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    How do I get him to talk about this or is it over
    An_258600 posted:
    So Ive been in this relationship for about a year & a half now & we got a dog from the pound to add to our other animals. The dog was probably right at 6mths old & we have been having problems with her eating & just beeing very clingly (she wont eat real good unless we hand feed her or are right there watching her & well we just cant do that all the time) My boyfriend was trying to toughing her up cause he thought she was to "soft"(says pit bulls are not supose to be soft) wolud get mad at her for acting clingly & tail between her legs & not eating & slam her in the cage. Well this has been going on now for lil over a month now.
    I came home from my clinicals this past Friday afternoon let her outside to go to the bathroom. Threw the ball around with here a lil bit then went inside to change out of my scrubs & let her stay outside for a lilttle bit to get out of the house. Well in the span of 20 mins she destroyed 2 of my plants that I had been growing for years. One was about 3yrs old & the other little over a year that I had brought back to life that was from last year when my boyfriends father had died, so I knew (or at least I thought I knew from the way he acted when his father died last year) that that plant meant something special.
    I freaked out because I knew(again at least I though I did) that he would be upset) I thought he was going to be upset because of a comment about another one of our plants that I have had for 15 years & that he has tended to that he loves & said if she ever did anything to that one she was going back to the pound. All I could do was cry. I text him at work & told him what happened & that his fathers plant was destroyed & that I wanted to take her back. The last text he sent me was TAKE HER BACK. So I gathered her things up & took her back to the pound. This is where things get weird.
    When I picked him up from work at 545p, I could tell he was upset. so the ride home was silent. Got home & he went straight to the room. Aftter a few mins he came out, said he would be back was going to get his hair cut. When he got back like around 7p, he threw some money at me said theres rent & went back to our room. I of course followed & asked him to please tell me why he was acting like this towards me. He then proceded to scream in my face that he gave two s**ts about the plants & that his dad was a piece of s**t & some other things I cant remember. I didnt say anything else just walked out.
    We didnt speak for the rest of Friday evening & I slept on the couch, I had clinicals again Saturday 7a-3p. He didnt text me all day like he usually does. When I got home my son said he had been in the bedroom all day & hadnt said anything to him only came out to get something to drink every now & then. Later that eve before I went to bed(again on the couch) I just had to ask him where we stood. He said that he didnt even want to speak to me or be in the same room as me & that I was the most evil person he knew. Also that we would never be the same. We got up this morning(Sun) got ready for work, currently we work at the same place, & another silent car ride. When we got there he gets out the car, walks so far ahead of me & lets the door to the building just slam in my face.
    I dont understand why he would tell me to "take her back" if he was going to turn this all around on me. He could have easily texed just wait till I get home I we can talk about it or something like that, I dont know. I just know Im not an evil person. If this is his ticket out, why cant he just tell me?? Please Some Help or Advise on what I should of should not do with this situation. Thanks!
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
    Clearly something has triggered him to get this upset. It's often helpful in situations like this to ask yourself if you saw any sign of something being wrong before this incident, and if you have any sense of what might be wrong. Perhaps there is some clue of what's going on that you are not looking at? Has he ever acted this way in the past? Is there is problematic history between him and his father that this might have triggered? Any history of him having pets that might be related to his response?

    In any case, to guide how much time and energy you are willing to put in to work this through, it is wise to consider the length of your relationship and how solid it's been until this point. Consider how long you are willing to wait this out until he's calm enough to talk more about the situation. If he has a pattern of this kind of behavior, you'll need to address this situation and the ongoing pattern (assuming you want to continue the relationship). Even if it's not a pattern, it is still generally important for couples to treat each other with respect even when upset with each other, so you'll probably want to address this at some point.

    I wish you well in working this through with him.
    dfromspencer responded:
    Wow, your "BOY"friend is very petulant, isn't he? If you ask me, he sounds like a little boy that can't have his way?! At least that, is how it comes across to me?

    If i were you, i would ignore him till he begs your forgiveness!!!

    Your "boy"friend is the type that can never have an everlasting love. At least not that i can see! He needs to grow up and stop putting everything off on everyone else! He needs to stop acting like a spoiled child! He needs to act like a man!

    Sorry, you asked for advise, and i tell you how i see your boyfriend?! Well, the first part is right; you need to ignore him! When he acts like this, tell him that, when you act like an adult, maybe we could talk about this, rationally?

    The second thing i would do if i were you is; set him down, tell him how you feel about him, how you see your future with him, and then ask him to help you make a wonderful marriage? Tell him you cannot make it a successful marriage if he doesn't help, not all by yourself, and that, you feel as if you have to, when he acts like a spoiled brat! O.k., not like a spoiled brat, but as an unhelpful partner? Stress the helpful PARTNER part!!!

    If he is a man, he will want to help you make this a successful "PARTNERSHIP"?! I just hope he isn't one of those "broken guys" women feel they need to fix? If he is, leave now, while you still have a chance?!

    Other than all that, i wish you a successful relationship with this guy!!!

    Remember this, if you need more help, re-read what Dr. Leslie has written, she is an ace at this?!!!

    Good luck!

    An_258600 replied to Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD's response:
    He never knew his father. Maybe only met him twice in his 38 yrs of his life & one of those times was on his death bed.When he passed you would have thought he knew him his whole life the way he cried but maybe that was just regretful crying, Im not sure. We had 1st met in similar situations because my father was dying too but I knew my dad, only it had been many years since I had seen him because of a falling out between us.
    As far as a pattern of this kind of behavior, now that I look at it I could say yes for quite a few of our arguments. Its like he just shuts down I doesnt want to address the issue & will not talk to me(which I think is important) & just ignores me for days. I know everyone is different but I always thought when you are in a relationship you should at least speak to one another especially when there is problems & especially when you live together. He says I think that everything has to be MYWAY(speaking about me). Thats why he doesnt want to waste time talking .It does feel like that sometimes because I handle so much of everything. Bills, the bank account, cooking, cleaning, & school. I try to talk to him but lik I said he just shuts down. This situation with the dog was no different.
    He actually started speaking to me today a little, I didnt want to push my luck though & bring up this matter with what just happened because I know his GOLDEN RULE is to "let it go & forget" but I know he doesnt forget, he holds things over my head. He still brings things up from past arguments. Ones that I tried to sit with him & resolve & he just says drop it its over with. So why do you bring it back months later to make it an issue?
    I have a friend who is willing to get the dog back for me but I dont know if I should. Im not sure if that would make this better or worse. I know thats not the problem here. Its alot of underlying issues. I just dont know how to get him to open up when there is problems.
    rohvannyn responded:
    My gut says (and I recognize I may be wrong) that he said to return the dog in a fit of emotion, now regrets it, doesn't want to admit he regrets it, and blames you for it because he doesn't want to face his own feelings. Whether you stay or not depends on how much effort you want to put into saving things.

    You could say something like "I understand you may regret telling me to put the dog in the pound. If you want me get her back I'm willing to do that. But there are deeper problems that we have to learn to communicate about if this relationship is going to work."

    Next time he holds something over your head, I wonder what he'd do if you reminded him of his "let go and forget" rule.

    I wish you luck and I hope he grows up soon. I can tell you it's not easy to do but it's possible.
    dfromspencer replied to An_258600's response:
    Wow, even Roh sees how your BOYfriend is childlike in your relationship?! He has to have everything his way, or he tunes you out! I can see how hard it would be to communicate with someone like this? He keeps putting his fingers in his ears and sings the Na-Na song. He doesn't want to listen to you, he only wants you to feel bad, or guilty over something?!

    His "Golden Rule" is for his use only? "let it go, then forget it"? How could anyone put up with these types of people? One way would be ignore him, or tell him to grow up first, then we will talk. Better yet, tell him to see a therapist and get this out of your system, or i will be forced to walk away from you!! He had no father figure in his life, so, this stands to reason as to why he acts like a child?! He never had an adult male show him how to be a man, a real man?! Tragic! It is just so sad!

    If he did have an adult male figure in his life, he failed to imprint what a man should act like, on his brain? He needs lessons!!!

    I hope he grows up fast, he has an excellent woman in his life right now, and he is about to blow it!!! You must be a very patient person?

    Good luck!!!

    rohvannyn replied to dfromspencer's response:
    Nice one, Dennis... Even I can see he's acting like a child, and I'm usually so clueless! Kidding, kidding, I know you didn't mean it that way.

    To the original poster, I sincerely hope you find a solution to this. It can't be easy, and I applaud you for trying to find a solution instead of just saying "so long, loser."

    To everyone in the community, have any of you seen a childlike adult actually mature and become capable of making more adult decisions? I'm working on that myself, working on giving up my childish habits. It feels strange and foreign at times and it's not easy. So I wondered what other's experiences were. I'm not trying to hijack the thread, but perhaps the original poster might benefit from finding success stories and perhaps the strategies used to cause them.

    'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
    dfromspencer replied to rohvannyn's response:
    Hi Roh, thanks, i think?

    I myself had to do that, grow up, accept the fact that i had responsibilities. That isn't what destroyed my marriage, but if we had stayed together any longer, my wife would have left me! I didn't do this that often, but usually once or twice a month i would cash my paycheck and head to the bar for some much needed refreshments, and playing a few games of pool. The problem was that; i would always end up trying to close the bars down at 2am.?

    What wife would put up with that? There were times i would get so sloshing drunk i had to sleep in the car, or where ever i happened to be? Yeah, no, that flew over like a lead balloon, i can tell you! We had so many arguments over that! So, when the time came, i told her i think i need to take a break, find myself again? Well, to my surprise she said why wait? Being as i was then, i totally agreed! I packed up my things i could carry in the van, told the kids i loved them, and that this had nothing to do with them. Said see ya to the wife, and left for home/well, once was home?

    I actually tried to get myself back to responsible. I got a job, saved my money, then told my dad i was off to other dwellings. I bought a nice new/sat a long time on sales lot, mobile home. It was a good price, of coarse with the economy as it was then, I pretty much robbed them on that mobile home? About five months after settling in, the wife calls and asks me if i would like to have the kids? I asked her full time? Yes. I was shocked, said cool, and went back to Colo. Spgs., she rented a huge Ryder truck, and i got all the new furniture we had just bought before i left, and the kids of course, and went home!

    We lived in that trailor for two more years when the wife asked if i wanted to come back home there? I was shocked to say the least, but we accepted. When we got out there, the wife asked if i would like to buy a house there with her? I said yes, of course as this was my favorite place on earth?! We were, wait a minute? Oops!!!

    I am giving my autobiography here, eh? Sorry, i slewed off topic, kinda? I was getting around to the question in a round about way. Sorry!

    It was drinking again right away, it was partly her fault, but all mine when you think about it?! I was still acting like a child, and i was almost thirty? That was when i knew i had to change, or forever be a child?

    It took some concentration, but i finally made it?! I concentrated on family first. Everything i did alone, or even with the wife, i concentrated on their needs above mine. I concentrated on giving all of my free time to them. It is those little things we want to still keep to ourselves, that little touch of childhood, or we lose our past. So, there were some things i still had to do by myself, or with one of my buddies, but it was kept at that. Once i got home, i was father and husband too the max! Even when i played with my kids, it was still their needs over mine, and i think that has a lot to do with being an adult?! You have to put your needs in perspective, of course, but you get what i'm getting at, i'm sure?!

    That is what being an adult is to me! I put family first and foremost, and then me! However, when i am here alone, which is most of my time, i can do as i please, am i right? To an extent, yes!

    We have to grow up sometime, and when you marry, have kis, they have to come first!!!

    Thanks for bearing with me. Again, i am so sorry for the autobio!!!


    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to rohvannyn's response:
    Yes, Roh, I have -- with time and effort.
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD replied to An_258600's response:
    No one can make someone else else open up and address problems in a more mature way. You can ask. You can suggest. You can help to guide him. If he resists, you might suggest couple therapy for the two of you. And, all along the way, you can decide if you want to be in a relationship with someone who acts as he does. Everyone makes different decisions about how to handle these situations, so there's no single way to proceed. People generally find it helpful to really pay attention to and consider the signals they receive and to what their "gut" tells them.

    Also, when people see a pattern of a particular problematic behavior, it often helps to focus on the pattern rather than just the most current incident -- otherwise, they get through the incident, only to find similar situations repeatedly happening.

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