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Thread: How do you come back together after a big argument

  1. #1
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    How do you come back together after a big argument

    Hi everyone
    I'm looking for some advice on how to come back together after an argument, and how much space is healthy to give.

    We've been together for 2 years, 2months and for the most part are quite happily compatible. I'm 42, shes 39, I'm pretty chill, shes fairly high strung.

    My fiancee has a history of depression and anxiety and prior to us getting together made a lot of progress a therapist. She runs at an extremely high stress level though and has a very difficult time managing stress. For instance a misunderstanding at work in the morning will set her mood very negatively for the day. A bad day at work sets her mood very negatively for a few days and so on.

    This weekend we went with 2 friends to an event, she offered to drive. Traffic getting to our friends was brutal and she was very annoyed by it. We eventually navigated to a better route and off we went. During the drive there, which was on the most dangerous road in the region in very heavy rain, which sees a great deal of fatalities, she was going 120 km/hr in a 90 zone and I said "when you drive this fast on this road in this heavy rain it kinda freaks me out" (totally normal tone).

    She went very quiet and slowed down but her mood immediately changed, she was miserable all night and tended to go off on her own at the event saying very little, this continued through the evening, we came back to her place late and didn't say much and went to bed.

    The next day I bring up that she still seems unhappy and ask if theres anything we need to talk about before I leave. She flips out and says everyone is a bunch of a-holes because shes trying to do something nice and we're not answering her when she needs directions (we absolutely did, there was a space of about 15 seconds where we were just talking amongst ourselves not answering her but our friend in the back told her what roads to take) and then I tell her we're going too fast, and she had a horrible night because of that. Il add that everyone was very nice and very thankful to her for driving.

    And that's it.

    From there I said I'm sorry we didnt answer in time but we made it there just fine. With the speeding part I said anyone who's uncomfortable with someone's driving on the deadliest road in the region should have the right to bring that up without consequence and to react so angrily over it, when I said it quite calmly, and have it ruin her night and next day, is both selfish and childish (was that too harsh? I was pretty upset that something like this ended up with me being the a-hole) and that shes responsible for her emotions and chooses to sit in misery, calmly saying I'm uncomfortable with her driving is me being legit worried not trying to agitate or personally attack etc etc. Then I went on to say that she drives with her emotions and it's really uncomfortable being a passenger when she drives angrily. At that point she yelled "I dont want to talk about it" and went into her room and slammed the door, at that point I left.

    I also mentioned in the conversation twice that I love her very much, but she needs to consider getting help to manage her stress levels, and I'll do whatever is needed to help get that going.

    I sent her a text in the evening about 8 hours later that said "hey (pet name) I hope you're feeling better and have had a chill day at home. I'm sorry we had an argument, they're not much fun" and attached a few funny memes.

    So now what? I figured on just letting her be for a few days and seeing what happens. Is this waiting too long? I generally want to resolve things asap (within reason) but she, not so much.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry this happened. Yes you have the right to mention unsafe driving when you're in the car.

    Adding "selfish and childish" to backseat driving will require some cooling down from both sides. It seems she's not the "high strung" one after all.

    You apologized and extended the olive branch. That was the high road so now it's up to her to cool off.
    Originally Posted by James2014
    everyone was very nice and very I said it quite calmly, and have it ruin her night and next day, is both selfish and childish

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    Well, I think there might have been too much "man-splaining" going on. That's when a man over-explains something. When you said slow down, you're freaking me out, she hears you're you saying she's freaking you out. Maybe you could have just said she had plenty of time to get where you were going and take it slow. Later if you're reminding her that this was the most dangerous road in the world, etc., that's too much information. She was probably afraid driving in that rain to begin with, and she felt no one was helping her. That's the worst sin in the world for a woman, that no one was helping them. Maybe someone else with more experience should have been driving instead of placing someone who is nervous and anxious in that position.

    And it also sounds like you're criticizing her when you said the next day she still seemed unhappy. How about just throwing your arms around her and telling her that you were sorry for making her angry the previous day? It seems like you're purposely prodding her to react. If you understand how she works, and what she's like, then you shouldn't be provoking her. You should be trying to calm her down.

    You know, the thing about a relationship is that one partner should be actively trying to help the other partner in situations when they don't do well. She should probably not have been driving, but you should have been helping her and calming you down. She heard what you said as criticizing her. Also, you telling her she has to manage her stress levels is another dig at her and reminding her that there's something wrong with her. Calling her selfish and childish is even worse.
    Apologizing for having an argument rather than saying you're sorry for upsetting her is another example of blaming her and pointing out she was the cause of the problem.

    Look, I had a friend who was high strung, and I know after a while it gets frustrating in not being able to say what you want to and having to constantly encourage them. But it's your decision to make about whether you can continue this relationship and be positive and helpful to your girlfriend versus being negative and provocative.

    If you want to continue being her boyfriend, you should call her now and tell her you're sorry, you miss her, and you love her, and that you're a jerk and you don't want there being these bad feelings between you. And don't do it in your "calm" man voice that sounds condescending. Try to put some emotion into it.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    I died laughing when I read "man-splaining", however that pretty much sums it up. Excellent points about sincere apologies.
    Originally Posted by DanZee
    Well, I think there might have been too much "man-splaining" going on.

    If you want to continue being her boyfriend, you should call her now and tell her you're sorry, you miss her, and you love her, and that you're a jerk and you don't want there being these bad feelings between you. And don't do it in your "calm" man voice that sounds condescending. Try to put some emotion into it.

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  6. #5
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    You were not too harsh, in fact, it seems that you allow her to walk all over you. You should not be apologizing for her moods and temper tantrums. You have allowed this woman to repeatedly manipulate you. You should NOT have sent a text the following day.

    How in the world would you have a family with someone, where you constantly have to walk on eggshells.

    Is she still seeing a therapist? Is she on meds?

  7. #6
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    We teach others how to treat us, and you are allowing yourself to be a doormat.

    Do not reach out. Do not apologize. She owes you an apology and needs to seek help.

    I don't know how, and why you would want a relationship like this!

  8. #7
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    I see what you mean, I was certainly more reactive than helpful for the situation. I did actually offer to drive there and again to drive back but she declined.

    I'm not sure if the commentary about managing her stress levels would be taken as a dig, as it's a continual conversation that comes up from both sides and seeking further professional help has been a part of those conversations. Her mood is openly discussed in the relationship and asides from this particular incident I've always supported her on her mental health in a very loving manner and have been available virtually anytime for a crisis.

    This is our biggest speedbump thus far in an otherwise good, stable relationship and I want it to work. Perhaps I was too critical which didnt help the situation, I'll give that some thought. In the meantime I'm having trouble figuring out how much to try to contact and how much space to give.

    Thanks for the feedback

  9. #8
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    "If you want to continue being her boyfriend, you should call her now and tell her you're sorry, you miss her, and you love her, and that you're a jerk and you don't want there being these bad feelings between you. And don't do it in your "calm" man voice that sounds condescending. Try to put some emotion into it."

    He is not the problem. He finally stood up for himself.

    You are really off on this! This is why she treats him like this.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Well.....I'm a woman and I don't think OP was doing too much man'splaining at all or that he was being provocative.

    I'm actually with Holly that he is being a complete doormat, apologizing and trying to glue and fix things that he didn't break and isn't responsible for.

    I also wonder - do you think, OP, that you can spend your whole life either walking on eggshells around this woman trying to appease her bs or spend years constantly fighting over every little thing or both? Is this really your idea of a happy life? Your description of her struck me more as a full blown personality disorder and not just a small issue of not managing the stress well. Sounds like you are trying to make excuses for inexcusable behavior. Is she still in therapy or did she quit once you got into a relationship? Even with therapy, how much of this are you really willing to put up with and for how long? She sounds pretty much insufferable.

  11. #10
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    Thanks Hollyj, could you be a bit more specific on how I'm being a doormat. I've definitely been one in some past relationships but feel I've put up boundaries in this situation with voicing my opinions and tried to balance it out with some love. If you're picking up on something Im not I'd like to know. Thanks

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