“For a while, I thought everything was great! He doesn’t express himself, though. In a card, he writes “love,” but he has never said it. He never e-mails me and asks how I am, or says he can’t wait to see me.
I am starting to think this is not a complete relationship for me. If I am always wondering why he doesn’t just call to say I love you, or e-mail because he misses me, then maybe he doesn’t have those feelings for me.
He did tell me that nobody in his family showed much emotion, and his first wife used to complain about the lack of expression.
Please help me …”
I suggest you talk to your friend and explain what you have explained to me. Ask if he has “those feelings.”
What is lacking may point to what he’s not giving, but it also points to what you are not giving. That may seem hard to believe, BUT what you think is missing is the expression of his feelings. Are you expressing your feelings to him? Or are you mostly wondering, worrying, analyzing and investigating?
If you are openly expressing your feelings — of concern and love — it may be time to bow out. When you are doing what’s healthy, you don’t want to remain in an unhealthy or one-sided relationship.
If you are not expressing your feelings, express them and give him a chance to reciprocate. If he doesn’t want to reciprocate, you can move on … but at least you have learned to express yourself first.
Then you are less apt to hit the same obstacle in your next relationship … and if you do, it won’t trigger the same negative emotion! We can walk away from somebody else’s stuff, but we cannot walk away from ours. We take it with us wherever we go, so it is best to deal with it — usually out loud.
While we can’t walk away from our issues, we can dislike them so much that we repress them. And when we see in others what we refuse to see in ourselves, what Carl Jung called our shadow, we disdain it in them as well.
“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves,” said Jung. “But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune”.
And what’s out of tune is not just the other guy!
When we are not getting what we want in a relationship, we can blame the other guy. We can look at why he or she is not delivering what we want. We can even try to understand.
Nonetheless, we are still stuck — unless we are willing to dump some of what’s missing into the relationship.
That is more difficult than wondering or blaming. We would rather examine somebody else’s issue than our own, albeit, it may be ours that we are projecting.
We can’t really hide from the truth, though. What’s lacking in our relationship is what we are not giving.
Put it to the test!