Huge communication issues

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Huge communication issues

Postby bestgirl » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:38 pm

Hello,

this is my first time posting and I would like to hear other people's views on my relationship.

I have been with my bf for 14 years and it has not been plain sailing. He is an intelligent and kind person in many ways, but when things break down, meaning there is a small argument, he is difficult, unreasonable and selfish. And when that happens, we always spend a few days (it used to be weeks) without any communication whatsoever, him in his bedroom, door closed, door stop wedged so I can't open it, until I go and ask him to talk about it and eventually he comes out of it.

These break downs in communication usually originate from unimportant triggers. One recent event was a discussion about women working in the police force triggered by the series In the Line of Duty. I know that my bf believes that society is skewed in favour of women and when he watches TV, constantly points out how biased they are in favour of women. I happen to be in agreement with him for the most part, but just wish that life were not a constant gender battle, so his bitterness annoys me and pushes me towards fighting against his views.

He didn't like my comment and so started going on about how superior men are to women, and how superior he is to me, fuelled by too many glasses of wine. I went to bed asking him to stop his disgusting attack on me and to cancel the restaurant booking for my birthday as I had no intention of going to the restaurant with someone who spoke to me like he did.

I had a terrible day at work the next day, not helped by him telling me the night before how useless I must be at my job as I am a woman, and when I got home I was surprised and relieved that he apologised for how the argument had got out of hand. I agreed, but then we ended up arguing again as he claimed that 'I started it'.

The next day, on Friday night, I went to his bedroom to speak to him, but he refused to answer when I called his name and when I tried to open the bedroom door, I found that he had put the door stop behind it and so I could not open it. I found this utterly humiliating, particularly since I had done nothing to him other than make a comment, whilst he had been verbally abusive to the point of having to apologise the next day.

After talking to him in his room on Sunday about the situation being ridiculous (and him telling me that he didn't want to talk and that I had never resolved anything by talking), he eventually came out of his room on Monday or Tuesday and put on a documentary called 'The red pill' about gender issues, perhaps as a way of explaining why he was so angry at my comments about women in the police force. I enjoyed the documentary and told him and this resulted in a thawing of our relationship.

However, from my pov, none of the real issues had been addressed: I don't have an issue with reasonable gender views, but I have a problem with how he is with me when he disagrees with me.

He responded that for him an argument is a 'fight or flight' situation (which he has told me before), so I said that I was fine with him going to his room when he felt he needed the space, but that he should just say that he needed an evening in his room, and then the wedge behind the door would not be necessary as I would definitely not disturb him. He did not reply and nothing else was said.

I felt as if he had made his point about the gender issue and that's all that mattered to him: as usual, he did not demonstrate any understanding about my views and concerns. He never shows any understanding of my views and after 14 years together, I don't know if they register with him at all. He has occationally admitted, following massive arguments, to having some issues, but everything is very vague and completely undiagnosed and he has said that the only solution would be to take medication and turn into a zombie. So presumably it's preferable for me to deal with him as he is?

Since then, I had a week off and he took some days off work at the same time. We sleep in separate rooms and he sleeps in till 1pm pretty much every day, so I am on my own most of the time going for walks, sorting out housework and shopping. He doesn't do a lot to help. Other than that, we watch various TV series together in the evenings, which I appreciate. He likes to play online games and talk to his game friends online on his days off, normally a Tuesday and a Sunday, as well as in the evenings after I go to bed.

He never discusses anything, but just gives instructions (he always asks me to make calls, for example) and does not want me to make any suggestions, almost as if my talking offends him. This is hard since he clearly has a lot to say to his friends online and spends hours talking to them, whereas he says very little when I talk to him and often shuts me up as he is always watching something when I am in the room.

So eventually I told him that my questions do make sense and that it's not right that he treats me like I'm talking rubbish all the time. I gave him some examples of things I had said which then did turn out to be true, like his son not staying with us in the summer as we had originally thought, as he may be working elsewhere - when I suggested that a few weeks ago, he reacted as it I was completely mad and it was utterly impossible - now it may be happening after all.

He replied with several 'shut up you c**t' and went to his room.

Last night I drove us both up 3 hours away to visit his brother and gf and we had, what I thought was, a good time. I went to bed earlier than the others and this morning we all woke up late, had a late breakfast and prompted by recent events in the news, started talking politics. My bf didn't talk much.

When we got in the car I asked him if he had had a good time last night. He replied yes as nobody spoke about politics. So I realised that there was a sub-text and asked if something was the matter this morning when I was with them, and he said that I had offended his brother with my talking. I was quite shocked as I had not realised this at all. My first reaction was to feel hurt at the way he had told me, so I told him what he said had hurt me, but he told me to shut up as he was not able to get away from me, since I was driving us home. I drove us home for 3 hours in complete silence. As soon as we arrived home, he went to his bedroom and closed the door.

I texted the gf apologising for having offended/stressed out my bf's brother and she politely replied 'Oh gosh don't be silly we were debating. We're all passionate about the subject matter. Stay safe and see you soon.' - Now, reading between the lines, I think my bf was right and I did offend him somehow - I was totally unaware. I thought we were just talking and, to be honest, I am not that passionate about the subject matter (politics).

So you see, I am very confused. The only thing I hang onto somehow is that, surely, if you love somebody, there are ways of communicating with them that don't hurt. Or is it that he doesn't realise it? Is this normal for him? I am utterly confused right now.
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Re: Huge communication issues

Postby snail » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:58 am

Your partner is clearly desperately insecure - he finds almost everything threatening to his self-esteem, and becomes aggressive as a result when challenged in the slightest. Does he also make comments about other racial groups/religions? He bullies you to make himself feel a little better. The late sleeping also suggests depression (which often goes with low self esteem).

Your situation is not acceptable. He doesn't need medication, he needs psychotherapy. As a starting point I suggest you ask him to go to Relate with you. If he won't, then I would consider leaving. It sounds as though you have got used to things and worn down by it and have stopped realising how unhealthy this relationship is.
These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

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Re: Huge communication issues

Postby bestgirl » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:31 pm

Your partner is clearly desperately insecure - he finds almost everything threatening to his self-esteem, and becomes aggressive as a result when challenged in the slightest. [...] He bullies you to make himself feel a little better.

This is a possibility as I have seen him admit this online a very long time ago. He will not admit this now though.

Does he also make comments about other racial groups/religions?

Yes, but I don't think he is racist in terms of individual people. He hates all religions.

The late sleeping also suggests depression (which often goes with low self esteem).

Yes, I think this is a possibility. But it's hard when all you see is the outwardly aggressive side.

Your situation is not acceptable. He doesn't need medication, he needs psychotherapy. As a starting point I suggest you ask him to go to Relate with you. If he won't, then I would consider leaving. It sounds as though you have got used to things and worn down by it and have stopped realising how unhealthy this relationship is.

Yes, I think you are right. I have suggested Relate in the past and he agreed to try it, but then we found out that it was too expensive for us. I have often though that he is showing signs of PTSD or aspergers. He comes out positive on many of the aspergers tests you can do online and has told me that maybe that is what is going on. When we first 'met' online, he was investigating his issues and was very open, as it was an online forum, so less personal, and that is where all this first came out. He said he used to put his partners down verbally to make himself feel better; he said that he had suffered considerable trauma in his youth; he said that had been suicidal and taken an overdose.
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Re: Huge communication issues

Postby snail » Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:51 pm

Relate does seem expensive, particularly if you feel uncertain it will help at all. But if you are both working, you should be able to afford it, and when you think that this is your relationship and your life together at stake, it compares well for value against other uses for money such as nights out etc. Otherwise I can't see what else you could do - it doesn't sound like he would see his GP and I'm not sure it would be the right place to start anyway. But I don't think anyone should be treated the way you are at the moment. This can't be what you would choose for a relationship.
These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

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