The Bottom Whisperer: Cry Me A River
If you missed last week’s column you can go back and read it here! We had some great questions this week, was hard to pick just 2.
Dear Bottom Whisperer,
I am a 27-year-old lesbian living on the West Coast. My girlfriend and I have been seeing each other for almost a year and things are going great. She has a difficult time communicating with me when she is upset which is why I am writing to you. We have never really had a disagreement/argument in a face-to-face context. She always argues with me via email or text message. If I confront her or try to get to the root of some behavior with her in person she simply shuts down and refuses to communicate. But as soon as she leaves I will get text after text after text telling me what I did to upset her, how bad I made her feel and so on.
This whole lack of in-person communication is really taxing for me. I want to have a real relationship where we can discuss and disagree on things and she isn’t willing to do that. I asked her if she was afraid of making me angry or upset and she told me she wasn’t sure if that was the issue or not. Can you help shed some light on this dilemma?
She Must Stop!
Sounds like a pretty serious issue going on here. I am curious if she is able to emote in person when she experiences positive emotions. Based on the info that you have given me, I am going to go out on a limb and say that your girlfriend has a pretty serious ‘people pleaser’ complex going on. People who feel this way often avoid confrontation or expressing any kind of emotion that might make someone else uncomfortable. After doing it long enough, it becomes so engrained that it is difficult to feel anger, sadness or disappointment on your own. You simply bury it deep inside and prioritize the needs and wants of others over your very own. This behavior is super dysfunctional and a big no-no.
You need to sit down with your girlfriend and set some healthy boundaries. Now granted, you are going to have to work with her on it as these habits did not form overnight nor will they go away in a week or a month or a year. It might be beneficial for your girlfriend to see a counselor or someone who can help her figure out the origin of this behavior. All you can do is be supportive of her trying to get past this. I recommend beefing up the communication between you two and being careful that if she does put herself out there and let you know that something upsets her, you don’t get defensive or fight unfair.
I would also inform your girlfriend that you are not going to deal with relationship issues via text or email any longer. It simply will not work if you keep doing this. Tell her the messages aren’t going to be opened and that she is the one who will need to open up if your relationship is going to go anywhere. Best of luck and happy humping!
Greetings Bottom Whisperer,
Big fan of the column! I recently got out of a relationship against my will and was wondering if you could shed some light. My ex-boyfriend whom I love dearly broke things off after discovering that I had been seeing another guy behind his back. I am not sure how things evolved to the point where we started sleeping together behind my guy’s back. We started as friends and when my boyfriend and I were having a tough time I confided in him. In my weakness we let things get out of hand. The problem is that it didn’t end with that one time. My ex found out about this affair because he is friendly with the guy’s roommate and it somehow made it back to him.
My question is, how can I let him know how sorry I am and let him know that I can’t imagine my life going on without him. I know we had our ups and downs but I truly care about him and feel so lost without him. I realize now that I made a huge mistake and let him down by betraying his trust. I swear it won’t happen again if he gives me another chance. How can I bring this up and let him know how I am feeling when he won’t even respond to my calls?
Don’t Understand My Poignant Ending Disaster
Thanks for being a fan of the column. Hope you still are after I give you this little dose of reality. Times got tough in your relationship with your boyfriend and you ran into the arms of another guy? This is tough enough to deal with if you had been considerate enough to own up to it and had only done it once. But getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar on more than one occasion is grounds for never wanting to talk to you again and no matter how sorry you are that you got caught, not that you did it because your remorse would have led you to fess up and ask for forgiveness right away, doesn’t carry much weight.
Ask yourself, how many more times would you have slept with this friend of yours had your ex-boyfriend not found out? I am going to suggest you spend some time thinking about what it was exactly that led you to hook up with this other guy. It sounds like you and your boyfriend may have been going through a hard time but not anything that either of you couldn’t have worked out with some communication and a little bit of old fashioned work on your relationship.
My advice for you DUMPED is not to waste your time trying to get a word in about how much you care about your ex. Save your time and energy and spend some time working out exactly why you put your short-term physical priorities over the well being of a relationship you now feel that you can’t live without. This sounds like some mixed messaging on your part. If you are gonna talk the talk my friend, you certainly need to walk the walk.