When My Fiancé Gets Mad He Shuts Down. I Feel Stuck.
He won't talk. Nothing's getting resolved.
I need relationship help asap. I’m engaged to my son's father. When he gets mad, he shuts down and won’t talk. He never expresses his feelings twice. He’s gotten so mad he says he doesn’t want to be with me anymore then when he calms down he apologizes... This happened once yesterday and over a year ago was the first time. He said everything was fine and he wants to fix us (like he said before), but he’s been short all day and I feel stuck.
Do you believe that men are from Mars, and women are from Venus? Women tend to speak up and speak more of their feelings during an argument, whereas men can be the total opposite. Frustrating already? It doesn't have to be. There are many similarities still between the two sexes. After all, we are all human. When humans get mad, we often say things we don't mean. So take a #deepbreath. This might not be quite as disastrous as you think, but the only way to get unstuck in your situation is through effective communication.
What You Can Do
Explore the reason(s) why he shuts down. Between my husband and I, I definitely have the bigger mouth in our relationship. He doesn't necessarily shut down when we #argue, but it could get to a point where it's all me talking and he's just there, quiet, sitting crossed-armed, staring into space. I would then get annoyed that he's not adding to any of my comments, while he would counter back with his favorite one-liner, "because you don't listen to what I have to say anyway." This is only one possible scenario, but a very real one. #Activelistening is beneficial but hard to do during a heated argument. That's why it's so important to go back and talk about it when both parties are calm. Making up isn't truly made up until the actual underlining issues that started the fight in the first place are resolved. To go back, the point isn't to dwell on the fight itself or to place blame — what he said, what you said — but to learn about each other's weaknesses and #flaws, and to learn to use that information to improve on your relationship.
Open him up. It is possible you may need to jump through a few hoops before finding out the real issue. For one, he might not be that good at expressing his emotions in words, and two, his old ways of doing things will hold him back. But that's all okay. Given time and patience, he will let you in, for you are the one single most important thing in his life (he did ask you to marry him, don't forget). Of course, this will only work if you are serious about finding out more about him, and, in the condition that you tell him you are here to #understand. Remember you have a goal — a better, healthier relationship with your future husband. You may wonder why you need to take the first step. Certainly, I'm only assuring you are a better communicator between the two of you, but the main reason is, someone's got to start somewhere. When it comes to what he's really thinking, without the initial asking and hoping, you can only rely on your own #interpretation. And believe it or not, nine times out of ten, you guesses are wrong.
"It takes two to build a relationship. Let him know you are open to compromise and that he should be as well."
Ask him what he thinks is going wrong in your #relationship, hence what he wants to "fix". When you do open him up, it's time to address each issue directly. This does not mean to just blindly obey his every request. After all, it takes two to build a relationship. Let him know you are open to compromise and that he should be as well. With time you will develop your #naturalbalance of give and take. In the case that he's a pessimistic perfectionist, he might actually get depressed when one thing (even if it's just a tiny little thing) isn't going according to his plan. It could even be the argument itself. He could very well think a good relationship shouldn't have fights at all. The key here is not to change him, but to ease him into understanding others have had dumb fights too. Others have all made up. That's just what couples do. There's no one perfect relationship, but it's perfect enough to have found each other.
So, don't despair, Jessa. It's actually good timing to start wanting more in your relationship. I mean, you guys are engaged (congrats by the way)! Some people could spend ten years with the same person and never even come close to that. All you need is to approach him with an #openmind. Not sure when and how to start? How about cooking him his favorite meal tonight? Like the old saying: the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. That should get him talking, don't you think? Have faith!
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Julie Y. Barris
Founder | Chief Editor | Advice Guru of Moody Melon Magazine
I am an author, artist, entrepreneur, and a graphic designer with a unique vision to contribute to the world one idea at a time. Besides creating and inventing things, I’m also fascinated by the human mind. I enjoy helping others help themselves by giving them advice on family and relationship matters.