I’ve been having some issues in my relationship and I’m wondering what is the best way to go about resolving them, instead of making things worse and getting into the same fights over and over.
One issue I’m currently dealing with is my boyfriend has me blocked from some of his social network activity. I discovered it recently and haven’t said anything yet but it’s really bothering me. Should this be raising red flags or am I just overreacting? And what is the best way to bring it up without pushing him away?
That does strike me as a red flag but I think what’s more important now is to try and get on the same page with him and voice your concerns in an effective way.
Bringing up issues in a way that leads to clarity and connection, versus lobbing back a counter-attack, isn’t always easy but it can massively improve your relationship.
From my perspective, it’s far more poisonous to the relationship to have worries floating around in your mind and then trying to figure out where you stand… than just to simply have a conversation in an open and honest way.
The trick is to have that conversation in a way that’s open and doesn’t make him feel like he’s being cornered or trapped in some way.
It’s not that guys don’t want to talk about relationship stuff… it’s that they don’t want to feel like they are going to upset you and then have to deal with the emotional aftermath. If they feel like that’s what they’re being confronted with, most guys are going to just avoid the conversation or put up a wall. It’s not that they want to hurt you or shut you out – men just simply don’t want to feel trapped in a no-win conversation.
The truth is, you can – and I believe you would do well to – ask him some questions instead of analyzing what he might be thinking.
If you can ask what you would like to ask in a way where he feels like he’s free to answer you without pressure to say the right thing/not say something that will upset you, it will cut the endless cycle of analysis in your mind and allow you to be present in the relationship (versus being caught up in your mind).
Whatever he’s thinking/feeling is already what it is… so really, it’s just a matter of giving him space to communicate it to you… not through hints or allusions, but through him simply saying it.
The best way to approach it would be to simply say it how it is for you… something like, “Listen, I don’t want to invade your privacy and I don’t want to worry about this, so I just want to ask you something… and anything you tell me is fine because then at least I know the truth and don’t have to speculate or worry… can you tell me why you have me blocked on all your social networks?”
And just let him answer and listen. Try your best to be open and not attack or react… give him the space to answer honestly (and the majority of men will give you their honest answer if they feel like they have a safe space to have that conversation with you)…
When I say listen, I mean listen completely. Listen with your ears and listen with your gut. When your attention is 100 percent on him (and not on your internal fears, worries, anger, etc.) then you’ll pick up the whole message… sometimes with your ears, sometimes with your gut.
You’ll get the whole transmission, and hopefully you’ll be in a place where you can really accept it as where things are right now (and not try to excuse it, ignore the parts you don’t like and hang on to some glimmer of hope that he’s not saying what he’s saying). This is a skill and if you’re not used to it (or you’ve been avoiding a conversation like this), it might be very challenging… but it is what needs to happen to improve things from here.
From there, you’ll have clear information and you can make a decision on whether or not his reason is a problem for you. If it is, then you can make a decision on whether it’s something you can overcome or, if not, then it’s time to open yourself up to the possibility of leaving this relationship.
In all this, I want to make clear that I’m not saying that this conversation excuses him or that you’re expected to put up with something that’s unacceptable to you. What I’m saying is that the place to start is always to reach a point of clarity within your situation and then be able to make a clear decision based on clear information (not on worry, speculation or fear of the unknown). You might get news you don’t want, but at least you’ll have clarity.
Bottom line: The place to start is being able to have a clear conversation that gets you the information you need in order to know where his head is at… and to do it, you have to be able to have a conversation that is open, safe and without hostility. It’s not to excuse him, it’s to get the clarity you need.
Hope that helps,