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Am I being too sensitive?

(161 Posts)
Lockdownbody Sun 10-May-20 09:36:18

I am early 40s and a normal weight. I have a history of eating disorder when I was late teens/early 20s but it never needed treatment and resolved. Because of this I have made a conscious decision over the years never to diet as I know how easy it is for the old unhealthy thinking patterns to come back. Other than the normal body consciousness lots of woman have, I give my history very little thought. I usually eat pretty healthily and exercise moderately on a regular basis. During lockdown this has been more difficult for practical reasons and I may have gained a few pounds.

I have a fairly new relationship of 6 months. It has all been going very well and we have been having regular video call dates during lockdown which are usually lots of fun. Last night on a video chat he admired my boobs and I made the mistake of saying they were bigger because I had recently gained weight. He then mentioned that when we have eaten together and I prepare the meals he is not used to only getting 50% of the portion. (He does exercise intensively and regularly and gets hungry.) He said that no previous partner had ever served him up a similar measure to herself, she had always given him the larger share. I found this very hurtful as the implication was I was more greedy than previous girlfriends. Most meals I prepare have been ready meals rather than home cooked so portions are aimed for two people. If I sacrificed my portion so he could eat more I think I would end up hungry. I know I am sensitive due to my old body image issues but I told him I found this a bit upsetting and said he is welcome to fill up on other food as he knows I would always have bread/snacks available. Indeed I have always checked if he is hungry and offered more food.

It has left me feeling quite sad and insecure, not to mention disappointed as I thought I had met someone who fancied me and wasn’t needing to compare me to previous relationships. I have mentioned it hurt me but he ended the call and he has told me that I took it out of context. I have been emotionally abused in previous relationships and am keen not to be denigrated yet again. How do I balance trying to be laid back about possibly slightly thoughtless comments from a boyfriend with also maintaining boundaries around being respected and not criticised?

OP’s posts: |
Yecats1990 Sun 10-May-20 09:45:21

I think because of your eating disorder history maybe you are being a little over sensitive. I don't know why he would say that as it seems like a weird thing to say but I doubt he was doing it to be hurtful. If its any consolation Im half the size of my husband and still eat equal portion to him at meal times.

NotMyUsualNameNoSiree Sun 10-May-20 09:49:20

For me it's not the portion size comment (though mildly insensitive) it's the (marginally negative) comparison to his exes I could do without. Why even mention exes? No need?

MaeDanvers Sun 10-May-20 09:50:57

I suppose that if he is bigger and does intensive exercise he would require a larger portion. But the way he has worded it is really off. The fact he ended the call rather than talk it through properly is also off.

Any other examples of how he behaves if you disagree or there is a negative emotional event to talk about? Is this a one off?

category12 Sun 10-May-20 09:50:59

I think his reaction to being challenged on it is interesting - he basically turned it round on you and cut the call to punish you. Which is designed to make you feel bad and question yourself.

I think him expecting a bigger portion while you have less could be indicative of the relationship dynamic he expects - to come first, to have you sacrifice for him.

I think your radar is working well.

category12 Sun 10-May-20 09:52:24

If he needs more calories, he should fill up on side dishes/bread etc not expect to take more of the main meal.

pog100 Sun 10-May-20 09:53:32

It's certainly at least bloody thoughtless and I don't think you are being over sensitive. I would have reacted pretty annoyed immediately I think. Why the fuck does he think he has any right to comment on your portion sizes, particularly after you've just discussed weight. At the very least this should put you on alert for any other sexist or controlling traits in him.

Raidblunner Sun 10-May-20 09:54:28

That does sound like twatty thing to say. No need for that! My girlfriend sometimes says put less on my plate as I always give her the same as me. One of the things I admired about her was she certainly had a healthy appetite. That sort of comment would bring out the worst in me, what a whinger. I'd tell him don't for get to bring a snack with you come over....bellend

userabcname Sun 10-May-20 09:56:42

I don't think it's a nice thing to say. As pp have said - why bring up exes anyway? What point is he trying to make? They ate like birds to make sure his Big Manly Appetite was satisfied? How odd. I'd be a bit put off by that too.

Lockdownbody Sun 10-May-20 09:58:37

He is usually very complimentary towards me and has been really kind and helpful lately, bringing me bread and milk and leaving it on my doorstep when I’m not been able to get to the shops. But the ex comparison thing has happened before although usually I am compared in a positive light. I think it was a refusal to end the call in a happier way that’s upset me. I haven’t slept and he has not messaged this morning which is unusual so not sure if I’m being punished.

OP’s posts: |
amy85 Sun 10-May-20 09:59:47

He's a dick...he mentions your boobs so you casually say you've gained a little weight so he uses that as an excuse to criticize you for not giving him a bigger portion (because in his mind obviously men are more important so deserve better/more) but also infer you are greedy and then compare you to his ex's!!!! You do the correct thing by challenging his behaviour so he punishes you by ending the call!!!!

You have done nothing wrong and he has shown a glimpse of his true self

Futurenostalgia Sun 10-May-20 10:02:53

If he had a problem with the amount of food, he could have tackled that differently and at another time, not get in a little dig when you mentioned your weight. It does sound like he is saying you eat too much.

category12 Sun 10-May-20 10:03:35

Have you ever had a row / challenged him on anything / said no to anything before? If so, did he react like this?

If this is the first time, I'd be watching what he does very carefully. Turning it into a "it's you!" problem and giving you the silent treatment are red flags.

Brownyblonde Sun 10-May-20 10:03:46

You're being sensitive. He's tactlessly having a dig at the fact ex girlfriends were picky about portions. He probably meant it as a compliment but came out wrong

Lockdownbody Sun 10-May-20 10:09:27

@category12 we have had one previous falling out just before lockdown. I was having a really terrible time as my ex was refusing to return the kids to me (long story, I’m a nhs worker and he was worrying about covid). I kept checking my phone for messages as boyfriend got upset with me saying I’m on my phone too much. While that’s possibly true I felt the timing was totally inappropriate. He couldn’t let it drop and slept downstairs. He did apologise the next day but has made a couple of remarks about me not apologising. I didn’t say sorry as I didn’t feel I was in the wrong on that occasion.

He has loads of positive qualities so most of the time we get on really well.

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category12 Sun 10-May-20 10:12:05

What?! shock Your ex was withholding the children and he got in a strop because you weren't paying him attention?!

And still thinks you should be apologising to him for it?

nahnonever Sun 10-May-20 10:13:33

I took that as in he needs more food than what you give him, rather than commenting on the size of what you are eating.

I think he might of felt awkward to outright say "I am still hungry this is too small for me"

Lockdownbody Sun 10-May-20 10:14:20

I think whilst he portrays himself as very confident he’s actually quite insecure underneath. He hates it if I mention having been somewhere with an ex.

OP’s posts: |
Lockdownbody Sun 10-May-20 10:15:25

@nahnonever yes agree but I always offer him puddings and top up food so it’s not like he’s starved when he’s here.

OP’s posts: |
gamerchick Sun 10-May-20 10:15:38

Sounds like he's training you up lovely. He's self absorbed and you'll spend more time feeling rubbish than happy eventually.

category12 Sun 10-May-20 10:18:02

OP, "insecure" can be a cover for controlling. I'm seeing a lot of red flags here already.

BertiesLanding Sun 10-May-20 10:19:45

Ex-comparing is immature and does not fit with an adult attitude to relationships.

Honeyroar Sun 10-May-20 10:22:50

There are a few red flags starting to flap here, don’t you think? He threw up the comments about you eating more than his exes (who in their right mind couldn’t see that that would make you feel bad??) and then put the phone down on you when you told him you were upset. On a previous squabble he flounced off and then grumbled and sniped because you didn’t apologise for something HE caused... Personally I’d not be ringing him and if this was to have a future he’d need to ring and apologise for his flounce/sulk ASAP and discuss, and understand, why you were upset. He also needs to understand that his flouncing off every time there’s a disagreement is putting nails in the coffin for the relationship.

Thingsdogetbetter Sun 10-May-20 10:24:52

That's 4 strikes all in one go.
1. Linking you mentioning weight gain back to his needs and wants - basically he's saying as a man I am entitled to bigger portions and you should have instinctively pandered to this even though I've never mentioned it. It's all about him and asserting his manly dominance.
2. Comparing to his ex's (positively or negatively) is o trigger the present gf to judge herself in comparison. Positive comparison is designed to tell you that if you fail to continue is this way you'll be an ex too. It's like traing a dog with treats. Negatively, is to trigger gf to step up there game and try and 'do better' than ex.
3. Refusing to discuss the issue and twisting it to being your fault not his. Normal reaction would have been "god no, I didn't mean that. I just meant xxxxx".
4. Withdrawal as punishment.

And that's without the rest of the shite about making your concern about your dc all about him! All about you not focusing on him. Then withdrawing as punishment.

See a pattern building here? If he's not number 1, you get punished.

@Brownyblonde. A compliment? How the fuck can you read that as a compliment? I actually snort-laughed at that!

BacklashStarts Sun 10-May-20 10:25:22

Hmmmm I’m not sure. At 6 months you should be in the lovey dovey phase. Picking at others is a highly unattractive quality and to be at it so early in a relationship doesn’t bode well.

His thinking seems quite immature too - why was t he supporting you through the issues with you kids instead so sulking? Why can he say ‘I need more food than this’ rather than saying you’re taking his Man-Share?

He sounds like the sort of bloke you hear about here a lot who has a lot to say about niceness, loyalty and fairness - but only when it’s flowing towards him.

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