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I've been with my current boyfriend for 13 months now. Things were really good for a long time until i noticed that we fought more and more. I always used to think he could do something more to make things better, do something different, or just try harder. I'm slowly starting to realize that a lot of the problems began with me. I don't know why, but I feel like I push people away and make it hard for them to love me. I can't seem to come out of a bad mood once I get in , and even the wrong tone can set me in a bad mood. It makes me really sad because I know it's destroying my relationship. I find myself acting like his guardian half the time. I keep tabs on his life and control him as if I can't trust that he'll get things done. We've talked about these issues a lot and decided that we want to work through it, but I find that I never truly change. I'm getting so worried that I'll lose him. The worst part is I know I probably deserve it. At the point, I'm facing a decision. I know that he's worth all of my efforts and I feel that I'm truly ready to turn things around, but I don't know if it's too late. I feel like I've caused him to like me less and I'm afraid I can't gain that back. (These are my words, none of his)I just want to be the girl he fell in love with, for me and for him. Is it fair to him to try? Or does he deserve to be saved from the chance that he'll be hurt again?
Wow Wyndi, you sound exactly like me. I can't tell you how incredibly scary it is. I have recently worked through the same problem...I'll tell you how I've made pretty good steps to rectify the situation, because it seems to have worked good so far.

Same situation...boyfriend of about a year, I had mood/trust/control/etc. issues. Nothing extraordinary, but enough to ruin a good time on the occasional evening. After a few months, there had been too many "ocassional evenings" of stupid fighting (we are both 26yrs old,by the way). I had so much baggage from past relationships (both with boyfriends, family and friends) and it was all just being projected on him. He, on the other hand, is incredibly patient and even-tempered, and can snap out of a bad mood instantly. I, like you, have a real problem getting out of a mood once I'm in it. When I step back and look at the last 8 months as a whole, I am embarrased about my behavior on many occasions. I got mad about dumb things, picked fights over stupid issues, let things get to me instead of shaking them off, etc. I also monitored his life closely, like you. He is in a band, and is a pretty popular guy around our town, so even more reason for me to watch him like a hawk. I've checked his email behind his back, looked through his pockets, etc. I've never found anything, but kept doing it anyway.

We came to a breaking point about 2 months ago. It was right after our 1 year anniversary, and we had just moved in together. We got in a major argument about something (can you believe I don't even remember what started it??) and we ended up exchanging really mean words. we took some serious time off from one another, and I did some real soul-searching before coming back together to talk. I ended up writing him a letter, and here is the summary of what I said:

I love you, and I know you love me, but sometimes I am not good at letting people love me. This causes problems, I know. I push you away, get in moods, etc. and I know this is not fun for you. You deserve better. (jump ahead a couple paragraphs...) I promise to try and change. Its not going to happen all at once, and I may never completely change, but I will put all my effort into trying, because I am not going to give up on what we have...its too good. Please work with me to be a better person.

And then I really stuck to what I said. I make myself think about that letter every day, and think about how I felt during the week we split. I make myself think about how much I would keep kicking myself in the butt if I had to look back on this as a good thing gone wrong because of ME. That gives me motivation to really "check" my attitude on a regular basis. I don't want to be a pain in the ass to be around.

If your boyfriend is anything like mine, he will really appreciate your humbleness and willingness to work on yourself. He's been with you this long, so you've done something right. Now, you are going to have to take it one day at a time, and make an honest effort each day to stick to what you promise to work on. After 2 months or so, he is going to remember the good changes and positive attitude more so than the person who was moody for awhile. You are going to have to look it as a day-by-day effort, because if you expect to see immediate results, it will spiral you down into further bad moods. Small steps... I know you worry about him not sticking around long enough during the "small steps," but if he really loves you, he will.

As far as you thinking he doesn't love you the same as he used to, here is what I think about that....
Its not that he doesn't love you the same, its just that you are both different people than you were 13 months ago. This is inevitable. Right now you are going through a tough time, so the love feels a little unstable and insecure. But once you've resolved this issue (which I know you can!) he is going to love you that much more because he will be so happy that you are able to stick to your promise. This will show him that in the future, when things get tough, you can handle it...and, that if you say your going to do something, you will do it. This means so much to people. He will love your strength and resolve, and the love will turn into something even more compassionate and deep.

For now, don't beat yourself up about it. The fact that you are able to admit you have some character flaws is a sign of strength and intellegence. Its the hypocritical person who thinks they are "perfect" who is truly stupid and should be beating themselves up!

Finally, talk to him about what he can do to help you. For me, I had to tell my boyfriend how to handle my bad moods (We agreed if I feel I can't snap out of a major mood, he won't be mad if I need some time to myself...this was one of our main problems: I am extremely private and love being alone, so sometimes I simply get in bad moods if I can't be alone).
Also, we agreed to talk once a week about how things are going, because a lot of our problems came from my letting things that bug me build up in my head, and then I explode when I can't take it anymore.

I don't know if any of this will be helpful to you, and I know its really lengthy! Sorry!

Let me know if any of this makes sense, and if there is anything I can do further to help.

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Sara






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