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can't talk to my partner and angry, need help
July 31, 2000
3:47 pm
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vf
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I'm a female in my late 20's. I need some advice on how to communiate better... I am in a lesbain relationship with my partner for 2 years now. Every time a dispute comes up, I automatically freeze up and don't know what to say. I am very fearful of confrontation and I don't know what to say when we argue. She takes my silence as a sign of I don't care, but actually it is just because I don't know what to say. I become so angry with myself because I feel like a child again being scolded by my father. My partner is not abusive or threatening, so I don't know why I have such a hard time expressing myself. Does anybody have the same problem?

Perhaps this stems from my childhood because my father was very mean and said degradating things to me. I was also involved in a relationship for 3 years with a very abusive partner, so perhaps this is what is wrong with me. I need some help, how do I get better!

July 31, 2000
7:03 pm
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Ash
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Being exposed to an abuse relationship, your self-esteem is diminished and that's to be expected. After two years with your current parent, you must realize that any form of abuse has/is not repeating. You should feel good about that. The fact that your with someone who cares about you and wants to be with you. Is this person aware of your previous relationship? If she's not, this might be a good place to start. Let your partner know how this made you feel, and what affect it's had on you. This could bring about a deeper understanding between the two of you and strengthen your relationship. Reading the first few lines of your post I thought perhaps you felt a bit intimidated by your partner - that she was quite dominate. Either way, you need to find the strength and courage to speak up (about anything) regardless of how meaningless or meaningful it is to anyone else. Otherwise, everything just builds up inside. It's a tremendous burden you'll have to live with, and trust me it's not worth it.

I'll leave you with this thought...what's the worst that can happen if you speak your mind?

Good Luck!

July 31, 2000
8:08 pm
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JCastle
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vf-
It can be very hard for a person to understand why his or her partner clams up, and it is often misinterpreted, as you mention seems to be happening in your case. Two simple steps you can take to improve your communication when you are in the middle of a conflict are:
1)After your partner has voiced an opinion, repeat what she has said, but in your own words. You can even say, "I'm not sure that I understood what you said. Do you mean ...?"That should help you to make sure you're taking what she said in the way she meant it but, perhaps in your case even more important, she will be able to confirm that you are paying attention to her.
2)Try, even though it may seem hard at first, to tell her at least a little bit about what you are feeling at that moment. Try these phrases for starters: "I feel..." "I think ...", "I want..." "I'd like..."
Let me know if you try this and if it was helpful.

August 1, 2000
9:20 am
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Cici
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My fiancee actually has this problem, mainly because his family isn't big on expressing any emotion. Eating dinner at their house is a somber affair, let me tell you.

It's been a very difficult issue for us because I express myself easily in arguments. Bitter, maybe (ha ha).

What helped most was what JCastle said. I take psychology classes, so I actually learned this in a textbook. The repeating thing is good, especially when you take the statement you repeated adn comment on how it made you feel after you reiterate what she said. But make sure to let her know about your strategy, otherwise she might get irritated and call you a parrot!

It's not a quick and easy solution. THe thing that helped most for my fiancee and I (we still have a lot of problems in this area...it's a process, I keep telling myself) was that we talked about the issue when we weren't angry. At night, before we went to bed, or on a weekend morning. We sat down and just talked about how we respond in arguments and how our responses were either effective of ineffective in alleviating the strain of the situation.

Wehen everything is out in the open, it's easier to design strategies and make agreements on how to handle things.

August 1, 2000
12:24 pm
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Brenda L Santos Hernanadez
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Durante estos dias me he sentido un poco mal pase por una depresion que casi pense morirme actualmente aus sufro dolores de cuerpo, he gastado en medicos y todos dicen que estoy bien tengo tanto miedo y estoy cansada de sentirme enferma.

August 2, 2000
10:11 am
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vf
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Thank you everybody for the great suggestions. I will really take the info to heart. I only hope that I am not too late to salvage my relationship because my partner is becoming very bitter with me.

For example, we just had a confrontation yesterday and all she asks of me is to be sympathetic with her and understand what she is coming from. Instead, I become defensive (this is what I do everytime instead of listening)and we argue even more.

I can sense her frustration with me and it is only getting worse. The change has been slow and hard for me. She says the 2 years should be enough time for me to understand her needs, but I have failed to listen, not because I don't care but because I don't know how to.

I have finally taken steps to help myself: I am going to start counseling next week and try to deal with all my stuff inside. I'm really scared because I don't want to face anything, but I know it will be the best because I don't have an outlet when I become upset. I can't talk to my mother because we don't have that type of relationship and I don't have any friends who will just listen to me.

So once again, thank you for your thoughts, you have been my only outlet to express my thoughts, you have all been very understanding of my situaiton!

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