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Thread: Small, ridiculous problem with a larger underlying issue- Help?

  1. #1
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    Small, ridiculous problem with a larger underlying issue- Help?

    While my boyfriend was making breakfast, I went downstairs to get a cup of coffee and a cappuccino for him. I got an oat milk latte for myself. They accidentally made his order with oat milk as well. I brought everything upstairs even though his order was wrong. It was a long line in a tiny shop and I felt embarrassed to ask them to make it again. I figured he could try it and if he didnít like it there was always the coffee to drink.

    He was upset about his coffee order being messed up. I felt kind of put out because he didnít say thank you for the effort or anything just scowled at me and balled up his fists. I understood his disappointment, I just didnít like the reaction, especially bc Iíve been in an abusive relationship before and men getting very upset over small things and becoming what appears to me to be physically menacing, really triggers some ptsd like symptoms for me.

    He then gets upset with my reaction- he doesnít like when I get anxious in response to his anger. I start crying and he gets more frustrated and things sort of spiral. I go back downstairs and get another cappuccino with the correct milk this time for him. When I come back up, we talk and he says that he feels like I donít give him space to be upset or mad and that he doesnít like the fact that I get anxious and look like I think that heís going to hit me when he gets mad.

    I understand what he is saying. I want him to have the space to be disappointed/angry/whatever and I donít want him to feel responsible for managing my reactions or previous traumas. At the same time, I also felt like he was being kind of a jerk about the messed up coffee order and couldíve communicated differently about it. Itís hard for me not to feel scared when some one snaps at me and balls up his fists and looks so angrily at me.

    I paid for the coffee and tend to pay for more things in the relationship bc I make more money. I donít mind doing these things but was trying to express to him that it didnít feel nice to have my effort go unappreciated. I didnít feel like he was hearing my side of things and kept directing it back to me not giving him the space to be upset and not liking that I act scared of him when heís like that. He also felt like I made it a bigger deal than it was but I also felt like his somewhat outsized reaction is what made it a big deal?

    I donít know. I feel confused and slightly crazy and totally ridiculous about this situation. I want to give him the space to feel whatever he wants, itís reasonable for him to be upset over a messed up order and I shouldíve just corrected it when I got the first cappuccino and realized it was wrong, but I also canít shake feeling a bit hurt by all of this. I guess Iím just looking for some outside perspective on this and some resources for myself so that I can manage my feelings better?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Most abusers like this guy don't:
    Originally Posted by lilymars
    he doesnít like when I get anxious in response to his anger.

  3. #3
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    I remember you posted this before.

    The coffee incident wasn't the only one, was it?

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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    I remember you posted this before.

    The coffee incident wasn't the only one, was it?
    This is the first time Iíve posted about my relationship online but there have been other incidents in our relationship like this, yes.

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    Originally Posted by lilymars
    This is the first time Iíve posted about my relationship online but there have been other incidents in our relationship like this, yes.
    Do you think it's all your fault?

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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    Do you think it's all your fault?
    I donít think itís all my fault.. I just have trouble parsing out what each of us is doing to make things spiral into such a weird place over some of the most mundane thing like a cup of coffee. I feel like he can sometimes be ly and a little inconsiderate but I am also sensitive and anxious. I just feel really turned around and confused after we have conflicts like this and want to be able to handle them better in the future.

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    From what you wrote, you are apologetic and hesitant (even with the coffee shop employees!) And he is an easy burn who flies off the handle, then settles down.

    He will continue to fly off the handle as long as you are willing to leap to get him another cup of coffee.

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    Thatís a fair assessment. I need to work on being more assertive and I did feel a bit like I was rewarding his negative reaction by going to get him the correct order. Thank you.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    If anyone, much less someone who claimed to love me, would expect me to head back out to correct a cup coffee over a few drops of milk instead of just thanking me for the coffee? I'd offer them the opportunity to go make the switch themselves, and I'd be clear that this is the last cup of coffee--or anything else--I'd want to share with this person, and I'd be sure to make that happen.

    It's not about the coffee.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lilymars
    Thatís a fair assessment. I need to work on being more assertive and I did feel a bit like I was rewarding his negative reaction by going to get him the correct order. Thank you.
    That's an awful lot of fuss and nonsense on his part about the coffee. Yes you did reward his bad behaviour by getting him another coffee. He should go get it himself.

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