We Always Fight
Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Female
Ok I have a problem. I have a boyfriend and we have 3 kids together and
we live together and I feel like he doesn't want to be with me cause he's
hardly around when I get off of work he leaves.
We always aruge about little stuff. I can't talk to him cause it's hard for me to. We've been having so many problems within this year.
How can I make this relationship work for myself and for my kids. I tired of having them hear us fight. Please help me.
You definitely need to turn this around - not only is it unhealthy for you, but the kids are getting a very warped idea of what a boy and girl relationship is all about. It could seriously affect how THEY act when they start dating, and hurt their childhoods too.
The problem is that once people get into that fighting cycle, it can be really hard to break out of it. It's "normal". So what you have to do is ease your way out of it with really focussed efforts. This won't be easy. But you have to work at it every day to make it really work.
OK, first. Right now when he thinks of home he thinks "unpleasant". It's not worth arguing over why, you just need to accept that it feels that way to him. So step one, concentrate for 2 weeks on making home a "pleasant" place. I know you might feel cranky and want to vent, or pick on him for annoying things. But just for two weeks, focus 100% on PLEASANT. Smile at him in the morning. Smile and kiss him when he comes home. Ask him how his day went. Pay real attention to him. Make or take out his favorite meals. Don't nag, don't complain, don't fight. After dinner each night have a game out, or cards out, or rent a movie you know he'll really like. Offer to do these things with him. If he says no, he'd rather go out with the guys, then smile and say OK, you'll just watch or play or whatever on your own. Really, really work on this for 2 weeks.
At first he'll probably be confused. "This isn't normal". But after a few days he'll decide, well, he likes it (heck, who wouldn't like it?) Which will make him happy. Which means maybe he'll kiss you back. Maybe after a few days he'll actually take you up on your offer and play cards with you or watch a movie. If he normally likes to drink with the guys, have that same drink he enjoys at home. In fact, if it's a liquor drink like vodka or something, splurge and get the next level up from whatever he normally drinks. Heck, he deserves a treat if he's going to stay home instead of going out. It probably costs less to buy it to drink at home than it does to drink it in the bar so you're saving money anyway even buying the next level up.
So now you've had 2 weeks of no fighting, of "happy" hometime (even if it's sort of a forced happiness on your part) and he is starting to get used to this new way of life. He is seeing home as sort of a pleasant place, with a happy girlfriend who enjoys and wants to be with him. He doens't have to "run off" any more - he can have fun at home.
Now, start sliding in things that you like to do. Suggest getting a sitter so you both can go out to dinner together. Go out for a walk after dinner. Give him a long back massage and then ask him to give you one. Nothing too extravagant, no demands to 'never fight again'. But little things to show that you, too, enjoy the nicer things in life. After him being waited on for 2 weeks, he will be in the mood to be nice to you too. Don't start in with any "I waited on you for two weeks! It's your turn, buster!" Just keep things happy and pleasant. Tell him that you do things for him because you care about him ... and he will realize it's fun and do things for you because he cares about you.
If something comes up that would make you nag, put it on a list. And then consider a way to approach the item that makes it seem like a joint project. If you hate the way the living room gets messy, one night look around the living room and say "What do you think would help out this room? Maybe some shelves over there?" Ask him for his guidance and input. It'll make him feel like he's a part of the solution - not like you're nagging him to "do something!!"
The more you two get used to this, the more you both will follow along with it, and you'll both be happy!
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com