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My Partner Refuses To Listen

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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.


My Partner Refuses To Listen

Answered by on -


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

My Partner Refuses To Listen

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

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Partner Refuses To Listen. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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