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I have been with a wonderful man for a year now. He is wonderful however, he is very sensitive and gets mad over the littlest things. In my opinion he throws a tantrum. for example: tonight we were playing around in bed, like we normally do and I pinched him to hard on accident. he flopped over to face away from me and gave me the quiet treatment. this happens very often. allot of the time I have no idea what I did. I mention to him that it is not necessary to react like that and it was a accident. then he wants to argue about it. it is so not necessary. I either say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing and have no idea what the heck I did. its almost like he is the female in this relationship. How do I deal with this or get him to understand how sensitive he is. I try to explain it in a nice way but he just gets more upset. I hate fighting with him. we do have a AWESOME relationship other than that. if we could just fine tune it. PLEASE HELP ME!
 

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belle, this probably isn't news, but you can't change anyone. The only thing that is within your power is let him know this sort of behavior is unacceptable. He will either decide he cares enough about you to work on changing it (over time of course, probably a few months and maybe even longer; it won't happen in one day) or he'll choose to remain the same. From what you've said, he's already provided an answer. If he won't work on improving this, you will have to decide if it's something you can live with or if it would be best to get out of the relationship.
 

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You have been set up really well and very cleverly. You praise him as wonderful and feel your relationship is the greatest with exception of this one little thing. But it's not so little at all. You had to be reeled in to become his victim. What you describe is controlling behavior that borders on abuse, and it will turn in to abuse - verbal abuse or mental abuse or physical abuse. You are not going to do anything by me telling you so as badly as I would like, I won't suggest you run for the hills. But I do suggest you think about what you are saying. Look at the reactions he gets from you. He planned those reactions. Look at the arguments that ensue. He planned those arguments. Look at how ridiculous it all is. He is working you into emotional black mail. What you describe is classic behavior of an abuser. Ask yourself how many women would be in abusive relationships if he yelled insults at her, slapped her, or accused her (to start an argument the way your guy does) the first time they met and on every date. Not one. She had to be wooed, drawn in, and set up to be his victim. He is like any other predator. He is naturally charming or he would never have a girlfriend or wife to abuse. Yes of course he is Mr. Wonderful. You will see. The incidents will become more frequent, and they will become more intense. His controlling you will get worse. Hopefully, you will have sense enough to leave when you realize I was right. Hopefully, you won't get so drawn in and constantly wanting his approval, wanting him to understand, wanting him to see it is not "necessary to react like that." You are being trapped like every abused woman gets trapped. When you get the message that it is all by his design, hopefully he will not have totally robbed you of your self esteem and you have enough free will left to walk yourself out the door.
 

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I don't mean to sound rude, but that made me laugh. That's something I would say and a way I would generally talk to one of my kiddos, not my spouse.

I mean holy handgrenades Batman, it's a pinch done in play. Maybe i'm just used to my relationship but my wife and I play constantly. I've lost count of the number of poked eyes, accidentally poked ribs, etc. Of course you say your sorry for it, but neither person should get their underwear in a wad over it.

Seems like either as Susan said he's being controlling/abusive, or he needs a serious wake-up call about realistic expectations. I know my wife or I could not handle a relationship where we had to be on pins and needles to not hurt someones feelings all of the time.
 

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Odds are you are always going to say or do the wrong thing - because there is no right thing to say when your partner is being an a$$hole.

His behavior is passive aggressive and childish. The next time he pulls a 'tantrum', don't use reason - you've already tried that and it doesn't work.

Ignore him, or mock him. He uses the behavior you describe to illicit a very specific response from YOU. So as long as you respond to it in a way (however dysfunctional) that he finds fulfilling, he will continue to do it. My presumption is that he wants you to feel bad, like you have wronged him in some way, and that you have to jump through whatever hoops he decides on to earn his favor back. The dude is acting like a 3 year old.

You want to stop the behavior? Do not respond to it. Or, frame your response as negative feedback for him.
If he gets all sensitive and wounded, ask him if he likes being the b!tch in the relationship. Or simply look at him astonished and say something like; "Wow. Are you really that pathetic?"

If he pulls attitude like a brat, tell him YOU don't want to talk to him until he can behave like a man instead of a little boy.

Does my method demonstrate healthy relationship dynamics? Absolutely not. Decide which you want, to be appropriate, or to get results. You can try to cater to his rational side, but if he is getting some satisfaction out of his behavior - he isn't going to change it. So take satisfaction and gratification out of the equation.

Sounds like you have tried carrots - time for the stick. Make it a bat.
 

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I have been with a wonderful man for a year now. He is wonderful however, he is very sensitive and gets mad over the littlest things. In my opinion he throws a tantrum. for example: tonight we were playing around in bed, like we normally do and I pinched him to hard on accident. he flopped over to face away from me and gave me the quiet treatment. this happens very often. allot of the time I have no idea what I did. I mention to him that it is not necessary to react like that and it was a accident. then he wants to argue about it. it is so not necessary. I either say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing and have no idea what the heck I did. its almost like he is the female in this relationship. How do I deal with this or get him to understand how sensitive he is. I try to explain it in a nice way but he just gets more upset. I hate fighting with him. we do have a AWESOME relationship other than that. if we could just fine tune it. PLEASE HELP ME!

I think others have taken your example as typical. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. At least one phrase you used sounded so familiar.... 'I have no idea what the heck I did'. I think you seem to be describing a very sensitive, indeed over-sensitive individual, but not necessarily the child-like one others think. For whatever reason people can set themselves up with such expectations (maybe a flawed childhood leading to unrealistic perfection as their goal, for example) that anyone who falters from their line gets an earbashing. Try to come up with, let's say, three other examples. Playfighting which went wrong, I have to admit, sounds a bit silly. Maybe other instances would give a wider picture. But let me tell you I believe you.
 

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My husband is a bit similar - very sensitive. Not when it comes to things like pinches, etc, but for him it is emotional things. Like he takes things as personal insults really easily even if (in my opinion) it was nothing to do with him or even insinuating anything of the sort. Then I get the silent treatment or he sulks really obviously or a bunch of other things like this - he does this for days at a time. It was funny you said you felt like he was the female of the relationship because I thought the exact same thing at one stage!

I found that, surprisingly, the best way for me and also him to deal with this is to deal with it right at that moment. I did it out of anger one time - said something along the lines of "Ok this has just happened and we are going to deal with it right now. So - tell me please why you are angry at me". I tried to make it sound not aggressive or confrontational, but more in a "there is a problem that needs to be solved" type of way. He seemed to really like this and it seemed to work great! He got to voice his feelings about what happened, and I got to voice mine, and then with this full knowledge I insist that we make an agreement on how we can stop this from happening in future. He ends up happy because we more fully understand eachother at the end of it, and we have a plan so that it won't happen again. Also because he knows I have heard what he is saying, and understand it from his point of view too.

I started doing this when he was in extremely sensitive mode and each time it seemed to work. And, looking back now, I notice it doesn't seem to happen half as often now as before. I think it arose from me thinking what, if I was in his position, I would like to happen - I would want to be heard, not talked over or argued with or whatever. But I would want it to be a partnership thing - everyone gets heard and a team decision is made.

Ofcourse it might not work for everyone but its just what worked for us. :) Sounds pretty clinical I guess but I just wanted us to work on whatever issue it is at the time, as a team basically.
 

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Oh and I forgot to add, it stops you from having to walk on eggshells all the time. If you have to do that all the time - it drives you MAD! :)
 

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It may be one of the world's best kept secrets, but on rare occasions I'm even a little sensitive myself. And given the bombastic nature of my marriage, that's pretty hard to believe.

Circumstances can come together that will make anyone vulnerable for a moment. Sensitive is sensitive, hurt is hurt and who is anyone, including my wife, to tell me how I feel or tell me I don't really hurt or tell me I shouldn't hurt or argue with me about what makes me hurt?

But this is not really a big deal. A simple "I'm sorry", "I can see how that would hurt", "I would be hurt too if that happened to me", "here, let's do xxxxxxx to make up for this". And the whole thing can go away. Human relations 101.
 

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I either say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing and have no idea what the heck I did. its almost like he is the female in this relationship.

Ok, That sounds JUST like my dh!!! We've been married for 7 years, together for 9. For the first 7 years of our relationship I walked on egg shells always afraid of upsetting him since it never takes much. And like you, often thought that he was MUCH more like the female of the relationship. For years I would bend til breaking trying to "keep the peace" and I'd STILL do something to upset him.

Well, the past 2 years (since kids) I have woken up. I realize the toll it has taken on me and the crazy amount of resentment I have towards him. And I didn't want our girls to see this kind of treatment and think it's ok for THEM to be treated that way by a man (he was also verbally abusive as the years went by). I went through a year or so of basically detaching from him - not great for the relationship - but it did help me gain some self respect and perspective. I also didn't care anymore about his reactions. I figured he's gonna get upset anyway - I'm not letting it affect me and I'm not gonna take it anymore. I needed him to "man up" and accept HIS responsibilty as well. I no longer enable his behavior and at times I would mirror it and give it right back to him. It has shaken him a bit as he has seen that I am strong and not taking it anymore. We had a long talk the other night and for the first time I think he was actually listening and not pulling the "victim" card right away. So maybe we're getting somewhere - we'll see. Not getting my hopes up yet....

I agree w/Susan2010 - it will get worse if you don't do something about it now. Don't allow him to act that way. If you can, talk to him in a reasonable manner (my dh wasn't reasonable to have convos during that time). If not, I suggest counseling. If he refuses then you're gonna have to play hardball. I'm a peacemaker by nature - but there are some people that you cannot have peace with - it's just their nature. I have learned that they control you w/fear - once you're no longer afraid - they have no control.
 
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