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My partner of 2 years and I have just returned from our first overseas trip. Whilst it had its high points it also had its low points. He is used to travelling overseas by himself and towards the end of the holiday he got angry and impatient towards me and said that he is better off travelling by himself. Upon return to Australia, we stopped by for two days to see my family. This is the first time he has met them and when we got home he asked me if my dad felt that my partner was worthy of my presence. I reassured my partner that yes, of course. Since then, my partner has been impatient, frustrated and picking fights with me - saying that I float along in life, that he is wanting to find someone else, that one minute he says that we're going to save up for a boat and then forcing me to change my mobile phone provider to one that he wants me to use (not much cheaper) and the next minute saying that he now wants to get a loan because he doesn't want to wait the 5 weeks to save up for the boat - a 5 metre run-about boat.

I don't have my drivers license (learners only) and he did try to teach me how to drive but lost his patience and had me do an overtaking manuver in a 100 km/h zone but ended up doing 120 km/h and some other illegal moves.

In the end, I stopped taking driving lessons with him (because of this).

Admittedly my partner is 44 years old and hasn't been in a relationship this long. He has PTSD, depression, anxiety and smokes weed to calm him.

I get that we had spent so much time together on the holidays that by the time we came home we wanted to do our own thing/s, but where I'm confused is that he would ask me to come with him to the doctors, movies etc and then in the next breath want nothing to do with me. All I wanted to do is finish reading a good book, get a haircut and do the grocery shopping and housework.

I'm so confused.

13 Replies 13

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey Carolyn,

There's a bunch of things happening there, and it sounds really confusing for you.

I noticed that a lot of your post was about him and things that he's said and been unsure about and done and wanted. Often times, we can get lost in trying to help someone that we forget what we want. He also sounds like he's got a really short fuse and he hasn't been able to control this.

Does he know that you are confused about how he's been treating you? It's important to make sure that your voice is heard as well. Two years in - these issues can start to arise, and we need to make sure we nip them in the bud or he'll just learn that he can get away with verbally abusing you and being increasingly more controlling.


Hi James,

Thanks for your advice. I've let him know that I'm confused. Unfortunately communication of our needs and wants is not that great. Something that we need to work on. Today for instance, we hardly saw each other and he went and had a liquid lunch with his brother. I'm glad he did that as I was feeling crammed in and needed time with myself. He is a lot calmer now - he has never been able to tell me when he needs some time to himself or out with his brother, possibly for fear of thinking that I'll be hurt if I'm not invited? Case in point, he was talking about catching up with his dad and asked if I'd want to come along. My response was that I didn't and that he and his dad could have some quality time together.

All I can do is work on me.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey Carolyn,

Communication's tough and issues that wouldn't be there often come out when we feel like we're not heard, so it's no surprise you're both doing it tough.

Have you ever considered a counsellor for the two of you? It can help having a third party be a mediator for things to just help air the things you both want to say but are afraid to say.

I think it's great that you want to work on yourself. We can't make someone else change, but we can change ourselves.


Hello Carolyn

A warm welcome to you. It was interesting reading your posts. I see James has pointed out that your posts are about your partner and what he wants. He made you change your phone provider, wants to buy a boat with a loan instead of waiting a few weeks to save up, he is frequently impatient with you about things it is not reasonable to be annoyed about. He wants your company when it suits him while at other times he goes off on his own or with someone else.

Agreed you both should have friends and activities that you do on your own. That makes for a healthy partnership. My concern is about him using illegal drugs. Is there any pattern in his behaviour and the frequency and amount of his drug use? From what you have written he sounds as though he is high, then when the euphoria wears off he gets cranky with you. This is not reasonable.

You said, "All I can do is work on me." which in general is true. We cannot change others unless they want to change. My question is, are you trying to change to be the person you think he wants you to be? I was sent this little quote today and I think it fits your situation.

You must learn that you cannot be loved by all people.
You can be the finest apple in the world – ripe, juicy, sweet,
succulent – and offer yourself to all.
But you must remember that there will be people who do not like apples.

You must understand that if you are the world’s finest apple, and someone you love does not like apples, you
have the choice of becoming a banana.
But you must be warned that if you choose to become a banana, you will be a second-rate banana.
But you can always be the finest apple.

You must also realize that if you choose to be a second-rate banana
there will be people who do not like bananas.
Furthermore, you can spend your life trying to become the best banana – which is impossible if you are an apple –
Or you can seek again to be the finest apple.

May I suggest you think about this.


Hi White Rose,

Thank you for your response.

We've just come back from an overseas trip - he was drug-free the entire time. In the last couple of days (since being back) he has started up smoking weed again. Not as frequent as before we went overseas. He had similar outbursts towards me on our holiday (possibly as a sign of 'coming off' the weed). He has admitted that he is dependant on weed to help keep his mind calm.

I've thought about counselling for us but he's not interested.

You hit the nail right on the head with 'he wants your company when it suits him....' . That is what erks me I suppose. I used to think it was me getting jealous of him spending time alone or with his brother but I now realise that it's because he has me around when it suits him and shuts me out when it suits him.

I liked the poem regarding apples/bananas. If I were to categorise myself I'd be a banana so I'll be the best banana I can be and work hard on not trying to be an apple when I'm not an apple.

Kind Regards


Thanks Carolyn

Can't write much as my right shoulder and upper arm hurts like hell so I am typing with my left hand and it's not easy or fast. Glad you enjoyed the poem and have decided which fruit you are. My husband refused counselling because he had no problems, then was surprised when I left after a few years.

I will write more when I stop hurting.


Thanks for what have been a painful reply due to your right shoulder and upper arm hurting.

Today is a bit better than yesterday. He speaks to me when he wants to, is off doing his own thing most of the time, he did take me out to a 'pillow talk' shop this morning and I managed to buy a laptop from a computer store. But when we came home, he went argumentative at me because he wanted the old bath mat under the new bath mat. That's all well and good, but I decided to wash the old bath mat (it's hanging out to dry) before putting it under the new bath mat. Boy was this a bad move. I was critised and questioned as to why did I do something stupid like that.

I don't think his behaviour has anything to do with PTSD, him smoking weed etc. I think that it has a lot to do with the fact that he is now fed up with me 'cruising along in life, and going with the flow'. I have certainly not done that all the time, especially in the last couple of days - just keeping to myself, studying etc. When I have gone and asked him a question he has been really snappy and talks down to me.

Get out while you can and find someone who loves you for who you are

Hello Carolyn

I really think it is time to take Apollo's advice and move on. I know it will be painful, but it's painful for you now. What have you got to lose? Your BF has no respect and I find it amazing to say he loves you.

He is what he is and is unlikely to change when his lifestyle suits him with you in the background to cater to his needs. An argument about washing a bathmat is ludicrous. I'm pleased you did what you wanted even though there was an argument. You are strong enough now to move on. Be careful you do not lose your identity while you are waiting for him to become a pleasant and responsibly person. I doubt that will ever happen.