Post # 1
We have been together almost a year and are pretty serious. Have talked of marriage and a lot about out future together. He is very thoughtful and really takes care of me. Never raised his voice to me. Honestly probably one of the nicest guys I have dated. We are both in our first relationship post divorce. Both have been separated a couple of years first. Even so, both our divorces still sting a bit. Anyway things were great the first several months. But the past 2-3 have been a little Rocky. He is a doctor who owns 2 very successful businesses. Definitely has that leader type personality. Which is good, he is fair and diplomatic but then he also expects perfection, organization, and always wants a plan. I on the other hand am a cardiac nurse that works the night shift. My life and my job are chaotic. I am a kinda fly by the seat of your pants type girl. I’m not the most organized but definitely like things clean and in their place. He is the tyoe to immediately clean dinner. I wait an hour or two. he obviously thinks being on top of things is best. So I jump up and do dishs immediately now. Not that big a deal. But it’s his way. I dont sleep well between shifts and often tell him I’m really tired and it will be hard to work 12 hours on no sleep all night. I may say this once a week. He told me I complain too much about my job and I should be thankful I have a great job. He also said he wouldn’t tolerate his employees being negative about their jobs. I was like, most ppl aren’t thrilled to go to work. he said he was always happy to be at work and I should be positive. I think there is a vast difference going in at 10-11 aNd to your own company with everything just as you want it, compared to working all night in a hospital under stress where ppl are dying and sick and doing all kinda if crazy things. He also has in his half joking way keeps saying how stubborn I am and won’t ever change my opinions or admit in wrong. But he is the same. I know these are not huge issues but these type things keep coming up aNd I don’t know what to do. When I tell him he hurt my feeling he is very apologetic and he know se should listen more. He just keeps sayin these things. It seems stupid to break up over, but it’s getting more frustrating. So honestly do I sound like I just need to suck it up, never complain aNd vent about working all night, clean dinner immediately, and such.
Post # 2
I know this is a bit of a cliche but actually, a good relationship isn’t one that depends on one of the people in it changing beyond recognition OR being the one that makes all the compromises.
Sure, we’re rarely clones of our SOs and that means we react differently to things. But equally, there has to be a happy medium where BOTH of you adapt or, if this isn’t possible, you accept that the incompatibilities between you mean that a long term relationship won’t work.
So don’t change in order to please him. That won’t make you happier in the long term.
Post # 3
I agree with the PP. My SO gets nit picky about certain things too, and its usually when he’s stressed. Have you noticed him doing it more when he’s stressed? Not that its an excuse, but I just try to cater to it. That said, he hasn’t asked me to change anything major. If he did it’d be a different story. I also know that I do some things my own way and therefore we make compromises. You just have to talk about it. If you are that unhappy though, and its constant nagging, maybe you should reevaluate the relationship.
Post # 4
twu123: I’m not saying you should break up right now but DO NOT ignore this. It sounds like he could be extremely rigid, critical and controlling. You are not his employee – you’re his girlfriend and he doesn’t have the right to manage or “improve” you.
If you are doing things “his way” to please him or avoid criticism, that’s not good, real or sustainable. Stop “jumping up” to do the dishes. If YOU are doing the dishes, then YOU get to decide when and how to do them. If he says anything, tell him that and that if he wants them done on his timetable, then he can do them.
Would it be possible to ask him if his demanding ways a factor in his divorce? If it was, look out because he hasn’t learned anything. If you can’t ask him that, you can tell him, nicely, that you are an adult with your own way of doing things just as he is and while everyone has flaws and has room for improvement, you are who you are and aren’t looking for a mentor, but a partner. Tell him you would like to work on some compromise. If he’s willing and able, great. If he takes the Attitude that you need to come round to his way of thinking, move on.
Post # 5
twu123: I think you need to have a good conversation about the fact that you are feeling like he is trying to change you.
But I also think that this is a line to toe in this sort of situation. It is often said that a good relationship will bring out the best in you, so I think that to a certain extent, we do change for people, but only in small ways (like washing the dishes asap). Perhaps think of the small ways that you have tried to encourage him to change or would like to and offer to “trade” small habitual changes. E.g. you’ll think twice about whether you really need to get something off your chest (i.e. “complain”) and he’ll try to X.
However, make sure to remind him that there is a big difference between venting to a partner to relieve stress and actually carrying a negative attitude into work. Remind him that you are doing the former and need that venting in order to have a good attitude at work.
Also be sure to remind him that just because he does one thing one way and was brought up to do it that way, and you do something another way, does not make either way better than the other, they are just different.
I truly think that you can make this relationship work, but it will take just that: work. You have to communicate honestly about these things and continue to talk about them until something changes. If nothing does and it still bothers you in 3-6months time, then it’s time to call it quits.
Post # 6
Thanks guys. ABout this divorce, he is not really sure why his wife left. He thought she was bored with their life, but he has since found out she has been with his best friend for a long time while they were separated. I think that is why she left, but he doesnt seem to think she was cheating while they were married. I do think some of his ways may have been a part of why she wanted out, because he is very frugal even though he is very wealthy. He has has been to her new house dropping off mail, and has said how differnt she is now. That she is not as organized, and how much money she spends now, and how differnet she is. Granted I think she is a total hag, cheat, and took him to the cleaners and got way too much money, much more than she deserved- but I think her lifesytle now is totally differnt than how she lived while they were married which leads me to think she was sick of some of his ways. He has told me he wants to learn from it, and knows he may be too frugal and picky about things. As luck would have it, after I posted this message we talked about some of this. I worked all night and went to his house to sleep for a bit, then I have to work 7p-7a again tonight. Well I had to get up after 3.5 hours of sleep to go get my son unexpectantly because he was having issues with friends. SO I jumped up to get my son saying I am so tired and wished things would calm down. He said his famous “try to say positive, it has nothing to do with your job, I just dont want you going down this negative road” I was pissed thinking you work all night, get no sleep, go work out teen issues, then go back and work all night again on no sleep. He could see I was upset, and was like ” I am sorry, I guess that wasn’t helpful thing to say.” I finally told him he doesn’t have to be here in this he he doesnt want it, if he thinks I am so negative. I told him I am exhausted, and sick of dealing with teen issues on top of everything. I told him he made me feel like I am a negative nelly and have to watch everything I say, and when crap happens I can’t pretend life is rosey. He apologized and said he really was just trying to help me while im going through a rough spot to keep me positive and that he just wants me to be happy. I started crying and told him he makes me feel like I bring nothing good to his life, and that my choatic life may be too much for him. He said that wasn’t true, that he loved me very much, and if he wanted out he would have told me, and he just didn’t know what to say sometimes. I had to leave to get my son, and he sent me a message that he loved me and wants to help and that he is realizing he needs to figure out a differnt way to help since i keep getting hurt. So in light of all this, does it sound like he really just doesn’t know how to listen well, and will try to make things work? Or do you think he is may be too rigid in life? Thanks for your advice.
Post # 7
twu123: It is often hard to know what to say when someone is venting or going through a hard time. Some people need to hear positive things, others just need a hug and an ear and others need someone to say the negative things with them too.
He obviously is someone who tries to help the person feel less negative by trying to keep things positive, but that is obviously not how you feel comforted. You need to decide what you would like him to do/say when you are venting so that you feel better and so that he feels like he is actually helping.
Perhaps that means having to say “I need to vent for the next 5minutes, please just hold me/please offer suggestions/please tell me it is all going to be ok” clearly communicate what you need so that he can fulfill that need and not just be left guessing with you feeling hurt.
He needs help to learn the best things to say and do, help him get there.