Post # 1
I’m sitting at home on my couch after yet another terrible fight with my fiance. Until yesterday I had not thought seriously about ending the engagment, and in turn the relationship, but now I can’t seem to get the idea out of my head. I’ll give you as much context as I can without boring you too much.
My fiance is an introvert. I am an extrovert. He is VERY sensitive and has some pretty severe anxiety that has long gone untreated. He has started taking some as-needed medicine but stopped seeing his therapist because it just stirred up bad memories of his mother – a whole other story, but not worth getting into. I have always thought about myself as a very thoughtful person – my family and friends think so too, but I continue to do things to hurt him. These things that I do turn into blow-out (but quiet) fights where we don’t speak for a whole day. We’re both a mess. We have trouble communicating about the problem and in the end it’s always me apologizing and saying I’ll try to be more thoughtful. I do see his side of the story often and understand how a sensitive person would feel that way – however, I can’t help but think of myself here. I feel like a terrible, insensitive, selfish person – and I’ve always felt the exact opposite. It’s breaking me. I can’t take another fight. Now when new issues come up, always something I’ve done wrong, I literally feel like I want to curl up into a ball and sleep it away. An example is our current furniture in our new apartment. I’ve been trying to make the room cohesive, and have in turn made him feel like I don’t respect his style or opinion in the matter. He feels like he’s being pushed into a little corner and told to hide himself. This has now turned into an entire weekend long fight – making for a not fun weekend. I try to listen his feelings, but they always feel like attacks on me.
In addition, he’s very down and anxious fairly regularly, and he brings me down with him when I come home from work and I’m all bouncy. He gets anxiety from traveling and meeting new people so won’t come to my family Christmas in Maine. He smokes – I hate that. He’s very unhealthy and I’m very into health and wellness. It just doesn’t seem like we meet up anywhere.
I really really do love him though. He’s an incredibly passionate person and is very intelligent. He’s made me feel things I’ve never felt before. Obviously there are the good times. There are the times he does lobster hands and pretends he’s going to tickle me, or when he prances around and does an English accent when I finally persuaded him to watch Call the Midwife. These good times just seems so few and far between these days.
As a side-note, we have seen a relationship counselor and it’s provided some good stuff for us to work on, but alas, we are still here.
Another side-note is we live together. And have two dogs together. Who are very important to us.
Overall, this is just so difficult. I had set myself on the idea that we should break up yesterday. Then I came home and we temporarily made up. It seemed easier. Then I don’t have to worry about moving or the dogs- and of cousre I really am scared of losing him. But now we’re at the same fight again.
Post # 2
Nicolecali85: The relationship with the person you’re meant to spend your life with should not be this difficult. You should not feel like a horrible person and he should not feel minimized. It doesn’t really seem like you have enough things/personality traits in common to make your life together as happy as you both deserve.
Of course, only you two can decide if you’re willing to fight this out. Continue going to counseling, work on your communication with each other, and work on compromising (i.e you take his opinion into account when he feels it matters, he attempts to go with you to Maine for family holidays, etc.).
Post # 3
FutureMrsJohnson_: Thank you. I think you’re right, it’s just hard coming to terms with it and just erasing all of these memories we have together. I’ve never had a relationship before (I know, kind of crazy for a 29 y/o), so I’ve never had to do the breakup. Even the thought of telling him is making me naucious. Thank you for your words.
Post # 4
Nicolecali85: your post makes me want to cry. I too am an extrovert madly in love with an introvert with mom issues. The engagement ring is in my house now for two weeks and I am waiting for a proposal. It has taken many fights and counseling for us to learn how to communicate. Mostly because he shuts down and needs a lot of space. I have learned to have my own social life away for him but every holiday or event (which are few and far between with plenty of notice) is a battle. Mine is also battling depression and hasn’t spoken to his mother in two years. I have no advice for you. There have definitely been very rough times and from everything I have read on introverts tells me this won’t change. I had the same thoughts you do. I am a happy person and there are times when he just drags me down with him. But he is willing to change. Mine quit Smoking for me. He tries to be more verbal with his needs. It is extremely difficult sometimes because it’s like dealing with a petulant two year old. I am sure that seems harsh to some bees, but I know you understand exactly what I am saying. The question that I ask myself that makes me stay is: at the end of the day, is he your person? Good mood, bad mood…is he your person? For me, mine is. Even when things were at their worst, when he moved in togethet and spent a very rough 6 months adjusting, and I thought about ending it and he thought about ending it too, we would still rather fight with each other than be with someone else. I know this doesn’t help, and you have a decision to make, but I understand. I know what it’s like to love someone who is making you miserable because they cannot change who they are. Have you read up on introvert ways? It provided me a lot of peace and understanding.
Post # 5
dmh426: thank you thank you thank you. I can’t say it enough. To know someone else understands what it feels like. I’ve felt more positive about it in months past – similar to how it sounds you feel now. But right now, I’m not there. And I bet I could get back. But for how long? I am just not sure. Thank you so so much. You’ve provided me with a lot to look into and think about, but mostly knowing someone else has had the same experience is comforting.
Post # 6
I’m a big believer in the opposites attract mentality…to a certain extent. From what you’ve said it sounds like you’re making a big effort to make the relationship work…but it just isn’t. You shouldn’t feel like a terrible person for simply being who you are. I know it’s hard to let someone go that you genuinely care about, but for your sanity and his, I think you should end the relationship. As the PP said, relationships shouldn’t be this hard. You both deserve someone who brings out the best in you. Good luck.
Post # 7
Therapy could help you both communicate without making each other feel attacked. Usually this is by avoiding “You” language. But it sounds like you clash with each other on several levels, even though you are fun people who love each other. It sounds pretty miserable, with him unable to go to your family holiday, you unable to rearrange the living room without a weekend of fighting/silent treatment, him unable to enjoy a cigarette without distressing you, you unable to enjoy a pleasant evening after work without him dragging you down, etc.
Neither of you has special psychic powers. It sounds like you are both crossing boundaries and breaking rules you didn’t know were there. It is not fair to get upset at each other for not being psychics; this is what communication is for. People who live together, whether romantic partners or just roommates, have to learn how to share a space by talking and discussing how to make decisions about the house. How long have you lived together? Has it always been difficult like this?
Post # 8
Nicolecali85: doll, I disagree with the person who says you should end it. My man is worth fighting for. I wish I could pick up the phone and talk to you right now because you are a kindred spirit. He has to help the situation. He has to try. It goes against everything in an introvert to do that. I put it out there to my love that he needs to accept the fact that every single holiday he has plans with a loud Italian family and if that was something he couldn’t handle than we had nowhere to go. He tries. He knows that as long as he tries I am staying. Having people to our place helps rather than going out. Try it. I keep a Google calender that is shared on both our phones. He knows when i am going out and when we have plans as a couple he gets notice and it has time to sink in. You can’t spring plans on an introvert. I can’t tell you how much that has helped. His learning to communicate is something he works on everyday. Me having plans and coming home after he’s had time to himself in the house.anfew.nights a week has immensely helped. He’s happy to see me and when I ask him about his day he’s had time to unwind and I actually get how his day is with details instead of a grunt! Lol. It’s not easy. None of my friends get it. My family, the loud italians, yeah they don’t either. It’s almost like you need to realize that they are in a bubble and you have to work around it. The definition of an introvert is someone who gets energy from space and alone time. People suck the energy and the life out of them. Extroverts get their energy from socializing. So, when we have plans or a really busy weekend, I actually work in time for him to have downtime. Tonight I am up in our room on my laptop watching TV and he’s downstsirs playing video games. Tomorrow u will get my cuddly couple time because I gave him this time tonight. Took 3 years to figure that out!
Post # 9
My FI and my personalities are similar to you and your FI, but I am the emotional introvert with severe anxiety issues (taking meds as necessary, not daily anymore) and my FI is a positive extrovert who is a good person, but not very emotional. We have had our fair share of battles because we are so different, but I can honestly say it hasn’t been overly difficult. Maybe in the beginning when we were learning about each other and at odds a bit personality wise. But we have grown to accept each other and communicate when we are having an issue (like he is hurting my feelings, or I am bringing him down). He has helped me grow a thicker skin and become more assertive, and I have helped him be more respectful in how he approaches things (he is extremely blunt, always has good intentions, but may come off as hurtful to more emotional people.. like me). It has taken a lot of communication and some compromise on each of our parts to get to where we are now.
It doesn’t sound like you two are communicating effectively, like you said. If this is an ongoing issue that you don’t think will change, then it might be best for you to walk away. Communication is key for any relationship, especially those where the two people are so different. Also, if you do not believe you are helping each other be better people, as you said he is constantly bringing you down, then I would be very concerned. Ultimately, you have to decide what needs to change in order for things to get better and communicate those things to your FI and he needs to be able to communicate his feelings. If he isn’t willing to work on them, or you do not feel it is possible to fix, then you have to make the decision if this is the life you want to live.
I hope things get better for you.
Post # 10
MrsClumsy: you are so right. Communication and compromise are everything. At the end of the day my SO and I have made each other better people.
I read a great analogy about a row boat and a relationship. Both people have to be rowing the boat or the boat won’t move. Same goes for a relationship. One person can’t do all the work themselves.
Post # 11
This sounds so hard and I really do feel for you.
Does it really need to be all or nothing though? Do you need to end the engagement? If I was in your situation, I would consider putting off the wedding itself and taking some time to come to a decision. Did you only just start seeing a counsellor? that will take time to work as well.
Post # 12
It sounds like the two of you simply aren’t compatible. You aren’t a suitable mate for him, nor him for you.
I think the best thing to do is break up. Yes, it may be difficult, especially with the dogs, but it will be the best thing for both you and him in the long run.
I don’t suggest getting anymore couple’s counseling. There’s absolutely zero sense in two incompatible people getting counseling to stay together. It’s not going to help. It will just delay the inevitable, and allow more time for attachments like children and property to be made, which will make going your separate ways more difficult.
Post # 13
For those saying their situations are similar… Are they really? It sounds like your relationships are working because there’s an equal level of give and take where both partners are willing to meet half way. It sounds as if the OP is having to cater to her FI and he isn’t trying to meet her half way. I may be wrong.. But that’s just what I got from her post. Maybe jumping to “break up” is rash, but she shouldnt feel as if she’s always walking on eggshells 24/7 either. I agree with everyone else saying that there has to be a greater line of communication opened up where both people are able to speak their minds and have a resolution reached instead of one simply feeling like a terrible person.
Post # 14
I am floored that there is this amazing network of people willing to speak to me at a time when I felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk to.
You have all given me wonderful things to think about and consider.
We have only recently started going to couples therapy and actually took a few weeks off when things felt better – that was a bad idea. Also we tackled small issues each week, but I think we need to tackle the bigger issue of communication. We both respect each other so much and do WANT to communicate better – neither of us wants to fight or be hurt, but the problem is that wem both get defensive and hurt so easily that any communication turns into an attack. If nothing else, this thread has reminded me that this is where the problem lies. When we are at our best, our differences go so well together. Im trying hard not to forget that in this bad time.
I’m going to give this more thought- but want to thank you all. So much. I feel a lot better despite not having this decision resolved in my mind.
Post # 15
Mt fiancé is craxy anxious and finds it hard to communicate when he’s upset. We have found if he goes to a different room an we Facebook ir text each other it’s much easier for him because he’s not face to face. So he can calm down and think about what he’s saying.
That’s hhiwwe fixed our communication problem. I don’t love it but it’s what works for him so I’m happy.