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... in serious relationships, to their women. And just to set the record straight, I'm sure that many men DO listen. I just seem to be finding the ones who don't.


This is the first time in my life that I've been completely indifferent about a love-related situation. For the past six months, I've felt that my relationship has lost something, and no matter how I try to get it back, it just isn't helping. When I try to discuss/ communicate with my boyfriend about it, he behaves in the same way every time afterwards. Goes a bit like this:


- I bring something up that is bothering me.


- He'll usually sympathize and agree.


- We'll talk at-lenth about possible solutions, and I end up feeling a bit better.


- A week later he has completely forgotten about our conversation and nothing, absolutely NOTHING, has changed.


This has been an ongoing cycle for a long time. Here's how it is: For the first two (been together for three) years, I was very passionate, sexually adventurous, romantic, and outgoing. I've slowly been realizing that most of the gestures associated with those traits have been coming from me.


It's rare that he surprises me and isn't 100% predictable, he has become sexually robotic (when we were first together I remember being wild in this area - I'd 'go down' on him about 5 times a week - that was until I realized that he did it [well] about once a month). I've also been listening to him gripe and moan over his career for over a year, I've been there for him unconditionally, until a few weeks ago I'd had enough of his negativity and told him to grow up (nicely). However, I find that when I need to talk about something, that his eyes have started glazing over.


It feels like everything has been about him. His needs. All him. Like I'm taking care of a child.


When I try to tell him that I'm starting to lose patience, or that I'm getting bored, he tells me that I'm "making things up". I'm being "emotional or PMSing". He sees nothing wrong with our sex life (even though what was once passionate has become a mundane exercise for me). I've gotten to a point that I am borderline asexual because I anticipate disappointment. I'd rather just hang out alone than be with him, as I don't have to worry or think about anything. When we have one of these discussions and it goes nowhere, it's like he just doesn't GET IT and still wants to hang out as if nothing happened! Like he didn't hear a word of what I said. I'll talk to him about these things, and he'll say something like, "so, are we going to spend ANY time together tonight?". Ummm, HELLO!!!


I'd really appreciate some advice. I know I'm all over the place, and apologize. I'm just getting to a point where I want something to change, or I am going to have to leave - soon. When I used to look at him, I'd melt. Now I find myself pulling away and just not even wanting to deal with it anymore. Nothing helps because he just DOESN'T LISTEN!

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The following us a pm I sent to someone some time ago who was having problems in her relationship - some of the ideas in here may help you. Try them at least and see if they work.


People move towards comfort and away from pain. So when you want someone to do something, particularly when you are in a relationship with some one it is much better to get what you want or get them to do what you want by making it about you rather than them.


When you talk about your relationship make sure you start by talking about the positive aspects as well as the negative, pay him compliments for what he did well. Then address the negative as problems to be solved by both of you working together to please each other rather than attack one another. No recriminations but a desire not to hurt again.


My advice is to ask him to talk with you about the relationship Do not say, “We need to talk”. When guys hear that from girlfriends, they know what it really means is “I need to talk and you have to listen” and they run for the hills by either retreating into silence or start pushing back. So don’t do that.


In general, if you say to someone: "You don't do (whatever)" this is perceived as an attack. But if you say, "When you do (whatever) it makes me feel good/wanted/warm and fuzzy/insert positive emotion of choice" then that is seen as a request for help - it is not an attack.


So when you are talking to him about what you want do so in a way that is not seen as an attack (pain) but in a way that makes him want to please you (pleasure).


Think about the things that you want from him, what you want him to do for you, and phrase them in a way that he will not see as a criticism but as a request. Don’t say, in effect: “you are a bad boyfriend because you don’t do this, or you do that!!” because that will cause him pain and he will react with anger. Instead, say, “I feel lonely and hurt when you say that (or do that)” That way you are not so much attacking him as asking him to help you by not hurting you.


Remember that if you push someone, physically or emotionally they will either withdraw from you or push back. So don’t do that. Lead him, by example, into a new way of communicating: negotiate don’t demand. Compromise, don’t be unyielding. Talk rationally not emotionally about problems. Recognise that he has a point of view – he is not immature because it is not the same as yours. Ask him to help you put the relationship back where it was when you were both happy. Identify what makes both of you unhappy and work together to get those problems fixed.

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Thanks for your feedback DN (was quick too!).


To be totally honest with you, I think I've tried just about every friendly approach there is, phrased things respectfully, etc. Oh, and I don't think that I've ever in my entire life said, "we need to talk".


Looking back at my relationship history, I only start pushing someone away until I get so annoyed with the events that it's really my only choice: retreat, or be annoyed.


I understand what you're saying about making a person want to do things, rather than just asking them to. At this point though, I think it has just gone a bit too far, to a point where I just can't put in that kind of effort anymore. I'm not mentally/ emotionally capable, if that makes sense.

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Yes, it makes sense, sometimes you come to an emotional exhaustion.


Maybe you need to do some serious thinking, using your rational side to figure out what your emotional side is telling you.


Decide what you want and if you can get it from him. If you decide that he can't give you what you want, then decide if you can live without it or if you have to move on to find someone who can.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Ahh...it is the great mystery of what happens once a man gets what he wants. It seems as if the moment they make a commitment to someone their ability for listening, romance, anything above and beyond the necessary goes to pot.


That may be true for some men but I would say that is an untrue generalisation. Much the same as saying that once women get a ring on their fingers they seem to lose interest in sex.

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I don't think its necessarily run its course. maybe it is about communication like DN said. Have you tried trying to get the zest back into your lovelife? I read that you should give your loved one what you want back (e.g. more exciting sex, more loving communication, etc) and hopefully they will want to return the favour. why don't you suggest to him that you go back to dating once a week? Like got to a movie or for a dinner and be romantic with each other rather than comfortable. If you have the motivation to save the relationship I think you can, it just comes down to if you want to.


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