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My boyfriend often forgets what I tell him


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1 hour ago, jessb86a said:

. It's exhausting, but I am so pleased I have started therapy 

It's great you are taking care of yourself and your physical and mental health. If he is good to you, try to sort things out in therapy and not be chronically disappointed in him.

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This latest disappointment is an extension of your general insecurity and fear outlined in your other thread. The dots are connected, in the sense that you are on high alert for any sign you can interpret as him not caring about you. 

Your boyfriend is going to start feeling like he can't please you, and that he's always making a misstep. You don't want it to get to that point, because that is generally when someone starts checking out the relationship and eventually leaves to search for others who aren't always unhappy with them in some way.

Try to keep this tendency of yours in check while you work with your therapist. 

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3 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

This latest disappointment is an extension of your general insecurity and fear outlined in your other thread. The dots are connected, in the sense that you are on high alert for any sign you can interpret as him not caring about you. 

Your boyfriend is going to start feeling like he can't please you, and that he's always making a misstep. You don't want it to get to that point, because that is generally when someone starts checking out the relationship and eventually leaves to search for others who aren't always unhappy with them in some way.

Try to keep this tendency of yours in check while you work with your therapist. 

Thank you for your straightforward advice. I can see how once again, I rushed straight into panic mode that it's a sign he doesn't care. 

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5 minutes ago, jessb86a said:

Thank you for your straightforward advice. I can see how once again, I rushed straight into panic mode that it's a sign he doesn't care. 

Have you tried any of the suggestions you were given in your previous thread?  Are you asking yourself "Is this legit, or is it my fear, insecurity and anxiety talking?"  Are you distracting yourself by going for a run or doing something that requires your full focus and concentration?

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1 hour ago, boltnrun said:

Have you tried any of the suggestions you were given in your previous thread?  Are you asking yourself "Is this legit, or is it my fear, insecurity and anxiety talking?"  Are you distracting yourself by going for a run or doing something that requires your full focus and concentration?

I've been to the gym a couple of times this week and have definitely stopped some anxious thoughts in their tracks, but I guess it's going to take a little while of practice to eliminate them all. I think today with it being such an important step, I'd hope he would remember and then the thoughts were overwhelming again. At least this time, I didn't show him I was disappointed. I came straight on here for advice! I guess over time, I'll start being able to rely on myself to stop the anxiety in its tracks, rather than needing it from him or others. Thank you for your reply and reminding me of the previous suggestions. 

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Since he habitually forgets things about you, ask him to write reminder notes for himself regarding your upcoming appointments and such.  Ask him to review his notes prior to seeing you and then both of you can discuss these topics. 

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17 hours ago, jessb86a said:

Anyway, neither of us have discussed it since, but he completely forgot I had the appointment. He had messaged about other things, but has forgotten that.

How do you know he actually forgot about it?  or are you saying this just because he never brought it up ? ( as you said, he msg'd about other things....).  I hope you two do not msg about everything- but also talk for real sometimes.

 

Also, you said " I would've thought that he would know this was important to me and remembered so he could ask how it went? ".

- You see, this is your expectations.  Not how it actually is.  Guys often avoid the petty little 'personal' things.  They rather keep their life upbeat, not 'get to the heart of the matter', type thing. Women are the more emotional type & willingly talk about this stuff. Do you talk with some 'gal friends' or your mother etc?

 

And, " I don't want to settle for a half-assed relationship, emotionally speaking! "

- But, if you're expecting too much or are too needy, this may be what you'll get.  So, if he is not the 'sensitive' type, don't expect a lot in this area.

 

 

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2 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

But didn't he apologize for forgetting? Or am I not understanding what he was apologizing for?

Because if he did, then he knew you were disappointed. 

He asked how I was and I said I was getting ready to go to my appointment. He replied with 'I forgot about that, sorry.' 

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6 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

Since he habitually forgets things about you, ask him to write reminder notes for himself regarding your upcoming appointments and such.  Ask him to review his notes prior to seeing you and then both of you can discuss these topics. 

This is a great idea! Thank you. 

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4 hours ago, SooSad33 said:

Also, you said " I would've thought that he would know this was important to me and remembered so he could ask how it went? ".

- You see, this is your expectations.  Not how it actually is.  Guys often avoid the petty little 'personal' things.  They rather keep their life upbeat, not 'get to the heart of the matter', type thing. Women are the more emotional type & willingly talk about this stuff. Do you talk with some 'gal friends' or your mother etc?

 

Yeah, I get this. He isn't the sensitive type, whereas I am very sensitive. He has admitted that he has never been one to open up about his feelings, so I guess why would I expect he'd be worried about mine constantly. He does listen when I do talk about my feelings and tries to understand where I'm coming from. I think I need to remember everyone is different and they won't act exactly how I want them to - doesn't mean they don't care? 

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3 hours ago, jessb86a said:

This is a great idea! Thank you. 

I would not do this. He'll feel like it's work - unless it's an appointment that is work-like like a doctor appointment he's supposed to pick you up from at a certain time.  Will you really feel all warm and fuzzy knowing he's asking because you asked him to write it down and he complied? Rather than him coming up with it because he cares.  I put in my phone my mom's bday yesterday because we have a lot going on plus I sent her all her gifts in advance and we talked about her bday then. 

I put in my phone that my friend's husband's oncology appointment was this past Friday -because I contacted her the week before thinking it was then and I was wrong.  So since I care about how she's doing I put it in my phone again and texted her on Friday.  

This is who I am and have been for many years including pre internet.  I make sure to remember all this stuff and follow up.

When I had a sales job in the late 80s where I had to follow up every couple of months I'd note on the inedex cards "planning a Hawaii vacation for April" so when I called in May I could ask how it went.  I didn't care emotionally -it was work - but it helped my rapport with the potential client.  Is that the result you want?  I would not like if a person instructed me to do so other than at work.  (And at work it's really rare too since I do it on my own and I'm known to have a good memory/follow up).  He is not like this.  He will not be like this if he complies with your instructions.  He'll just be a person who does what he's told to keep the peace.

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12 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I would not do this. He'll feel like it's work - unless it's an appointment that is work-like like a doctor appointment he's supposed to pick you up from at a certain time.  Will you really feel all warm and fuzzy knowing he's asking because you asked him to write it down and he complied? Rather than him coming up with it because he cares.  I put in my phone my mom's bday yesterday because we have a lot going on plus I sent her all her gifts in advance and we talked about her bday then. 

I put in my phone that my friend's husband's oncology appointment was this past Friday -because I contacted her the week before thinking it was then and I was wrong.  So since I care about how she's doing I put it in my phone again and texted her on Friday.  

This is who I am and have been for many years including pre internet.  I make sure to remember all this stuff and follow up.

When I had a sales job in the late 80s where I had to follow up every couple of months I'd note on the inedex cards "planning a Hawaii vacation for April" so when I called in May I could ask how it went.  I didn't care emotionally -it was work - but it helped my rapport with the potential client.  Is that the result you want?  I would not like if a person instructed me to do so other than at work.  (And at work it's really rare too since I do it on my own and I'm known to have a good memory/follow up).  He is not like this.  He will not be like this if he complies with your instructions.  He'll just be a person who does what he's told to keep the peace.

Relationships are work.  If reminder notes to himself works, do whatever works so both of you can discuss your appointments and whatnot. 

Not everyone can remember everything.  I for one cannot remember what I need to remember and I often times write notes to myself no matter where I am.  I either write it down in my little note pad, scratch paper or cell phone whether home or away.   Whenever I glance down at my notes, I'll remember to do this or that otherwise, forget it, it won't get done, it won't be mentioned and then I'll forget in the future when it should've been done or mentioned previously.  It's frustrating so notes save people a lot of trouble later. 

I agree, @Batya33, instructions are annoying but whatever works if there's a discussion to be had or if something needs to get done.  It's better than forgetting altogether and / or assuming someone doesn't wish to discuss something deliberately or forgetting to take care of whatever task at hand which IMHO is far worse.  Compliance and keeping the peace are much better than arguing back 'n forth and then parting ways because there was no resolution to be had.  A lot of times we do what we don't like to do because it's beneficial to the relationship and requires selfless acts here and there.  Sure, it's not enjoyable.  However, at least the discussion can be remembered or something can get done without the "oh I forgot" statement again.  

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23 minutes ago, Cherylyn said:
24 minutes ago, Cherylyn said:

agree, @Batya33, instructions are annoying but whatever works if there's a discussion to be had or if something needs to get done.  It's better than forgetting altogether and / or assuming someone doesn't wish to discuss something deliberately or forgetting to take care of whatever task at hand which IMHO is far worse. 

I agree totally if he has to remember a task.  I wrote that above.  I disagree for her purposes - writing down stuff that is going on in her life so he "remembers" to ask her how it went and show an emotionally caring reaction.  It won't "work" because it will be out of a sense of obligation not him taking the initiative to care.  When I care, I care enough to write things down on my own and if I think my friend or partner or family member needs emotional support after an event - like a mammogram appointment or -like a friend of mine is doing on Friday-having to put her dog/best friend to sleep (so so tragic) I care enough to put it in my phone so in the unlikely event I get distracted and forget I get a ping and I can text her to ask how she is doing and give support.  

It will "work" -he will obligatorily text her "hi! how was your therapy appointment -let me know when we can talk about it" - but she will wonder -would he have done so if he didn't feel obligated -would he have remembered to write it down if I hadn't prompted him?" 

By contrast it does work if she needs him to be home at 3PM to meet the handyman who's coming because she has a work meeting -then even though it's annoying it's more annoying if the handyman knocks on the door and no one is home and they need to reschedule -there aren't the same sort of emotions involved at all and it "works".

JMHO

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It's one thing if he chooses to write down things HE needs to remember.  It's quite another to ask him to do so just so your insecurity can be soothed.

I also think adding to the stress of asking over and over if he "likes" or "has feelings for" the work friend isn't a great idea.

I mean, why is it his responsibility to soothe your anxiety that has nothing to do with him and isn't caused by him?  I know, some might say "well, if he truly cares for her and loves her, he'll WANT to help her!"  And again, I say he's not doing anything wrong but he's being made to be responsible for relieving her anxiety and fear and insecurity.  

I don't call upon others to relieve my anxiety and fear.  It's my responsibility to find ways to manage it that don't impose on others, regardless of whether or not they might want me to.  It's mine to manage, not theirs.

Jess, I think asking for even more reassurance from him at this point isn't a great idea.  Your anxiety, fear and insecurity are things you can work out with your therapist.  Don't rely on your boyfriend to be your therapist or to parent you.  It's totally NOT attractive or sexy.

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I wouldn't like it if my husband were to forget about my upcoming appointments or whatever is going on in my life.  It shouldn't be my job to constantly remind him.  Granted, if he were to forget once in a while and not habitually,  I would give him a free pass on that one.  I've forgotten some of his appointments but I never made a habit of forgetting whatever is on his schedule especially important appointments. 

If a man (or anyone, speaking man in this case) were to care enough to discuss these topics, it's not too much to ask to jot down a little reminder note for oneself to remember to discuss something with a loved one.  It's a good habit for this man because he could very well write down other reminders other than the OP's appointments.  It's nothing out of the ordinary.  I see people do it all the time whether in my home or with others.  No one should be up in arms over this little favor or a reminder to oneself to do this or that for the day or in the future.  It's commonplace. 

If he refuses to compromise or cooperate, then you either accept him as is or choose a man who cares enough to remember your important upcoming appointments so he can ask you how it went.  Or, you can simply not be concerned whether he remembered or not and broach the subject yourself each time you see him. 

Also, if your boyfriend is such a sore spot due to your jealousy issues with his co-worker, perhaps he's not the ideal man for you. 

Shop around.

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I would also advise against asking him to make reminder notes about your appointments, OP. That is too much. 

He will figure out a way to remember all on his own if it's important to him, without being instructed. It's up to you to manage your own insecurity and not turn molehills into mountains over something like this. 

 

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5 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

I would also advise against asking him to make reminder notes about your appointments, OP. That is too much. 

He will figure out a way to remember all on his own if it's important to him, without being instructed. It's up to you to manage your own insecurity and not turn molehills into mountains over something like this. 

 

Yes, I can see that actually. It would feel suffocating for him. 

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18 hours ago, boltnrun said:

When I was married and had job interviews I didn't expect my husband to remember every single one and I didn't get hurt if he didn't remember.  I'd just tell him in the morning "I have an interview today at X company" and he'd say "good luck".  Then when he got home from work I'd say "I went on that interview at X company today" and he'd ask "so how do you feel it went?"  I didn't take it as a sign he didn't love me

Thanks for this. I think I need to cut him some slack! I think it's because I pride myself on remembering things about my friends/family and partners so that I can make sure I follow it up with them. But I know not everyone is the same or has the same memory! 

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10 hours ago, Batya33 said:

It will "work" -he will obligatorily text her "hi! how was your therapy appointment -let me know when we can talk about it" - but she will wonder -would he have done so if he didn't feel obligated -would he have remembered to write it down if I hadn't prompted him?" 

That's exactly how I'd be feeling! So it wouldn't help to reassure me if that's what I'm after! 

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10 hours ago, boltnrun said:

And again, I say he's not doing anything wrong but he's being made to be responsible for relieving her anxiety and fear and insecurity.  

You've got to the crux of the problem - it's needing external reassurances for MY insecurity and fears.

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4 minutes ago, jessb86a said:

Thanks for this. I think I need to cut him some slack! I think it's because I pride myself on remembering things about my friends/family and partners so that I can make sure I follow it up with them. But I know not everyone is the same or has the same memory! 

Me too but it's not about memory at all IMO Not with today's technology especially (although us middle aged types likely remember the post its all over our offices or on our landline phone with reminders LOL).  It's about priorities and values and effort.  It's only about memory in extreme cases of alzheimers or the like. 

And no not everyone is the same.  I'm like you and others I know have different priorities especially when it comes to friends and especially if they are married with kids and use that as an excuse or a reason not to prioritize friendships.  Or they simply don't care about having deep friendships with all the responsibiltiies for whatever reason.

Does your bf remember things to do with his job? 

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6 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

I wouldn't like it if my husband were to forget about my upcoming appointments or whatever is going on in my life.  It shouldn't be my job to constantly remind him.  Granted, if he were to forget once in a while and not habitually,  I would give him a free pass on that one.  I've forgotten some of his appointments but I never made a habit of forgetting whatever is on his schedule especially important appointments. 

If a man (or anyone, speaking man in this case) were to care enough to discuss these topics, it's not too much to ask to jot down a little reminder note for oneself to remember to discuss something with a loved one.  It's a good habit for this man because he could very well write down other reminders other than the OP's appointments.  It's nothing out of the ordinary.  I see people do it all the time whether in my home or with others.  No one should be up in arms over this little favor or a reminder to oneself to do this or that for the day or in the future.  It's commonplace. 

If he refuses to compromise or cooperate, then you either accept him as is or choose a man who cares enough to remember your important upcoming appointments so he can ask you how it went.  Or, you can simply not be concerned whether he remembered or not and broach the subject yourself each time you see him. 

Also, if your boyfriend is such a sore spot due to your jealousy issues with his co-worker, perhaps he's not the ideal man for you. 

Shop around.

Wow. This is such powerful advice. 👏 

I am completely willing to work on my own insecurities and ask myself, 'Why is it so important to me that he remembers my appointments?' At the same time as cutting him some slack and not getting worried about every appointment or important event, if he is doing it habitually (in my OP I did say that he's done it a few times), and that is starting to upset me, I need to accept that he will not change and find someone else. I can see what people are saying about needing him to soothe my insecurities, but at the same time, I really don't think it's too much to ask that he doesn't forget constantly! So I guess I have to let this time go and see what happens going forward. 

I also loved your last point about him being a sort spot related to my post about the co-worker. I think once I've done some work on me, I still need to bear in my mind that he may NOT actually be the best option for me. 

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