May 4, 2013 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
Hey how are you? So I go to a military college in VA and my girl goes to school in Boston. We met a year ago and got really close over the summer and got serious. We kept talking when we both went away to school and we grew closer and more serious and fell in love. So I went to visit her one weekend and it didn't go well. It was our first time together in two months and all I wanted to do was spend time with her and just show her my feelings because I wasn't able to because of our distance. Well she didn't really show me much affection back but had a good time with me.
When it came to our last night together she wanted to take me out to a big party. Well I got drunk and upset because I just wanted to spend time with her and give her all the affection in the world. So I got mad and texted my friend saying some nasty words and I was thinking about breaking up with her for a while and stuff like that. Well she read my text messages and got really upset. I hurt her and it is horrible because I do not know if she will be able to recover. It doesn't feel the same. Do you think it will go back to normal and what can I do so it does and how can I help her stop hurting. Thank you.
Back to Normal
I commend you for wanting to do what's needed to make-up with her. By the way, I just launched my new book Make-Up Don't Break Up http://www.drlove.com/make-up-dont-break-up! This is right up your alley. I suggest your downloading it right away. Not only will the book help you get out of the fix you're in now, it will show you how to avoid such a mistake in the future.
The biggest obstacle you have now is that I don't think she feels safe with you. To feel safe, she needs to know that you are going to handle your feelings in a more mature way in the future. That is, the next time you're feeling hurt, you need to have the courage to say what you feel and why instead of going to the angry place and acting on the anger. I realize that I am encouraging you to stretch and grow. Your acceptance of the need for you to do this is not only the way that you will give her the assurance that she's safe to try again with you and the assurance that you will not repeat this behavior in the future.
I know it's hard for you as a guy to talk about feelings. It's not how men are raised. But in order to have a good relationship, you need to learn how to do this.
If you look back on this fiasco, I think you can now see that the fight could have been avoided if feelings had been discussed from the start. The first thing you needed to discuss was your feeling hurt and brushed aside by her lack of affectionAffection is defined as fond attachment, devotion or love. Couples are most compatible when they are equally matched in terms of their needs for displays or expressions of affection. , her wish to attend a public gathering rather than spend time alone with you. You needed to explore what feelings she was expressing through her avoidant behavior.
That discussion would have headed off the argument.
I have great faith in you and your ability to learn how to become aware of what you feel and put those feelings into words.
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
-- John Gray,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
"This well-researched book offers a thorough, step-by-step program that provides tools for couples to heal even the most troubled relationships."
-- Dr. John Mack
Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“This book provides a down-to-earth, easy to apply, proven method for creating relationship harmony. This book should be mandatory reading for every couple that wants to head-off or resolve the inevitable relationship conflicts and build lasting love. Buy this book and put it to use!”
-- John Bradshaw,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Homecoming
"Dr. Turndorf is an amazing individual who has wonderful advice to offer men and women of all ages and in all types of relationships. Ignore her counsel at your peril!"
-- Bill Hammond III,
Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
"You are awesome Dr. Jamie. You really are. The best part about you is the way you translate complex psychological stuff into easy to understand and actionable insights."
-- Kajay Williams,
Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
"Let me tell you why you're extremely important now. I really believe your message is there. You're spot on. More and more people should be taking advantage of what you're offering."
-- Michael Dresser,
Syndicated Radio Host
"Good stuff. Great insight. I love your approach. Who doesn't need more healing. I love your idea of using your partner as a healing agent. That's such a great way to see your partner. You give great labels and patterns to look for. I love your method. You make it sound so easy. You have a great website with lots of great information and resources. These are the tools we all need."
-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show