Hey Madame: I Have A Problem Expressing Myself To My Fiancé
I have a problem expressing myself to my fiancé. He told me that if I don’t start expressing myself he will end our relationship. How can I make it easy on myself to do so? I really need help!
Veronica: Oh Lord! What a threat! Honestly, I don’t think he was right to put that type of pressure on you. Particularly when he presumably proposed knowing that you weren’t exactly an open book. Perhaps the threat was an idle one and he’s trying to let you know just how frustrated he is. Still, for someone who doesn’t like to talk, this type of ultimatum certainly won’t give you the comfort you need to bare your soul.
As far as opening up, I’m not a therapist but I think that first you should really try to figure out why you still don’t feel comfortable opening up to your fiancé. Is it something he’s done? Is it something someone from your past did that makes you hesitant to let him in? You need to figure it out. And when you do, you can start by telling him this is why you’re so guarded. And ask him to be patient. And it’s never a bad idea to speak to a therapist. I’m sure they could get to the root of your issues and maybe even provide some type of suggestions on how you might begin to communicate better.
Brande: I can relate to your struggle. I’ve never been great at expressing myself to people I care about (to my detriment), but it’s a necessity for establishing lasting healthy communication in your relationship. Figure out what makes it difficult for you to express yourself, i.e. is it a personal issue like fear of rejection that only you can work through, or do you hold things back because of how your partner has reacted to your expressions in the past?
If the former is the issue, let go of the baggage and recognize when you have a loving, accepting person in front of you who wants to know your thoughts and, just like you, needs to know how you feel about him and your relationship. If the latter is the issue, communicate to your partner that you need him to be more open and understanding when you express your feelings and that his doing so will help you be more comfortable opening up. Also, make sure you nip this issue in the bud before you walk down the aisle. It’s interesting your fiancé would propose while your expressiveness was still a problem in his eyes, but make sure you two don’t just gloss over this issue. It could cause much bigger problems in your marriage if it’s not handled now.
Victoria: This is a tough one because I feel like I need more details. Is his issue that you don’t express what’s bothering you when you’re upset and it causes problems and resentment down the line? Or are you just not good with conversation?
It’s definitely an important thing to be able to communicate whatever feelings or concerns you have because you all will be married. If there’s anybody you need to open up to, it would definitely be him. So you need to figure out what is holding you back. Maybe you could write your feelings out and share them with him that way if you’re really not comfortable sharing them face-to-face. But as an adult, you should try and push past that and trust that whatever you come to your partner with he will understand and work with you on. Otherwise, it might not be the best idea to get married. Certain issues should be worked out before walking down the aisle.
As for his threats, again, I would need more information about how this lack of communication has affected your relationship to be able to say whether or not he’s really trippin’, but if you love him, try to work together to improve your communication skills as a couple. Good luck!
Jazmine: I think it’s probably wise for the both of you to seek counseling immediately, perhaps both separately and as a couple if you can afford it. Your inability to open up is more than likely the symptom of a bigger issue. His threat to end your relationship when you’re clearly struggling with this may point to a deeper issue as well.
Have you always experienced difficulty expressing your feelings? Did something happen in your relationship that has caused you to shut down? It’s really tough to make an accurate assessment of the situation solely based on the information provided, but I truly believe that a therapist would be helpful in the sorting out of your issues. I do realize that not everyone can afford to see a therapist, but maybe a couple’s workshop will be beneficial. Also, local churches often offer premarital counseling for engaged couples.
Lauren: I find it odd your fiancé gave you an ultimatum after proposing to you. However, everyone has a different communication style and before you both say “I do,” it would be best to seek counseling. Counseling will allow you both to express your differences through workshops and foster a safer relationship without misunderstandings or anxiety. If that is not an option, research articles that can teach you how to speak confidently to your fiancé. I also think you should examine why you don’t feel comfortable expressing yourself to your fiancé — that will offer you the most clarity.