5 Reasons Why Men Go Silent in Relationships and How to Get Them to Talk

5 Reasons Why Men Go Silent in Relationships and How to Get Them to Talk

Photo by Alex Green

When your husband or boyfriend becomes quiet all of a sudden, it can be very unsettling. Having a man distance himself this way, often sends women into a bit of a spiral of self-doubt and panic.

“What’s going on?”, “Is he hiding something from me?”, “Why is he being this way out all of a sudden?”

What makes this situation worse is when you confront men about their silence, then often only brush it off as nothing and continue brooding…

First off, you’re right to be worrying about this!

Something is up with him. What’s more, this kind of silence is frequently a precursor to a breakup or even divorce.

Men can act in the strangest of ways, and they sabotage relationships too!

Going quiet or resorting to silent treatment is one of the most common ways of how they do it.

In this blog post, I will explain this male behavior and outline the five biggest reasons why and when men go silent. They’ll help you understand how to approach your boyfriend or husband in a way that will get him to talk.

1. Men Go Quiet When They Are Stressed or Overwhelmed

The by far most common reason why men go silent in relationships is: because they are stressed or overwhelmed by their job or school. This kind of silence can also be related to family emergencies, injuries, or other external problems.

Some people process their issues by rambling about them, while others go quiet and try to recover on their own.

This is particularly common if your boyfriend or husband is an introvert. Rather than talk to you about what’s going on for him, his first reaction to stress is going to be going silent and trying to lose himself in gaming, binge-watching series etc.

When this happens, women often panic and become more anxious or even needy. This in turn only makes their husbands or boyfriends even more stressed or overwhelmed, so much so, they might ask for a relationship break because of it.

2. Guys Go Silent When They’re Struggling With a Big Issue

This reason is a slightly more serious variation of the previous one. All of us go through some major changes in life and can start doubting our relationships as a result of it.

Quite a few coaching clients of ours come to us with this problem. Their partners became silent for no apparent reason, only to then find out that they were actually questioning all their life choices, were in a life crisis, were unsure of their sexuality or suddenly became unsure about wanting commitment.

The reason for your partner’s silence in this case could be that this particular issue seems so vulnerable or insurmountable, they don’t even dare start talking about it.

Or they themselves might not even be aware of what’s truly going on.

When this is the case, it might take some digging before you can find out why exactly your boyfriend or husband went silent all of a sudden.

Keep in mind, this kind of reaction could also be a sign that you’re loving someone with avoidant attachment.

3. Men Can Give You Silent Treatment When They’re Hurt

This is the first out of the five reasons why men go silent that actually is directly related to you and your relationship.

Silent treatment is definitely not the healthiest of responses to feeling hurt, nevertheless, it’s extremely common.

Both men and women do it, especially in the context of romantic relationships.

Admitting that something you said or did hurt him might feel too risky or too vulnerable. It’s much easier for a man to just hold a silent grudge and hope that you get the hint.

Especially if he believes it’s all your fault and thinks that he does nothing wrong.

4. Guys Go Silent When They Feel Dismissed

This reason often goes hand in hand with any of the previous ones. Sometimes men try to communicate things, but they end up feeling like their attempts fall on deaf ears.

This might happen when you react defensively or ignore what he says. Or when what he is saying is just too vague, or when he just shuts down way too easily.

Either way, when your boyfriend or husband tries to tell you something, but it doesn’t land the way he wanted, he might end up feeling dismissed.

He might then be too discouraged to try again and will go quite simply because he feels like he is out of options.

This kind of reaction is particularly common for shy or emotionally unavailable men. It’s one of the reasons why it’s so hard to get them to open up.

5. Men Get Quiet in Relationships When They Don’t Know How to Communicate Their Needs

Last but not least, another common reason why men become quiet in relationships is because they have never learned how to communicate.

Talking about feelings and emotions is often a taboo, even more so for guys than it is for women. You might feel like your boyfriend or husband is becoming distant or giving you silent treatment, when in reality he is simply struggling with talking about where he is at and what’s going on.

Bunkering in and brooding is the only way he knows how to process his emotions.

So he is not shutting you out on purpose but simply because to him, that’s all there is.

He is used to being alone with his problems and accepts it as an inevitability.

In these situations, when a man goes silent, it is his loudest cry. It’s the only way he can communicate to you that something is up and that he needs your help.

Should You Give Him Space When He Goes Quiet

I know that for a lot of you guys, your first reaction to a man going silent in a relationship is to give him space. You hope that distancing yourself from him will be enough to get things to return to normal.

This can be a good approach when the reasons for his silence are not too severe or constant.

For example, if your boyfriend and husband is stressed with a work project and goes quiet because of it, you can just wait it out. Once the worst blows over, or the project ends, he will return to normal on his own.

Things become more difficult if the source of his silence is a long term problem.

Like a job that’s just constantly stressing him out, family issues that are not going away or a life crisis, a personality crisis, etc.

When your boyfriend or husband is struggling with something more severe, giving him space might only lead to him becoming even more quiet and distant.

How to Get a Silent Man to Talk

The key to getting a brooding man to talk is to make the conversation about him and not about yourself. Telling him how YOU feel and what YOU need will most likely only make him shut down further.

Making room for where HE is at and what HE needs, on the other hand, will get him talking to you in no time.

This is how you can support him in whatever he is going through and get him to open up to you again. It’s also how you can speed up his recovery so that your relationship can return to normal sooner.

If you’re looking for more step-by-step guide on how to make this happen, it’s something we cover in detail in our online course: Rebuild Your Relationship

Here, we will give you phrases you can use to help your boyfriend and husband feel heard and understood. It’s the only way to get past his silence and get him to finally be more open and trusting again.

Click here to Check out Rebuild Your Relationship

And if you’re looking for more tips on this topic, be sure to check out my other post: How to Communicate With a Man Who Won’t Communicate

Thank you for reading!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them down below, and I’ll get back to you.

Karolina

 

How to Communicate With a Man Who Won’t Communicate

How to Communicate With a Man Who Won’t Communicate

Photo by Jonathan Yakubu

How do you communicate with a man who won’t communicate?

If you find yourself in this very situation, then chances are you can already sense him becoming more distant and shutting down emotionally, and you wish he would have just told you what is going on.

If only he just openly said what is not working for him, you could already start fixing it!

But no, your boyfriend or husband seems to endlessly resist all your efforts and continues to stay silent, even though you know that something IS bothering him.

Communicating with a man who won’t communicate is no easy feat, but it can be done. In this blog post, I will share tips on how to approach your significant other so that you can get past his defensive walls and get him to open up to you again.

But before going into what to do, I want to first outline what’s making him act this way.

3 Most Common Reasons Why a Man Won’t Communicate

Understanding why your boyfriend or husband doesn’t want to talk will help you approach him the right way. Because, even though it might seem like he is just being defensive or difficult, it’s never quite so simple.

In his head, he likely has good reasons for shutting you out and distancing himself.

Some of them might have to do with you and your relationship, while others are the result of his past experiences and his upbringing.

1. He Is Holding a Grudge

One of the most common reasons why someone doesn’t want to talk is that they are holding a grudge about something.

For example, you might have said something judgmental about his gaming habits or didn’t appreciate something he did. But rather than straight-up say what is bothering him, he is trying to communicate his upsetness by giving you the silent treatment.

Similarly, his silence might also be a defensive reaction when you tell him how you feel.

Unfortunately, this kind of childish behavior is far more common in relationships than we’re all willing to admit. Even though it might be his direct reaction to something you said or did, there is also another, deeper underlying reason for him to be so quick to shut you out and distance himself:

2. He Never Learned How to Communicate

Everybody picks up habits from their parents, and it’s only a recent awareness that lack of communication has a negative impact on relationships.

It wasn’t the case in the past…

Your boyfriend or husband might not have had the healthiest of role models when it comes to communicating when growing up. He might have picked up some bad, self-defeating habits that are now keeping him isolated and making him shut down emotionally.

So the reason he doesn’t talk is: on one hand, he might not know how and when to say things in a way that will make him feel heard.

And on the other hand, he also likely doesn’t know how to respond to you communicating things to him and feels threatened easily.

3. He Says Things That Are Hurtful to Hear

Sometimes it might seem like a man won’t communicate, when in reality he is in fact saying things the whole time. It’s just that the things he is communicating can be very hurtful or scary, so much you literally can’t hear them.

There are things a husband should never say to his wife. But no relationship is perfect. We all bring up difficult topics now and then.

For example, he might be telling you about his relationship doubts or making unreasonable demands. These kinds of things might be so outrageous or scary, it’s hard to take them seriously. So they just kind of slip your mind.

When this happens to you, it might seem that your boyfriend or husband isn’t communicating, when in fact he is. It’s just that he is saying things you can’t or don’t want to hear.

How Do You Deal With a Significant Other Who Doesn’t Communicate

Communication is always a problem in relationships, and in most cases couples struggle with all three of the above-mentioned reasons.

A man who doesn’t want to talk is likely holding a grudge. But at the same time, he is probably also stuck in self-defeating patterns he picked up in his past. Only to make matters worse, he likely tried communicating certain things to you, but you just couldn’t hear him out.

Getting through to him will feel like navigating a maze with lots of booby traps. But it can be done. To illustrate how to do it, I want to share a story with you guys.

One of our coaching clients – Jessica – found herself in a relationship rut.

Her boyfriend just started a new job and shortly after started becoming increasingly distant. No matter what she tried, he remained grumpy, fought her on everything and spent all his free time gaming.

When she reached out to us, she was on the verge of a breakup. She just couldn’t take it anymore.

It took two things for her to turn it all around:

Doing Something He Wants or Likes Will Get His Guard Down

Dealing with a man who doesn’t communicate will require a huge dose of patience.

You will have to give in and come his way, at least to some degree.

In Jessica’s case, her boyfriend refused to do anything else than gaming. The moment he stopped working, all he wanted to do was shoot virtual enemies all night long.

She was really irritated with it, but then she realized that gaming was his only way to relieve stress from his job.

Instead of taking his inactivity as a personal rejection, she saw that he is struggling with something and that this is his way of coping with it.

One evening she sat next to him, started watching his game and browsing her phone. Initially he was suspicious and felt judged, but she told him she is just tired but doesn’t want to be all by herself.

She kept on observing what he was doing and made a few genuinely nice comments about his gaming skills.

This was enough to win him over.

Eventually, he asked if she was hungry. They ended up making food together and started TALKING. This was actually a huge win, because they haven’t had a conversation this long in months!

In order to communicate with a man who won’t communicate, you will likely need to start by winning him over similarly. Doing something he likes or wants might be the ONLY way to get his guard down.

Set Boundaries to Get Him to Take You Seriously and Prevent Him From Using You

The second component of getting through to a man who is bad at communicating is setting boundaries with him. This is often the only way to get him to take you seriously and keep his own bad habits in check.

In Jessica’s case, her boyfriend and her lived together, and he was just expecting her to do all the housework.

Much like him, she had a full time job and wanted him to help out, at least a bit.

She told him she needs him to start putting his own dirty dishes away.

Initially, he rebelled and they both let everything pile out on the kitchen counter. But after a few days of not having any clean plates, he finally backed down and learned the lesson.

He started taking her requests more seriously and actually made an effort to come her way too.

Putting your foot down and making a guy feel the consequences of his choices is often what it takes to get him to take you seriously. Even if he initially only stubbornly rebels and remains distant, someone who truly cares about you will eventually get your point and come around.

How to Communicate With a Man Who Won’t Communicate

In order to communicate with a man who won’t communicate, you will have to apply both of the above-mentioned approaches:

1. Get him to drop his guard down by caving in and giving him what he wants

2. Setting boundaries to get him to take you seriously

You will likely need to do both those things over and over again. This is how you start rebuilding your connection and gradually improve communication in your relationship.

Fixing this problem is going to be a long term process. But it’s all about getting things to start moving in the right direction.

If you’re looking for a complete step-by-step guide on how to get through to a man, this is something we teach in our online course: Rebuild Your Relationship

Here we will give you the exact phrases you can use, to get him to listen and take you seriously.

We will also teach you how to approach a man to motivate him to make more effort and give you more of what you want in your relationship.

If you’re looking for further tips on how to break through communication blocks in a relationship, check out my other post: Defensive Listening in Relationships | How to Deal With It

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you.

Karolina

Is He Using Me? 7 Warning Signs to Watch Out For

Is He Using Me? 7 Warning Signs to Watch Out For

Photo by Molnár Bálint

How do you know when a guy is using you? Giving and taking is a normal part of any relationship. And it doesn’t always need to be equal.

There are always times when one of you is struggling and needs more help than the other. There are also things you might be better at providing than he is.

And vice versa, he can likely give you other things that come easier to him.

However, if you’re questioning if a guy is using you, then chances are that the scales of giving and taking fell out of balance for you in your relationship lately.

Maybe he has been dragging his feet and making you do all the work. Or he made you feel like he just doesn’t care if you’re even there or not.

Realizing that you’re being used by a man is always tough.

In this blog post, I’ll help you know for sure what’s going on. I will list seven warning signs to watch out for, and then give you tips on what to do when a guy is just using you.

1. He Is Very Inconsistent

One of the biggest signs that a man is using you is when his behavior towards you is extremely inconsistent.

He fluctuates between needing space and not responding, and being sweet, charming, showering you with compliments or even gifts.

This is a tough one to notice, because you have no reason not to trust him, and he likely comes up with some good excuses and then softens you with his charm.

I want to share a story with you guys about this sign. This is something that happened to a coaching client of ours.

She was dating a guy who would straight up vanish. He would ask for space and stop responding, only to come back a few dates later, acting in the sweetest of ways and showering her with compliments.

This kept on happening until she found out he had a drinking problem. But once she confronted him about it, he just left for good.

It is normal for men to ask for space. Ironically, it’s him making it up to you by being EXTRA NICE that you want to watch out for.

When a guy’s behavior towards you is so inconsistent, it’s because he is hiding something. He is not being honest with you and is consequently using you either only emotionally, but possibly also pragmatically (for money, stability etc.).

2. He Only Makes an Effort When He Needs Something From You

Another big warning sign that a man might be manipulating you and using you is when he only makes an effort shortly before asking for things.

It can be something as trivial as him needing to use your car or asking you to take care of his kid or pet on the weekend.

But he can also use you emotionally this way. A sign of this is when a guy is only nice and attentive when he needs you to build him up, reassure him or comfort him.

It’s perfectly normal to exchange these kinds of favors in a healthy relationship.

But if his moments of need are the ONLY times when he gives you his attention and makes an effort for you, then he is not serious and doesn’t really care about you.

3. There Is a Double Standard in Your Relationship

Another common sign that a man is using you is when there is a serious double standard in your relationship. This means that he can get away with doing the exact same things he then blames you for.

For example: he might flirt with other women and stay in touch with all of his exes. While, when he finds out you had lunch with a male coworker, he flips out and accuses you of hiding things from him.

This can also happen in purely emotional context.

Another example of this kind of double standard would be that it’s ok for a guy to be depressed and spend countless hours gaming.

But when you’re feeling down and, e.g., stop putting effort into your appearance, he will make snipe remarks and tell you to get it together.

Double standards are not only utterly unfair. They’re also a sign of immaturity and a lack of self awareness. Even if he genuinely believes, he does nothing wrong, a guy who does this to you will continue using you as long as you let him.

4. He Doesn’t Keep His Promises

Another warning sign that a man might be using you is when he keeps on breaking his promises. Again, it’s normal to forget something now and then or to overestimate yourself and then back out of things last minute.

It can happen once or twice, but this needs to be the exception and not the rule in your relationship.

No matter how justified his excuses might seem to you, if the man you’re dating doesn’t keep his word, he is not serious about you.

If he truly loved you, he would make an effort and prove it to you.

5. He Is Playing Power Games

Another common but often overlooked sign that a man is using you is that he keeps on playing power games with you. This one is so hard to spot because most of us are blind to this kind of tricks.

To shed some light on this topic, here are a few examples of power games men play:

  • Sending one word replies
  • Taking forever to get back to you
  • Leaving you on ‘read’ for hours and then suddenly writing you back
  • Being hot and cold
  • Making jokes at your expense
  • Intentionally leaving you hanging in conversations

These are just a few examples, but there is really much more to it. In the pickup communities, some men actively learn how to manipulate women this way. This is one of the things players do, to get you to fall for them and chase them.

But in the context of a relationship, power games mean that he is going to actively seek to establish control over you in subtle, seemingly playful ways.

A lot of guys who do this doesn’t actually realize it. They’re just insecure and this is their defense mechanism.

A man who plays power games with you might be using you.

But he might also be seeking to maintain a kind of control and power over you because he doesn’t want anyone else to have you.

6. He Is Quick to Blame You When Something Doesn’t Suit Him

A man who is using you will do everything in his power to take as much as he can while only putting in the bare minimum effort.

This is why another warning sign to watch out for is when he is quick to blame you when you’re needing something from him.

One way this could play out is: you’re feeling neglected and want him to pay attention to you. But the moment you express it, he will accuse you of being needy or controlling.

The thing to look out for here is when he dismisses you or blames you for expressing your needs.

Don’t get me wrong, we all have our triggers.

All men get defensive when you tell them how you feel SOMETIMES. But again, when this is the rule and not an exception in your relationship, watch out, because he might be using you!

7. You Have to Chase Him for Everything

Last but not least, a guy who is using you will make you chase him for almost everything.

He will do so by remaining unattainable, but continuously giving you a sense of hope at the same time.

This how he will try to get out of having any sense of responsibility in the relationship, while ensuring that you don’t give up on him and move on.

So you will have to chase him to, say, give you an answer about his weekend plans. Because, on one hand, he hinted that he missed you, but he also didn’t give you a definitive answer when you asked if he will come over or not.

Another classic area where guys can use women this way is when it comes to commitment. He will hint at it, but never actually explicitly state that he wants to be together.

If this happens to you, watch out because it’s possible that he likes you, but doesn’t want a relationship with you.

How to Know if a Guy Is Using You or Likes You

Knowing if a guy is just using you or if he actually likes you is often easier said than done. So don’t beat yourself up about missing the signs and letting him get away with it.

The truth is, we all use each other in relationships to a greater or lesser degree.

As long as the exchange seems fair, that he is using you just as much as you’re using him, you don’t need to worry about it too much. You can both work on fixing this together!

However, if two or more of the above-mentioned signs fit your case, and you’ve been drained and are tired of begging for attention in your relationship, consider that it’s time to do something about it.

Because he most likely is using you.

However, if you confront him about it, and he does genuinely like you, he will make an effort to correct his behavior!

What Do You Do When a Guy Is Just Using You

When a guy is using you, the only way to test how he truly feels about you is to stand up to him and start setting boundaries.

If he has been unintentionally acting this way, he might still rebel initially. But eventually, he will be willing to accept that the rules have changed.

He will step up his game and make things work.

But if you standing up to him only makes him more distant and unavailable, then there isn’t much you can do about it.

It takes two to build a happy relationship, and if he isn’t willing to play his part, you can’t force him to do so.

Maybe he just isn’t mature enough to give you what you need and deserve.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide on how to stand up for yourself and set boundaries with a man, this is something we cover in our online course Rebuild Your Relationship.

Here we teach women why it can be so difficult to stand your ground and how to overcome it.

We also give you tips on what to say and do to make it clear to him that you won’t let him use you anymore.

Click here to Check out Rebuild Your Relationship

A lot of our clients who struggle with men using them have a hard time putting their guard up and taking things slow in a relationship. If this is you, check out my other post: “Why Do I Get Attached So Easily?” – Learn to Guard Your Heart

Thank you for reading, if you’re still unsure if he is using you or not, leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you.

Karolina

10 Confusing Signs He Doesn’t Want Anyone Else to Have You

10 Confusing Signs He Doesn’t Want Anyone Else to Have You

Photo by Helmy Zairy

Dating a man who doesn’t want anyone else to have you but won’t admit it, can be very confusing.

One day, you can be over the moon about something he said or did. Only to have him tear it all down, as though he didn’t care about you at all!

I have experienced this kind of emotional roller coaster myself. My then boyfriend and now husband used to be an avoidant who struggled with commitment issues.

Because of that, he would bombard me with mixed messages that were impossible to decipher at the time.

On one hand, it seemed like he was very much in love with me. But then he would pull away or say things like “You’re better off without me.”, which made me worry that he wasn’t really attached and would eventually leave.

A guy who doesn’t want anyone else to have you will give you just the right amount of encouragement to make sure that you continue chasing him.

But at the same time, he will remain doubtful and undecided as long as you let him!

In this blog post, I’ll help you recognize the signs that you might be stuck in this very situation. I’ll then give you tips on what to do to motivate him to finally make up his mind and openly commit.

1. He Makes an Effort to Impress You

One of the most obvious signs that a man doesn’t want anyone else to have you is when he keeps on trying to impress you over and over again.

He might do so by taking you out to fancy or expensive places. By cooking elaborate dishes, showing off his skills or strength etc. The possibilities are endless.

What makes this sign confusing is that he might be playing it cool while doing this.

Some guys will say that it’s nothing, they do it every time, or that it’s not a big deal.

But don’t let him fool you.

He is trying to impress you so that you view him as the best possible catch because deep down he is attached and this is his way of making sure he can dominate all potential competition.

2. He Comes Back After Pulling Away

It’s not uncommon for guys to distance themselves or ask for space when you’re dating them or even in a relationship.

There are many reasons why men pull away. But, regardless of why he might be acting this way, observing the patterns in his behavior alone, can tell you a lot about whether he is actually emotionally attached or not.

The biggest sign that a man doesn’t want anyone else to have you is when he consistently keeps on coming back after pulling away.

He is comfortable with distance, but only as long as he can be sure that he is in control of the situation.

In reality, he is emotionally attached and wants to keep you in his life.

So when he senses that the connection might be beginning to fade, he will come back to rekindle the flame between you and make sure that you remain hooked.

3. He Is Kind and Considerate

There is nothing more confusing than a guy doing something incredibly considerate and caring and then claiming that it’s no big deal, and he would do it for anyone.

This might include him taking care of you when you’re sick, getting you groceries, helping out at the house, being there for you emotionally, being supportive etc.

Make no mistake, it’s not that you’re not special to him…

He is playing things down because he is having a hard time admitting (even to himself) that he is slowly falling for you.

When a guy is considerate or caring towards you, it’s a definite sign that he doesn’t want anyone else to have you.

4. He Opens up to You

A guy who opens up to you and lets himself be vulnerable around you will inevitably end up getting attached.

Him opening up is a sign that he trusts you more now. Because of this, he most certainly doesn’t want anyone else to have you, even if he claims otherwise and keeps on stalling commitment.

This is particularly common when you’re dating an avoidant. They’re the type to open up emotionally but play distant and refuse to chase you, no matter what.

5. He Answers Fast

Another easy to spot sign that a guy genuinely cares about you and wants to keep you all to himself, is when he answers your texts almost right away.

What’s more, him doing it most likely means he has been waiting for you to reach out.

Quite a few of our female coaching clients struggle with initiating contact. So if you’ve never tested this, now might be the time to do it.

It is perfectly normal for a girl to text a guy first!

And a man who responds right away definitely has a crush on you and doesn’t want anyone else to have you!

6. He Initiates Contact at Least as Much as You Do

This is a similar point to my previous one. When a guy matches or exceeds your efforts at initiating contact, it’s a sign he is genuinely interested and enjoys interacting with you.

We are all territorial and jealous, no matter what we claim. It’s just human nature.

So, just based on his interest alone, you can be sure that he doesn’t want anyone else to have you.

7. He Wards off Any Serious Competition

A common confusing move some guys like to pull is being all nonchalant about commitment, but then acting territorial when other guys are around.

They might tag along with you to parties or ‘accidentally’ bump into you there.

Only to make things more confusing, they’ll then get chatty and become best buds with your other male friends.

When this happens, make no mistake. It’s not a coincidence.

A guy does this to scope out all the competition and communicate to them that you are taken.

It’s not just a sign, but pretty much proof that he doesn’t want anyone else to have you.

8. He Isn’t Seeing Other People

Another common confusing situation so many of our coaching clients end up in is when a guy refuses to be in a relationship with you, but he isn’t seeing anyone else.

This kind of “unofficial” commitment is a sign you might be loving someone with an avoidant attachment style.

He is too doubtful or afraid to commit, but hopes that you’ll read between the lines and follow suit.

He likely will not dare to admit this, but deep down he is very much attached and doesn’t want anyone else to have you.

9. He Is Affectionate or Intimate With You

Surprisingly, some guys will have an easier time expressing their love for you through affection or intimacy, than with words.

They’ll be gentle, slow, playful, and vulnerable while kissing you or even in bed.

When a guy lets himself go there with you, it’s a sign he is opening himself up to you on a deeper level.

Even if he is hesitant with commitment, he is most certainly attached and doesn’t want anyone else to have you.

Yes, a man can sleep with a woman without developing feelings, but you’re not going to experience much intimacy or affection when this is the case.

10. He Says You’d Be Better off With Somebody Else

Last but not least, the most confusing of all the signs that a guy doesn’t want anyone else to have you is when he says that you’d be better off with somebody else.

Other variations of this are: “You’re better off without me.”, “You deserve better.” etc.

I know this might seem completely counterintuitive, but nobody EVER says something like this and actually means it.

He is just being emotional.

A guy who says something like this is so afraid of being abandoned, he is speaking his biggest fears out loud in the hopes that it’ll make them less painful or scary.

What he wants you to respond to this, is: “But I don’t want anyone else, I want YOU.”

He is basically indirectly asking you for reassurance that you care about him and won’t give up on him, even when he is struggling, being difficult or needs a relationship break.

I know for you, it might be heartbreaking to hear him say something like this, but you have to see through him and read between the lines.

Guys sabotage relationships too!

How to Get Him to Show You That He Actually Cares

In order to feel safe and secure in your relationship, you require much more than just signs that he doesn’t want anyone else to have you.

You likely need him to SHOW you that he cares, is emotionally attached and wants to be exclusive.

There are two things you can do to make this happen.

On one hand, you can call his bluff by distancing yourself a little, acting as detached as he does etc.

You pulling away this way will give him a reason to need commitment.

But you have to be careful with this approach. Pushing him away and distance doesn’t always work. It can sometimes even do more damage than good.

This is where the second strategy comes into play.

Another way to get a guy to show you that he is emotionally attached is to make room for him to express his fear and doubts.

Let him talk about why he is hesitant and what he is hesitant about.

If you’re struggling with getting a guy to openly commit to you, I can support you with that in a coaching call.

Here, I’d carefully listen and help you make sense of all the confusing signs he might be bombarding you with.

I’ll also help you decide which of the above-mentioned approaches fits your situation better and give you tips on how to implement it.

Click Here to Check Out Our Coaching Calls

I hope you now know how to tell when a guy doesn’t want anyone else to have you. To find more tips on how to get a guy to show you that he cares, check out my husband’s post: 4 Steps to Make Him Worry About Losing You

Thank you for reading! If you’re unsure about any of the signs, leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you.

Karolina

How to Stop Overthinking in Your Relationship

How to Stop Overthinking in Your Relationship

Photo by Joanna Nix

Do you ever find your mind turning in circles?

Like you’re a car on a racetrack, trying to get to the finish line as fast as possible? So that you can finally figure out what the hell is going on?

I would personally do a lot of this in my relationships.

And it burnt me out!

I’d start worrying about something and then one thing would lead to the next… I’d start finding more reasons to get anxious. Which only made me more worried, and so on and so forth.

In order to stop overthinking there are a couple of things that need to happen.

I’d like to take you through the steps so that you can gain a better understanding of what’s happening.

And how you can stop OVERTHINKING and start enjoying your relationship instead.

But before going any further into figuring out how to stop it, I want to first give you a few examples of what I’m talking about. So that you can know for sure when it happens.

Signs of Overthinking in a Relationship

Here are typical signs of overthinking in a relationship:

  • Feeling very insecure in the relationship
  • Worrying that your partner will suddenly change their mind
  • Having a hard time with giving space and boundaries
  • Worrying that your partner doesn’t care about you
  • Doubting if you’re really compatible
  • Feeling anxious and afraid of being abandoned 
  • Never feeling safe 
  • Never being sure of anything

The first step in overcoming overthinking is noticing and recognizing it when it happens. So keep the above-mentioned signs in mind, notice when those kinds of feelings come up in high intensity.

When they do, just try to relax. You can even try to self soothe anxious attachment. Overthinking is a dangerous trap that might only make all your fears come true for no good reason. This brings me to my next point.

Why Do People Overthink So Much in Their Relationships

The next step in overcoming this tricky problem is to understand your reasons for feeling this way.

I used to ask myself: “Why do I overthink so much in my relationship?”

The answer I would come up with is that I was just trying to find A SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM in my relationship. Or alternatively, I was looking for an ANSWER to a doubt of mine.  

It would start with something about me or my partner’s behavior.

Like: “Does he really care?”, “Is he pulling away because he changed his mind about us?”, “Are we good for each other”, “Are we meant to be together?” etc.

But the thoughts in my head would only turn in circles or even escalate, and I rarely ever came to any clear and final conclusions.

Overthinking only made all our relationship problems seem scarier and more overwhelming.

It would become an endless cycle of fear and doubt that lead me to acting clingy and needy.

I struggled with giving him space. It made me hesitant to let go, because I worried that if I did, my then boyfriend and now husband would pull away forever.

To make matters worse, this behavior of mine made him only need MORE space. That then fuelled my anxiety and made me even more anxious and clingy.

And that brings me to the real truth about OVERTHINKING.

It has nothing to do with “THINKING” and everything to do with DOUBT, FEAR and sometimes PANIC.

It’s often a result of having being abandoned in the past. Or of being ignored and left to fend for yourself.

Life is messy. Nobody in the whole world had a perfect childhood. We’ve all had our share of bad relationship experiences too. 

Much like a veteran can panic at the sound of fireworks. Even a small sign of relationship trouble or distance can trigger you to start overthinking. 

A toxic behavior is damaging to others. Verbal, physical or emotional abuse means that one of the partners is harming the other. 

But when it comes to overthinking, most of the damage is actually done to yourself.

This is why overthinking isn’t really toxic. However, it can sabotage your relationship for good.

It leads to a vicious cycle that will make the things you worry about eventually come true. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy that destroys trust and connection.

How to Stop Overthinking Your Relationship Anxiety

What really helped me snap out of overthinking was to stop focusing on the THOUGHTS in my head, and start focusing on my FEELINGS instead.

You can get so lost in all the what ifs and doubts. But when you check in with yourself and ask yourself, WHAT AM I FEELING?

This approach can actually lead you to finding some answers!

Understanding the real motives behind overthinking can help you break out of the vicious cycle of stubborn thoughts and doubts.

This is the next step in overcoming this problem.

1. Figuring out Your Feelings Will Help You Gain Control

Now that you know that overthinking is a sign that something about your relationship is worrying you, you can now ask yourself:

“What is it that I’m so worried about?”

These are some of my fears that caused me to overthink:

  • Being afraid of getting trapped in an unhappy relationship
  • Worrying that Gabriel doesn’t really love me and might leave
  • Fear of repeating my parents’ mistakes in relationships

Diverting your attention AWAY from your thoughts and putting it on your FEELINGS will help you gain control over the situation.

You’ll be able to draw conclusions and take actions to counteract your fears.

For example:

Realising that I was really afraid of repeating my parents’ mistakes immediately made me think of ways of making sure that never happens:

My parents argued A LOT and were often verbally abusive with each other.

The way for me to avoid having this problem was to focus on learning effective communication in my relationship.

Everybody has different fears about their relationship.

You’ll focus on yourself here and your own perception of things. Plus, taking responsibility for your own fears and needs, rather than blaming them on your partner, is the only way of how you can get through to them.

Not to say that they’re not to blame for this at all. Anxious attachment is often triggered by your significant other’s carelessness or distance

Nonetheless, getting in touch with your feelings will help you understand your fears and figure out how to communicate them in a way that will have the highest of chances of being heard and taken seriously.

2. Put a Stop to Overthinking by Feeling Understood

The by far the best way to stop overthinking is to feel UNDERSTOOD!

Unfortunately, it’s really difficult to fully deal with this problem all on your own. You’ll likely end up turning in circles and never feeling at peace.

Another very real danger is that your partner might get defensive when you tell them how you feel.

In order to avoid that, you might need to focus on yourself. Try talking about you and not let them make it about themselves. It can be a tricky outcome to achieve, but it is doable. 

You might end up needing to set boundaries or insist that they hear you out. Once you’ve gotten them there, they listened, and you feel heard, put a stop to overthinking by asking for reassurance

Even it things don’t work out perfectly, just the simple act of having to formulate your own thoughts and saying them out loud can put you at ease.

Moreover, having to deal with fears and doubts all by yourself often makes them stronger.

Sharing your worries with another person can take away their power.

Gabriel and I share all our fears and doubts with each other.

We go on really long walks and have lengthy conversations where we discuss all our scary thoughts.

Being able to share the doubts and worries about your relationship directly with your partner is the best.

They can counter your fears and reassure you about them.

We didn’t use to be able to do that. There was a time in our relationship when we couldn’t talk without arguing.

But we worked on our communication and figured out ways to really hear each other out.

Putting your fears and doubts out there and having someone receive them will make you feel less alone and overwhelmed.

It can also be helpful and reassuring to gain an outsider’s perspective of your problems.

Overthinking in relationships can be a big problem.

It can make you doubt EVERYTHING and cause you a lot of emotional distress.

In case you feel hesitant about sharing your worries and doubts with your boyfriend or husband, or need help with getting him to actually listen, check out our Rebuild Your Relationship Course.

In it, we give you clear outlines and steps to untangle- and make sense of, the often disorienting rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions. You’ll then learn how to convey them in a confident and clear way, so that you feel truly understood and can finally put all the over-thinking to rest.

If you’re interested in learning more, click here to check out Rebuild Your Relationship.

I hope you found this article helpful.

If you’d like to, check out our Best Relationship Affirmations for Love and Connection to build more confidence and overthink less. 

And please leave your questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you!

Karolina

Published on Jan 31, 2020; Updated Oct 6, 2022

Contempt in Relationships – How to Get Past It

Contempt in Relationships – How to Get Past It

Photo by Timur Weber

Contempt in relationships can lead to a lot of pain. Being on the receiving end of it is bound to eat away at your confidence and shut you down.

And when you’re the one who can’t keep your own contemptuous behaviors in check, they’ll only end up making you feel isolated and like you can never have what you want.

But, even though contempt in relationships is such a serious issue, it can be incredibly hard to spot.

We’ve been all conditioned to ignore mean comments and ‘just let them go’.

People also have a tendency to minimize their own damaging behaviors and play down their negative influence on others.

Life and relationships are messy.

We all have our own shortcomings and make mistakes. That’s how we then end up hurting the ones closest to us, without ever intending to do so.

In this blog post, I will shed some light on this difficult topic. I’ll describe how to spot contempt in relationships and what causes it.

I’ll also give you tips on how to get past it and actually fix it for good.

What Is Contemptuous Behavior and How to Spot It (With Examples)

Contempt in relationships can be so hard to spot because the person resorting to it will paint you out as the one who is exaggerating, being unreasonable or can’t take a joke.

Nonetheless, you can recognize it by checking in with yourself.

Contemptuous behavior is seeking to actively dismiss, minimize or mock your partner.

It’s not uncommon for people to get defensive when confronted with their partner’s feelings.

However, contempt is more like counter attacking than just being defensive.

How to Spot Contempt in Relationships When You’re on the Receiving End of It

If you tried communicating something to your partner, and they shot you down in a way that made you rejected and dismissed, it’s a sign their reaction was one of contempt.

Here is an example of this:

“Why are you brining this up again? You’re so needy and difficult. All you ever think of is yourself!”

Defensive listening is actually a common relationship problem. In fact, most couples struggle with it to a lesser or greater degree.

But the main difference between defensiveness and contempt is that the latter feels far more hurtful and is very damaging.

It can also come as a direct attack from your partner:

When they try communicating something to you but do it in a way that makes you feel broken, inferior or defeated, then most likely you’ve been experiencing contempt in your relationship.

Examples:

“I asked you for this ONE thing. Is it really that difficult to once do what I asked for?”

Or

“You never have sex with me. Do you want me to go and find somebody else who will?”

How to Spot Contempt in Relationships When You’re the One Doing It

When you’re on the giving end of contempt, there are a few common triggers for it.

One type of situations that might make you react in this damaging way is:

When something your partner said to you seems so outrageous or threatening, it makes you lash out to quickly shut them down.

When this happens, then chances are you’ve been responding in a contemptuous way.

Examples:

“You need me to be more affectionate? Are you like a five-year-old looking for a mommy to give him a kiss and a pat on the back? Grow up!”

“I can’t take all your complaints! You’re so high maintenance! Nothing is ever good enough for you!”

Another common trigger for contempt is when you’re needing something from your partner, but feel offended that you have to even ask for it.

You might think they should have given it to you already, and have a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that they didn’t.

Example:

“Do I really need to repeat myself for a millionth time? You really just don’t care about me at all, do you?”

The thing is, even if you are tired of begging for attention in your relationship, there are better ways of going about communicating it…

What Does It Mean When You Feel Contempt for Your Partner

Contempt in relationships is a difficult topic to face. It’s hard enough to spot it when you’re on the receiving end of it. But seeing and admitting that you might be the one doing it, is even tougher.

This is why I want to make one thing clear:

We all have issues and shortcomings. Nobody has a perfect track record. We’re also all quick to judge and dismiss others sometimes.

However, in order to be able to get past it, both of you need to realize that acting contemptuous towards someone, it has more to do with YOU than it does with THEM.

When you feel contempt for your partner, it means that you’ve been on the receiving end of this kind of treatment earlier in your life.

Contempt is nothing more than an ineffective and damaging way of communicating your needs and feelings.

(It might even lead to a complete lack of communication in your relationship.)

The thing is, being contemptuous is not a character trait that people are born with. They pick it up somewhere…

What Causes Contempt in a Relationship

Some relationship experts will tell you that contempt is a sign of unresolved relationship problems. That things might have been rough for a while now, and you’ve simply had enough.

You’re unhappy and this is why you’re lashing out.

The thing is, no relationship is perfect. All couples fight from time to time and have difficulties.

But not all of them struggle with contempt.

If you’re the one who is on the receiving end of this damaging behavior, it’s important that you know: it’s not your fault.

This situation has more to do with your partner’s personal baggage, than it does with your relationship.

And if you’re the one who feels contempt towards your partner, keep in mind that blaming them will not get you anywhere.

If you want to finally feel loved and appreciated, you need to try to take responsibility and take a critical look at your own past.

Because we do tend to treat our loved ones the same way we’ve been treated.

What causes feelings of contempt in a relationship is having had our own needs and feelings mocked, dismissed or rejected in this painful way by somebody else beforehand.

It’s simply not ok to EVER treat anybody this way.

Contemptuous behaviors are utterly ineffective at getting you what you want, and they’re never justified.

How to Get Past Contempt in a Relationship

Fixing contempt in a relationship has to be a team effort. Both of you will need to cooperate to make it happen.

The partner who is on the receiving end of it needs to learn to respond to it in a way that will keep their significant other in check.

The best way to do that is to point it out when it happens and set boundaries.

At the same time, the person who is feeling contemptuous has to be willing to work on fixing it and try to cooperate.

Make an effort to notice and catch it before things escalate, and do everything in their power to avoid inflicting more damage.

Getting past contempt in a relationship takes two, but one of you can jumpstart it. It often takes standing up to someone, to get them to see and work on an issue they’ve been unaware of.

If you’re struggling with contempt in your relationship, I can support you with getting past it in a one-on-one coaching call.

SimplyTogether Coaching Calls

Here, I’ll listen to your struggles, validate your side and build you up. So that you can find back to feeling more confident and can stand your ground.

I’ll also give you tips on how to approach your partner to get them to keep their contempt in check.

Click Here to Check Out Coaching

Regardless if you’re on the giving or receiving end of contempt in a relationship, there is one more fundamental principle that can help you get past it:

You need to Stop Expecting YOU in People

This is how you can see your partner for who they truly are, and start working withing the scope of their own personal limitations.

Thank you for reading! Hope you now know how to cope with contempt in relationships.

If you have any questions, leave me a comment down below, and I’ll get back to you!

Karolina