I am struggling with my girlfriend and trying to figure out what is wrong with our relationship and then if I can figure that out how to fix it. We have been together for a little over a year and a half. Things were very good when they started and now I am feeling disconnected and worn down I guess is the best way to put it.
Here is where the problem starts off. I am quick to be very defensive whenever I feel that I might have done something wrong. I immediately snap off a quick retort before she has had the time to even criticize what it is I thought that I might have done wrong. This is causing a lot of arguments between us and I realize it is not good or healthy behavior on my part, but I also feel that I have been conditioned to have this response anymore. I attempt to do my best to make sure what I say or do is not able to be criticized to avoid her saying something to me. I have never had this issue with anyone before and as far as I can tell she is the only one I try and act this way around.
For example if I am cleaning the garage and I spill something and she in there she will come over and as she is coming over I will assume she is going to criticize me for spilling something and I will response with I’m something along the lines of sorry didn’t mean to spill that I’ll clean is up. I won’t say it in the nicest way though. I think I have been trained to expect negative reactions from her and I am preemptively responding to what I think will be a negative reaction. It is causing a lot of fights and she is now realizing that I am trained to response this way even though when we first got together I did
not do this.
Most of my friends have made comments to me that they think she treats me badly in public by criticizing things that really didn’t need to be criticized and I don’t feel that she has a lot of empathy for others in their problems. Although people won’t tell her I have been asked by friends and family why she is so mean. We went on a vacation with my parents and the first two or three days were very much everyone walking on egg shells.
I am not sure whether I am doing something to cause this behavior or not but I don’t like how I now feel when we are together. I feel very cold and empty towards her and don’t want to say or do something that will cause her to snap. She doesn’t really have bouts of anger or outbursts but the few times I have mentioned something about this it usually involves her crying for a while and eventually I try and calm her down and tell her everything is all right. I don’t really think it is though. We are living together and if that were not the case I may not be trying so hard to figure this out.
Any advice or additional information that might help? I am totally willing to accept that it is me causing issues as well I am really just unsure at this point what to do. I feel very detached from her and that I need to fake most communications, but there are other times that she makes me feel great…