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Am I wrong for feeling this way?

 
 
Reply Sat 10 Jul, 2021 05:20 pm
I'll try to make it as simple as possible. My boyfriend and I have been together 8 months. We've had a bit of a problem and I addressed it in the past. Basically, our conversations don't feel totally organic since he focuses a lot on himself and his interests. He cares about me, but he says he just doesn't feel comfortable saying whatever he wants since it might annoy or upset me in some way. We had this conversation about 3 months ago and I told him to feel free to say whatever he wants because I need someone who is going to communicate. I always try to be reassuring to his feelings but I just don't feel like he meets these same needs for me.

Fast forward to today, he still somewhat has these problems but tries to remember to ask about myself and my life, but it still feels a bit strange and forced.

He admitted to worrying that these things sound forced (we were specifically talking about texting) and explained that he had to deal with his parents being so strict about things he says, particularly his sister who is on the autistic spectrum. I think even now at age 23, it's totally affected the way he communicates and he keeps everything sort of surface-level unless I initiate. His sister, however, makes for great conversation and has never asked me anything inappropriate, yet her parents will nip at her every word as if she is annoying me or them.

I was diagnosed on the autistic spectrum at 7 years old. Both his sister and I are high functioning. I recently told my boyfriend about it and he was understanding, didn't ask any questions regarding it, yet reassured me that he loves me the same. After explaining his situation about his parents being so strict and the pressure to say the right things, I brought up how I've been particularly annoyed by the way his parents treat his sister. I said something along the lines of "well, you know, I've dealt with some of the same issues she has and...you know"- just unconfident in what I had to say, sort of hoping he would catch on to this sensitive topic.

He says she's been difficult over the years and has said some inappropriate things before. He didn't really say much else. I stayed quiet since I was feeling on the verge of tears. I really feel for her and it seems like no one gives her credit for making strides in the way she socializes. And me as well....we've both come a long way. My boyfriend has no idea who I used to be.

I instantly felt disregarded in what I was trying to say, he turned the conversation on himself to explain his ways, and just doesn't care to learn how to read me or understand me. I'm getting so frustrated and I feel like bringing up our communication issues again would make him recoil back into his emotional shell- right where the parents want him. I don't know what to do at this point, especially because I'm afraid that I'm sharing too much of my feeling and making an issue out of nothing, or part of something that's not my business. I don't know how to pin point this issue for us to have a productive conversation Sad
 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Sat 10 Jul, 2021 05:42 pm
@nikkishields,
You feel what you feel. And you've obviously made tremendous strides. What if your boyfriend talked to your parents (or siblings if you have any)? And they can tell him - We are so proud of her progress.

Because I bet they are.

One thing I want to point out. Hints and beating around the bush often lead to misunderstandings. You can address at least some of this by saying things like, "It bothers me when ___." "When ___, I would rather you ___." "This means a lot to me because ___."

Don't mention his sister. This is for conversations about you and how you feel. Straighten that out first. One issue at a time.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jul, 2021 07:07 am
@nikkishields,
I agree. There are basic issues you need to work out with him before you enmesh yourself in their family dynamics.

Are you sure this is the best place for you to be? ( in this relationship with all its complications?)

What other relationships do you have where it’s affirming and supportive?
Cultivate those. Surround yourself with people who help you grow.
0 Replies
 
 

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