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Am I missing a relationship skill regarding conflict resolution?


LostSpartan
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Over my adult years, I have a lot of women in my life from dating and girlfriends. Its not really a good or terrible thing.

 

Which brings me to this post.

 

I need to know what I'm doing wrong. I usually flee from relationships. Usually because i know not all woman act in a certain way. So here in my situation. I'm in a relationship with a woman that I care about a lot. I really do. In most areas, she is wonderful. Clearly not perfect of course. The problem that I'm struggling with is how she acts in regards to the house not being clean. If the bed isn't made, trashcans partially full, dishes in the sink, etc. Nothing terrible, just basic cleanliness. Which to be fair, I get. No reason to live sloppy.

 

Let me paint the picture.

 

For the last week, I have been struggling with an abscess tooth. Its been painful and hard day to day. I work from home and I pay all of the household bills completley. She works as well, but not from home. To save our relationship, I've got into the habit of making the bed as soon as I can, cleaning up when I'm moving around the house, and when I get done working, I try to get as much done before she can get here. I do this for two reasons.

 

Reason #1 - Her sanity. She clearly has a trigger with this and it really stresses her out.

 

Reason #2 - Her behavior is completely out of control and what I consider, toxic. She will storm around the house, scowled up in her face, slamming items around, slamming doors, items, cursing, yelling at the top of her lungs, and completely angry and aggressive.

 

So avoid both and not to do my usual of just dumping her and moving on, I've been trying to be proactive and stay on top of it. Even though it seems a bit unfair to me. But that's another conversation.

 

Ok picture painted.

 

So here I am in pain struggling and barely able to function. So for the last two days, I haven't been on top of my usual routine. So she gets up and within a manner of seconds, she's in her usual toxic storm. Cursing, storming around the house, cursing, slamming stuff, and just really upset. All in front of her son, btw. So I'm human and i know i can get upset as well. So I'm trying to stay in the bedroom to avoid a conflict but as she starts to slam things, I start to worry she's breaking stuff. So I go in the kitchen and ask her whats wrong. Dumb question, since I already know. She goes off on me cursing and slamming pots around. I snap and I yelled back. Telling her to stop. She yells back and here comes her son. I spot him, feel terrible and stop. Which really upsets me. I do my absolute best to not argue in front of him. But she can care less. She will curse, yell, scream, etc in front of him and not think twice about it, but then get mad at me, when I react from her and yell back once.

 

Now from my diverse experience, I know that not all women act this way. All of that can be communicated, with the same message, but differently. One doesn't have to scream, shout, break things, curse, etc.

 

Which made me start thinking. What the hell is wrong with me? I see people that have been married for decades. I feel like I need help acquiring a skill I don't have to handle this, instead of my usual routine of just dumping her and moving on.

 

Thoughts?

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LS.

 

She sounds like a real nightmare.

 

" she's in her usual toxic storm. Cursing, storming around the house, cursing, slamming stuff, and just really upset. All in front of her son, btw."

 

"She goes off on me cursing and slamming pots around. I snap and I yelled back. Telling her to stop. She yells back and here comes her son. I spot him, feel terrible and stop. Which really upsets me. I do my absolute best to not argue in front of him. But she can care less. She will curse, yell, scream, etc in front of him and not think twice about it, but then get mad at me, when I react from her and yell back once."

 

"Her behavior is completely out of control and what I consider, toxic. She will storm around the house, scowled up in her face, slamming items around, slamming doors, items, cursing, yelling at the top of her lungs, and completely angry and aggressive.

"

 

That is no life, OP. It isn't your job or your place to acquire a skill to deal with a person who sounds unhinged.

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She gets this upset when the house isn't clean? Is that it or do you think there is another reason behind her frustration?

 

That is extremely deep resentment or baggage she's carrying around if it triggers her so badly. I am so sorry. No one should be throwing, banging things around or losing it in front of a child. I'd try to get to the bottom of what is bothering her when the kid is asleep or in another room.

 

She and you both have to communicate for this to get anywhere. Without communicating, no, you can't do it alone. It takes two.

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i think you know your question makes little sense and you know the answer so why ask it?? Also please please do not let the abscess go - get it taken care of ASAP. Take it from one who knows -it can become dangerous and not just really painful. I know it's so hard to go to a dentist right now but please do. Very soon.

 

You keeping things neat and clean will not help. I have my triggers too. But I don't storm around and scream in response to triggers -yes I use an irritated tone when I tell my son please to aim when he pees. Please. But no I don't go off the rails. Also I self talk a lot so when my husband's habits irritate me I silently self talk to remind myself of all the things he DOES do. And if I bring it up I choose my battles. Not into being the Nagging Wife. I bring it up without nagging, when I am calm. And if I have my quirks, I own them -meaning I like certain things a certain way in the kitchen. So, I do it -I don't delegate or ask him because I own that it's quirky, particular -not essential. That way he's happy to line the garbage can while I'm taking out the garbage- without my asking - he hates taking out garbage so he makes up for it by having the can re-lined so I can come back and not have that extra task. For example. It's not equal in general but it's fair. And part of being fair is being adult and mature, picking one's battles and yes, it's ok to lose it once in awhile -we're all human, it's a pandemic - but once in awhile and not in an abusive way.

 

I think you know you're not lacking a skill. Except learning how not to be a doormat.

And again please seek medical attention ASAP. I hope your mouth and tooth are better really soon!!!

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She gets this upset when the house isn't clean? Is that it or do you think there is another reason behind her frustration?

 

I'm wondering the same thing. I could also understand, given what you've written, if you've lost the ability to be curious about what may be really going on here. That said, without curiosity—and mutual curiosity—relationships tend to wilt as resentments simmer and boil.

 

Another thing? I'd really try not to see all this as something you've done, or are doing, or some tragic flaw in your romantic operating system. I get the impulse there—oh, do I—but what you're describing is the behavior and choices of another person, her. Everyone has "triggers." How we handle being triggered is, in the end, on us. Personally, I think one of the key things to compatibility is learning how someone handles themselves when triggered—and whether that's something you can work with and live alongside, or not. What you've described, at least how you've described it, is a situation that few people would be able to put up with for very long.

 

Can I ask how long you two have been together?

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This woman is a full on abuser and you know it. This isn't about triggers or communication skills or conflict resolution skills or cleaning up. Abusers abuse because they feel entitled and the only correct response is to end this relationship like yesterday.

 

If this is the sort of partner you choose, then your picker is broken. Walking on eggshells while tolerating what you are describing is a good way to ensure that you don't have what other people have - a healthy relationship. At some point you really do need to figure out what attracts you to this sort of a dynamic because of all the women you've dated, you are clinging to the worst, bottom of the barrel type. To put it another way, other people have healthy relationship because they don't waste time on toxic people.

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OP, is this the same person? Back a couple of years?

 

"At which point she went nuts. Started yelling, cursing, telling me it's none of my business. Saying I ask too many questions. Asking why did I even ask. She's yelling at the top of her lungs and just going frantically nuts. I asked her to calm down at this point because I feared my neighbor might call the cops. Not to mention, I felt big time disrespected. At this point, she screamed no. Knocked some things off of my desk. "

 

DancingF puts it perfectly.

 

What do you intend to do OP?

 

There is a pattern here, which appears to always include screaming, yelling and knocking stuff around. Why do YOU think you choose (and where do you find them?) these women?

Edited by LaHermes
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i think you know your question makes little sense and you know the answer so why ask it?? Also please please do not let the abscess go - get it taken care of ASAP. Take it from one who knows -it can become dangerous and not just really painful. I know it's so hard to go to a dentist right now but please do. Very soon.

 

You keeping things neat and clean will not help. I have my triggers too. But I don't storm around and scream in response to triggers -yes I use an irritated tone when I tell my son please to aim when he pees. Please. But no I don't go off the rails. Also I self talk a lot so when my husband's habits irritate me I silently self talk to remind myself of all the things he DOES do. And if I bring it up I choose my battles. Not into being the Nagging Wife. I bring it up without nagging, when I am calm. And if I have my quirks, I own them -meaning I like certain things a certain way in the kitchen. So, I do it -I don't delegate or ask him because I own that it's quirky, particular -not essential. That way he's happy to line the garbage can while I'm taking out the garbage- without my asking - he hates taking out garbage so he makes up for it by having the can re-lined so I can come back and not have that extra task. For example. It's not equal in general but it's fair. And part of being fair is being adult and mature, picking one's battles and yes, it's ok to lose it once in awhile -we're all human, it's a pandemic - but once in awhile and not in an abusive way.

 

I think you know you're not lacking a skill. Except learning how not to be a doormat.

And again please seek medical attention ASAP. I hope your mouth and tooth are better really soon!!!

 

I am seeing a dentist. Thanks for your caring words.

 

I'm going to try and talk to her and dig deeper into this.

Edited by LostSpartan
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This woman is a full on abuser and you know it. This isn't about triggers or communication skills or conflict resolution skills or cleaning up. Abusers abuse because they feel entitled and the only correct response is to end this relationship like yesterday.

 

If this is the sort of partner you choose, then your picker is broken. Walking on eggshells while tolerating what you are describing is a good way to ensure that you don't have what other people have - a healthy relationship. At some point you really do need to figure out what attracts you to this sort of a dynamic because of all the women you've dated, you are clinging to the worst, bottom of the barrel type. To put it another way, other people have healthy relationship because they don't waste time on toxic people.

 

Painful but very helpful response. Thank you.

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OP, is this the same person? Back a couple of years?

 

"At which point she went nuts. Started yelling, cursing, telling me it's none of my business. Saying I ask too many questions. Asking why did I even ask. She's yelling at the top of her lungs and just going frantically nuts. I asked her to calm down at this point because I feared my neighbor might call the cops. Not to mention, I felt big time disrespected. At this point, she screamed no. Knocked some things off of my desk. "

 

DancingF puts it perfectly.

 

What do you intend to do OP?

 

There is a pattern here, which appears to always include screaming, yelling and knocking stuff around. Why do YOU think you choose (and where do you find them?) these women?

 

Haha. no, not the same person. I guess I'm putting myself in this situation.

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OP. As DF said:

 

"other people have healthy relationship because they don't waste time on toxic people."

 

Trying to talk to her isn't going to work. Any talking will turn into yet another slanging match.

 

More importantly is to try to find out WHY you are drawn in the first place to these types.

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OP. As DF said:

 

"other people have healthy relationship because they don't waste time on toxic people."

 

Trying to talk to her isn't going to work. Any talking will turn into yet another slanging match.

 

More importantly is to try to find out WHY you are drawn in the first place to these types.

 

Ok fair enough. I'll have to try and figure out why I end up in these situations.

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So this isn't her house, but she demands for yours to be cleaned? This isn't about conflict resolution. She groomed you to be a doormat and walking on egg shells around her and your own home.

 

The issue you have is not seeing the glaring red flag. She is an abusive narcissistic who clearly has no concern for your health, but only for her law and order. The other part you need to look at is what you do get out of this, and why you choose to stay with someone so completely volatile.

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Over my adult years, I have a lot of women in my life from dating and girlfriends. Its not really a good or terrible thing.

I need to know what I'm doing wrong.

Reason #1 - Her sanity.

 

Some men crave the crazy chicks. And that's fine if that's your type--some claim they're better in bed--but that comes with a price and you can't be shocked when you end up time after time after time with . . . a crazy chick.

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She 100% is in control of this crazy temper. And you tolerating it is 100% your choice.

 

I have known, dated and was raised by a real hot head. And it wasn't until I decided enough. That it stopped. My mom is still in my life... as her temper mellowed once I moved out of the house. lol.

 

But the others? I had to make the choice to cut them out of my life and now? a red hot temper is a deal breaker. hard stop. no go. not happening. good bye.

 

I think people with bad tempers learned at early age, this is a way to get what they want. Their behavior was tolerated by enough people... as a lot of people are conflict adverse.

 

but ask yourself, why do you have to bear the brunt of her lack of self control? the poor kid, he's stuck. I know. I was that kid. its scary. In front of other people its embarrassing. It is abuse. that's why I accepted it from exes and friends... fortunately one fine day, I thought to myself, why am I dealing this immature BULL$#!T!

 

And now I don't.

 

oh they'll beg. You're mean. you hate them. you are the miserable one. the bitter one. but you stay nonplussed... no. you're not. that's them. when they can't bulldoze you, they are out of tricks.

 

Dump this woman. tell her to get anger management or you'll call child services. Find a nice woman and breath again!

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She 100% is in control of this crazy temper. And you tolerating it is 100% your choice.

 

I have known, dated and was raised by a real hot head. And it wasn't until I decided enough. That it stopped. My mom is still in my life... as her temper mellowed once I moved out of the house. lol.

 

But the others? I had to make the choice to cut them out of my life and now? a red hot temper is a deal breaker. hard stop. no go. not happening. good bye.

 

I think people with bad tempers learned at early age, this is a way to get what they want. Their behavior was tolerated by enough people... as a lot of people are conflict adverse.

 

but ask yourself, why do you have to bear the brunt of her lack of self control? the poor kid, he's stuck. I know. I was that kid. its scary. In front of other people its embarrassing. It is abuse. that's why I accepted it from exes and friends... fortunately one fine day, I thought to myself, why am I dealing this immature BULL$#!T!

 

And now I don't.

 

oh they'll beg. You're mean. you hate them. you are the miserable one. the bitter one. but you stay nonplussed... no. you're not. that's them. when they can't bulldoze you, they are out of tricks.

 

Dump this woman. tell her to get anger management or you'll call child services. Find a nice woman and breath again!

 

I felt this response. Thank you. I'll take your words strong to heart.

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I honestly dont know. Its never something I see upfront.

 

That's called a broken picker and that's something that you do need to work hard at figuring out and fixing.

 

There is a long road from meeting someone to going so far as to live with them while they have screaming meltdowns and show actual violence. Yes, punching or slamming or throwing things is a form of physical violence and it's really just a matter of time before they punch you. Basically, for whatever reason you are missing a forest of red flags along the way. Generally, abusive people don't go from all sugar and sweetness to violence just like that. There are clues. Even if there aren't (there are those rare cases), the moment someone shows you that side of them, you need to learn to show them the door and slam and bolt it shut behind them. That is actually a relationship skill - ending things that are toxic immediately instead of trying to appease and control by walking on eggshells.

 

Think about the stress you are causing yourself by running around the house fixing things up before the monster gets home....... How toxic is that? That's a lot of stress to choose to live with and for what? Just so you aren't single? Most people would easily opt to be single than live with that kind of fear and stress every single day. Keep in mind also, that while you are wasting your life on this, you are missing out on meeting healthy, kind, normal women who couldn't act like that if they tried.

 

At some point, you've got to stop saying that you have no idea and start being honest with yourself enough to get an idea and fix that broken picker.

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There's nothing wrong with you. Both of you are simply mismatched.

 

I'm a neatnik or clean freak or whatever you want to call it. My house is clean, orderly and decluttered. Granted, my house does not belong on the cover of a magazine. However, I can't think straight living as a slob. It is psychologically uplifting to live in a clean, organized, non-junked up house. Fortunately, my husband and sons are similar to me and my habits.

 

You need to be with a woman who shares your same household habits, doesn't have a temper, exercises self-control, knows how to behave with grace and if she's a mother, she needs to set a fine example to her child or children. Obviously, your girlfriend is neither nor does she meet compatible requirements.

 

I hope you can go to a dentist and get your tooth pain fixed. I'm sorry for your physical pain.

 

You can't "save your relationship." It either already exists or it does not. Clearly, your relationship is not loving, kind, respectful, peaceful, harmonious and what a normal relationship should be. Volatile relationships are not normal.

 

She will not change for you. Either accept the way she is, her intolerable, unacceptable temper and all or dissolve and exit the relationship entirely.

 

You're not responsible for her son. She is and however way she chooses to raise him. It's sad that he has to bear witness to his mother's hostile outbursts and foul language. You have no control over how she is or what type of mother she is. All you can do is save your sanity and make a decision whether or not you see a long term relationship with her or not.

 

No, you're not missing a relationship skill regarding conflict. Your problem is choosing the wrong woman in the first place, your personalities clash to the point of disturbing, there are integrity and character defects. One is a slob whereas the other prefers to live a clean, organized, neat, decluttered, orderly household and life which is psychologically uplifting btw.

 

Your temperaments differ, your values differ and you don't act out of control. She has no qualms demonstrating physical anger such as slamming doors, drawers, using foul language, doesn't care if her son hears and observes her, she's loud, noisy, disruptive and the complete opposite of calm, mature and peaceful behavior. Perhaps she has a form of psychosis because normal people don't act like a crazed animal. A violent temper is a huge red flag.

 

Those are my thoughts. There is nothing wrong with you. You need to hone your skills regarding choosing a compatible woman in your life. Weed out the bad apples. Be with a woman who prefers an orderly, clean home just like you. Be with a woman who knows how to engage in a calm discussion to resolve issues if there are concerns, worries or disagreements. Be with a compatible woman. Pay attention to personalities and characters. That's what you need to work on. Use your instincts, common sense and remain practical. Love does not conquer all. Pay attention to the types of women who are harmonious to your lifestyle, household habits, life, personality and character. Work on those skills.

 

I've been happily married for a long time. My husband and I chose each other because we're comfortably similar in many peaceful, harmonious ways. It is no mystery. Birds of a feather flock together.

Edited by Cherylyn
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Are you able to have that tooth looked after?

 

I think Bluecastle brought up a good point about curiosity. It's on the first page. If you've both stopped being curious about each other or checking in with one another that's already a sign that neither of you are communicating well with each other. Maybe it's the dynamic you keep picking with individuals or you avoid confrontation or are afraid of the repercussions of having conversations with her child there. Both of you don't seem to have the same views on some very basic things on the surface even. How could this work?

 

What do you see in each other if you can't respect one another?

 

What is the whole point of being with anyone really if you can't share a day without losing it over something or other?

 

There are always two sides to every story.

 

While she's unhappy and violent, you're unhappy and avoidant.

 

Why? You came here looking to save the relationship but I don't know if you're interested in saving it. I think you have one foot out the door. No one can tell you to do otherwise. But if you do have one foot out the door, walk right through it and don't prolong this. I'm sure she can see right through it too.

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Yes, Cherlyn. That's the sane idea.

 

"Pay attention to the types of women who are harmonious to your lifestyle, household habits, life, personality and character."

 

But, odd as it might seem, there are people who get off on the drama, screaming and shouting. Life would be so dull otherwise.

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Yes, Cherlyn. That's the sane idea.

 

"Pay attention to the types of women who are harmonious to your lifestyle, household habits, life, personality and character."

 

But, odd as it might seem, there are people who get off on the drama, screaming and shouting. Life would be so dull otherwise.

 

Clearly a mismatch.

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