I’m amazed at the number of accomplished, assertive, confident midlife women who confide in me a problem with the their dating relationship. The common sense solution is to talk to their guy about it.
However, many of these women seem squeamish at this prospect. When I ask why, they respond, “I’m afraid of losing him.”
I point out that if a man stops seeing you because you speak up about something that isn’t working or is bothersome to you, he shouldn’t be in your life anyway. As long as you share your concern in a straightforward, non-judgmental, non-angry way, if he jumps ship he doesn’t have the emotional stability or the interest in you to warrant a relationship with you.
The fear comes if you feel he is “perfect” for you and you don’t want to jeopardize it. However, when you realize that perfect needs to include “willing to talk things through” or “ability to work things out,” and he bails, he isn’t perfect.
And maybe he is willing to work it out but you haven’t given him the opportunity because of your fear. That isn’t fair to either of you.
So if you find yourself withholding issues that can’t be ignored, you need to examine your trust in your man’s ability to hear your concerns and discuss them maturely and rationally. But by not sharing, you are preventing you both from creating an even better relationship, and short shifting his capacity to maturely discuss issues.
You may also fear that he will get upset, getting defensive, angry or withdrawing. If you have done your best to communicate maturely and he responds this way, best to know it now as he doesn’t have the skills for a long-term relationship.
You can alleviate some of the tenseness by admitting your concern: “I have something I need to discuss with you but I’m not sure how you’ll react. I want to share openly and honestly and for us to have a mature discussion.” Then if he reacts otherwise you have all the information you need to move this man out of your life.