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Old 07-12-2020, 05:55 PM
 
96 posts, read 67,671 times
Reputation: 104

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Before I dive into what happened this weekend, I want to recount a story from a few weeks ago.

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend was driving, which he doesn't particularly like to do. It makes him anxious. Nonetheless, we were going on a hike and he drove us there. On our way back, he was trying to merge lanes and was clearly nervous so I tried reassuring him, saying he was doing fine, it's fine, etc. He lost his **** and was like, "FINE?!?!?! It's not fine! Don't say it's fine! Seriously? Do you think that's what someone in this situation wants to hear?" He went on and proceeded to explain to me why you should never say "it's fine" to someone when they're driving. I felt so confused and browbeaten. I eventually explained to him how I felt. I told him I thought his reaction was unreasonable, all I was trying to do was help. He admitted he was in the wrong, and we moved on.

Then, on Friday, we were taking a walk. I was talking to him about a movie and all of a sudden he told me to shut up, like, stared me right in the eyes and said it. I was so baffled, and since a lot of times he says shut up as a joke, I just continued talking...thinking he was just being silly or something. He then proceeded to say shut up two more times, so I stopped talking, and then after we walked a little further, he explained to me how I was in the wrong. Apparently there were two guys on bikes having a possible crime/drugs related conversation within earshot of us, and he was trying to listen. He then explained to me that I should have also been eavesdropping, I should have also wanted to hear what they were saying, so therefore I was in the wrong. I kind of lost it at this point and got really upset. I eventually started tearing up because I just felt so confused and hurt. And even when he apologized for saying shut up, he still rationalized his behavior and said I should have been eavesdropping. It was getting dark so we had to go back to his apartment, and by then I was feeling angry, and since his roommate was in the living room we had to go in his room.

Eventually I got angry and told him how I hate how he always justifies his behavior and how there's always something new I'm doing wrong that aggravates him. He eventually started to cry, I think because I was being kind of mean and because he was scared the relationship wasn't going to work out. I comforted him and genuinely felt terrible. We both apologized, he heard what I said, and we went on to have a really nice weekend, despite a rough start.

I guess what I'm wondering here, is who was wrong? And how can I deal with this more appropriately next time so it doesn't snowball into an extremely dramatic and somber situation for the both of us? I guess I am also worried that I'm being emotionally abusive towards him somehow...by holding onto things and referencing them again during later arguments. This is my first serious relationship and I really want to make it work.
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
49,932 posts, read 59,572,875 times
Reputation: 98359
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangutans1996 View Post
Before I dive into what happened this weekend, I want to recount a story from a few weeks ago.

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend was driving, which he doesn't particularly like to do. It makes him anxious. Nonetheless, we were going on a hike and he drove us there. On our way back, he was trying to merge lanes and was clearly nervous so I tried reassuring him, saying he was doing fine, it's fine, etc. He lost his **** and was like, "FINE?!?!?! It's not fine! Don't say it's fine! Seriously? Do you think that's what someone in this situation wants to hear?" He went on and proceeded to explain to me why you should never say "it's fine" to someone when they're driving. I felt so confused and browbeaten. I eventually explained to him how I felt. I told him I thought his reaction was unreasonable, all I was trying to do was help. He admitted he was in the wrong, and we moved on.

Then, on Friday, we were taking a walk. I was talking to him about a movie and all of a sudden he told me to shut up, like, stared me right in the eyes and said it. I was so baffled, and since a lot of times he says shut up as a joke, I just continued talking...thinking he was just being silly or something. He then proceeded to say shut up two more times, so I stopped talking, and then after we walked a little further, he explained to me how I was in the wrong. Apparently there were two guys on bikes having a possible crime/drugs related conversation within earshot of us, and he was trying to listen. He then explained to me that I should have also been eavesdropping, I should have also wanted to hear what they were saying, so therefore I was in the wrong. I kind of lost it at this point and got really upset. I eventually started tearing up because I just felt so confused and hurt. And even when he apologized for saying shut up, he still rationalized his behavior and said I should have been eavesdropping. It was getting dark so we had to go back to his apartment, and by then I was feeling angry, and since his roommate was in the living room we had to go in his room.

Eventually I got angry and told him how I hate how he always justifies his behavior and how there's always something new I'm doing wrong that aggravates him. He eventually started to cry, I think because I was being kind of mean and because he was scared the relationship wasn't going to work out. I comforted him and genuinely felt terrible. We both apologized, he heard what I said, and we went on to have a really nice weekend, despite a rough start.

I guess what I'm wondering here, is who was wrong? And how can I deal with this more appropriately next time so it doesn't snowball into an extremely dramatic and somber situation for the both of us? I guess I am also worried that I'm being emotionally abusive towards him somehow...by holding onto things and referencing them again during later arguments. This is my first serious relationship and I really want to make it work.
I don't see any gaslighting?

I see direct hostility, which is not part of a good relationship.

How old are you two? He has to learn that he can't lash out at people and then blame them for making him feel bad. It's cruel and unnecessary. He may not be mature enough for a relationship.

It's not abusive to remember times when someone was mean to you. If it were me, the next situation like this, I would leave immediately and tell him that I don't like being treated that with disrespect and hostility.
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:10 PM
 
96 posts, read 67,671 times
Reputation: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
I don't see any gaslighting?

I see direct hostility, which is not part of a good relationship.

How old are you two? He has to learn that he can't lash out at people and then blame them for making him feel bad. It's cruel and unnecessary. He may not be mature enough for a relationship.

It's not abusive to remember times when someone was mean to you. If it were me, the next situation like this, I would leave immediately and tell him that I don't like being treated that with disrespect and hostility.

My understanding of gaslighting is like making you question your own perceptions of things. I knew that saying "you're fine" to someone is perfectly acceptable, but when he got mad, I really started wondering if I'm like some idiot for saying it. Since that's basically what he told me. Same thing applies to the most recent incident. I started wondering, damn, am I dumb for not eavesdropping?

He's 24 and I am 23
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
49,932 posts, read 59,572,875 times
Reputation: 98359
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangutans1996 View Post
My understanding of gaslighting is like making you question your own perceptions of things. I knew that saying "you're fine" to someone is perfectly acceptable, but when he got mad, I really started wondering if I'm like some idiot for saying it. Since that's basically what he told me. Same thing applies to the most recent incident. I started wondering, damn, am I dumb for not eavesdropping?

He's 24 and I am 23
Generally, if they're gaslighting, they lie, deny things even when you have proof, and their actions don't match their words. They might even say nice things to throw you off.

In the hiking example, he just didn't explain what he wanted, and then got angry when you didn't think like he did. That's not indirect or confusing. It's just ... aggressive.

He sounds a little unstable, honestly. I can't imagine these are the only times he's flipped out on you.

If you want to continue with this relationship, you'll have to continue to assert yourself and then walk away when he does this ^^. What he's doing is NOT ok. Does he go off on other people?
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Tricity, PL
61,119 posts, read 85,934,275 times
Reputation: 130785
Perhaps you didn't realize but you ARE talking too much? Then you don't listen when he says to be quiet.
He could feel overwhelmed with all your talk especially when he is trying to concentrate while driving. Or when he wants to hear the birds in the park or whatever, and you continue talking his ears full...
When he says be quiet then BE quiet. It would agitate me too.
Other than that I don't see any problems in whatever you posted here...
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:24 PM
 
96 posts, read 67,671 times
Reputation: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Perhaps you didn't realize but you ARE talking too much? Then you don't listen when he says to be quiet.
He could feel overwhelmed with all your talk especially when he is trying to concentrate while driving. Or when he wants to hear the birds or whatever, and you continue talking his ears full...
When he says be quiet then BE quiet. It would agitate me too.
Other than that I don't see any problems in whatever you posted here...
Lol, no, I was not talking too much while he was driving. I wan't even talking a lot in person. We were just walking along a quiet street talking about a movie. I never talk much when he drives. He was specifically irritated with me for saying "it's fine."
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Tricity, PL
61,119 posts, read 85,934,275 times
Reputation: 130785
Then don't say that... Problem solved.
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:27 PM
 
96 posts, read 67,671 times
Reputation: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
Then don't say that... Problem solved.
Right but I hate how he acted like what I did was objectively wrong. Like he acted like I was dumb for even saying that, when I had no reason to know before that it would set him off. And the frustrating this is that it seems to be a pattern at this point, him getting mad at me for not being able to read his mind.
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
49,932 posts, read 59,572,875 times
Reputation: 98359
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangutans1996 View Post
Right but I hate how he acted like what I did was objectively wrong. Like he acted like I was dumb for even saying that, when I had no reason to know before that it would set him off. And the frustrating this is that it seems to be a pattern at this point, him getting mad at me for not being able to read his mind.
It's not normal to react to kindness with rage and insults.
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:47 PM
 
6,282 posts, read 2,824,892 times
Reputation: 7200
What was the movie? I remember avoiding an argument with a woman over the opera Carmen. Modern versions are changing to make her a women trapped in an abusive relationship. In the old days she was an evil seductress who uses Don Jose and then tosses him aside after ruining his life. I don't argue over things like that though. Was it a movie version of Carmen?
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