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He chooses not to talk when have an argument. Feeling isolated?


Long-Distance Relationships Coping with geographical distance can make or break a LDR. Share your experiences and questions here.

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Old 1st February 2018, 4:04 PM   #1
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He chooses not to talk when have an argument. Feeling isolated?

My partner and I have been together for 1.5 years. We live a 2-hour flight away from each other. Things are generally good, but if we have a disagreement about something, his way of coping with it is by choosing not to talk. He will text but he will not talk.

This is not working for me because we see each other rarely as it is, and knowing I can’t reach out to him is making me feel isolated. Does anyone have advice on this? Many thanks
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Old 1st February 2018, 5:42 PM   #2
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Generally speaking, if a relationship is not working for you and you feel isolated, then you end it.

Getting more specific, how often do the two of you disagree? And how often do the disagreements disintegrate into arguments? What kind of topics do you fight over? Are those issues resolved to your mutual satisfaction?

You mention that you can't reach out to him when this is going on. How long does it take to settle a disagreement? Are we talking an hour or days?
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Old 1st February 2018, 7:57 PM   #3
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After a quick look back at your other posts, I understand that this guy also enjoys winding you up and jokes during sex (and does not respect your wishes when you ask him to stop). He's also not very affectionate which bothers you. You have different sleeping habits and he is not very respectful of your wishes not to spend all day laying in bed with him. And now, he's non-communicative and lacks conflict resolution skills.

I would like to ask, what do you stay with this guy? I can imagine that you don't see each other very often and that it gets expensive to go and see him... So, if you are not getting what you want from the relationship, why do you continue?

To be very honest, I obviously don't know him but he sounds quite immature with his behavior.
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Old 1st February 2018, 8:03 PM   #4
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My ex boyfriend and my husband have very different ways of handling disagreements or arguments or fighting. My ex-boyfriend shuts down and we don't talk for about week. My husband wants to talk it out until we're okay.

I've told my exboyfriend that when he does this, it feels like torture. Especially since nothing happens when we start talking. It felt like he was just sweeping the problems under a rug. But he never changed. Not even tried to. Because he was "set in his ways and this was how he handled his problems".

With my husband now, even if I get annoyed - I don't mind because I know he's not gonna give up until we're both okay. He likes to face our problems together.

I guess that's why I'm married to my husband and that guy is my ex.
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Old 2nd February 2018, 2:26 PM   #5
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My ex boyfriend and my husband have very different ways of handling disagreements or arguments or fighting. My ex-boyfriend shuts down and we don't talk for about week. My husband wants to talk it out until we're okay.

I've told my exboyfriend that when he does this, it feels like torture. Especially since nothing happens when we start talking. It felt like he was just sweeping the problems under a rug. But he never changed. Not even tried to. Because he was "set in his ways and this was how he handled his problems".

With my husband now, even if I get annoyed - I don't mind because I know he's not gonna give up until we're both okay. He likes to face our problems together.

I guess that's why I'm married to my husband and that guy is my ex.
Thank you for sharing this. It really does hurt when he shuts me off completely, which feels even more prominent because we are long distance. I only see him once a month as it is and when you really need to talk to someone but can’t it is so upsetting and isolating.

Last edited by babybrowns; 2nd February 2018 at 2:39 PM..
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Old 4th February 2018, 12:40 AM   #6
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if we have a disagreement about something, his way of coping with it is by choosing not to talk.
If you want apples and he wants bananas, the only way to make it work is by reaching a compromise. By agreeing to that, you'd already have an effort on his part.

The compromise would be to set up a time when he stops being by himself, like within 2 days, for instance. So you'll be patient for 2 days and he'll get back to you. That would make it possible for him to be left alone for a couple days and for you to be able to talk when he's back, and not be waiting forever, but having a deal that he will stick to. When he's back though, don't be too confrontational or accusing. If possible, use sentences like: when it happens that... I feel...

I hope this helps.
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Old 4th February 2018, 6:49 AM   #7
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Things are generally good, but if we have a disagreement about something, his way of coping with it is by choosing not to talk. He will text but he will not talk.
Your issue is not distance here, it is style of handling conflict. As someone who likes space after a conflict, I say give him space. He will come back to address the issues when he’s ready. Stalking him to force him to have a conflict is not going to make things better, only worse.
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Old 4th February 2018, 6:56 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by callmegm View Post
My ex boyfriend and my husband have very different ways of handling disagreements or arguments or fighting. My ex-boyfriend shuts down and we don't talk for about week. My husband wants to talk it out until we're okay.

I've told my exboyfriend that when he does this, it feels like torture. Especially since nothing happens when we start talking. It felt like he was just sweeping the problems under a rug. But he never changed. Not even tried to. Because he was "set in his ways and this was how he handled his problems".

With my husband now, even if I get annoyed - I don't mind because I know he's not gonna give up until we're both okay. He likes to face our problems together.

I guess that's why I'm married to my husband and that guy is my ex.
Interesting. Like yours, My ex bf shut down too, which is fine, but he’d not ever want to talk about it, even after taking a break. Not good, not healthy or sustainable. My exH, on the other hand, wanted to have conflicts and never shut down but he also didn’t care if I or “We” were okay, he only cared that he was okay and that he got his way and would keep forcing it until it went that way. Also not good or healthy or sustainable. I also don’t enjoy people who like to argue for sport or to entertain themselves. Go relieve your boredom some other way, not with me.
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Last edited by Popsicle; 4th February 2018 at 7:00 AM..
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Old 4th February 2018, 10:53 AM   #9
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When is the distance going to end? If there is no meaningful opportunity to bridge the gap what are you doing?

That said, how long does it take to go from texting back to talking after a disagreement & how does that transition usually happen? If it's within 48 hours, don't make such a big deal out of it. He's just trying not to start another fight. I have ended fights by saying I have to go for a walk or drive just to cool myself off. Not everybody can talk things through in the heat of the moment. I need to step away to deescalate.

If it's days or weeks, raise the issue calmly next time to see each other in person. Explain that the silent treatment is eroding your relationship, & it compounds the distance. See how he feels about it & ask him for a solution. If you can work through it together you may have something. It won't work if you try to cram change down his throat
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Old 7th February 2018, 6:28 PM   #10
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Some people handle conflicts by keeping quiet to avoid heated arguments and more issues. At least he still texts you which means he's still around. Give space and talk calmly about the issue when you feel the time is right. It's normal in LDR's to be that way, just talk things out calmly but if you feel the issue doesn't get resolved or if you're uncomfortable about him doing it all the time, then just end it.
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Old 7th February 2018, 7:51 PM   #11
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Don't expect it to get any better once you end up in the same town. He is likely to always be that way. Is that how you want to spend your life? Marriage requires communication, especially when things are rocky. So my feeling is don't choose this guy for a life partner.
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Old 11th February 2018, 8:13 PM   #12
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As a guy, I am one of those people that shuts down easily, that I recently found out it was developed in my childhood for having no choice but to listen and not respond to my parents. I can see the pattern and it is not easy to break.

For me it's really hard to talk during an argument, because I do not want to raise my voice and shout and potentionally do the same as my partner, so instead I cope with it by shutting down. It takes HOURS to get over it, but the problem is most people will want it resolved ASAP, which can be hard, especially if the quarrel isn't about something trivial like "who ate the last cookie?"

What works for me? Time and I mean a lot of time, like half a day or more. I understand it's hard if partners are living together and share the same space.

You could also try talking to him subtly about the communication, be mature and talk to him in a calm manner. Tell him you love him, care for him, hug him unless he's a prick and pushes you away. Yes it's hard to be collected, but just because he isn't speaking, doesn't mean he's not emotionally affected.

Hope this gave you some insight.
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Old 12th February 2018, 7:25 PM   #13
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Interesting. Like yours, My ex bf shut down too, which is fine, but he’d not ever want to talk about it, even after taking a break. Not good, not healthy or sustainable. My exH, on the other hand, wanted to have conflicts and never shut down but he also didn’t care if I or “We” were okay, he only cared that he was okay and that he got his way and would keep forcing it until it went that way. Also not good or healthy or sustainable. I also don’t enjoy people who like to argue for sport or to entertain themselves. Go relieve your boredom some other way, not with me.
With my ex, I tried his way for months and months, and we would always fight about the same thing and he would always handle it the same way - shutting me out. And it's funny too, because he wouldn't shut out his friends - just me. I became a weird sort of punching bag for whenever he had problems - weird because he chose not to talk to me - no matter the problem. Even if it had nothing to do with me.

It took a while for me to accept that this had nothing to do with me - but with him and his hangups with his own ex-wife and how she treated him.
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Old 16th February 2018, 2:38 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for your helpful comments. From now I have decided to try just giving him space whenever he asks for it; this seems to really work for him. However he did say that he will stop the ‘not picking up the calls when things get bad’, but he did it again and just said he “actually can’t” stop that habit. It is making me lose trust in him since he had stated that he would stop doing that, I didn’t ask him to he just said he would stop, which was a lie. I have no choice but to give him his space when things are bad.
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Old 16th February 2018, 5:29 PM   #15
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Your other choice is to break up instead of sentencing yourself to a lifetime of this nonsense.
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