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My partner blows up when I want to discuss feelings

Community Member
Hi all, just seeking some support/ advice maybe on how to manage this. TBH I'm not looking to be told to leave my relationship. I don't think it's at that point and I'm more Keen to try than not.

Whenever I want to discuss something thats bothered me or that happened between us, it almost always goes like this:

Me: can we talk about that thing you said yesterday? I felt a bit upset by it.

Her: *big sigh and eyeroll* what now? There's always something. Can't we just relax I don't want to fight about something right now.

Any further attempts from me to explain that I don't want fighting I just want to talk are met by increasing frustration behaviors, defensiveness and anger. My partner has a short fuse. She knows she does. Maybe I want to talk about stuff too much. It's really hard to tell. Right now I want to tell her that I felt disrespected when she told me to shut up yesterday when we were having a bicker. An important element is mutual respect. But I feel like I know how this conversation will go. It will end up with me apologising for something.

I don't know what to do.
8 Replies 8

Community Member

Hi Hollybambam,

Your relationship is so much like mine was it hurts just reading your message. It is a form of control to intimidate the partner into submission, to avoid anything uncomfortable for the controller. My x-wife learnt it from her father who to this day (66 years old) controls those around him, causing fear and a feeling of being truly uncomfortable. My X had an affair, but yells and screams at me that she didn't, I calmly point out the facts and she changes the topic to something else or says I am being stupid, BUT never answers my questions. I had to apologise for everything no matter what. You have lost once you are beat down to this point, that is when my X started to look for someone else to drain the life out of. I totally believe in mutual respect, but you can not change the other person, only they can change themselves, and why would they when yelling and screaming or intimidation has got them everything they have ever wanted their whole life- effectively they are still children, they have never moved on to understand true empathy for others. I wish you all the best my friend.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Hollybambam,

Thanks for your post. This is a really tricky one to answer, because none of this is your fault and it sounds like you are doing everything right. So I feel a little bit stuck in what to say that might be helpful.

I think the most important thing is to apologise when you need to, but not when you think you should. Honestly I am really guilty of this too, and I know for me it's because I feel sorry for bringing it up or 'disrupting the peace'. But at the same time, I know deep down I didn't do anything wrong - and it's a very passive way of communicating (which is not at all what I and you need!).

I wonder what might happen if you were to say "I don't want to fight either. This is important to me. When can we talk that's a better time?" or even "I'd really like to talk with you, I want things to be different" I'm obviously throwing ideas up in the air here, but I guess the idea behind it is to throw the ball back in her court and try and avoid more bickering. Another option of course is to look at relationship counselling. I know that it's a big step but it's not a 'final straw'. Sometimes it can be really helpful to be able to talk to each other in this contained space where communication is a bit easier. Something to think about maybe.


Thanks for your reply. Im sorry you had to go through that with your ex. It does feel like a manipulative cycle but I'm still trying to remain empathetic.

I agree with what you said about them changing. I know I can't force change. I can only encourage it.

Community Member

Hello Hollybambam

I hope your coping with the heat. I find irritation in relationships isn’t helped by heat waves. You don’t say how old you are or how long you have been in the relationship. The reason I mention that is because it helps to put some context around your partner’s behaviour. Has it always been like this or is it recent behaviour?

Does your girlfriend or wife ever initiate discussions about how she’s feeling? If so, how do you react?

One possibility is that you both have different attachment styles. We haven’t got the space here to explore your attachment style here but I would encourage you to explore it further on the internet. Go to quality psychological websites.

To cut a long story short, as children we develop a behavioural style with our attachment to our parents. As we mature and seek our own partners, we enter relationships with the attachment style we developed in our childhood. The three basic types are secure, anxious and avoidant. If an “anxious” partners with an “avoidant” style, the anxious partner seeks reassurance that the relationship is sound while the avoidant type wants to bury the discussion. Of course, I am simplifying this but it may be worth pursuing.

Having a different attachment style to your partner doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed. Once you gain insight into these behaviours, it is often easier to cope.


If l got this right your a male right ? Sorry the name holly but in your post you said she, wasn't sure.

Anyway , l don't think it's manipulation, l was like her a lot. And it literally was that there was always something , wore me out .

l think there could be a few things goin on. 1 , your far more emotional and talk about'ish, than she is , and it literally drives her a bit crazy. l just couldn't be bothered with it it never ended. it was draining, every day or at least a few times a week it was always something, sent me round the bend.. Maybe try just letting it go a bit, toughening up a bit on yourself so to speak, Most things don't need to be dissected anywhere near as much as we think, half the time just giving whatever it was a bit of time and it all comes out in the wash and sorts itself out all of it's own.

The 2nd thing in my sitch was , maybe she just doesn't feel the love as much as you do. ln my situation l just wasn't feeling as stongly about things , as she was.So l just wasn't interested in taking every move and feeling apart every 5mins anyway. But the two can be different too , it doesn't have to mean that but she's def' doesn't need to go over every move the way you do she's just not built that way as l'm not either myself. And trying to force it onto me will only drive turn me off it even more.

Buttt, that was my sitch.

Thanks for mentioning the attachment styles - I've looked into it a little before but I think I'll give it another look. I'm certain I'm anxious preoccupied and she's dismissive avoidant.

Thanks for your reply, no I am indeed female. And yeah it's possible some of this stuff is a little more complicated with same sex relationships.

I'm glad to hear from someone on the other side actually. And I think what you've said is true for her too. We've only touched on it, but I know it can be overwhelming for her.


Thanks for starting this thread and being open to suggestions and willingness to be honest.

I have found it very interesting to read especially looking at it from bith sides.

My partner does not want to discuss at the time when he gets upset over something I said and hen he calms down he has moved on yet I am trying to analyse every syllable I said .

Each person has their own way of dealing with disagreements and when one is to just ignore and move on and the other style is to go over every detail , it can lead to misunderstandings.