I feel like my boyfriend is not validating my emotions when I am upset

The other day I made my boyfriend of one year an omelet at his house, I forgot to put the eggs away, I left his computer on (I forgot!) and l didn't put the pan in the sink, because the sink is over flowing with dishes that he does not do. And then I locked the keys up staires, when he found all this stuff he came down staires to tell me to go pick up after myself. I did. I called him later and told him that he was treating me like a child, grated I left all of that stuff out, but he refused to see how that might have offended me. All I was looking for was for him to say that he was sorry for making me feel that way. But he wouldn't say sorry. This ended in a big fight. The next day he was ignoring my calls, so I drove to his house, we went through the same argument again. I then made the mistake of hanging around for a few hours. When it got dark I asked him what he was doing and whether or not he wanted to hang out with me for the evening. He gave me the brush off, telling me he was tired, I then asked if he was sick of me and this started another big argument. I told him he was acting like he didn't care about me and he was about to say that he didn't care about me if it would "make me leave right now". I then stormed out and wrote him a long message on myspace telling him that he is controlling and unemotional and that there are so many things that I love about him, but that I can't be with someone who doesn't validate my emotions. The problem with this is I am so attached to this guy that I can't stop crying, I can't eat and I am considering swallowing everything that has happened for the sake of getting him back. We are going to meet up tomorrow to talk, I don't want to back down though, but I want him back, but it looks like I might not be able to have both. Help, Help, Help, Help, please help me, I am falling apart.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • You need a guys perspective. This way you will know what's going on through his head. First guys don't think too much into things, if we are pissed about something, we forget about it the next day. We don't hold onto something and use it against our gf. So don't look too much into him getting angry, he will get over it. Just like when he told you to pick up after yourself, he didn't see it as a big deal. He did not think you would get that offended. Then when you confronted him about it he did what any guy would do, he went defensive. Not against you but against a relationship confrontation. You can not change this. It's just they way guys are.

    Arguments about feelings will kill relationships with certain guys. We don't like to talk about them, they make us feel uncomfortable and you can't change that, he has to change with time. He cares about you, but you have to pick up on the signs that he shows, like putting his arm around you, not the words he says, because he won't say them a lot. Men we bottle up our feelings and deal with them on our own.

    Now your in a tough spot, a place where you will define if this relationship will crash and burn or grow. First, back off. Messages, arguements and nit picking will kill it. You have to get back to fun and being comfortable. And second, when you meet up, pick a place that has distractions, the mall or something to do with people. Places where you can be alone are bad ideas, they will make you bring stuff up and the whole thing will end in two people angry with each other.

    Just remember, he wants to move away from this emotion fight as soon as possible. If you do want to get inside his head and have him express himself, it will be weird and uncomfortable for him and you will get burned. Of course if you guys do fight a lot, he may want to end it. There's nothing you can do about that one but the strategy is still the same, move on, enjoy eachother.

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    • Thank you for giving me the "guys perspective" it really grounded me. Even though I hate that there has to be such of a difference between male and female conciousness, this happends to be the state of things. Hearing this put things into perspective for me, that while he may not be the emotional well-spring that I would want him to be, he is still just a man. As I am just a woman, who can wig out very easily and if he can undestand that about me, and accept me, I can do the same.

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What Guys Said 3

  • Several comments below rang true and your comments indicate that you understand how the advice is offered. Here's some more: Guys don't 'validate emotions' it's not in our toolbox. We're not even sure we have emotions unless someone from the home team sinks a three with a second left and we win. Really. Don't get upset about it.

    And for that matter don't get so upset anyways. And I agree with jbone79, quit being a doormat. Find someone who treats you nice and be your own person with them.

    Good luck.

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  • This situation is obviously a big bother to you, but you are dead wrong on a few things.

    First, define "validate my emotions." What specifically does that phrase mean to you? Be as specific as possible. And if you expect him to validate your emotions, do you also try validating his emotions? I doubt it. You didn't write a word about his emotions.

    Second, accusing your boyfriend of intentionally treating you like a child IS NOT mature, healthy communication. Nor is it healthy to expect him to apologize for "making me feel that way." A healthier way to say what you felt is this. "When you say or do, A,B, C, I feel X, Y, Z." This method does not imply that the person deliberately offended or hurt you, but it does show a cause-and-effect.

    Third, Your boyfriend DID NOT make you feel anything. Your emotions are not his responsibility. No one but can make you feel any way. You can't make anyone feel anything, either. Our emotions are all in our heads, and do not excuse words or behavior.

    Fourth, you are not owning your role in this relationship. You throw all the responsibility, all the fault on him. That's simply inaccurate. All relationships have give and take from both partners. But you're not recognizing and admitting to your part in these problems.

    Fifth, read this article about the differences between the way men and women communicate. [ link Get him to read it, too. It will open your eyes, and show how you can both adjust to communicate better.

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What Girls Said 14

  • You know it goes both ways. You expect him to "validate" your emotions, but you are completely ignoring his. Why shouldn't he be upset over a mess you made? Why should he apologize because he "hurt" your feelings by responding to a situation in a normal way? You expect him to act like a saint - but you can behave any way you want? Riiiight.

    The only controlling one I see is you. Granted I'm sure there is more to the story, but if you would quit trying to make him think about how YOU feel and listen to how HE feels, you just might be able to understand his behavior. Making him say sorry for something he obviously isn't sorry for is basically asking him to lie to make you feel better. He has every right to be upset about your actions, to tell you about it when he is upset, and not apologize when he's not sorry. He has a right to be himself when he is with you without apologizing. You instigated the last argument by accusing him of being sick of you - when he probably just wanted time to cool down. You need to learn when to let things go and when to walk away.

    I think you need to think long and hard about being in a relationship entails. You love a person for who they are - good and bad. Don't try to tell him how to love you - you might convince him that he isn't capable of loving you the way you want him to.

    Good luck.

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    • It's funny, this is EXACTLY what he said, but hearing it from a different person, specifically a woman, made me look at the situation differently.

    • I think it's wonderful that you were open to "hear" something beside what your really wanted to hear (which was "you're right!"). To me that speaks volumes about how much you are willing to grow to make this relationship work. He's a lucky guy.

  • I would say it is time for a break up. Break ups are hard, but neither of you are right for eachother. As much as you view him as controlling and unemotional, he is obviously viewing you as childish, needing controlling and over emotional.

    In the end, you guys would rather change eachothers personality types or not have to deal with them at all, and when this isn't succeeding you guys are tearing each other appart!

    Afterall, the only thing you did was make a few mistakes, but at the same time they were all easily avoided if you paid attention. Maybe the occasions mistakes have been made have gotten to him which is what makes him so snappy?

    There is no appology though that makes him right for telling you the only thing is right is if you leave right now. That is a major red flag and a jerk move. Would you take that from one of your friends?

    Love is a combination of time and trust and he doesn't want to spend his time with you, and you obviously can't trust him to honor your feelings, so let it go.

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  • You shouldn't say that "validating my feelings" bit to a guy unless you're trying to chase them away. They just see that as a headache. You can express the same things, but say something more like "you really don't have to scold me" or "I didn't like the way you said that. You sounded like my dad" or really just about anything else.

    I suppose my advice is incorrect if you like casting yourself as the high-maintenance girlfriend, but if you don't then I really think you'd be better off avoiding that kind of thing.

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  • Try giving him his space... they normal start to feel things if they miss you when you are gone. Don't pick up when he calls (I know its hard) don't try to hang out with him every single night cause your lonely...If he really likes you he will miss you when you are not around and realize what you really mean to him. If all else fails you need to go after the kind of guy you won't and settle for nothing less or you may never find a happy relationship.

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  • after being in a relationship with the same man for 20 yrs, I have realized he is not going to say what I want him to say or do what I want him to do. he's not going to be a girl =]. you may need to vent to friends and accept what he does give you. his way could be a nice balance to yours.

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    • I don't mean to accept being treated badly. I mean learn him, how he shows you he cares, is sorry.

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