Situation: Lack of Affection
The problem is the lack of affection from your one and only. Due to his work and responsibilities, and all the running around, household responsibilities, and the daily rut you’re tired from, you are feeling disconnected from your partner. Not only does he not see it, your emotional state is the last thing on his mind.
You believe in open communication and addressing the issues as they come up. When you attempt to bring this issue up, in hopes to solve the problem, he gets mad at you. He sees your attempt at communication as an attack. So instead of hearing you out (after all this is the person who’s responsible for you feeling this way), and trying to understand where you’re coming from so that the two of you can find a solution or a compromise that’s good for both of you, he gets mad at you and is attacking you in all the possible ways that he can think of at the moment because you have made him “feel guilty”, which in turn is making him mad at you, and the only thing he is capable of doing in the situation is attack you.
When you try to change the subject or try to get him to stop the emotional attack he gets even more into it. He went from feeling guilty to “defending his ego”. So how are you to fix the problem now?
Theoretically, talking about this situation with your friend, you would probably come up with all the “I’ll show him” or “If this is how he’s going to be..” plots and chatting until you felt better. Your friend would probably tell you the same thing I have heard before and have told a friend of mine: “You’re too good for him. He doesn’t know how good he has it. You should tell him that if he doesn’t care enough about your emotional needs then maybe the two of you should not be together. Or give him a silent treatment, and do unto him as he does to you. Why can’t he see that the only reason you brought it up is because you care about him and your relationship and want to feel good when you’re together?” If something is not addressed, there is no way for the other person to know what is going on.
Lack of communication and misunderstandings are some of the biggest reasons why people end up going separate ways. But are those really good enough reasons to move on when you have been together for more than 5, 10, 15 years? When you have a family with kids together? When you have shared more than half of your lifetime with this one person?
In reality, if you’re together, it’s not all that bad. It’s not all white or black… it’s a mixture of different shades of gray in addition to black and white.
Eventually when he cools off and comes to you to make up, saying “Let’s not fight” how do you react? You’re feeling hurt, mistreated, neglected, and to a certain degree mad. On top of that he’s not starting out with the right words. “Let’s not fight” what, really?! You weren’t the one “fighting“. You were merely expressing the neglect you were feeling so that the two of you would find the source and the solution to the problem, but were instead attacked and emotionally beaten.
For the sake of moving on and having yet another argument you say to him “okay let’s not fight“, while wondering how you should respond. Do you show how you really feel? Do you tell him what you’re really thinking?
You’re feeling distant and not as open to him just yet because he pushed you away when you reached out to him. He sees that you’re not being your normal self and keeps trying to apologize in different ways that he can think of. Finally he admits that it was wrong of him to react in the way that he did and become defensive with you. It’s obvious to you that he’s really trying to make up for his mistakes and wants to help you feel better.
The Question is this:
Why can’t people appreciate what they have while they have it? Why do so many times we have to lose what we had in order to see that what we lost is exactly what we needed?
A. Do you accept his apology before you’re ready to make up and let your shield down? Do you look past the fact that you are still hurt and need more time in order to make up and move on?
B. Or do you tell him you’re not ready to make up yet knowing that this will only make the distance between you two grow bigger?
What’s more important to you?
(A) Your relationship with your life partner (husband/live-in boyfriend/spouse) and growing stronger together through thick and thin?
(B) Your hurt ego and your unmet needs? Are they more important than the love and life the two of you share?
What’s your take on this?