Am I forcing this man to be with me?

Stressed lady

When it comes to communication in marriage, many things can become hindrances to effective communication. They include emotional outbursts and treating your partner with contempt.

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My boyfriend and I both have children from previous relationships. He keeps in touch with the mother of his 7-year-old child.

We’ve been dating for almost a year now. However, it feels as if I have been dating myself for that entire time, lol.

My boyfriend makes me feel so unwanted. I am always the one initiating conversation, especially on phone. If I don’t call or text him, he won’t reach out to me. When I text, he takes ages to respond.

One day, I decided to hack into his phone and check whether he was seeing someone else. To my surprise, I didn’t find anything fishy in his phone. When I ask him why he ignores me, he says it’s because he’s busy at work and is under a lot of pressure. It’s been seven days now since we last spoke. I don’t know what to do, please help.

In relationships, challenges are common. While some of these spring from differences in expectations and priorities, other challenges are brought about by the poor choices we make. Consequently, mistrust ends up directing the way we treat each other. What you are facing is a result of the choices the two of you have made to be unfaithful to your relationship.

It is apparent that both of you prefer to keep your former lovers as part of your current love journey. There is no way a healthy relationship can develop between the two of you while you still entertain lovers from the past. Your love, attention and commitment will certainly be divided.

When it comes to communication in marriage, many things can become hindrances to effective communication. First, emotional outbursts. Second, treating your partner with contempt. Third, using unbecoming language. Fourth, baggage from the past.

Although your man has a child from another relationship, he has failed to define and make open the circumstances that could make him talk to the former partner. What terms of engagement exist in their relationship that would warrant regular connections?

This is definitely unhealthy for your relationship and it will affect how the two of you relate. The way out is to make a choice on whether both of you need to end this relationship and rethink what you really want. If not, there is no way your current relationship will know peace.

From where I see things, communication in any relationship can be initiated by either partner. However, it is of concern when over long periods of relating, only one person seems to be on the aggressive path of communication. If one partner is much more the reserved type, being at the forefront of initiating a conversation may be a challenge.

Conducive environment

However, your relationship has more to gain when both partners put effort to improve the communication. Like any other thing, communication must be nurtured in a conducive environment. Hostile and intimidating environments can be difficult in initiating or sustaining a meaningful conversation.

As such, how we communicate and the environment in which such communication takes place is key. My question is whether his work environment, upbringing or current associations affects how he communicates with you. As it is now, his behaviour indicates that you are not on his priority list. 

Your confession of snooping through his phone but not finding anything suspicious further complicates the relationship. Do you trust him? Of course, his silence should be a concern but it may be a result of his busy schedule. However, many partners in a relationship have been known to hide behind their busy schedules with a plan that will deny their spouse the quality time they need.

What is the future of your relationship? And what should you do in the current circumstances? First, no healthy future for the relationship is guaranteed if the past baggage is left unsorted. Your former lovers and the child involved are all key elements that can adversely affect the thriving of a relationship if not well handled and disposed of.

Second, both of you must state what is important for you. Your current priorities must align with your desired plan. Third, understand clearly what sort of man you wish to date so as to avoid falling for men who make you feel worthless. This way, if you see qualities that don’t align with wants, the best thing is to move on.

Finally, the way partners manage their relationship speaks to the health and longevity of the relationship. Your vision and values play a big role here. Your relationship seems to lack values like trust, faithfulness, commitment and honour. Values helm a relationship into a space of safety—a space of mutual agreement and collaboration. What values do you and your man hold to be important and not negotiable? From where I see things, your relationship lacks the key values of a healthy and thriving relationship.

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