What to do?

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...

Updates:
My concerns are mainly about trust. There have been situations where I catch him in a lie, even a small meaningless lie so that concerns me. He was being pretty much stalked by a girl he vaguely knew and never told me so you can imagine my surprise when..
she contacted me. I would think this fact would be something you tell your gf? Am I wrong? When we met he had a girlfriend and I never knew... there are some things he just doesn't think are important to tell me. My concerns include clear communication.

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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

    link

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What Guys Said 5

  • Every couple will go through something like this at one point. Some see it as a sign when they need to take a break from each other.

    You don't mention how or what you are fighting about so it is hard to help you. You say you bring a concern and he gets all defensive. You seem to see it as a concern but to him if he is defensive about it then it is a sign that it is rather more of an accusation than a concern for him.

    You say you have a hard time trying to get through to him. How about trying to get through to him about something that is of interest to him? If you start with something that he is bothered about then maybe he will open up.

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  • "My concerns are mainly about trust." Is that a roundabout way of saying you don't trust him?

    "When we met he had a girlfriend and I never knew." Does that mean he cheated on his girlfriend with you? Or does that mean you two met platonically? Or does that mean he cheated on his girlfriend with you? Or something else?

    "there are some things he just doesn't think are important to tell me." That's his right; he doesn't have to tell you everything. And if you disagree, you have the right to say so ... but neither of you is automatically right or wrong.

    "My concerns include clear communication." For someone who's preoccupied with clear communication, your communication is very unclear. Like I said, I suspect the problem stems from you as much as from him.

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  • My guess is that the fights are your fault.

    For one thing, you conveniently avoided mentioning what the fights were about, and what was so important to get through to him. If he were cheating or drinking, for example, you'd say that straight away ...

    For another, people get defensive when they feel like they're under attack.

    For another, women are statistically more likely to provoke a fight: www.psicothema.com/pdf/3334.pdf

    For a final thing, you MUST read this article on communication: link

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  • Name a concern or two, so we understand what's going on...

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  • Me and my girlfriend went throught this... we ended up falling out and splitting up. We both hated each other for it, but within about a month we both knew that we wanted to be back together regardless of the little niggly things!

    Give yourselves a break and see how things work out...?

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What Girls Said 4

  • It sounds like he may be tired of working on the relationship. I have to play devil's advocate and ask if you're sure you're bringing up valid concerns and not just nit-picking or re-hashing the same old issues? If he's getting defensive and unresponsive, he may feel like he's being attacked over things he has no control over (I'm not saying this is your intent but he may perceive it that way.)

    You can do a couple of things... you may want to spend some time apart to figure out what you individually want from the relationship, and gain some perspective on the problems you've been having. Or you can sit down and tell him you feel he's moving away, and give him REASONS why you feel that way. Then discuss ways to improve the situation. Put aside ALL of the other problems and just try to address the very basic issue of his defensiveness. You can't solve any of your other problems if he won't (doesn't want to) listen in the first place.

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  • I use the 10 minute rule. So, you speak for 10 minutes about how you're feeling, he has to listen. Then for another 10 minutes, it's his turn to talk how he is feeling inside and all that. You just keep quiet and listen. Then for another 10 minutes, you both talk together about the matter and how to resolve the issues. Say, you understand him and say sorry. Then, state that you also wants him to do this... and that and you're gonna try to change this and that...

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  • There's a lot to be said about fighting and how it is started. What you are saying and how it is being said means and says a lot. What are you guys fighting about though? If you give an example of something that happened recently, I can give you an example of how to solve your problems. If you tend to use the word 'You don't do this..' or 'Why are you always...' it sounds as if you're accusing him and making the issue worse. Instead try saying, 'I'd like it if you did this...' Don't focus on the negatives because it sounds as if you're lecturing and criticizing him for something. Again though, could you supply us with a disagreement you recently had?

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  • wow me and ma boyfriend is kinda going throu the same thing. xcpet I complain 2 much lately and ..idk ..if yu reall care..dont gie up try and make things owrk..thats wut I'm tryin..:\

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