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Hi everyone,

 

My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years. I'm extremely happy in this relationship, we're both very committed and we're working on a future together.

We're in a long distance relationship (but planning on moving), so skype is our main form of communication atm.

 

Lately I've been stressed at work, and yesterday was a horrible day. My boyfriend has been very supportive, always trying to see the positive.

I work as a freelancer and had just lost an important client, I was devastated. I called my boyfriend, and as I was telling what happened, he interrupted with a sigh and "can you stop crying, your voice is tiring".

I was surprised by his reaction, but figured he must be tired too, and took a moment to calm down.

 

So I told him what happened, my boyfriend listened, and he was sweet and supportive as usual. I was still very upset about work, and as I was talking about it, the call got interrupted. I figured he'd call me back, but he didn't. I texted him asking what happened, but he didn't reply. That was last night, and today he texted me in the afternoon, saying his phone died and he was tired.

I told him I really wish he'd messaged me from his computer (or just charge his phone), as I was feeling pretty horrible. Just a text, "Hey I'm sorry my phone died and I'm really tired, let's talk about it tomorrow. Goodnight", would've been great.

This turned into a fight, with him saying that I'm needy, and hanging up on me. We haven't talked since.

 

I feel horrible, with work-related stuff not working out and a boyfriend I can't talk to. I was really angry and thought about not contacting him until he reaches out to me, but I also don't want to play games.

Am I being unreasonable and selfish? Should I just let go about this?

 

I know this is a rather small conflict, and I'm absolutely not thinking about breaking up, but wanted to hear a second opinion about this.

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"can you stop crying, your voice is tiring".

 

as I was talking about it, the call got interrupted. I figured he'd call me back, but he didn't. I texted him asking what happened, but he didn't reply. That was last night, and today he texted me in the afternoon, saying his phone died and he was tired.

I told him I really wish he'd messaged me from his computer (or just charge his phone), as I was feeling pretty horrible. Just a text, "Hey I'm sorry my phone died and I'm really tired, let's talk about it tomorrow. Goodnight", would've been great.

 

Does he normally talk to you like this and leave you hanging?

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Seems like a combination of a few things. First of all, sounds like both of you had a bad day, but you were being a bit tone death about it. He did listen to you gripe and was supportive, but it would seem that what you got from him wasn't enough, but maybe it should have been. I don't think it's fair for you to say that you can't talk to him, when more realistically you can't gripe at him as much as you'd like. There is a difference. There is also the fact that when your SO is telling you that you are too needy, it's not just about this incident, but rather an accumulation of behaviors that are starting to irritate.

 

Bottom line is don't lean on your SO as your sole source of emotional support and person to vent to. You should have some close friends whose shoulder you can cry on periodically as well. In other words, spread the burden, because no one person can carry it single handed. If you insist on that, you'll burn out your relationships.

 

All that said, yes he could have handled it better, but....life happens.

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Jibralta: The "can you stop crying" is absolutely not the way he normally talks. The hanging up does happen sometimes when we're in a fight. If it's a big fight, he tends to shut down, hang up, and call me back the next day.

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How often do you find yourself complaining about work or, really, anything in general? Obviously, he didn't handle it well, and it's a strike in my book. However, there's a difference between you needing a one-off vent session and he comes out of left field with that, and you calling to gripe for the umpteenth time. The latter can definitely put an emotional strain on somebody, and unfortunately there typically isn't any real light-hearted way to tell your girlfriend, "Hey, I can't listen to complaining right now," so often enough it ends up snowballing to the point something like this happens.

 

Also, what have these other fights been about?

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DancingFool: Thank you for the reply. I'm trying to get better at handling my emotions and not bottling it up (and then letting it explode). I'm staring to understand his pov, he must've bottled up some emotions about me being stressed out and relying on him, too.

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boltnrun: It really depends, when things are 'normal', I'd say once a month. If one of us is having a difficult time at work / fighting a deadline, or really missing eachother because of the ldr, maybe 2-3x/month.

We had a period of both being extremely stressed out, and we were fighting weekly or even a few times a week, but that was more towards the beginning of our relationship.

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Sometimes people just let things get pent up and get fed up at the same time. Communication before people explode is important. Also as someone said have others to talk to to spread the burden. ( not that we are a burden but you know what I mean. ) sometimes our significant other is just not in the mood to hear our” stuff “.

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boltnrun: It really depends, when things are 'normal', I'd say once a month. If one of us is having a difficult time at work / fighting a deadline, or really missing eachother because of the ldr, maybe 2-3x/month.

We had a period of both being extremely stressed out, and we were fighting weekly or even a few times a week, but that was more towards the beginning of our relationship.

 

So basically, when stressed, both of you will take it out on your partner. That's really unhealthy. Find better ways to deal with stress, because stress doesn't go away. There will always be something and fighting with each other as a result is only going to damage your relationship....and will add to the stress already present from other sources.

 

Maybe when you have a bad day, hit the gym, go for a walk, do yoga, do kickboxing, basically find a healthy outlet so you can release the negative energy and walk away feeling good again.

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given your circumstances, you just need to be somewhat careful.

If the only benefit of this relationship at this point and time is an electronic exchange, you might not want to over use it by venting about work and crying.

 

If you use the analogy of a relationship being similar to a bank account, it's difficult to make a lot of deposits when you don't have the benefit of being near each other. Being upset and venting about something could be considered a withdrawal. Your withdrawals might have surpassed the deposits being made.

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j.man: Thanks for the reply. There was a time where I definitely was complaining too much / being sad and crying very often, but I've gotten better at this. I do get emotional easily on the phone, I'm trying to work on that. (But that must've made it difficult for him to tell me in a light-hearted way that this is not a good time, you're right).

Other frequent fights are about setting skype dates (not making enough time for eachother)

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itsallgrand: I was literally crying, and I do realise it's a very emotional reaction. (Losing the client was the simple way to put it, but it's a complex story with lots of snowballing involved, and losing a lot of time spent and especially financial strain).

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reinventmyself: Thanks for the reply, and interesting analogy. I think a part of the problem is that we like talking about work because we're in a similar (and very specific) field, but it can easily become venting about it too, even if that wasn't really the intention.

I guess I should look for a better way to express my feeling, and not becoming too emotional when talking about stressful events...

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nutbrownhare: I've been more involved in communities (both online and offline) in my field lately, to talk about common stressful issues in my field and also just general advice and support. It has been really helpful, and hmm. You're right, maybe I should allow myself to rely more on those communities, and less on my boyfriend.

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nutbrownhare: I've been more involved in communities (both online and offline) in my field lately, to talk about common stressful issues in my field and also just general advice and support. It has been really helpful, and hmm. You're right, maybe I should allow myself to rely more on those communities, and less on my boyfriend.

 

It's much easier to share work troubles with someone if you see them face to face as a matter of course; I live with my partner five days/week and am away for two. I'm just aware that the things we talk about over the phone are much less trivial than when we're face-to-face. Or, to put it another way, if you have a five minute rant in the context of a ten minute phone conversation then it's quite a significant percentage of your time together (albeit on the phone). If it's the same rant in the context of an entire evening, it's a much smaller percentage and feels less intense to the other person.

 

Of course, if you're sharing online then you have plenty of people to offer support without depending on any one of them - and also a much wider range of perspectives.

 

As a freelancer it's very important to take care of yourself in this regard, because you don't have work colleagues who automatically know about the issues you face and can share as a matter of course. It's just that your boyfriend isn't able to fulfil your needs right now, for whatever reason. But there's nothing wrong with having more than one source of emotional support.

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itsallgrand: I was literally crying, and I do realise it's a very emotional reaction. (Losing the client was the simple way to put it, but it's a complex story with lots of snowballing involved, and losing a lot of time spent and especially financial strain).

 

I understand it was, is, upsetting to you. Do you think upon reflection that it required the level of emergency response that you were expecting of your partner though?

 

It sounds like he genuinely is a supportive and caring partner to you. But he may be worn out if you keep hitting the emergency button emotionally for things that are not emergencies. While troubles at work can be upsetting, it is not a situation at the level of say, a death or a real emergency. When you call someone in that state crying, you set off a whole string of emotions in them, which revs someone up with concern and a call to action to want to help you. If you set it off frequently, and in situations in which you could quite easily handle yourself at least partially by first calming down, loved ones can become exhausted and even a little desensitized to your tears and upset. They can start to process 'oh another false code red' even when a situation is quite serious.

 

I'm not trying to be harsh and I sincerely hope this comes across in the spirit it's intended. When someone does this, it can come across needy yes - and a little self absorbed. I can care about someone to the moon, but if they cry a lot to me over things like work and expect me to constantly respond as though it's code red - I'll start to lose my patience too.

 

Maybe a calm talk between you two is in order.

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