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  • Comfortable vs Happy??

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    Old 04-17-2011, 08:11 PM   #1
    Pointmass
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    Comfortable vs Happy??

    What is the difference? Is there a difference? I am curious as to what people think!
    A bit in the way of background: I have been in a relationship for 3 years with a wonderful girl and I can say that I haven't had recourse to doubt any decisions to date. We live together, rarely fight and the relationship is all together harmonious. Lately, however, I have started to question whether I am happy or simply comfortable in the relationship.

    My unrest seems to stem from a niggling feeling that the relationship dynamic is missing something. As time has worn on, I have noticed that my partner has been more of a social shrinking violet, and it bothers me. When we are alone she speaks her mind mostly, and is chatty (all be it indecisive), however socially she disappears. (By socially, I mean if we are out - shopping, meals, out with friends - she is timid).
    It has started to dawn on me that her lack of self confidence and self assurance is very unattractive to me. Im finding myself, by default, making most of the decisions. It is as if she has lost all sense of her self, and independance. ( I hate feeling like the relationship is one sided my way, I need a partner and a challenge not a push over. The standard response for decision making is ' i dont mind, what do you want', or 'you choose', or 'what do you feel like')
    I get the impression that if I was not around, she would have nothing to do; like she has no life outside of 'us'.
    I feel that if I ended the relationship she would break like glass, and the thought of hurting her like that tears me up inside: but that is a catch 22- I need to know Im with her not because I'm afraid of hurting her with the alternative.

    An example: we have some mutual friends (a couple, one of whom is my best friend) If a group of us go out, she seems unable to make conversation with any of my friends. I understand not everyone has the gift of the gab, but she has known them for years and these guys are really chatty - but she just tends to blend in with the furniture. The effect is I spend more time talking to her and trying to coax her out, and it feels like a job.

    What I am asking, in a long winded way, is are there people out there with similar experiences? How do you help someone you love gain confidence, when bringing up the issue of self confidence with them just makes them more self conscious? There is no doubt that I love her, and we have our share of happy moments, at times it feels just right (I travel 2-3 times a year, and its when I'm 10,000kms away that I realise how much a part of my life she it), but I cannot shake the feeling I am happy with being comfortable, as opposed to being comfortable with being happy.

    Feel free to slap me upside the face if I am being irrational!

     
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    Old 04-18-2011, 06:16 AM   #2
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    Re: Comfortable vs Happy??

    Your girlfriend reminds me somewhat of my wife. She is not usually so chatty as I am, especially with strangers.

    But what seems more important in your case is her apparent lack of initiative, if you see what I mean. She relies too much on you.

    The point is: does it bother her to be like that? does she want to change? If not, there is not much you can do.

    But wait: what is your response when she says: ' i dont mind, what do you want', or 'you choose', or 'what do you feel like'? I think you could at least try to encourage her to make decisions rather than taking all the decisions on your own. Answer back: "No, I really want you to choose this time."

    No, you don't need to slapped on your face.

    A decisive question: do you guys have common goals in life?

    That said, I think that is basically the way she is: it is take her (if you really love her) or leave her (if you find her really incompatible with your own mindset).

     
    Old 04-19-2011, 07:12 PM   #3
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    Re: Comfortable vs Happy??

    Many thanks for opinion!

    I would say, having spoken to her, that she realises it is an issue and would like to improve (as opposed to changing) - but the desire to improve and actually doing so are two different things.
    You make a very compelling point: I think it is just the way she is. It is now a matter of whether it is something we work on together (and I take my share of responsibility for being apathetic about the situation until now), or something we cannot fix.

    Part of the problem on my part is I feel she is too dependant on me, and I don't see an exit strategy. Call me a commitment-phobe, but for so long I knew that i wanted to be with her, and I knew she wanted to be with me. Nowdays there is the niggling doubt that I/we maintain the status quo because the alternative is too painful.

     
    Old 04-20-2011, 06:30 PM   #4
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    Re: Comfortable vs Happy??

    My suggestion is .....try get her to see a counsellor or therapist to work on her confidence and talk about anything that could be damaging that or why its happening / happened and in that time shes working on herself you can work on yourself any changes you need to make , or figuring out wether this is the woman you truly want. Then if you feel the same or no progress after all this then maybe consider walking away. Is your relationship worth working on and fighting for ? Think hard. If yes then maybe give it a go at solving everything , do some compromising together (like her making more of an effort , decisions and you doing your bit too). You need a big think and a big talk with her i think. Make or break maybe?

    Last edited by cryingforever; 04-20-2011 at 06:30 PM.

     
    Old 04-20-2011, 08:25 PM   #5
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    Re: Comfortable vs Happy??

    The key thing you need to ask yourself is are you willing to accept her as is. I have seen/read so many people who are unhappy because the other person is trying to change the other person. This is for better or for worse.

    If she never changes (since that's the way she is) could you see yourself being with her? If you can't, you need to be honest with yourself and her and end the relationship.

    While some guys would love to be in total control of the relationship, you (it appears) and I, want to be with someone who is independent.

    I know this sounds very black and white which relationships are not, but you have to understand that without acceptance, all you (and other people) are doing is just delaying the inevitable. Sometimes it takes a short time, sometimes many years, but in the end it's always about acceptance of your partner.

    By the way, there is always an exit strategy. You just have to be firm but VERY honest. It's not fair to you or to her if you're not.

    Good luck!

     
    Old 04-21-2011, 07:00 PM   #6
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    Re: Comfortable vs Happy??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pointmass View Post
    Many thanks for opinion!

    I would say, having spoken to her, that she realises it is an issue and would like to improve (as opposed to changing) - but the desire to improve and actually doing so are two different things.
    You make a very compelling point: I think it is just the way she is. It is now a matter of whether it is something we work on together (and I take my share of responsibility for being apathetic about the situation until now), or something we cannot fix.

    Part of the problem on my part is I feel she is too dependant on me, and I don't see an exit strategy. Call me a commitment-phobe, but for so long I knew that i wanted to be with her, and I knew she wanted to be with me. Nowdays there is the niggling doubt that I/we maintain the status quo because the alternative is too painful.

    How would she describe you if she had taken the initiative to write as you have done about her?
    james

     
    Old 04-22-2011, 08:57 AM   #7
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    Re: Comfortable vs Happy??

    Your girlfriend reminds me very much of my wife of 10 years. When it's us, her and I are very chatty. But when with a group of people, she tends to sit there quietly.

    I caution you on trying to change her. There is a reason you fell in love with her to begin with. People are people. They are who they are. The truth is, you will never find that "perfect" woman (or man for the women out there). We all have our faults. The key is being able to accept them as who they are and be willing to love them unconditionally.

    What is her background? How was she raised as a child? How does she act at work? Around HER friends? Some women are, for lack of a better term, old-fashioned this way. When my wife and I started dating she was very much the same way as you describe your girlfriend to be. I would ask some of the same questions as you and would get the same response. Heck, we still do this sometimes when trying to decide on what/where we're going to eat for dinner. It's to the point now it's a game between us. "I decided last time, now it's your turn!"

    My wife (and yes, I) have faults. But for us, we're able to accept and overlook our faults and love each other for who we are and not what the other person wants us to be.

     
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    Old 04-22-2011, 09:26 AM   #8
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    Re: Comfortable vs Happy??

    Really good advice Jumperok......i also want to say i am like your girlfriend , i am chatty when i am with certain people (close friends/boyfriend) but when i am in groups i go all shy and quiet. I think thats a nice thing aswell to have a little game with eachother ''Its your turn, i chose last time''...got to make things fun and not take everything so serious. Yeah everyone has there flaws no one is perfect , if she makes you happy ,feel loved then shes worth staying with , her been quiet and shy is only a small issue but nothing worth ending the relationship over in my opinion.

    Has she always been this way?

    Also shyness and been quiet does not make them a bad person i'm sure you know this it is actually really common. Is she depressed at all? Anything bothering her? Just wondering if you have asked her instead of ''Shes too dependant on me''.

     
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