My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year and in the past few months we've been fighting a lot. I have a hard time getting through to him and it's really frustrating me because any time I bring up a concern I have he gets defensive and makes excuses for himself. Anyone ever been through something like this? I'm getting tired and I don't know what to do...
Most Helpful Girl
There's a difference between "clear communication" and lying and/or lying through omission. I'm confused. Did he have another girlfriend when you began dating? If so, I'd say you have bigger problems than communication. People become defensive when they're being dishonest and/or if they feel they're being attacked (accusations are often perceived as "attacks.") Perhaps a little of both is occurring in your relationship.
You're struggling with TRUST or the lack thereof. You don't trust your boyfriend and he's picking up on it, which probably accounts for his defensiveness. A lack of trust usually connotes a fear of being hurt. Have you clearly communicated this to your bf?
It's unreasonable to expect your boyfriend to tell you all the details, of his life and past relationships. I also think it's unhealthy to process every single thought and feeling, no matter how small. However, it seems like he's glossed over some pretty big things, so no wonder you mistrust him. Although, I can understand being afraid to tell you about being stalked by psycho-girl. That's pretty scary and probably a source of shame for him. Perhaps he didn't tell you about it because he was afraid it would scare you off?
If trust and the fear of being hurt are your real concerns, be honest and talk to him about it. Tell him you don't need to know every single little thing, but define what you classify as "need to know" vs. "don't need to know." If he continues to hide or lie what you consider "big things" you should probably consider moving on. You'll never feel safe in your relationship if you don't trust him and nothing turns off a guy more than suspicion, accusations and nagging.
Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
A Shrink for Men