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Help: small fights that turn big and general issues!!!

(68 Posts)
Mashy86 Tue 18-Apr-17 08:28:04

Me and my boyfriend have been together for 2 years, and some of our fights start small and end in big blow ups. i often feel so low, I have to have a period of alone time to recover and usually end up in tears.

Everytime we fight about something or i express any sort of need or wish or displeasure my boyfriend feels accused and attacked and gets massively defensive.

Yesterday we went to an art exhibit and every time we go he always likes to spend ages in the gift shop and will want to buy a relevant book. Usually he will never ever look at this book again. Iv really tried to talk him out of this behaviour during several last museum trips with success but it always really winds me up! Yesterday he got a book and convinced me he would read it. I dont care about the money but i really care that he is spending money on stuff he doesnt need or use- and cluters up his flat in the process. For instance he needed a pair of new track suit bottoms and went out and got 4! Why does he need 4?! his draws bulge with unworn things.

I am supposed to be moving in and it bothers me that he creates clutter and he knows this. He knows i really dont like that he accumulates unnecessary stuff. So he got the book he wanted and i tried to explain why i didnt like it to him.
But he said that i was controlling what he was doing and how he was spending his money. And this became the theme of our fight even though it was nothing to do with the money. I was really hurt about this accusation. I explained to him that i dont like wasteful and impulsive spending but he kept on saying that its his money and he can do what he wants. That he felt i was encroaching on his freedom.
I am not really sure that i said anything that wise but I continued to defend myself and just said i didnt like his spending habits and that in a committed serious relationship i dont see why its an issue for me to express my dislike.

I also said i dont like how he doesnt spend money on useful things like looking after his flat or car, i know its laziness but his lack of care is not attractive to me. I want to be with a man who takes pride in his assets as that makes me think he will be a good family man who will help provide a nice living environment!! I know he often cant be bothered to spend the money on these things but he earns well and thats another issue for me... why doesnt he want to invest in his living environment? He says he will now that im moving in but is taking a long time organising it and constantly comments on how expensive it all is! His annual bonus is my lifes savings and i just don't get it.

Our fight ended in him saying that perhaps we were too sensitive for eachother, that he didnt like how much i cried and there was always a constant upset or issue. That now he will feel on edge when buying something in case it causes me massive upset. I think the latter seems silly... i never get upset when he buys stuff i just get upset over clutter and hoarding stuff.

I asked if us being too sensitive for each other meant he wanted to break up. And he said no. So what does it mean? I also said i think i wanted a more "together" relationship than he did. And he agreed.

He then wanted to have dinner and forget all about it and I just don't operate that way. So i went to bed. But now im confused. Am i controlling? I certainly am over the clutter in the flat, but thats because its small and i want him to make space for me. If i want a different kind of together than he does and if he thinks we are too sensitive for each other, are we in the right relationship??

I dont want to waste time. I dont want to move in only to move out again a few months down the line..... it seems too complicated

onemorecupofcoffeefortheroad Tue 18-Apr-17 08:43:50

You sound incompatible - I don't think it's a question of whether you are too controlling or too emotional - you clearly have different values and desires in terms of how you manage your lives.

If you're having these sorts of problems this early on when life should be carefree and straightforward - you will struggle when children or other joint responsibilities get thrown into the mix.

I'd think seriously about whether this man is right for you and is going to give you what you want from life.

FritzDonovan Tue 18-Apr-17 08:46:36

Sorry OP but your behaviour does sound controlling. Too controlling for a normal person who likes spending their own hard earned money on things they enjoy, not the things you think are important. You sound like you have different priorities and you have a more frugal attitude to money. (do you only buy useful things that you get plenty of use from? No pretty items or memorabilia?) Unless you stop trying to tell him what to do so much, I don't think you have a very rosy future.

JaxingJump Tue 18-Apr-17 08:56:17

OP, I'm sorry but you'd drive most people with their own brain absolutely potty. It's a pity he's not naturally a bit more like you in how he runs things but seriously you are very controlling. I think if you keep up trying to manage things like whether he buys a book or not, you will both be miserable. Can you not just let it go and respect him a bit more. Just see that the pleasure and enjoyment he gets out of these little (annyoying) things is enough for you to let him at it.

Him being a cluttered personality and you liking things a bit more minimalistic sounds like a massive incompatibility. I don't really think you can change him so you either need to compromise on that a bit, make him miserable and stressed by nagging, or walk away.

Mashy86 Tue 18-Apr-17 09:00:59

Well i dont mind my bf spending money on things he wants or loves or needs, but i dont like it when we go to a museum and he must buy something which only then goes and gets forgotten about and clutters up his flat. It annoys me. I havent stopped him, he got the book he wanted yesterday.. but ivjust commented on this needless acquiring - I guess that makes me controlling. Im just a person who only tries to buy things i need and im tired of him acquiring things that he doesnt need that only take up space

cheeseandpineapple Tue 18-Apr-17 09:05:06

You've been in the relationship for two years and "often" feel low. Unfortunately it doesn't sound like the best foundation for building a future together.

You may think you're trying to help him but you're not his parent and that's how you're coming across. It will feel controlling to him and when he raises his concerns you aren't able to talk through the problems constructively.

It sounds like you're going to find it difficult to be flexible and compromise which is key when you have such different outlooks.

At the very least it doesn't sound like you're at the stage for moving in together, with so many fundamental differences and inability to work them out effectively, moving in together is unlikely to make you happy and most likely will exacerbate your differences.

FP239 Tue 18-Apr-17 09:05:34

Totally and utterly controlling on your part! I would go mental if somebody tried to dictate what I spent my money on and they didn't even live with me. Honestly , i think you are a little bit jealous that he has much more disposable income that you, stating that his annual bonus is more than your life savings. He can obviously afford it but yet you resent it. Plenty of people buy from gift shops and then never really look at the books again. I have shelves full of books I have never read but as an adult I am totally free to spend my money on whatever I want.

You need to relax if you want to make this relationship work. Instead of policing him like a bad conscience whispering into his ear, why not say that when you DO move in, you each put money aside for bills, savings and what you spend is your own to do whatever you like with. But every 6 months, as the flat is so small, you must both have a clear out of unwanted/unused clutter.

FritzDonovan Tue 18-Apr-17 09:05:44

i dont like it when we go to a museum and he must buy something which only then goes and gets forgotten about and clutters up his flat.
im tired of him acquiring things that he doesnt need that only take up space
Seriously OP, listen to yourself. His money, his flat, his life. Which may be a lot more pleasant without you giving him grief about things most ppl with a bit of disposable income do.

Racmactac Tue 18-Apr-17 09:06:29

You're telling him what to spend his money on in his flat and you don't even live together.
If my dh tried to tell me I shouldn't buy a book because I wouldn't read it I'd be unimpressed as well.

Lighten up!!

FP239 Tue 18-Apr-17 09:07:18

OP, why are so insistent on making him more LIKE YOU? maybe you should flip it and try to be more like him.....when you realise how unpleasant it is to go against your personality type, maybe you will get off his back?

Isetan Tue 18-Apr-17 09:08:40

You're incompatible and your dealing with your incompatibility by being controlling. This is who he is and you have massive issues with major parts of his personality, in effect you're telling him you'd prefer it if he was different and have tried to get him to change the bits you don't like. Don't get me wrong, I'm not overly keen on the bits you dislike about him but I wouldn't see it as my place or responsibility to change them.

Do not move in with him! That this could even be on the cards speaks volumes about you and your relationship dynamic.

He's not a project and doesn't want to be 'fixed'.

fusspot66 Tue 18-Apr-17 09:09:58

Imagine when you have kids and he's still deserving his rewards for his hard work and you're still wearing a grey maternity bra, bobbly leggings and need new shoes but there's no money for you and the baby is 4 yrs old.
Don't go there.

Mashy86 Tue 18-Apr-17 09:14:28

Well actually im not telling him how to do anything or what to spend his money on. I am merely saying that his attitude to spending sometimes annoys me. He still does what he wants. I explained to him that i just dont like it when he buys stuff he does not need.

I never meant for it to become an issue of our values or controlconfused to me its a perfectly normal thing for a partner to get annoyed about and i dont see what the big deal is frankly. Why it needa to turn into a massive issue.

FritzDonovan Tue 18-Apr-17 09:26:59

Iv really tried to talk him out of this behaviour during several last museum trips with success
Yes, you are telling him what to spend his money on.hmm

Tearsoffrustration Tue 18-Apr-17 09:27:49

My ex was like that - making comments about things I bought that he didn't feel 'nessessary' - it was horrible to live with & very controlling

flipflapsflop Tue 18-Apr-17 09:31:25

So presumably if he picked on an element of your behaviour constantly, you'd be alright with that?

flipflapsflop Tue 18-Apr-17 09:33:23

You are coming across as someone who thinks everything would be fine as long as people do as you want them to do, as that is obviously the right and only way to be.

disappearingfish Tue 18-Apr-17 09:35:33

You're just not compatible. And you are far, far too critical of your BF for doing things just because you don't think he should. It's his life and his money.

Mashy86 Tue 18-Apr-17 09:36:55

Well he has done so, yes. I guess more my personality... not my habits. What im getting annoyed about is a habit not a behaviour.
And iv been mindful of my behaviours that are not to his liking. And although I have not changed myself iv definitely been more aware ! Maybe thats wrong...

Mashy86 Tue 18-Apr-17 09:41:12

Surely in a relationship its ok to be annoyed at someone's habits.. like things iv really needed from him are; taking off shoes in the home and getting rid of useless clutter. It annoys me when he buys shit in gift shops, it annoys me when he buys four pairs of track suits and it annoys me when he buys three varieties of face washes in one go... but i can be annoyed - surely?!

Mashy86 Tue 18-Apr-17 09:42:26

Also if we all lived our life as if we were singular independent people with that my life my money attitude- we would all be single. Anyone knows in a relationship there is sacrifice and work and not everyone is going to love everything about us

ChicRock Tue 18-Apr-17 09:44:05

You two are totally incompatible and you're controlling.

Save yourself the time and expense if moving in with him, because it's just not going to work out.

Isetan Tue 18-Apr-17 09:50:03

You're not listening are you. No one is saying it's wrong to feel the way you do but what we are saying, is that this is who he is and he doesn't want to change. You either accept him for who he is or walk away but badgering him into being someone different is controlling and isn't cool.

Teddy6767 Tue 18-Apr-17 09:53:53

I would also be irritated by the things you're annoyed about. But maybe your approach to talking to him about it comes across more 'nagging mum' which gets his back up. I bet if you had made a light hearted joke about it, or spoken to him about the issue in a calm way without being too critical, your partner would have been less defensive and the argument wouldn't have ensued.
You do sound like quite an incompatible couple though. If he has a small flat and you both have different opinions on things like clutter, you'll drive each other bonkers when it also becomes your home too.
Are you able to meet in the middle and both compromise? Maybe every time he buys one of these books he could donate one that he hasn't read that's just sitting on his shelf to charity.

Isetan Tue 18-Apr-17 09:57:48

If the clutter and not taking his shoes off is happening in his home, then yes you are being unreasonable. Funny how you've been mindful but haven't changed your supposed bad habits but you expect him to change his.

It's not up to us or you to decide what he should or shouldn't be doing, your responsibility begins and ends with communicating your feelings (check) and limiting your exposure to the behaviours you don't like.

He says he doesn't want to change, the balls now in your court, not his.

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