I am in a relationship with a man who I truly love and he tells me he loves me all the time and his actions tell me that he loves me as well, however sometimes when we are talking on the phone he gets short with me or he raises the tone of his voice to me and sometimes talks down to me as if I were a child. I tell him not to talk to me like that but the thing is he does realize that he is doing it. So when he starts to talk to me that way I tell him not to and he just gets louder and says that he isn't... The way he talks to me really hurts me because it makes me feel like he doesn't respect me... What should I do?
Most Helpful Girl
If he loves you, your feelings would be important to him. And even if he doesn't realize what he's doing, he would want to learn to understand it.
Is it a "normal communication problem"? Maybe-- especially if he really doesn't realize how he is talking to you. But my biggest problem with your story, is that when you tell him not to talk to you that way, he "gets louder and says that he isn't". Maybe his experience is that he is trying to communicate and isn't shouting, but you need to honor *your* experience-- and he should respect your feelings. HE IS NOT RESPECTING YOU when he gets mad at you for asking him to speak with you differently. Frustrated, would perhaps, be understandable. But that does not excuse *any* hurtful language (including tone, intended or unintended).
I've been in abusive relationships in the past, and they both started exactly the way that you are describing. It is worth trying to work out, and Slyguy did have some good tips about waiting until things are cooler, and saying things like "it hurts me when". You need to stay true to YOUR experience, and that means not accusing, or making assumptions about HIS intentions. Make sure that you use "I messages" when you communicate, like this "I feel ____ when you _____ because ______ I want/need you to ______", for example, "I feel disrespected when you speak to me with the tone that you used this afternoon, because I felt that you were short with me and didn't really listen to what I had to say. I really need you to try to be more aware of the way you speak to me, and if you are getting annoyed or something, I need you to express that in a different way."
The way that the boys have responded also concerns me. They are supporting the type of behavior that both men and women should reject (sometimes guys are ass holes and gals are bitches and that's just the way things are is a horrible attitude! It accepts immaturity and abusive behavior from both parties). Don't let stereotypes about what a "Man" or a "Woman" is/should be limit the expectations you have for one another. You shouldn't accept him being heavy handed, possessive, or inconsiderate (aka an "ass hole") just because that's "guy stuff" anymore than he should expect you to be manipulative, suspicious, and shrill because that's "girl stuff" (aka a "bitch"). Both types of behavior are unacceptable from anyone, male, female, or alternative gender identifying individuals.
You both need to EXPECT RESPECT from one another. Right now, it seems like you aren't expecting respect from him. You deserve it. And he deserves it from you too. Be sure that you aren't snapping at him yourself in response to his tone. Talk to him the way you want him to talk to you. Start to teach him by example, and through I-Messages how to speak with you. If he doesn't start catching on, GET OUT OF THAT RELATIONSHIP. You deserve someone who will work WITH YOU. and RESPECT you, your feelings, and your experience.2