Post # 1
I get mad over little things and to make things worse, I hold grudges – I will stay mad for hours. For example , I tried to surprise SO by dressing up in lingerie for him. He rejected me, saying he was hungry and sorry. I was embarrassed and felt stupid. He offered to take advantage of the get up after he ate something but I said no and changed back into regular clothes. I was mad at him the rest of the night.
I have also stayed mad over something that was resolved 6 months ago between my SO and his ex, who he had been broken up with for 2 weeks when we started dating. The long story is in another post but basically he continued contact with her even after I voiced my displeasure. I thought he wasn’t over her, he insisted he was over her as soon as she cheated on him (his reasoning for talking to her was that her dad was dying. She wanted my SO back, moved within walking distance of him, and wouldn’t stop begging him. He wouldn’t tell her about me because he thought she couldn’t handle it. Finally, 6 months ago, after negotiating signing over a gun he had given her as a gift, they had dinner together and he paid. She again poured her heart out to him and he refused to tell her that I was moving in, which is why he wanted to take care of the gun – I didn’t want her gift in the house. I told him contact with her must stop immediately. He reluctantly listened.). I’m still bitter that he was in contact with her and putting her feelings above mine. I get mad when anything he did with her is mentioned. This situation with the ex is over and done with though, so how can I stop my blood boiling and just let it go? I bring it up whenever I get the chance and I want to stop but don’t know how 🙁
Post # 3
You have to make a conscious decision to let things go, and no, it isn’t easy. It’s all about perspective: What is more important to you- being “right” and “winning” an argument, or having an open, caring, trusting relationship with your best friend?
I would be very hurt, and become distrustful of my partner if every time we had a disagreement something from the past was thrown in my face. It is something from the past, said and done, over and let go. Can you see from his perspective that it might be really really hard to be reminded of your shortcomings?
Be compassionate to him. Understand where he is coming from. Be honest about your feelings- are you angry, or are you hurt? You can heal hurt. He can help. Wait until you’re calm to bring up touchy subjects. Explain rationally why you feel the way you do, and offer him the same courtesy. Listen to him, don’t defend. Explain to him, don’t attack. I think it’s more about understanding & communication.
I have had to stop myself before and ask “Is this a hill I want to die on?” If not, then I make a conscious effort to be understanding and gain some perspective. Things might look a lot different if you’re looking from where he is. It’s eye-opening if nothing else!
Post # 4
@DaneLady: totally agree – I too am guilty of hanging on to things for way too long. years even. when it gets to a point of being a dealbreaker in the relationship, you really have to assess the situation. is this worth it? is whatever i’m still angry about really worth losing what i have? the answer is pretty much always – no.
(this goes for minor indescretions – it you are upset about something major, i.e. cheating, hiding debt, etc, then you need to look at those as dealbreakers and really ask if you can get over it. if not, end it.)
Post # 5
I’m both angry and hurt. How do I fix that? I keep going back to how he knew how I felt about the situation with his ex and ignored my feelings and did what he wanted…despite the fact that it made me uncomfortable and upset.
Post # 6
@newcitylights: You have a choice. Yes he made you uncomfortable and upset, but you are CHOOSING to make yourself uncomfortable and upset by not letting go.
We all make mistakes in relationships. I’m sure you do too. But this behavior of yours could sabotage your relationship. Is that what you want?
Perhaps you need to have a “start fresh day” where you formally declare to yourself and him that you will no longer bring up old issues. Each of you can make a list of old issues, gripes and grievances-you don’t have to show the other person. Put them in a can and burn them, or toss them into a campfire or fireplace. Sometimes something symbolic helps.
Another trick is to agree on a word that he will sayy the minute that you start in on old issues. When he says “squash”, or whatever word you choose, it will remind you of the commitment you made to each other.
Post # 7
I think I’m going to make a conscious decision to let go of my bitterness. I might even say that to SO so I am held accountable, kind of like telling someone you’re on a diet. It’s just going to be so hard…does anyone have anymore suggestions of how to leave the past in the past?
Post # 8
This is going to sound weird…but it helped me. I used to feel exactly the same way in past relationships. I’d know that bringing up old stuff was detrimental to the relationship, but in the heat of my emotions, I couldn’t bite my tongue. I’d bring up old stuff, fixate on it, roll it over in my mind and I just. Couldn’t. Let. Go.
When I began dating my fiance, (almost 7 years ago), I knew he was special and I wanted to be as good of a partner as he was to me, and that I wanted to break old habits. This coincided with some members of my family passing away. When we’d argue, I couldn’t help thinking about how temporary we are, how you never know…, that we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. And I’d think, if I didn’t have tomorrow to make up, if some terrible accident befell one of us, how would I have wanted this to go? Would I want to rehash old crap, to communicate with resentment? Or would I have wanted to deal with whatever the actual RIGHT NOW issue is, resolve that, and let it pass in a way that showed that I was frustrated/angry/upset with that instance, but that I loved HIM? These questions I’d ask myself as I tried to calm down a little bit helped me get better at reigning in my temper and putting the argument into perspective. Was this thing we’re arguing about really so essential to our future that it’s worth it? Or can it be resolved with some discussion and be forgotten? Eventually, this became a habit in how we’d fight. I’m not saying you can always be logical and reasonable–I’m certainly not–but if most of your fights can go this way than not, you can maintain a healthy, happy feeling. I think a lot of what makes a relationship successful is learning how to fight fair.
And just for some additional, third party perspective on the old argument that triggered much of this issue, your emotions are totally valid, but I can see where your fiance was coming from. For you, it was him choosing her emotions over yours. I think perhaps for him it was a choice between crushing a woman whose father was dying, he was done with her before he met you and had told her so, why add salt to the wound by saying he met someone else?–and a choice to make his new girlfriend jealous, which perhaps he thought he could fix with the simple choice to BE with YOU instead of her. He could have had her. Easily. She was begging and he said no. He didn’t want her. He wanted you. He stayed. He respected your wishes. At least from the limited info I have, he sounds like a keeper. 🙂
Best of luck in your relationship. The best thing about loving someone is that it can make us grow and learn. Big hugs.
Post # 9
Thank you so, so much for your post. It’s exactly what I needed. It’s so comforting to know someone who felt like me has come out of it. You’re spot on about him – his intentions were good and he was trying to handle it in the best way for both of us. I’ve tried thinking, “what if one of us dies tomorrow” and it hasn’t worked. But the way you framed it makes more sense. I’m going to read your post if I lose perspective! <3