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  • #88358
    Laia
    Participant

    I need some advise. I am in a bit of upheaval in mmy life at the minute. I have lost my job, had a baby, changed country and moved back in with my parents with my partner.. my parents are very moody. And my partner to. I also feel like I’m walking on egg shells. It’s driving me nuts. Currently my partner isn’t talking to me. He just exploded because I repeated myself. He’s in a major sulk over nothing. I don’t want arguments but neither do I want to be the pinch nag. How do I deal with this. Ideally I would like them to stop taking their moods out on me. And also hoe not to let it affect me.. any tips

    #88361
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laia:

    Your partner is probably as distressed as you, so he did not explode “over nothing” like you wrote. So that is the key: you and your partner live under great stress, so instead of isolating from each other and turning against each other, be a good friend to each other. Unite, not divide. Go to him when you are both calm and talk to him, tell him how difficult the situation is for both of you and talk about how you two, as a team, as best friends, can make it better- nothing you two can do together is too small of a thing. Whatever you and he can do to help yourselves and your baby, is a plus, congratulate each other for any successful move, be it something with changing bed time, decreasing time spent with your parents, etc.

    Small things, and then, later, work on bigger things.

    anita

    #88397
    Laia
    Participant

    You’re right Anita. I know he’s finding it difficult to. And I am sympathetic to his feelings. It’s just every few weeks he goes like this. Gets very angry and takes it out on me. It’s really starting to affect me. Often it’s not me he’s angry at but I’m the one he punishes. I don’t want that type of energy at home. I don’t want our daughter to see it. Or to feel like I do. My partner doesn’t seem to be able to handle strong emotions and I want to support him.. at the minute he has left and has gone back home. He’s hardly talking to me. Not answering my calls or messages. He’s even fought with his family since being there. I don’t want to accept this anymore. I would love to be able to talk about things in a less aggressive way and not to feel like this. He said some really hurtful things but like always I have to start talks. I can do it. I know it’s really meant to hurt me. But I have to care for myself to. And I don’t want to set this example to my daughter.. this is how my parents are and it feels too familiar. I will talk to him. But how can I respond to reduce this situation from happening so often..

    #88405
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laia:

    Your post is very sensible, makes it possible for me to understand more. It is wrong for your partner to behave aggressively (hurtful words for one) and passive-aggressively (not take your calls) toward you. It is wrong for him to explode with aggression of any type no matter how he feels. This behavior of his has to stop- and this is the first thing to do in your efforts to team up with him, to be a team and work together- establish some rules of interactions between the two of you. No raising voices/ screaming, no verbal abuse (or physical, of course), time out okay (as in “I need time alone”) but not the silence treatment for punishing purposes, and more. That is learning and practicing interpersonal skills between the two of you. EAR for one, stands for Empathy, Assertiveness, Respect. If you could communicate with each other using these three.

    It is almost like a war zone, the circumstances of your life right now- living with your parents who you and your partner would prefer not to live with, correct? And it is a war zone for you when your partner explodes at you, no wonder you feel like you are walking on egg shells, afraid of the next explosion.

    For your well being, as well as the well being of your daughter, your environment right now needs to be safer for you than it is. I hope you make this point clear to your partner and that he will be motivated to do his part in making it safer for you and for his own daughter, by practicing EAR in his communications with you.

    Establish the rules, work on EAR. Talk about it, observe the improvements, make suggestions for further improvements, notice regressions as part of progress, and keep going.

    anita

    #88414
    redy
    Participant

    Laia, I completely understand what you are going through. My fiancé blows up about small things out of nowhere and then when I try to defend myself or talk to him about it he shuts down and stops talking to me… we live together and he will completely ignore me when I say something to him. He looks straight ahead like I am not even in the room. It is so hurtful and stressful for me. When I ask him about it he says that he feels “low” and can’t look at me because I have yelled at him and made him feel bad. I have only raised my voice with him a few times, and it is usually when he starts to accuse me of doing things that I haven’t done, or when we are in the middle of talking about something and he shuts down. I know I shouldn’t raise my voice, but it is difficult to control when I feel like I am being attacked. I talked to him last night about going to a counsellor together to figure out how to communicate better so we don’t have days where we don’t talk to each other… I am always willing to talk to him, but I thought he would be more open to getting some help if I approached it as a problem that both of us need to deal with, since he says I cause him to be like that. He refused to go to counselling, and he barely spoke to me the rest of the night. He slept in the guest room and then left for work this morning without even telling me – and I was supposed to give him a ride. I am at a loss. I truly believe he is a good person and this shutting down/silent treatment is mostly a coping mechanism that he has learned. I think he also uses it to punish me when he feels that I have accused him of something. I could really use some help and suggestions about what to do to help us… Other than the instances of this silent treatment/mood swings/shutting down we are happy together and I think we could get past it if he is willing to get some help.

    #88417
    anita
    Participant

    * Dear redy: What do you think about what I wrote in the post before yours on this thread, about EAR and such. I went to counseling with my new husband at the time and it made ALL the difference in the world. The first thing the therapist worked with us on was Interpersonal Skills- there is a whole science to it, simple skills that CAN be LEARNED. EAR is one of those things he went over with us- this kind of work with a therapist is referred to as psychto-education, it is really teaching, not curing. To use these skills it takes learning and practicing again and again, nothing more complicated than that. I hope your boyfriend figures out that he doesn’t have to change dramatically or be analyzed or anything like that, just LEARN interpersonal skills, learning like any other thing that if learned will make his life so much easier!

    Regarding you raising your voice and he told you it bothers him- I would never raise my voice again. If he learns that when he asserts himself with you, tell you he doesn’t like you raising your voice AND he learns that you listen to him and respond positively, then he will have hope in asserting himself.

    It doesn’t matter that you feel attacked. If he approaches you with a weapon or otherwise about to hit you, then, yes, scream, you want someone to hear you and come to your rescue. Short of that, do not raise your voice at him. He told you it bothers him. If you continue, you are not better or healthier than him!

    EAR= Empathy, Assertiveness, Respect.

    Post more, if you like- I had the kind of therapy you are talking about and am willing to share more, especially since it is the same topic as the Original poster’s.

    #88457
    Laia
    Participant

    I can empathise with you redy and thank you Anita I value your advice. I will try and talk to my partner when he comes back. The thing that I find hard is of he can’t or won’t try to adapt his behaviour. I’m no saint either but I feel I’m more willing to change. No matter what way I present this I fear he will go into oh I’m always the bad guy and I’ll have another mood on my hands.. what do I do if he’s not willing.. I read other threads that if I change my reaction lhe learns to change his. But I doubt he will. He regularly does this and it’s a life long pattern. I feel he has a lot of unprocessed anger which is always bubblin under the surface. But he doesn’t really want to deal with it. ..

    I am struggling with depression at the minute and I don’t think he’s handling it very well either…

    I feel my parents are turning against him and I’m tired of feeling hyper vigilant and trying to cover up for his mood swings

    #88459
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laia:

    You wrote that you read in other threads that if you changed your reaction, he will learn to change (his behavior). It sometimes works like this, but not at all necessarily. Often enough it does not, unfortunately (Life would be much simpler if it was that simple). You made the evaluation that he has a lot of unprocessed anger that is always bubbling under the surface and he doesn’t know how to deal with it.

    Trusting your evaluation, there is nothing you can do other than what you are doing: walking on eggshells, being very careful. That is no way to live, of course and the positive results are temporary at best- you may not step on one hidden bomb, but someone will soon enough, you or someone else. Himself, really.

    I think that you need to get out of this situation sooner than later, as soon as possible! If you intend to live with your partner, then elsewhere, where the stresses are much lower for him and his bubbling anger is much calmer. Someone has to move out. If you cannot all move out, then he should move out alone. And soon!

    anita

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