I sort of knew when I didn’t hear from him what would happen. I wasn’t sure how, but I knew the outcome.
He called late afternoon Friday. I was working and returned his call 2 hours later. He didn’t leave a message or text, just called and I guess that’s what people do now – expect you to return a missed call. I find that very strange and impolite.
Anyway, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to *not* say something about his lack of communication but I had practiced in my head how I wanted to say it because I knew it would be very sensitive. Any time I have tried to raise any criticism it resulted in an argument. Today was no different.
He babbled on for 10 minutes about nothing, as he does. He asked what I was up to (as if we we buddies and not in a relationship) and I said not much and he went on about an exercise equipment. I said I would let him go as he was clearly doing something in the garage, but he insisted he was done. I asked if he could have a quiet minute to speak to me about something I felt was important and then I said I was pretty upset I hadn’t heard from him in 2 days.
He immediate launched into how busy he was and that he had so many chores to do. He said he was so busy Thursday morning that by the time he realized he hadn’t heard from me it was already noon. And since he hadn’t heard from me he would see how long it took for me to reach out to him. I was expecting that. I knew it was coming. I knew there was going to be a tit-for-tat in there somewhere.
Then he said he called me a few times and never heard back from me. And that’s when things took a turn because I get really angry about his embellishments. He called Wednesday, I showed you the text to which I replied to his call, and then he called again later afternoon Friday to which I returned his call. No call of his went unanswered. I stated that it is his routine to reach out to me every morning (and even said how much joy this brings me to get his good mornings) and was uneasy and upset that I hadn’t heard from him. He said if it bothered me I could have reached out to him. I was honest and said I didn’t because I always feel like I’m the one “fixing” things so I waited on him. He stated felt it was fine not to communicate for close to 2 days when he has things to do.
I do not.
Not has that happened expect once after a very big argument.
And thats when he said I was causing him anxiety and “this had run its course and he’s done”. We said ok and hung up the phone.
Of course I called back a minute later because thats bullshit.
I should have let it go but it doesn’t matter, a longer conversation didn’t change how I felt or how he felt. We have a canyon between us in the way we communicate.
The biggest highlights are that he has worked hard to get to a place that’s relatively stress free and he wants to have fun. Why can’t I just relax and have fun.
I told him I felt there was no depth to our communication. We can talk about dried paint for days on end but it’s empty. We can talk about that with anyone. Relationships are built on deep conversation and connection and he said “why? Whose rules are those? I just want to have fun and not work hard”. He doesn’t think life is without conflict, just doesn’t understand why things need to be so deep.
I can’t imagine a serious relationship without it being deep. Like I want to crawl into every corner of your brain deep. Maybe that’s a bit much, but let’s meet part ways on this.
Here’s what I know about him: He has never had a broken heart. He said he never felt real love until he met me. He said he can’t remember when he last had sex and was not drunk until me. He had never made love or slow sex looking into someone’s eyes. His parents threw him out when he was 15 and he had to drop out of school and make a living. His x wife never communicated and became an alcoholic in the latter half of their marriage. One of his daughters hasn’t spoken to him in years.
He doesn’t think any of this is unusual. He knows many people who have never had a broken heart at 46. I don’t know anyone. that makes me sad for him that he never experienced the depth of love that would create a broken heart, or make one want to make love while gazing into their partners eyes.
I am certain after our conversation he does not have the emotional intelligence I need. He wants a buddy, someone to have a great time with and go on adventures with. Someone who is mostly happy and not complex. I am not that person. I know I’m fully and highly emotional, have a high emotional IQ, and I’m very complex.
I have never met anyone as disconnected as he is to their emotions. My x is somewhat similar and perhaps because we were married young and I was immature and naive I didn’t understand emotional intelligence myself, but I don’t even recall that asshat as being this disconnected. Scott claims to have been In therapy and “dealt with his shit” but I notice he doesn’t seem to have any of those typical buzz words that come from ANYONE who has had ANY therapy. Maybe he went a couple of sessions. He said he did but he never talks about when or for how long or any of it which is also sort of weird. I’m pretty for sure if he had been in therapy he would be more aware of his emotional maturity. And he would have a better understanding of what a relationship needs to grow.
He is baffled by what I think I’m missing. He doesn’t understand what more I want from him when I say we are emotionally disconnected or that our communication has no depth.
To be fair, he said plenty to me which I listen to and don’t take in stride as I’ve heard it before. I’m difficult and inflexible and want things my way. There have been others who knew how to coax me out of those moods but he’s not that person. He avoids conflict until he’s explosive. He feels he communicates to me, but clearly not in a way that is understood by me.
He doesn’t believe in saying I’m sorry as he feels the words are empty – and he said the same about I love you initially.
The bottom line is we are both feeling exhausted and unappreciated. I said I felt unloved and unimportant and he couldn’t believe I said that after he stayed for 2.5 weeks with me.
I wanted to offer solutions but heard nothing I needed in that conversation. I asked why he complimented my appearance and he said because he knows how self conscious I am and wants to be sure I know he thinks I’m beautiful. I tried to explain it’s the same with my heart and soul – he needed to nourish them the same way he did my self consciousness about my appearance and he couldn’t understand that either.
I asked why he loved me and he said it’s my spirit. That I have an energy that draws him to me (and also clearly sucks all of the energy from him). He can’t really articulate what draws him to me and he’s got a million words at his disposal: this is a guy who is a mediator with two masters degrees, the man can talk and write prolifically.
The mediator in him can only focus on facts. All this emotion overwhelms him. In an effort to cross the chasm I suggested we read a book or take a course or watch videos on couples communication. He said he would do whatever it takes, but I’m unsure it would matter.
I feel like he doesn’t hear me and he feels like I don’t hear him. And round the mulberry bush we go.
I think a break is in order which is very upsetting to me as we were going to celebrate an anniversary. As much as it pains me, I think I have to learn how to let go. I don’t know if some form of counseling can help us, or if it should even be considered.
I feel like crap but I feel that way because I am not getting the nourishment I need in this relationship, not because he’s breaking my heart.
And that, in itself, is a little heartbreaking.