December 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm #46394sunshadowstarsParticipant
This story is a bit long, and I apologize. But this is a very complex matter to me, and I have yet to come across information that could be useful to my unique situation…
I met my current boyfriend 11 years ago. At that time we were friends. We were friends since the very beginning. I knew deep down how he felt about me (since about a decade ago), but I always saw him as just a friend. Over the last 2-3 years, our friendship had really grown. I was very open with him about my relationship experiences, my health, everything and anything in my life. He listened to me, and I listened to him when he had problems and I listened to the limited information he told me as a friend. We have never lived in the same city since 2005. All of this friendship has been long distance. 9 months ago, I began to analyze our friendship, and I realized that he meant much more to me than just a friend. His compassion and his concern for me has never been shown to me by anyone else. He truly has been there for me. I debated for a long time if I should act on these feelings. I was very afraid of potentially damaging such a strong friendship. I knew my track record for relationships (they haven’t been very great), and I also knew that we were very similar in a lot of ways– most ways which were positive, but some which are negative (most notably, quick to anger).
Six months ago, he was telling me about how the girl he was seeing wasn’t into him. I felt upset that this girl was taking him for granted, taking my friend for granted. He is SUCH a good man that is there for me as a friend, and how he felt he was being treated wasn’t fair. I became very jealous, and I felt that it was time for me to finally tell him how I felt. I was beyond overjoyed that he felt the same way, still, after all of our years of friendship. We decided to embark on a relationship, despite the fact that we were about 2,000 miles away from each other. We were both confident that it could work. We had a lot of faith in ourselves, we had the same expectations for the future, we had the same goals and dreams. It was very, very beautiful in the beginning when it started, 6 months ago. I felt like I had finally, finally been gifted with a relationship that was meaningful, productive, and happy. He made me so very happy.
Six months later, I am still very happy with him. We see each other at least once a month, for about a week at a time. We talk and Skype daily. We communicate all of the time. We have made plans for the future; we want to get married and start a family together! He has made plans to move to my city, and he has adjusted his life accordingly to see those plans through within the year. His effort and his commitment to our relationship is fantastic! I feel like I am the luckiest girl in the world, and I am very, very much in love with him. I have not been the most thoughtful in terms of putting the relationship first, and he is better at it than I am, but it’s a learning process for me, as I don’t have as much relationship experience as he does.
But it seems like our negative traits have begun to seep through and create very dangerous discord. Only 2 months into the relationship, we began to argue. Often the arguments start as a concern on his part about something that I don’t feel has much bearing– about not enough of my male friends liking our Facebook updates or statuses, about how I sometimes very casually make remarks about some of my exes. I don’t realize that although I don’t see some of these things as a big deal, he does. So I try to dismiss his feelings, because I feel like they have no merit. I usually try to ask questions to either make him see what he’s concerned about is unfounded, or I try to let him know that he’s misconstruing or misinterpreting my actions or words. I am not the most tactful when I do this, however, and because he’s already hurt or upset at me, he gets angry. I in turn get angry at his anger, and it spirals out of control. We have arguments that start out from small things quite frequently, and the words that we both say are damaging. Because I don’t have a lot of relationship experience, I don’t know what these arguments are supposed to signify in the grand scheme of the relationship. I want to be with him, and I do not want to throw in the towel, even though I say words in anger that convey a different feeling. I know that I have to practice more empathy when it comes to things that bother him, as he shows with me. He knows that he doesn’t come across in the best light when he becomes angry at the hurt that I’ve caused him unintentionally. And the igniting factor is almost always unintentional. I’ve realized now, albeit very, very late in the game, that you can still cause someone hurt even when you absolutely had no intentions to. I am having a hard time saying I’m sorry in those moments, because I feel that he should know that I don’t do anything to him to cause him harm in conversation. But then when we argue, I do try to cause him harm intentionally by questioning if we’re a right fit for each other, if he does in fact love me, that he is losing me, if our relationship is worth it when we fight. He also says words and some things that are hurtful to me, but some of them are true, even though it’s not said in the most tactful way.
Because I’ve said hurtful things in our arguments so many times, he now believes that I don’t have the resolve to continue our relationship. But I do, desperately. I just want to fix how we address conflict in our relationship, not end the relationship because we deal with conflict poorly. My words always become muddled when I try to express this sentiment to him. I’m afraid that what I’ve said has caused serious harm to our relationship. After over a decade of friendship, and six months of a relationship, I know he is the man for me. We have talked openly about our hopes and dreams both to each other, friends, and family. The distance is difficult in our relationship, but we have a great resolve to make it work regardless. How do we communicate and resolve our differences more effectively? This is all I want to do, not end the relationship. I just hope that my sentiments aren’t too little, too late.
December 9, 2013 at 2:06 am #46453SaharaParticipant
- This topic was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by sunshadowstars.
Just talk to him with patient mind don’t go to argue. Argue does not help anyone. If you know he is mad leave him alone dont try to show your expressions at the same tiime. But there is something in reality some guys are very good just to be friends but not for relationship. May be you have that sort.December 9, 2013 at 3:00 am #46454KinnyParticipant
I read somewhere that you can tell how long a couple can last, not by how well they get along, but by how well they disagree. That made a lot of sense to me. I will give you some input I received from a friend I respect. He suggested basic ground rules while disagreeing.
1. State your point without attacking
2. Listen without getting defensive.
3. Try to be rational. Start with objective facts and then once you can agree on those, you can relay how you interpret them or how it impacts him.
4. Work with “I” statements. Stating what happened and then how it made you feel seems to benefit people more than most strategies. For example, saying “You are confusing” is probably more problem causing than saying “I am confused by your reasoning. How does X and Y fit together?”
5. Say what you mean, mean what you say, don’t say it mean.
You might find that different ground rules will work better for you, but I establish early on in my relationships that we have to fight fair. I’m not sure what that will mean for you.
Best of luck.December 9, 2013 at 7:00 am #46461MattParticipant
In addition to Kinny’s heartfelt and pertinent insight, consider that because you’ve both been friends for so long, that its very possible that your dreams are coming true. This can be exciting and scary. On one hand, you know each other well. On the other, you may be feeling extra pressure to make it work. This can lead to a lot of outbursts, and “as a friend, you never did such and such”. Just remember that as a friend, not as much was at stake, and therefore there was less fear.
Consider making an alliance with him against the anger that comes up between you two. “My love, when I get scared, for some reason I become angry and say words that come from fire. I don’t want that to happen in our intimacy, and they’re not actually true. They seem true at the time, but as the anger fades, I see that they were just my heart clouded by anger. Can we work together to rid our connection of those moments? I don’t like them either.” Then, in the moments that are not flaring… do your best to make amends for what has been said, and look together for what it was that sparked the fire.
Many people feel that they have to heal these things before they are lovable. On the contrary, it is through love that we find healing. For instance, if you two love each other potently, then the fights, outbursts and angry words are an anomoly that you can examine together and put to rest.