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Boyfriend upset over small issue, red flags or valid concerns? How do I feel close to him after this?


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I just want to thank everyone here for their responses. I appreciate the validation.

I will say this, how do I get that experience and strength to walk away from this? How do I establish boundaries? I don't think I have the greatest tools when it comes to walking away. Knowing that the event that has occurred here is far more blown out of proportion than it should be, and the fact that this disagreement and argument is probably about more than just mini golf, I need to talk to him about these feelings. 

We haven't really spoken much today, and he hasn't really given me much emotion or encouragement on making this work. He has never made me feel like he wants me to stick around. We were supposed to talk on the phone later or meet up and talk about the larger issue at hand here, but he has conveniently decided not to check his text messages so it will have to wait for a later date. We have an event coming up this weekend together, and I'm now guessing that isn't happening anymore.

I am very upset that one moment it could feel like I've found someone I can share my life with and then the next, I feel like it all just came crashing down in the matter of an instant. Pretty hard to wrap my head around it 😕

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He's too high maintenance and complicated which doesn't make for a smooth, harmonious relationship because you'll have to constantly clear your name each and every time which is quite exhausting! 

You need to dump him as in yesterday!

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While I find the incident and the length of the discussion after an unpleasant hiccup that shows you both have to do some work on communication, I really dislike:
 - him using the term gaslighting incorrectly and out of proportion;
 - the remark what other kinds of dishonesty you may bring to the table - it's just unfair and hurtful;
And with this: 

5 hours ago, Truthwillsetufree said:

He has never made me feel like he wants me to stick around.

I'm not sure there's enough to actually stick around.

Experience is something you gain over time. Sometimes in the heat of the moment we're more reactive than reflective and that's normal. Usually it's still worth it to reflect after and apologize, if needed. With time it becomes easier to notice your own triggers and not act on them every time. It also helps with noticing the triggers of others. Note that I'm saying this in general and not for the given situation.

The need to endlessly explain yourself comes from insecurity (it used to be like that for me) and the best you can do is work on your self-esteem. If you know who you are and what your intentions are, it should be enough to state them once if the other party has also "done their job" maturing. Sometimes your message may not get to the recipient for a plethora of reasons, but then it's usually futile to explain it over and over again. A working strategy there might be to do it again when emotions have calmed down and the other party is more receptive. Or they may never be, in which case you count it as incompatibility in communication and move on. There'll be cases where you'll feel misunderstood and it'll be beyond your best efforts and there's nothing you can do to prevent it.

I understand the shock of things going great in one moment and completely downhill in the next one, but you're still in the early stages of dating the guy. It's actually valuable to see how you handle an argument together. His way of expressing frustration is either too aggressive, or he's just not that into you and that makes him more annoyed than he's supposed to be. So your strength should come from being unwilling to invest somewhere where it's unsafe to be or you don't feel wanted.

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8 hours ago, Truthwillsetufree said:

I don't think I have the greatest tools when it comes to walking away.

You don't need tools.  You need to make a choice and act consistently with that choice.  Don't make it more complicated.  I found it extremely hard to walk away from certain relationships and I can relate to the crashing down feeling.  In one case it was similar to you -in 2005 I discovered the guy I was over the moon about with infatuation mostly (3 months dated) had an anger type disorder -he told me about it- that he'd stopped getting treatment for.  I saw it when I watched him play tennis.  I think he wanted me to see it. He was then open about it.  It was a bit easier to walk away as he'd started to show that he wasn't that into me anyway. But yes I get it. I walked away that day.

Had I not -this was early June 2005 -I likely would not be typing while my 13 year old son and also husband are still sleeping.  I started dating my future husband 2 months later. We reconnected one month later.  Had I still been dating the other guy I very likely would have still been wrapped up in him and not paying attention/open to feeling sparks with my future husband.  It really is that much about timing with relationships and opportunities to meet the right person and be the right person to find the right person.

If you truly want a long term future with someone you will find the strength to walk away.  Bribe yourself if needed lol (as long as it's not with something too harmful to your health!). 

Good luck.

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10 hours ago, Truthwillsetufree said:

how do I get that experience and strength to walk away from this? How do I establish boundaries?

I struggle with this, too. because I tend to accept people as they are.  Or at least I did.  Now I'm more discerning with my time and attention. We teach people how to treat us. Its easy with big things like physical abuse. That's a hard stop for me.  Always has been. But what about people that aren't that blatant? 

I read this book and it helped me:

Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself

Book by Nedra Glover Tawwab
 
10 hours ago, Truthwillsetufree said:

We haven't really spoken much today, and he hasn't really given me much emotion or encouragement on making this work. He has never made me feel like he wants me to stick around. We were supposed to talk on the phone later or meet up and talk about the larger issue at hand here, but he has conveniently decided not to check his text messages so it will have to wait for a later date. We have an event coming up this weekend together, and I'm now guessing that isn't happening anymore.

This^ is bull crap behavior. This guy is a baby. I would cancel the plans.  

And don't accept another date.  no need to create drama. Let him know you're out for the weekend and leave it at that. 

drawn out discussions are a drain on your life.  You can't change the people around you.  But you can change the people around you. 

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With every second, you have an opportunity to speak up.  Not to make such a big statement, but think of how statute of limitations for rape can be up to 30 years.  You may not have the words right at every moment, but when you have time to decompress or think about it, things you want or need to say will come, and you should say them.  There is nothing wrong with a delayed reaction or additional discussion, because you weren't expecting him to be such a sore loser.  But trust me when I say this, if this is how he behaves now, it's all downhill from here.

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Thank you all again for the responses.

I'm going to listen to my gut on this one, and I'm so thankful for running my thoughts by this forum. I think to myself, if there wasn't a concern or flags then I probably wouldn't be typing out my story. 

15 hours ago, Lambert said:

I struggle with this, too. because I tend to accept people as they are.  Or at least I did.  Now I'm more discerning with my time and attention. We teach people how to treat us. Its easy with big things like physical abuse. That's a hard stop for me.  Always has been. But what about people that aren't that blatant? 

I read this book and it helped me:

Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself

I will also check out this book recommendation as well since I do have to work on being a person to set boundaries. I usually accept people as they are too. I think I have some growing to do.

I agree I don't think there's a lot to stick around here for, despite really being into the guy. Its unfortunate that he has made assumptions about my character based off our last date even though they don't hold true. He told me he still wants to work this out with me - so basically over exaggeration of comments about me being a cheater and dishonest in fun games - leading to being a cheater in other areas of our relationship suddenly goes out the window and he wants to resume a relationship with me the "so called cheater"...hmmm. interesting to say the least.

But I don't think this relationship of mine has any more value, its time for me to step aside even though it will suck for a while but I will eventually be alright.

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If after 3-4 months you have to "work this out" in this way then forget about the work this and just be out.  Yes- after this amount of time you can "work out" a logistical situation like one person got a job offer in another state but work out as in what established long term couples do if there's a bump in the road - um nope.  

I dated a lovely guy for three months once - we were in our 30s. Then met his lovely parents who took us out New Years Eve. Lovely Guy got drunk in front of me for the first time - but we weren't drunk -and proceeded to act like a jerk and mistreat me.  Continued this until I told him to leave/not stay over after.  Next day after blowing me off for brunch with his parents called to apologize.  Twice.  But I'd seen his character.  His parents weren't enough of a pull to continue to date someone who would treat me like that.  Nothing to "work out".  It's a great time to assess things.  I avoided more red flags. I suggest the same for you.

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13 hours ago, Truthwillsetufree said:

Thank you all again for the responses.

I'm going to listen to my gut on this one, and I'm so thankful for running my thoughts by this forum. I think to myself, if there wasn't a concern or flags then I probably wouldn't be typing out my story. 

I will also check out this book recommendation as well since I do have to work on being a person to set boundaries. I usually accept people as they are too. I think I have some growing to do.

I agree I don't think there's a lot to stick around here for, despite really being into the guy. Its unfortunate that he has made assumptions about my character based off our last date even though they don't hold true. He told me he still wants to work this out with me - so basically over exaggeration of comments about me being a cheater and dishonest in fun games - leading to being a cheater in other areas of our relationship suddenly goes out the window and he wants to resume a relationship with me the "so called cheater"...hmmm. interesting to say the least.

But I don't think this relationship of mine has any more value, its time for me to step aside even though it will suck for a while but I will eventually be alright.

Your gut's always right.  If something isn't right, it's not right.  Heed your gut because you'll prevent prolonging an unhealthy relationship from spiraling downward further. 

Always remember that you need to be treated with respect, consistent consideration and kindness otherwise all relationships eventually lead to failure.  The real question for you is this:  Do you have the patience of a saint or when will you say 'enough' already?  It's your choice.

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Just my two cents....if he has this need to "Win/compete" he will always use whatever he has, such as false accusations and insults to win his argument. Putting it all together, He is a poor communicator, narcissistic, insecure, projecting, gas-lighting, stonewalling, manipulator. Harsh words but these things can run quietly in the background. You can catch gimps of this behaviour when you reassess all these types of incidents. When we are into that person we tend to dismiss it quickly without a thought. Experience teaches us many lessons...I say this was one of those.

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