Hal would have opened up to Sally completely if he felt wanted. He believed she would have opened up to him if she had felt wanted, but that wasn’t happening.

What Sally needed was for Hal to make her feel feminine, desired and worth fighting for. Even if she could have stated her need that clearly, her perceptions of him would not have allowed her to say it. She didn’t believe he wanted or could provide those things for her.

Almost everything she said cast Hal in a bad light. Defending himself seemed to make matters worse, so he quit. Unintentionally, that terminated access to his unbridled affection.

Hal told himself he was “loving what is” and being happy with who Sally seemed to be. The reality: she couldn’t get her mind past the ways he was letting her down. That didn’t make Sally seem feminine, safe, or compromising, nor Hal appreciated. Assuming he would not be able to have a close relationship with her, he gave her enough to maintain civility and the status quo. The hope and need for robust affection was stifled.

Unfortunately, Sally passed before they were ever able to resolve their underlying issues preventing them from showing affection toward one another. If you can find it in you, be the first to speak up and let your partner know you want to know what they are feeling and how you can start to fix it so keeping the peace doesn’t turn into a cold war.

Dave Dunn

Get Life Right: Lots of ideas to help you live a comfortable, fulfilling life by David Dunn