sense to her. You have to know and understand, she is coming from a place of emotion where she feels and acts according to her feelings. Some woman are better and more level headed then others and can keep them in check, some can not, it's up to you to support her through her emotional feelings.

    I'm trying to be understanding, but when certain behavior is contributing significantly to the detriment to a relationship, then it seems that it would require more than just understanding.
    You are trying to be understanding AND trying to fix it. Naturally, for you, X happens, you see why X happened, then you do Z to fix the issue so that it doesn't happen again. You are missing something though, it only solves the issues that YOU deem that are issues in the relationship. You are not addressing what her issues are nor are you fixing them.

    I gave her some space, but we ended up talking a few days later, which turned into a massive string of text messages, mostly negative perceptions from her about me and us. Regarding the above situation she stated that I wasn't accommodating her need of food, that when she left she sat in her car and expected me to come chase after her, and how I don't understand her or know whats going on in her head, and that its my deficiency.

    Talking at that point was constructive and helpful and we reconciled. The issue about this is that she only seems to want to do this after things escalate into a major fight and we 'break up'. This is something else that I brought up as another communication problem in our relationship.
    So in a nut shell, it seems like she came to your house/room to break up with you but got frustrated because she couldn't find the words or the courage. She wants to break up with you. This has been on her mind for a while now, it seems to me she is trying everything she can for you to break up with her so that she doesn't have that guilt of breaking up with you. She doesn't want to hurt you, so if you two are having problems and fighting then those actions are less impacted as to her actions if those words come out from her.

    If you are fighting and she says lets break up. It's less hurtful and she doesn't have to give you a reason because you two were fighting.
    If you are fighting and YOU say lets break up, then it's even better for her because she has no guilt when you leave.
    If she breaks up with you without fights and just talking then she is scared or nervous of the reason why she wants to break up. She knows you will ask and she will have to offer something for you to hear. It could be a lie, half truth, or whatever. You will see that as such that and start telling her things or maybe not. She doesn't know how you will react. Thus she doesn't want to be in that situation to have to answer your questions.

    Either way, she wants to break up with you all the while with no guilt and her idea of not wanting to hurt you by breaking up with you.

    So give her what she truly desires. You break up with her. Offer no reason and don't look back.

  4. #4
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    It's not his job to be a mind reader. You said it yourself however. She is relying on him and her previous boyfriends for her happiness.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Yes I do think you have different communication styles, and it's not so much a deficiency on your part as it is something that perhaps both of you could meet in the middle on.

    I have a defect of character that causes me to shut down when I am not feeling heard... this can happen when someone is distracted while I am talking, or if they try and fix me, or dismiss what I am saying, or talk over me, or whatever. At the end of the day because I can't expect the world to change just for me, I have to flex someone in my ability to be resilient and keep going with my communication because I know how important it is to building good relationships.

    From your side of things I completely agree with 1tym,,, while it's not your job to be a mind reader, you can support her by being a good listener (give her your full attention when she is speaking, watch for body language, tone, key words, ask open ended questions, show interest, etc.)... generally speaking I find that type of listening will eventually get even the most shy and introverted person to be more open and communicative about what they are thinking and feeling.

  7. #6
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    It's interesting she said it's never been a problem in her previous relationships, but yet those relationships obviously did not work out.

    Has she shared w you why those relationships ended?

    I would bet her poor communication style and accusing her ex's of not understanding her or having the ability to read her mind was a big part of it.

    Knowing what's bothering your gf (mind reading) -- no partner has this ability, it's an impossible expectation to have.

    If she were your child, I might suggest something called "active listening" where you ask your child open-ended questions, until you have essentially guessed what's wrong, and your child agreeing so she/he feels validated.

    But she is not your child, she is a grown woman, your girlfriend, she should not need to be coddled like that!

    And if you give in to it, you're enabling a communication style that is unhealthy and dysfunctional for grown adults imo..
    Last edited by katrina1980; 05-06-2019 at 04:08 PM.

  8. #7
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    I agree with the post about her wanting to break up with you.

    She's either about to, or seriously considering it.

    So you have a choice - watch a ton of videos on how to get a girl back when she pulls away (3% Man - Corey Wayne on Youtube)...or just accept the relationship is dead.

    You have to get your ass in gear right now, or you will be single in a week or two.

  9. #8
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    Very immature. The GF wants you both to read her mind and figure out a response to that. Particularly pouty is she way the reacted to your suggestions for food (plural). Then, when you do not fall into that trap, she brings up ex-boyfriends that are so much better than you.

    If it were me in your shoes? I'd invite her to leave your life and go away. Maybe one of those ex-BFs would suit her better.

    And as for you? Finish your studies.

    I'd bet money that she will next say you don't give her enough attention, you're always doing schoolwork instead of entertaining her.

    You know what? much better that you do as she doesn't like--finish your studies without distraction.

  10. #9
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    Yes, it's immature - but that's how girls (and boys) are in the beginning. They don't know how to communicate, they just know how to express their frustration.

    And because neither one of them have a clue on how to handle this...it's spiraling downhill fast. They get resentful, and start lashing out or being distant...and all it takes is someone to have the courage to leave, or find someone new.

    Sit her down and say "Hey, I really care about you and want to know how to fix us, and I'm not leaving until you tell me what's bothering you. :-)" Be cute and fun about it. Don't walk away.

  11. #10
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    My advice would be the next time she tells you that you don't understsnd her and you should know what's bothering her, stand up to her and for yourself, have a backbone and tell her "no that is not how healthy relationships work. I'm not a mind reader. How about you learning to tell me what's bothering you instead of me jumping thru hoops to figure it out."

    j.man said something in another thread that stood out to me.

    Essentially saying -- unfortunately, many in society today carry extremely low expectations of women, excusing women's poor behavior thus fostering a sense of entitlement par the course for being born female.


    Not sure when that started happening but it's all wrong imo and I'm a woman!

    Stop walking on eggshells in your relationships, same advice applies to women.

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