Post # 1
I’m not sure if this is cold feet or a reason to run….
Last night, Mr.GK and I went out for dinner. We couldn’t talk about anything. Everytime I tried to start conversation, he shut me down. Not in a horrible way, but just with conversation ending comments. This is not the first time this has happened. This is the first time I’m seriously scared I will be one of those old people who have nothing left to say to each other anymore.
Here’s the deal: I work 60 hours a week, he works 40 and has 3 nights of volunteer activities. I’ve been the one to move my schedule around to fit it into his life. My work is important, my part-time job advances my career, and my full time job pays the bills. I talk about my work when I get home because I want to share that part of my life. He talks about nothing. I need to ask him how his day was and about different things in order to get him to talk. We’ve been together about a year and a half, I’m not sure if this is just where we are in life, or if this is a concern about marrying the wrong guy. Help!
Post # 3
I think only you can really answer that question for yourself but personally that would be a major red flag for me. Communication is so important in a marriage and if you feel like you can’t freely express yourself or that he keeps his feelings from you then I think it’s a bad foundation. Have you ever tried to discuss this with him? You should feel like you can tell this guy anything in the world and that he’d be there to support you. I think if you really love him and want to be with him you should probably see a marriage counselor BEFORE the wedding, because this should be addressed.
Post # 4
I think the answer is it depends – my FH has similar symptoms. Sometimes I get home and its impossible to engage him in conversation or I want to talk about something important and he just won’t give an answer or just grunts. But – this is only sporadically – there are other times I can’t get him to shut up so I can watch TV. And we do eventually have the important conversations.
I’ve noticed that I try to bring up all sorts of stuff when we’re getting ready for bed (cuz that’s when it pops to mind) and that’s usually when he completely shuts me down. I’ve gotten the dinner shut down some too – but that depends on the topic a lot.
So – are you communicating sometimes? Just not when you want to? Do you get essential relationship business done? (how to pay for stuff, future plans, etc.) Does he listen to you, and just not talk back?
I don’t think this is disastorous, but maybe you do need counseling. A year and half really isn’t that long in dating terms – and sometimes people do change once you’ve been together a while and things get more relaxed. Maybe the real him is going to take some getting used too.
Post # 5
My FH and I used to have this issue— Basically I confronted him and let him know that it was very important for us to be able to talk and him not responding or making me play 20 questions was tiring and straining on our relationship. I made sure to use "I feel" statements and asked him to let me know what was up or if anything was going on or if he needed to air out anything… and I promised not to flip out on him about whatever he said. Now let me tell you, some things I wanted to flip out on, but I just said okay so how can we work on that??? What do you suggest? I would say try to bring it up before you bring up the idea of counseling, and see where it leads you guys… Only bring in a third party if you know that discussing it on your own will not go anywhere.
Trust me, it has been a long road… we have had ups and downs, but we have worked it out because we both wanted this to work… We have been dating for almost 5 years now and are getting married in 4 weeks. So I say just throw it out there and go from there. G/L
Post # 6
Remember, men communicate differently than women and they also require more "down" time than we do. My fiance comes home and plays on the computer for a few hours before he is ready to share and talk. If I want to talk while he is in his down time, we get nowhere. Also, many men feel that by just "being with" you they are showing that they care, and that listening to what you have to say is more important than sharing their day. Men are not as verbal as women and do not have the need to share as we do. Keep this in mind. My finance only shares his day if he thinks there is a reason to, otherwise why talk?
Post # 7
Calioteach is absolutely correct. If I try to talk to FI in the morning, not happening. Right after work, he needs to eat and sit, and then he’s fine. Also, I’ve learned this trick. Guys tend to talk more when they’re moving. I.E. – take a walk with him and he probably won’t shut up. At least that’s the case in my situation. If we walk for a half hour after work, I can get all of the day out of him and he’s very interested in my day and we’ve actually had most of our best conersations while we’re walking.
Something else to think about: guys don’t "think" as much as we do. I was reading Glamour the other day and this topic was brought up and I asked FI about it. He goes "You know when you ask me ‘what are you thinking?’ and I say ‘nothing.’ I’m not messing with you. I’m really thinking about nothing." I don’t think as girls we really have the capacity to do that, to think about nothing. Guys apparently do.
Communication is key in any relationship and if you don’t feel you have that, you need to address it now before you get any further in the relationship. Good luck!
Post # 8
I agree with the first poster- althoough I don’t know you or your FI this sounds like a major red flag- A FI should be your best friend, the one you can share most things with and the one you want to talk to at the end of the day.
If this was stypical behavior for your FI then I would say he had a bad day but you seem to indicate that you have been worried about this for awhile. Just remember it is better to be single and marry the right guy eventually then rush into something you have a gut feeling is not right because you want to be married. Gut feeling are generally right and you don’t want to find this out 5-10 years from now.
Post # 9
Yes to everyone who said men and women communicate differently!! Men ARE NOT like us. They don’t talk about their problems to work through them the way we do–they like to figure it out alone. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you or that he’s the wrong guy for you, it just means that he’s a man. If he’s listening to you when you need to talk, that is great, and it’s a sign that he loves and supports you. My FH would much prefer to hear me prattle on about my day than talk about his.
Having said that, if you’re finding that the reason you guys don’t talk the way you’d like is becuase you have nothing in common, or because you’re not interested in each other, that might be a problem. But figure out if the "problem" is just that he’s a guy before getting too worried about it. Also, I think it has already been said, but pre-marital counseling is a great idea–for anyone, imho.
Post # 10
i once read that if a couple is close, the woman will need to talk less, and in turn the man will want to talk more, and thus it’ll balance each other out. that balance takes time and adjustment, however. the underlying issue is that men and women are different – we want to talk about everything, they don’t really need to.
i really suggest counseling… it’ll help you both be honest with each other. also, it’s normal for a couple to hit lulls in their relationship… periods where they just don’t feel as "on fire" as they used to. i think every couple has times where they’re not in that crazy, passionate point anymore… but hopefully you have enough of a friendship underneath to support you both. just my thoughts – good luck!! 🙂
Post # 11
I have dated a lot of guys exactly like that. You wonder if there really is nothing going on in their heads, because they don’t have much to share. You end up feeling like an idiot for talking on and on, because you can’t tell whether they are interested or not. And if you don’t carry 90% of the conversation, there is no conversation.
Guess what? It’s not just a guy thing – its the way HE is. I absolutely know that, because I have a lot of friends who are men (as an engineer, I work with almost all men). Most of them talk a lot. About everything. I know that their wives complain they are not communicative, but they talk like crazy with me, over lunch, driving to a meeting, over dinner on a business trip. Your guy may just not communicative, or he may just not be interested in talking with you. If its the first, and that’s not acceptable to you, you need to find another guy. If its the second, you absolutely need to find another guy.
My FI and I talk about everything – work, kids, friends, family, activities, random thoughts… the only time he doesn’t want to communicate is when he is really tired, before his morning coffee, or when he’s working really hard on something. But I always knew I wanted a guy who would be my best friend, who was interested in what I had to say, who was interesting to listen to and talk with, and who did have something going on between his ears most of the time. They are out there – you just have to look.
Post # 12
when i first started dating my current guy, he drove me batty! He was fine going a week without calling me…i was the opposite, i needed/wanted to hear from him on a daily basis. I finally broke it off with him because I simply thought he didn’t care about me (he later admitted that he did, he just wasn’t used to talking daily). He’s gotten used to me and talking, so half the time i can’t shut him up. He loves discussing work, sport, his friends, his future and how he feels about me more. I gotta say, I love having him call me instead of me call him (we haven’t moved in together yet, so we’re resorting to daily phone calls). it may be a coincident, but it does seems like the closer we got, the more open he is with me. I don’t think its necessary bad that he isn’t communicating, unless he doesn’t say more than two words to you in a week span and is able to talk to other people. Start out by asking him small questions about his day. A walk alone together is a great idea. Take him out of his comfort zone and away from things that may take his attention from you when you’re having a conversation with him (the TV, computer..etc.)
Post # 13
a few months ago i think i had a similar cold feet panic day where i was doubting myself. what it came down to for me is that i asked myself if i could picture my life without him and the answer was no i can’t nor do i want to. so in your decision making during these panic moments just ask yourself if you can picture your life without him and if you want to.
Post # 14
I have to say that I agree with some of suzanno’s earlier comments. Some guys don’t talk, sure. Some girls don’t either. It’s not just a guy thing that you should "accept" if you feel that you genuinely need more clear communication with your mate.
However, just because your FI doesn’t talk all the time doesn’t mean you should ditch him. But before you get married to someone, it’s important that you both feel on the same page about general values, what you need and want out of your relationship, and what kind of expectations you have for your marriage. If one on one talking with one another won’t help, counseling might be for you both.
There’s no doubt that for some couples the months leading up to marriage include some "cold feet" or misgivings because you have time to think about the weight of the decisions that you are and will be making together. So, I wouldn’t shrug off deep concerns that you have–it sets up a cycle of bottling in emotions and potentially building up resentment or negativity that would be difficult on any relationship or marriage. Good luck!
Post # 15
I wonder, rereading your post, if you also don’t feel a little like he isn’t as ambitious as you, or doesn’t work as hard. You make a point of the difference in your work yours, of how you are working to advance your career, and on top of all this you are the one to shift your schedule for his convenience. If you resent juggling your schedule to accomodate him, then you should really discuss this and let him know there should be more mutual effort. I think that women often do the accomodating, and then end up resenting that fact. So we all need to learn to speak up and ask to be met at least halfway.
And maybe he is not as ambitious as you. I know that my FI isn’t. But he is way more family and home oriented. So I also know it will work out great! Because somebody needs to be the one worrying about what’s for dinner, and it’s sure not going to be me most of the time. But you need to be happy with how ambitious your FI is or isn’t, as its not fair to him for you to continually feel he doesn’t measure up to your level of expectation, or doesn’t try as hard as you do.
I actually work with my FI, and one of the things we love is that we can talk about work. We understand the others’ problems; we can work together to solve them; and we are interested in the stories of meeting and people and crazy management decisions. His first wife literally never cared enough to even understand what he did for a living. Now there are lots of couples who don’t talk about work and don’t care to. But for us, 40 hrs a week that we can’t share even in conversation is way too much. If you need to share that part of your life with your FI, then you need a guy who is interested. (IMO, that is a huge reason why people have affairs at work – because its really attractive to have someone who appreciates and understands who you are at work, at they don’t get any interest in that at home.)