Sleeping on couch, but it’s my choice please help me with advice

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    Hi, my name is Emily*

    So, here is the thing. My boyfriend and I got into a minuscule fight (compared to the other fights we’ve had, it’s small) and I was just so frustrated I just left our bed and went to the couch on my own.

    Here is what we got into a fight about TODAY. Just to let you know I have been with him for 2 years.

    I got home after an 11 hour shift at work, helping people and being on my feet, and as soon as I get home, I just have this feeling he is being aloof. I do talk to him about it. I tell him to not be afraid to talk about his feelings and however he feels he should be honest. He keeps insisting he feels perfectly fine. And to be honest, he does. He doesn’t make it seem like a sarcastic snide or anything he seems genuine! But to me, DEEP inside I keep wondering if he is lying.

    We finally get home, and immediately he wants to watch game of thrones. It’s our show so it’s not like he does this on his own. But I told him I wanted to look at some apartments for the next year. He did say, “I don’t mind looking at apartments” and to a normal person outside our relationship he would seem he genuinely means it, but to ME it made me feel guilty. Why should I put my needs and wants in front of him, when we can just watch GOT. Of course I tell him to not worry about it and we can just watch the show. A full two hours of silence, then we turn off the tv and he says he’s gonna go to bed, and kisses me goodnight.

    I just get angry. My mind goes, “Why did I come home and I feel I barely spoke 3 sentences to you? Why didn’t you realize I wanted to look at apartments so we can have something to look at and communicate together? Why do you not realize I am exhausted and the ONLY thing I want is to talk to you about my day and just talk. Just the two of us” But what made me more angry is the fact I feel like I don’t have a real reason why I am angry. I felt so stupid and I feel I’m just getting mad just to get mad.

    I don’t know what it is. I just went to the couch and 30 minutes later he comes by and tells me he’s sorry and to come back to bed. And he says I’m sorry I didn’t want to look at apartments with you. And my mouth automatically said, “this is not about the stupid freaking apartments” and I turned around and ignored him. He walks over to the bed shortly after and says, “All because I wanted to watch a show, I’m automatically the bad guy, you just assume everything I do is on purpose to make you mad.” AND I DONT. I told him if that’s what he really thinks he’s an idiot. Now I am on the couch, typing this and I just need help.


    Note: he has never cheated on me, I have NO issue with this. We both love each other. I know it. I have no doubts, I just get angry and I can’t explain why. Please help me.


    Hi Emily,

    It sounds to me like there needs to be a time out in place where you both can shut everything off, such as “Game of Thrones” television, etc. And just talk to each other. I feel everyone has basic needs and when those needs are not being met, it can lead to build up resentment, sleeping on the couch, not communicating, silent treatment, passive aggressive behavior and it only gets worse. He is certainly not going to want to look at apartments, much less anything else, the way things are right now. Think about it, you barely talk to each other, you fight alot, you sleep on the couch, it’s an unhealthy relationship.

    Try to talk to him using “I feel statements” when you are not exhausted after working an 11 hour shift, and he is not distracted. Take him somewhere quiet, no cell phones, computers, friends, television. And just tell him how you feel. Say something like “I feel hurt, dismissed, undated for, etc when I get home from an 11 hour day and you don’t ask me how my day went, and you don’t want to talk to me at all, instead you would rather play “game of thrones” “I need to be listened to, to know you care about me, how my day went”. Before we play computer games, I really miss our talks.

    He may be emotionally drained and can’t give anything because he is emotionally drained from all the fighting, sleeping in different rooms, etc. Right now, there is no communication. It is more of a roommate situation, rather than a loving boyfriend/girlfriend situation. If he does not want to talk or gets defensive, you may want to try couples counseling. But right now, until things get better, I would hold off on getting on apartment together.

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Eliana.

    Dear Emily:

    It reads to me that after an 11 hour shift at work you were very tired. Feeling very tired, exhausted is distressing (unless you are in bed ready and able to fall asleep). When we are distressed we tend to lash out at anything or anyone.

    It is something like this, I believe: you are in a room and you accidently hurt your toe walking. It hurts a lot. Automatically you get angry, correct? If there is someone in the room, you get angry at that person, don’t you? I do. There is no reason other than the person feeling distress needing to unload it. People sometimes hit objects- passing the distress to a thing, or fight with a person- passing the distress to a person.

    It is the hallmark of abuse, by the way, to pass on distress to another person- it is distressed people that abuse others. With awareness you can detect your distress and pay attention to… not try to unload it on a person.. or anything breakable.



    Hi Emily,

    I know how you feel. I experience the same thing with my boyfriend. What we are having is normal. It’s normal to have fights right?But what I learned to make it better or to make things not get worse, is the moment he apologizes to me (even if it’s because of the wrong reason) I will take that opportunity to talk to him calmly and say really how I feel. I always make it to a point that both of us are not mad at the same time. If I was in your exact situation, when he comes out to call me to go back to bed, I will say to him CALMLY (while hugging him), “It’s not about the apartments, I just want us to talk”. That way, he will feel that you are compassionate as well while being disappointed..and hopefully, he will work on your issue. I do this because I’m afraid he might stop coming after you once you get mad and let you sleep on the couch whenever you want if you continue to push him away like that.



    Hi Emily,

    I think Justine’s approach is a very peaceful, welcoming approach that really does work. When I get irritated for whatever reason, my fiancé does this and I appreciate it immensely because it gets me grounded and back to us. I recommend inserting Justine’s approach in your repertoire of how you interact with your b/f  during abrasive moments.


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