Every time me and my boyfriend fight, he just walks out on me. Every time. He never wants to talk about what’s wrong. We argue back and forth for a few minutes, but eventually he just leaves. We don’t talk for a few days, and then when we do, he pretends nothing happened. Why won’t he just listen to me?
You’re not alone in this. This is one of the most common questions people email me about. It’s a simple answer, yet difficult to explain. See, for a lot of people, they can’t take the pain that they have caused. And rather than expressing their sorrow, they just walk away, thinking it gets better.
Let’s go a little further. So you get into an argument. You start telling your boyfriend how upset he made you. One of the problems is that you may not be telling him «Why» you feel the way you do. This is also a common problem people have. For your boyfriend to understand, you have to tell him the how and the why you feel the way you do. Don’t just say «you hurt me». Tell him HOW he hurt you.
My guess is that he first reacts defensively. He may counter with something that you do to him. It’s a tit for tat thing that will never resolve anything. Ultimately, it just makes things worse.
When he leaves, he feels like he just can’t take it anymore. Often times, and women have a hard time believing this, he leaves because he feels bad. He’s embarrassed. There is a good chance that he didn’t realize how much he hurt you, and he feels bad. He’s apologized, but you’ve told him sorry isn’t enough.
He doesn’t know how to express his sorrow, so he leaves, thinking it will get better. In the meantime, he’s hurt you even more, because he’s not their for you, and seems like he doesn’t want to make this relationship work.
Then you give in a few days later, or you bring up the same argument that is unresolved. But the real question is, how do you fix this problem?
I started to address it earlier. It boils down to communication. Too often I see couples that let fear affect the way they express themselves. Instead of saying how you feel, you keep things bottled up inside, and then they erupt. Both parties get on the defensive, and get deep into attack mode.
We say hurtful things, that, while they may be true, they could have been better put if there were open communication.
It’s really important that you express how you feel. I like to say that you have to ask yourself the same question 5 times to get to the root answer.
You hurt me:
Q1: Why do I feel hurt?
A1: I feel hurt because you don’t talk to me
Q2: Why don’t you talk to me?
A2: I don’t talk because I’m too tired.
Q3: Why are you too tired to talk to me?
A3: I picked up a second job.
Q4. Why did you pick up the second job?
A4. We needed the extra money to do nice things.
Q5. Why do we need to do nice things?
A5. It makes me feel like more of a man to give you nice things.
As you can see, the one question opens up several others. The root problem in this case is that the boyfriend does not feel like a man because of the financial position he is in. Rather than admitting this, he tries to cover it up, which results in you feeling like he doesn’t want to spend time with you. A needless argument breaks out, and never gets resolved until you understand the root.
Moving forward, you can analyze the question and answers and help make him feel more like a man, which will make you feel loved and wanted.
Find and suggest cheap things to do, tell him how you appreciate his hard work, and show him that he is number one in your life no matter what.
This is just one example, but the 5 Step Question works with anything. This is a great way to open communication in your relationship and really get to know one another. Try it and send me a note or leave a comment to tell me how it works for you!