My partner withdraws
My partner and I have been together about a year lived together for 11 months I have moved out now as he is withdrawn. it now seems to be that he will not involve himself with my family friends work but I have to with his etc. its his way or the highway. I want him to compromise what can I do. when i tell him he makes excuses he don’t like the way family treats me he don’t like it when i go out with my friends but he can go with his. how can i change his attitude when he storms off like a child and blames me for having a go at him when I am merely trying to explain my concerns . Signed Sweetie, age 30
Dear Sweetie: I understand your frustration completely. It is always confusing when your partner acts one way and then expects different behavior from you. When you mentioned he withdraws that is one of the warning signs that a relationship is in trouble and things could worsen. Please read our Warning Signsarticle for more on that. I would suggest the following:
1. Schedule a meeting time with your partner. Pick a time that you know you will not be interrupted and only a lot 15 minutes for the meeting. Tell your partner that is how much time you will need and then honor that time. Set a timer if you have to. Once the timer goes off end the conversation and thank your partner for listening. Don’t hold any grudges no matter what was said during this time.
2. Get right to the point without accusing or pointing the finger at him. Use our NAME statement to express and own your feelings.
3. Stay on topic and don’t “kitchen sink” in other words pick one subject – his withdrawal or attitude.
4. Take our Listening Sills quiz to learn if your skills need some fine tuning. Ask him to take it also but don’t insist on it.
5. Own your part in this relationship. You may have an accusing tone or a critical voice that leads him to withdraw and not want to listen. It is not what you say but how you say it that matters when trying to communicate to a partner. Tone matters. Also use “I” statements and talk about how you feel when he withdraws. Avoid saying “you do this etc”
Sweetie, if your partner refuses to meet with you and discuss these matters then you must stop doing things for him. Get off the Merry Go Round and Change and Grow are articles that may help you along the way.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.