How do I get my boyfriend to make decisions taking my feelings into account? (he often does not...
which leaves me upset and then he refuses to discuss it with me further.) I'm at my wits end.
Good luck on that one. Men are not tuned to Feelings the way women are. That's why it is easier for men to fight, kill, butcher, and rough it to survive. Women are the caring and nurturing ones. God made us that way for survival reasons.
This is not to say that men can't be considerate and emotional, because they can. Some of us have an easier time than others. Some people learned to be self-centered and less considerate of others, some were just born that way.
I have an exwife who was diagnosed as a sociopath. To meet her, you may think she is just an average person, but live or work with her a while, then you find out that she is 90% self-centered. Her needs and wishes come front and center, and it's only afterwards when negative things happens that she shows any concern for other people. Sociapathic behavior is a personality makeup that drives self-interest with little or no concern for others in society, including personal relationships. She can't be fixed. Your boyfriend may have the same problem
If you can't get change by talking about this, you may suggest counseling. After that, maybe goodbye is in order. If he is anything like my ex, you'll go nuts living with him. You should be with a man who respects you and your feelings. If he doesn't, and he is unwilling to seek counseling, I don't see a future. Better to cut it loose sooner than later. No use wasting time.
Best of luck.
Are you being clear about your feelings? Guys don't usually pick up subtle signals. Women have a tendency to imply what they want or hint. Just flat out say what you want.
Clarity is key.
But if you are being clear and aren't asking him to bend over backwards (such as never speaking to his old friends because you say so) then if he won't discuss it, then your choices are leave him or live with it.
You won't change him.
So many of us have driven ourselves to "Wits End" that the population there would be overwhelming if we decided to stay. Fortunately, most of us find the landscape of that location to be so uninspiring that we drive on and feel better by not looking back. Swiftkicks, I imagine that you know all of this already, but it's human nature to look for an easy answer to a hard problem. But, you are out there on that road ,calling for help, and I'm not in a hurry, so I'm stopping to offer up some free advice. (Small print disclaimer - you usually get what you pay for).
First, you're not lost. You know how you got to the place that you are. You can turn around and get back the same way you came. Credit Steely Dan for putting it to music, and "Go back Jack, and do it again, wheels turning round and round". Don't overlook the fact that therein lies a mighty tool. Rather than steeping in hurt feelings, you can be busy doing something else. Forget going back to try to rehash it. You are the one feeling upset. He is in control, so why would he risk that advantage by negotiating. (silly girl!)
Second, ( Sorry guys, but, you can say the same of us. Just remember that we are tuned to hear what you say about us like you're tuned to hear the pop of a cold beer, or the game starting, for example.) Own up to the fact that this is your dog. If you rewarded his bad behavior, you promoted the bad habit. It's up to you to slowly and gently retrain him. Reward good behavior. Don't over-react to bad behavior. Dogs learn best when learning is fun and rewarding. They don't want to be around someone that's angry or upset. See where I'm going with this?
No matter how you look at it, you are not going to say some magic words and change him. Your investment to not being at wits end works like leash-work. Nobody gets drug around when it's done right. And, if you choose to leash yourself to a breed that isn't predisposed to suit your needs, be glad that he's a man. Your Yorkie still needs you even when you've quit trying to get him to pull your sled. (And he'll be fine if he has to share you with your new Malamute.)
You are asking how to force someone to think differently.
Perhaps a more helpful answer would be to answer, not what you asked, but to understand where you are and try to offer some advice that you did NOT ask for.
You have a boyfriend, a presumably emotional attachment to someone you're not married to. This person acts without considering you or what you think, and does so in ways that impact you emotionally. Perhaps even ways that severely disrupt your day or emotional well being. Is this correct?
First, perhaps you need to understand that men do NOT tune in to women's emotional hints. They are not particularly empathetic by nature. There's no problem until it's brought up, specifically, addressed by solving it and then moving on. This is extremely emotionally unsatisfying to women, who want men to pay attention to their emotional state, and react accordingly. Except they don't see it that way. The most "caring" man in the world may be utterly blind to your emotional state, even though he cares for you enough to jump in front of a moving train to shove you out of the way, sacrificing his life to save yours. That ( dedication, caring, valuing you ) does NOT enable empathy, so that he intuitively knows what you want or recognize when he does things you can't or don't want.
You need to have a heart to heart discussion with him, and speak language HE understands. Like, "why did you do x, when you knew it hurt my feelings?" And then listen. If he berates you for being stupid about your feelings, then send him packing. If he is taken back and shocked, then you need to learn to communicate TO HIM in language he understands, on how to be in a relationship with you.
See, when you say: "You always go out with your friends and leave me alone" you're probably meaning that when he goes out with his friends, he didn't talk to you about it and make sure you were ok with each instance, making sure he didn't make plans that overrode plans you had for you and him and he didn't even ask you.
However, to him, the statement is angering and annoying, because it's untrue. He DOES go out with you and do things with you, so the statement is untrue AND you also have no right to tell him he can never go anywhere or do anything with anyone else. THAT IS HOW HE WILL SEE IT. He takes your complaint literally, you're just describing your emotional state.
Both of you must learn to speak to each other, to be understood.
I had a boyfriend who did that once. Somehow he always made it seem as if I was being unreasonable. Took me years to realize that he was the one with the problem. Of course there are times and situations where he needs to make decisions for himself, but if he never considers your feelings, and refuses to discuss anything with you, I would move on. Good luck.
By putting him in a class on human relationships.
Many people just don't know what to do or how to do it! They need lessons!
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