He doesn’t talk and runs away

-- Question for John --

When we have problems small or big he runs from talking about them and says it’s not working for him and tries to leave me. Then as we talk more I hear about the old problems and he blames that on why we have any problems, which have nothing to do with the subject we are arguing about.

My boyfriend has a lot of anger toward me and his family for pain that we caused him. It has been ten years since the day we meet and one full year since we have gotten back together.

What do we need to do?

-- Answer from John --

It can be confusing that the past will come up and create problems in the present. Problems that are not even actually that big in the present can be made huge, boosted up in intenstity only because they somehow remind us of our past.

This is how the past can literally take over our present relationship, and we will say or do things that completely seem to go against supporting happiness — even, sometimes, leading someone to threaten to leave.

Your boyfriend running is a part of the “flight or fight” reaction that is coming up subconsciously. It reflects some way in which he was traumatized in his past, and because the trauma has not yet healed, it comes up again now, and it takes over the emotionality of the present moment. And he is trying to flee.

The direct answer to the question of what you need to do is as follows.

First, it is obvious by your description of what happens that your boyfriend is getting overwhelmed by a trauma that is still stored and active within his nervous system. He deserves to be relieved of this, so that he can better stay in real time in the relationship, and not get sucked back into his wounded past.

Second, I always recommend that the both partners join equally in the intention of healing old wounds. We all have them. Maybe his came up first, and because of that, it is more obvious. But that does not mean he is the only one in the relationship who has internal traumas that affect the quality of your relationship.

Relationship is a two-way street. Usually, and I mean 99% of the time, both partners have past wounds. Societally, we all have some amount of woundedness from our pasts that limit our present capacities in our adult relationships. Look no further than to our 50% divorce rate for direct evidence of this.

If you are committed to having a great relationship, it is only wise to put aside a period of time to get whatever help is available today toward the healing of old patterns or wounds that emotionally put you in a bind. So I recommend that you both look into healing modalities and tools that can heal old wounds and keep you more alive, and your relaitonship more alive and in the spirit of happiness. There are many modalities of work available today that can be brief, to the point, and effective.