My boyfriend keeps picking fights with me.

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My boyfriend of 8 years has started acting out of charater lately.He is ALWAYS picking a fight with me about issues that are over 7 years old.His perception is sooo out of whack. He is so depressed. It is like he has a second person living in his head now. He is a very kind and wonderful man and I have been lucky to have,but since this depression set in he is just mean all the time. Can I help him? Is there a way to tell him he has a problem ( medical problem) I really don’t want to leave him but I can not live this way any longer. He has been like this since he moved back home 3 years ago.And it is just getting worst.thank you for whatever help you can provide.

A: It’s always a good idea to check with a doctor when there is a major mood change, especially if there is no new stress. But this started when your boyfriend moved back “home”. I’m assuming this means back into his parents’ home. He may be experiencing a mid-life reconsideration. Here he is in his 40s and living with his parents. Is he looking at his life and wondering if it’s enough? Is care of aging parents a burden he can’t manage? Is he feeling angry or resentful of his situation? Maybe he feels bad because he can’t offer you much and is pushing you away. These are the kinds of issues I’d want to explore if the two of you came to my office. I can’t figure it out on the basis of your letter, of course. What I can tell you is that the fighting isn’t getting you anywhere but talking might. Have a loving talk with your man about what is bothering him so much that he would rather fight with you than deal with it. If the two of you can’t get to the bottom of it, please consider seeing a couples therapist to save your relationship.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 May 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). My boyfriend keeps picking fights with me.. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/06/my-boyfriend-keeps-picking-fights-with-me/