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He's really confusing me...


Firiel

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Okay, so yesterday my fiance basically told me he thought I was too dependent on him, especially when it comes to talking about things. We are in a long-distance relationship... we talk most nights, for a half and hour to an hour and a half, depending on how our schedules work. We've been talking less lately, but I understand it's because he is very busy... I'm very busy as well, so it's really not a big deal.

 

He had mentioned the day before that I text him more than he texts me (which I do... I text him maybe every few hours, never really expecting a response). But when I asked him if it was okay, he said yes. And then yesterday he asked me if I felt like we talked on the phone too much... I said no, but he seemed to think we did. He said he was worried that I was dependent on him and likened me to his friend who almost canceled going to a breakfast get-together because his fiance was awake, and he likes to spend every waking moment with her.

 

His other concern was that I tell him about my problems too much, specifically my emotions. He's brought this up before, and I understand where he is coming from. He is my fiance, not my therapist. He told me I should find a girl I can talk to... but I've never really had a best friend, so I don't really have anyone to talk to. But I did cut down on the things I was telling him. I haven't cried around him in a long time now, and I try not to mention my anxiety (about school, weight, etc.) Apparently I am still talking about my problems too much, though.

 

But when he brought this up yesterday, I said I'd be more careful about mentioning things to him... I said I'd talk about what was worrying me less... I told him I'd be less dependent on me, and he just said, "Well, I want you to talk to me about things that are bothering you." And when I tried to pull back today and contact him less, he asked me why I wasn't texting him.

 

I don't know what he wants. I'm confused and, I'll admit, quite frustrated and a little angry that he is not being clearer. Has anyone ever experienced something like this? And what should I do?

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I don't think he means that he doesn't want to be there for you and doesn't want to listen to you, but I believe that he is hoping that you will get to the stage where you do not feel the need to talk about your emotions and issues as much anymore, because they are not as much of an issue as they are currently. I would take his comment as a constructive encouragement rather than a try to escape from communicating with you

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Men and women have different communication styles. A good book on this subject is Men are from Mars, Women are From Venus"

In today's world of technology, I imagine it's easier to have a long distance relationship in some aspects but maybe more difficult in other ways.

My opinion is that texting is great but it can turn into a habit, too, where we're just "thinking aloud" via text. Maybe before you hit send, ask if it's something you think you really need to say to him. If you send too many misc texts, he may pay less attention to the important ones you send.

You want him to say "Oh! Another text from my fiance!" Not "Oh...ANOTHER text from my fiance..."

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It's just frustrating because I can understand where he's coming from. I really can. But when I try to ask what to do or try to take steps to remedy the problem, he says it's not a big deal, that he wants me to talk to him, text him, etc.

 

I just feel like no matter how hard I try, I'm not good enough for him. I'm just his psychotic fiance. I don't understand why he would ask me to marry him if he thinks I'm that messed up.

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Don't freak out! Realize that he chooses to be with you. But just because he is so supportive and encourages you to talk to him, doesn't mean that you should rely solely on him. His support should give you enough confidence and support to give you strength and turn either to yourself to find your inner strength or to find the courage and make more friends who can help you with your anxiety as well. Are you in therapy?

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No. My mom also struggles with anxiety, so I used to be able to talk to her about it, but we've had a very large falling out that won't be fixed any time soon. And I thought I was doing better. I've been feeling better lately... way more under control. But apparently I'm not doing well enough.

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I'm sorry love, but it sounds to me like your fiance is acting like a douche. Since you're in a long distance relationship, I would say an hour on the phone every night and regular texts is a perfectly reasonable amount of communication given the circumstances, in fact i don't think it would be good for either of you to contact each other much less. Wanting to share your thoughts and feelings with your partner is not "being dependant" - it's perfectly natural and part of a healthy relationship. "find a girl to talk to"??? what a cop-out. you tell your fiance that if he isn't prepared to give and take he better do some fast thinking about just what kind of relationship he's after and why the hell you shouldn't go find someone who IS prepared to make that extra effort.

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I would try to find an 'anxiety buddy' preferably someone who understands it, but currently is not challenged by it. When you are experiencing an anxiety attack you might not even realize how intense/ insecure you might come over, so it's often good to let out that initial angst/ anxiety/ pressure with someone who is not the partner/ center of that anxiety.

 

If you can;t find someone who you trust enough, try writing here, or write in a journal to let the first wave of anxiety wash over you before you speak to your fiancee

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I'm sorry love, but it sounds to me like your fiance is acting like a douche. Since you're in a long distance relationship, I would say an hour on the phone every night and regular texts is a perfectly reasonable amount of communication given the circumstances, in fact i don't think it would be good for either of you to contact each other much less. Wanting to share your thoughts and feelings with your partner is not "being dependant" - it's perfectly natural and part of a healthy relationship. "find a girl to talk to"??? what a cop-out. you tell your fiance that if he isn't prepared to give and take he better do some fast thinking about just what kind of relationship he's after and why the hell you shouldn't go find someone who IS prepared to make that extra effort.

 

The thing is, he's gone through a lot for me. He put up with me when I really was being dependent and needy because he knew that it's what I needed. I don't know. I swing from thinking I'm crazy enough that I shouldn't be in a relationship or have children in order to protect the innocent to being certain I'm completely sane and independent.

 

Penelope: Journaling fairly regularly has helped. And that's why I thought I was doing better. I did call him the other night when I was randomly overcome with anxiety in bed... that's the worst place. I tried to make it better by not talking to him about it... I just told him I needed him on the other end of the phone for awhile, and he was able to just keep doing what he was doing with the phone next to him. But I shouldn't have done that...

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No. My mom also struggles with anxiety, so I used to be able to talk to her about it, but we've had a very large falling out that won't be fixed any time soon. And I thought I was doing better. I've been feeling better lately... way more under control. But apparently I'm not doing well enough.

 

I'm sorry, but I find it crappy that he is making you feel bad when you are working on your issues. He is supposed to be your rock, the one person who is supposed to stand by you through anything, including the difficult times.

 

He's being selfish with this wishy-washy business.

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I'm sorry, but I find it crappy that he is making you feel bad when you are working on your issues. He is supposed to be your rock, the one person who is supposed to stand by you through anything, including the difficult times.

 

He's being selfish with this wishy-washy business.

 

Or am I the selfish one because I constantly demand his emotional attention and keep dragging him into my own problems?

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Maybe your fiancee is just picking up that currently you are not doing as well as before and he just wants to be sure that you do not become co-dependent on him, even though he wants to be there for you whenever you need him. I think it is very important in a relationship to keep that fine balance between being dependent on someone and just being in touch frequently. Especially since you are planning to start a family, it's in your own interest to know that you could deal with every situation by yourself (or with the help of someone else) in case (for whatever reason) he might not be available for you immediately when a situation/ crisis arises, such as him being sick or traveling, being in a business meetings etc

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"I'm not doing well, I'm psychotic, I'm needy, I'm dependent, he's put up with a lot"

I'm paraphrasing some of the comments you've made about yourself in this post. It sounds like you are feeling very insecure and having some confidence issues. Penelope13 had some good advice. I think if you're planning a marriage and a family, you could really benefit from counseling to get to the root of your issues. This will benefit you and therefore benefit your relationship, too.

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Maybe your fiancee is just picking up that currently you are not doing as well as before and he just wants to be sure that you do not become co-dependent on him, even though he wants to be there for you whenever you need him. I think it is very important in a relationship to keep that fine balance between being dependent on someone and just being in touch frequently. Especially since you are planning to start a family, it's in your own interest to know that you could deal with every situation by yourself (or with the help of someone else) in case (for whatever reason) he might not be available for you immediately when a situation/ crisis arises, such as him being sick or traveling, being in a business meetings etc

 

The frustrating thing is that I'm doing better. This time last year, I was struggling with thoughts of suicide. I cried every day... I was literally falling apart emotionally, physically, and mentally. And it's been getting so much better... I've been working hard to take control of my life, I've been sticking to a strict routine, I've been going to bed early and getting up early. I've been to the doctor about my exhaustion and have gotten help for that. I'm finally starting to pull myself together after my relationship with my family was decimated... but I feel like even the "good me" isn't good enough.

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The frustrating thing is that I'm doing better. This time last year, I was struggling with thoughts of suicide. I cried every day... I was literally falling apart emotionally, physically, and mentally. And it's been getting so much better... I've been working hard to take control of my life, I've been sticking to a strict routine, I've been going to bed early and getting up early. I've been to the doctor about my exhaustion and have gotten help for that. I'm finally starting to pull myself together after my relationship with my family was decimated... but I feel like even the "good me" isn't good enough.

 

That has to be really tough. Knowing that you have come so far, but he doesn't see it. I think you really need to have a long talk with him. Communication is so important to a relationship. You need some clarification from his end on what he wants and you need to reiterate to him how far you've come.

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Don't get impatient with yourself. You are on the right track. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of ground to cover. As you said he was there for you in the past when things were much worse. But now that you have progressed he can also expect even more from you so that one day your anxiety is just a memory from the past.

 

I know it's easy to look back and think that you have accomplished already so much that he/you/ life should allow you some slack. No, quite the opposite, the more you have accomplished in the past, the more you should expect from yourself in the future. You should never allow yourself to get complacent, there is always something to learn and some growing to undertake.

 

I would actually see it as a compliment that your fiancee feels you are strong enough that he can honestly say these things to you (i'm sure that he couldn't do that a year ago). He clearly doesn't mean to cut you out more of his life, otherwise he wouldn't encourage you to continue to talk to him about everything and to contact him when you need him. He is just hoping that one do you don't 'need him' to deal with an anxiety attack, but that your communication can be motivated by other things

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Thanks, that post helps.

 

I struggled with a lot of guilt and self-esteem issues after the way I reacted to my family rejecting me. What finally made me start to feel better was just deciding to have confidence in my emotions again. I decided that the only way I would feel better was if I stopped feeling guilty about the way I felt and chose to think of myself as a strong, independent person again. And so that's what I did... I told my fiance I wasn't going to feel bad for my emotions anymore because I believed in myself and my ability to control my emotions.

 

And it got better. I got less weepy and insecure... but this has thrown a wrench into all of that because it's made me feel like I can't trust myself anymore... that no matter how much I believe in my own sanity, I'm still just a crazy person. Before I was too depressed, and now I'm too uptight about things. I'm scared to agree with him because that will cause me to lose confidence in my emotions again and to start thinking of myself as someone who can't handle herself. But I don't want to ignore what he says because I know I've put him through a lot.

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He might leave you soon for two reasons 1. Long Distance Relationship 2. You're not stable, at all. You need to get your stuff together before going into a relationship, and not rely on somebody that much. I thought he meant that you were talking too much, which is silly.. but I can no see you after all these posts you made in this topic only nagging him about your problems which is not cool. Relationships are two ways, seems that you've forgotten him

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If you are struggling with intense anxiety and periods of depression and self doubt, you should be seeing a counselor to get treatment. Talking just to him or friends won't solve this problem. So perhaps that is the answer, taking this to a counselor.

 

And next, it may have been as simple as the day he said these things to you, he was tired and didn't want to spend an hour on the phone talking to you. But the next day, he feels better, and wants to hear from you. So that may be his problem, that he does or doesn't want to talk to you based on his mood, and it is unfair of him to expect you to know what that mood is.

 

My suggestion would be first to get a counselor (schools do have them usually), and next, to do everything, but half as much. So if you text him every 3 hours, then only do it every 6. And keep all phone calls to 15 minutes or less. If you need to talk to him more than that, you should do it in person. It could be more a question of degree/amount than anything, where he wants to talk, just not in marathon sessions, or every few hours.

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Firiel, it's great that you could make a conscious decision to let go of the guilt and to believe in your confidence again. Doesn't this clearly show that the brain is quite a powerful instrument if we chose not to make ourselves a victim of our own emotions, but that we actually have the power to take charge of them?

 

As you did then, make a conscious decision to take charge of your anxiety now as well.

 

Anxiety is really self induced fears, were your thoughts are running away from you, without an actual event taking place to induce those fears. Once you truly realize it, you can learn how to deal with an anxiety attack and how to overcome it.

 

As an exercise I would try the following (I don't really know what the main trigger for your anxiety is, but I can imagine partially it is if you are truly good enough for your fiancee and if you deserve him):

a) you said that you are texting him throughout the day were you don't even expect a response. I assume this gives you the feeling that you are more connected to him, especially since you are in a LDR. try to slowly increase the time in between text that have no specific purpose, i.e. if you text him currently every hour,today try to text him every 1 hour and 5min. That's only 5 minutes longer to wait. Not really scary, isn't it? Make yourself aware that waiting those extra 5minutes is not going to change how he is going to feel about you. Do this a few days, till 1hour 5min feels really ok with you, then increase the timeframe again for a few more minutes. This is only for text that don't require a response from him, of course if there is something specific to say contact him any time you need.

b) When you do call him take a few minutes beforehand to identify why you are calling him: calling him, because you miss him, miss his voice is a totally legitimate reason to call someone you are in a relationship with; however if it is motivated by anxiety and fear of abandonment/ fear you might lose him - take a deep breath, identify your irrational thoughts, reassure yourself that he loves you, chose to be with you, look at the engagement ring on your finger. Let the fears pass. Then call him and talk whatever you need to discuss/talk about. Try to decrease the amount of time that you need to be on the phone to reassure your fears and increase the time that you truly communicate with him, rather than using him as a sounding board to lesson your anxiety

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If you are struggling with intense anxiety and periods of depression and self doubt, you should be seeing a counselor to get treatment. Talking just to him or friends won't solve this problem. So perhaps that is the answer, taking this to a counselor.

 

I actually did go see a counselor for awhile... I went about six times (the number of free times we are able to go), but I didn't really feel like it helped. It was nice to talk about thing for awhile, but I eventually felt like I was just re-hashing the same stupid crap with my parents over and over again, that the sessions were keeping me from just putting it all behind me.

 

 

As an exercise I would try the following (I don't really know what the main trigger for your anxiety is, but I can imagine partially it is if you are truly good enough for your fiancee and if you deserve him):

a) you said that you are texting him throughout the day were you don't even expect a response. I assume this gives you the feeling that you are more connected to him, especially since you are in a LDR. try to slowly increase the time in between text that have no specific purpose, i.e. if you text him currently every hour,today try to text him every 1 hour and 5min. That's only 5 minutes longer to wait. Not really scary, isn't it? Make yourself aware that waiting those extra 5minutes is not going to change how he is going to feel about you. Do this a few days, till 1hour 5min feels really ok with you, then increase the timeframe again for a few more minutes. This is only for text that don't require a response from him, of course if there is something specific to say contact him any time you need.

b) When you do call him take a few minutes beforehand to identify why you are calling him: calling him, because you miss him, miss his voice is a totally legitimate reason to call someone you are in a relationship with; however if it is motivated by anxiety and fear of abandonment/ fear you might lose him - take a deep breath, identify your irrational thoughts, reassure yourself that he loves you, chose to be with you, look at the engagement ring on your finger. Let the fears pass. Then call him and talk whatever you need to discuss/talk about. Try to decrease the amount of time that you need to be on the phone to reassure your fears and increase the time that you truly communicate with him, rather than using him as a sounding board to lesson your anxiety

 

Yeah, I didn't text him first at all yesterday (except to let him know I was going to bed and wouldn't be calling), no problem. He's told me before he likes getting texts, and it's not annoying because he knows I don't expect him to return them. So now that I know it is annoying, I think it will be pretty easy to stop. I also didn't talk to him at all yesterday. It's plenty easy for me not to talk to him or just chat with him for a short while... that's part of the reason why this is all so confusing.

 

I think part of it is circumstance-based. I was feeling really frustrated with birth control (which has been almost humorously awful for me), so I vented about it to him without taking into account that he's grossed out by girl-stuff. And I think he hates hearing about school... but that's all I ever do because I have a really heavy class-load, so that's what I tend to talk about.

 

Probably I'll just cut down the amount of time we talk... I'll just tell him about my day when we talk and let him lead the conversation. I'll stop talking about school and girl stuff. And I'll stop texting him unless he texts me. He's sick of me being stressed, so I'll stop letting him know about the stresses in my life.

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