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Thread: Recurring relationship problems - help!

  1. #1
    collegekid

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    Recurring relationship problems - help!

    Hey guys and gals,

    I apologize in advance if I'm not following protocol by posting a new thread as my first post.

    My girlfriend and I have been together for 19 months. She is amazing, the most caring, loving, amazing person I have ever met. I truly love her more than anything else in the world and want to marry her someday. Our relationship is great...mostly. It is pure bliss about 90% of the time. When it is great, it is amazing.

    However there are times when we disagree or I do or say something (which normally, I mean nothing by it) that rubs her the wrong way. I'll almost immediately get that there is something wrong and try to apologize over and over and try to make the situation better. However, usually that just makes it worse and often for these big arguments, she will break up with me and stay mad/sad for a few days. Often times, it is recurring issues. Issues involving respect and care (two words that she says I lack at times). Every time she tells me to improve I take it to heart, and I feel like I do. It does take time and some issues take longer to resolve than others, but overall I feel like I keep making the same mistakes. Sometimes I feel like I'm not mature enough to fully understand what she is saying or stupid or something. (We are both in college, however she is two years older than me). I shouldn't be making these mistakes over and over, which are the reasons behind the really big arguments we have.

    I really want things to work out, but more importantly I want her to be happy. I feel like I make her very happy most of the time, however I also hurt her and make her cry. I want to be everything for her, I want to be perfect. I know that isn't possible, but I feel like I should shrive for the best with her and be the best boyfriend for her. But it kills me to see her like this. I've thought about relationship counselors or even breaking up with her because I can't stand to see her cry, especially because I am the one to do this to her.

    What can be done to improve this relationship? Also, how can I do better to work on the things I'm doing wrong so they don't happen again? Finally, how do I identify problems BEFORE they happen?

    Thanks for listening and I look forward to any solutions.

    Sincerely,
    John

  2. #2
    abitbroken
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    What exactly are you saying repeatedly that rubs her the wrong way? It is hard from what you have told us if you are being rude or insensitive to her and keep doing it, or you aren't and she is being overly sensitive.

    Also, the most important thing is not to make sure she is happy at all times but be happy with yourself. And when you are happy with yourself - the folks around you will be also - or if they are not - you aren't the one preventing them from being happy.

  3. #3
    abitbroken
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    What exactly are you saying repeatedly that rubs her the wrong way? It is hard from what you have told us if you are being rude or insensitive to her and keep doing it, or you aren't and she is being overly sensitive. I will say when you are in college - 2 years CAN be a big leap if one is just out of high school

    Also, the most important thing is not to make sure she is happy at all times but be happy with yourself. And when you are happy with yourself - the folks around you will be also - or if they are not - you aren't the one preventing them from being happy.

  4. #4
    niya
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    care and resepct

    It is pretty obvious that you care, maybe too much actually. I wonder if she's taking advantage of your care. Regarding respect, can you give us an example of something she considered disrespectful?

  5. #5
    geekgirl4
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    Hm, I must say that breaking up so quickly after an argument is a bit premature (and immature) on her part. As someone who is dating a younger guy, perhaps I can give my outlook. One of my issues is that when I try to explain why something bothers me, my bf sometimes just does not understand and that irks me. To me, understanding each other (even if we're on opposite ends) is essential. Even if he disagrees, as long as I know that he understands my point of view, I feel like we can work out. While I realize that time and experience helps in understanding, it worries me that sometimes we aren't on the same page. We had a big fight a few months back on something he thought he did absolutely nothing wrong but I (and my most brutally honest friends) thought was quite an error on his part. I was completely baffled for a week on how he couldn't understand something I thought was pretty fundamental and easy to understand.

    So keep in mind that at times, you may think you are doing your best but it could be you aren't really seeing it from all sides. The next time an issue comes up, forget about how you think you're doing your best in caring and what not (which you could be doing, I'm not saying you aren't). Focus on what issues she talks about and really, really try to see it on all sides.

  6. #6
    j.vanburen
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    I think geekgirl4 really summed it all up! It takes two to tango, and while your efforts may be honorable, are you really looking at things objectively or subjectively?

  7. #7
    collegekid

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    Hey guys, sorry for replying so late, this last month has been crazy.

    Basically, to give an example of what she considers disrespect and lack of care was just this past month on our anniversary. Basically my day on that date went like this: We both had an exam at 11am that day. The night before, I had stayed up to about 4 or 5 studying for it and woke up a few hours later to get to the exam early. I saw my girlfriend there but I was so focused on the exam that I forgot to say it then. After the exam, it was me, her, and a mutual friend that left the exam together so that wasn't the best time to say anything. Then, I had classes from 12-5 straight. After classes I called her on my way home but she was busy talking to her parents via skype, so I said "I'll talk to you later". But, when I got home, I was so exhausted from the day that I fell asleep. I wake up at 11:59 by a call from my girlfriend. But when she realizes that she just woke me up and that I wasn't going to say Happy Anniversary to her that day. She got really sad and hung up the phone. I tried calling her back after that but she didn't pick up.

    Later the next day when I could actually talk to her, I tried to explain the situation and why I didn't call her. However, she told me to stop "defending myself" and didn't want to hear more of what I had to say. Also, she said that I didn't care about us (or her) and that if I did, I would have called and said it. I feel terrible and while things between us has been getting better, she hasn't fully forgiven me. I have been calling her everyday since then except for today, which I admit, I forgot to. She instead, calls me and we talk normally before the issue of me not calling her comes up again. Again, she says that I don't care, and that if I don't care about her, then she won't about me and brought up the issue from the anniversary again.

    @geekgirl4: I totally agree. Sometimes when a problem comes up and she is explaining why she is upset, I simply don't get it, or I think I get it at the time but later on the issue comes up again. I feel like some of the things are either because I'm too immature to fully grasp them or just too stupid. The relationship between us is like a roller coaster at times and I feel like I am the reason why it goes down. The biggest fights always seem to happen right after a perfect day with her, when I think the relationship can't get any better. Usually I do something stupid, whether it is a joke that is taken the wrong way (or doesn't come out how I intend it to) or a lapse in temper where I lose my cool.

  8. #8
    Scott12
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    Collegekid,

    You mention in your OP that you've been with this girl for 19 months and then you mention that your "anniversary" was last month. So is this the 19th or 20th month "anniversary" we're talking about you forgetting? If it is, then you need to know that no one counts months after the first year except for babies. If that's the case, then she is being too sensitive.

    If it was your 1st or 2nd anniversary, then yeah, you kind of need to step up on those days. "I was tired" doesn't really cut it.

    Scott

  9. #9
    geekgirl4
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    I also agree. It's understandable that you're exhausted from exams, but if it's your first or 2nd anniversary, then it would have been simple to just tell her that you're completely exhausted and going to crash but happy anniversary anyways and you'll talk to her tomorrow. Also, if she had the same exam as you and errands/classes after the exam, then she's probably just as exhausted as you, but kept herself awake for a quick phone call during an anniversary, so keep that in mind. On the flip side, she seems very... hm, quick to jump at problems/situations, but she isn't completely off her knocker. Relationships are work. They aren't something on the side that you can pick up whenever you have free time. They aren't always convenient to how you want it but you put up with it because you love them. They are a part of your life and small gestures can go a long way. Texts/emails/phone calls takes less than a minute to do if you're in a hurry. If you can't spare a minute, what can you spare?

  10. #10
    Clarity
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    You'll learn this as you get older (hopefully sooner rather than later). With women, this path never works. Just admit you messed up (because you kind of did), apologize, say that you were wrong for forgetting the anniversary, and that you'll make it up to her (don't say how). Then follow through later by making it up to her with something special (not just buying something, but something thoughtful, like a nice night out together).

    If a woman is upset, she doesn't want to hear an explanation of what caused her to be upset, she wants to know that you know what you did, are sorry that your actions hurt her, and that you won't let it happen again.

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