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Struggling with relationship - another argument

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CatherineZzz
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:13 pm

Struggling with relationship - another argument

Postby CatherineZzz » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:30 pm

Hi

Background: I have had mild depression over many years, only recently (last year or year before) stopped taking medication. Coping ok with a part time job and set behaviors to help me cope. Live with my boyfriend.

Yesterday, I was in a hurry to go out, and asked my boyfriend for a favor as he arrived home. I didn't take into account that he'd had a bad day or may not want to be ambushed at the door. He did as I asked, but wasn't happy about it. I spent the evening with friends, and arrived home later than I'd estimated (he'd asked me earlier when I expected to get home - I'd said 10 - 10:30.. I texted him at 11:30 to say I was on my way, and turned up just after midnight. I know that wasn't the best thing to do, but I was with friends, having fun. I had had a relaxing evening.

When I got home he was in bed, silent and sulking. I said goodnight and tried to sleep. Neither of us slept well. I should have spoken to him then, not allowed us to lie in bed not happy like that, but I was in 'shock' - emotionally going from 'happy and relaxed with friends' to 'in trouble with my boyfriend, done something wrong' pretty quickly.

We spoke in the morning (only because I confronted him as he was preparing to leave) and he said he was angry with 1. me not caring that he didn't want to do the chore, 2. me staying out late and not letting him know and 3. me not saying sorry when I got home.

He often sulks and when we discuss things I always cry - I'm not good with communication especially as I always feel like I've done things wrong - and so I'm not looking forward to him coming home in a few hours. I've wasted today in 'pleasant pastimes / junk food and TV' because I cannot concentrate on work.

I know that I've overreacted to his complaints this morning, but I feel terrible and don't know if I can ever change to be good enough for him. So that I don't have to go through these sulks again..so that I can feel good about myself and not feel dread about the idea of going home.

Have I been massively unreasonable? Am I being unreasonably upset now? Should I be more understanding? How do I handle our conversation this evening?


Cat

MythEagle
Posts: 1083
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:26 pm

Re: Struggling with relationship - another argument

Postby MythEagle » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:36 pm

Hi Cat

Its probably too late now for this response to reach you before you are confronted by tonight's situation, and in all honesty only you know things are in your relationship and how things might get blown out of proportion one minute then glossed over the next. The only thing anyone can ever know for sure is that relationships worth having are never easy.

I note from your post that you are thinking very negatively about yourself, and that isn't going to help you get an unbiased view of the situation. Could you imagine that you were watching last night from the outside, imagining that its friends you are watching not you and your partner? Would you judge your friend so harshly? What would you counsel your friend to do after arriving home later than intended?

I don't know how old you are or how long you've been in the relationship but there's probably a degree to which you can learn from the experienc . E.g. if it happened in future would you text at 10 and say "I'm going to be late". Or knowinge that your partner wouldn't want to do said chore would you be able to shrug off the guilt you seem to suggest you're feeling right now, knowing that chores are an unfortunate necessity and you could put up with the sulking over that one without worrying about it?

I don't have anything much else I can add to this as I am the world's worst in relationships but I hope tonight has gone better than you expected.

One last thing, some advice I was given once. "Never go to bed on an argument." Which means, resolve your issues before you go to sleep. It is one rule in relationships I have tried to live by and it makes for much easier mornings if you already made up, or agreed to disagree, the night before!

Good luck hun

ME
You are braver than you think, and stronger than you know.

CatherineZzz
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:13 pm

Re: Struggling with relationship - another argument

Postby CatherineZzz » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:48 am

Hi ME,

Thanks for your reply. I'm sure you're not the 'worst at relationships'!

The evening went ok. An hour of awkward discussion and silences and then a truce of watching TV together.

I thought a lot about it and yes, I would text earlier, and try to get home sooner, and I wouldn't ask about chores in the same manner again. But I still don't trust that he won't sulk again. And what's the point of going out and having fun if you have to pay for it emotionally for days afterwards?

Like I said, the evening went ok. We're back to being ok.

Except that this morning, I called in sick to work. And he doesn't understand why. In fact he's set me homework for the day - 'By the time I get home, you'll have an explanation for me for why you feel like this - the focus of your depression'.

I feel like I have no control over my own life.

I don't call in sick often. This is the first time in a year and a half that I've done it, but I know I'd have been crying at work if I had gone in.

I know why I'm depressed. I'm overstressed and feel trapped. I don't feel like myself. I've taken on too much work and I hardly see my friends. I don't exercise enough. I need to change something about my life, but I don't know if I can cope with the change. I think I need to confront my day job and change the hours I work. Or quit and find a new job (I've been dreaming about doing this for months). I'm pretty sure it's that. Or it's a reaction to the changes already in effect this past year.

I'm 32. I'm definitely thinking negatively about myself (and about others). I'm feeling pretty unreasonable at the moment. In a way I called in sick so I could get some time to myself, time to think and recover and rest a bit. It doesn't feel like I've done that yet. More like I've worked myself up to tears again.

Cat

MythEagle
Posts: 1083
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:26 pm

Re: Struggling with relationship - another argument

Postby MythEagle » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:45 pm

Hey Cat,

First of all *big hug*, are you feeling and more reasonable after you wrote all this?

Secondly, I didn't mean to suggest you should have done things differently, and I am certainly not suggesting the the 100% of the issues sit on your shoulders, which is why I suggest you try and look at the situation as if it were your best mate and her boyfriend, and what you'd say to her, or think about the situation. Ok, texting earlier is a sensible option, its courtesy, and changing the way you ask about a chore is also a good idea but you ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE for your partner getting a sulk on. No-one should be emotionally blackmailed in a relationship to the extent that they avoid every situation which would cause, in this example, a sulk.

I've never lived with a man other than my father, but my work mates are forever complaining about their other halves, about their reluctance to do chores, leaving dirty marks over the floor, not putting laundry in the bin. Some of them cry occasionally because they've had a barny with their husband who isn't being considerate to their needs... but I dare say the husband is at work telling his mates that he doesn't understand why his Mrs is getting upset about things. What I am trying to say is you aren't the only one to have issues with your other half, but its how you learn and move on from them that counts. I always thought relationships are about being there for each other and growing together. But I am the one who's single here lol so what do I know?!

You sound a lot like me in how you're describing yourself at the moment with work etc. Calling off work once in 18 months is damn good going when you're depressed. Try and be proud that this is the one time in so long. Changing the way you think about yourself is not easy. I think its a bit like that programme "Fat: A Year to Save My Life" where a very obese person gets this American motivational fitness trainer to help them turn their life around. Ever single time the person gets so far down the road of improvements, loses weight, feels better about themselves and then something goes wrong and they suddenly stop participating, and start putting the weight back on. For me, at least, changing my thinking is like that. I start out well, but hit a rock and never get back to the fight, until I am back at the bottom of the pit again. You (and I) have to keep trying and get back up after every fall instead of staying on our hands and knees clawing at the slope as we slide back down again.

How about trying to do something nice for yourself before your boyfriend comes home? Something indulgent that you can't enjoy with company? A hot bath, your favourite music, a special drink...

I'm around if you want to chat

ME x
You are braver than you think, and stronger than you know.


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