My current boyfriend and I have been off and on for about 3 1/2 years, but we are trying to make it work for good this time. He stays about 2 1/2 hrs away so most of our convos are over the phone. When I have a problem with him or something in our relationship and I want to talk about it, he usually changes the subject, says he'll call me back, or agrees with me just to shut me up so that he won't have to listen. Also, if he has a problem, he rarely talks to me about them. I'm tired of this reoccuring cycle. He claims he wants to share our problems, but never does. Is there any way I can get him to talk things out with me? After all this time, it shouldn't be this hard.


Answers




Some people have a difficult time handling conflict. Maybe he's afraid of what might happen, so he thinks avoiding them is best for him. Tell him that you really need more communication from him. Maybe that's how one of his parents were. You also have to make sure that you both know how to discuss problems fairly - meaning no yelling/ name calling or put downs/ each one listens carefully to the other etc. Talk to him about how his own parents handled their problems and you might find your answer there. Reassure him that this is what you need from him to make things better. Maybe going for a long walk would be a good opportunity to talk. Tells him that opening up will bring the two of you closer. Good luck.





The only problem with that is his dad died when he was real little and he hardly speaks to his mother although they aren't on bad terms. She doesn't live to far away, but he stayed with his aunt and uncle. And the only way we can solve our problems is over the phone because he stays a couple of hours away.





cocobeauti It doesn't look like a relationship that you should pursue. There are other guys out there who won't have such communication issues. If you're sure of what you want in life, and can communicate that to him and he doesn't respond in a good way, then why continue this frustration?

Women often continue with a guy they know isn't right for them, thinking that once there's a committment (such as marriage) "he'll change" or they'll "change him." It never works out that way. What you see now is what you get in life, if you choose him. Is that what you really want?

Realizing when to hold your cards, and when to fold them comes with experience. Personally, I think you need to walk away for a while at least.

Good wishes

DrJean





I am strongly considering that. I want to go more in depth if you don't mind. I'm only 19. He's 20. The big thing is he told me that he's changed and I have seen drastic changes when I've spent time with him. He asked me out again telling me that he wants to make this work for a long time. All of a sudden last night, he says that because he's leaving for Iraq in October, he doesn't want to have to worry about me too much, so he wants to break up. We discussed it today, and he changed his mind. Why is he so wishy-washy. I told him not to do it for me, but for himself. He claims it's for him, but how could he changed his mind so fast? I don't think that it's truthful and that he just wanted to avoid more confrontation and get off the phone.





Communication is complicated subject because people make it complicated. In my opinion, good, healthy communication (which isn't always perfect but is "good enough") is something that develops out of trust, joy, kindness, and SOME attention.

Joy is something you allow yourself to be. You can be joyful in nearly any moment, even if your relationship seems confusing right now. Joy is just being playful and happy. If you don't have enough joy in your relationship, start generating it, slowly.

Kindness is just gentleness and patience. You also have to be kind to yourselves.

Trust is the result of both of them over time.

The last one, attention, is important, because I said SOME attention. If you think good communication is talking about everything in a serious, almost "professional" tone, you end up exhausting yourselves and creating a heavy, serious atmosphere in the relationship. You may also end up neglecting things like joy and forgetting that life, and the relationships in it, can be fun and amusing. Good communication is, in my opinion, better accomplished by:

1. Setting realistic expectations to be good communicators rather than perfect communicators

2. Not trying too hard, but instead making adjustments when necessary (this is what the paragraph above was about)

3. Being honest but not looking for problems

4. Being compassionate, kind, and patient

5. Using humor and knowing how to let things go when they're not so important

6. Cultivating joy, trust, and kindness

Having been through a lot of drama and wanting to make things work this time might have given you some initiate to repair the things that went wrong the last times, like unhealthy communication. That's understandable and even admirable. The issue, and the reason you posted, is knowing HOW to accomplish these things best. Try experimenting with some of the advice I gave you here and see what makes works and makes sense. Instead of forcing him to communicate and open up, try serving a model for good communication and good listening.

To summarize: put some of your effort into being joyful with your partner and be patient with the communication.

Best,

Edahn





I like those rules of good communication. Thank you.





I too, think it wouldnt hurt to walk away for awhile, to at least let things cool off for a bit. Perhaps he feels rushed?

Best,

Clyde