You’ve spent an hour getting ready for your date, and then he calls to cancel right as you enter the restaurant. He tells you he’ll give you a call as soon as he’s off work, but it’s already morning and he hasn’t so much as texted you. You expect him to surprise you on your anniversary, and yet it seems like he has completely forgotten what date it is!
When your man disappoints you, whether for the first time or for the hundredth, here’s what you can say.
“I’m disappointed in you.” There are times when your guy just genuinely doesn’t know you’re upset about something. In times like this, it helps to be vocal about how you feel. You can’t just sit back and be disappointed in him without telling him that something is wrong. Too often we hope that our silent treatment and our passive aggressiveness would get through to him, but that’s now always the case. There are times when we really need to spell it out. So when he lets you down, let him know and give him a chance to explain.
“I know it’s not easy…” Empathy is your best ally. You may not always see eye to eye on everything, but you have to try and see things from his point of view. Because you love this man, it’s easier to give him the benefit of the doubt. So try to put yourself in his shoes, figure out what’s bothering him, and present that as a possible reason for why he has disappointed you. For instance, you can say something like “I know it’s not easy adjusting to a new job in a new place, but I hope that you would also try to find some time for me too.” By showing him that you’re aware of his situation, you’re letting him know that you don’t blame him entirely, thus allowing you to compromise.
“I know you didn’t mean to.” Maybe he forgot your anniversary. Perhaps he stayed out a little later than he said he would. Or it might just be one of those situations when he forgets how much you hate it when he comments on his ex’s posts. As with above, try to give him the benefit of the doubt when it’s reasonable. It’s entirely possible that he just had a lapse in judgement. He didn’t intend to hurt your feelings, and he didn’t want to disappoint you. He’s only human, and he makes mistakes. Tell him that you understand, but also let him know how much his actions hurt you.
“Is there something I should know about?” Let’s say that your guy is generally very thoughtful and considerate of you. However, you’ve suddenly noticed that he’s been letting you down more and more often. He’s been cancelling dates, forgetting important dates, and in a way, he’s been a little aloof. What gives? There could be an issue that he hasn’t had the guts to bring up yet, and this might be the reason behind his seeming disregard for you. Take this time to try and talk about how you’ve noticed his recent behavior and how you want to talk about it. This might be his cue to finally tell you what’s really been bothering him. Maybe he’s been under a lot more pressure lately or he has issues with his family. After all, he won’t suddenly neglect his responsibilities as a boyfriend if there weren’t a good reason behind it.
“Tell me your side of the story.” We know that it’s so much easier to lash out and cry when your boyfriend does something you don’t like, but that’s just going to drive him further away from you. Instead, the best course of action would be to lend an ear and let him tell you things from his point of view. As humans, we are likely to judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions. Your disappointment is a reaction to his actions, but it would help you understand him better if you knew about his intentions. For instance, you may think that he’s just being a jerk by ignoring your calls, but in reality he’s ignoring them because he’s so stressed out that he might take it out on you.
“I refuse to take any more of this.” If this is just one of many disappointments, then it may be time to call it quits with your guy. Think long and hard about whether or not it’s worthwhile to still be with him if all he gives you is disappointment. We’re sure it won’t come as such a huge surprise to him because who would stay with a person who’s always letting you down? Take this time to either give him an ultimatum about his recent behavior or just break it off with him to spare yourself further heartbreak.
The key to avoiding disappointment is communication and compromise. Talk to your man, hear his side of the story, and try to find a way to work your relationship out.