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Is my boyfriend smart or just sexist?


je55ie

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My boyfriend disregards negative emotions I have as being a hormonal imbalance/that time of the month/due to me not having exercised/slept/eaten enough. I find this frustrating as I often view negative emotions as indicators that something needs to change. For example, if my job brings me down then maybe I should look for a different job or if a certain friend frustrates me then I should address the issue with the friend or spend less time with them. He disagrees, saying I just want to “change for changes’ sake”. He focuses on my emotional response and ignores the context.

 

He is often right. If I get more exercise in particular, I am often in a better mood. When I am in a better mood the same issues still exist I am just less focused on “fixing” them. Then I am left wondering if my emotions are meaningless and every time I am in a negative mood it’s a failure on my part because I failed in the self-care or simply the living with the plight of being female. I resent that he only accepts me at one emotional state (happy) and that I’ve changed my hormones on his request (I take the pill so I don’t cycle any more so I’m less emotional for him). I feel like I can’t be “me” (emotional), but at the same time the current trends in psychology have moved away from attending to feelings/memories/dreams and instead are increasingly addressing habits/patterns for remedying depression/mood stability.

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A significant other should be there in the good and bad, understanding too.

Yes exercise, eating well and sleep does help and makes one feel better but bad days and bad situations still happen.

Does he baby u at all? Does he treat u well? Or just judges you?

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Are you seeing a therapist to work this out? What is more disconcerting is your bf's lack of boundaries and arrogance thinking he can and should fix and change you.

the current trends in psychology have moved away from attending to feelings/memories/dreams and instead are increasingly addressing habits/patterns for remedying depression/mood stability.
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He treats me so well it's unbelievable. But with that is the expectation that his actions will turn me around and make me perky and giggly. For example, today he is driving to see his family for thanksgiving and offered to bring me coffee at work on his way down. I turned down his offer because I'm not perky right now and I know he'd get pissed off if he brought me coffee and it didn't make me all happy. I hate Thanksgiving, it's a weird holiday culturally, and it was the day before thanksgiving that my mom was diagnosed with a debilitating terrible disease when I was a teenager. I associate the holiday with my mom vomiting all over and it's been a downer holiday for my family ever since. That combined with me having to work, I'd rather just mourn in my own pity for a while and a warm face and coffee isn't going to turn that around. He got mad that I turned down his offer and told me I need to get it together, like now. I feel like I have good reason to just want to be quiet and sad for a few days.

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This is one of those hard to tell with out knowing you in real life type posts.

 

If you are constantly down, negative, absorbed in negative emotions and things like exercise, sleep, etc actually lift you up, then it's possible that he has a point. Meaning that he is not being sexist or mean to you, he actually has a point that you not taking care of you is affecting how you are reacting and handling, or rather not handling, things, including every day life's nuisances. The fact that how you feel and your reaction to things when you do exercise, sleep, etc. actually changes, stood out to me.

 

Being emotional or emotionally driven is one thing. Allowing your negative emotions to rule you and rule your life and mow you down is something else.

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I have been in similar shoes. It is hard for me to tell but I can identify it now, or at least I know when it's possible that it is exhaustion/hormonal imbalance. And it IS legitimate; I have been studied by top medical researchers focused on this dynamic.

 

There are understandings for you to internalize. One, your emotions do not require his validation, approval, or acceptance. They are yours, so own them. "I'm a little off balance today, so I am going to stay in and read, and wait for the storm to pass" (for example) is a perfectly valid way for you to manage yourself when you feel a hard-to-manage episode coming on. Nobody else has to agree with your decision; it's yours to make. Nobody else has to like you when you are over dramatic and hard to please, so protect your friends and loved ones from that over sensitive side until it passes. That IS hormones and it is okay to acknowledge it, take no action, and wait till its over. Two, seek a relationship in which you are accepted as a multidimensional human being with ethics, morals, ideas, goals, and interests. Three, Make a distinction between being accepted for an activity or a behavior, versus being accepted as a whole person. The former is okay - that's what dating is. But if someone likes you because you make a good date, then that's all it is, enjoying the pleasure of a good date. Not all bad, but not bf worthy. Four, address the issues that linger in a moderate, rational, action-oriented way. Never assume someone else's intent. Simply request, "I'd prefer it if you would text me before 5 to figure out dinner plans." Don't say, "I'm offended that you think I am just waiting around for you?" (For example)

 

Your emotions are yours to manage.

 

At the same time, you have a voice. Use it effectively, and if you don't get resolution, look elsewhere for partnership.

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I agree with Dancingfool.

It's hard to know if you actually have some mood challenges or if he is gaslighting you in some way.

 

There is no denying that hormones effect most women's moods, but it shouldn't be a woman's cross to bear that she can't be taken seriously when something is bothering her.

 

Being hormonal makes a women intolerant to BS. But it's still BS either way, she's just less tolerant to it.

So having said that. The same exact thing can bother me any day of the month.

 

My reaction to what bothers me fluctuates, but it doesn't make my feelings about it wrong.

But it is my responsibility to manage my reactions.

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The title of your thread hints at part of the issue: who cares if he is smart or sexist? Maybe he is frustrated that some days it's a big deal and other days the same thing is not so important, and he can't find the pattern to help him weed out what matters and what doesn't. Or maybe he is a straight up donkey.

 

You can change only yourself. He might be an angel, but if you are abusive (with a disproportional temper, I mean) every 25 days, he will retreat.

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He treats me so well it's unbelievable. But with that is the expectation that his actions will turn me around and make me perky and giggly. For example, today he is driving to see his family for thanksgiving and offered to bring me coffee at work on his way down. I turned down his offer because I'm not perky right now and I know he'd get pissed off if he brought me coffee and it didn't make me all happy. I hate Thanksgiving, it's a weird holiday culturally, and it was the day before thanksgiving that my mom was diagnosed with a debilitating terrible disease when I was a teenager. I associate the holiday with my mom vomiting all over and it's been a downer holiday for my family ever since. That combined with me having to work, I'd rather just mourn in my own pity for a while and a warm face and coffee isn't going to turn that around.

 

He got mad that I turned down his offer and told me I need to get it together, like now. I feel like I have good reason to just want to be quiet and sad for a few days.

 

Of course you have good reason to just want to be quiet and sad for a few days, BUT your bf was attempting to do something nice for you, to brighten your day up a bit, so while you have the right to be sad, you should at least try to graciously accept his offer to cheer you up without flat out refusing, blaming it on your poor mood, or sadness or whatever.

 

I am not surprised he felt bad (hurt, insulted) anyone would.

 

I have sour moods sometimes too (not as often as I used to) but when my boyfriend attempted to cheer me up, I always at least tried to put on a brave face and not wallow in my own self-pity party, hoping he'd "understand." That gets OLD, fast. It's very emotionally draining for your partner to have to experience that.

 

To do so is also pretty selfish actually. Cause you are only thinking of YOURSELF, wallowing in your own negative emotions.

 

If you find yourself constantly feeling sad or down, or experiencing negative emotions often, perhaps think about seeing a therapist, you may have depression.

 

In the meantime, make an effort to be gracious and pleasant, especially when your bf attempts to do something nice for you to cheer you up.

 

That said, I think his response was rather heavy handed. "You need to get it together, like now."

 

That was harsh, so you both have things to work on.

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It would be stressful feeling like you can't ever just be sad or grumpy or simply not in a giggly mood all the time. We are human and we aren't always happy.

 

What happens if you tell him ' you know what, I'm just having a moment here. I appreciate you being concerned and wanting to cheer me up. Sometimes though I just need that bit of space to get myself to a better place til it passes.'

Would he get mad if you asked for that?

 

If you had accepted his coffee but not been smiley, but thanked him, what would have happened?

 

Just thinking in my own relationship, unless one of us asks for space, some off moods or sadness are usually met with hugs. And quiet support. That works for us , I hope you can find something that works for you.

 

As for the pill, I really think that's your choice alone. It is something that can wreak havoc with some women's bodies and there is a lot to consider, best determined by you personally and your doctor.

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Someone who ignores your emotions is not really someone you should even keep as a friend, let alone a partner.

 

I agree with you, but we don't know how often she becomes "emotional" -- we need to hear HIS side of things to make an accurate assessment of what's happening.

 

If someone is constantly in a "mood," or overly emotional about things, that can become very draining on a partner.

 

So while yes of course he should be more understanding and allow her to express her emotions, if it's too much for him (and only HE can answer that), then he also has the right to become a bit irritated by that.

 

Or in the case of him bringing her coffee to cheer her up, put a smile on her face, and her refusing because she was in a mood, I don't understand that at all.

 

They both need to try to understand each other better, and try to see things from each other's perspectives, not just their own.

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I'd have to echo the "hard to say" crowd.

 

I'm not sure sexism should be your go-to claim. If you legit can't control your moods during that certain time your hormones going wild, then it's simply an accurate observation on his end.

 

No one's perfect, but everyone is responsible for their own mental and emotional discipline. The occasional lapse is one thing, a pattern of it is another. This is another area that's been left pretty gray thus far. The guy could be controlling in a sense that he feels he needs to be able to fix everything, or he could simply be at a loss as to how to break a trend of mood swings. A lot depends on how often you're hitting him with these gripes. Also, if you do routinely bring up these solutions (e.g., "I should find another job" or "I should stop hanging out with [insert friend]") yet you don't follow through, it'd be another correct observation that your resolve doesn't really lie in actually changing these things.

 

Where I do have your back regardless of further detail is that he needs to start taking a step back. Just as you want to feel entitled to have a few off days, he's not obligated to entertain you during all or even most of your off moments, and you shouldn't feel pressured into feeling like he is obligated to. It's not fair for him to give you gruff because he can't crash your work with a cup of coffee. In fact, for me, I compartmentalize the **** out of work. I prefer my job and my girlfriend to be completely separate.

 

I think you two are long overdue a constructive conversation on this. Everyone has moods and you should be able to have your space during them. But he also shouldn't have to be frequently subject to them.

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How long have you been together?

 

A good friend of mine is married to a bi-polar woman. They agreed that it was okay for him to check in on her mood in a really solving problem way first. So if she is feeling angry, sad, overwhelmed or anxious he asks her a) if she has been taking her meds on time b) if she's hungry c) when the last time she got out of the house other than work.

 

They developed this system because often doing a b or c will lead to her feeling better.

 

But here is the trick. When she tries those things and they DON'T help he sits down with her and they talk it out.

 

For me? My list of things I need to check in on when I'm having hard feelings are a)time in nature b)exercise c)alone time d)sex... I've figured out what works for me and I give that information to my partners.

 

But if this dude just demands that you be giggly happy every moment you are with him? That's ty and boarding on abusive.

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We both play a role here, and we both have a lot of history. The fact that we know each other well enough to predict each other's behavior doesn't help.

 

He does the opposite of ignore my emotion. He is HYPER SENSITIVE to everything. I've never had my mood so scrutinized before. If I am in the kitchen and some random memory pops into my head from 10 years ago and I snicker or sigh or whatever, he responds, "WHAT? That was quite a sigh! Here we go again!" It's hard for me to respond to and keeps me in constant check. Sometimes I evoke a behavior that's important, but sometimes I just have a random emotional memory that I prefer to keep private. But he is aware of my every mood, every moment of the day. He has no job or friends and our apartment is small, so I have no space for anything other than happy when I am home. If I tell him I "just need a moment to collect myself" or "I had a bad day at work and need some time to recuperate" he gets defensive, takes it personally, or assumes I'm angry at him. Basically, any emotion I have other than HAPPY means fight with him.

He knows me so well that if he brings me coffee and I am TRYING my best to make the best of it, he still knows I'm not really happy and he'll call me on it and get mad that I'm not being happy like I should be.

 

But he has validity in his accusations. I have always been an emotional person. Call me an artist, call me eccentric, I enjoy the ups and down that make life what it is and want to experience all pieces of life to the fullest. So, at my best I am already more emotive than him. And I am depressed, I do see a therapist weekly, and I haven't felt normal for more than a few months at a time for several years now. And yes, if I don't exercise for more than 2 days in a row, my mood drops. I become quiet and tired and unmotivated. So, if he makes a joke and I don't laugh, he tells me what he said was funny and I should be laughing. When I am feeling better and have more energy, I have it together enough to laugh when he makes a joke even when I don't find it funny.

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We both play a role here, and we both have a lot of history. The fact that we know each other well enough to predict each other's behavior doesn't help.

 

He does the opposite of ignore my emotion. He is HYPER SENSITIVE to everything. I've never had my mood so scrutinized before. If I am in the kitchen and some random memory pops into my head from 10 years ago and I snicker or sigh or whatever, he responds, "WHAT? That was quite a sigh! Here we go again!" It's hard for me to respond to and keeps me in constant check. Sometimes I evoke a behavior that's important, but sometimes I just have a random emotional memory that I prefer to keep private. But he is aware of my every mood, every moment of the day. He has no job or friends and our apartment is small, so I have no space for anything other than happy when I am home. If I tell him I "just need a moment to collect myself" or "I had a bad day at work and need some time to recuperate" he gets defensive, takes it personally, or assumes I'm angry at him. Basically, any emotion I have other than HAPPY means fight with him.

He knows me so well that if he brings me coffee and I am TRYING my best to make the best of it, he still knows I'm not really happy and he'll call me on it and get mad that I'm not being happy like I should be.

 

But he has validity in his accusations. I have always been an emotional person. Call me an artist, call me eccentric, I enjoy the ups and down that make life what it is and want to experience all pieces of life to the fullest. So, at my best I am already more emotive than him. And I am depressed, I do see a therapist weekly, and I haven't felt normal for more than a few months at a time for several years now. And yes, if I don't exercise for more than 2 days in a row, my mood drops. I become quiet and tired and unmotivated. So, if he makes a joke and I don't laugh, he tells me what he said was funny and I should be laughing. When I am feeling better and have more energy, I have it together enough to laugh when he makes a joke even when I don't find it funny.

 

Thanks for clarifying further, that helped.

 

He does sound ultra-sensitive and is taking your moods very personally (from what you have described) have you tried simply explaining to him that your moods/emotions are YOURS, yours alone to figure and work out and have absolutely NOTHING to do with him?

 

That he needs to NOT take everything so personally, that you are simply a very emotional/emotive person and you need to be able to be YOU, and have him accept that WITHOUT him getting all bent and taking it all like it's a personal affront against him personally, because it's not.

 

Perhaps better communication is in order here. To gain a better understanding of each other.

 

Maybe even a couples counselor, I dunno it's worth a shot if he and the RL are that important to you (and him).

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At the end of the day OP, only you can really decide, does this relationship really work for you? I mean, is being with this guy making things better for you and your overall mood, or is he making things worse?

 

I think it's pretty normal for all of us to have ups and downs in our emotions. I have been around people who expected me to be "on" and "up" as if I were a dang circus monkey automaton who should only be set to perky or bubbly. BUT that was exhausting and those people turned out to be just a wee tad controlling. And that's never a good thing.

 

This sounds like a serious personality mismatch, but if he thinks everyone around him needs to be perky and bubbly all the time he has larger issues than you do. So really step back and ask yourself if this relationship makes life better for you or does it make it worse? Are you really that negative - I totally get why Thanksgiving would be a downer for example, nothing wrong and no need to feel ashamed there at all. I would think less of the person who was not affected at all by a beloved parent falling sick.

 

So put all the arguments about "hormonal females" (yeah right, like guys don't get all hormonal and piffy and stuff when their favorite football team loses or they get turned down for that job/promotion/girl they wanted. Humph!) and just really look at this guy. How does he treat everyone around him from his own parents to his friends to the homeless on the street? Is he overall compassionate and kind or considerate. Or is he that special breed of d**k who takes pride in being totally devoid of empathy and will say really horrifying stuff about others that would just make you cringe if they were to hear it? You know what I"m talking about. The person who bashes everyone around them and then claims they are just "helping" or "being honest" while they suck all the oxygen out of the room.

 

Whatever the case may be, if you find yourself walking on eggshells and having to be someone you aren't, you need to really ask yourself why you're trying to so hard to turn yourself into someone you aren't for this guy. So just honestly for yourself, stop any blaming or thinking it may just be you, and really take a hard honest look at him and how he treats people and interacts with the world as a whole. It will tell you more than anything else. Also ask yourself this. Would you be okay with him treating your child like he treats you if they had something bad happen to them like losing a friend or even being injured. Is he the type who would be a supportive parent or would he just yell at the kid to suck it up while they were crying and in pain?

 

That will probably give you more answers than we can. You actually do know the truth, inside of you, but you need to accept and acknowledge it and then proceed from there.

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Perhaps you can provide more information on how you actually behave when you're in a mood or feeling negative emotions, that led to him describing you as hormonal? Is there crying or being hysterical?

 

Also, is it actually linked to your time of the month or not? If not, then it's presumptuous and insulting for him to just assume so.

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Being in a bad mood is one thing. Creating an ambiance with it is another. The idea of my girlfriend sitting in the kitchen sighing out loud about 10 year old memories honestly makes me a little miserable just thinking about it. Your description of yourself as emotive is telling, as that's not the same thing as nor is it mutually inclusive with being emotional. Feeling downswings is completely different from expressing them, even if not directly toward him. He can't opt out of the latter and has to either sit through it or fix it. Basically, if you're chilling in your room with a book to mentally unwind in quiet, it's one thing. Sitting nearby emitting sighs and sobs is another.

 

I don't want to derail the thread from the issue you've focused on, but I really gotta know why is it this guy doesn't have a job or friends?

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"I enjoy the ups and downs..." - you are choosing this roller coaster way of experiencing the world. It stimulates you in some way.

 

It wears on him.

 

If you hear an alarm sound often, it ceases to alarm you. Your expressions of emotion are experiences you choose to have, not emotional journeys that require his involvement.

 

Let him off the hook. And take responsibility for the impact your mood expressions have on others. Moods are infectious.

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Have you thought about a better living environment since you work, he doesn't and he's a trust find kid and you are from a more difficult background?

 

All these things breed resentment, no matter how cutesy or bubbly he is. Having a decent sized apt would help where you had privacy and weren't on top of each other. If he and his family are so rich why do you choose to accept living in poor circumstances?

 

Working on some practical matters makes more sense than sidestepping that and him making it all about your grumpiness.

He has no job or friends and our apartment is small, so I have no space for anything other than happy when I am home. If I tell him I "just need a moment to collect myself" or "I had a bad day at work and need some time to recuperate" he gets defensive, takes it personally, or assumes I'm angry at him.
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At this point, there is no link to "time of the month" since I don't menstruate any more.

 

We live in a small place, so unless one of us in on the toilet, we hear our every sigh, burp, etc. He'll laugh and cackle and talk to his computer games while I am in the next room and I'll have no idea what he is going on about. I consider my behavior no different. Maybe he expects me to engage with him every time he talks to his computer the way he engages with me when I am having a thought in my head and I audibly respond, but I usually let him be. I don't find my behavior unusual. Everyone at my work place makes similar noises; sighs at an email, talks under their breath, etc. But we all ignore each other.

 

He says he has no job or friends because that is his preference, what he wants. I've years ago stopped asking him about it but I admit I feel alienated by that. For example, how can someone who doesn't work understand what it means to "have a bad day at work?" I think his lifestyle may play into his hypersensitivity.

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