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Dealing with an overly sensitive boyfriend

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Dealing with an overly sensitive boyfriend

Postby amber8 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:06 pm

I'm at my wits end...I think I want to get out of the relationship I'm in. There have been some issues with my boyfriend that he has tried to work on, but I don't see any refreshing change in him. It's too exhausting being around him these days. I guess I'm writing this post to vent, and also if anyone has advice on how to deal with a severely emotionally sensitive boyfriend, I would greatly appreciate any input! Thank you for reading this.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year and a half now. After I got to know him better 3-4 months into the relationship, I realized that he's overly sensitive and emotionally reactive. He gets emotionally obsessed about the littlest things to the point of his attitude and reactions completely ruining a perfectly innocent, light, fun, enjoyable moment together. I don't even like spending time with him anymore because he's so self-absorbed. He has the emotional IQ of a 3 year old. (I am not saying that in a hateful way nor would I ever say that to him.) I care about him a lot but I crave the company of a mature man who is articulate, strong, patient and thoughtful. There is a huge difference here.

No one else I have ever known has been this way. How do you deal with a person like this? He sucks me into little emotional tiffs by saying or doing reactive things instead of maturely and nicely stating how he feels about something. It's like he suddenly zaps me with a snake bite (that's how it feels when he gets reactive out of no where). In an instant he takes something totally not about him so personally and it is truly beyond me how he got from point A to point B. I have no interest in responding to his immature outbursts anymore. I want nothing more than to completely ignore his outbursts and continue on with the original topic. For example, today I just saw him after 2 days of not seeing each other. He picked me up on his way to the airport so we could grab a quick cup of coffee since he won't be back in town till the weekend. We spent only 15 minutes together and it's left me totally mentally exhausted. In general conversation with him he suddenly criticized me on something I said that he took personally when we were talking about a topic totally objective to him. Apparently there's a button I pushed in his insecure head where he felt he needed to go on the attack. I was telling a story about a work situation with a client. I gracefully stayed course and tried not to give his odd attacking comments any power - just diffusing it, I continued with what I had previously been talking about. He wasn't satisfied. Instead of him figuring out a way to diplomatically talk with me like a real friend, it's like he couldn't move on in our conversation till he felt he hurt me "back" (in his imagined world that I hurt him) so he intentionally did some annoying things to get my attention like trying to wad up the trash and put it in my purse as I'm zipping my purse up and then also when I commented, "Perfect timing; it's only 4:45" (he needed to be heading towards the airport by 5) he said, "yeah, you can walk from here". Ok, what am I suppose to say to that "joke"? Is that really a joke? Anyway, I just ignored that comment of his and happily said "we're 15 minutes ahead of schedule-good we got to squeeze in seeing each other!, you know, trying to move on. Then again he said you can walk from here. It totally didnt fit into the coversation. I looked at him pleasantly, nonreactively, peacefully and said, "Why would you say that?" He said, "because you picked a fight with me earlier". The thing is, I DIDNT PICK A FIGHT with him! He is so sensitive he sees everything through these emotional glasses. Apparently something I said in my neutral story about my client hit a nerve of his but he was unable to maturely articulate what that was.

It's so exhausting just to have a simple conversation with him. I'm genuinely starting to think he has a mental illness or personality disorder of some kind. It's like everytime he sees me he has to have some sort of odd emotional interaction with me that goes back to I'm guessing his insecurities. I really don't get it. Whatever it is, it's not my style. I want to make the most of time I spend with people, especially 15 minutes when I won't see the person for several days. What's his problem? After he dropped me off, I kinda laughed to myself thinking that "encounter" was a complete waste of energy. What's the point of squeezing in 15 minutes to see someone, buying her coffee, criticizing her all the way home, and then making a joke that she can walk the rest of the way home. He directs this stuff at me so smoothly and casually to the point that I used to second guess myself, but I stopped spending a lot of time around him so I could figure out and pinpoint what the real problem is. - It's definitely his perception and emotional reactions, NOT ME. Is there anything I can say to a person like this to get them to understand they need to chill and be more of a friend than an antagonist all the time? ...ugh...I'm exhausted. I can't figure out the jist of his insecurity. I have told him in the past that he reads into things too deeply to the point that it is really invalid and unuseful to act on such cryptic thinking. Ughhhhhhhh.

The guy is overly sensitive and I can't stand being around him anymore. I wish he'd get a hold of himself because when he's acting mentally healthy, we are fine. Sometimes I wonder if he got on medication to stabalize his moods or thoughts and emotions it would help. How do you talk about this with someone though without them taking it the wrong way? I have never said anything derogatory to him nor would I want him to think I was insulting him, but he does have some issues that I think a psychiatrist might be able to help. It's beyond me and I'm tired of his problems making my life stressful. I'm truly at my wits end.
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Re: Dealing with an overly sensitive boyfriend

Postby mata_hari » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:43 pm

You already have your answer. You're not happy in this relationship and you no longer want his company. End the relationship and be honest about why it's over.

Don't feel obligated to stay with someone simply because they're mentally ill. It's not your job to fix him. Perhaps by ending this relationship, he will see the light and seek help for his problem.
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Re: Dealing with an overly sensitive boyfriend

Postby Greatsharkbite » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:56 pm

Has he really "tried" to work on these issues? Or did he just say he was going to try because if this just happened today either he's not trying or what he's tried isn't working. Thats some really immature and childish behavior knowing he hasn't seen his gf in 2 days and knowing he won't see her for 2 weeks. Don't get me wrong.. while its REALLY immature for that situation, it isn't acceptable at anytime. You're right for thinking twice about the relationship, it was a very bullyish manipulation to get his way.

The goal of a relationship isn't to hurt the other person even when there's a perceived problem, you should try your best to talk it out first. A relationship is supposed to be about trying to make your partner happy, not miserable.

As for how to talk this out with someone generally, you'd be nice and calm and say "We need to talk". Then you'd bring up how you're feeling and what he himself agreed to work on. You also tell him exactly how you're feeling. But he might not react well to that for all I know, if he's that sensitive he might not want to listen and you need to accept the reality that this relationship might not be one that should be saved or even could be saved. Also if you think his mental instability puts you in danger, don't stay with him.

I agree with the above tho, its not your responsibility to fix him or get him help. Especially at the cost of you taking what could be considered emotional abuse.
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Re: Dealing with an overly sensitive boyfriend

Postby Rose Abby » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:41 am

Have you heard of "emotion vampires"? They suck away all the positive attitude that you have. You should be staying away from these kinds of people. And you should definitely not be seeing someone who doesn't make you happy.
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Re: Dealing with an overly sensitive boyfriend

Postby amber8 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:51 pm

mata_hari wrote:You already have your answer. You're not happy in this relationship and you no longer want his company. End the relationship and be honest about why it's over.

Don't feel obligated to stay with someone simply because they're mentally ill. It's not your job to fix him. Perhaps by ending this relationship, he will see the light and seek help for his problem.


Hi everyone, Thanks for all the input.

I did break up with him when he first started his antics, and the only reason I went back is because he said He was 'working on it' and to please give him another chance and a little patience. I never took the stance that I was trying to fix him. I deserve to be treated well and no excuse such as youve got anger issues, mental illness etc. is going to justify that behavior. In the moment he should be able to stop himself from mistreating me even if he has some crazy stuff going on in his head, he needs to refrain from acting out. I have no interest and never did in doing his side of it for him. That's not even possible. He refuses to characterize or qualify his serious psychological issues as a disorder of any kind. It's everyone else and he thinks he has the right to act out. I don't have ANY interest to enable or entertain his antics. It's time for me to move on and think about me.

I hate that I am temporarily dependent on him financially. I had only 1 client and my bf was helping me wtih a few hundred dollars per month for the last 3 months as I have been searching for more clients. I finally got 2 more clients, but income from them won't stabalize for another few weeks. At that point I can make ends meet, barely, but I'll manage. I'm just going to have to grin and keep my space till then. The relationship is definitely over. Life is too short. I've given him enough time to get real about basic standards of ways we treat each other in this relationship. He can't rise above and move beyond. So Im going to have to do it anyway without him.
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Re: Dealing with an overly sensitive boyfriend

Postby amber8 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:54 pm

Rose Abby wrote:Have you heard of "emotion vampires"? They suck away all the positive attitude that you have. You should be staying away from these kinds of people. And you should definitely not be seeing someone who doesn't make you happy.


I haven't heard of that term. Emotion vampires. That definitely describes how I feel about him! I really think he aims to suck positivity out of me to drudge me down into his way of thinking.
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Re: Dealing with an overly sensitive boyfriend

Postby amber8 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:05 pm

Greatsharkbite wrote:Has he really "tried" to work on these issues? Or did he just say he was going to try because if this just happened today either he's not trying or what he's tried isn't working. Thats some really immature and childish behavior knowing he hasn't seen his gf in 2 days and knowing he won't see her for 2 weeks. Don't get me wrong.. while its REALLY immature for that situation, it isn't acceptable at anytime. You're right for thinking twice about the relationship, it was a very bullyish manipulation to get his way.

The goal of a relationship isn't to hurt the other person even when there's a perceived problem, you should try your best to talk it out first. A relationship is supposed to be about trying to make your partner happy, not miserable.

As for how to talk this out with someone generally, you'd be nice and calm and say "We need to talk". Then you'd bring up how you're feeling and what he himself agreed to work on. You also tell him exactly how you're feeling. But he might not react well to that for all I know, if he's that sensitive he might not want to listen and you need to accept the reality that this relationship might not be one that should be saved or even could be saved. Also if you think his mental instability puts you in danger, don't stay with him.

I agree with the above tho, its not your responsibility to fix him or get him help. Especially at the cost of you taking what could be considered emotional abuse.


I've decided I'm not going to discuss his psychological issues with him in terms of BPD and getting help for this. All of this is way more than I bargained for, and honestly he meets so few of my needs because of his issues that you know why would I want to stay with someone this way. We've already 'talked out' his issues in terms of "anger issues" and he even saw a therapist, read a book on it, we discussed it, he got better for a while. Then it all started back up. If he all on his own admitted to having more of an issue and was the assertive one about what he's doing to get help, then I would give him another chance. But as things are now, I'm wasting my time with someone who doesn't treat me well. He constantly undervalues me, has a condesending tone with me (he tries to play that off like he's joking around-messin with my head as if it's funny), verbally assaults me, says outlandish stuff to me. It's all over-stale at this point.

You said: The goal of a relationship isn't to hurt the other person even when there's a perceived problem, you should try your best to talk it out first. A relationship is supposed to be about trying to make your partner happy, not miserable.

Yep, I've finally realized he simply doesn't get it. There's nothing you can do to make someone see a relationship that way if they don't and their actions ooze the fact that they don't get it. I've already done the 'talking it out' from my side. I treat him well no matter what arises.

I read a quote recently that went something like this, "Losing all hope is freedom."
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Re: Dealing with an overly sensitive boyfriend

Postby amber8 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:16 pm

Jay Dubb wrote:If he is giving you a labyrinth of odd reactions then your "job" is harder. I still think it may be worth a try to get help.

J. Dubb


You hit the nail on the head with those statements.

For several months I've been "working with him". I am a very patient, kind and tolerant person. He spins the labyrinth out of his own mental game - he seriously has fun doing that. He has serious mental issues. I used to react and it just fead his flame. Now I ignore his antics and he does tone it down. But the healthy change that's required is much deeper. - I don't think he is capable of realizing and transforming his mind that way.

It seems to me that there is NOTHING in this "relationship" for me, ME. It's always all been about HIM. I am finally coming to the conclusion. Yes, conclusion as in FIN, it's done.
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Re: Dealing with an overly sensitive boyfriend

Postby two_roads » Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:46 am

Hi,

To me, its sounds like NPD. ( I'm not a professional) Or at least NPD traits. The fact that he is not letting a casual, relaxing conversation flow in a normal way without interrupting you and confusing you, or putting you down and de-valuating you is very alarming.

Please visit the NPD forums and see if you can relate:

narcissistic-personality/

All best,
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Re: Dealing with an overly sensitive boyfriend

Postby dtrotter » Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:30 am

Tell the truth, like mata_hari said, you knew what to do, what is the solution to the problem, but all you need is to do what you think is correct. OH well, i kind of feel bad for him. Perhaps you can help him by dealing with those problems :)
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