LOVE your advice! I’m gonna pre-order 6 books!
I am a 53 yr old widow of 2 years. I had a long successful marriage. Recently I have been seeing a 50 year old man- I’ll call him “W”- who’s had 2 short ,unhappy marriages and at least 2 short live-in relationships. We’re on the same wavelength as far as humor, sex, dancing, music, food, politics but there’s a confusing issue. When we have a disagreement he leaves. I have told him problems don’t get solved by running away. He wants us to see a counselor and I am not opposed to that but only want us to first try some things I think could help – like active listening. And actually talking through a disagreement.
We live an hour apart and have been spending most weekends at my house since March. I’m a retired teacher and he is a semi-retired contractor. Neither of us has adult children or money problems. We both agree that we want
our relationship to “work”. I have no doubts about my suitability for an attachment relationship. I can maintain interest, compassion, trust, and love and I am worthy of these emotional gifts from others. Not so sure W feels so worthy of love and connection. I do think he has an anxiety disorder and some form of hypochondria. Any thoughts ?
I’m so used to 22 year olds asking questions like this, it’s kinda nice to get one from someone your age. That being said, could you have used any other letter other than W? Now I can’t help but picture you dating George W. Bush, and as hilarious as that is, it’s not doing you any favors.
Also, I think your problem is adorable. You two sound like a lovely couple who happen to have different conflict styles. You’re collaborative. He’s avoidant. It’s a pretty simple fix if you go to counseling, so if that’s what he wants, I suggest you do it. It’s really a win-win for you, because the counselor is just gonna teach him active listening anyway, and I guarantee he’s more likely to use the skills if he thinks he learned them from a professional. Plus, if he’s got an anxiety disorder, you can bring that into the room and get him to start dealing with it.
(And thank you so much for pre-ordering a stack of my books. I really do appreciate it.)