Fights That Never End
QUESTION: I love my girlfriend of 5 years without a doubt. She’s one of the most amazing women I’ve ever known. She is very much like my mom in a lot of ways, even in the same annoying ways my mom has. She blows everything out of proportion and gets upset easily. She doesn’t even show restraint when it comes to getting upset. She won’t wait til we get home to talk it out it or set aside. She always puts her feelings as the most important thing. She says whatever she wants and doesn’t take the time to think about whether it’s mean or if it’ll be hurtful to me.
I can’t win with her lately. She thinks I’m always attacking her. All I try to do is give her feedback about the flaws and negative aspects of her personality. But lately, I’m just getting fed up because now she will send a whole series of texts while I’m at work. She knows I’m in sales so I just can’t stop in the middle of my time with a customer to answer about things that can wait til I get home. It’s like if I don’t answer she’ll escalate and pretty much have a fight on text without me responding at all. These are the last 10 she sent me the other day at work:
HER: I can’t believe you didn’t even care to listen to me yesterday about what was upsetting me.
ME: You and I were watching the football game at our friend’s place
HER: so what you don’t care about me more than football
HER: okay, yeah you obviously don’t and don’t care enough to respond to me
HER: is this not important to you or what?
HER: maybe we shouldn’t even be together then
HER: well, I’ll take no response that you agree
HER: you never care about how I feel
HER: I’m just tired of all this
And recently I met a new chill girl at my brother’s work and she’s so much different than my ex. She’s a lot more laid-back. Is it time for me to move on? How do I fix this?
ANSWER: Wow, well, sounds like you need to get your girl a journal. She obviously wants to be heard, which is understandable. But like you said, there’s a time and place for everything. You’re the guy, the rational one and you understand how to compartmentalize issues, but unfortunately she doesn’t. It’s very common though, good or bad. It is what it is, girls tend to be more emotional! We’re built this way! That can’t be changed and it’s the way of the world. Besides, I don’t suppose you’d like us so much if we acted rational like your buddies without our soft side, which comes with the emotional side of the territory. But you are right that homegirl needs a little bit of self-control to wait for the right time to talk and with that, also to know exactly what she’s talking about.
You should enact a rule of sum it up in 10 words or less. Haha. Joke. There’s a reason why we’re known to speak 25 times more words than guys in a day, it’s because generally it’s true. I know you want to skip through the fat and get to the meat of things. But if you’re enjoying a fine meal which is how you should be feeling in a relationship, then you gotta sift through the fat. It’s there, might as well accept it. If you care about your girl, which it sounds like you do, then hear her out. Maybe you’ll zone off with the finer details but at least pretend and get the highlights (don’t you wish they had a highlights show about it like they do on ESPN).
You shouldn’t be her sounding board for all her problems from work to her problems with you, and everything in between. But you should be there to meet her biggest needs. And I know you think you’re girlfriend is borderline psycho with all her continuous texts. Or maybe that’s just me thinking she is! But there’s some things you can say to keep her anger from escalating. Phrases like, ‘I’m busy right now, let’s talk about this when I get home. I want to listen, it’s just not ideal right now.’. Another would be ‘I care about you and want to give you my full attention to discuss this. Can we please wait?’. Or ‘I really need to concentrate on work, let’s work things out when I’m done’. What you’ll notice about those phrases is that it does 2 things. One, it says she matters to you, giving her the validation she needs. And two, you tell her what you’re doing so she can step into your world and know where you’re coming from. Otherwise her imagination runs wild on why you’re not responding or who you might be texting instead of her.
People don’t usually feel insecure unless you give them a reason. One phrase you could say is ‘Could I please say something’. That will have her stop and make her consider you as a person instead as that enemy on the other side that she’s got to win over. Hard to do, but being polite is essential in a long term relationship after 5 years as it is from day one. But if she can’t be talked down, then either take some time apart or learn to live with it and let her learn to calm herself down. She’s a grown person, if she’s in a relationship she needs to take care of her share.
And seriously, why are you even asking me about brother’s coworker girl. You don’t even have a hold on talking with your girlfriend, so sorry but getting a new one won’t fix that. This new girl is still a girl and will still have needs. And I’m not talking about those kinds of needs, although that’s a given! Check it before you wreck it. Think long and hard about what you’re doing cause everyone will suffer the consequences of it. If you’re so rational like you say you are, then think with the head on top of your body and not the other!!
Listening, patience and openness go a long way. And if it doesn’t, well, realize that no relationship can survive without good communication. Talking doesn’t do it. Giving and receiving to be heard does. So, maybe just getting rid of your text plan will solve it all! There are some advantages to the days when all we had was a landline! Get it done!