After five years of living together, my partner told me he loves me, but he doesn’t want to be with me anymore. He moved out six weeks ago. I love him, but no matter how hard I try to convince him to work things out, he doesn’t want to get back together. How can my partner leave me if he still loves me?
In English there’s only one word for love, yet that one word is used to express many different types of love. For instance, there’s I love you like a sister, a friend, a cousin, or a fellow human being. There’s infatuation love, puppy love and unconditional love. In your partner’s case, you said it yourself, it’s a case of “I love you, but I don’t want to be with you anymore.” Love covers a wide range of feelings and some of those feelings aren’t strong enough to sustain a lasting relationship. When one person “falls out of love” with their partner, it’s usually because the infatuation phase has ended and there’s not enough compatibility for the relationship to continue. As I’ve said before, love alone is not enough to make a relationship work. A romantic relationship must have compatibility and chemistry, in addition to love, to be fulfilling.
As much as you want to reunite with your partner, it takes two willing people to keep a relationship afloat. You’ve tried to convince your partner to reconcile, and that’s all you can do. The rest is out of your hands. You don’t have control of your partner’s feelings, but you do have control of your actions. For now, demonstrate self-love by pampering yourself during this difficult break-up. Likewise, show your partner unconditional love by letting him go and wishing him happiness whether he comes back to you or not.
Recently I got a promotion at work and now I’m making more money than my husband. He’s very confident, so it never occurred to me that he’d be the kind of guy to feel threatened by a financially successful wife. Apparently, he’s threatened. Lately he’s been making snide remarks, rather than openly admitting to his frustrations, and it’s driving a wedge between us. How can I address this issue without further bruising his ego?
Open the lines of communication between you and your husband by addressing his behavior, and give him the opportunity to tell you why he’s upset. For instance, you can say, “I’ve noticed that you’ve made several remarks about my promotion and I’m wondering if you’d like to talk about it.” Your husband may be upset about your promotion or it may be something else entirely. Even if you have a hunch about what’s bothering him, it’s best never to assume you know what’s wrong. Ask open-ended questions to allow your husband to supply the answer, and occasionally, he may surprise you. Whether he’s waiting for you to break the ice or he’s the type of guy who needs time to gather his thoughts, you need a discussion to break the tension in the air.
If your promotion is creating friction between you and your husband, you both need time and communication to adjust to this new dynamic. Rather than feeling defensive, approach your husband with compassion and patience and you’ll both transition through this period of change more smoothly.
How can I tell when no means no? I had an argument with the woman I’m dating and now she won’t return my calls. It’s been two weeks since I’ve heard from her. I don’t know if it’s over or if she’s taking time to cool off. How can I tell the difference?
Signed, Shut Out
Dear Shut Out,
Only time will tell, but I’d say it’s not looking good. If you were a woman pursuing a man, I’d tell you that it’s definitely over. However, some women still believe in playing hard to get. If you’ve bombarded this woman with calls and texts and she still hasn’t responded, it’s time to call it quits. The ball is in her court and you don’t want to become a stalker. However, if you’ve only left a couple of messages, you could wait a week and then give her one last call. If you don’t hear a response after that, it’s time to throw in the towel.
Rachel Iverson is a freelance writer, dating coach and author, who lives with her husband in Venice Beach. Her book, “Don’t Help A Man Be A Man: How To Avoid 12 Dating Time Bombs,” has been endorsed by Dr. John Gray, author of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” For more information on Rachel or her book, visit: http://www.rebelgirlpublishing.com.
For dating advice, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.