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My boyfriend and I have been dating for a little over a year and a half. However, one of the biggest issues we have is getting into meaningless arguments. I can admit that I am sometimes at fault. But, he has a very short temper and even the smallest thing can set off his temper. He never gets physical but it’s tiring having to always watch what I say in fear that he might take it the wrong way and blow it out of proportion.

We’ve had several conversations and he always says he’ll try to be more level- headed but it never lasts long. I really love him a lot and don’t want to break up but I can’t keep getting into pointless arguments everyday. It’smentally draining. What should I do?

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It sounds like the beginning of emotional abuse. The arguments and the explosive outbursts are to change your behavior and make you more submissive and force you to back down. It is mentally draining and it is ruining your self-esteem and your confidence. I doubt whether you're at fault, but rather he's blaming you for a lot of things you may not be doing. The fact that you state you won't leave him also shows an emotional dependency. Every once in a while he treats you nice, and you hang onto that feeling, telling yourself that he loves you, before he goes back to abusing you.


If you're not going to leave, you have to develop tools to allow you to fight back and short circuit his arguments. For example, don't argue with him. Rather ask him questions like a psychologist would. Ask he "why do you feel this way?" "Why are you yelling at me?" "If you want your supper, you will have to talk to me in a civilized tone." You have to out-think him and don't engage him. If you can do it successfully, you'll totally confuse him and turn the tables on him. But it's very difficult to do. It would be easier just to leave this guy. You shouldn't have to put up with this.

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It really comes down to you, what you can put up with and for how long.


Him changing how he deals with things is not a click a switch and it's all done. It is going to be a long term change with its own share of ups and downs and this is if he can be bothered going to the effort.


This comes back to you. Are you prepared to walk on egg-shells for the next year while he might or might not work towards being more level-headed? And love is all good to use as an excuse to stay, but is it enough?

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I've lived with 20 yrs of this and in my relationship, it's always been as love/hate situation, sometime hour to hour.


I did some reading on BPD and was surprised at how well it described my wife, particularly the explosive temper, hyper-sensitivity and hyper-defensiveness. The trick I have learned is you cannot have a rational argument when their infuriated and then afterwards their guilt prevents them from wanting to revisit it - you end up having to suck a lot of it up... but that also helps reinforce it and you end up walking on egg shells and feeling like mentally scrambled.


As DanZee above says, ask questions like a psychologist and tell him more about how you feel. He'll figure out what the causes are.

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