Question: Dear Luise: I am 24 and have only ever been with my current boyfriend. We have been together for 3.5 years and are now currently living together. We’ve been living together now for three months and on a good week we only have one explosive fight. We have always had an argumentative relationship and argue at least once a week. The arguments are now bigger than ever, huge, and most often result in either him or I being in tears. I feel myself picking at him and picking fights to feel some sort of twisted satisfaction. Sometimes our fights whether started by me or him get so explosive that he winds up punching the wall, kicking the car or throwing things and then breaking down into uncontrollable tears. I don’t know why I do this. I love him but at times I don’t know, this is the only relationship I have been in and I have nothing to compare it to so I am always confused and scared about what I should do. Sometimes things are good between us, and he is not a bad guy and I do care deeply for him and it is those few good times that I hold onto as I am so afraid if I left it would be so much emotionally harder for me than what it is now. Please help me I am so desperately confused. T.
Answer: Dear T.: You are a very perceptive and honest person to see that sometimes you are baiting your guy and enjoying it.
It’s time to go back to the drawing board. A combative relationship takes way too much energy and produces tons of grief. When you abuse another, you also abuse your self. Talk with him and let him know that you want to work through it but you both need help. Live separately for a while and get counseling.
There are marriages out there that last a lifetime based on “sometimes things are good between us.” That’s not good enough. Blessings, Luise