- Beyond Blue Forums
- Caring for myself and others
- Relationship and family issues
- Everytime I speak up I regret it
- Subscribe to RSS Feed
- Mark Topic as New
- Mark Topic as Read
- Pin this Topic for Current User
- Printer Friendly Page
Everytime I speak up I regret it
Most of my life I kept things to myself. I dealt with alot of pain and negative emotions by myself. I dont know why this is, maybe its because my family was not the 'emotional' type. We never talked about feelings or any of that stuff everything was very strict. When i met my bf of 3 years he noticed i didnt express my feelings much and of course being in a serious relationship communication is important. He always told me that i can tell him how i feel no matter what, even if its bad and he will listen.
This made me trust him over time of course and i had definitely came out of my shell more and able to freely express myself over the 3 years weve been together.
However he sometimes goes against what he said to me and it messes with my head. Last night he did something that annoyed me and i called him out on it he said sorry but i was still annoyed in the moment (i believe i have a right to be annoyed).
I walked off and started hanging some clothes out and he asked what was wrong, i said i was still annoyed. He told me i was being dramatic, over sensitive and that i should get over it.
i got more upset at this because its like he just invalidated what im feeling because he didnt deem it appropriate.
I mean when his annoyed and needs 5 mins to calm down i respect that and dont question it.
I just dont get why he would say i can express myself and then do this. It makes me not want to say anything at all.
I explained this whole thing to him and he said that im making him out to be a bad guy when literaly all im saying is that he shouldnt invalidate my emotions by saying im being over dramatic... this makes me feel guilty.
By the way his reasoning for saying i was being dramatic was because i told him i was annoyed when i went to hang the clothes out. According to him, if i told him i was annoyed straight away (30 secs prior) he would have respected it. I explained how this is upsetting me cos he cant expect me to be perfect, whether i say it straight away or 1 minite later it doesnt change how i feel.
I just knew i should of said nothing at all. This is why id rather not tell people how i feel.
Perspective, in part, relies on our experiences and our understanding. If someone lacks the ability to relate to our experiences, it can be difficult for them to understand our point of view. Keep in mind, another person's perspective does not necessarily make our point of view wrong or worthless.
So, how can we be better understood? The best we can do is have our situation be relateable. For example, I may not completely understand how my teenage son and daughter feel in regard to certain situations that cause them stress but I can relate to the degree of stress they are experiencing because I've felt this degree of stress myself. My priority becomes one that has us alleviate their stress together, through managing to resolve the issues. My experience and my understanding bring about that all important feeling - compassion. It's impossible to feel compassion for another if we cannot relate. I teach my kids that productive relationships are built on the ability to relate in a variety of ways. I tell them that if they want someone to relate to what they're feeling or saying, make it relateable to that particular person.
It sounds as though your boyfriend can't relate to how you're feeling or he refuses to relate for some reason. From what you say, he sounds focused more on his own experiences and understanding. Mind you, we're all guilty of doing this now and then.
- He told me i was being dramatic, over sensitive and that I should get over it. (He believes he should easily get over things and not be dramatic and oversensitive)
- He didn't deem it appropriate.(He believes this behaviour within himself is not appropriate)
- He said that I'm making him out to be a bad guy when literally all I'm saying is that he shouldn't invalidate my emotions by saying I'm being over dramatic. (He believes he is not a bad guy)
- According to him, if I told him I was annoyed straight away (30 secs prior) he would have respected it. (He believes that if he addresses issues straight away this is acceptable/respectable).
I do understand where you're coming from as certain people in my life can frustrate the hell out of me at times (my husband included), leading me to feel like I'm being ridiculous over things that upset me. It definitely gets my back up. In truth, the most frustrating part involves the lack of compassion.
If we find common ground when it comes to the passion behind our thoughts and emotions, compassion often takes place.
Take care of yourself auschic
You're BF sounds a lot like my husband, who is very much about getting it out in the open immediately and then moving on, while you sound very much like me where I bottle it up and I take a long time to wind up, and a long time to wind down. So reading what you wrote, I see both sides.
I know it's important to communicate in a relationship, and it's fantastic that you are trying so hard to match his approach, but you are not him, and he needs to facilitate you as much as you are facilitating him. Just because my head says one thing, doesn't mean my emotions have caught up, so it is okay to walk away after an interaction and calm down. He needs to respect that.
Just because someone has said they're sorry, it doesn't just automatically make everything okay either. Sometimes a bit of space does the world of good.
I recommend after you've both calmed down, explaining to him that you both deal with emotions differently, and sometimes you just need space for your emotions to catch up. It's not a bad thing, it's just that you are both different people. Ask for him to respect this about you.
For you, given your background, this would seem like a breech of trust. I get that. Sometimes I open my mouth and regret it because of how my husband reacts too, but for me, I am a much better and happier person for our relationship. Perhaps take a step back and realise that neither of you are perfect. You are both learning about each other, and this is an opportunity for growth together. Take the opportunity to educate him about yourself and strategise together how you'll deal with the situation next time, because invariably it will happen again.
I had to respond because you bf said a whole bunch of things that sounded like they could have come out of my husband's mouth. I'd like to say hooray to you for recognising the unfairness of his responses at this point in your relationship, because it's still early enough for you both to work on and possibly fix. I questioned my own feelings and thoughts for almost 20yrs before I realised it was not ok for someone to invalidate what you feel. And given what you've said about how hard it is for you to open up, for him to react this way when you do is terrifically unfair.
However, both the previous commenters have pointed out that it's not uncommon, and comes not necessarily from a bad place, but a place of not being able to see the other person's point of view. I would also say it comes from a place of defensiveness. 'you make me out to be the bad guy' to me, is code for 'I feel like I might have behaved badly but don't want to admit it' so he turns it around on you, rather than deal with what he might have done wrong because that's difficult and takes some emotional courage.
My husband, after 20yrs of living with me, knew literally nothing about how I felt about things that were very important to me, because he did not know how to communicate emotionally. He knew my favourite colour, the foods I liked etc. but as for how I felt about anything, no clue. That is because he used language exactly like your bf if I ever expressed displeasure. Over the years I learned not to bother, it was too hard, so I bottled everything up and that has brought us, and me, to the brink.
So don't bottle up, keep practicing at opening up. Your bf could well get used to it and his language will change when he realises you're not going to put up with what he's saying now. He can't have all the good parts of you if he's not willing to deal with the things he might see as bad, like when you express anger or disappointment (btw that's not bad but perhaps he's just not used to it and it's confronting for him). You can't always be a good time Sally you're going to get annoyed with him and he's going to have to deal with that without disrespecting your right to express yourself.
Hope this makes sense. Good luck