Last month's column about Valentine's Day sparked this
email from a reader:
I was wondering if you could give me some advice. The problem is my fianc├ę is
in another country. He did not call me to wish me a happy Valentine's Day, nor
did he send anything. I feel really sad and upset. We keep in touch most of
the time, but this time he promised he would call. I was thinking of ignoring
his calls until he came back. In the past, he has promised to call on a
certain date and then calls at another time. Please help. I would appreciate
it with all my heart.
Thank you for your mail.
I can understand why you're upset. Valentine's Day can be such a sensitive
subject, can't it? Attention on Valentine's Day really means a lot to us. A
woman's feelings can really get hurt when the man in her life doesn't
It sounds like your problem involves more than just Valentine's Day. First,
you say he PROMISED to call on Valentine's Day and then did not. Also, if I
understand you correctly, your fianc├ę has a habit of not calling when he says
Not only is it natural for you to feel hurt, but a pattern like this is bound
to diminish the trust in your relationship. Doing what you say you will do is
the foundation of a happy relationship.
I would choose a time when you both have time and say: "It really hurts me
when you don't call when you say you will, and I'd like to talk about it."
(Note: Do not say: "Can we talk?" This really stresses men out.) Then take
turns. Listen to anything he has to say without interrupting him and then ask
him to do the same for you. I call this "Listening until they're done-not just
until they take a breath."
I do not suggest you ignore his calls until he gets back. That sends a very
unclear message to him. It would probably decrease the trust between you and
delay a solution.
I'm sure it is frustrating for you that you can't just talk whenever you feel
like it. That is the stress of long distance relationships! I'm glad that you
decided to ask me about it, and I hope that helps you relax a little.
I wish you the best.
I followed your advice and I want to thank you. We talked and fixed the
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