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Why is my boyfriend so defensive!?

 
 
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2016 07:31 pm
I am at my wits end at the moment. I have been with my boyfriend in a long-distance relationship for 15 months now. Our communication has taken a major toll, as I cannot even ask a question anymore without him becoming defensive or starting an argument, which he claims he does not want to argue. My boyfriend told me it's the way I ask things that puts him on the defense, but it could be something as simple as, "why does it seem like you are content with just having a phone relationship?" He will automatically become defensive and I tell him all I am looking for is an honest yes or no and to hear your thoughts, because this is how i'm feeling. That will get him angry. We do have trust issues. It's mostly me trusting him since i've caught him in more than one white lie, usually pertaining to social media (him agreeing to get rid of it, but me finding that he didn't). We love each other and want to get married one day to be together, but cant at the moment because he is having major job and financial difficulties, which is making it very difficult to travel to see one another. I have even offered to help him. However, our communication has gotten so bad that I cannot even talk to him or bring up my concerns about that relationship without him getting angry and defensive, and me stuttering or feeling like i'm now walking on eggshells? I am not rude or disrespectful by any means, but if it is a question about the relationship, he gets defensive. I told him that I need him to try to understand that I mean well, and most of the time I just want reassurance about our relationship, but that does not help and he's eager to get off the phone or put the blame on me as just angering him and pi%%ng him off. I am left feeling with more questions and feeling very uncertain about things. I told him we need to work on our communication and becoming less defensive and he said that I need to work on watching how I say things. He will not take responsibility for anything! What can I do?!!
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2016 08:07 pm
@Justimpossible,
You have two choices. You can accept who he is, or you can dump him. You can't change someone, it just doesn't work. If the relationship isn't working, then it is time to move on.

Once you start saying things like "he will not take responsibility for anything", it is pretty much over. First of all, it isn't true. What you mean is "he isn't doing what I want/need him to do". Secondly, you are pushing responsibility on him that he might not have taken (which isn't fair).

My advice would be for you to be honest about what you need in a relationship and ask him if he is the right person to give this to you. It sounds like you have already done this. All you can do is be honest, it is up to him to respond. Either you figure out a way that you both get what you need from the relationship, or you don't.

If there is a chance that you can change move near each other in the near future, I might suggest you hang on to see if this makes a difference.

But if this isn't the right relationship for you both, then the sooner you move on, the better.

Justimpossible
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2016 08:25 pm
@maxdancona,
I thank you very much for your reply! What I meant was if he does things to break down the relationship, lying or hiding things from me and not being honest, he will not understand how his lying affected my trust level with him (not taking responsibility for the "choice" to lie ). He complains that I will not trust him, but at the same time he "chose" to lie, thus affecting my trust in him. I explained that when I can see that you are consistently honest with me, naturally I will start to regain trust in you. I understand at the same time that I take responsibility for staying and hoping we can work through things.
Justimpossible
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2016 08:28 pm
@Justimpossible,
We are also in different countries and I cannot live there legally, but we have traveled to see each other in the past year.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2016 08:39 pm
It sounds like you're both annoying each other. There seem to be some significant communication problems which may be related to the trust concerns you're feeling.

Since you can't be together to go for counselling at this time, maybe you could look into finding some kind of online program where you can both work on your communication abilities.

In the alternative, you may want to consider a short break where you can both think about whether you both want to continue the relationship, such as it is.
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 06:00 am
"why does it seem like you are content with just having a phone relationship?"

That question seems passive aggressive, even "baiting" to me.

How about, "I'm having difficulty with having just a phone relationship, How do you feel about that?"
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 07:35 am
@ehBeth,
I was thinking along the same lines as ehBeth. But one other thought -- I wonder if he is being defensive because of his financial situation. He may feel less of himself (right or wrong) that he is in a bad financial situation and thus less of a man --- I am just making assumptions as of course I don't know the guy. Many men feel they should be the breadwinner and being in a vulnerable situation can make many men (and some women as well) act defensive. You trying to help by offering financial assistance although from the heart, can make him feel even more needy ---

Maybe understanding his feelings might help

You might as ehBeth suggested need to take a break from each other -- long distance relationships are tough (I have personal experience with it) -- I can only imagine how much more so where you are in different countries and with the inability to see each other face to face.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 10:47 am
@Linkat,
Quote:
You might as ehBeth suggested need to take a break from each other


Has anyone ever decided to "take a break from each other", especially in a long distance relationship, that didn't eventually result in a complete end of the relationship? I assume that as you are on this break, both you and he will be able to have sex with other people, right. I have found that this never works.

I would try to be honest with myself, if it is going to end anyway I will just end it.

The problem with trying to "take a break" is that it doesn't end. You will be stuck with unresolved business and it will be difficult for you to move on with someone else.

If it is going to end anyway, the sooner you completely end it so that you can move on, the better for you (and for him).
mark noble
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 11:24 am
@maxdancona,
Good response.
0 Replies
 
Justimpossible
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 12:57 pm
@Linkat,
Thank you for your reply and your help! Yes, he disclosed to me that he does feel less of a man for not being about to have more money or be in a better situation. He says it does make him feel vulnerable. But he said he'd call me last night after work and I couldn't reach him. I called and he wouldn't answer the phone or texts ( late last night after his second shift). We usually do bible study before he goes to bed and he said he left the phone in his car over night outside his house, which he never has done before. He said he called from his phone in his car after his shift and I didn't answer, I didn't even get a missed call call! He calls me after his shower usually every night and hes ready for bed already in bed. The next morning, before his morning shift, he called me and apologized for what happened. I'm scared that he's cheating! He showers me with complements ones moment and then always tries to get off the phone and fight with me based on any questions I ask him, and then I can't reach him at night. He knows to leave his phone on ring and not vibrate anymore in case I need to reach him, and now this!
Justimpossible
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 01:00 pm
@ehBeth,
Yes he is annoyed with me always asking questions about where is the relationship headed. I just need to know we have a plan that is workable, but it's almost impossible without money and he said if I want to come down and see him, I have to fund the whole ticket because he doesn't have the money and doesn't know when he will. He just says we will figure something out. But that was before us getting in this fight today about him disappearing and being nonreachable all night.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 01:07 pm
@Justimpossible,
he's in a different country that you can't live in legally

there is no guarantee that there is a future in this relationship (there's never a guarantee, but it's more obvious in your case than in some others)

right now you may need to accept that you are in a casual relationship/friendship with this guy rather than in a relationship that will last for the long term

why not focus on your life where you are? if he's around to chat/talk with occasionally, be happy about that - but move on with your life locally
Justimpossible
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 01:09 pm
@maxdancona,
We personally have not taken a break yet from each other. The lies, the both answering phone calls when he knows I'll be calling and social media issues have me so on edge about our relationship, and now we can't even have a conversation without having it turn into an arguement. I love him so much and when I feel I've been unreasonable, I usually call back to try to make things right or jump on plane 8 hours to go be with him when he's having mom and dad issues or fighting with family and he needs my suppor, and he still had the nerve to tell me when he was half asleep that me being here doesn't feel the same and it's feels like we are miles away ( despite me showing him affection). That kind of hurt since I sacrificed a lot to be there with him. I listened to his family problems and greivances, and I asked him if maybe somehow he was projecting all he was feeling onto me, because I was doing all I could affectionately and more and I felt he was disconnected from me, but attributed it to all that was happening in his life, and he still felt we were at opposite ends?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 01:09 pm
@Justimpossible,
Justimpossible wrote:
He knows to leave his phone on ring and not vibrate anymore in case I need to reach him


he's not going to be performing surgery on you - there really is never a reason you NEED to reach him. you may want to get in touch, but that's a different thing entirely

___

my suggestions:

let him leave his phone on vibrate and get on with his life

arrange a time, once or twice a week, when you plan to talk

let him know that you're not going to be pushing for contact or relationship confirmation anymore

___

if that's not enough for him, he'll let you know
0 Replies
 
Justimpossible
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 01:23 pm
@ehBeth,
He's in the states and I'm in Canada. I can't live there unless I have a company sponsor me or we get married. When we are together most of the time things are great and he doesn't want me to leave, and neither do I. I've met his family and his children from a previous marriage, but him not answering his phone or making what should be a normal conversation into an argument where I'm defending how I think and feel, as he tells me I'm thinking and feeling something else other than what I just stated, all is not helping the relationship and making me very depressed. There is a lot going on but we both claim we love each other and he does tell me he cannot see himself living without me. I still feel that sometimes his actions don't match up to his words and I get a terrible feeling he could be cheating!
CoastalRat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 02:16 pm
@Justimpossible,
Quote:
making what should be a normal conversation into an argument where I'm defending how I think and feel, as he tells me I'm thinking and feeling something else other than what I just stated,
Ask yourself a question. How do you think the above will change if/when you get married?






Justimpossible
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 02:26 pm
@CoastalRat,
I would hope we can get honesty and communication on track before we get married, otherwise I have a feeling it will not get better during the marriage.
CoastalRat
 
  3  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 02:42 pm
@Justimpossible,
Bingo. Problems beforehand tend not to get better after marriage. Couples always believe they will, but they don't. They normally get magnified.

So, let us see where we stand. He lies and then does not take ownership of his lies. He gets defensive when you try to talk about the relationship and blames you for pissing him off. (Again, not taking ownership of his anger/emotion.) You tell him you want to work on your communication and he turns it back on you and blames you for not watching how you say things. You seem to believe that he should always be reachable when you want to reach him. And when he is not, you start wondering if he is cheating on you. And add to all of this that it is a LD relationship. And his finances are such that neither of you knows when you can be together.

Does that about sum it up? If so, all the so called love you have for each other is going to be useless. You would both be best off going your separate ways.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 02:45 pm
@Justimpossible,
the more you post about it, the worse it sounds

I think Coastat Rat is correct.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jan, 2016 03:34 pm
@Justimpossible,
The great thing about marriage is that they make divorce possible. Divorce will certainly solve these problems.

I wish I could have gotten divorced without having to go through the pain of being married first.
 

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