My partner of two years has been going through emotional turmoil for six months. He deals with his emotions differently from me - he isolates himself. I prefer talking about my problems and having him offer support (which he’s great at).
However, when we’re both stressed, I reach out for his support, and he retreats. He turns his phone off, won’t check email and lives far away (I don’t drive).
I believe there should be some compromise... maybe a check-in period when he’s in hiding, and contact me once or twice a week.
I’ve suggested we seek counselling; but then he goes back into hiding for another few weeks.
How can we compromise so both our needs are met?
You each have basic “stress styles” from years of practice; neither of you will change easily. But for a long-term relationship, both must be willing to try to adapt your ways of coping into something mutually acceptable (e.g. he sticks around, you lean on him less). You cannot seek compromise by thinking either way is “better.”
First, you need to have the talk to find out if this Vanishing Guy is in for the long haul.
If yes, then he must agree to either try some strategies you both agree on, or go to counselling with you.
If he retreats after that, I suggest you hide from him awhile, too, and reconsider the relationship.
Several couples among our friends bicker publicly, to the point of disrupting normal conversation. They interrupt each others’ stories, fight over small meaningless details, and sometimes end up spoiling our upbeat mood on an evening out.
What can we say to them that isn’t too offensive and will lose us out friends?
With old friends, you should be able to be honest without being harsh. Use humour as your approach… as in, “Okay, here are tonight’s Rules of Engagement: I won’t tell my same-old jokes, and you guys won’t bicker.”
If necessary later, lightly mention the “rules” when the carping starts.
But if the scenario keeps getting repeated, you may have to one day call a halt to going out together as couples and just speak to each of your friends separately.
I’m 24 and live far from my family, but had a fight with my parents three weeks ago. My mother said things that basically said, “You’re a failed child, I regret giving birth to you.” Hours later she apologized, with "Sorry dear,” and changed the subject.
I’ve had similar fights with her and dad where it was my fault, and I had to beg for their forgiveness for things that are less hurtful than that.
Is it justified that I feel cheated?
How can I express to my mother that what she did was hypocritical, and how betrayed I felt?
And how would I approach the relationship afterwards?
- Deeply Hurt
The all-too-common tension between mothers and daughters is painful for both of you. You naturally resent heavily critical comments; she thinks she it’s her role to push you to improve at something. Do NOT try to force a fuller apology.
Rather, let her know, calmly, that you were her words were very hurtful, and that your relationship needs to be more as separate but caring adults.
Remember that concept works both ways: If you want her to back off criticism, you can’t share every happening in your life and expect “motherly” consoling, especially not on matters where you disagree.
Several years ago I unfortunately came in contact with someone who had herpes; he was not aware then that he had it.
I got it. I’ve started dating again but need to know at what point do I tell a man that I have this problem?
Tell a man about your herpes condition as soon as you feel you want to keep dating him, and you think he’s interested too.
Be ready to answer questions – e.g. that it’s not curable but that medication can ease the symptoms and minimize outbreaks. Also, the condition can be passed on even if the carrier has no open sores.
If the guy backs off, don’t give up on dating. People with herpes can have a healthy sexual relationship so long as both parties take necessary precautions.
Condom use reduces the risk of getting genital herpes and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s).
Tip of the day:
A successful union usually melds two separate people and their behaviour patterns into a workable, comfortable team.