Here’s a great letter and my answer from Sheri:
My name is Sheri, and I have been following your readings for over a year now. You have helped me through a great deal of pain, misunderstandings, and have provided me with the patience I need in order to grow.
I have a question now regarding my current relationship. I’ve been involved with a man now for over a year. We’re in an exclusive, monogamous relationship, and have been living together for quite some time. I should also point out that we’re both in our late 20′s.
We’re in the same place emotionally — meaning that we want the same things from a long term relationship. We’re done with “dating,” and have been looking at each other as the one.
My boyfriend has learned to internalize his feelings (as many men do). He bottles up all of his emotions and rarely shares them with me. (I should point out that he bottles up emotions that have to do with me or our relationship. He has no problem sharing about a rut he’s in over something work-related, etc. He just can’t share his feelings about us).
If I can tell he’s in a mood, and ask what he is thinking, he gets defensive, believing that I should just “know,” as if I am able to read his mind. He believes that because I am not a psychic, and cannot read his mind, that something is wrong with us.
The more he internalizes, the farther away I feel from him. Occasionally, when he has confronted a feeling about us, I typically react “negatively,” with hurt feelings. He then tells me angrily that -this- is why he bottles things up… because I become defensive and upset. I try to explain calmly that I am only human, and the things he says affect me.
I have every right to feel my emotions, and that I don’t want a relationship that isn’t honest. Now, I should also point out that I am a very easy going person. I rarely get “angry,” I just feel hurt. And my hurt feelings, nevertheless, prevent him from opening up to me.
This has also caused him to keep other things from me. Such as when an old flame or two contacted him during our relationship, and they had a back and forth email exchange. It might sound harmless, but being an honest person, I always tell him if and when these things happen to me. When he does not tell me, it makes me wonder more if he’s being dishonest.
Even if it hurts me, I’d rather know the truth. It also makes me feel that he only tells me things to appease me. Such as when I’m feeling most vulnerable and feel that I need to confirm his feelings, he will tell me lovingly that he is “not going anywhere.” I question all the time whether he is being honest or just telling me what I want to hear to prevent confrontation. Needless to say, I feel unstable in this relationship most of the time.
I would like to know how to get him to feel vulnerable and comfortable. Every woman wants their man to open up to them. I have read my things from you about remaining calm, feeling my emotions in the moment, and doing nothing. However, now, my boyfriend already made up his mind that he cannot tell me how he is feeling due to fearing my reaction.
And he is also the first one to tell you that people can’t change. So, how can I change his thinking? How can I consistently create an environment for him to want to share his deepest feelings with me, even if they make me feel hurt?
We got into an argument yesterday, and it caused him to open up a little for the first time. My reaction was a little defensive, and I told him I was hurt, but still encouraged him to share his feelings. He then told me that he refuses to open up, and that -this- is why I’m not at -that- level with him, because my reactions are negative.
Despite our argument, and my hurt feelings, I already feel closer to him than I have in a while — because he opened up. How can I communicate that to him without him wanting to back away?
This issue has been on my mind for months now, and I have been desperately trying to understand it.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my worries. I look forward to hearing from you and beginning the journey to heal my feelings.
Sheri, I want to give you a huge hug and ask you, depending on your finances – to consider these resources:
1. My Modern Siren program – it’s all about creating SAFETY and thrills in your relationship…
2. My Love Forever Client Membership program… only my clients or women who have written to me have access to this…
The next teleclass will be in mid-July – and until then, there’s over 6 sessions and 9 hours of audio help (all downloadable to your itunes and ipod ) – and the first 2 Sessions of it is what my clients get when they work with me – specific homework and techniques to steady you, change your entire perception of your relationship, and shift your vibe.
3. Private coaching. Can be expensive – but can also help you tremendously. In addition to me, there’s Virginia Clark at www.itsnevertoolatetomary.com, Dominique at www.sexandheart.com, and Orna And Matthew Walters at www.creatingloveonpurpose.com
All are excellent.
4. The thing is – this is about YOUR spiritual journey, and about YOUR maturity and solidity with YOURSELF.
His job is NOT to be emotionally open with you.
His job is to think and be a man.
YOUR job is to get to know yourself.To learn…
…how to stop automatically going to “hurt” whenever you’re “triggered”
…how to deal with your emotional self
…how to go deeper into yourself
…and most important – how to create a safe space for yourself and for him in the relationship.
If you can at least get WORKING toward this…things will turn around immediately.
Books I can recommend are: This Thing Called You by Ernest Holmes, Trusting You Are Loved by Lew Epstein…and finding perhaps a non-denominational or new-age church or temple where you can start feeling stronger inside…
He clearly feels like you are a natural inquisitor, that you “need” him for something and that he’s failing at it…