I am having a problem similar to this poster: http://www.justanswer.com/mental-health/4l6xv-controlling-boyfriend-says-can-t-communicate-him.html
My boyfriend will ask me to express myself but more often than not disagrees or corrects my feelings or thoughts. I never feel heard! He becomes obsessive about various pieces of his life to the extent of not taking time to just relax.
He is still living at home with a mother who is overly clingy and indulgent. I believe that he has rarely been contradicted or had to take responsibility for his behavior and that leads to conflict between us.
Hello! My name isXXXXX will help you today and I will be asking you a couple of questions to make a better assessment. What poster are you referring to? And you never feel heard by whom? Your partner?
I just edited my question a few moments ago and that may help. I am referencing my current boyfriend.
I believe it says you are still typing I will wait if you have to add something else
I identified with the other poster when it relates to me always being wrong, or behaving wrong during an argument. It is leading to me feeling controlled at times to behave the way he thinks is proper.
Hope that helps!!
I'm sorry, just which poster are you referring to? I'm sorry I can't find it. Anyway, if you can copy paste it here that would be good. If not, that's ok also. I just want you to be able to tell me certain things. 1) How long have you been together? 2) What is his main complaint towards you?
Here is the other post: http://www.justanswer.com/mental-health/4l6xv-controlling-boyfriend-says-can-t-communicate-him.html
We have been together almost two years
His main complaint would be that I get angry with him for no reason
OK. so that post is not yours. That's from another customer? But that's mainly how you feel?
Sorry I am being confusing!! Haha Yes, that post is from someone else. I found I identified with it on many levels.
OK. Hahaha. I understand. There's a lot of good info on that POST. Did you read the whole thing?
Yes, I have read it all, it makes a lot of sense to me. Is there a way to expand on the narcissistic aspect of things at all? What behaviors do you see in those types of men?
I am close to his family (aunts, uncles, mom, dad, brother) and I see a lot of his interaction with them. He is typically telling them what to do (in more of a condesending way than aggressive) and he has slowly begun to be critical with me in that same way. Kind of a know-it-all attitude
I have to ask you first a couple of questions. You say that he says that you get angry for no reason. First of all, the most important part of a conversation is good communication skills. You have to watch your TONE, VOLUME, ATTITUDE and BODY LANGUAGE. Now sometimes those go way off because we've been dealing with the same problem and we haven't seen the other person get better. I mean, maybe you've told him a lot of times that he doesn't listen to you or that everything you say is always wrong for him. But he keeps being the same way and reacting the same way. At that moment, because it has happened so many times, you get infuriated and you talk to him in an angry way. And it's not that you are like this all the time, it is because you are TIRED that this BEHAVIOR of his keeps happening all the time. Does that sound familiar? I MEAN IS LIKE HE DOESN'T RESPECT YOUR OPINIONS. LIKE ANY OPINION YOU GIVE IS ALWAYS WRONG TO HIM.
1) Does he always talks like he is right?
Yes, that is very fair. I have gotten more agitated as the relationship goes on, because I feel like he doesn't take my thoughts or opinions seriously. That has affected my communication style
He has a way of discrediting what other people say in general, not just with myself
There are a lot of men that are like this. But I have to narrow it down. 2) Do you feel like you are very compatible sexually? or not?
At times I feel compatible.
He is not comfortable with me iniating sex
I believe he is more interested in being the aggressor and it is a turn off if I am in the mood and communicate that
OK. But you say that AT times you feel comfortable. Do you think he feels inadequate sexually in any way?
I do in some respects. The added piece here is that he still lives at home with his parents
He has since he left college (3+ years ago)
I believe that is part of things? I have not been able to figure out what other ways he might feel inadequate
He has a great job and is generally a great guy, albeit kinda intolerant of opposing views
He is 27, makes good money
Yes but you mentioned something important. He still lives with his parents and you feel he somehow feels inadequate about sex. It's OK that he has a good job. But if he feels impotent in other ways, like being able to support himself completely or feeling sexually inadequate, those are the first signs of a person who HAS to MAKE UP in other situations. Like for example, WANTING to be ALWAYS RIGHT!
Now, in what way do you think he feels inadequate sexually?
Ah, good point
I don't know exactly why I would say that... essentially it's that he's not that sexually expressive. He doesn't exactly know what he likes and isn't really comfortable with talking about it.
I know as well that he has always had a really clingy/overprotective mother. And he has actually told me to stop "coddling" him when I am trying to explain something that I feel.
I don't know if that relates at all
OK, that's actually really important. I mean a person who sexually can't express himself openly to his partner will develop that attitude of always being right. You see if he can't control his sexual life, he has to control other areas. Another thing is, how does his mother overprotects him? Did she let him always get away with what he wanted? Did she always let him be correct in their discussions? Was his word always the last word? Those things are really important. The sexual part is really important. I mean have you tried to talk to him about your sexual encounters and what do you like and what would he like?
His mother does the coddling. When we met, she would do his laundry, cook his meals. She'd do errands for him during the day. She would try to drop us off at the bars. She came on some of the first few dates we had. I couldn't tell you if she was asked to come or just intruded. His is first child, her son that can do no wrong.
She will tell him he is never wrong and never does anything wrong. She has told me herself he is detached, but I'm guessing it is from her being intrusive and kinda needy
At times, I feel I am having to take blows for how his mother has behaved. Like he takes anger that should be her out on me. We literally just spent Friday - Tuesday nights at his parents place when I have my own apartment.
He sees nothing wrong with spending a lot of time at his families house, living his mothers life (in my opinion), instead of creating his own reality
I get it. So his mother never contradicts him?
Nope. He is allowed to be the man of that house in some ways
And his father? How is he with him?
Dad's kind of passive and at some level I'm sure he is kinda selfish and thinks his wife is needy
He's not a jerk and he contributes to the house, kind of pushes the mom around in some ways
But she often mentions he doesn't pay attention to her in some ways
OK. Do you feel your bf doesn't pay too much attention to you sexually? or romantically?
I think the romance is the main issue and the sexual stuff comes after or as a result
Like I would tell him i like flowers. I wouldn't be asking him to give them to me today or all of the time, but once in awhile. He would say I can't force him to give flowers and he will do it when he wants to to surprise me
Well, I mean his family issues are important and I know that they have something to do with him always wanting to be right. I mean his mother let him do as he pleased, so if you don't let him, he will always be mad at you when you contradict him. Even if you're trying to be nice about it.
Well, but in that specific case, I mean how many times does he buy you flowers as a surprise? I mean (being the devil's advocate), how much is enough to you? Or does he really does it enough so that you are satisfied. For example, how many times, in these two years has he bought you flowers?
we've spent two valentine's days together so once on each of those, and once more by surprise
And how many times have you asked him to do it?
Probably 4 or 5 times?
I kind of stopped asking ha because he took it as me controlling him
Definitely he gets an F. A big F. Sorry about that but it's true.
LOVE is in the details!
Yes, and he's so absorbed in himself that he doesn't see that he has to feed it!
In the details that are important to YOU!
Why wouldn't I start to be angry?
Yes, I understand you now perfectly
that's fine. lol
So my spot is this, I feel stuck because he's convinced he's treating me like a princess (his words)
But he is treating me the way he thinks he is right... by spending time with me and not being a jerk all of the time
Which is like barely status quo to stay with someone for a long time
OK. I don't think there's much to do here. I mean, I believe you guys, to become a better couple WILL need couples therapy, and by kind of knowing the person he is, he WILL say NO. I mean there's a 10 percent probability that he'll say yes. But that's all.
He needs to be confronted. But hey, believe me, there are tons of guys like this everywhere. But there are also really cool guys, but those are more scarce. And if you confront him with this, he will probably not listen to you, ever. You can try, I mean, if I were you I would first suggest going to couples therapy and if he asks why, you tell him that you will write everything on an email so that he can read how you feel.
Is it a personality disorder or more that he is a jerk? He considers himself to be a nice guy
He also considers himself someone who wants to work on his relationships
Oh, we all have symptoms of different disorders be it personality or others, but that doesn't mean we have the condition. He is definitely a jerk, but he doesn't know it. And I believe that it has a lot to do with his nurturing from his parents and also from his sexuality. He hasn't been able to let himself flow in that area, so he's going to act like a person who is kind of grumpy a lot of times?
He wants to work on the relationship? Then tell him that in order to work it good, that you guys NEED to go to a couples therapist. That if he loves you that's ALL you ask of him. And please try to go to a good one!!!
Note: When I say we all have symptoms I'm talking about maybe one or two or even three and sometimes from different conditions. I mean we DON'T have them ALL to be considered as suffering from that condition.
Yep, he's often grumpy and won't really cop to it. I will mention that he seems annoyed and he'll deny it.
We spend a lot of time together, generally every day
So he's not being neglectful per se, it's that he doesn't understand how to feed a relationshipo
And insists I'm the problem at the moment (my anger)
So couples counseling is the answer? He may be willing to go, but I bet he will be unwilling to take accountability.
Sorry, I could go on for days. HAHAHAHA I think he and I are at that point.
Wait, but that anger of yours, you weren't like this always? I mean you have to be really sincere with yourself, because I've had people that tell me, "she's always been angry and that's why I really feel kind of angry myself". Or are you sure that you were really nice and cool at the beginning but you started changing progressively as he kept being the way he is? YES, couples therapy is the only answer right now. Unless, he tells you he'd prefer to listen it all from you and so you write him a loooong and juicy email with a lot of LOVE and AFFECTION (literally) telling him everything you feel and how neglected you feel. And yes, the probabilities of him taking responsibility for his actions are pretty low.
The anger has been increasing during conflicts as he continues to not listen to what I need
I played the grin and bear it at first, and then started feeling frustrated as we went on
He was only partially up front with the living at home thing and that he didn't want to move out and be independent
So I started to feel duped, like he wasn't truthful
I have had some job troubles during this time we've been together too, which has added to my frustration tolerance
So yes, to be sincere, I have a role in terms of the anger and managing my frustration which could be affecting him as well.
OK, and did you talk to him about all of this? What did he have to say for himself? I mean you wanted him to move with you? and I'm sorry about the job troubles? What job troubles? I mean, I always advice people to be really sincere with them and try to see their own faults also. I mean, we always have something that we might be doing differently to better ourselves.
He did know about it! He wasn't particularly sensitive, because he thought I should just make a change and not bitch about it. Essentially, I moved towns for him and was looking for a better job down where I live now. We have always talked about living together and have been working towards it. We bought a bed together at my apartment, which he insists "doesn't mean what I think it does"
He put me on his costco club card and amex, but that doesn't mean anything
He said that he doesn't want to move out of his parents house, but he will for the "right woman" and has put the honus all on me to be the "right woman"
But my anger is the road block in his opinion, though it comes up after I have logically told him something that has happened that has hurt me and he refuses to be emphathetic or apologize
That's when things escalate
I have been super accepting and apologetic when I have lost my temper and told him i understand why he would be frustrated. I have looked up ways of managing my frustration and included him in that so he sees I take it seriously
I just don't see him beating himself up to change anything, I see him staying the same and expecting me to keep carrying all of the weight
I understand. Definitely you need the couples therapy. And if he doesn't own up to maybe even 30% of this, then, I'm sorry to tell you, you will have to either accept him like that (which would destroy you eventually) or leave him. I'm with you also on your last sentence.
Yeah it sucks but I think that's the case. He maybe expects women to be the one to fix him or change things and I honestly looked at myself the other day and thought... how embarrassing that he is asking me to prove myself to him. He should be proving himself to me. I have a great career with a great company (even the new one) and made a whole ton of money last year. I have great friends and my family is caring and I'm busting my butt trying to be good enough for him to see me.
His mommy issues seem so relevant and too deep for me to attack. His friends and family love me, by the way. But it's almost like he's got this image of who he is and it's not accurate
He lives at home and interacts with his family as though he is still a teenager. And then tells me how to behave properly
(I probably owe you more than $22 for this) haha
Hahaha. Don't worry about that! (your latter comment) You deserve someone who understands what you need, of course, as long as you also do the same thing for him. I'm telling you, I don't like to label anyone. Nowadays people want to label people with some kind of condition. He's just the way he is and if he decides to go with you to the couples therapy and he realizes what a jerk he's been, then you might go on. But if not, then, again, sorry to tell you, but you are young! You don't have to take this anymore. Oh, and if you finish it with him, prepare to be bombarded with guilt trips!!!!
Yeah, I guess feeling like there is something wrong with him would make me justified in cutting things off
I don't think I'll have a problem finding someone else, I'd just been single for awhile and he seemed super quality when I met him.
He's a friend of a friend so I know there will be backlash. The same friend had mentioned that they used to be super mean to his ex gf in college
I'm sure he acted about the same and he was with that girl for 4 years. So it's not like this is his first relationship
I told him the other day that I felt he treated me like a machine and just tried different things to see how I reacted. Of course I thought he would deny that, the worst part is, he agreed. He said he was glad that I understood how he worked. He's an engineer and apparently I'm just one of his test machines.
Yes, if someone told you he suffered from a personality disorder then it would make things easier to end. But I just think he's conceited and at the same time, maybe sexually has a low self esteem, and probably unconsciously. Most men do seem like super quality at the beginning, they usually put on a mask. That's why you will only get to know someone, and not completely, when you really spend a loooot of time with them. WOW, he said that he was glad you understood that he really treated you like a machine? Sorry to tell you but he should be out the door like NOW. Unless you see that as a compliment, I mean that you really want to be his machine. So, it's time for you to decide. You are young, like you said you will find someone, the thing is, don't jump too soon and don't let this experience close you to other men.
Yeah he said that. Seems kind of sociopathic. It could be that he was referencing to doing different things to try to keep me happy
But I don't understand how he relates to me like a machine
Yes that seems a bit like a sociopath behavior. I thought you said that he relates to you like a machine because he wants by his side a machine of a woman. A woman who works for him, does as he pleases, agrees with him all the time, moves when he wants, have sex when he wants...I mean you told me he got a bit pissed every time you suggested it. So he wants someone like his mother. His mother has been like a machine to him
I'm sorry did you get my last message?
Yes! I just got it
I don't know that he was insinuating that I am a machine that does all for him
That has been modeled for him though. His own sister gets mad at the mother because she is creating unrealistic expectations for both her kids and for their partners
But in essence, the expectation he's set has set the tone for our relationship
I see that he IS looking for someone like his mom, that does whatever the father says
Caters to everyone around and never complains or expects different behavior, otherwise she is being a bitch.
Well this is what you wrote; "I told him the other day that I felt he treated me like a machine and just tried different things to see how I reacted. Of course I thought he would deny that, the worst part is, he agreed. He said he was glad that I understood how he worked. He's an engineer and apparently I'm just one of his test machines." That's why I thought he had, in some sort of way, compared you to a machine. Right? Or am I missing something?
Yes, he didn't deny what I thought. He didn't say directly "i'm an engineer and you are one of my test machines." he just didn't deny that he did treat me like a machine
Does that make sense?
Yes it does. And for him NOT to deny it, means that he doesn't really cares much about YOUR cares, about YOUR details...and that's what you will get from him. A man who is SELF CENTERED...
Totally. That is what I took from it as well.
Self centered and unapologetic for that. My way or the highway type of stuff.
Yes. Again. Try couples therapy. Get a good psychologist. If he doesn't own up to anything. It's not worth it. And believe me, I think he will never change. But I gotta have a bit of hope. =S
Well put. I don't he will. His expectations are being reinforced by his environment and huge catholic family. The women are all servants to the men.
Not to say that they don't have opinions or argue, but the expectation is that I serve him and obey him because he's the man. I'm old school... but am I that old school?
Thank you for your help today!
I will likely be looking for someone to speak to individually first and then see if he and I can chat with someone
In all honestly, part of concern with leaving is that I am not sure I will keep the same job and stay in the area. I was kind of unsure of where I would go in life when I met him and let him dictate some choices I made instead of choosing for myself.
So I feel like in leaving him, I'm also deciding to quit a job, move apartments and do a little soul searching
That feels big.
It is big. I'm sorry. But do you really have to leave your job? Just wondering.
Ah not if I don't want to, I work from home so I can move around (in the bay area) and be fine
I have the money to quit and travel if I want. which is something i'd thought of as an alternative to settling in elsewhere right away
Well, that's something you could do. Maybe even travel. That's good. See other places, meet new people. You're young!
I have some friends that live abroad to visit and a family that would be happy to watch my stuff or take care of whatever while I am gone. I have freedom in that sense, lots of it.
Yeah, I hit 30 and thought I was old
Grabbed the first person that seemed like a good match and wanted to make it work
That is this relationship. I will probably be much happier without him, and will find someone who will love me for me
Not as an object
That's what a LOT of women AND men do and they finish in bad relationships. Don't be in a hurry! Take your time, you are definitely still young!!! And young is more about attitude and how you take care of yourself than anything else!
You should give yourself the value you deserve!
Yep, the operative word is me. I have to take responsibility for this because as long as I let him thinks things are okay and don't complain
He'll be fine
So he won't end it because me not complaining is what he wants I think.
I don't want to deal with the ration of shit I'll get from his family and friends
And from the people we know
Because he presents as such a nice guy
That everyone just thinks he's the greatest
OH, some guys are just soooo nice outside their relationship, but inside is another whole different matter. You'll get a good man, a man you deserve. Just never put yourself down. I mean, become better but never put yourself down!
Thanks! I know I have learned a lot about what I want and don't want, more so about what I deserve
Now it's just about getting the courage to get the change started
Thank you again for your help!
Thank you!!! and blessings!