Am I over analyzing his behavior or is this a red flag?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2007
Am I over analyzing his behavior or is this a red flag?
10
Tue, 04-29-2014 - 4:35pm

Some of you are familiar with some of my posts.  I have been separated for 3-4 years (almost divorced) and have lived apart all this time.  Entered into a relationship with an amazing man and have been together 3 years.  This seems a little fast, but I happened to meet someone my age (40) with no kids either and who I have a lot in common with and is extremely considerate, giving, attentive, a gentleman, etc.   I couldn't ask for a better boyfriend and been told several times that I'm very lucky to have met such a good catch.  My friends love him, family loves him, he comes from a solid good family (no childhood issues or anything like that).  I can envision a future with him, however, after 3 years together, I am noticing some behavior that I am not sure is normal.  Am I just over analyzing because I was married before and am hypersensitive to potential issues and perhaps just comparing him to my ex?  I wanted some opinions on this, so thanks in advance.

Basically, my boyfriend is easy going most of the time and has a good disposition about him, but he gets stressed out SO easily.  He throws little temper tantrums if he can't find his car keys and says or yells "FUCK"...I can't find my keys and then stomps around the house until he finds them. Then the other day he dropped a 40 dollar bottle of wine on the ground on the way to dinner and it shattered....then I had to hear him yell "FUCKKKK" again and he stayed quiet and angry for like 10 minutes.  Then he missed a meeting with an important client by accident the other morning and he yells "FUCKKKKK" again and then the next 15 minutes of my life are once again walking on eggshells until he calms down or the situation gets rectified.  If I try to help him or offer advice during one of these mini temper tantrums about meaningless things, I usually get some kind of hasty reply or a blatant NO or "I can't talk right now until this is resolved".....Sometimes when we're both cooking in the kitchen together he gets real antsy if I'm in the way of him trying to reach around me for ingredients or if he needs to get into a cabinet I'm standing in front of.  My ex never acted like this and was very patient and extremely laid back.  My boyfriend is just more intense and not as happy go lucky, but this is my only complaint. Otherwise my boyfriend is fine.  He doesn't ever act violent or anything and doesn't come from a troubled childhood.  His Dad and Mom are normal....happily married.  I'm not worried he'll ever hurt me - he's very gentle, but I'm not used to temper tantrums.

Do I just brush this behavior off? I have gotten fired up recently and kind of yelled at him to calm down and that just gets him more miffed.  He comes out of these tantrums quickly, but it's almost everyday he's yelling fuck fuck under his breath about something that goes wrong during the day.

Also, he has a tendency to bring work stress home with him.  I'm not used to that either.  He'll stay in a miserable state all night if something went wrong during the day at work.  He has a hard time brushing things off and relaxing.....I'm just worried about if we do decide to get married one day.  Life is sure to bring more serious issues (hell, I know since I've been married).....what will he do then?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010

Since you have been with him three years, I don't think there is more to his behavior than what you have seen. The things that bother him could bother a lot of other people too. It's frustrating to break an expensive bottle of wine that was going to be the key part of a romantic dinner or to miss a business meeting that could endanger his reputation--if not his employability--at work. If he is an otherwise excellent boyfriend, I wouldn't worry over his behavior.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2007
Thanks Trenner2. Maybe I just needed to vent. It could be a lot worse!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Well he does seem to have a more volatile personality.  I have to say that my 25 yr old DD swears a lot and would be the type to yell F-- when something goes wrong.  She's also a nurse on a pediatric cancer ward.  I guess that's just her way of blowing off steam or something.  My ex (her dad) has mentioned that her personality is more like his where I am much calmer and don't swear.  I don't think that your BF getting mad after dropping the bottle of wine or missing the client meeting is abnormal--don't you think that would bother most people?  Now the road rage is a different story because that could actually be dangerous--that is something that I think you should speak to him about.  He needs to learn some method of calming himself down because it is immature to have road rage--we all encounter bad drivers and it doesn't help to get mad at them--it's much more productive to be able to learn how to avoid them while keeping calm.  If someone cut me off and I've been in situations where I narrowly missed being hit, I might lean on the horn and I'd probably swear in that situation, but I don't get mad every time I drive.  I think I'd tell him that I was afraid to drive with him because he can't seem to keep calm.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

I never swear (or rarely) but for some strange reason I find myself using that word when some little dumb thing happens.  I twist my finger on something, I stub my toe when I'm barefooted.  I drop something on the floor if I'm preparing dinner.......BUT, then I laugh, and continue with what I'm doing.  I do NOT sulk, I do NOT get nasty with someone around me.  I don't get upset if someone is in my way, if that occurs, I ask them politely to move.  Your b/f has a problem.  If it bothers you enough to write here about it, then it bothers you. You didn't say if he's been like this since you've known him, or if this is something you've never seen before. If he "can't talk about it now".....he's got a problem.  Add road rage to the mix, and he has REALLY got a problem.  No one is perfect, BUT this behavior bothers you, that's why you're here.  You might want to talk to him when he's NOT having a little fit about something, or in a snit because you are in the way.  When everyone is happy and content, bring it up, and tell him that you do NOT like it, and he needs to look into some anger management help.  If you try to talk to him when he's angry, you already know, he just gets worse.  Maybe try to video him when he's that way, so he can see how it looks, and let him know it upsets you.  If this is a new behavior, then you need to find out why he's so stressed about things that other people would blow off right away.  Good Luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2007
Thanks Fissatore. I think now that he's more comfortable around me he does this. I'm writing about it because it is more frequent. I am noticing he does this at least once a day. He does move on from it and is generally easy going. I look back at the way he was raised for any bad "learned" behavior and there is none there. His Dad is a nice, normal guy who is loving and president of different civil groups and active in the community, so he's not acting out any childhood things, but boy he just gets set off so easily. At least he doesn't get set off by me...it's always mundane stupid things which still tenses me up. I may talk to him about it soon.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010

I see a couple of red flags. The first is that he pouts or stays upset after the incident to where you feel like you have to tiptoe around him and his bad mood. That can cause problems in the relationship such as resentment that you have to deal with it or that you have to fix things so that problems that would trigger his reaction don't occur---when that's not really your job. If it happened only rarely then it wouldn't be a problem but it seems to be happening often. You see it a lot in teens but they're famous for being self-absorbed and dramatic....in an adult equal partner its not something one usually wants to put up with on a regular basis. Does he apologize afterwards or somehow indicate that he knows his behavior was over the top? Or does he seem to think that its a normal reaction and its fine that you have to alter your behavior to fit his moodiness?

The other red flag is that he seems to have so many mishaps. Accidents happen, but he sounds kind of disorganized too---the misplaced car keys, missed meeting with a client, something going wrong everyday to cause an upset.  Is he always running late and that's why the lost keys take on crisis proportion? If things feel kind of out of control then it would make him more stressed and cause a oversized reaction. So its a red flag that there could be a long term issue of forgetfulness or disorganization etc. and you will need to consider if and how it might affect you (besides the tantrums) and what you might want to do about it.

I agree with the poster who suggested some anger management classes, and he could use some stress management or something to help him learn to not get so upset over small things. I hope you can get him to accept that its a problem (if it upsets you then it IS a problem IMO) and to be willing to work on it.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

I eventually started being more vocal when my DH does stuff like that.  Or you can ignore and just know how he is.  Just depends on the details of the situation.

Sometimes I ignore, sometimes I make light of it.  So like you might start running around the house like him yelling the F word or something.  Some times I just look at hime and say "babe, really....please don't."  Or what have you.  

He says I am in his way in the kitchen, but really he is in MY way.  

Choose your tantrum battles.  Make light of some and ignore others.  

Serenity CL making a marriage work.

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008

Not sure how you got the F word past the censor here, usually it flags it and you have to remove it, so hopefully that's changed, it's just a word we all hear all the time these days.  It's funny that some of us use certain words while some of us never do - I've never in all these years (43) heard my DH use the F word, not once.  But I do when I get over the top mad about something, just pops out and then retreats.  I agree the road rage is a red flag, you sure don't want to be in that car or have any of your friends or relatives in that car - you never know how road rage will hit another driver or how he'll go off the deep end, and with guns so easy to get these days, disasters happen.  Are you comfortable even bringing this up with him, about getting some help?  Because if you aren't, there's another huge red flag.  If this issue is affecting you or your relationship in any way, it needs to be dealt with.  Trust me, not discussing things like this doesn't work, if he does it regularly eventually it'll wear you down one way or another.  And I don't think you can be so sure he'd never resort to violence, since you said he blows up pretty much every day - I've heard it said we tend to take out our frustrations on the people we are so sure would never leave us.  But it doesn't have to be physical to be abusive, either - this is bothering you enough to show up here, so it's big enough to not waste another day trying to just ignore.  I'd suggest maybe YOU see a therapist alone for professional advice, but he's an adult and I'd think he'd appreciate that kind of assistance to stop doing something this upsetting. 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2011

hey he is human after all!

be happy that this is the only complaint you currently have.....

tell him nicely when hes calmed down and after a few times if you see it does not work then you have your answer.....

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2014
Are you talking about my husband? I have been married to him for 4 years and he is amazing in many ways especially the stress we are currently dealing with, but the behaviors you described are my husband exactly.........usually I just ignore him and think In my head how stupid he is behaving sometimes I tell him to stop being so ridicuulous and other times I question if I really want to be with a person who behaves like that!