Sometimes in relationships a nagging feeling can come over you where you start to realize that you may be driving your partner away. He seems more distant and less engaged. The period of time between when the two of you last were sexually intimate is growing larger and larger. He seems to withhold his feelings and is almost anxious and careful about everything he says. You try talking to him, but you find yourself getting frustrated and angry during the conversations. If this describes somewhat your relationship what you’re likely facing is a situation where your partner may be questioning his future with you.
It is almost certain that your partner feels intimidated by you and doesn’t feel that he can openly communicate without you becoming angry. So he’s begun to withdraw himself and is simply trying to tell you things in a way that is least likely to upset you. The reduction in being sexually active is due to his not feeling safe being vulnerable when he is around you. Make no mistake your relationship is at stake if changes are not made.
First, you need to think back and be very honest with yourself. Have you found yourself raising your voice to yell and shout when talking to your partner? Has this been happening on a regular basis? While it’s normal for everyone to become frustrated from time-to-time, and occasionally yell, if it’s happening on a daily or weekly basis it is not healthy. By that point, it’s mentally and emotionally abusive and your partner on some level is afraid of you. However, the solution is not for him to completely capitulate and do whatever you tell him to do because that will leave him unhappy and feeling you have no respect for him as an individual and as your partner. What needs to happen is you need to do your best to avoid becoming angry or frustrated while talking to him so he will feel that you are genuinely listening to him and what he has to say. Ask yourself what it is that he’s saying that is making you angry and frustrated, and try to think of a calm and reasoned response that you can say back to him.
What the two of you are failing to do is effectively communicate with each other in a healthy way. Going to a relationship counsellor or talking to a psychologist or psychiatrist may be very useful in giving you new tools and techniques that you can utilize for communicating with your partner.
The second thing you need to ask yourself is if the reason you’ve been growing angry and frustrated is not so much because of what your partner has been saying, but more due to the fact that you’ve been having doubts about the relationship. Your anger and frustration may be a sign that you feel you’ve outgrown the relationship and that it’s time to move on. Figuring this out will involve a lot of soul searching, but if this is the case the sooner you realize it the better, as you’ll be able to take action and move on from the relationship.
As well, you need to consider if the reason for your frustration with the relationship is really due to your feelings over it not moving forward. Perhaps you’re angry because your partner is dragging his feet on becoming engaged or getting married. If so you have to calmly tell him as yelling at him will just make him more reluctant to do so. There is nothing the matter with telling him that you want to get married or have children, but it can’t be done through anger. If afterwards he still won’t commit to moving your relationship forward it is probably best you consider ending it as it’s a clear sign the two of you want different things.
There are also occasions where regular comments that you think of as humorous your partner feels are degrading and hurtful. So be observant and if you’ve been making fun of your partner about something that happened and then they seem more distant afterwards you likely are driving him away as he’s come to feel you don’t respect him. No one likes to be belittled or the constant butt of jokes so try to be sensitive of that.
Sexually intimacy in the relationship will only return when your partner feels safe and secure. So there will need to be a great deal of patient and time expended before you’ll return to where you are back to being sexually active with each other. Seeing a sex therapist may help, but really a relationship counsellor will be more effective since the issues rest on the emotional level.
No one is perfect, but regular anger and verbal abuse have no place in a romantic relationship. So be aware and make the changes necessary so you and your partner can have a healthy and happy relationship.