Guys, how many chances would you give your ex-girlfriend?

I'm pretty laid back in a lot of things- social, easy going, but I get really dramatic when we argue and cry a lot.

I always want to talk about where our friendship is headed and where we are going (we still hook up occasionally) because I don't want to get hurt... he's so mad at the drama and feeling "trapped" in fights on the phone, he hasn't talked to me in almost 2 weeks.

We've been together almost 5 years... and love each other and are best friends. Would you give your ex another chance if she always gets dramatic and emotional when you fight?


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  • There are two things to realize here. I think you already recognize the first, which is that your tendency to dramatics and tantrums is destroying your relationship. However, I wonder whether you fully realize the second, which is that you can change, to be a less dramatic and more mature person. Indeed, if you want to have a fulfilling adult relationship with another person, you NEED to change, because this behaviour is going to push away even the most patient guy. Don't be fooled into thinking 'This is just how I am - I can't CONTROL my reactions'. Of course you can. You are absolutely responsible and in control of the way you respond to a situation, and with practice, you can learn to react in a different way. (To make a very harsh comparison: no-one would say that a man committing emotional or physical abuse was justified by the excuse that 'he just couldn't help himself, he gets so angry'. We gals have a responsibility not to abuse our men emotionally too!)

    You need to show your boyfriend two things. Firstly, that you recognize that your behaviour is unacceptable, and that you are sincerely sorry for it. This is simply a matter of communicating with him, calmly and rationally, that you know you have a problem. Secondly, you need to show him that you are going to try to make meaningful changes to the way you respond. And this means throwing everything you have at the problem. It's not easy to 'retrain' yourself to think and behave in a new way, and it will take time, patience and tenacity. You will need your boyfriend's support through it - but he also needs to know that you're taking the situation seriously.

    I recommend that you see a counsellor, possibly a cognitive behavioural therapist, because you need to identify why you become hystrionic in these situations. I imagine that it's probably a learnt pattern of behaviour, developed when you were really quite young. It's likely to be a response to fear, and could be a reaction to abandonment issues (this is a common trigger: someone fears being neglected and left, and the way they express that is to become very angry and passionate and controlling, using emotion as a way of keeping the other person engaged with them. Ironically, instead of bringing real closeness, that tends to make actual abandonment more, not less, likely).

    I believe that if you can do these two things, your boyfriend would give you another chance. But he has every right to feel a bit sceptical about whether you're serious - and you will need to prove to him that you're very serious about making true changes. You sound like a fundamentally strong and caring person, though, and I think you have what it takes to make the necessary adjustments. Good luck!

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