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He is stressed and lashes out - what is a reasonable amount of this to tolerate?

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  • He is stressed and lashes out - what is a reasonable amount of this to tolerate?

    Hi!

    My boyfriend of 2 years is really stressed out right now, over issues I can't help with/he doesn't want me to help with (money). I can't even hint at helping because it makes him feel emasculated. Between the two of us I very much out-earn him and I think it does a number on his head. I couldn't care less that he earns less, but i think it plays into this somehow. He also had an extremely traumatic childhood that he has not dealt with which affects his behavior in a huge way - he doesn't trust anyone, expects people to abandon him at any given moment, and will actively push people away to see if they are really committed to him or not. I've been through a few rounds of that.

    Whenever he's stressed about money, no matter how much I try to support him in every other way (being affectionate, available to listen, cooking his favorite foods, letting him pick what we do/when we see each other, giving him space if he needs it, back massages when he needs that) he has a way of finding something wrong with what i'm doing, or picking a fight with me over literally nothing. I am told that this is normal to a certain extent, and that i should not take it personally when a partner is stressed out and should just respond in a loving way and wait for him to be doing better before we have any Talk about it. Also, like i said, he has a tendency to push people away out of self-preservation, so I am always aware that that could be playing in the background and I don't want to take that bait and abandon him. However, I'm getting really frustrated. I'm not a martyr, I'm a human being. And I'm very very sensitive to comments from people close to me - what some people can easily brush off will haunt me for days. If we end a call on a irritable note, i don't sleep (I'm not issue-free, clearly I have an anxiety problem). I can wait for him to be out of the woods, but this lashing out quality is not something he's done before nor is it something I like. What is an acceptable range of irritability one tolerates in ones' partner before one decides...nah this isn't ok.

    To be clear I love him a lot, and this note is written while i'm feeling burned, so grain of salt. He's not a bad dude, but he's emotionally immature. Nobody is a perfect partner, and I need to just learn what is normal amount of irritability to put up with. Also any tips on how to be supportive without maybe being smothering would be helpful. Maybe I'm just being a little "extra" about things.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by stella5; 01-18-2017, 04:19 AM.

  • Originally posted by stella5 View Post
    Hi!
    What is an acceptable range of irritability one tolerates in ones' partner before one decides...nah this isn't ok.
    Thanks!
    In my books - almost none and only if it's a temporary thing.

    Fact: finances are the number 1 reason for couples arguing and breaking up.

    You both will have to come to terms over finances. Make a budget - have each person responsible for certain obligations, ensure you both has some discretionary income left over to do with as you please. If it is debt - make a debt repayment plan and stick to it.

    Don't try to overcompensate when he is feeling irritable - it's probably not you - it's outside irritants. Don't take on his problems - they are his not yours.

    Find things to do that don't cost much money. Take a subway tour, picnic in the park, watch a ballgame together. It doesn't have to cost $ to be fun if you make it fun. Don't focus on the negatives, focus on the positives. What is it he can do that would add value to your life? Thank him for doing that - don't make a big deal just make him feel appreciated.

    He's pushing you away because he doesn't know how to deal with himself. Give him space, give him time. Come to agreements.
    That which we forget may as well never really happened.

    Comment


    • You're probably right that he's not a bad guy. To me, he does seem like he uses manipulation and other tricks to keep you holding on. To me, that's unacceptable. Playing the game of having to prove your love is not only showing emotional immaturity, but also a manipulation and control of you.

      You say he suffered childhood trauma. He likely needs professional counseling to Heal and be able to approach a relationship in a more healthy way.

      I really don't think any of that on a regular basis is tolerable, to answer your question. However I do think it is worth trying to work through, to see if he can carry on a more peaceful relationship.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by stella5 View Post
        Hi!

        but this lashing out quality is not something he's done before nor is it something I like. !
        has he become physical with you at all in any way, pushing, pulling hair, a slap?
        or has this increased lashing out been all verbal?

        even if he has not been physical with you, continuous lashing out (if it continues) is what I'd consider to be verbal abuse
        everyone gets grumpy once in a while, but do you think it is beyond that?
        since you've been with him two years, do you think it has reached that level?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by amy40 View Post
          has he become physical with you at all in any way, pushing, pulling hair, a slap?
          or has this increased lashing out been all verbal?
          even if he has not been physical with you, continuous lashing out (if it continues) is what I'd consider to be verbal abuse
          everyone gets grumpy once in a while, but do you think it is beyond that?
          since you've been with him two years, do you think it has reached that level?
          Hi! Thank you for your feedback. No, he's never been physical. Not even a little. He's a very large and physically imposing person and I've never seen him ever engage with anyone in a violent or confrontational way - even when heavily provoked (from others, not me). I've always felt very safe with him. It's just the verbal cuts that keep catching me off guard recently. I think you're right that a little grumpiness is ok, but a pattern of it is not ok. I would say that we've been together for 2 years and the last 2 months it's the first time he's ever said negative comments to me about myself. I know when i'm stressed at work I can tend to be irritable with my friends so I want to give him benefit of the doubt. It's also possible that i'm just really sensitive. I'll give you an example of a negative comment that cut me - I'm super busy with work and holding my life together and trying to be a good and engaged friend to my friends and girlfriend to this guy. I am so busy that I often leave my own day-to-day things slide to the last minute. There was an ATM card that i needed to activate and i had delayed for 5 days or so, and he turned to me and just said "wow you really are lazy". Things like that. Thoughts?

          Thanks!

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Claret View Post

            He's pushing you away because he doesn't know how to deal with himself. Give him space, give him time. Come to agreements.
            Thanks, I think you are right on! It's so hard for me to not get into "fix it" mode and try to do stuff for him. Probably makes it worse!

            Comment


            • "wow, you are really lazy" Things like that. Thoughts?


              maybe someone on the forum who is dating, can comment on this

              Comment


              • Originally posted by stella5 View Post
                There was an ATM card that i needed to activate and i had delayed for 5 days or so, and he turned to me and just said "wow you really are lazy". Things like that. Thoughts?

                Thanks!
                Did you tell him how that made you feel? If so, what was his response? If not, why?
                "Those sowing seed with tears
                Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

                Comment


                • Sadly, most arguments within long term relationships do revolve around money. Myself and my partner had to find a system that worked for us so we could stop taking our frustration out on each other. I can sense now when he's stressed and needs thinking space. I'll admit it took me some time to learn when to not push him, I soon learned that men deal with their emotions very differently.

                  Trying to tackle a big issue when both tired, stressed or hungry is never going to end well. I find that as a female I like to talk things through, that is how I deal what i'm feeling. My partner however, doesn't always understand what he is feeling an, he admits this himself, and that frustrates him more than anything. I honestly believe with most males their sadness an raw emotion just builds up and turns into angry and frustration. It;s vert unlike my husband to know know what i going on and to not be in control, sadly our emotions can be sporadic and therefore do not work in the same way.

                  Comment


                  • Hey there,

                    Just had a quick read of what everyone else said so I don't repeat the same things.

                    Firstly, it's a good thing that there hasn't been any physical abuse because that's obviously a sign that you should get the hell out of the relationship. Now that's out of the way let's address some of the other things.

                    1) About the fact that you earn more money than him, I'm not surprised that it bothers him since most men have almost an innate feature that makes them feel like they should be the provider in the relationship. It makes it even more difficult since he's struggling with money as well.

                    2) His extremely traumatic childhood sounds like something that he needs professional help with and it isn't really your responsibility. I think that it's great of you and of any partner to try and understand their other halves, what they've been through and try to be the person he needs, but there's only so much you can do if he isn't willing to help himself.

                    3) From what you've said you aren't doing anything wrong at all, in fact, you're doing your very best to understand his needs and try to help him. Since he's going through some tough times it's not surprising that he lashes out even when you're trying to help him.

                    Now to the point that you actually want a response to - How much is too much?

                    Like I mentioned above, the fact that there isn't any physical abuse is good. In terms of the verbal outbreaks and things he says to you, personally, I think that there's a little bit of that in every relationship but it shouldn't be a constant thing.

                    You seem like a great person since you keep trying to help him and you're looking at how to support him more. However, if it's gotten to the point where you're starting to feel like it's too much I think it's time for you to address this. If he lashes out and you again I honestly think you need to say what you're feeling, specifically everything you're doing to try to help him and makes him feel better and yet the response he's giving you is not okay.

                    I've been in a similar situation myself where I was going through a tough time and took it out on my girlfriend quite a bit. However, at some point, I realized that if I kept that up she would leave me and find someone better, who treats her well.

                    He definitely doesn't seem like a bad guy, he just needs to get himself in check and honestly, with someone in his situation, I think you just have to be blunt and tell him the absolute truth about how you feel as well.

                    Best of Luck,

                    Jake Collins



                    PS: Check Out My Free Ebook On How To Get A Man To Love You As Well As My New Dating Tips For Females Website:

                    Free Ebook - http://www.getthedreamguy.com/s/free-ebook/
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                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by JakeCollins View Post
                      Hey there,

                      Just had a quick read of what everyone else said so I don't repeat the same things.

                      Firstly, it's a good thing that there hasn't been any physical abuse because that's obviously a sign that you should get the hell out of the relationship. Now that's out of the way let's address some of the other things.

                      1) About the fact that you earn more money than him, I'm not surprised that it bothers him since most men have almost an innate feature that makes them feel like they should be the provider in the relationship. It makes it even more difficult since he's struggling with money as well.

                      2) His extremely traumatic childhood sounds like something that he needs professional help with and it isn't really your responsibility. I think that it's great of you and of any partner to try and understand their other halves, what they've been through and try to be the person he needs, but there's only so much you can do if he isn't willing to help himself.

                      3) From what you've said you aren't doing anything wrong at all, in fact, you're doing your very best to understand his needs and try to help him. Since he's going through some tough times it's not surprising that he lashes out even when you're trying to help him.

                      Now to the point that you actually want a response to - How much is too much?

                      Like I mentioned above, the fact that there isn't any physical abuse is good. In terms of the verbal outbreaks and things he says to you, personally, I think that there's a little bit of that in every relationship but it shouldn't be a constant thing.

                      You seem like a great person since you keep trying to help him and you're looking at how to support him more. However, if it's gotten to the point where you're starting to feel like it's too much I think it's time for you to address this. If he lashes out and you again I honestly think you need to say what you're feeling, specifically everything you're doing to try to help him and makes him feel better and yet the response he's giving you is not okay.

                      I've been in a similar situation myself where I was going through a tough time and took it out on my girlfriend quite a bit. However, at some point, I realized that if I kept that up she would leave me and find someone better, who treats her well.

                      He definitely doesn't seem like a bad guy, he just needs to get himself in check and honestly, with someone in his situation, I think you just have to be blunt and tell him the absolute truth about how you feel as well.

                      Best of Luck,

                      Jake Collins


                      Thank you so much! Just finding these responses here as I posted essentially the same question on these boards just now. I guess we've made less progress in this last year than i Thought since re-reading my earlier post shows that I've just adapted to him more. I appreciate your words of encouragement, sometimes it makes me feel like I'm a little crazy, but I do feel like I'm trying to be a Good Partner but I don't want to be walked on or have that kindness taken advantage of. I think the way I conceptualize Love makes me highly susceptible to putting up with a lot. We're in a better place now than were last year, but the core problems have not been solved, possibly because I am so fearful of conflict that I don't bring up any of my issues during peace times...I just want to enjoy the peace. Perhaps I have my own issues to work out...

                      Anyway, thanks for taking the time to respond I appreciate it.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by JakeCollins View Post

                        1) About the fact that you earn more money than him, I'm not surprised that it bothers him since most men have almost an innate feature that makes them feel like they should be the provider in the relationship.


                        I beg to differ: It's not "almost innate," it **is** innate.
                        But that's no excuse for bad behavior, and make no mistake, his behavior as Stella describes it is bad.

                        Many years ago, I had a sister-in-law living nearby who was engaged to an apparently fine guy: I liked him, everyone liked him. He was well-mannered, educated, gainfully employed; her parents loved him! But as their wedding day approached, he became more and more of an *******hole to her and her only, starting silly arguments, being late to meet her, making unreasonable demands, breaking dates, disappearing with "friends," - seemingly anything to annoy her. I even told her I thought he was having cold feet but wasn't man enough to tell her, so he was trying to get her to call of the wedding; but she said no. Less than a month after the wedding, her dad called me on a Saturday morning and asked me to help him move her things out of her (their) apartment...

                        Maybe there's a lesson here for Stella?

                        Comment


                        • How have things panned out, stella5? Walking on eggshells would make anyone stressed out. Yes: he was having a hard time, but you should never be the scapegoat and you do deserve respect. I can understand a little aggression: but you're not some toy. I hope things have moved forward now. Did you break up? Or did things end up resolved? I hope you're happy now, though. You deserve better, frankly.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Popcorn&Candy View Post
                            How have things panned out, stella5? Walking on eggshells would make anyone stressed out. Yes: he was having a hard time, but you should never be the scapegoat and you do deserve respect. I can understand a little aggression: but you're not some toy. I hope things have moved forward now. Did you break up? Or did things end up resolved? I hope you're happy now, though. You deserve better, frankly.
                            Thank you Popcorn&Candy! Ummm it was an eventful year, but though a lot of things happened, some fundamental things stayed the same. He is more aware of his behavior and doesn't do things as often but usually I can tell that he's actually gearing up for a bigger fight when he starts to act strangely aggressive and defensive about little things. I have been walking on eggshells for quite a while, and gauging from my poor friends who have been with me through all this, I need to leave him. I think he's emotionally manipulative and I just can't handle the on/off anymore. But KNOWING you need to leave and actually DOING it are two different things. I think I have some painful months ahead of me. Thanks for the kind words.

                            Comment


                            • Better a few painful months than many painful years.

                              Comment

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