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Old 01-16-2005, 08:04 PM   #12
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BTW, I don't know if this fits your boyfriend at all, but it reminds me of what used to happen when I'd try to have "deep talks" with my husband. Like, whenever I'd try to talk about my feelings, basically, he'd run or change the subject. We figured it out--it's talked about in the book, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus....

Sheldon didn't know that talking and listening was an important part of dealing with stress for me, and an important part of my process of accessing my feelings so I can communicate them. I guess the way he deals with emotions, as a lot of guys do, is much more direct. He doesn't talk about them, but rather takes time to himself until he knows what he's feeling, and what he wants, and then he's ready to talk. He doesn't explore feelings, but rather gets to the point, and communicates what he wants, very clearly and concisely. I, on the other hand (like a lot of women) am in the habit of talking and sharing, in order to get to the core of my feelings and what I want. Since Sheldon couldn't relate to this process, he assumed that when I was upset, and talking about feelings, that I was talking because I was blaming him for my feelings, or that I was asking him for advice on how to fix my problems. He really just didn't understand that talking was a helpful part of the process; to him it just seemed like I was complaining. (No wonder he wanted to run!)

It took practice, and lots of reminders and encouragement, before he understood. What he needed to learn was: that it helped me to be able to talk; that most of the time the talking would seem to make me feel worse before it made me feel better; that I didn't want him to try to solve my problems--in fact the less talking he did the better (it sounds selfish, but he was actually very relieved to hear this--it made his job much easier); and that him just sitting and listening (and holding me and being close, not being stolid), was all he needed to do. Oh, and make little listening noises, like "mmhmm," or whatever. At first he could only listen for 5 minutes at a time, and he'd tend to sit far away, and look uncomfortable. He didn't get the process at all. Now he totally gets it, and he's a better listener than any of my girlfriends! (Lucky me!)

KnittingHelp Queen Bee

“It is not because things are so difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.”
— Seneca
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