Question: Dear Luise: Please I need some advice. I have been with my boyfriend just shy of 2 years. We have known each other all our lives though. I love him dearly. We have been through a lot together. He’s great. He helps me out, does things around the house, loves to snuggle & cuddle!! But he doesn’t talk to me. He’s self-employed, runs around doing business stuff, but doesn’t tell me about it. Someone else asks me question about something and I don’t know the answer. It makes me feel like an ass when it was something that I should have known about. I have talked to him about this several times but he doesn’t seem to think it is a big deal. He just forgets or has too much on his mind. It really upsets me & I try to tell him that but it doesn’t get me anywhere. He thinks nothing of it & then I get even more upset. It’s not jealousy…nothing like that. I don’t think he would ever cheat on me. But I feel like he doesn’t want me totally involved with his life!! He tells me all the time how much he loves me & wants to get married & have kids. But every time something happens I just push him that much further away. I tell him how much it upsets me & ask him if he is really happy. He always tells me he is happy and that the only time he’s not happy is when I’m not happy. Please, what do I do? M.
Answer: Dear M.: There is an obvious disparity in the way the two of you see communication and/or the need for it. We are all raised with different role models and their preferences and behaviors often become part of us. It isn’t necessarily a right or wrong thing, even though it may feel like that to you. However, pushing him away for being how he is just confuses the issue…since he doesn’t see it as a big deal.
As things now stand, it sounds like your job, if you want to stay with him, is to accept that you are not going to be included in the details of his day-to-day operation. Not out of any need on his part to leave you out of his plans, but because his built-in focus isn’t on doing that and he’s not as naturally verbal as you are. Telling him to be different isn’t going to make that happen and it’s a waste of time and energy. He is how he is.
If you can learn to say, “I don’t know” you will be able to stay in what sounds like a great relationship with a future. If you can’t, then you can’t.
Each one of us has an idea about how things should be. What we expect of others ties into that. You expect him to be forthcoming and he expects you to be accepting. He’s busy…his job is about him and he’s just not wired to routinely share the details of that with you. You feel you ought to know and feel inadequate when you don’t. He probably doesn’t see why. You think having more information would be useful, he doesn’t see the need for it and probably thinks it would slow him down, (if he thinks about it at all.)
It comes down to whether you want to be with him the way he is or not. Try to put it into some other context, if you can. For instance: if you just adored green eyes and his were brown would you be at him about changing the color of his eyes? Or would you be insisting he wear colored contacts when he didn’t need them? It’s like that.
You can make yourself sick over this and trash the kind of relationship a lot of women would kill for…or you can take it in your stride and get that perfection isn’t within reach for any of us. Ask yourself if you are willing to learn to accept that the two of you are different. Can you get that’s OK…even though it’s inconvenient at times? Is it something you can live with?
The unrest you feel is of your own making. Peace, when you establish it, will be your own creation and well worth it. Blessings, Luise