I need your help!! I’ve been contemplating breaking up with my boyfriend of four years and found the answer which shows that I’m at fault.In your archives you have a letter from 7-7-98 from Heartbroken but Still in Love. I’m exactly like his girlfriend!!!!How do I change to save this relationship? We’re best friends but lately I haven’t felt connected to him–I’ve felt very neglected. I have an incredibly hard time talking to him.My mother has always dealt with anger by ignoring the person she’s mad at. Unfortunately I inherited this trait, and I’m super sensitive so talking about strong feelings makes me extremely uncomfortable. I almost always feel better after I talk, but getting thru it is rather painful.Do you have any suggestions for me?? I desperately need your help. Confused in Ann Arbor
It is very brave of you to admit your issue. That’s the first step to fixing it!What you are struggling with is what we call a status quo resistance. That is, you have a hard time breaking with the familiar. What’s familiar for you is to behave as your mother does when she’s angry–to ignore the other person.So, naturally, forcing yourself to speak is extremely difficult. I can only tell you that any new behavior becomes easier the more you practice it.What you are going through now is similar to what happens to the body when you start an exercise regime. You are actually feeling stiff and uncomfortable, and this is exactly how you are supposed to feel. Soon your psychological muscles won’t feel so stiff.So, keep talking. You have no choice if you want to keep this relationship, or any relationship for that matter. I commend your courage to hang in there.