I have been with a boyfriend for six months now and I have come to learn he runs very hot and cold. One minute we are all lovey dovey, and the next minute he will get mad at me for something very silly and will completely shuts down. We are talking like a three-day silent treatment here.
I tried to talk to him about it but he always says “I have always been this way and I am trying my best.” I am finding myself stuffing down my own feelings and apologizing for things I dont feel I should just to keep the peace. How can we move us toward a better relationship in the future?
Dear Katy Perry a la “Hot and Cold,”
What a nightmare situation. I used to have a bad habit of blowing up when faced with a situation I was not happy with… But I suppose I was at least SAYING SOMETHING, albeit very loudly.
Okay so obviously the first thing to do is to communicate and try to resolve the issue – which it sounds like you have already done, and the response you got sounds like it was little better than a “I’m sorry for the turbulence” announcement at the end of a rocky flight…
My guess is that he was on the defense. Anytime you approach anyone, it could be your kids, wife, mother, father, teacher, librarian (or whatever) with a sentiment of “We have a problem here and it’s YOUR BEHAVIOR,” you unwittingly put them on the defense. So let’s find a way to soften the edges and try again.
We are going to put your boyfriend’s needs and actions aside for a minute and talk about what YOU want in an ideal relationship. What kind of relationship do you want in an ideal world? Honest? Open? Safe? Comfortable? Easy? AWESOME! Now it’s important to remember that those good qualities in that great relationship must be fostered! A lot of people believe that if they find the “RIGHT ONE” that they won’t need to do any work on the relationship and they would be wrong wrong wrong.
In expressing your disatisfaction with his behavior in your previous conversation, you boyfriend might have been a bit on the defense. So instead of pointing out what is wrong, we are going to use those wonderful qualities of our perfect relationship that we came up with in the last paragraph and enroll him into a vision of how wonderful the relationship can be! (DO THIS WHEN YOU ARE BOTH IN A GOOD MOOD. That is key.)
Maybe you can say something like:
“Baby I love you so much… and I want to be able to tell you anything and still feel love from you cause I love you so much! I know the conflict is uncomfortable for you as well but I think we can work it out… Do you have any ideas about how we BOTH (say both) could be more open honest and loving to one another with out upsetting each other?”
If you approach him from a place of love and enroll him into a positive vision for the future the outcome will probably be a lot different and he may even appreciate how much thought you are putting into the future of your relationship.
Now if he responds like a jerk to THIS. Make like Beyonce and proclaim “to the left to the left” because he will have just showed himself incapable of being a cooperative component in the wonderful relationship you deserve.
Follow Aidan Park on social media at Facebook/Instagram/Twitter @AidanParkShow and check out his upcoming comedy shows on his website AidanPark.com. Want Aidan to give you advice? Contact him via social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org.