Re: Husband needing insight from a female perspective.
In terms of what we like to talk about, it all depends on the person. Personally, I'll talk to my boyfriend about anything. Politics, current events, TV shows we watch together or even ones we watch separately, music, movies, the kids, the bills, our future together, our plans together and separate, what we're going to do this weekend, next weekend, next month, family, so much more. We can talk about anything and everything, and I know that even if I know nothing about a particular topic, he'll know enough to teach me, and my questions regarding it will keep the conversation going. We tend to occasionally have discussions about how to improve our relationship, but not so much lately, since our relationship has gotten better and more stable again.
In becoming emotionally connected, that's a two person job. It's communication, sharing, and making yourself vulnerable. It's also acknowledging that the other person is making themselves vulnerable to you and showing them that they are safe in doing so. So, what I'm saying here is that even though she says she wants to be closer that way, if she's not doing anything to make it happen, it won't. You both have to be doing that.
When she wants to go for a day...I will ask my boyfriend when he will be home, but only so I know how to plan dinner or when I should start to worry because he isn't back. I will sometimes ask where he's going to go or what he's going to do but only out of curiosity, and if he says he doesn't know, I leave it alone. He has no problem with telling me, so it's not an issue for us. I think perhaps the tone or the wording of the question could make a difference in how it comes across. My lightly asked, "Ok, honey, have fun. Hey, what do you think you're gonna do?" might come across very differently than your depressed sounding, "Ok, honey, have fun. What do you intend to do all day?" (Not saying that's how you do it, but just trying to give a dramatic, obvious example). Same goes for him asking me.
I think perhaps what you should do right now is look at why it bothers you so much that she's so independent. If she's never given you a reason not to trust her, and she's only going out for a day or so a month, why is it such a big deal? And some of the stuff you describe, to me, is not stuff to worry about. She stays up later than you. So what? My boyfriend goes to bed at 9, just like my kids. I stay up until 11. But he has to get up at 3:30 in the morning to go to work, whereas I can sleep until 7. He doesn't care that I stay up. He knows that all I'm doing is reading my book, watching TV or playing on the computer. And before he got this job, it was reversed. I go to bed at 11, and he would stay up until 1 or 2. But again, I knew that all he was doing was playing on the computer or watching TV. So I didn't care. I mean, yes, I'd like to have him next to me when I sleep, but I know when he comes to bed he'll hold me, so it really doesn't matter. The drinking...I can see being concerned about that if you think she has a drinking problem. And if that's the case, then you should look into getting her some help, although I'm not entirely sure how you would go about confronting an alcoholic.
Also, you describe some of those things as self-destructive. I really don't see how staying up late is self destructive. Everyone's body clock is different. Hers is just tuned later than yours. The drinking, again, I can see how that could be termed self destructive, but only if it's a problem. A beer or two every day is not necessarily a drinking problem; there are even health studies that suggest a glass of wine or beer everyday is beneficial. I wonder if perhaps part of the problem is not the behavior itself, but that you seem to judge it.
If she's feeling judged, she may feel the need to rebel and continue the behavior just to annoy you, as a child would. And the constant self and couple improvement discussions could also be contributing to that, it may feel to her like you think you're better than she is. I'm not saying you're doing these things on purpose, just that that could be how it comes across to her, and therefore leads to continuations of the same behaviors that are bothering you, which leads you to continue your thing, which leads to her...and so on and so on. It's a cycle.
Last edited by greeneyeddolphin; 07-21-2010 at 05:19 PM.