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Starting to loose my temper with DP. Tell me if I'm over reacting...

(17 Posts)
SirBoobAlot Mon 31-Dec-12 12:08:49

Nearly name changed, decided not to.

DP and I have been together over a year, neither of us were looking for a relationship when we met, but we fell into one quite nicely. He is wonderful in so many ways, especially when it comes to my health - leaves work (self employed) to take me to hospital, to go over my therapy sessions after, watches DS so I can see my teams without a three year old present. He is brilliant with DS, kind of all I ever wished DS's dad would be, to be honest, and is more excited than me at times when DS learns new things.

He has done wonders for my self confidence in so many ways, both by the way he is to me, and the way he has put me in touch with other people to allow me to start working on and off again (I've been ill for over five years now, and just doing the odd day every now and again for people has made such a wonderful difference to the way I feel about myself). Things that I couldn't - and wouldn't - have done alone.

He can cope when I am ill mentally, and I have had full psychotic episodes without him batting an eyelid. I am able to be honest about my mental health to the point that I now don't even need to tell him how I am feeling - he knows. At times when I have been suicidal, he has sat down and discussed it logically with me, instead of freaking out.

Really, he is very special. We have a wonderful time together, alone and with DS.

However... There are little things that are starting to nag at me. I'm not sure how silly these will sound.

He tells little lies. I'm friends with his housemate (something he was NOT happy about at first, though he introduced us), and know he has told me he is with her when he isn't, and told her he is elsewhere when he is with me... Things like that. I did ask him about this once, and he said it was because he didn't want to upset the housemate, which I can understand, because she is quite sensitive, but its still annoying. There is nothing going on between the two of them, by the way. She has a boyfriend, who I have met, and is also seeing someone else, that DP collects her from sometimes. I don't feel insecure with their friendship.

On Christmas morning (he was with his family, and I was with exPs family so they got to see DS for Christmas) he sent me a lovely text, a little poem that was really sweet an touching... Until I was speaking to the housemate later that evening, and found out he'd sent this same personal text to her. She'd text me to ask if I'd heard from him because she'd received this poem, and thought it was a bit odd, and obviously written for me. Again, I fronted him about it (was slightly sarky) and he back tracked pretty swiftly. When he got home and saw her after I'd asked him, he was apparently very embarrassed that I'd been upset by this. Good. This isn't the first time he's included me in a ''mass text'', whether it was designed for me or not.

We swapped Christmas presents on Friday. I'd been planning his presents since about August (not wildly expensive, but a lot of thought had gone into them). Mine were all book themed. One was a book cover poster (that he told me he chose from a selection of posters; he happened to pick one of my favourite books, but didn't know that!), one was a set of flash cards for ''500 greatest books of all time", and the other two were books. The two books, one was the history of a special place we had visited on holiday, which was lovely. The other books was so random, he had obviously just typed in my interest into amazon, and picked the first one he hadn't seen on my book shelf. Not trying to sound ungrateful, am looking forward to reading them... But all four themed around the same thing? It feels like all he has done is thought, "Right. Present for SirBoob. She likes books.".

There are lots of other little things that are starting to grate on me. I don't know if I am overreacting though. I have Borderline Personality Disorder, and have big issues with relationships, so I simply do not know what is okay, and what is not. I may well be taking it all far too much to heart, considering how great he is to me the majority of the time.

Sorry for the essay blush Would appreciate your feedback.

Lueji Mon 31-Dec-12 12:30:44

Personally, I don't think the presents are a big problem.
Some people are just not very good and he did seem to be thinking of you and your history when he picked them up. The random book may be random, but he could have gone to a shop and liked it. You are looking forward to reading it, right? smile

The text is a bit odd, but some people do send such mass texts.

The little lies, however, would worry me.
There could easily be big lies too, that you don't know about. His room mate is seeing two people. Are you sure she's not occasionally with a third?

On the other hand, if you get upset at little things, maybe ge just doesn't want the hassle?
He would have to know that he can't lie to you, but you must also accept that he may not always be available to you.
If that is not the case, maybe the little lies hide something bigger.

Perhaps he is a good friend, but not necessarily relationship material.
The point is, will you be able to trust him?

MissBrown Mon 31-Dec-12 12:35:43

I am new here but it seems like you have a gem of a man. To be honest, if he can put up with a full psychotic episode without batting an eyelid, he is worth his weight in gold. So what if he didn't put much effort into presents, not many men do. In terms of the poem text, that is a bit crap but maybe a chat about how that upset you might help. He sounds like the kind of man who would be rational enough to understand. Maybe I am wrong but he sounds like a keeper!
Good luck!

SirBoobAlot Mon 31-Dec-12 12:37:54

Thank you for rationalizing those first two, helpful to have someone isn't in my head giving their input!

No, I'm sure there isn't anything going on between them. We're friends, and she has a 'type' - he's far from it.

The fact that there could be big lies is what's nagging at me, I suppose. Because I just don't know. He also just doesn't tell me things sometimes. I asked him why didn't tell me something specific once, and he told me - very gently - that he didn't have to tell me everything that goes on in his life. Which is fair of course. And is one of the reasons I'm posting, because I'm not sure how much of what I'm feeling are problems is simply my filters kicking in.

I get upset about the little things with everyone. I'm working on myself with that. I have wondered whether being a relationship whilst I am working out where I stand / how I feel about relationships is sensible. But he is incredibly supportive with all the 'big' stuff, so its hard for me to work out.

I trust him to be there for me when I need him, and when I just want a hug. But because I am so paranoid, I don't feel like I can trust him all the time now, no sad

SirBoobAlot Mon 31-Dec-12 12:38:56

Thanks MissB, I suspect you may be right. So its my own problems. That's fine, I just needed to know, and can't sort it out in my own head!!

Welcome to MN smile

kickassangel Mon 31-Dec-12 12:48:29

I think that if you are bothered by the lies you need to think about talking it through, but think about it first. Could it just be that he feels he needs a little bit of his own space/time to himself? How would you react if he said that to you? You may need to accept it with good grace if he just wants some time out. If he is working, spending time with you and sharing a flat then it could feel like he never gets any time and that's why he creates it by pretending to be busy when he's not. It could be something else as well, but he sounds so supportive in other ways that a more devious reason doesn't fit the image you give if him.

About the presents, that sounds like he made quite an effort. I like when people throw in a curve ball, and maybe he wanted to do a themed gift? I wouldn't worry about it tbh.

I started off thinking I was going to say YABU but having read further, I'd say that you must listen to your gut instincts.

Is it possible that this man is being who you want him to be but who might change once you're living together/married/whatever? This happened to me so I guess I'm a bit suspicious. The lying is a red flag. The text thing is too. I get what you mean about the present thing - it's like he's playing a part and hasn't quite connected on a real level.

My ex was extremely good at playing the character and everyone was totally shocked when he displayed his true colours. Maybe this bloke is doing the same, maybe not. In your shoes, I'd guard my heart a little and take care he doesn't take over too much of my life.

Lueji Mon 31-Dec-12 12:58:33

I think I'd probably take things slowly and insist on being told the truth.
But also allowing him space and to screw up.
It is quite difficult to judge what is reasonable and what's not.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Mon 31-Dec-12 14:03:37

Why lie to a housemate about his whereabouts? What possible reason is there for doing that? How sensitive does someone have to be for their housemate's social life to be so upsetting that the housemate has to lie to keep them sweet? Has he never heard the phrase 'mind your own business'... or thought to use it occasionally?

Sorry, but that part of the story alone is making me uncomfortable. I also worry about single men that target vulnerable women in an over the top way and are more excited about their children than they are. I question their motives and if that makes me a bad person, so be it.

scarletforyaOfficialXmasGRINCH Mon 31-Dec-12 14:07:21

There is nothing going on between the two of them, by the way. She has a boyfriend, who I have met, and is also seeing someone else, that DP collects her from sometimes. I don't feel insecure with their friendship

Just because she has a boyfriend doesn't mean she isn't involved with your BF, you say she is seeing someone else....do you mean a 'bit on the side'...?

Maybe the bit on the side is your DP?

Hmm. The lies would be a dealbreaker for me. I don't think you should stay in a relationship with a liar because he can cope with your mental health - as good a quality as that may be, it does not excuse the other stuff. Don't feel that you deserve less just because you have some difficulties - it may be true that a lot of people would find your psychotic episodes too difficult (for them for whatever reason) but don't stick with the first person who can and let him lie to you - why would he? My DP has lied to me a couple of times in the past over really small stuff (and for really stupid reasons) - he is terribly bad at it and I've spotted it instantly, and to his credit he has come clean each time, but I cannot abide it and if it continued - well I couldn't spend my life second guessing all the time and wondering what was true or not.

aufaniae Tue 01-Jan-13 09:39:13

The lying would be a problem for me too. It would make me feel very insecure, especially if I didn't understand why he was doing it, or what he was covering up.

If he's supportive of your illness he needs to understand that lying is not helping.

But really, this is not about your illness, YANBU in the slightest to feel weird about it, it's not right.

I can relate to not knowing if it's you or not. I have a lot of baggage from my previous (abusive) relationship, which had a terrible effect on my self esteem, and sometimes I feel it's hard to get to get perspective on what's a good, healthy gut instinct and what's paranoia or overthinking.

I do think you should trust your gut instinct about the lying. It may be nothing, the cause of it might be his own insecurity about something or other. But the underlying principle that you should be honest with your partner is missing, and he needs to understand that this is essential. It worries me also that when you've called him on it, it sounds like he's tried to rationalise it (saying he doesn't need to tell you everything) rather than hold his hands up, apologise, and take steps to make sure he doesn't do it again.

I'm not saying LTB (necessarily). This in only one aspect of your relationship. It's a bit of a mystery why he's lying. it could be silly and minor, or a major deal breaker. The not knowing is part of the problem.

What would he say if you pulled him up on it and asked him why he lies, I wonder? It would probably be a very difficult conversation I imagine as habitual liars can be out if touch with their own emotions. If he is the type of liar who lies to get out of a situation, or to tell people what they want to heat, then he may well be used to lying rather than dealing with his own feelings honestly. Or I may be projecting my own experiences here!

The bottom line is he needs to accept that lying to your partner is not justifiable, it's counter productive for both of you.

aufaniae Tue 01-Jan-13 09:42:52

Why didn't he want you to be friends with his flatmate, do you think?

NettleTea Tue 01-Jan-13 09:59:39

I was wondering why he didn't want you to be friends, and also however sensitive she may be she wouldn't be sensitive about him seeing you unless there was an emotional reason to trigger her. If she is duplicitous enough to be seeing someone on the side then she is good at lying and hiding the truth, and you admit your perception of what's acceptable is off the mark, so perhaps you wouldn't spot this BUT it would make the lies and the poem fall into place nicely.
I also remember speaking to my DP before about a different couple, where the boyfriend had got involved when she was sick, his opinion was it wasn't natural for a man to deliberately choose a partner who was sick or vulnerable unless he liked the feeling of power or being her saviour (which immediately puts her 'in debt' to him) that other relationship turned out, as we suspected, to be highly abusive once the woman started to get better and wanted some autonomy or equality. What had started out as support soon turned into control, and as she had some mental health problems he spent quite some time trying to gaslight his behaviour as a manifestation of her illness. I am not saying that is necessarily what is happening here, but something to keep in mind especially given you have opened up a lot about your issues and given alotof information which could be used against you if he is going to turn. Has he opened up about his past as much - do you know his background, or has all support been one sided?

EverybodysSnowyEyed Tue 01-Jan-13 10:12:38

The only issue I can see is the lying but it does sound like he's trying to get some space. I would just pull him up on it and tell him you don't need to know where he is every second of the day but you not appreciate him lying. "I'm out" should be a sufficient answer.

As for not wanting you to be friends with his flatmate, I can understand that. In the early days of a relationship it could be pretty awkward if that happens as
A) his flatmate may not be that discreet about telling you things about him
B) if you split up it could be awkward if you maintain a friends relationship with her. Now you have been going out over a year I don't think he would have such a problem?

What do you want from the relationship and are you getting it? It sounds like he is very supportive and is helping you to become more independent.

HandbagCrab Tue 01-Jan-13 11:07:29

I can't think of a good reason why a fully grown adult male feels the need to lie to his gf about where he is and to also lie to his flatmate about the same thing. An adult can say 'I'm out with my mates/ off on my own/ insert general adult activity here' without having to lie about it. Either both you and his flatmate are very controlling and he feels he cannot do his own thing and tell either of you, he has a compulsion to lie or he is doing something he thinks he shouldn't be or that he knows you wouldn't approve of.

I couldn't leave my ds in the sole charge of someone who I had only been with a year and who I knew to lie about where he is/ what he is doing, however nice this may be for me.

I'm going to probably not come across as very diplomatic here, I can't imagine many people starting a relationship with someone with health problems, mental health problems, no job and a toddler right from the get go. It's a massive amount to take on and you sound lovely and loveable and I'm not saying you don't deserve a relationship but if I were you I'd have to question why someone is willing to take on so much for someone they can't always tell the truth to or that they are on a par with a flatmate for sending heartfelt messages to.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that his love is not so all consuming that he is simply looking past all the things that might make other people think twice about having a relationship with you, so why is he doing it? Has he got a compulsion to 'save' or help people? Is he a liar and thinks someone with bpd is easy to manipulate? Is he abusive? Does he want a ready made family and you happened to be available? Does he want access to a child? Is he madly in love with you and ill advisedly lying to you because he is a secretly an obsessive train spotter and is worried it would put you off? smile

Don't feel that you have to settle for someone who ticks 7 out of 10 boxes - particularly if they involve dishonesty and emotional declarations to other women. Best wishes smile

SirBoobAlot Tue 01-Jan-13 11:35:07

He was cautious about me being friends with his flat mate because she used to be friends with his ex. Flat mate told him that she had only ever been friends with her because she'd been his then partner, and she was friends with him. Ex is a whole load of issues in herself. FWIW, I now am very good friends with the flat mate, we go out the two of us, and have coffee as a three (or four if with DS) quite a lot. He wasn't happy about it to start with, but is now fine. I also think, as a PP pointed out something I hadn't considered before, that when FM and I first met, I had only been seeing DP for a few months. He never told me not to see her, just that he wasn't happy about it.

He got here about 2am - had to go to a family birthday meal a few hours drive away - and we cuddled in the new year, which was nice. Then he got up with DS this morning and made me tea and toast, so I got a bit of a lay in (hurrah!). I have an MRI scan on Friday and he's coming with me to hold my hand because I'm terrified.

Honestly, I think the little lies (and they are infrequent, and little) are part of his need to please everyone. He wants to help everyone. Deep down I think he knows this is unrealistic, but still feels that he needs to pacify people.

Being friends with the FM, I know a lot of the time she is just trying to be helpful, things like "What time are you home so I can do dinner?", but for him he finds that smothering. Can understand both points of view, especially when he often has meetings in the evenings, and doesn't know what time they will end. For her, its a case of not wanting to do food for herself, and for him to get in late and not have anything to eat. But that is their own balance, and they are getting there with sorting it out.

Thank you all for the input, and for helping me sort out which problems are being seen as bigger than they are because of my illness, and which are the ones I need to work on with him, as opposed to just in my head. Really has helped smile

Happy new year to you all!

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