Topic: In a relationship with a person I believe to be Alexi

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In a relationship with a person I believe to be Alexi
04.05.2016 by justina

I am struggling to try to be patient with the man I have been seeing whom I believe to be a Alexi. I just discovered the word when I searched online for help with dealing with someone who appears to be emotionally blind. It is frustrating to be on the other side of this. I had an argument with him this evening and asked him to please research the word so we can have a discussion about it. He says I am overly sensitive but I believe it is because he has no sensitivity at all. He does not even bother to fake sexual pleasure, he just asks if I am finished yet? How am I suppose to respond to that?
I care about this person however I am on the verge of just giving up.

Comparitive questioning.
04.05.2016 by MrG

I am Alexi and slowly accepting and coming to terms with things.
For me, the main problem in a relationship is that when I try to talk about something that has prodded a sensitivity in me, it often becomes a conversation about the what. Why I am sensitive to that and what feelings I have and find hard to express is not explored. Personally, I find it very useful to have "do you mean like....." examples offered to me. If I say I'm upset, it's really useful if my partmner qualifies, "do you mean sad/teary upset, or annoyed/aggitated upset?"
I would suggest that when you find yourself bemused at a situation asking qualification questions that offer a choice would be helpful to you both. (A bit like the optician asking, better with this lens, or without.) I suspect that you may be surprised at some of the answers and find yourself saying "I never realised that". This would in turn help him see where his lack of emotionally expresssed communication can lead you to inaccurate assumptions. It may well be that he is experiencing profound pleasure and he is reading your reaction to his lack of emotional communication as a sign that you are less than satisfied in some way. See, it gets all complicated and one misread signal can lead to many more.
I do accept that I am not in a position to know if he would like to have better undersatnding between you both or not, but
I really hope that you manage to make progress. I would be inclined to try what I have suggested on very small and less sensitive things first. Like a meal or something. "Did you prefer the potatoes done this new way, or the way I usually do them?" "Yes, I think that they taste fluffier this new way, a bit like fresh snow, what do you think?"
I hope that this makes some sense.

Justina - frustrated
04.05.2016 by justina

I truly appreciate the advice, I will try, however I can not get him to talk about anything that is serious. He does not want to go there. He becomes defensive and then I lash out. I am trying hard to be more patient but I always feel rejected. I know I need to deal with my own issues but I will attempt to be more understanding and approach the discussion with less hostility.

Aim where he is comfortable first & let his comfort grow organically, don't force it.
05.05.2016 by MrG

You are welcome and I sincerely hope it helps.
I am well used to conversations where either my defenses go up, or my partner's do. And, yes, it always ends up developing into a heated and less productive accusation and blame spiral.
Given your reply, I would certainly suggest that you try out, and get used to asking either/or questions on how he feels about 'very simple' and less serious incidental day to day things that don't provoke a defensive response.
Ask for no other reason than you were curious - I would resist any temptation for a conversation to go anywhere past your simple curiosity. Hopefully he will then 'gradually' become more comfortable simply answering you (as best he can) with how he feels and experiencing it not leading to anything else. :)

Also, I would be inclined to be careful not to instantly see things he says to you as an accusation or critisism. (personally, I often come across to people that way.) It might be more a case of him merely wanting to make you aware of something.
"When you xxxxx, it makes me yyyy"
"Ah, I didn't realise that, thanks for letting me know"
"Ah, I didn't realise that, would there be a better way for you that I could xxxxx in future?"
Jumping to the defence of your right to xxxxx will make the discussion centre on that and just go downhill. He will feel that you are not interested that he ended up feeling yyyy, and you will feel that the whole thing was all just an argument about xxxxx.
Sorry if that sounds opinionated and ranting, but I am really trying to be frank and helpful.

Absolutely helpful
05.05.2016 by justina

Being honest and crank is good. I have been through lots of therapy over the years due to deaths in the family so I am used to sharing and expressing so that may actually be a hinderence because I expect sharing and don't get much.

I have the opposite situation.
17.05.2016 by Dave

I have alexithymia and I'm not sure about my wife. When you communicate with most people, they expect you to go beyond the verbal and pick up on body language, facial expressions, etc.; i.e., people expect you to "fill in the blanks". I find I need to probe too fill in the blanks that the person I'm conversing with isn't aware of. My wife gets very irritated with me, like I'm badgering her, when I'm just asking her to fill in the blanks. In the past my wife told me she didn't want to argue with me (when I was trying to fill in the blanks) , and when I tried to explain myself she would just say I was trying to start a fight. Nowadays my wife just yells and screams at me, and told me this is the only way "you" can understand. Maybe my wife is using the general, all inclusive "you", so last night I yelled at her to get my point across; that seemed to work. Do you think there is a way to normalize my relationship with my wife?


Carefully explain why you are asking or saying, 'before' you ask or say.
20.05.2016 by MrG

Dave. Hi. I have found that her defensive irritation and treating things like they are always a critisism or a prelude to a fight or argument is usually avoided by me explaining carefully 'why' I am asking something before I ask it.
By first explaining that I only want to ask this so that I can understand, and no more than that, usually helps.
The one I have most trouble with is when I want to make her aware of something. I have to so carefully explain that it's only an FYI and no more than that before I say anything else, otherwise she always recieves it as an attack or prelude to an argument.
So, in short, I have got used to stoping myself before I speak and using the pause to remind myself to carefully explain why before saying another word.
I really hope that it helps.

I'll give it a try.
20.05.2016 by Dave

Thanks, I appreciate the advice (and, I'll give it a try). On the other hand, having had a fight with my wife lowered my Alexithymia score. I took a test after we had a trying week, and scored 167; I've scored as high as 174. Questions like those that ask if I can identify certain feelings, became easier to answer.