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My Girlfriend Throws Tantrums when She Doesn’t Get What She Wants

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From the U.S.: I love my girlfriend but we fight often. She gets upset when we are not on the same page, or if she does not get what she wants. This is about small, non-essential issues, at least to me. From what kind donut to buy to which exit on the freeway to take we fight about.

I tried to talk to her that of course we won’t like the same thing 100% of the time, or one of us might have to compromise for the other therefore one of us might not get what we want 100% of the time. I feel that I’m compromising a lot just to avoid the dramatic tantrums.

She tells me that I can open up and say/do things unfiltered, but when I say something that doesn’t line up with how she would say it, she gets upset. For example, I told her that my brother might ask me for some money for his plane ticket to go home. I told her that I would say no because he’s a grown up, but I expressed that I would feel bad saying no. She got upset because apparently I shouldn’t feel bad. I got a feeling that this conversation will become a full-blown argument, so I told her I’m going to stop talking now.

A few minutes later, I told her that I didn’t like her reaction, that it made me feel like she was minimizing my feelings. I told her that I was just telling her what I was thinking and feeling, and that I just wanted her to listen. I told her that this was the reason why it’s difficult for me to speak my mind because she gets upset.

She acknowledged the situation and we made up. This is the cycle we have when we fight. I say something, then she gets upset, then we argue/don’t speak to each other, then I have to call her out. Sometimes she acknowledges me sometimes she gets more upset. My biggest issue is that the things we argue about are non-essentials; I think the things we fight about is the mundane part of everyday life. She expects me to know everything about her which forces me to read her mind which I am not good at. How do I avoid arguments with her? How do I deescalate? How do I make her feel better?

My Girlfriend Throws Tantrums when She Doesn’t Get What She Wants

Answered by on -

A.

I’m sure this is very frustrating. The question I ask of you is why do you keep fighting with her? A fight takes two people. The way to avoid the fights is to refuse her invitations to do it. Nothing you can say now is new information. What you can do at this point is remind her that you don’t want to fight, but you don’t want to give in all the time either. Just ask her to honor your feelings and do what you think is best.

If this constantly causes an uproar, you may need to rethink this relationship. Your girlfriend seems to think that love means that two people become “one”. They don’t. In a healthy relationship, each person retains their individuality while still doing their best to please the other. The individuality is what makes a relationship rich and what helps each person grow.

I suspect her insistence that you always agree is grounded in some insecurity. It may be that she is afraid that differences mean that you can’t be together. You may be able to give her the reassurance she needs. If not, only you can decide if her other qualities make it worth putting up with her demands for agreement.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

My Girlfriend Throws Tantrums when She Doesn’t Get What She Wants

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). My Girlfriend Throws Tantrums when She Doesn’t Get What She Wants. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/01/28/my-girlfriend-throws-tantrums-when-she-doesnt-get-what-she-wants/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 25 Jan 2019 (Originally: 28 Jan 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 25 Jan 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.