Another Ask Me Anything Question. Indian lady asks:
Hey. Basically I have been with my boyfriend in a long distance relationship for almost 11months now. He lives in Philadelphia and I live in India. To start off by explaining how my boyfriend is, he is very suppressive in nature, he cares a lot about his friends and family but is very practical and kind of controlling, he is very dominating and intimidating in some ways, he is kind of entitled and very egoistic. With me on the other hand, I am overtly emotional, I feel things too deeply and I don’t mind putting in efforts. So, things have been really rocky for the last six months. I have tried speaking to him about his lack of efforts and he has the arrogant attitude of being always right and he is very nonchalant. Whenever I try to express my feelings he always resort to saying mean stuff like don’t do drama and come to a conclusion there is no point in discussing all this. He has some family issues which he says he cannot talk about because he doesn’t apparently know how to express them but it is just weird that he is too quick to express his anger. He side tracks me for his friends quite often, he doesn’t ever want to have heart to heart conversations and when i tell him all this then he is like I am too busy with my work and is too quick to resort to break up. In short, I don’t know what his problem really is being the way how he used to be, to make time for me. He has a problem that I have been fighting with him lately but I have tried to make him understand that he is not treating me right lately. In fact I broke up with him yesterday and then i didn’t usually go to make him understand or anything and he came back to me an hour later and then he slept off in the middle of a conversation. He has got these new friends and I am really happy for him but he also goes a day without talking and then he is like it’s just a day or something. but we don’t meet like normal couples so just a day also matters.
Okay, first of all, thank you for sending this request in. Hi Indian lady, I’ll go right on in and answer your question:
From what you describe here it seems you are giving him too much control. By this I mean you are allowing him to dictate the rules in which both of you communicate together. You allow him to tell you that you are being too dramatic, and you are letting him get away with far too much in my honest opinion. Remember what I said there letting him get away with it. Notice my wording.
This is over Internet chat I expect? I’m not one of these people that will dismiss you because you’re getting the feels over lines of text because I did this a lot in my youth before the internet was cool. Let’s just say I was a bit of a social outcast back in the day hah.
Anyway. All that you have over the internet is the language that you use, and the tone in which you use it in. That’s it. So if you want him to address your needs properly then you are going to have to change the way in which you convey your needs to him.
Change always begins with you.
So a great example here would be how my wife gets me to stop in my tracks. She uses language like, “It feels like my needs aren’t important to you, ” or, “It sometimes feels like you don’t care” – see what this does? This language reverses the role from her being on the defensive, and she kicks that ball right back into my court — and if I cared (which I do) then I’d listen to her.
Use language which focuses on you and the effect his actions are having on you.
“I feel like I’m just not as important to you as (whatever he is doing that’s getting in the way),”
see how this is done?
Another thing to note is that people tend to minimise each other because they judge one another by their own standards. It’s a trait most often linked to men but I’ve noticed everyone does this.
“Oh it’s going to be fine, stop worrying” is one way of telling someone that you don’t deem what they are worrying about as necessary. It’s judging people by your own standards, but people forget that everyone has different standards. What’s threatening to me might be non-threatening to my wife and vice versa.
Just like when he tells you that he doesn’t do drama. But YOU do, so he needs to take that on board. It’s not just him in the relationship, right?
So my advice to you would be to try experimenting with your language and your tone. See if that works. Also think about how your actions impact the relationship. Are you happy that you are constantly in turmoil? Is there anything you could say to him or do with him that may help that?
Also, please do remember that you’re just important as him. If you feel you are not being treated right then that’s something you definitely need to discuss intensely, or think further upon.