Post # 1
I am new and I am finding these boards very helpful, so thank you! : )
I would love to hear your thoughts on my situtaion. 1.5 ago I started dating a man very different from me. we live together now… I am very open, I speak my mind I am quick to anger and quick to forgive.
He is very non confrontational, hates arguing and quite often says nothing.
Him & his ex are both like that. they ended in a platonic relationship that he said never really had any passion and neither ever fought or communicated. she is a nice woman and he has stayed friends with her (which is good their are 2 kids involved)
He says he loves that he always knows what I am thinking, he loves the passion and he has never had so much fun with a woman.
However I think he love/hates me… I know. He says he likes it but now when we argue, sometimes stupid stuff, sometimes not he can’t get over it. It could be the silliest arguement and he will stay hurt for days… he shuts down and gets very distant.
yesterday he said we fight too much and it’s stressing him out. he considers everything a fight though. for example he bought a luggage bag. I said why?? I have been trying to buy matching luggage for when we travel… I was annoyed but no fight, in my mind. To him that was a fight. so he acts cold for several days which esculates into real fights!!
when do you know to throw in the towel and when do you stick it out. I hate feeling like he loves me when all is good but if we have an argument, he goes from wanting to marry me to not sure we should be together. stressed!!
Post # 3
I think the first thing to remember is that having an argument is pretty normal. It doesn’t matter how similar or different a couple is… arguments happen. Non-confrontational people just tend to shy away from tense situtations.
I’m the non-confrontational one in my relationship and my soon-to-be hubby doesn’t have any problems expressing his anger and frustration. I tend to get my feelings hurt easily and sometimes it isn’t what he’s saying, but HOW he expresses his feelings. Maybe your guy needs a softer tone. There are ways to get your feelings across without sounding so heated. There’s an art to confronting passive-aggressive people and usually a direct tone isn’t going to get you the response you would like.
Another way to have handled the luggage situation may have been to praise his choice and say that you liked his style and his pick of a bag, but you would have preferred to have a matching set. This way he doesn’t feel like you’ve just shred him and his luggage to pieces, but you also got your point and feelings across.
Post # 4
Maybe sit down and talk about it. Let your true feelings be known. Obviously he doesn’t know how you feel, or else the behavior won’t continue.
Post # 5
My husband and I have a rule, every argument should reach a conclusion, and hopefully we both take something away from it. We have seen relationships were people claim they never fight, and both find it to be weird. We find arguing is a healthy way to communicate, as long as you do it properly and both people have an opportunity to speak.
Post # 6
You have different ways of communicating, which can be a problem, but doesnt mean its not fixable.
He takes any disagreement or questions as a “fight” and possibly you pick to many non-important fights or point out too many problems with what is going on in your life
“I am very open, I speak my mind I am quick to anger and quick to forgive.”
He may love that about you, but you have to be careful that is the very thing that pushes him away eventually. My mom says that the very thing you love about someone can easily become the very thing that you learn to hate.
You both need to talk and come to a compromise. He needs to understand not all questions and disagreements is truly a fight, and you probably need to learn that not everything you disagree with needs to be brought up in discussion.
I can be tough finding a middle ground when to personalities are at their core very different in communicating styles. But its worth the effort!
Post # 7
I think we all have to learn to pick our battles and sort out what’s really important from those things that just feel important right now. After a while of hearing complaints on all the little things, anyone is going to need a break, or start to shut down. You could take this an opportunity to gain insight into yourself and how you react… finding harmony with another person is an on-going learning process, and both partners have to be willing to learn when to bend (and when not to). Is it really that important that you guys have matching luggage? I know it sounds nice, but isn’t it more important that you both feel appreciated?
My husband is the quiet, non-confrontational type too… so it’s easy for me to run right over him and control everything. When he knows you understand him, and you care enough to step-back and let him have a voice in whatever ways he shows it (even if it’s a voice in ugly luggage)… he’ll be able to do things your way, too, without feeling run over. There was time when we first seriously dating and thinking about the future, when I didn’t realize how much I argued every little detail… and I’m a loud argue-er! He was overwhelmed! We have a great give and take now… and we can have an disagreement w/o feeling like the end of the world, but it took time and PATIENCE to get here. You can only control yourself, so I’d start there. Try letting him do things his way, even if you can’t stand it… he’ll appreciate it more than he can say.
:)Hang in there! It gets easier!
Post # 8
@tlr: Strange as this is about to sound, I am a combination of you and your FI. I used to be quiet and get distant when there was an argument, and sometimes I still do. But now, I speak my mind much more which I think helps. I think you need to sit down with him and talk about your communication styles. I had to learn how not to shut down and my FI had to learn how to be a little more sensitive. It just takes time and patience.
Post # 10
I only have two thoughts. They are only guesses so tell me if I’m totally off track.
My first thought is maybe it’s not so much what you are saying but how you are saying it. My guy has a tendancy to question things, point things out, make me aware of EVERYTHING I’m doing sometimes as if I didn’t know. There’s nothing wrong with those things in general. But the way he says it is what sets me on edge. When he questions me his tone makes me feel like he doesn’t think I know what I’m doing, or I’m not aware of what I’m doing, or that on some level he doesn’t approve and wants to make sure I’m aware of it without him actually coming out and saying it. He says he literally doesn’t realize he’s doing it. But it has caused a couple arguements between us.
2nd thought: Maybe he’s annoyed that you are questioning too much? Using your luggage example – maybe he just wanted his own luggage. Maybe he feels that he is an adult, he doesn’t need permission to do little things and the making him explain himself too often is making him feel like you don’t trust he can do things on his own, or properly, or that you don’t think he’s doing anything right. Could this be a possibility? Maybe not?
I only mentioned the 2nd because when I was buying my house I could have killed my guy a hundred times. I kept him up to date on everything that I knew, everything that I was researching. But he still felt the need to question me. Not inquire about the status of things. But question me. “Have you done A,B,C,D,E,F,G yet? Cause I talked to my dad and if you don’t do this you could be in a lot of trouble.” Ummm. Yeah. I did that months ago AND I told you about it. The tone and word choice played into it. Made me feel like I was constantly proving to him that I was on top of things rather than him supporting me.
Now, it doesn’t sound like your guy is handling conflict/resolution appropriately at all. But I do hope that you find a middle ground and find a way to communicate to each other that makes you both happy.
Post # 11
@tlr: As long as you both are willing to work on it, you stick it out. You just need some help with communication so that small things don’t blow up. Wonderful book you should read is We Can Work It Out by Notarius and Markman.