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I don’t know what is happening in my relationship(42 Posts)
I’m very confused and not sure what to think
Been in LDR for 2 years, very loving relationship, we speak most days, but we do argue sometimes and when we do I am quite fierce, which sends DP to ‘shut down’. You could call it silent treatment or withdrawal. I
have told him this and the potential for it makes me anxious around him and he has told me that my temper (only verbal and no name calling) is an aspect he can’t see beyond. But we have both tried to improve.
Anyway, on Monday he raised this again as I had raised the issue that we weren’t really communicating apart from trivial stuff. We didn’t argue. I asked him if he wanted me to end our relationship and he said no. We left it rather flat. Since then we had not spoken or texted the next day, he called me on the Wednesday but again we only spoke about daily stuff and work. It felt like he was making an effort to call and was disappointed in me. Yesterday I texted a few times and he replies always as he is a stickler for manners in that respect.
I guess I feel like he has told me he is fundamentally unhappy with this aspect of my personality, more than once, but doesn’t want to end the relationship, and where does that leave me?
I’m sorry if this is long but just writing it out is helpful for me
Do you get the feeling that he is expecting you to change? There's nothing wrong with arguing your corner if you feel you are right - what are the arguments generally about? Something you feel passionate enough about to hold strong views, or general 'who left the lights on' stuff that you may be getting 'over forceful' about?
So I'd say it depends. But it sounds to me as though he's not used to having his views challenged and doesn't know how to react (hence the 'withdrawing'). Only you really know how feasible the relationship is.
Yes. I do feel he is saying ‘I don’t like who you are, but I don’t want the relationship to end’
That is why I feel stuck. Yes
that is my reaction and I can be quite fierce or robust in an argument, I have acknowledged that I understand it is hard for him to tolerate and tried to accommodate that, as I believe that adjustment and compromise is a big part of any relationship, but I also want to be able to express myself. Sometimes it is a reaction to things I am holding onto because I’m being careful around keeping him happy, and a straw breaks a camels back
Have you met in person?
Do you argue then too or just when apart?
Oh yes we have been friends for a long time.
We argue about the same amount both ways.
The last time we argued was when I went to visit in February
Are there reasons he may want to hang on to the relationship even if he thinks it's not quite 'right' for him? Such as him being over 40 with no dating history or being very 'needy' about having a woman?
It seems that he wants you to be compliant. The only communicating trivial stuff - does he have problems with talking about feelings/deeper things? It's easy to keep a LDR going when nobody ever talks about anything other than the weather or what they had for tea, but harder when feelings and emotions start creeping in, for bad communicators.
Personally, I would not want my partner to be argumentative and fierce with me. That’s just me. Some people like a good old heated debate but I don’t. I avoid them even though I don’t get that offended by most opinions. But I do find it tedious when people keep forcing their opinion on me, even when I have said I don’t agree.
I think you are right that he should end it. But then that’s an option for you. He doesn’t want to listen to you being argumentative and fierce. He has told you that. But you are proud of that part of your personality. So I don’t see this working.
It's okay for him not to like a fierce argument. It may be that you are just not suited to each other if neither can adapt to the others communication style. It would be wrong to try and force either of you to change and it may not be possible to change which will lead to buildup of resentment.
I asked him if he wanted me to end our relationship and he said no
I don’t understand this. Surely the question you asked should have been If he wanted to end the relationship?
I agree that a fierce and argumentative partner is not something i would accept.
What do you mean by this? Sound boundaries and your own opinions fine. Adding in belittling or refusing to accept partner's opinions, raising your voice, talking over your partner, insisting partner agrees your right, etc (which is what i would consider fierce and robust arguing) are a completely different matter.
What are these arguments about? Relationship issues or things like politics.
He doesn't appreciate your fierce way of arguing. You don't appreciate his withdrawal reaction. You want him to change his personality and not withdraw, but don't see why you should change your personality and not argue so robustly and fiercely.
And what kind of daily nontrival conversation are you expecting at the moment? How often can some one discuss corona or social distancing? Or deep meaningful ones about your relationship? He's avoiding nontrival subjects with you because he's afraid they will cause an argument and you will revert to fierce and robust tactics again. I'd be the same!
It sounds like you’re incompatible. He doesn’t like aggressive arguments, it causes him to withdraw. You don’t like that withdrawal. You both are who you are. And even trying to change you will still go back to who you are.
Agree with pp that you want him to accept that arguing fiercely is ‘just who you are’ but you don’t want to accept that withdrawing when someone does that is ‘just who he is’.
Either you learn to adapt to each other, ie you find better methods of communicating that work for both of you or if you refuse to do that then you have to accept you aren’t suited.
I don’t think I do just want him to accept that part of me though:
* I have acknowledged that I understand it is hard for him to tolerate and tried to accommodate that, as I believe that adjustment and compromise is a big part of any relationship,*
I realise that sounded strange. I second guess myself and wonder if I am missing an indirect message, and it occurred to me at the end of that conversation, perhaps he was offering me an opportunity to break up with him, in a rather old fashioned honourable way, by telling me again that there was this aspect of me he could not reconcile with. So I had to call him back and ask him that, and his answer was ‘no’
I've got a friend who loves heated arguments. She says she loves to debate, but really she just loves to tell you how you're wrong and what you should think, which means I end up.giving up cos it's exhausting.
I also agree with those saying that we are perhaps not compatible.
The thing is this:
- recently I have been feeling in a good place and sharing that with him
- a couple of times he alluded indirectly to that there were things he was not discussing
- being in a positive place I felt confident to address this, and raised that if we were not talking about things we wanted to, our relationship might become just shallow and unfulfilling
- he responded by saying he had thought about why we were only talking about light stuff, and that he felt he was held back by how he felt about that part of my personality
- I woke up in the night thinking clear as day “it’s only with you, that this anger is triggered”
He lets me know he thinks I am a bully, an arrogant and domineering.
But doesn’t want to end our relationship?
I find it hard to get past that assessment and feel loved.
I don’t love heated arguments
I hate conflict and confrontation. But sometimes it happens and I’m not a doormat when it does
OP what do you want? Would you be happy to continue in a relationship when you're made to feel like this? I think it's healthy to air your disagreements to an extent and would question his silent treatment in response to it.
I would like to continue the relationship at a distance.
I have trouble saying what I want.
Let me tell you now, a person who cannot engage with you to resolve a problem is not the kind of person you want to spend your life with. This silent treatment will only get worse and will leave you feeling lonely and frustrated.
Imagine having children with someone who never wants to resolve? It's so unhealthy. My ex was the same, we had a child, we split because he always swept things under the carpet but held the problem against me, and now he makes my life a nightmare as he never wants to resolve any issues. I'm often ignored, even if I'm nice or not trying to resolve anything. It's a crap existence.
See the red flag for what it is: a red flag.
Exactly what RLEOM said. My ex husband has made my life a misery.
'Fierce and argumentative' could mean anything from being assertive to shouting and swearing at him. Either way, he has the right not to accept it, and you have the right not to want him to withdraw from an argument. Neither of you has done anything wrong (provided you're not verbally abusing him), and it sounds like he isn't happy but is too nervous to end it.
I said I dont call names or swear (I do raise my voice)
As far as I recall, he said that he was talking on the phone about things with his sister; covid, politics I think, and that he felt he would have liked to tell me what he thought about things but that he didn't think I would like what he thought so he felt he couldn't, partly because he can have some quite radical opinions himself.
so when I think of it like that; it does sound as if he anticipates me disagreeing with him and so he avoids it. He dressed that up a bit into him not liking my way of responding.
It's a question of which -
1. he doesn't want to posit an opinion I might disagree with - not ok
2. he doesn't want to posit an opinion I might disagree with in an aggressive or argumentative manner - ok
I feel that if I disagree in a reasonable way, he still eggs it on to become an argument and then I end up getting mad.
so I always end up in the wrong
It’s difficult to know if you are behaving unreasonably and he is right to pull you up on it. You used the word fierce. To me that means you’re like a snarling dangerous lion. Frightening others.
Or if you are behaving quite normally expressing your opinions and feelings respectfully but he is trying to train you to defer to him and his opinions/wishes because he is manipulating you.
Do you have any history of other friends or boyfriends being annoyed at your arguing or whatever?
If so then I’d say you’re the problem.
If not then it could be you or him. Either way it doesn’t sound good to be honest. It sounds like you both need to improve your communications skills.
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