How would you describe a meaningful healthy relationship?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by VANewbie, May 22, 2011.

  1. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 22, 2011

    I know trust, love, respect and support.

    I just feel deep down I am doing something wrong and I need to just let go of what I am trying to keep together.
     
  2.  
  3. Major

    Major Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    5

    May 22, 2011

    So what doing you "think" you're doing wrong.... and what are you trying to keep together?
     
  4. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    May 22, 2011

    Communication is key. Listening to one another and willing to work on whatever needs work on. DH have been married for 10 years and are extremely close. We have a great marriage, and really respect each other's wishes. For example, yesterday DH did something that I did not care for (he did not do it to upset me, nor did he think it would upset), when he realized I was upset he asked me what was wrong, and said if it upset me he would stop. He listens to me and my needs, and I do the same for him. I think there sacrifice is also part of it. I want DH to feel loved and know that he and DH come first, so I try to show him in everything I do, and the way I speak to him. We also work together in our faith in God, which I do think is important. Every Saturday there is a couple's meeting at the church which focuses on the responsibilities of marriage, our roles, etc. I think because we constantly are keeping our marriage a major focus, it has helped it to become successful.

    Can you expand more on what you feel is not working? I am no expert, but I can provide my POV and suggestions.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    10,924
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 22, 2011

    Is there an underlying reason for him giving you are hard time or not wanting to talk about things.

    I know that in the beginning of my relationship with my husband, I did not want to discuss my family or childhood. This had to do with bad experiences in my earlier years and things that I just didn't feel confident sharing with him.
     
  6. Major

    Major Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    5

    May 22, 2011

    I think you just stated the problem....... and it's not you.
     
  7. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 22, 2011

    I know its now me. But is this a red flag??

    I tell him all the time we need to work on communication. Sometimes he tries.
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    May 22, 2011

    Lack of communication is going to be a huge issue. You cannot understand him better and he will not understand you better. I will tell you this, in my 10 years of marriage, I have gone through it all, including separation for a few months thinking there was no more hope to our marriage. We probably have never been in a better place in our marriage than where we are now, but we have gone through major things to get us here.

    My point is, just because things might not be where you want them to be, doesn't mean things won't ever get there. It will, however, take work.

    Why are you afraid to ask him where he is? Has he gotten upset over this?

    I think Mopar has a good point about why your BF might not want to talk about his family. I don't like to talk about my family with others, but it's because most of them have already passed away and it saddens me, so I'd rather not discuss it.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    May 22, 2011

    I think it's a great sign that he tries. He might not know how to communicate, but I think it's important that you express your own concerns. Have you told him how you feel? Have you told him it hurts you when...? You already stated that he tried to make you happy, so I think if you tell him the things that are making you unhappy it might help. He likely has no idea how you are feeling.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,713

    May 22, 2011

    I think that in a meaningful, healthy relationship, both parties are on the same side. While they may not always agree on everything, there is a mutual understanding that the choices they make as individuals and as a couple are meant to drive the relationship in the right direction.

    Some people have personality quirks and bad habits that sometimes make it difficult to be the other person in the relationship. I'm not sure that those are reason enough to end the relationship, but they probably do need to be addressed. Some people don't like to talk about their feelings for whatever reason, usually because they feel that it makes them appear weak or powerless. That's not an inherently bad quality, but it does make for a difficult relationship. It's not really realistic to just demand that a person start communicating, because sometimes they don't know how....

    When those sorts of problems exist, I think the best course of action is to 1) decide if the problem is worth working out or if you would be better off ending things, and 2) find some sort of counselor to help address the problem if you decide to stick around.

    If you're "afraid" to talk to him about certain things, that's kind of a problem. Are you afraid he'll get mad at you if you bring certain topics up? Are you being abused or fearful of being abused?
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    May 22, 2011

    My dh wasn't always the greatest communicator. After a few years in our relationship, it did get better. Our marriage has been fabulous! He's been gone since August with the National Guard. We do get to talk every day so that helps, but he's not right here to see exactly what is going on. This absence from each other has strengthened both of our communication skills and our marriage (which I didn't think could get any better) has gotten better. It's taken him awhile to realize that it's ok for him to talk and open up to me.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,713

    May 22, 2011

    My husband and I started our relationship off long-distance for the first year. Prior to that, I was in another three-year LDR. I guess I feel like if two people are good together, they should be good together wherever they happen to be. I'm not sure if that makes sense.
     
  13. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 22, 2011

    I'm learning to communicate with DH. I've noticed that he would become very defensive at the slightest sign of criticism. He would get upset, walk away and then return later to say that he was sorry.

    We started having huge arguments because of this. When I told him that I couldn't be with someone I couldn't tell how I felt, he started making a bigger effort. He's more open when I tell him that I know he cares and I see the big effort he makes at caring but.... This phrase is really helping me a lot. We are still working at it but I do notice that he's trying so I always make sure I give him credit for it. When I don't and I just tell him what I don't like then he closes up and arguments start.
     
  14. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 22, 2011

    Marci this is what he does. He has never come back to me without saying sorry. When he knows I am upset he apologizes.
     
  15. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 22, 2011

    I just talked to him after not hearing from him all day. He didn't ask me about my day(never does) and it was pretty short.

    I really do care about him so this is a tough situation.
     
  16. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    May 22, 2011

    I hadn't realized you were in a LD relationship. I am sure that puts strain on things, especially if he already has difficulty communicating. How far away are you from each other?
     
  17. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 22, 2011

    13 hours so pretty far. I do not want the distance to come between us since I know how were interacted when we lived in the same area.
     
  18. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 22, 2011

    How often do you talk to him?
     
  19. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 22, 2011

    We talk daily after work-and more on the weekends. We also talk on video chat sometimes.
     
  20. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 22, 2011

    This is tough since LD is tough in itself and when he doesn't seem to be in the mood to talk is makes it even worse.

    Is there hope that you guys will be living in the same city so you could date and share experiences together?
     
  21. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 22, 2011

    We are trying but nothing is set in stone.
     
  22. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,939
    Likes Received:
    173

    May 23, 2011

    One I would hope to have one day. Close once.
     
  23. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,188
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 23, 2011

    My boys (young men) aren't big talkers either. One of them says I am banned from asking him how his day was or how he is feeling because it bugs him. Really? I tell him all the time he has to get over it if we wants a long-term relationship. If you think this is frustrating now - think how it will feel in 20 years - pretty darned lonely. I suggest counseling once you are in the same city or maybe find a really good book on how men and women communicate differently and both read it at the same time and discuss it.
     
  24. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 23, 2011

    I definitely think it is a red flag.

    I also think that trying 'sometimes' isn't enough in a meaningful, healthy relationship. :2cents:
     
  25. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 23, 2011

    There are many things that would send red flag for me. First of all, even if that's his personality and he really cares about you, it's bothering you greatly and he would need to make a much bigger effort.

    The other thing is the distance. This seems to be making it worse because now you are not sharing experiences that you can talk about.

    About moving closer to one another, I'm not sure it would be a good idea unless there is a serious commiment or one of you was planning on moving in the first place before the relationship started. What if you move and then things don't work out?

    It seems that it's really hard to have a very close connection with him because of the distance and his personality.
     
  26. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 23, 2011

    I'm horrible at communication. I'm the one who doesn't like to talk about the day really, or talk about my feelings, or anything like that. If there is a problem, I tend to just keep it inside of me and think about it on my own (and eventually come onto here to ask you guys). As a result, our relationship can be a bit strained. He has been trying to get me to be more open and to open up ever since we started dating. It's hard on him. While I do try to change for him, it's easy to fall back on old habits.
    I agree with counseling.
     
  27. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 23, 2011

    The idea that he doesn't talk much doesn't send a red flag to me. Not all people are communicators. The idea that you have to tip toe around multiple topics for fear of explosion is more of a red flag. I can see having a taboo topic about his family to a degree if he feels either protective of them or has had a bad upbringing. Not everyone talks about their jobs but that shouldn't bring an explosion unless you are criticizing it or it is a top level security clearance type job.

    I learned a long time ago that my husband is not going to be my girlfriend nor was it healthy for me to force that. I am a chatterbox and he can't keep up with that even remotely. Thus I have to have a group of friends to go to for that release. That doesn't mean I don't communicate with my husband or talk to him, but I know my limits. While he knows me better than anyone, especially after 16 years, there are limits to how long he is willing to listen. Oh he tries. I get that "uh huh," "yeah," blah blah that you see in movies. Yep, that's my husband. I've even learned if I email something I have a better chance of him reading it than listening to me in the house. I better be darn sure he isn't playing a game on his computer when I start talking. In the car, however, he is a captive audience. :whistle:

    How can I put up with it? Well, I went to a seminar early in our marriage called, "The Five Love Languages." It's based on a book. Basically it identified that we show our love in different ways. Sometimes he has to do it my way and sometimes he has to do it his way and the same goes with me. More importantly, we have to RECOGNIZE how the other person is showing love. If I assume that he doesn't love me because he tunes me out but in reality his love language is through action, then I'm going to miss how he hangs up a fresh towel every night so I have one every morning. I'm going to miss how he makes a deluxe omelet on Saturdays. I'm going to miss so many things. Sometimes I actually DO miss them. I didn't recognize the towel one until I got frustrated with him at one point because I thought he wasn't being there and he told me about 10 things he does for me on a daily basis just because he thinks about me. Oh yeah, I forgot to watch in his love language. Do I do those things? Not nearly as much because mine is through words. You can see where this might not go over as smooth when I have a husband that says, "uh huh." He has to try sometimes though because that's my love language and I have to find other ways sometimes because otherwise he'll never "hear" me. There are other love languages I haven't mentioned because they don't pertain to us. The point I'm trying to make is that sometimes we become blind to how another person is showing their love and sometimes we show our love in ways that make it harder for the other person to see it.

    I have no idea the state of your relationship. I find mine always a work in progress. I know some people may or may not have to work as hard, but I know we do. Yet, 16 years later, I still claim him the love of my life and my partner.
     
  28. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 23, 2011

    If he isn't a communicator, this is HUGE. Just saying....
     
  29. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 23, 2011

    :(

    I'm so stressed about this.
     
  30. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 23, 2011

    How many bf have you dated? How old are you? Sounds stressful long dist
     
  31. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 23, 2011

    I have only date two people seriously before this guy. I am 25.
     
  32. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    6,741
    Likes Received:
    1,696

    May 23, 2011

    This is what raises a red flag for me. Your woman's intuition may be telling you something.
     
  33. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 23, 2011

    Yes swansong but its so hard to just let go of it.
     
  34. Major

    Major Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,620
    Likes Received:
    5

    May 23, 2011

    It must be difficult....... but maybe it's time to test the waters..... preferably in a pond close to you.... with someone who will COMMUNICATE with you....... This is only a suggestion and I'm sure you know what is right for you........:hugs:
     
  35. Ms.H

    Ms.H Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 24, 2011

    It might be helpful to isolate why, exactly, it is so hard to let go. When I had to end a long term relationship, one thing that really helped me give it up was realizing that the reasons I was holding on weren't really the best reasons to continue a longterm relationship.

    For example, I was thinking things like, "I don't want to hurt him," or "this is better than my previous relationships" or "but we already made plans to do X next month" or "what if I can't find anyone better"; none of those were good reasons to continue investing my life into the relationship.

    Now, if I would have been saying things like, "because I can envision spending the rest of my life with him" or "we truly bring out the best in each other," I might have come to a different conclusion.

    But, when I proposed to myself the though of ending the relationship and waited to see what the first objection to come into my head was, it was always something about avoiding immediate pain and never something about missing out on something great long term.

    Anyway, that might be a test you want to try on yourself-- see if you can find out whether it is truly the merit and promise of the relationship that makes you hesitate, or some other reason.

    :hugs: I know that having a decision like this hanging over your head is pretty much torture, and I'm sorry you're having to deal with it.
     
  36. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 24, 2011

    Ms.H that is an excellent way of thinking of it. I love it.

    But then at night I sit and think how will I even know if I want to spend my life, and we bring out the best in each other.

    Its the distance and its so new.
     
  37. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    9

    May 24, 2011

    The best thing about my relationship is that I feel I can talk to him about anything. He is a great listener and easily shares his feelings with me. We routinely talk over the coming day the night before, so we each know what the day will be like for the other.

    I know lots of women say their guys won't talk to them, really open up and share. I can't imagine!
     
  38. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 24, 2011

    I guess part of my problem is there are so many other things I love about him. This is the only issue that I see as an issue.
     
  39. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 26, 2011

    Update:
    We talked tonight about the things that concerned me about us and he pretty much said that I was making myself feel this way. That I can never look at the good in what he does.

    Then he blamed his ways on his job and where he lives etc...

    He ended it with "if you are tired of dealing with me then just let me know"

    I am so sad right now and I know everyone here will tell me to move on. Its just so hard.
     
  40. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 26, 2011

    I don't know if you want to hear it but in IMHO- If you genuinely tell him some issues you are having with your relationship and his response is that you make yourself feel that way and just tell him if you're tired of dealing with him that's a huge, immature, bright red flag.

    His lack of communication is not due to his job or where he lives. He is using the distance as a crutch and an excuse for his mistakes in hope that he won't have to fix them.

    I know it's hard. I did a LDR for 2.5 years with my high school sweetheart. We saw each other once a month, talked every day and as hard as it was to talk away from the relationship it was the right thing to do. I constantly told him about the things in our relationship that made me unhappy and he never changed because he didn't have to. When you're in an LDR the person doesn't need to really change because they have a life without you and only see/talk to you on their schedule. I learned the hard way that it's also extremely easy to fake change when you have distance between you. It makes it very easy to plateau and forget to work on your relationship.

    You're going to have to do what's best for you.
    :hugs:
     
  41. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    May 26, 2011

    I am so sorry. It sounds as though he is not willing to put your happiness first, which is too bad. He should want to make these changes (and you are not asking too much from him) if he truly cares about your feelings. At the end of the day, you need to do what is best for you, and I know that's so much easier said than done. I truly hope that you can find the answers you need to make a decision. We can never change our partner, but we can express the things that we need in the relationship, and a loving partner will listen to those needs, contemplating ways to meet them. Good luck, and I hope you feel better.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn
Total: 410 (members: 1, guests: 386, robots: 23)
test