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How can I keep my relationship from failing?

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  • How can I keep my relationship from failing?

    So given I do not have many people in my life I can talk to about relationship troubles I figured I would try a forum. I am currently in a relationship with a man that I have been friends with for 2 years prior to dating. Recently our relationship has hit rough waters and despite my best efforts I cannot seem to keep from winding up in a fight with him. He seems to be annoyed with everything I do and say, even when I try to talk to him in the nicest way possible we still end up in an argument. He has been stressed with work and his son lately. He feels stuck at his job and his son has been having some major behavioral issues. I know most of his frustration is from those issues but I find myself taking it personally. I feel frantic for his affection but he seems to be pulling further and further away. I am not sure how to handle this without causing more tension. I don't want to pull away too much and cause unhealthy distance between us but I also do not want to overwhelm him by trying to get our relationship back on track.

  • I can understand your partner being under a great deal of stress: and you're right to have sympathy. Anyone who loved their partner does. However, you should never be used as an emotional punchbag. You deserve respect in the relationship, too. If talking to him doesn't work, you need to find a way to show him his behaviour is not on. I don't know how you'd do this, though. You could shock him into realizing he is going too far. But, anyhow, try talking to him. If he puts up a fight, you could suggest talking in a public place, where the emotional temperature can be kept down. You're definitely right to care about him, but he needs to care about you, too.

    I do hope I've helped.


    • How long ago did the friendship advance into a romantic relationship? It could be that, as a partnership, you two are not as compatible as you were as friends. It could also be that he just doesn't manage stress well, and he's taking it out on you.
      Have you asked him what, exactly, he needs from you in this time? Does he want and need you to be there for all this, or is he a person that prefers his privacy and time for himself to deal with things? If you feel him pulling away, my guess is that you're reaching in too much, and attempting to help, where he just doesn't want the help yet. It may feel very overwhelming and smothering for him.

      Having a foundation of friendship is a great thing, but it's not a guarantee that you'll work out as lovers. Are you living together? If not, I'd give him some space. Regardless his stressors, he's directing the frustration toward you. Give him some time, and explain to him that you're not breaking up, or annoyed, or anything of that sort, just simply respecting his space and privacy in this difficult time. The behavior of someone you know as a friend, can be very different from that person's ways as a romantic partner.


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