The man I’ve been seeing does this when I want to talk about how we feel. I’m very open with how I feel about him but everytime I ask him how he feels about me or I tell him what I need to hear, he ignores me. This can go on for days and then, after I hound him for a response, he is mean and says I always nag and pick. He can’t tell me what I nag and pick about, he just ignores me some more. It does hurt and I do feel like he doesn’t care when he does that.
It sounds like this is a painful relationship for you. And it sounds like you’ve picked a guy that “has potential.” In other words, he has some good qualities and a lot of “rough edges.”
As women, we like to believe that love can change things … and that it can change men in particular. But once we become the pursuer, a man will usually always withdraw.
Our response? We pursue even more (i.e., “hound him for a response”).
What can you do about stonewalling?
- Clearly identify your feelings. This is self-reflective: Don’t share it with him yet.
- Your feelings are telling you that something is missing or wrong or wonderful. Identify your need. This is also self-reflective: Don’t share it with him yet.
- Once you are clear about your feelings and your needs, let him know. Make it simple.
Use this format:
“When you do _____, I feel _____. I’d really like it if you would _____.”
“When you were late picking me up last night, I felt unimportant to you. I’d really like it if you would give me a call when first realize you’re running late. I would understand, and I would feel like I was more important to you.”
- Then stop talking. Give him time to process what you’ve said.
- Accept his response. Yes or no.
- Even “no response” is a response. It means no; he’s not willing or able to honor your request. If that’s the case, it’s probably time to move on. You get to decide.
If you live in Southern California, I invite you to attend our free Seminar for Women: Turning “the frog” back into Your Prince.
You may also find my free e-course helpful: Why Won’t He Talk to Me?
Please remember that this information is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for a professional evaluation. If you are experiencing emotional distress, please contact a mental health professional.
I hope this has been helpful and wish you all the best.
Dr. Debi Smith