I wanted some outsiders thoughts...We had a very eventful night last night that was just one big fight ....and I wanted to know what to make of it...
I love and care about my boyfriend a great deal. Like I have posted before we have known each other for 4 years, dated off and on. Anyways, he works in construction and barely makes enough money to pay the bills. He struggles immensly with finances. He has confided in me that he and his family have been poor all his life. I understad this and would NEVER hold it against him. I'm not with him for his money!
So, he gets up every morning at 5 and works construction/welding in 100 degree weather all day. (We're in the south and the summers here are rediculous!) I can't imagine how tiring and stressful this must make a person. Especially, after busting your butt to only make a minimum amount of money. Well anyway, on to the fight...
Last night I made his favorite meal and had him come over. The entire time he is there he acts a little weird and seems to be more edgy than normal. I didn't really think to much of this untill I got out of the shower later that night. (I was getting ready to go out to a movie with him) While I am blow drying my hair he comes back there and starts tickling me and making faces at me in the mirror and then says some smart*** comment about how long of a shower I took. So, jokingly I turn the blow dryer towards him and didn't realize how close he was to me, he then shakes his head and kinda grabs my shoulders and says "don't do that I hate heat on my face". That caught me off guard and my eyes got huge and the only thing I could come up with to say was "oh get over it". Then he could tell my attitude changed drastically and he trys to play around with me and make me smile. So, we leave and head on to the movie.
The entire time in the car he is bitching about everything under the sun and continues to go on about my long shower. I could just see in his eyes how irritated he was, he was just being mean to me! He kept touching me and I wasn't very receptive because I was scared. We come to a stoplight and I ask him what really is the matter and he says "I'm sorry I'm just so tired and I hate working so hard to only get paid what I do, I feel like a failure and I feel pathetic because I can't even get my car fixed". He said, "he was tired of climbing this hill and then being knocked down again and that he has worked so hard his entire life and has nothing to show for it". He has said these things before to me, and I just sit and let him talk and I rub his arm or hand or something. Sometimes, thats all people need is just someone to listen ya know? Or so I thought.
Well, we get to the movie and he is fidgety the entire time. Finally I ask him if he was ok and he answers, "yeah, my back is hurting". Well, next thing I know...he is fast asleep! He slept through half of the movie. That didn't bother me at all though. When we get back into the car he just sits there for a minute looking flustered and kinda sad. He asks me what I wanted to do and I said "well, I guess just take me home since you are so tired and need to go to sleep." (he told me on the drive over there that he wasn't going to stay out so late tonight because he needed to get up early to call this place about a loan) We were still sitting in the parking lot at this point and there were some other people around being really loud and obnoxious and it made me laugh and I said "those drunk *****". He looked at me and said, "I don't even want to know what you were like before we dated...you were wild weren't you". I said, "What are you talking about" and he said, "what did you used to hang out over there or something". After that remark I let me purse that was in my lap fall to the floorboard and I sighed and just looked out the window.
We were still sitting there and so I got bored and started watching those people and he says "do you want me to take you over there or something"? That really ****** me off so I replied, "yes, you know what, please do". Finally, he cranks the car up and we drive off. He notices me looking out the window about in tears and he askes me whats wrong. I said, "nothing". He then tries touching me and rubbing my leg and stuff and I was not at all receptive. Finally he yanks his hand away and grunts. I said, "whats your problem now"? and he answers me, "I'm sorry about earlier, I just woke up and I'm tired and droggy and I'm trying to love on you and you won't even look at me and you act like you don't want me to touch you". I said, "well after how you have treated me tonight, I really don't know what to do or say...you scared me". He said, "I'm sorry...I told you I'm just so tired and I'm tired of the other **** going on in my life right now...I made 509 dollars this week and 460 of it goes to bills...do you realize that would have left me with 49 bucks for spending money to come see you..I wouldn't have been able to see you unless my mom loaned me what she did". I was just looking at him and he continued on, "I have told you that I get in these moods and I just wanted you to be cheerful and happy...and all I wanted to hear you say was that everything was going to be ok and that you loved me". He said, "he knew he was being an a** that he was sorry and doesn't mean to treat me that way" We made up I guess and so, everything got quiet for the rest of the ride untill we get close to my house....
He says, "what do you want to do". I said, well I guess just take me home so you can go get some rest". He said, "well I don't want to ruin your night by taking you home". I said, "No, don't worry about it". He just drives right past my turn and continues on. I thought, oh ok then he's taking me back to where he is staying at right now and we'll just hang out there. Well, he drives right past that too. I didnt say anything I just sat back. About 5 minutes later he says "are you horny". I wip my head around and said "excuse me?" He says, I just asked you a question. I said "are you serious?". I don't know why it upset me so much but I said, "this makes since now..you only made up with me so we could have sex and thats why you are just driving out into the blue". He laughed and said "actually no, I was only going to do something to you..I don't even care to have sex tonight". He said, "I was only driving to drive because I felt like driving if you wanted me to go back then you should have said something". He then finds the next road and turns around on it headed back. Things were quiet for a bit again....
He speaks up and says, "I'm sorry I think I just need to go home and go to bed". I said, "fine...ok". He thens preceeds to ask me, "What are you going to do tonight". I said, "I don't know I will probably go out". He said, "with who"? I didnt and wouldn't answer him and he said "well have fun and don't do it just to get back at me". I said, "I don't work that way". He replies, "well I don't work the way you thought I did back there about driving out here". Trying to think of something to say to smooth over things I said "why is it that when we are good we are really good but when we are bad we are terrible". He answered, " I don't know...but will you stay the night with me..I want to wake up and see you next to me in the morning or is that a bad idea"? I said, "well why don't you stay with me instead" He said," yes of course" and things seemed better after that.
We pulled into my driveway and I reached over and grabbed his hand and said "hey things are going to be ok...why don't you check into that other job you were thinking about"? He said, "well I have a few other jobs lined up but I will NOT take them beacuse they will keep me on the road and I'm not going to stay away from you. I looked away and he said, "hey it's not because I know YOU don't want to be away from me, it's beacuse I don't want to be away from YOU. I couldnt stand it." I said, "I would never ask you to do that...it's not fair..you have to make a living". He said, "it would mean more money but I wouldn't be any happier because it would ruin us, no amount of money is worth loosing you"
So, that was the end of the night but it sure was a hellofa one! My problem is...I can completely understand being tired and that putting you in a bad mood but did he take it TOO far???
Last edited by littleone314; 08-27-2005 at 03:37 PM.
Boy, this sure sounds like a tough one. He sounds really hard to get along with. It seems like when he's in a bad mood, he takes it out on you, and feels justified in doing so, thinking that a simple "you know I'm just in a bad mood, don't take it personally" will fix everything. I think you both need to leran to communicate a little more effectively. Clamming up and silently staring out the window and saying "nothing" when he asks what's wrong will not fix anything, either. What do you think about just telling him straight up "I know you're going through a hard time right now, and I know you get in bad moods, as we're all allowed to do, but I feel as though you take it out on me, saying things that hurt me and nothing I say is right." As Dr. Phil says, discuss the issues, not the topic. In this instance, the topic was the drunk people in the parking lot and him accusing you of being wild in your younger days and suggesting that you weren't such a "nice girl." The issue was he was hurting and in a bad mood and felt like being mean, and expressed his frustration inappropriately. Good luck to you.
I just wanted to add something here....the J O B situation is a bigger factor than you might think. TRUST ME.
I've been through hell because my exBF has not been able to work for a year and a half due to an auto accident. Even though your BF is able to work, the point is the level at which a man is able to provide for his family, SO, even himself is probably one of the biggest measurable self worth values there is.
I saw my Dad go from a loving husband and father to a withdrawn, irritable man when he was forced to retire early. My BF was the most loving, kind, caring and vibrant person when we met. The longer he wasn't able to work, the more guilty he felt. He told me so many times how awful he felt because his worker's comp. check was about half of what he was used to making, that he should be able to support us (meaning me and his two boys) better, why am I with him, etc. etc. I could not understand that my reassurances over and over was not good enough. I could care less how much he made. What he was/is as a person is so much more important. But I was talking to a male friend of mine recently because I've been so hurt by my exBF's gradual but complete withdrawal from me and he validated these feelings. It is the worst thing in the world for a man to not provide or make enough $$.
I don't know if you and your BF have discussed marriage in the future but it could be that he's worried he's not going to measure up (even if you could care less). It's how he feels and nothing can change that. It wears on a guy to the point where they have this constant underlying agitation and, I hate to use the cliche, but you always hurt the one(s) you love most.
If you really want things to work with him, my best suggestion is to do what you said you usually do - and that is to just listen when he needs to talk, vent, whatever. If he snaps at you, try not to be so reactive. And let me tell you, coming from a sensitive person (me), it is very hard to change that behavior but it's important to not take it so personally even though it feels like it is. He probably feels more comfortable with you than he does anyone else and feels like he can tell you what is bothering him. That means he trusts you.
Hopefully, he will find something he will be more happy with. Is there a union he can join in his line of work? Or a way of consolidating his bills? Even though I'm a woman, I've been in both situations - having enough money to do pretty much whatever and been inundated with bills where I don't feel like there will ever be an end. It's something that does not go away and I do find my attitude is completely different when there's financial problems.
Thanks for the posts! Angelblue, I'm sorry to hear about what your dad and family with through.
Things haven't really gotten much better. He still acts very bitter at times and I can't help but take it personally ya know? I told him this morning that I would stick with him through the worst of times and that I would be there for him whenever he needed me but that he needed to reevaluate the way he treats me in these "moods" of his. I don't know...I care about him deeply but being so grumpy and pushing me away like he does will quickly take a toll on me. It's sad, things were going so well there for awhile. Hopefully, this is just a phase..I will just have to stick it out and see!
Is it possible to encourage him to take some night classes in college or a trade school?
Yes, it would be exhausting - but the payoff for him financially and emotionally would be huge.
I'm not sure how rewarding this relationship can be for you - seems like lots and lots of drama and high stakes...
4 years is a long time to be on again off again. You have to wonder if you would have been married or engaged by now if it was truly the Right Guy for you. But only you can answer that one...
Ruth- I have definitely considered everything you spoke of, I too at first said to myself..."if it didn't work out the first time then why would it a second"? But then, I realized that I couldn't give up and I would always question myself later on down the road (if I didnt try it out) whether I passed up a good thing. When I said 4 years perhaps I was a little vague. We dated twice over a span of 4 years and it only lasted a few weeks. Over those 4 years we kept in touch here and there. What surprised me the most about the whole relationship is that when he and I decided to try again for the 3rd time, I wasn't looking for anything serious at all. However, it turned into more than that. I never thought about whether or not I was being "rewarded" by the relationship. I feel "rewarded" by the way he makes me feel when things are going well and we are getting along.
I have mentioned to him the fact that we seem to fight and bicker a lot but his answer is simply, "the first months of a relationship are always work..we are simply working out the kinks". "The arguements we have are normal and nothing to worry about." It comforted me to know that he didn't think we had problems.
I have a question and you don't have to get personal, just general will do. But why does he have so many bills? Does he have student loans or too many credit cards? I mean, everyone has bills, I understand that. But when you aren't making enough to cover your debt, you need to concolidate or go to credit counceling for help.
It also sounds as if he takes his financial woes out on you, which is really unfair. I know it would be hard, but could you tell him to not come over on nights he is tired and cranky? Maybe he might get the hint and treat you nicer.