I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 14 months now. During our relationship we’ve been back and forth a lot, mainly because it’s his first relationship (even though he’s in his late 20’s) and had a lot of insecurities. He broke it off once with me because we had been fighting a lot, mainly because I created arguments because I didn’t feel like he was in the relationship like he was supposed to be. He told me he wasn’t 100% sure that he was in love, and he said that he wasn’t whole heartedly in the relationship anymore. 3 weeks after we broke up he came back and said that he was sure about how he felt about me, and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me because he was miserable when we were apart. Since then we’ve had a good relationship up until recently. He lost his job and is very stressed out and nervous because of it. He is always moody, snaps easily, and has no understanding for my wanting to talk things out and be understood when arguments come up. When I try to peace things out in a caring and loving manner he gets angry and says that he hates how we have to drag things out all the time. I try to explain to him that I want reassurance that he really wants to be here this time and the conversations become longer because I’m waiting to hear something reassuring from him while all he does it get angry and try to brush me off. He tells me he wants me to be his wife one day, that he wants to have a family with me and that he’s in love with me, yet I don’t feel it. I don’t know if it’s just from his moods or not, but I am scared that he is only saying this because he’s afraid to hurt me again. When he is in a good mood he is more loving and caring, but that almost never happens anymore. When he got angry yesterday he said that our arguments makes him doubt whether he wants to do this for the rest of his life, and it broke my heart. Should I leave him be when he gets in his moods or am I right in wanting to be reassured without having him get mad?
Thank you for writing us. The thing that jumps out at me from your letter is that you’re not honoring your own feelings. You said very clearly that in the middle of all of his moods you really don’t feel loved by him. That’s important and I would honor that truth. If you’re not feeling it, and he’s not doing anything to change it, then you need to talk about your feelings in the relationship, not just his.
It seems like the work in front of you is to decide if there’s enough in the relationship as it is for you to stay.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Boyfriend Is Quick to Anger. Psych Central.
Retrieved on September 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/06/15/boyfriend-is-quick-to-anger/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.