Need help with conflict resolution. First major fight with bf.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2012
Need help with conflict resolution. First major fight with bf.
11
Thu, 12-20-2012 - 6:50pm

Hey guys - this is going to be long. Me and my bf of 10 months had our first "real" fight yesterday. It started off as a discussion about something very trivial. From there, he sort of started going off and told me that I always base my views on hearsay and there is no point in us even trying to have a discussion because of that reason. He was basing the "hearsay" comment on a similar discussion we had last month - I had I told him I was hesitent to do a "certain something" because I was afraid it would mess up my health - I explained there have been cases of that happening. He was of the opinion that even though I might be correct in that there was a rare chance that what I was talking about could happen under certain conditions, it probably happens so rarely that it's not really an issue. He said that he will only believe something if it is based on science. He mentioned it was my duty to prove to him that the "certain something" was a health risk, and as long as something is not proven, he won't believe it. Last month, following that disucssion about the health risk, I had sent him a link, which explained my point of view and how it stated there could possibly be a health risk. I asked him whether he had read the article I had sent him. He said no. He was of the opinion that if what I said was based on science, the "certain something" would be headline news and people all over wouldn't be doing it. As long as he doesn't read up on it, how would I prove it to him? Besides, I really don't want to prove it to him - why can't he let me have my opinion and he can have his?

Anyway, from the "hearsay" comment, he started talking about how lately I am always dismissive of him and that whenever he tries to say something, I act like he doesn't know what he's talking about, even though he has years' worth of experience on the topic, and it's stuff I know "nooottthing about". What was worse was that we were in a public place. After that I told him that we should go home. He went to the restroom, and when he came back, he apologized and told him he was probably over reacting and being stupid. He apologized a few more times last night and he seemed genuinely upset. I didn't say much. We haven't spoken much today. I told him I wasn't mad at him, but I wanted time to think. I honestly don't know how to handle this situation. I'm not mad at him. But at the same time, I am unable to let it go. I am ok with us agreeing to disagree. Last month, even though he had  told me he was ok with us agreeing to disagree, somehow he makes personal attacks when we have a discussion, and ends up hurting me - like last night. 

I don't remember being intentionally dismissive of him ever. Maybe he reads into my comments and thinks I act like he doesn't know anything? That comment he made about me dismissing him hit a nerve because my mom says I always "say the wrong thing". I wonder if the tone of my voice comes across wrong? I was really hurt that he waited until we were having a discussion about something else to bring up the fact that there had been times in the past that he was annoyed with me, but keeping it to himself. I had thought we were cool with each other. But apparently not. The reason I'm hurt is because:

a) I felt like he was being disrespectful, telling me things like "you believe hearsay from magazines" and that I know nothing about topics he have years' worth of experience on.

b) I'm also hurt that he didn't tell me until last night that there were things about me that annoyed him. I always tell him if I'm upset about something.

And now I'm questioning our relationship - I'm not sure if I want to be in a relationship where my man doesn't respect me enough to have a discussion without making personal attacks about my intelligence. And another part of me wonders if maybe there is some truth to what he said - do I always say the wrong thing like my mom says? Maybe I'm not meant to be in a long term relationship and I'm just a difficult person to live with. I'm not trying to play victim here, but these are just the thoughts going through my head right now. The reason I haven't spoken much to him today is because I honestly didn't know how to process what happened last night. Should I apologize? Am I wrong? Was he wrong? I'm not used to being in serious relationships, so no hating please. Just need some insight on how to proceed.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2012
For your mother to say you "always say the wrong thing" is a generalization.You can't literally "always" say the wrong thing.Maybe you have a tendency to speak before you think or maybe you're just direct and not everyone can take that.Just take notice of what you say to people and see if maybe you need to change your approach in how you speak to people. Whatever the "certain something" is that might mess up your health it doesn't matter whether he thinks it's hearsay or not.If it has even a small chance of doing damage to your health go to your doctor and find out.That's about as scientific as you can get.Some people are just dogmatic and have a heard time letting people have differing opinions from their own.Also you need to make it clear to him that if something annoys him he needs to speak up and communicate that to you in a nice way.Bottling things up and then letting it all spill out when you have an argument isn't fair to you and he wouldn't like it if you did the same to him. Long term relationships mean you both have to work on your character flaws or simply your differences.Tell him how it makes you feel when he attacks your intelligence and you'd appreciate him not doing that again and that it is not a fair way to discuss things nor is it mature.You don't sound like you are too difficult to live with.It's sounds like both of you are maturing in your relationship and seeing you both have flaws and things to work on.I think if you both talk it out it will not seem like as big a deal as it is now.But you do have to agree that in the future you will "fight fair" and no personal attacks.Good Luck!

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