Question: Dear Luise: My bf and I tend to argue a lot, but we seem to be able to get through most of it. We’re both really strong willed people, and it’s taken some time to realize one of us has to give in, because going 50/50 just isn’t going to happen. I do believe he’s extremely selfish with this, however just to end the argument, I will take the hit to whatever it was that I brought up in the first place. Our main problem stems from something else though, what happens after the argument. We find that we both need something completely different and it’s putting a huge gap in between us. After we argue or fight, we take some time to get over it. We made an agreement recently that if he needs all day to get over something, the one thing he is supposed to do is before we go to bed, kiss me and tell me he loves me so that while we may still be feeling at odds, the question of love is never in doubt (he can hit below the belt with a lot of his remarks during an argument, and never apologize so sometimes the ferocity of it can make me question exactly where I stand in his life). He has a problem with doing this, as he says he doesn’t want to be fake about it, that he wants the feelings to be genuine. Ok, I can understand that, but the longer he lets me sit and feel so bad after everything he just said, the worse it gets with each passing day as well as the longer it takes for me to feel better about it. If we fight in the morning, I expect that even if he’s held onto it all day, at the end of the night before we go to bed he will at least clear up that one issue so that while there may be hard feelings, the want to get past it is there as well as love that he has. We don’t really have a middle ground for arguments. He either listens and tries to see it from my point of view, or he refuses and becomes hostile. It’s usually the latter. I try to come across as calmly as possible, but I know he still feels I’m attacking him regardless. I’d like some advice as what to do about our time dilemma after the argument turned fight. The time he needs to take kills me, and it seems like that time gets longer and longer each argument we have. E.
Answer: Dear E.: You both get credit from my point of view for hanging in there and not giving up. That said, how it looks to me is that you are locked in a power struggle and your guy is winning. You give in more and more often and his pouts are getting longer and longer. If you thrived on the adrenalin rush that would be one thing but it’s breaking your heart. And you know whenever you have to ask someone to say, “I love you,” it’s a lost cause.
When you can, take your claws out of each other, shake hands and move on. Blessings, Luise