How to Strengthen Your Relationship/Not Sure What's Going On

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My SO & I have been together for 4 years. We work in different countries and recently he moved over to find a job where I am. He's been around for two weeks and I will admit it's not been easy getting used to not being alone all the time but I'm starting to get into it. Lately, It seems like he criticises me a lot and complains about everything I do or say. To my mind, it looks like he's falling out of love with me. We don't touch or kiss anymore. Whenever I come home from work, he looks up for a few seconds from his laptop to say hi and then goes back to alternating between his laptop and iphone, grunting when I talk to him. He said he's stressed out about not working and it's driving him crazy. But does that mean you stop relating to your partner? I've tried to talk to him about it and he says he's tired of my negativity. My negativity being if he drinks a glass of water and leaves the empty glass stuck in my couch, I ask him to please put it in the kitchen, etc. He says it's my tone of voice and not my actual saying it.

This has made me very self conscious and now I find myself guarding everything I want to say and I'm not really spontaneous anymore. I've asked him if he wants to break up and he says no but I feel unattractive, unloved and inadequate and it seems I can't communicate that properly. I told him to let's see a counsellor to help us learn how to communicate better and he was resistant to the idea. He also seems to have gotten himself into the mindset that I don't want to break up with him because I'm afraid of being alone which is ridiculous because I actually enjoy being alone but understand that when you love someone, it involves compromises, understanding and learning to live together and giving up the I for We.  

I honestly don't want to play games because I don't have time for that but at the back of my mind, i think is he really this blase because he believes I can't get another man or something? Or is it really about him not working and worrying about it?

By the way, he was out of work for a month two years ago and there was none of this. We laughed, we smiled and were happy until he got another job. So I don't understand what makes it so challenging now?

I hope I made sense.

Answer
Hi Dolldom,

Yes, you made sense.  Just as a way of you understanding what's going on, ask yourself if you have changed in the way you treat him.  If you have not changed, we can assume that the issues are primarily his.

If he feels inadequate or insecure he may be reacting in this manner.  Perhaps, because, he has moved to you and is not as sure of his future he is over reacting.   Often, men identify themselves with their work or job. He may not be as sure of himself in this new place.  It is not his turf.  He may be feeling insecure and uncertain, and projecting some of those feelings toward you.

Now what can you do?  Try to be as supportive and positive as you can.   When you first come home in the evening, don't ask him if he found work or for that matter anything that may imply that question.  Just say hello and tell him how happy you are to see him.  When you talk, make it light and fun.  No heavy conversations unless absolutely necessary.  Try to break the stress by suggesting some fun things to do.  Get away from the idea that you and not he is working.  Just have some fun.

Patience and a positive attitude may be all that is required.

Good luck,

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Tom Blair

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Published author. Questions related to strengthening and saving relationships and marriages. Sex coaching questions. Questions related to mature singles re-entering the dating world after a death of a spouse or a divorce.

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Neural Linguistic Practitioner Hypnotherapist Sexual Relationship Coach Internationally read author. Retired Educator All relationships are based on having certain needs being met. Healthy relationships are ones where there is a mutual meeting of these needs. Respect, honesty, communication are just some of those needs When those needs and others are not being met, the relationship will fall into disrepair. Together we will identify those needs and work to correct the imbalance. It is not too late, love can be rekindled. And it can last a life time.

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Neural Linguistic Practitioner Hypnotherapist Sexual Relationship Coach Internationally read author. Retired Educator

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