Woman Writes To Ask Amy: Husband’s Incessant Monologue – Reminds Me Of My Ex Fiance
I don’t think getting married is enough. You have to marry the right person, someone who makes you feel valued, someone with whom you’re compatible. The woman’s husband in this letter (which I copied much, much farther below) is not doing any of that for her.
Before I get to her letter, I wanted to talk about the situation with my ex fiance. I am going to spend a good long portion of the intro of this post griping and explaining about my ex, Fred.
I also posted this letter to my blog because this woman’s husband reminds me of my ex fiance.
I wrote about my ex in (Link): this post, about half way down that page, under the “Personal Experiences” subtitle.
My ex, let’s call him “Fred,” never stopped yapping. He was a talker.
During the several years we were an item, Fred never stopped talking.
The very few number of times I tried to talk about myself, my job, or topics I thought both of us would find interesting, or topics I felt passionate about, Fred would get a glassy-eyed stare as though he didn’t care about what I was saying.
He would not say hardly anything in response to anything I said, and he wouldn’t ask me clarifying questions about what I was saying.
Or, if we were chatting over the phone (about one third to 1/2 of our relationship was long distance), he would go deadly quiet.
Deadly quiet as in, Fred was bored listening to me talk about anything. The moment I would go silent again after an incident like that, he would resume talking as though I had never said anything. I endured several YEARS of that behavior, which I found hurtful, strange, and incredibly RUDE.
Fred would not show ordinary behaviors most people show when you are in conversation with them.
He would talk about himself, his family (mother, uncles, brothers, etc), and his job.
But Fred would not even pause to ask me questions about this stuff he was talking about, like, “So, what do you think of my Uncle getting a new job at Acme Inc.? Do you think he should have taken the job at Spacely Sprockets instead?”
Nope. Fred would talk endlessly about whatever he wanted to but then never ask me for my thoughts on whatever he was yakking about. He didn’t ask for my input.
As a result of that (and a few other elements of our relationship), I didn’t feel valued by Fred, my ex. There was no emotional connection because he did not take an interest in me, my career, my hobbies, my opinions, or my life.
I often would sit in the same room with Fred yet feel all ALONE.
I was “emotionally single,” even though I was dating the guy, in a relationship! I might as well have been single. I did not feel as though I was part of a couple.
One big way a man can show he is interested in a woman (and her life, opinions, etc) and connect with her on an emotional level, is to ask her questions about HER, her day, her frustrations (whatever it is she wants to talk about) and listen attentively when she replies and ask some follow up questions to what she says, or make empathetic comments about what she said.
(Do things like make eye contact with the woman. Do not sit and stare at the football game on TV or the newspaper as the woman is replying.
Don’t hurry her up, and tell her to skip the details and get to the bottom line – snapping at a woman like that sends the message you are impatient and don’t care to really hear her out.)
Or, if your female friend / wife / girlfriend appears troubled, ask her why – and again, you have to listen attentively and act like you care about her and what she is communicating.
The ideal is that you truly, sincerely do care about the woman and what she’s saying, and it’s not just an act, but anyhow….
If you act like you are bored, if you are distracted by a TV show or whatever, or reply with advice (women are looking for empathy, NOT advice, when they are discussing their problems with you), the woman will not feel valued, will not feel an emotional connection.
If you make every (or over half the) conversation(s) about YOU, and you never ask about the woman’s life, nor do you ask the woman’s OPINION about what you are talking about when you are doing the talking, you are conveying that you really don’t care about her.
The woman will grow to resent this, feel un-valued, and break up with your ass.
In regards to my ex, Fred, the whole relationship was all about him. It was about what he wanted, when he wanted it, and how he wanted it.
What I wanted, needed, or was interested in did not matter and was of no import.
Fred displayed NO CURIOSITY in my mind or my thoughts.
Fred might as well have been talking to a chair as talking to me (me, a real live person with thoughts, feelings, her own experiences, etc, who can talk back).
My ex talked a lot about his red neck family. I really grew to detest his red neck, hill billy family.
I met my ex’s mother a few times and was always polite to her. Let’s call her Bertha (not her real name).
I would send Bertha little gifts at Christmas and her birthday. I tried taking a genuine interest in some of her hobbies and asked her about them. I made a real effort to know her and to get along with her.
Bertha later blew up at me in a phone call, and I did nothing to deserve it. (This was about five or six years or so into the relationship with Fred.)
About two weeks later, when I finally heard from Fred, I told Fred about her obnoxious and rude behavior in that phone call.
Fred proceeded to actually defend his bitch of a mother.
He made excuses and rationalizations for her, instead of plainly saying (which is what he should have done), “I’m so sorry my mother treated you that way, you didn’t deserve it.”
He also made a “PFFfffftttt” noise over the phone when I described the incident (and I can imagine he must have been rolling his eyes at the same time), as if to say I was over-reacting to what his mother did, and as though my feelings did not matter.
Fred kept placing his mother before me in that relationship.
He would blow up at me if he even perceived me as being a tiny bit disrespectful to his mother.
Like, if I was attempting to merely describe to him how angered or hurt I was by her slighting me, being rude to me, he took that as some kind of rude attack on his mother (which it was not).
The boy could not endure any criticism of his mother what- so- ever, no matter how justified or deserving she was of it.
He demanded and expected me to show his mommy the utmost courtesy (which I usually did; I only politely stood up to her once over a several year period), but he was very accepting of her treating me like shit. So there was definitely a double standard going on there. That really stuck in my craw and bugged me.
Fred was dating his mother. He didn’t need me.
That was a billionth reason I broke up with him.
MEN: YOUR GIRLFRIEND OR WIFE NEEDS TO COME -BEFORE- YOUR MOTHER
If you’re a man reading this, if you weren’t already aware: you need to put any girlfriends or wives BEFORE your mother, ahead of your mom.
Also, be aware: your mother is not perfect. Accept that. Your mother can and does make mistakes.
So, if your wife criticizes your mommy to you behind mommy’s back, instead of automatically getting offended and jumping to mommy’s defense and yelling at your wife for daring to say something negative about Mommy Dearest, consider there may be something to your wife’s (or girlfriend’s) criticism of your mommy.
(My mother had flaws, but in her case, she was TOO NICE. She did not usually behave in an uncouth, rude, bitchy manner as Fred’s mother.)
But men, you need to be honest with yourself about your mother: is she a bitch at times? Is she rude and catty at times, and to other people? If she is, you need to tell your dear sweet old mommy to treat your GF or wife with respect, and tell Mom to kiss your ass, that you will have none of her rudeness to your sweetie pie.
Do not let your mother treat any woman you date with disrespect or rudeness. You must stand up to your mother.
If you keep putting your mother at #1 in your life (and at the expense of your wife / GF), you have not separated from your mother and become a true adult, and most importantly for this blog post, you will lose your girlfriend or wife over time, I guaran-damn-tee it.
The GF or wife will grow tired of playing second fiddle to your #1, your mother. She will get tired of being treated rudely by your mommy and that you never tell your mommy to Shut The F_ck Up and back off and leave the GF/wife alone.
So anyway, Bertha was rude to me on the phone, I told Fred how hurt and offended I was by that, he took his mother’s side AND downplayed my feelings, too. I could write another post about that and the other insensitive, disloyal things Fred said or did, so I won’t get into that here.
Fred never shut up about his Uncles. Let’s call them Ted and Herbert (not their real names).
Holy mother of Cheddar Cheese he never shut up about his hayseed uncles, one of whom was a socially awkward weirdo, and the other one was an alcoholic who lived in a dumpy trailer.
When I say Fred talked about these guys, I mean, not to make fun of them or to criticize them, but he genuinely liked these guys. (He did occasionally joke about what a weirdo his one uncle was, but that was not the motivation of his non-stop talk about them.)
He would sometimes talk about his mom, stepfather, brother, and stepbrothers.
But his uncles, Ted and Herbert, had to be his most favorite topic ever.
He talked so much about his Uncles I sometimes felt as though I was dating them.
The first year we dated, I thought this non-stop talk about his Uncles (and general, non-stop talking) was maybe due to nerves because we were a new couple, or was just some sort of weird phase he’d out-grow, but no, several years into the relationship, he was still talking all the time about his Uncles, and being a motor-mouth.
I often felt as though Fred was talking AT me, not WITH me.
I felt like I was a potted plant he was talking at. That he never asked me about me or my life, nor asked my opinions for junk he talked about, made me feel like an inanimate object.
I now wonder why in the Hell Fred ever dated me to start with.
He could have gone down to the nursery section at Wal-Mart, bought a potted fern, stuck the fern on a chair across the table from him, and talked at the damn plant. What did he need me for?
STEAK RESTAURANT DATE
We went on this date one time, to a steak restaurant about 40 minutes away by car.
What I am about to describe next is NOT AN EXAGGERATION. Please keep that in mind.
From the very moment Fred picked me up at the front door of my home, to the walk down the sidewalk to the car, in the car on the drive over, on the walk through the parking lot of the steak restaurant into the restaurant, through the whole dinner, Fred talked non-stop!
I kid you not.
The ONLY time Fred shut his mouth on that date was when
- 1. during the two seconds the waitress told us to wait to be seated, she was going to find us a table, and
- 2., after we were seated, my ex shut up long enough for the 50 or so seconds it took to tell our waiter what Fred and I wanted to order for dinner.
Once the waiter walked off with our menus and order in hand, Fred resumed his non-stop talk. And he talked about himself.
I sat there in silence the WHOLE time.
This dinner date, inside the restaurant, probably lasted for about an hour, maybe hour and a half to 2 hours – that means I had to listen to Fred talk non-stop for an hour or more at the steak restaurant.
I sat there chewing my baked potato and baked chicken while he did all the talking, only periodically to chew and swallow his steak and sip his tea.
My mother raised me to be super polite (which may not show from this blog, because I sometimes get angry or cuss), but really and truly I was raised to be super duper polite, and very codependent.
Part of this meant I was raised not to get my own needs met, don’t draw attention to myself, and cater to others and what they wanted.
Which in turn meant I seldom drove conversations.
I am also very introverted, which means I naturally tend to do more listening than talking.
Which doesn’t mean I don’t ever want to talk about me. Because sometimes I do need or want to talk about me or something going on in my life.
I usually did all the listening but silently hoped that the other person would eventually shut up about them and ask me about me.
This never happens, by the way – not with Fred, not with 97% of other people I’ve met over my life. Most people will talk about themselves constantly and never stop to ask about YOU and how YOU are doing, and boy, that pisses me off.
People sure do like it when you listen to them talk about them, but they never want to listen to you talk about YOU or your problems or whatever.
Despite the fact I tried my hardest to be polite and focus on what my ex Fred was prattling on about, my brain would tune him out. This started happening after we had been dating a few years.
When we were at the Steak Restaurant, I wasn’t even listening to Fred. I would occasionally make eye contact to offer the illusion I was listening, but I was brain dead.
I at first felt guilty about this, but I knew of no other way of coping. I had tried to take an interest in Fred and his life, but as he never asked my opinions about anything he talked about, I could no longer take an interest. I mean, this went on FOR YEARS.
My mother’s upbringing of me left me in a pickle.
I should have leveled with Fred, should have told Fred that he talked too much and should let me talk about me, but I was raised that me bringing attention to my own needs, and in such a blunt manner, would make me rude and selfish.
My mother, and Christian culture, raised me to think that I, a woman, was put here to serve and cater to other people, especially to men I was dating. So, it would be wrong, mean, or selfish of me to be square with Fred and tell him I found his non-stop talking highly annoying and that it was selfish and hacked me off, and that I wanted him to listen to ME talk about ME once in awhile.
THE DRIVE HOME
The steak restaurant date I had with Fred probably happened about the 5th or 6th year into our relationship.
We got into the car to go back to my house, which was a 40 minute drive. For the first 20 minutes, Fred talked non-stop.
I was not even pretending to pay attention at this stage. I was looking out the car window at the passing trees.
It was night, and the moon was out. I was intrigued by seeing the moonlight hit the trees and grass but found it hard to concentrate on the visuals with Fred yammering away in the front seat next to me.
So, for I think the first and only time in our relationship, I oh so politely said,
- “Fred, please don’t take this personally, but can we have silence the rest of the car ride home? You’ve talked non-stop ever since you picked me up on this date. Right now, I’m trying to watch the scenery go by but find it difficult to concentrate on that with you talking so much. I don’t even want the car radio on right now. Can we please not have any conversation right now? Can we have silence?”
Fred then shut up but got this stony look on his face. He seemed angry or offended that I was asking him to shut up.
So, I asked him, ‘Are you angry? I did not mean to hurt your feelings or anger you. I just wanted some quiet. Are you okay?’
He refused to reply but sat there with that stony, angry look on his face. At this point, I got steaming angry. I no longer cared if he felt hurt or angry.
I had listened to this self-absorbed asshole prattle on about himself for YEARS.
I had learned that trying to fight fire with fire – me talking about myself – did not work, because he would just cut me off and talk about himself some more, so I figured, fine, if I cannot talk, then neither one of us can!
I also figured (I thought this to myself, I did not say this to Fred),
- “I’ve wasted SIX years listening to you spew comments out of your pie hole. I am OWED some silence. Screw you and your feelings, you never cared about mine, so just sit there and stew in your anger like a toddler. I don’t care if you are mad at me, I at least have what I was after: GOLDEN SILENCE. Oh thank the good lord, silence. SILENCE. At last, SILENCE. I can watch the trees go by without you yammering away….”
If he wanted to sit there in huffy silence because he was offended that I dare to politely, one time after 6 years, ask him to quiet down, he could KISS MY ASS.
And I appreciated the hell out of that last 20 minutes of silence on that car ride home.
About a year or two after that incident, we were eating lunch at another restaurant.
By this time, I was still trying to honestly pay attention to Fred’s talking. He was still talking non-stop.
My mother had so deeply ingrained in me to be a sweet, thoughtful, considerate Christian girl, that I was still a doormat at this stage. I was still trying honestly to listen to Fred when he talked and pay attention to the content of his speeches.
But this one day in this restaurant, I experienced the most peculiar sensation.
My brain could no longer stand to listen to Fred. My brain shut down my hearing. I went deaf. I swear I am not making this up.
I could no longer hear the patrons around us, their silverware clinking on their lunch plates. I could no longer hear waitresses taking orders.
When I looked across the table at Fred, I could see his mouth moving – he was obviously talking – but I could not HEAR him. I had lost my hearing (temporarily).
I was kind of afraid and was unsure what was going on. I didn’t want to bring this to anyone’s attention, so I said nothing. I periodically glanced at Fred to make him think I was listening, but I was not. I actually COULD NOT. I had lost my hearing.
There was a large mural on the wall behind Fred, of some cowboys on horses, some mountains, bulls, etc. I was more fascinated by the mural than I was by Fred, so I spent half the time studying the mural.
Fred didn’t pick up on the fact I had lost my hearing.
I later told my sister about this episode, and how strange it was. I told her I honestly feel it was my brain protecting myself. I was about to psychologically break having to listen to this narcissistic asshole yammer about himself over a period of several years, and I think my brain was trying to protect my psyche, so it shut down my hearing.
CATALOGS DURING PHONE CALLS
Toward the last year or two of our relationship, I stopped trying to even keep up with Fred’s chats.
The guy didn’t seem to care if I paid attention to what he was saying or not. He never asked me for my opinions on the stuff he talked about.
Part of our relationship was long distance. He would call me from out of state.
What I started to do was to keep a stack of catalogs by my bedside. I usually took phone calls from Fred while in my bedroom. Any time he phoned, I would pick up a catalog and quietly glance through it while he talked.
By this time, I was intentionally tuning him out. I was quietly looking over the sales on boots and skirts in JC Penny catalogs and the like. That was far less boring than listening to whatever he was going on about (probably his loser uncles, Herbert and Ted).
The strange thing about Fred is that he never did pick up on the fact that I was tuning him out at times.
A normal, non self absorbed person would have sensed I was not truly paying attention or listening, but not Fred.
A normal guy probably would have noticed I was preoccupied on the phone and would have asked, “Are you listening? I feel you are watching TV or reading catalogs…” But not Fred. Fred seemed oblivious.
Which again, makes me wonder why in the Hell this guy was dating me. He could have bought a potted fern and sat and talked at the plant.
I thought part of the fun or point of being in a relationship is to “give and take,” to learn about the other person, and what makes him or her tick, his or her likes and dislikes?
Why the f*ck would you want to date someone just to talk AT them, and never take an interest in them, their job, their dreams, their hopes, their likes? Why would you want to date someone where everything is always about YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU?
How is it that people like Fred don’t get bored making every (or most) phone call or dinner date about themselves?????? I don’t see the purpose in that. I don’t know why Fred was dating me, now that I look back.
BUTTER THE EGO
Another thing this Ask Amy letter addresses, and I recently saw a study that talked about this very thing, which I’ve been meaning to add to this blog (if I can find the link – you can read about it here (Link): Why and How Relationships Stay Together or Fall Apart):
I also experienced this situation with Fred, my ex, which I wrote about in (Link): this post, about men who expect you to butter their ego but they refuse to butter the woman’s. This can kill a relationship, according to a study I just read last week.
If I remember right, the lady in this letter says she tries to be supportive to her husband, make a big deal out of his accomplishments, but when good things happen to her, her husband acts like it’s no big deal. He does not celebrate her accomplishments.
I don’t want to belabor this, since I discussed the same thing in (Link): this post but my ex, Fred, did the same thing.
The asshole expected me to butter his ego, to applaud him any time he accomplished anything or got raises at his job, or whatever, but any time I shared MY good news with him (about me getting pay raises, or whatever my good news or accomplishment was), he would go quiet and refuse to praise me.
That pissed me off to no end. And I see so many men who do this. I see it in culture all the time, and many Christian churches support this sort of thing.
All the whiny men who ridiculously claim that women have life so much easier than men (we women do not have life easier), and they say women should build men up and stroke their little egos.
Ain’t nobody stroked my ego – not my ex, and not my family of origin (they actually KNOCKED my ego, were very critical of me, my sister is still nasty to me to this day, you can read a bit more about my sister (Link): here) –
So all the people lecturing women to play second fiddle to a man, to support the man in his dreams and hopes and to butter his ego (Christian gender complementarians and Christian patriarchalists are especially bad about teaching this disgusting propaganda) can kiss my behind.
There needs to be MUTUAL emotional support and ego-stroking in a male-female relationship (whether in marriage, dating, or platonic friendship).
Men are not more deserving or needy of ego-stroking or encouragement than woman are!
Here’s the letter to Ask Amy that reminds me of my ex, Fred – I have some more comments below the letter and Amy’s reply:
- Dear Amy:
- My husband and I have been married for 27 years. He is a “talker,” very focused on his work, his goals and his plans.
- He is a teacher and is forever complaining about the politics in the school (of course, there are many), which he describes in detail every day.
- He does not seem to pay attention to things at home — or to our own kids.
- Over time I have started to only half listen to him. I’ve stopped talking.
- I make him lunch every morning before work and buy school supplies for his class and snacks for his kids every time I go to a school function (he coaches at every sport they will allow).
- Two weeks ago I was promoted at work, with a very substantial raise. I was very excited to tell him about it.
- He congratulated me via text, but that was the end of it.
- When I got home he started in on how hard school was and how bad the football team did, etc. No hug, no kiss, no extra words about my news.
- I envisioned flowers, kind words and encouragement. I told him how I felt, and he said that I did not acknowledge his last raise and he didn’t really think it was a big deal.
- I cannot seem to get over this. I feel like I do not matter in our home. In arguing about this, he mentioned that I don’t listen to him. It would be impossible, because he very literally never shuts up. I am so hurt and he doesn’t care. I’m tired of being in second place.
- Do you feel like I’m making a big deal out of nothing? Am I being too sensitive?
- Trying to Get Over It
- Dear Trying to Get Over It:
- Without blaming you for your husband’s verbal dominance, perhaps he talks more and more partly because you have tuned out. But, obviously, not even Jimmy Fallon’s wife could be engaged during a monologue that lasts for 27 years.
- Of course you want hearts and flowers during your celebratory moment. But are you also giving what you would hope to receive?
- If you want him to behave differently, perhaps you can try to also behave differently. Ask your husband to sit down with you. Make eye contact. Start by telling him, “I’m sure I don’t pay full attention to everything you want to tell me. It’s important to me to be supportive to you. But I need that, too. I feel like things are pretty unbalanced between us. I don’t feel noticed. Can we work together to try to change?”
- In the book “Emotional Fitness for Couples: 10 Minutes a Day to a Better Relationship,” (2005, New Harbinger Publications), among other exercises, author Barton Goldsmith suggests a weekly meeting where couples connect, sync their calendars and anticipate challenges. Together. This short sit-down is one way to start communicating differently.
Amy can take her answer and cram it.
Amy is assuming that the letter writer is inattentive, and if only the letter writing wife would act out the behavior the husband wants, surely the husband would mirror this back to the wife. Wrong, wrong!!
Do not assume, Amy!
Some men (and some women) are so thoroughly self-absorbed, it matters not how much you role model the behavior from them you would like to see them return to you.
I mirrored the behavior I wanted my ex to display. I tried that, it did not work. I made eye contact with the ex, I asked him intelligent questions about what he was saying (when or if he would allow me to even get a word in edge wise).
From day one, I listened attentively to my ex Fred when he would go on for 10, 20, 40 minutes (or longer) talking non-stop.
If my ex paused at all (which was rare), I would show him I was taking an interest in his commentary by asking him follow-up questions like, “Oh, you say your mother planted a new batch of tomato plants? How are those doing?” -or whatever.
I genuinely tried to take an interest in my ex, his job, his hill-billy family, etc, but he never returned that behavior. The relationship (including conversation) was a one-way street with him.
Let’s say that my ex Fred was a plumber (not his occupation).
I went online the first two months we dated and scoured the web for information about plumbing so I could learn about what he does and ask him questions about his occupation, or know enough I could make intelligent questions about it.
Silly me. I thought one purpose of dating a person and being in a relationship with them was to periodically shut your own pie hole to learn about THEM and let that person talk about THEMSELVES, and for you to ask THEM questions about THEIR hobbies, job, family, etc.
I don’t think Amy’s ever dated or married a self-absorbed, narcissistic douche canoe. If she had, she would know better than to push some of the blame on to the woman who wrote to her about her husband who talks about himself and his job all the time but takes little to no interest in HER or HER JOB.
Here is one key quote from the woman’s letter:
- I cannot seem to get over this. I feel like I do not matter in our home. In arguing about this, he mentioned that I don’t listen to him. It would be impossible, because he very literally never shuts up. I am so hurt and he doesn’t care. I’m tired of being in second place.
That is what Amy overlooked.
My ex, Fred, was the same way. When you are dating (or married to) someone who NEVER SHUTS UP, you get what I will refer to as “listening fatigue.”
It becomes impossible to focus on what the perpetual talking partner is saying because there is never a pause, they never ask you to evaluate what it is they’ve said.
Your brain simply is not designed to keep up with non-stop conversation.
You cannot truly listen to someone if they never shut up. Your brain cannot focus on non-stop patter patter patter. Your brain needs a break, some silence, to reflect on whatever points were made.
Guys like Letter Writer’s husband, or my ex Fred, don’t give you time to ruminate on what they’re saying, because they are already talking about the next topic, which does not give your mind time to process whatever was just talked about.
Or, with my ex, he could spend an entire conversation going on and on about the same topic, like his Uncle Herbert, to the point you tune out. After several years of listening to the dullest tid bits about Herbert, I had no interest. I could not muster interest. I had nothing to say about Herbert.
THERAPIST LADY SAYS TO DT -SELF ABSORBED- MFA
One book I read by a therapist described a similar dating relationship. She had a lady patient come to her for counseling.
The lady said she had been dating “Rob” for over a year, but Rob never told her he loved her.
The therapist said she asked her patient more questions about Rob, and it turned out that Rob mainly talked about himself and never asked her patient questions about her or her life. The guy was a self-absorbed ass clown.
The therapist basically advised readers of her book to be on the look-out for that dynamic in relationships, and to dump the self-absorbed friends or dates in your life.
The therapist said the reason a lot of women fall prone to this sort of behavior is that we are conditioned by secular and religious culture to put other people’s needs and feelings first, so we grow de-sensitized and partially blind to when a person is not meeting OUR needs.
We become blind to when someone is exploiting us and taking advantage of us if we have lived our life putting ourselves and our needs last, and putting other people first.
If you’re dating a guy who puts you in second place, you may not even notice it for a good, long while. The doctor advises that you start putting yourself and your needs first – you may have to take internal inventory to even figure out what your needs are.
So many women bury their own dreams, needs, and wants for so many years, they don’t even know what they are – they don’t know who THEY are.
I think this was a large part of why I got sucked into this dreadful relationship with my ex, and why I tolerated it for so long.
I also kept thinking, “Surely if this guy cares about me, surely, he will change and start showing me and my feelings more consideration.” But that never happened. My ex also financially exploited me, but that’s another topic for another day.
ADVICE TO THE TALKERS OF THE WORLD
I have been in friendships and a romantic relationship where I listened to the other person talk non-stop.
Talkers of the world: just because your friend, spouse, or girlfriend sits in silence listening to you prattle on about you does not mean he or she is enjoying it.
She may be suffering in silent agony, too afraid to speak up and tell you that you are talking too much about you and not enough about her, or not letting her talk about her.
You need to periodically shut your mouth and say to the other person, “Hey, how about you? What’s been going on with you lately?,” then shut your mouth and let them talk about THEM.
I endured several painful, nauseating, SUFFOCATING years (YEARS!!) of listening to a guy, my ex, talk about himself constantly. It was CONSTANT.
I couldn’t take it anymore and dumped him (I had other reasons I left him too, but that played a big role).
But if you are in a deal where you do all the talking most of the time while your boyfriend, buddy, or girlfriend or spouse just sits there like a bump on a log, and you never let your buddy or sweetie talk about themselves, or you never ask them about their lives or for their opinions, they will grow tired of it eventually and break up with you. They will also grow to resent the hell out of you. Mark my words.
My ex fiance’s conversations were not true conversations: they were monologues. So I completely feel for the woman who wrote Ask Amy about this.