Sigh. What a weekend!
We had a long weekend here in Korea, and my boyfriend only had one day off - Monday. He promised to meet me on Monday afternoon, and confirmed that when he phoned me on Sunday night as he was leaving work. Well, Monday rolled around and he never showed up. Nor did he answer my phone calls or text messages.
I was floored. I couldn’t imagine what was wrong. Last week he asked me my ring size to buy an engagement ring. I’m moving to his town this summer. He’s applied to immigrate to Canada so we can get married and live there. And suddenly he wasn’t answering my phone calls? I bawled. I sobbed. I got murderously angry. I imagined that he had a girl on the side. I couldn’t figure out why on earth he’d do this.
Then I got a phone call at 11:30pm Monday night. His sister had given him some bad news on Sunday night. I don’t know what it was about. They argued. He woke up Monday morning and decided to have a drink with his friends to calm down. He drank until he passed out. I was too angry to talk to him on Monday night, so I told him I’d call him today and he’d better answer. Well, today we talked about it.
First he said that he had been planning to just have a drink or two and then visit me. I countered that if that were the case, why hadn’t he phoned me to tell me so? Eventually I guessed and then he admitted that he knew if he saw me, I’d know he was upset and I’d pester him until he told me why, and he wasn’t ready to talk about it.
He’s right, I would do that. The way I see it, if we’re going to be married, we need to be life partners and be able to help each other in all things. He said that he doesn’t want to share all his troubles with anyone - some troubles should just be private. He feels like less of a man if he unburdens himself on me or on someone else. I said I can accept that as long as they’re not things that would affect me. For example, when we’re married, he shouldn’t keep money problems secret. However, if he doesn’t want to tell me about trouble at work or an argument with a friend, I can accept that. I still kind of feel that if he trusted me more, he’d share his troubles, though.
He did promise that in future, if he needed to be alone or if he needed time to think, he’d call me and give me the courtesy and respect of telling me first. He apologized for that. I told him that was the worst part for me - it showed utter disrespect, and he’d better never do it again.
The other issue is the drinking. That’s the first time I’ve known him to do that. We talked a bit about better things to do to take his mind off things - sports, exercise, hitting a punching bag, going to Church. I just don’t feel like I can be his mother in this, but he’s got to get better coping strategies. There’s no English-language counselling here, so I guess other than asking him to speak to his priest there’s not much else to do.
So the way things stand now, I feel like I have to give him more space when he’s upset. He’s right, I do bother him until he tells me what’s upsetting him. And I told him that if he ever pulls the “get drunk and don’t call” stunt again, that’s the end. Maybe if I can demonstrate that I can be understanding without insisting on knowing the problem, he will turn to me for comfort.
So, am I being too understanding? He was really apologetic and seemed genuinely sorry about his stupid, inconsiderate, reckless, and selfish behaviour. I feel like this is part of figuring out how to communicate, and I should give him a chance to do better next time. Am I naive?