Psych Central

My Partner Refuses To Listen

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I am having a concern over a unconfirmed medical issue (a concern, not diagnosed). We have had stress in the past with my being concern over potentially being hiv positve, or infected with some potentially harmful thing. We have gotten past most of that.

Its time for me to have my annual medical exam, and this event brings up a lot of the emotions surrounding our issues 4 years ago. I am revisiting the events of the past. In wanting to have a conversation. my partner , in my opinion, discounted everything I was saying with comments like “we’ve proven there isn’t a problem”. What I asked him for was to “please hear me out” – “just listen to me through all of my feelings because saying what you are saying makes me feel like I cant get through what I want to say.”

He got angry and offended, and called me selfish and said he thought it was completely inappropriate for me to ask him to listen without participating. I want him to participate, but I don’t want to feel discounted. I feel like I do not get the chance to complete my thoughts. He said, If I didn’t want to hear his input than I should go talk to a therapist – so here I am.

Help

A: When a couple has shared a deep issue together the recovery from there may be a difference in the time needed, the degree to which one recovers, and the depth.

It sounds like your partner may have dealt with the experience differently than you, and may not be able to tolerate you reopening the issue. In many ways this is understandable. For now, I would honor his request and seek a therapist you can talk to directly about your concerns. (The find help tab at the top of the page can direct you). At some point, if it seems appropriate, you may invite your partner in for a joint discussion. Sometime th presence of a third party, the therapist, can facilitate the discussion.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Sep 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). My Partner Refuses To Listen. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/09/29/my-partner-refuses-to-listen/