relationships can be the best, but now they are the worst

Discussion in 'Community' started by letterbox, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. letterbox macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    sorry this is a self pity rant.

    my birthday is tomorrow and since my g/f and i have a class tuesday thru thursday evenings and she is working all day tomorrow we decided to celebrate today. we were supposed to go to a movie and then she was going to make me dinner. the movie was going to be at 5.

    turns out she is really busy at work and isn't able to leave until later, so she stops by her house and gets the stuff together and brings it over. i can tell she is in a bad mood and we already talked about postponing the movie event. so i try to make her feel comfortable and talk to her about what is bothering her and say we can see the movie another time b/c that will cut down on the amount of things to do tonite.

    she ends up being really upset and i'm trying to talk to her about what is wrong and to keep it short we get in an argument and now she has left and might come back later but i feel really ****ty now. i just was trying to talk to her about her stressful day and life to help her vent stuff and she just got mad at me about it.

    maybe i'm stupid or something but she told me before she left that the best thing i could have done would have been to give her her space and i should have known that by now.

    this is somewhat of a recurring theme, whenever we try to do anything it always gets messed up.

    i'm hungry, i'm sad, i'm mad, i'm generally upset and having a crappy time right now and i wish it would get better but i don't know.

    end rant.
  2. Pheonix macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2004
    Maybe sometimes that is all you can do. That and be a sounding board. Never know though she might expect you to be a mind reader. GL.
  3. letterbox thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    I should just give her her space when she is upset like that. I guess it is just hard for me to know she is feeling so bad and I can't do anything to help her.

    I don't think she wants me to be a mind reader necessarily, but if I was it would make things easier.
  4. jenniff macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2004
    Is Chicago, is not Chicago!
    Being a girl myself, I think that what you did was good. That sounds like something I might have done — freak out because I'm stressed and I'd know that you would let me do it. Later, I'd feel bad and realize that you were actually being supportive and kind.

    I would have been more upset if you didn't do anything. Then I would have yelled at you for not caring.

    But, I'm not her. Don't be sad or mad though. Just give her space and maybe call her in a few hours, being really nice and apologetic and stuff. And, flattery gets you everywhere. If she gets upset again, pull some kind of flattery. That usually diffuses my mood when I'm bitter and angry.
  5. letterbox thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    Surprisingly enough, when this happens, often she comes around instantaneouly and appologizes and things are better again, sorta like what you said.

    She is off trying to find a bathing suit b/c she babysits kids who want her to swim tomorrow, and she said she (might?) come back afterwards so I'm trying to put together dinner before she returns.

    I try to not be sad or mad or let it get to me b/c I know that for the most part she is just stressed enough to not care about who she is letting her steam out on.

    I'll try flattery, she is generally not one to accept, but every once in a while she does and it feels nice.

  6. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Based on what you wrote, which of course is one sided, it sounds like you two are not communicating well. To have a successful relationship, you will need to work on this. Good communication is key.

    I don't want to sound harsh. However, since you mention that this is "somewhat of a recurring theme", you may want to reconsider your relationship with your GF.

    Good luck!

  7. letterbox thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    You are right, we do have some communication problems. We have been working to try and correct this, however it is a long and at times painful process. We have been together for 2 years, and a month or so ago we took a break for about 2 weeks where we didn't see each other except for at school and treated eachother as friends only while we worked the worst of things out.

    I don't think you are being harsh, we have reconsidered our relationship many times, and I think it is a mutual feeling that if things start to seriously deteriorate or we don't make progress w/our relatonship that we may need to end it. While this is hard to think about and would be an even harder reality, I think we truly love each other enough to know when things are intolerable and when to let each other go.

    Thanks for all the comments.
  8. mr_mac macrumors member


    May 1, 2004
    Quebec, Canada
    Anyway, i never saw a relationship that "took a break" that lasted many many years.

    Tell her how you feel, tell her that you want better communication and you dislike when she doesn't understand you.

    And if she "still" does not understand, get another one!

    Love is hard, but life is harder...

  9. jenniff macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2004
    Is Chicago, is not Chicago!
    What! Get another one, just like that?

    Wow. I don't think she'll "still" not understand if you try to work it out. It just sounds like she gets stressed a lot, and she probably needs to quit her job and find a less stressful job.

    They've been together for two years, I don't think (at least I'd hope) that he'll be able to so callously toss her off and "get another one".
  10. Neserk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2004
    2 things. One it isn't fair that she expects you to be able to read her mind. If she needs space then she needs to say: hey, I need some space, okay?

    Other thing: when females do get around to talking about what is bothering them they want a sympathetic ear, not someone to fix the problem (unless they specifically ask for that). Apparently, men want ot fix problems. It is a communication issue many opposite sex couples face. Not saying you did this, but I thought I'd let you know ;)

    Mostly, I'd take your side simply because of the "you should know this by now" that is expecting mind reading. She needs to (imo) learn to communicate directly what her needs are. (to be alone, in this case).
  11. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004

    Well said!

    I had 2 thoughts on the matter. 1) as above... don't try to fix the problem. If she wants to talk, she will. You listen, don't try to fix. Once you ask "what's wrong, want to talk?" and she says no then it's done... you have done your part, she can come to you to talk if she wants too.

    My second, however, is that it sounds like she is acting pretty selfish. As mentioned above, you should not be expected to read minds. Furthermore, if this was your birthday celebration, then it seems pretty selfish of her to make the evening all about her with a tantrum and storming out the door.

    Just my thoughts, take them as you will. My fiance has bad days, as we all do. When she does she tells me should is not having a great day and would like some space just to think, or veg, etc. Sometimes she only needs 10 minutes, other times 2 hours, but she is quite good at working through her bad moods. If she wants my help, or advice, or opinion, she will ask. I respect her for that, and we don't let a molehill become a mountain. It seems to work for us. I, on the other hand, like to talk things through and "fix the problem" when I am pissed about something. She knows this and is a great sounding board for me when I need it. We communicate well.

    Either way, Happy birthday!
  12. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Obviously, none of us here aside from you (letterbox) knows the whole history between the two of you, and so our advice is based on the few paragraphs that we have been given.

    Knowing that I don't know it all, and assuming that I could be way off here, it just seems to me that maybe she's not where you should expect her to be in this relationship, and maybe that whole "break" might not have lasted long enough - or might not have been destined to end. Knowing that it was a birthday night (movie and dinner), having been together for two years, it just seems odd that she'd pull the whole "you should know this by now" thing. Again, not knowing her, and knowing only what you wrote while upset, and basing it on that possibly biased set of posts, it seems to me that, if the posts were accurate, she isn't happy in the relationship. If she were, I'd expect her to complain to you, expect you not to provide solutions (as mentioned above) and generally just vent, then be happy to go see a show and have dinner. Of course, it's normal for people to get stressed and upset by things. But usually, in a working relationship, most people can put other stress on hold for special occasions, or at least act differently than she did - she ran out of your birthday celebration. If she isn't wondering about your relationship, then I'd have to say that maybe you need to seriously evaluate whether or not this is what you want to deal with long-term. It sounds like it's a recurring thing. It shouldn't be.

    Please don't think that I'm trying to say people should never act stressed around their significant others. I'm not. I'm just saying that this "I need my space" thing probably isn't a good sign if it's habitual. Especially on occasions like tonight was supposed to be.
  13. letterbox thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    Thanks, it turned out Okay. She came back after going out for an hour or so and I had dinner ready and it was alright. She gave me scrabble for my apartment and some vegan jerky and some socks and some magnets she made for me. We didn't really get to talk over the evening though, but maybe tomorrow or sometime, I just hate to leave things hanging. Then we started to watch the behind the scenes of This Is Spinal Tap, but she fell asleep after 30 or 40 minutes and went home an hour or so later. So, it was an alright time just still overshadowed by the previous parts of the evening.

    And to everybody else too, wow, I didn't think I would get this many responses that were so detailed and provided such good insight with what info you read.

    I know we have had problems on and off, and that this is one of them. I don't think either of us really "wants" to reconsider the relationship, but I believe we would both be open to it if it really came to that.

    It seems we can be mad at eachother one moment, and the next (well, not literally) we can be alright again. Does that sound like a big problem? I don't know what else to say about it...

    Also, I guess I have the "man" problem of wanting to fix things...I'll try to act on this advice and just be there for her when she wants it, and the rest of the time I'll be open to her if she decides she wants to talk.

    I don't know if this relationship will last many many years, but I think I do forsee it lasting longer, as in I don't see the end happening too soon unless something really horrible happens or the spread out instances like this don't become more spread out or just almost dissappear, as frequent squabbles don't help anybody.

    At this point in my life, I am 20 now, well I will be in like 40 minutes (whoo), well anyways I don't think I am really necessarily interested in having to have a relationship. I didn't plan to get into this one, my previous relationship was a high school mess and I said that that was the end for me for a while. But then my current partner came into the picture and we became friends and here we are 2 + years later. I don't think I'm one to be able to put this serious of a relationship behind me that quickly, however, I wouldn't hesistate too much to end this relationship if we both weren't happy and couldn't come to a mutually content and loving relationship.

    Again, a thousand thanks to everybody, this community is the greatest. Seriously.
  14. mr_mac macrumors member


    May 1, 2004
    Quebec, Canada
    Happy birthday dude,

    good to hear things worked out!

  15. letterbox thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
  16. jenniff macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2004
    Is Chicago, is not Chicago!
    Glad it worked out for you.

    I apologize on behalf of all females for incessant moodiness, expectation of you being a mind-reader, and other silly things that femmes do. It all works out in the end, though, clearly.

    I'm sure she really appreciated you being so understanding, letting her previous flippant attitude roll off your back. If she fell asleep so quickly, she clearly was also over-tired, which I'm sure contributed to her earlier behaviour.

    Good to hear you have the stick-to-it-iveness that any good relationship requires.
  17. letterbox thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    I do believe she is over-tired, often sadly enough. She babysits in the mornings and then goes to work (publicity assistant at the community college) when they have work for her. She is in way over her head as far as time and mental commitments, she is always busy. She feels that she has to work because she doesn't have money to live off for the Fall semester, and her parents don't have enough money to help her out all the way either. I wish I could help her with this, however, I feel that the best way I can help her is probably to do what many here ahave said, just listen.

    jenniff, no need to appologize for all girls, everyone has good days and bad days. For some, there are good times and bad times that come and go with nature, however we all learn to cope with them. That being said, it isn't always easy being on the other end, but that is no excuse for me, and thanks for your attentiveness to this thread and kind words.
  18. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    definately try and push some better communication between you two
    stay as calm as possible, its hard i know, i have little patience sometimes, if i know that my gf has had a bad day or is pmsing or whatever, i do try and talk to her about it just like you did, but staying calm about her not giving any feedback definately helps. She needs to be comfortable enough with you to say that she doesnt feel like talking about something or that she needs space or whatever. I truely hope it works for you two, i know that my gf and i have been on edge lately (dealing with getting engaged, its stressful) but i think the key to us not fighting is in basic communication, if i need space i say hey i need to go relax, zone out or whatever. it shouldnt be hard for you two to talk things over, and not get upset over it, and then go from there, but it takes both of you. If she is unwilling to try better commuication or if she gets all bent out of shape it would seem to me that she is a bit of a drama-queen then.

    good luck though!
  19. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004

    LOL!... brilliant! I laughed when I saw that, showed it to my fiance, who said now that you had apologized she would never have to!


    Glad it worked out in the end bud... again, enjoy your b-day.

  20. FriarTuck macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2003
    Chicago area
    You haven't tried any of the proven methods for fixing strained bf/gf relationships:

    1. have a kid
    2. buy a puppy
    3. move in together
    4. put yourself in debt to buy each other things
    5. invite bitter single friends out with you a lot
    6. drink/drug
    7. work opposite schedules
    8. focus on each other's physical appearance
    9. compare your relationship to the ones you see on TV
    10. let her go; if it's meant to be, she'll come back

    100 percent money back guarantee.
  21. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    Give yourself a birthday present and drop her like a bad habit. You don't need that, especially on your birthday.
  22. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Does it sound like a problem. YEP!

    Does it sound like you have a stable relationship? Nope!

    Something for you to consider...

    Are you willing to put with this type of behavior pattern the rest of your life (should you proceed to get married)? If not, then it is probably best that you end this relationship yesterday.

    From your description, it sounds like you two live separately. Currently you can get some space from each other. When you are married, this all changes. You never get to go home so to speak. Please consider this point carefully.

    Someone once told me: Men get married to women expecting them not to change, but they do. Women get married to men expecting that they can change them, but they can't. Both can easily end up frustrated unless they understand this.

    Wise words I would say.

    Anyhow, good luck to ya!

    And a Happy B-Day! :D

  23. letterbox thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    Haven't tried any of the method reccomended ;).

    I don't think I'm ready to "drop her like a bad habit".

    I'm committed to the relationship and trying to work out any problems there are, if these problems can't be worked out then it will be time to move on but I won't sell myself short on something I've been a part of for so long (to me).

    Thanks again everyone.
  24. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    HaHa a lot of these challenges have come up in my relationship so far

    1. nope
    2. close enough - fish is all we are allowed to have in our apartments
    3. been living together basically since we started dating
    4. buy each other a LOT of stuff
    5. live with single people
    6. not too much but there are occasinal nites of drunkness
    7. yep school and work definately hard
    8. not too much
    9. no TV here, hard as well
    10. love each other too much to let go

    to Letterbox:

    good luck and i hope everything works our for you two in the end, just remember that you only live once, and you should be happy with everything in your life
  25. Dros macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2003
    My read on the situation is that she was stressed out because she was running late and wasn't going to get the dinner together and decided to play an emotional trump card. Instead of you getting mad you would switch to caregiver mode. But this, of course, just makes her feel worse because now she feels guiltier about not celebrating your birthday properly.

    So, I would say, don't come away from this thinking you have to be a better listener, etc. That wasn't an issue, I suspect. But it sounds like she needs to get past her stress and insecurities caused by that stress. And she needs to figure out how to stop manipulating your good side for bad reasons.

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