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How would you react to this message from your partner?

 
 
Reply Tue 5 May, 2020 11:01 pm
I sent my partner a message (we're currently locked down in different places — btw this is a same-sex relationship, just to avoid any confusion) — she took it really badly — she thought I need to get a reality check on how it came across.

Can you please help me by telling me how you would react if you were in long term relationship and thought things were okay and got this message:

Her: How was your day yesterday...?
Me: Not very good but not to do with day that's just the state of my mental health - I felt worse after [zoom meeting] and then better a bit after spending time with [grandaughter]

[then came the bit that she took really badly]
Me: I've been thinking a lot about our relationship and whether it actually contributes to making my mental health worse

(1) how would that make you feel and (2) what would you feel I was saying about YOU by saying that?

If you can think about/answer that before reading the following, that would be helpful:

Would you think by saying "I've been thinking a lot about our relationship and whether it actually contributes to making my mental health worse" that I was "basically suggesting the whole relationship was an abusive train wreck"?

When I said "I had no idea I meant that" she replied "It’s literally what that says!" (as in, I think, that's literally what my statement meant). Is that right?

She also said the statement "I've been thinking a lot about our relationship and whether it actually contributes to making my mental health worse" was a "thermonuclear" statement? ie something that obliterates the whole relationship with one statement?

Would you think my statement was "thermonuclear"?

Any answers appreciated - be honest - don't feel you have to side with me.

Thanks
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 May, 2020 12:32 am
@beautifulmusicfreak,
I think it was unwise to do unless the purpose was to either tell her you want out or something had to radically change.

Think about it a bit. Was it an I-love-you-but-we-can-do-better letter? Lockdown gives people too much time on their hands and sometimes half-baked thoughts come out sideways.

Question: Do you want to continue with her?

Why not write her back and tell her your feelings ...you’ve been misunderstood and that lockdown is making you nuts and being without her is making you question things far too much!
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PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 May, 2020 06:26 pm
What you meant: I’ve been wondering if what’s going on between us isn’t messing with my mental health.

What she heard: I’ve been wondering if you are making my mental health worse.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2020 02:38 pm
So I did your steps and this is what I came up with:

“Me: I've been thinking a lot about our relationship and whether it actually contributes to making my mental health worse”

"(1) how would that make you feel and (2) what would you feel I was saying about YOU by saying that?"

(1)It would make me feel bad and hurt. (2)That you feel I am doing something that is harmful to you; that you think we are better apart than together. Likely you do not like some things that I do or say to you.

"basically suggesting the whole relationship was an abusive train wreck"? It

depends on your history – difficult to know. Just on the surface at best I would think it was a bad relationship at worst that it was an abusive train wreck --- more likely something in the middle.

“When I said "I had no idea I meant that" she replied "It’s literally what that says!" (as in, I think, that's literally what my statement meant). Is that right?”

Literally you are saying this person is bad for your mental state – it could be because it is abusive or it could be that this person does things to you that causes you to be in a poor mental state – like something less for instance someone who is always negative – they are not abusive but for some people that say suffer from the blues or even are depressed – a negative person would be very bad for a depressed person’s mental state.

"thermonuclear statement? ie something that obliterates the whole relationship with one statement?”

Thermonuclear might be an exaggeration but I understand this person’s response. You did kind of at best hurt the relationship at worst cause a potential end. I read this statement and if it was said to me – I would be hurt and angry. I would think the relationship should end as no one should be in a relationship the causes another person to be in a poor mental state. A relationship is supposed to be the opposite (at least a good relationship).

If you trying to make an improvement in your relationship because you feel how you two are right now is causing you mental angst, and you were trying to communicate this to your partner to make improvements in your relationship, this was the complete wrong way to handle it. There is a difference between being honest and being cruel. What you said was cruel and hurtful even if this was not your intention. A better way would have been – I've been thinking a lot about our relationship, and I really care about you and our relationship and would like it to last. This is difficult to say because I care about you so much, but there are things that cause me mental angst….then say those things, but in a loving and caring way. And then ask for her feedback – are there things I can work on?

But that damage is done – so Ragman gave a good suggestion “Why not write her back and tell her your feelings ...you’ve been misunderstood and that lockdown is making you nuts and being without her is making you question things far too much!”

Then if there are things you feel are very important and you feel you two need to work – say that in a loving and caring way and allow her to also. I bet you do some things that cause her mental health distress at times --- like saying what you just did.

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