what is acceptable what is not.. Help !!

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    Hi I’m 22, I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years and a half. We have an amazing relationship were I trust him and he treats me right. everything is good except that sometimes he likes to cut people out of his life for (what I think is small reasons). this is his character, he stopped talking to his brother once for a year because he didn’t give him a bag he NEEDED (I say NEEDED in caps because it meant nothing for his brother to give it to him and my bf needed it). Me and my sisters argue and fight all the time but after 10 minutes it’s all forgotten. This is how I am so his character is really hard for me to understand.

    over the last two years we have broken up few times because I have done something wrong in his eyes. like leave without saying bye because I was upset about something (he thinks I should have spoke to him about it instead), or a guy friend bringing me a gift from a holiday and I guess I was naive about what my friends intentions were (my bf didn’t like this because he felt like my friend had other intentions).

    It’s long to explain everything but in general I would say the situations are normally resolved by talking. at the end he is normally more excited to get back with me than I am, because I am usually confused about the issue and takes me a while to accept that this is how he is. I can tell that he likes that I don’t give up on him when he does this, but am I going to do this for the rest of my life?

    I don’t know if this is something acceptable for me to deal with, I feel like it’s such a small issue that we just need to work on our communication and it can be fixed. If i understood why he does this then it would have been easier to make a decision but I don’t know why and he doesn’t either so I’m left confused. Has anyone came across people like this? can you help me understand?

    P.S I was always puzzled how people can manage to write an essay on forums but now I understand, sorry for the long story.


    Hi Yoyo,

    I have been labeled by last BF as someone who cuts people out of their life. His awareness and thoughts about this label he gave me made him feel insecure about if it would happen to him. I do not know if my behavior is the same as your partners or different but I will explain and you can decide.

    Someone can easily say that the reason I haven’t talked to my brother in over 5 years, is because of one fight we had. Or someone can say that the reason I cut out my friend of two years is because she asked me to pick up a friend and I didn’t want to. However, the truth is that there is much more behind these situations. It took me some time to realize that some people in my life were using me and ok with that, ok with me protesting and setting boundaries and them ignoring and intentionally breaking them for their selfishness. So while a particular incident may be the last one that we encountered to end a relationship, that last incident was not the entire reason that I cut these people out.

    Now if you ask me why I waited two years before I cut out the friend. Why did I wait so long? It is because it was at a time that recognizing these manipulative ways of others did not come as easily to me.

    So I wonder now, if your BF actually has a reason that would be a valid one to you but is he just not as able to identify and articulate it?

    Or possibly is he being overreactive and hypersensitive, by your standards, and cutting people out before they hurt him?

    I am presenting these two different perspectives as I honestly do not know which it is or a combo of the two or something I didn’t consider.

    I have to be honest though, some of the things you describe I too would be upset about. If my BF walked out of the house upset without saying goodbye I may take a step back. Actually, I did have this discussion with him. I asked him to please agree in the future that he would at least come to me and state that ” I need some time alone and am going to leave for a bit but will call you in _______ time.” When he did this and walked out without a word the therapist also spoke to him about having “silent anger” and that withholding affection and giving a person the silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse. That he needed to put a time limit on his “fit” and announce it to me, then go take his space.

    Also, the gift issue to me may upset me in a partner. It may communicate to me that my partner is unable to see for themself the need to set healthy boundaries with the opposite sex. Or that we disagree on what healthy boundaries are and then this could be an ongoing issue in the relationship. It is certainly worthy of me having a serious talk with my partner.

    Please hear that you asked for someone to help you understand. I am not saying he is right, or that you are not right. I don’t think that would matter to think in those terms. I am just trying to see if I can offer a perspective that may shed some understanding to it for you maybe.

    I hope that you two are able to have a conversation where you two can get a good understanding of each other, for you to know clearly where this is coming from in him and for you to understand if it is in fact something the two of you can deal with or not.


    Hi yoyo4292,

    Well, this is one of those things that you can put up with for now, but not indefinitely. There is a potential and inevitable clash here. Just don’t move in with him, marry him, buy property with him or start a business with him and you’ll be fine. Kidding, but not really. I’ve been around people like this, they’re not bad, but they are good as casual friends. Because, you never know when you’re “fired”!

    It’s Up to You,



    @ Sunflower

    I am going to have to read your message a couple of times because it really is help and considers many perspective i need to look at. I understand he has valid reason for his action because I have communication problems myself I need to sort out and I fail to think of consequences or how he might react to certain situation like my guy friend bringing me a gift. because I know my intentions I feel like he will know automatically that I mean no harm (yh i know stupid of me he is not psychic haha).
    But then he talks to girls that like him but I have no problem with it because I know what kind of guy he is and he wouldn’t cheat. I definitely need to reflect on this situation more.


    Exactly I think it’s something we both need to come to grounds with, instead of just me understanding his situation.


    also yoyo, I’m probably just reading my stuff into it, but worry more about how you feel, and why you do what you do
    He could be using emotional upset to control you without even knowing he’s doing it.
    I’m not criticizing just step back and say, Do I want to see that person? Do I feel okay with the way that interaction went?
    Do I feel safe/loved/nourished in this relationship? If not, then take some space for you. Good luck.

    “When you give another person the power to define you, then you also give them the power to control you.”
    ― Leslie Vernick, The Emotionally Destructive Relationship: Seeing It, Stopping It, Surviving It


    I really like Raventrue’s response. It’s important to feel safe and nourished. A relationship should comfort both people inside it (and not just one main person; esp. if it’s the one who has a tough time dealing with volatile emotion. That person has work to do on their own which his partner should not have to attone for.) It is a fact that some people have issues which need to be worked out alone before involving others into their lives who might end up being hurt by behaviors caused by unresolved issues. I wish you the best and I admire you for reaching out for help and advice…that’s definitely the way to go when you are unsure 🙂


    I won’t speculate on the “whys” of what may cause him to behave this way, only that his behavior sounds controlling. As for your question about what is acceptable, you are the only one who gets to decide that for yourself. You know what you want and what feels right for you. It sounds as though this doesn’t feel right and that on some level no matter how much you love him, his behavior is unacceptable. Trust your gut on that and do what is right for both of you.

    As for him, his counselors are correct, he does need to focus on his sobriety and not a relationship at this point. Sometimes the most loving thing we can do is let someone go to deal with their issues and get well. Maybe think about giving him that gift and if in his recovery, his behavior changes, you can revisit your relationship then.

    Best of luck!


    • This reply was modified 9 years, 3 months ago by Jodi.
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