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 Dr. Paige Your Own Question
Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Dr. Paige is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am constantly fighting with my boyfriend

This answer was rated:

I am constantly fighting with my boyfriend and it now involves yelling and bad things said to each other.Our feelings for each other are suffering, but some still remain and we still want to work things out.  How and what can I change to make it work?


Edit: Some info to add to hopefully help a little...

I am 24, he is 20 , We have been together 5 months

The constant problems and fights bring  me like a deja vu, because I always seem to have problems and fights whenever I'm in a relationship and this one is heading down that same downhill path :(

Communication issues between men and women is a huge factor to many break ups. It doesn't mean that you both can't learn to make it work. The key is that both of you admit there is a problem, both of you want to fix it and both of you are willing to change things to make it work. You said what can YOU change, but you both have to change. If only one person is willing to change, then it will not work. All of the things you mentioned under already tried, are not things that generally will help the situation. You never want to bottle things up, you certainly don't want to express feelings dramatically and you do not want to NOT express feelings.
You did not mention specifically what you are fighting about, which would make my answer to you a lot more detailed and specific, but speaking generally, you both need to understand that men and women are different. You cannot make him think or act more like a woman and he cannot make you think like a man. You have to learn how men think and how to express yourself based on this knowledge and he needs to do the same. It is almost like you are speaking foreign languages to each other and you need to learn the other's way of thinking and speaking.
Again, without knowing the details of the fights, it is difficult for me to give you exact examples. I would be happy to help you further if you would like to elaborate a bit about the nature of the disagreements and how they escalate. I can tell you that men have issues and let things go and then forget about them. They don't look for hidden meanings in things. Women do the opposite. Women expect men to be mind readers and to know how to take care of women and they look into everything that men do and wonder what it really means, when in fact, men do things that are straight forward. They don't generally do things unless you ask them. There are many things such as this that you both need to learn how to navigate around and through to have a successful relationship with good communication.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much for answering and yes I am sorry for not giving more specific information, I didn't know how much info to give starting off !


In the beginning, I found out he lied to me about very stupid things, for example, he claimed he was going to school everyday, but reality was that he owed class fees and wasn't even able to register. He confessed the truth after he came to visit me for the first time ( we are long distance relationship)


Also, in the beginning, I would yell at him for small things like not answering my calls, not being able to call me often, putting me aside to do something for his family ( he still lives at home)


He apologized for the lying and said he would be honest to me and has been so far. He also has told me that he felt ashamed and a little scared of my reactions and of losing me if he told me the truth about not being in school.


After the lying, I have been very untrusting. I was suspicious of a girl he would hang around with and I caused many fights over this. He would get very upset, saying that I still don't trust him even though he's been honest and that he's trying to please me but I never see happy with what he does. I asked him to spend less time around her and he has finally agreed to it.


I have past issues with my ex boyfriends about lying, cheating, and anger. I know I bring that baggage with me, but I don't know what to do. I get suspicious, scared, worried that he's lying, even though I haven't found any solid proof yet, and I have gone looking through his facebook, e-mail, etc. It's made me feel crazy.

One thing you have to realize, which is not easy, it is a difficult thing to do, but understand that there is nothing you can do about HIS actions. If he wants to cheat on you, he will, you cannot control him or his actions, only yours. That may sound simple, but you will find a lot less stress in yourself if you truly accept this as fact and act as such. I do understand how your past relationships have affected this one, but he is not those other boyfriends. You also said the truth in that he reactions to things such as lying are because he is scared of your initial response. If you demonstrated an easier and more approachable attitude with him, he would be more willing to come to you with things that he is afraid of now. You have to react to his telling you things in a different way.
You say you haven't found any solid proof yet, which means you are looking. Why? He already feels as though you have cornered him with fear, he walks on egg shells, you don't trust him, this is all a toxic combination of things which can certainly cause him to stray, but you can't dwell on this.
What needs to happen now is this; you need to contact him and talk to him about how things have been handled and how his lying in the past has caused you to be very untrusting of him and that you need for him to understand this, BUT what you want to do is get to a point where you are starting over in a sense. Make sure that this is something he also wants to do as well. Clean slate, lets learn how to communicate. There has to be some understanding of the current situation. A long distance relationship is very stressful as it is without any other added issues. Explain how the stress gets to you and you react to it along with carrying the past baggage along with you and how you want to change this, but need his help. Ask for his help. If you put it in this way, and don't blame him and read him the riot act about how he has to understand that he caused this, etc.. because this will cause him to retreat into self defense. Your conversations with him need to change. Take a different approach. Yelling at him will do nothing but push him away. If you don't like something that he has done, explain to him nicely how it makes you feel and tell him that it hurts you. Turning conversations around to draw the other person in instead of pushing them away is what you want to accomplish. It will take practice and there will be set backs. You have to get him back and in a way where he wants to give you 100%. You really have got to let go of thinking you can control his actions. That is really the key for you and not only in this relationship, but any relationship. You need to take ownership of yourself and your reactions and know that people will do whatever they want to do. A boyfriend will be more likely to cheat on a controlling, argumentative, untrusting girlfriend than they would someone who loves them, gives them independence and understanding. You need to stop looking through his emails, Facebook, etc. The more you let go, the more calm you will eventually feel. I know right now that sounds silly, but trust me; there are much more things in life you need to spend your energy on. You aren't doing this for him and for the relationship, you are doing this for you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I must say that I, unfortunately, have heard similar things to what you are advising me on ! lol But honestly, I appreciate the way you told me and explained things to me. It was very helpful and I think I can see myself capable of doing the things you explained. For awhile I wasn't sure if me and my boyfriend would work out. I still knew that, even if we didn't work out, I wanted to be able to change for myself and for whatever future boyfriend I would have. Thank you very much Dr. Paige for advising me and you deserve more than what I am paying you for this help. I appreciate it very much and hopefully if I have another question in the future, I can hopefully have you to answer it !

Of course! And pleas keep me posted on this relationship as well. I will go ahead and schedule a follow up with you for a week or so just to check in and see how things are going if that is ok with you. You can do this! I promise you, you will feel a lot better overall.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you and I will keep you posted. Will a follow up require another payment? because at the moment I dont have an extra 15, but in a week or so I will most likely have $15! I will start on all your advice immediately and hope to see progress soon :)

I will follow up with you in about 10 days. When you accept an answer, it pays me a partial of what you deposited, the company web site gets the rest of it.
Dr. Paige and 3 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Just checking in with you to see if you have had any conversations with your boyfriend and how things are going.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hello again! Well actually things went downhill with my boyfriend. We were trying to work things out and did have many discussions but we were also doing a lot of breaking up and making up too. My boyfriend then ended up pretty much doing what he did in the past and he lied and hid things from me. I had a suspicion that something was happening on his facebook since I saw him on there a lot so I ended up going into his facebook , its been about a month since I last did it but I just didn't feel right. Turns out he was once again talking and flirting with girls on there on days where we were breaking up. We then had a huge drama on the phone and he just says that he was stupid for doing this again, this also happened in the beginning of our relationship. Now we are broken up and he claims he wants to change and get me back. I don't know what to do but to just continue with my life, I love him so much and care for him . I really wanted to work things out with him but now I don't know . I feel like I would just be stupid if I forgave him because he did this. again. Sorry, I did not realize that replying would cost me another 15, I don't have 15 to give so I understand if you don't reply to this.
I think that people CAN change, but if he has shown a pattern of this and you taking him back, he has no motivation to change. I think you need to take a break from him and not talk to him for awhile. Let him decide if he misses the relationship so much that he makes the decision to change his ways. If he knows you are serious and he is running out of chances, he may understand that he can't keep doing this and expect for you to return.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay I like your advice and will be following it. How long do you think is a good time for me to have a break and not talk to him? Also, how should I tell him about having this break and not talking to him? I'm not sure what to say but I'm worried if I don't say anything and just ignore his calls and texts he'll eventually figure I want nothing to do with him so I don't think that's a good idea?! Plus I'm always told how communication is key, and sometimes I just don't know how to say things !
You can tell him exactly why you want this break. Tell him you can't keep taking him back if he is not willing to help you make this work. Explain that he needs to decide what he wants and that you want him to have some time to make his priorities. Explain that you need to be away from him right now and if he decides that he wants to have a grown up and responsible relationship, to give you a call and you can go from there, but for now, you just need to be away from him because he causes you stress. Be honest, tell him exactly what is going on and why.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you that is very helpful and sounds like the words in my head , I just get tangled up with them when they need to be said ! Also, I'm playing this in my head and knowing him, he doesn't like to go a few days without hearing from me so I could expect a few days to pass and he would be calling me again saying he's thought about it and wants to be back with me! But I don't think a few days is sufficient time? So how long is a reasonable amount of time for him to think things over and be without me?
NO it isn't. There is no real set time though and it is difficult to give you a definitive answer on that. You know him best and can determine that better than anyone. He needs to be able to explain to you why and how he came to that conclusion and not just say, I thought about it, lets get back together. You need to be able to see it in his examples and there is nothing wrong with taking him back slowly and being friends, spending time together at first, like the beginning of your relationship and let him prove it to you. He needs to work at getting you back. Not just words but actions. If you feel that you have a hard time telling him face to face, you can always write it down and give him a letter or use a cheat sheet if you are on the phone with him. Don't be afraid to do that in order to make sure you get in everything you want to say.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you very much dr.paige I appreciate all the help you've given me and I will take everything you've said and put it into action. I don't know how things will turn out but I hope for the best.
I do too. Good luck and remember that you deserve to be treated well and if he isn't going to do it, you owe it to yourself and your future to move on no matter how painful it may feel now.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you very much, if I need help in the future regarding this relationship would I be able to speak to you again about it?