Post # 1
I haven’t been getting along with Fiance lately and I don’t feel like myself. I love him, he is a wonderful man with lots of great qualities and no red flags. And I know he feels the same way about me.
We are terrible at fighting. Maybe it’s me. I’ve always hated it when people fight and when I am in a fight with someone (my mom, a friend, FI) I almost always break down and cry, feel attacked, feel like I’m nine years old and getting in trouble or something.
The way this translates to me and Fiance fighting is not good – I think me crying sets him off even more (and to be fair to him, I break down and cry nearly every time we fight – it bugs me too), I feel like because we’re arguing it might mean he doesn’t like me or love me, and then I’ll say something mean because I want to hurt him the way my feelings are hurt. All of this fighting is seriously draining me. I am miserable, I can’t focus at work, I fell so, so sad.
The thing that drives me crazy about him is that when we fight he’ll yell or swear which I can’t take. For some reason it just is too much. And even if I’m upset with him over something he did, it always seems to come back to me – he always says that I am self centered and make everything about myself. That I use the words “I” and “me” all the time. And then when he says that I feel like I have nothing left to say to him, it kind of kills anything I could say because now I am trying to communicate without making it about myself.
I don’t want to fight with Fiance. But if we get to that point, I just want to be able to have it out and resolve our differences quickly. And like an adult instead of a kid. Have any of you gone through this? Is there anything I can do to make this better? Or that we can do? Once we have it out and make up it seems to me like we are equally committed to avoiding such situations in the future. I would love to have an idea or plan in place that we can talk about in happy times so that our bad times aren’t as difficult or often. How do deal with this stuff with your SO/FI/DH?
Post # 3
I feel like I could’ve written this post about 6 months ago. Fiance and I had some issues like this, where we would fight over something, I’d start crying because I can’t help it, and he’d get mad and start shouting and swearing. I understand that it’s not a red flag issue so I hope no one tells you that. Everything finally came to a peak with us one day when Fiance threw his phone against the wall in anger and it broke. After a couple days of cooling down, I told him that I wasn’t going to put up with him escalating to the point of throwing things and we sat down and had a real discussion about that particular issue and what we can do to stop fighting. For us, a lot of it was miscommunication. He felt like I cried to make him feel bad, when really I just can’t help it even when I try. He felt like swearing just came automatically when he was upset, while I felt like he was doing it to make me mad. We also realized that when we fight, I like to make things better and talk it out immediately, while he needs time to cool down- sometimes a few minutes, sometimes a few days. We just had to learn how to communicate better and compromise. That conversation really helped us and we haven’t fought as badly since, even when we’re upset. Obviously that might not last forever, but I think learning what you both can do to communicate to the other better is really helpful. Both of you need to understand that you just think differently, but you can still be on the same page.
Post # 4
Yelling and screaming?
Disrepecting and cursing?
Fighting about stupid things or serious disagreements?
You may want to read the book together “Men are from Mars, Women from Venus”. It helps understand how each of you deal with problems and suggests way to get through disagreements in a respectful fashion.
Post # 5
It sucks you’re dealing with this. I hate to fight too. Usually I would rather say what i have to say once, listen to Fiance and if we can’t come to an agreement right then I walk away & I wait a few hours until I think we can. Maybe you guys need to take a cooling off period so he doesn’t get to the point where he curses and stuff? Fiance and do this and it makes it so we basically don’t have any big blow outs. The funny thing is, the way you described you’re fighting sounds like how therapists say it should be done. They always say not to blame the other person and say “you, you, you” and make them feel attacked, but to say how thier actions make you feel.
Post # 6
I have found men to take crying as a personal attack, which they don’t handle well.
You both have different styles of argumenting and communicating! I recommend getting some good literature or counseling so you can effectively deal with how each other communicate and you expectations regarding interaction when disagreements or problems come along.
Guys are very direct and want to get to the bottom of things. They want to “fix” it and be done with it. Where as women want to talk about it, and have their partner care and express interest in the matter. So when a girl gets emotional she is not helping fix the problem in his eyes and when a guy gets all barky and quick, she starts to cry and its a vicious cycle.
Post # 7
Fight over email. Then you can’t cry and he can’t yell and you both have to use words and take time thinking before and after you write.
Post # 8
@Ms. Dove: Wow. I could’ve written this post last night/this morning. FI and I have been bickering a lot more lately and it’s really upsetting me even more. I feel exactly like you do when you get into arguments.
We usually just end up talking and apologizing though he stays pretty calm. I just hate that it’s been continuous lately, but I know it’ll get better soon. We all have our bad days.
Post # 9
@Eva Peron: Agreed.
It drives me CRAZY when people cry when you’re fighting, even though I know you totally can’t help it. Because it’s both aggravating AND you want to make the crying person feel better, which goes against why you’re fighting in the first place 🙂 I second the literature/maybe counseling research that would help you effectively discuss things before they escalate to the point where you feel you need to deal with it “like a child”.
I’ve heard it said that the people you have to watch out for are the ones who won’t fight, cause they don’t feel comfortable enough with you to express their true opinions – so I don’t think you’re fighting “because he doesn’t love you”. You just need to figure out how to do it in a way where you both retain dignity, mutual respect, and get your feelings heard. Good luck!
Post # 10
This sounds just like me and my SO. I sob hysterically and need to continue talking about things over and over until I feel better and my SO just loses it. He still has trouble yelling/cursing etc, but he used to be much worse. Years ago, he used to realy struggle with throwing things or hitting the wall when he was angry.
I made my boundaries clear to him (and he showed a real desire to respect them), but I realized that I have no power of his action. The only thing I could do was change how *I* was reacting. I learned a couple of things that make a big difference:
1) People who “blow-up” need a cool-down…even if YOU don’t want to have one. It takes a lot to walk away from a fight, but when I sense SO starting to heat up during an argument, I will say “We aren’t communicating, let’s talk about this again later.” Usually when we come back to the issue, he’s a lot easier to communicate.
2) Remain Calm. I know this is so hard. I’m a crier too, I just don’t react to fighting well. I had to learn to keep myself together and remain as calm as possible.
3) Communicate in other forms. Someone above me suggested email. I would totally do that if SO were a computer person, but he’s not. So instead, I’ll call when he’s mad (he won’t pick up) and I’ll leave a calm voicemail expressing how I’m feeling. He’ll listen to it and get back to me in a few hours when he’s processed it. For some reason, he listens to a recording of me much better than me in person, haha.
Post # 11
conflict will always be a part of a relationship – you’re two individuals with distinct personalities and preferences. what is important is learning how you can resolve conflict together. there are a number of self-help books on this. but, what I learned from reading up on this are:
– Learn to fight fair. Before you even fight, have rules on what to say, what not to say during a conflict. There are some things that might be tempting to say in the heat of the moment but hard to get back when you’ve calmed down. Avoid “you” statements such as “you never listen” or “you always do this”. Instead, use “I” statements, saying how somethings makes you feel, like “I feel hurt when you…”
– Set a time out. If you are prone to dissolving in tears during a conflict, maybe you should go for a time out to give you time to settle your emotions. During this time out you can write down what you want to say.
Hope this helps.
Post # 12
I’m going to post in here to bookmark this thread, because it’s GOLDEN! what a bunch of lovely advice. so relatable! I was beginning to think only my SO would swear and shout and hit walls, lol!!! he doesn’t hit walls anymore, but I’m still trying to get him to work on that swearing…
also I just have to drop in Al Turtle‘s relationship advice. that website completely changed the way I saw things and SAVED my relationship two years ago. if I hadn’t discovered that site when I did… I may be single right now. 😮
Post # 14
Just wanted to come back to this and say thank you to everyone who posted. I have been working on trying not to let my emotions overtake me when we disagree. He’ll say something (not necessarily bad, but different than my perception/opinion) and instead of over reacting I try to take a breath, take a minute and react calmly. I am also trying to remember he is not a mindreader. By telling him what I expect or hope for or need, he is prepared to understand that and discuss it. And he is going out of his way to leave the swearing and yelling out of the picture as much as possible. It is actually working pretty well.
Our families fought differently – it’s so funny how when that’s what you know, anything else is hard to deal with. I don’t want to yell, cry, fight, I just want to be able to disagree, hopefully find a solution, and if not, still be okay with that, without flipping out.
I also started reading A New Earth which is pretty interesting in talking about emotions and how we relate to others.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know your comments were really, really helpful and I do come back to this thread now and then to remind myself of this good advice.
Post # 15
hi Ms. Dove
I know you first posted 4 weeks ago, but I wanted to comment because I have somewhat gone through this too. My situation isn’t exactly the same, but we would definitely let our fights escalate, and I, too, cannot control my crying (sometimes) when we fight.
Sooo, I started to try this: When I’d start crying, I’d excuse myself for a bit to cry it out in the other room, and usually this gave him a chance to cool down as well. Crazily, it would only take about 5 or 10 minutes for us to calm down and then we would still talk about it but in a much more calm way, very much like what jwilson1 described. And by the way, props to that comment. I’m a counselor and have worked as a group counselor for families and this is exactly what we discussed in our sessions about good communication. I shared this information with my SO, and we both try to stick by it. He even catches me not sticking to it sometimes and has to remind me. I think he likes the “I” statements. lol
This worked so well for us that I can honestly say we have not had a fight escalate to that level in about a year… Good luck and I am glad to hear things are getting better 🙂
Post # 16
I used to be a petty, vicious, emotional fighter. It’s my husband who is the one who keeps calm and never takes a cheap shot and is always looking for a solution instead of dwelling on the problem. Believe me when I say that this can be fixed if you are both willing to stop yourselves and make a conscious effort to stay reasonable, isolate the problem (and not universalize it), and NEVER EVER swear or yell, and not make personal ad hominem attacks. It’s going to feel really unnatural for a long time but it is very possible.