How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Penny Rayas, MFT Your Own Question
Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Penny Rayas, MFT is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

i have a tendency to start fights with ,my boyfriend at the

Customer Question

i have a tendency to start fights with ,my boyfriend at the worst times. always when things are going well. i dont know why i do this and im hurting him too much. i cant stand this anymore. why am i trying to drive him away?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  psychlady replied 4 years ago.

Your reason for fighting is something only you know. Common reasons include testing someone to see "if" they love you. Sometimes people subconsciously feel unworthy so they test the other person to see what their feelings are for them. This is a way of affirming that they have positive emotions about the relationship. It is a way to get the person to prove that they love you because inside you aren't sure. Another reason is similar in that the person has low self esteem and wants the partner to reassure them. The end result is that they want that attention even if it is preceded by anger.


You have to find a more acceptable way to feel that he loves you without picking a fight. This will lessen your need to have these fights. Ask yourself what the benefit is to the fights and how to get this need satisfied without the fighting. You may ask him to communicate his feelings better and more often so that you don't need attention seeking behavior. When you need to be reassured ask for what you need. Do this in a positive way. Let him know that you need this and how to help you in a positive way. Together you can stop doing what you are doing.


Please press accept; this is the only way I am compensated

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
What of the fights are circular? I'm fighting with him because he won't do something but he won't do it because we fight too much. And on and on.
In this instance. He refuses to introduce me to any member of his family because of our fighting. But the fighting only occurs because he refuses to introduce me to his family.
He also refuses to consider what we are as boyfriend and girlfriend or even a serious relationship ( any relationship at all for that matter). This leads to another fight. Always started by my frustration.

It's been a year and a half

What should I do
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I do not feel my first question was detailed enough about the situation to receive a proper answer.
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 4 years ago.
Hello there, and thanks for asking JA. I wonder if you have seen this pattern of pushing away people in previous romantic relationships. I also wonder how was your relationship with your parents. Do you think your boyfriend also pushes you away when you don't? Do you push him away when he gets very close to you emotionally? From what you said it looks to me like you are either pushing or pulling. What do you think?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I feel as though he is hiding me from half of his life. I want to be very close to him but him refusing to let me I to his life frustrates me especially when I let him into mine. It makes me feel as though I am not good enough for him.

I've always had a very close relationship with my parents growing up and my mom even wonders if he is trying to control me without me even realizing it. As well as possibly being embarrassed about his family and not wanting me to see. Or seeing someone else that his family knows about and I don't.

His parents divorced when he was young he's a middle child. Never really had parental figures due to his mother being in abusive relationships and staying at homewood facility for addiction and never receiving any attention.

As you can see he tells me things about his family (him seeking attention is a hunch) but he refuses to bring me into it directly be making introductions.

What could this mean
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other.
What if it's him not me?
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 4 years ago.
Hello there I will give this a try again. I think I understand more about the problem. I think your boyfriend is afraid of commintment. He does not want to introduce you to his family because it would be a step towards commitement. Since his parents got divorced he fears getting divorce also. It is interesting that your only fight is about meeting his parents. Maybe letting that go will help him relax and he will feel better about the relationship. I am glad you have a good relationship with your parents. I think your thought about him being emberashed about his family makes sense to me. He may also not be close to them so the meet the parents thing may not make sense to him. I wonder what he said when you ask him.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He says it makes him extremely uncomfortable to introduce me because of all the fights we get into. He doesn't want to have to explain to them why I'm not around anymore of we do break up. That's what he told me. But I don't believe that entirely.
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 4 years ago.
I agree with you sounds like he is afraid of commitment. I think pushing him will not help out. I can see that the two of you have started a cycle of pushing and pulling. How important it is for you to meet his parents? Maybe if you let go of that for say the next 3 months your relationship can grow more peaceful and then he may feel more comfortable moving to the next level. Relax and have fun with him and see if things get better. I also think seeing a therapist may help you figure out why you are pushing him away. I am not sure if you can help him overcome his own fears he will have to do this work for himself. All you can do is your part. I hope this helps.
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience: I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
Penny Rayas, MFT and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mental Health Questions