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I can't ever complain to my partner...

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I can't ever complain to my partner...

Postby namenotimportant » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:58 am

My partner tends to snap at me quite often. By snap I mean she gets just a little angry at me.

This can happen perhaps 5 or 10 times a day in a normal day.

I've got relatively used to it over the years we've lived together. I don't think she even knows she's doing it sometimes.

I guess sometimes I'm annoying and deserve it but most often it feels like it is because she has misunderstood me.

I usually just let it go but sometimes it upsets me if it happens a lot in rapid succession and I say something about it, like I did tonight... "i'm sorry but that is not fair, that's the 5th time you've been angry with me tonight, and I did not deserve any of them, and it's not on!"... I snap back... big mistake.

She is immediately very defensive and angry - can't believe how horrible I'm being - suggests I always get like this when I'm tired and/or have had a drink (I had 2 beers and a glass of wine 2 hours ago, perhaps this has affected my patience somewhat) - tells me that if I don't like it I know where the door is.

'Discussion' continues and I try to defend my case but she's now getting more and more upset and the whole thing is escalating (I'm trying not to but I am getting more wound up now also, voice levels rising).

I suggest that if she'd simply apologised all would be OK. This makes her more angry (of course).

She says I need to tell her exactly what happened on these 5 occasions so she can apologise for them all individually - I can never remember specifics at times like this for some reason. In fact I can't remember any but the most recent one. This is always the way, drink or no drink. Under pressure my memory fails. I think this is common in men :)

She tells me how she doesn't understand why I'm being so horrible and quotes me back to me from earlier in the same conversation with slight modifications and additions to the words I used.

She storms off to bed.

This is just one example. I feel like if I ever calmly go to her with a "moan" about something, anything, no matter how diplomatic (I think) I am about it, it ends up like this.

Other than this inability to take criticism things are very good between us. We've been together a long time now and are good together. I would hate for us to break up. We make a good team - especially when challenged together.

I looked at symptoms lists for BPD and there is not great correlation. She does have an eating disorder, but is definitely much better with this than she has been in the past - but I think it is very likely related in some way.

I think mostly I'm posting this as a vent for my frustration. I feel like I'm going a bit mad. She's got a point maybe. They were just minor little snipes at me after all.

But to not be allowed to "have a go" when I feel unfairly done by, AT ALL, EVER, because it will end up like this, feels like I'm constrained. Hard to explain.

Does this make sense?

Any suggestions?

TY!
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Re: I can't ever complain to my partner...

Postby masquerade » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:37 pm

The reasons for her irritability could be due to a number of things, although this doesn't give her the excuse to verbally abuse you in this way, or to twist your words. This is called gaslighting and can cause a person to doubt the validity of their own reactions or perceptions.

What is going on in her life at the moment? Does she have pressure at work? Could she have PMT? Could she be depressed? Will she even take on board the fact that she is snapping at you? If you could sit down and talk about things when she is in a good mood, you might be able to get to the bottom of this. If she will agree to it, couples counselling may also help.

You may have to lay down some boundaries here, as to what is and what isn't acceptable behaviour. You don't deserve to be constantly walking on eggshells. Simply walking out of the room every time she does this may help her to see that her behaviour is unacceptable. If it persists, you may need to ask yourself where the relationship is heading, for your own preservation and emotional wellbeing.
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Re: I can't ever complain to my partner...

Postby Ruby claire » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:11 pm

Whenever you are with your partner just try to keep A Book and A Pen alongside with you.. so that you can note and remember the reasons for her anger on you ! :wink:
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Re: I can't ever complain to my partner...

Postby namenotimportant » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:09 pm

Hi, thank you for the replies. I had not heard of gaslighting, so looked it up and read some stuff. Most seems to be done by men to women from what I can gather.

Answering your questions masquerade:

> What is going on in her life at the moment?

She's a full time mum to our recent first child.

> Does she have pressure at work?

No, she does not currently work. I'm the sole earner. She seems to be enjoying motherhood thoroughly and is getting out and about meeting other mums.

> Could she have PMT?

Unlikely and anyway, she has always been like this - though it does wax and wane in frequency.

> Could she be depressed?

She has for a number of reasons suffered from depression in the past (eating disorder imo is a symptom of depression) and is struggling recently with some family issues which have likely got her down a bit.

> Will she even take on board the fact that she is snapping at you?

She constantly denies it. She always (apart from some rare occasions) has. I think the level of "snap" is so low and so normal in life in her family dynamic that she genuinely thinks I'm in the wrong when I point it out, and that it's normal and that I'm wrong and being over-sensitive.

> If you could sit down and talk about things when she is in a good mood, you might be able to get to the bottom of this. If she will agree to it, couples counselling may also help.

Because she doesn't think the problem exists and that it's me trying to be prickly with her I don't know.

> You may have to lay down some boundaries here, as to what is and what isn't acceptable behaviour. You don't deserve to be constantly walking on eggshells. Simply walking out of the room every time she does this may help her to see that her behaviour is unacceptable.

I'll try that, or something like it, thank you. We live very much in each other's pockets though so it'll be hard. It's so much easier to just ignore it.

> If it persists, you may need to ask yourself where the relationship is heading, for your own preservation and emotional wellbeing.

Married with child. Been together 10 years. It has already headed.
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