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Author Topic: EVERY argument is leading to a break-up  (Read 419 times)
paperinkart
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« on: June 07, 2021, 11:37:50 AM »

Hi everyone! Hope you’re all doing well

Things have been really tough here the last few days as my partner and I have been in an endless argument cycle for weeks.
I really am trying so hard to “stop the bleeding”- stop arguing no matter what. But then he’ll purposely push my buttons for attention and start arguments just to get a rise out of me. Then will get upset that “all we do is argue”.

I tried to set a boundary yesterday after we had a miscommunication and it ended up in him saying he’s “losing confidence in us” and “all we do is argue and bicker” and that “he doesn’t get excited to see me anymore because of the fighting”.

He knows how much anxiety him saying this brings me. We had a similar argument last week too and it ended the same way- with him threatening to break up. I don’t feel safe have a disagreement with him anymore- and couples don’t always have to agree!

I thought I was fair and calm last night but it still ended up like this. I sent him a long, kind message afterward saying that I wanted to work WITH him and not against him, and that I understood how he was feeling. Of course he didn’t reply and I don’t think he’s going to- at least for awhile.

I just can’t stand this constant cycle of having a few good days together but then it all falling apart. I feel like we’re trapped in this loop and it feels endless and scary and frustrating. We have SO much fun together but I don’t know how to stop these tiny arguments that turn into breakups or near breakups.

How can we disagree and move on with it? How do we stop it from always escalating to break-up territory ALL the time? It’s like the second it gets hard, he’s one foot out the door.

Thanks for listening and any advice is always appreciated
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2021, 05:00:40 PM »

sometimes people need a little bit of drama in their lives. i dont mean to trivialize it; think about it.

fighting is, on some level, connection. if there has been an absence of that, it may make him feel disconnected, it may make him anxious waiting for the other shoe to fall, any number of things.

if he knows that threatening you with a breakup causes you anxiety, its kind of the next best thing.
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Wilyred

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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2021, 08:19:07 AM »

My bf w/ BPD traits does exactly this over the smallest things. For me what has worked is to mentally call his bluff and not be afraid of him. If he wants to break up with you he will and there's nothing you can do about it. It makes no sense to be afraid or try to control it. Unlike past partners I cannot process my feelings or thoughts about the conflicts by talking with him about it. Without being confrontational I understand that there's a chance he could leave and I tell myself what my choices are. I do not take it personally. I validate his feelings respectfully and at the same time gently try to keep it moving. An experience poster said that you really cannot pay them too much mind when they're in the dysregulated state. It's that emotional leadership that you have to display as the strong one.
The first few times he escalated conflicts to break up or near break up saying that he couldn't deal with someone who________, we might as well end things, he's done he's out, were devastating to me as I took them at face value. I then realized he would forget about saying these to Me In the Heat of battle and did not understand how devastating they were to me. I made the choice 2 not be afraid of him and to try to delay distract detach. If he wants to leave, i will say bye. The key is to validate his feelings and to deescalate the situation so that it doesn't get to that level because once it does it gets harder to calm him down and plans can be affected. Getting upset, crying, apologizing, wanting him to listen to your feelings all make it worse.
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paperinkart
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2021, 11:54:04 AM »

My bf w/ BPD traits does exactly this over the smallest things. For me what has worked is to mentally call his bluff and not be afraid of him. If he wants to break up with you he will and there's nothing you can do about it. It makes no sense to be afraid or try to control it. Unlike past partners I cannot process my feelings or thoughts about the conflicts by talking with him about it. Without being confrontational I understand that there's a chance he could leave and I tell myself what my choices are. I do not take it personally. I validate his feelings respectfully and at the same time gently try to keep it moving. An experience poster said that you really cannot pay them too much mind when they're in the dysregulated state. It's that emotional leadership that you have to display as the strong one.
The first few times he escalated conflicts to break up or near break up saying that he couldn't deal with someone who________, we might as well end things, he's done he's out, were devastating to me as I took them at face value. I then realized he would forget about saying these to Me In the Heat of battle and did not understand how devastating they were to me. I made the choice 2 not be afraid of him and to try to delay distract detach. If he wants to leave, i will say bye. The key is to validate his feelings and to deescalate the situation so that it doesn't get to that level because once it does it gets harder to calm him down and plans can be affected. Getting upset, crying, apologizing, wanting him to listen to your feelings all make it worse.

Thank you very much! Sharing your experience is really helpful. I did message him yesterday after he said those things because this week is actually a really hard week for us (about something else, not the argument) and I wanted his support.

He responded kindly but I haven’t heard anything since yesterday afternoon. I feel like he’s definitely detaching himself from me and I’m still feeling extremely anxious about it.

Based on your experience, can I ask how do you solve a conflict in this state? Are you able to set and enforce boundaries when needed? Do you get to tell him if he’s done something upsetting for you? I love my partner very much but I also need to respect myself and feel like I can’t put my own feelings on hold all the time.

Is there a healthy and safe way to do this? Thanks!
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Wilyred

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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2021, 10:36:54 PM »

What exactly is it you want to tell him? For me I cannot just say "I'm feeling taken for granted" or my negative feelings. I have to process that part on my own and get to the action request. My bf loves me and wants me to be happy but I must make a clear request for him to start stop or continue doing something. What is it you ultimately want? If it's more time, I ask for that. Usually it's hugs, gentleness, and listening though listening is not possible when he's activated. I've noticed "parallel play" can help us get over things, just physically being in the same room side-by-side even if we're not interacting helps to normalize things. Mine is a leaver, and hangs up, then returns and calls back, sometimes over and over. If he gets really activated it is a good three days until he's back to Baseline. Even the first day he will apologize and attempt reconciliation but the minute I share negative feelings it sends him spiraling again. I've seen on here that it is important to let them soothe themselves and normalize themselves. When he is finally calm and not feeling rejection sensitivity we can problem-solve if we are both able to be vulnerable. During the times he is most activated, I reassure him that I am here and I still want to be in a relationship and I can see he is feeling blamed for everything right now and it would really suck to feel like everything's your fault. It's almost like emotional Jujitsu, they hurl all that negative energy at you and you just move so you are standing next to them and watch it crash into the ground, Neutrally observing the energy like lightning "wow that was a big one." Bringing him back to the present to the Here and Now works well also. "Your hand was hurting earlier does it still hurt?"
Later on I can address the issue indirectly or with humor making a statement based on my values and most of the time I can get through to him. I have to be extremely thoughtful and Direct in my communication which is difficult, but it is the work of codependency recovery.
It is a lot of effort but it's also way less effort then having your feelings hurt all the time in having your self-esteem worn away. You have to make sure that you are doing what you want to do with your life. I am far from perfect and this past weekend I got worn down and really lost it and yelled at him at him making it clear I would be ready and willing to walk away if necessary. It really really hurt him but also let him know I am serious about letting him go if he leaves. This is one of the consequences because of his behavior. Mine knows he has an issue with acting crazy with losing his temper and wants to change which gives me hope.
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Sappho11
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Relationship status: Broken up (fortunately)
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2021, 10:19:14 AM »

I had the exact problem with my now-ex (we broke up exactly five weeks ago). It's eerie, had I found this board two months ago, I would probably have described the situation in exactly the same words.

What I wish I had known then: The only viable course of action is to stop giving so much weight to what he does and says, and take control of what you yourself do. Ideally, that would have involved:

- Not engaging in silly arguments, but walking away, especially when he rages
- Not accepting him transgressing my boundaries, but sticking to them firmly (this includes not apologising to him when it's him who is in the wrong)
- Focusing on myself and trying to find emotional support from people other than him, not relying on him to be there for me (because he's clearly unable to)

I also agree with Wilyred, crying, apologising etc. all make things worse. I wish I had had knowledge of this two months ago.

As for naming specific requests -- be aware that doing so might provoke a break-up. I'm not one of the people who say "well then it was for the best", so proceed with caution.

My final request to my ex-boyfriend was that we see one another twice a week and that he text me once a day. It was as low as I could lower my standards. He refused, and that was that.

I hope you're luckier.
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Wilyred

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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2021, 12:08:23 AM »

Hey there I definitely hear you about not making too many requests and to be careful about what they are. Mine does not like ultimatums and would break up with me if I issued one. After reading these boards I can see an ultimatum put him in a no-win situation and like a stubborn little kid he would just throw down his toys and go home. to keep it simple if I can, and say "I do want to go tonight I'll pick you up at 7."
I did ask him for more time once and he reacted badly, feeling like he did not have enough time to go around to the important people in his life and felt like a failure. A week or two later he started to schedule more time... mine only has traits and is high functioning. For me it's understanding his point of view in a conflict and that he always feels verbally attacked by me even though I'm not attacking him. If I hold the course and not get distracted by all the defensive bs he brings up I can see the other side and make it there to resolution. Then call it resolved and find something to praise about his role.
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blackorchid
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2021, 12:49:36 AM »

Willyred thank you for such great advise and wisdom in this thread. I can see so many similarities with my partner here too. Now I see that when I told him to stop drinking/smoking/begging he saw that as an ultimatum which led to him dysregulated. He left the house almost 3 weeks ago and I’ve been lost to what to do. You’re right we have to focus on ourselves.
Paperinkart have you heard anything from him since you messaged him?
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syndee

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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2021, 10:25:55 PM »

- Not engaging in silly arguments, but walking away, especially when he rages
- Not accepting him transgressing my boundaries, but sticking to them firmly (this includes not apologising to him when it's him who is in the wrong)
- Focusing on myself and trying to find emotional support from people other than him, not relying on him to be there for me (because he's clearly unable to)


I've been doing the second two things and it only made him dig in to the fight.  I just read about the first, so I did that recently - just kind of looked at him intently when he was going on about what I did and not arguing.  It somehow excalated things and now I've been given the silent treatment.

I was going to start a new post titled something about squabbling.  That's how I'd describe our stupid arguments.  Even my friends noticed we were squabbling constantly and I could never figure out why.  I kept using logic - what do you mean I never called you all evening, there's an outgoing call at 8pm. then he says he doesn't believe me, I insist I called, then he has to check his phone, then he says something was wrong with the phone, then well maybe yesterday you called but not the previous week, what are you talking about, three times last week you didn't call me , etc etc. ... 

I would tell him I never had these experiences with anyone else.  If I said to a friend, why didn't you call, then they said they called at 8pm, I'd go, "oh, ok."   I'd say to him, just listen to me and go, oh ok, once in a while..... 

If not that kind of thing, the argument was, "how come you.....". 
How come you spend all that time with friend A and none with me.  I do spend time with you.  Not as much as with friend. (This starts the squabble) But I see her only once a month. You saw her two weeks ago.  It wasn't two weeks, it was at least a month.. (then it moves into bean counting...)
How come you said you were too busy with work to talk to me but I saw you websurfing? I was just taking a break.  You'd rather read about the kardashians than talk to me, I know where I fall on your importance list...(primed for squabble)

 I wish I would have realized it's better not to argue.  But it's hard when I know the things he's saying are not quite accurate. 
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