Sasha Answers: She says fighting is normal
Hi Sasha, I've been with my girlfriend for over two years now. I'm 25, I haven't had significant experience in relationships before and I have never been with a girl before so firstly, I don't have much to compare it to and secondly, I don't know whether I might be applying double standards to women and men (as in, from men I wouldn't take behaviour that I do from women).
We fight a lot. It upsets me that we do so. She says that fighting is normal, I don't think so. She goes off at things that I consider "small", e.g. often when she's cooking and is stressed and things aren't happening fast enough (say I'm doing my own things and she's asking me to pass her the salt and I give her sugar by mistake, she's already shouting). When I tell her to calm down in moments like this, she says I should say sorry. When I tell her I don't feel that I should say sorry for something that is a honest mistake (and I'm often shouting back at her by then, too, because I'm upset), she says I don't listen to her and only "talk against her". By now she's fast with insults.
Sometimes when we fight, I feel that it oppresses me and I go someplace else - in extreme situations I leave our apartment alltogether and walk around or else I go into another room and close the door. She doesn't take it well, she often cries then and begs me to let me in or else is upset that I've left her alone in a charged situation like this. She's told me multiple times that she's been betrayed by almost every one of her previous partners - and apparently it often happened in similar moments, i.e. after huge fights. I've never betrayed her and also get fairly upset at the suggestion since I haven't done anything. I've also clearly told her that just because I need space for myself, it doesn't mean that I go and grab the next best person out there.
When we're not fighting, I'm more relaxed than I have been in years, if not ever. I do feel good with her and/or in our space. I also do know moments though when I feel like I know she might be about to be angry about something and I dread the coming confrontation. I also know that there are situations when I must be careful in how I do things, or else she will be angry: When she is sleeping and I intend to wake her up, I have to do so in a calm and careful manner or she will be loud and bite my head off.
I also can't decide whether I would be happier with or without her on the sole basis of "her character" since the good times do make me feel good. I feel like I love her when I'm relaxed, I feel desperate when we're fighting. Sorry for the wall of text. I have thought long about whether to write you and now still feel like maybe I haven't given you a concise enough picture but I thought I'd try anyway. I'm unsure of what to do and how to judge this relationship I'm in. Maybe you can help me.
F-ck being knee deep in drama, you are literally drowning in it.
O, your letter gave me a case of the sads not only because this sounds like a nightmare of a relationship to be in, but because I can tell what a kind person you are. The thing is your girlfriend sees that too, the crap part though is that instead of seeing it as your strength she sees it as your weakness hence why she preys on your ass day in, day out.
Sh-t, I mean, re-read your letter right now and come back to me…….
Rightt???!!!! Does that sound like a happy, healthy relationship to you? So let me be super clear: you are not in a healthy, happy relationship. In fact, you sound like you’re in the beginning stages of a verbally abusive one.
Listen, I don’t know what’s going on with your girlfriend, in my opinion, she sounds like she might be dealing with some deep-rooted issues, possibly psychological ones, but right now you’re my focus and O, I’d hate to see you normalize this behaviour and think that this is what we’re all at home dealing with. We’re not. Obviously relationships are f-cking hard; you fight, you say stuff you wish you didn’t, etc…but if you regularly feel unhappy, have anxiety coming home, have to stifle your actions then O, trust me, this is not the relationship for you.
My gut is telling me that you need to walk away. It will be difficult, yes, and trust me she’ll roll out the entire textbook to make you stay, but as they say: the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour and O, if she’s been slinging this sh-t at you constantly for the last two years…..it’s safe to say that she’s not going to change.
O, you sound emotionally exhausted so before this relationship takes an even greater toll I think it’s time to take control of your happiness, re-gain a healthy perspective on what you want in a partner and re-set the goddamn bar.
So the long and short of my advice is bounce and bounce now. Thanks for writing in and keep me posted on how it all pans out. xx