Thursday, November 09, 2006

the Story of BFNM - Part 8

BFNM was in New Hampshire arranging for having his furniture crated up and moved to storage when I had my frustration meltdown. Yet another phone call cut short most likely because he was on a short leash with DDG. The one thing I had noticed over the summer was that he seems always to have to report exactly where he was and what he was doing to DDG. We were talking about how his parent’s were doing and then next thing I know he tells me he has to go and take another call because it was important. Prior to him living with DDG, BFNM would have called me back and let me know everything was okay. There was no call back. I thought of calling but then I thought what if it really was nothing and I over reacted without basis. When we spoke the next morning and I inquired about his parents he said all was well but he also noticed, there was a different tone in my voice.

I needed to vent. I sent him an email and told him I needed to vent and that it was not going to be pretty. He said I could call but I knew I did not want to call because only email would get his full attention. The subject line of my vent email was “You let me down.” I outlined my frustrations with trying to get him to focus on the business opportunity. I explained my frustrations with trying to get him to focus on his financial planning that we had started to put together. I had sent him a card to cheer him up because he was struggling with the pressures of dealing with ensuring his parent’s are cared for properly. I sent the card to DDG’s house. He never acknowledged receiving the card. The lack of acknowledgement hurt. I told him so. I explained my frustrations about any conversations which were prefaced with “I don’t have much time” which translated to me “I don’t have any time for you, what do you want?”

My email was a wakeup call for both of us. He apologized for letting me down and told me he sure could use a good uninterrupted talk with me too. He called that night after the movers left; the only problem was he was inebriated. Once again, I was frustrated. I resorted to writing a letter. Writing, in general, is a great way for me to get all my feelings out and acknowledged. Sometimes when I “look” at what I “feel,” I can resolve the feelings on my own. This time I needed his input as to what was going on or whether I was overreacting.

Here is part of what I wrote:

I hear you when you tell me all that is going on in your life and all the additional responsibilities you have taken on. Frankly, we are at a point in our lives neither of us expected to be and neither of us needs the stress. Therefore, I am trying to come up with a solution so that I don’t feel hurt and you won’t feel “guilty” (if that is even what you feel) about cutting conversations off in mid-sentence with no explanation and no follow-up, starting conversations with I’ve got to make this quick or not answering the phone when I call. Yes, all those things will happen from time to time and there is absolutely no reason for hurt feelings. Sometimes, even I have quickly ended a conversation, not taken a call or just made a quick call for a single piece of information. Surely, I expect you to understand and I should have that same understanding. My concern though is these types of calls are becoming the norm rather than the exception and that is where I need your help in trying to understand what has changed. So what has changed? Is this just temporary? If it is permanent, what do you want to see happen? You know I am always open to suggestions. I want to know if you feel I am missing something or I am totally off the mark with my observations and feelings. I have always respected and appreciated your insight, opinions and feelings because you are important to me. I want your help.

You see when you have a relationship that developed spending a lot of face-to-face time together and that relationship changes to one where we have to relegate communication to email and phone calls things change. I am a visual person. I am good at reading people’s faces, noticing inflections and changes in voice tones and observing body language. BFNM and I had to figure out a way to now orally communicate those things that before we communicated through our facial expressions, body language and speech. He called again. This time he was sober. We talked for over 2 hours. I wasn’t overreacting but I also learned a lot of what was going on in Naples and most had to do with the bizarre DDG.


Swishy said...

That's such a nice email you sent to him! Very good and open and non-accustory.

Two Roads said...

He has taught me a thing or two about how to communicate with him.