I need your thoughts on how to handle this.
My SO *tells me* what to do in a lot of scenarios. How much I should exercise, how I should cook, how I should dress, how I should drive, where I should put my things, how I should communicate with my colleagues, how much water I should drink (we had lots of arguments about this one in particular). At the end of each day I just feel so stressed... It's so hard to feel good about myself after all these criticisms.
I've tried to talk to him about this in several different ways. I've calmly told him that what he does makes me feel like he doesn't trust me and doesn't see me as an adult. I've also gotten upset and told him he's driving me crazy. Each time, his response is that he only cares about me and wants me to be a better person - I'm too sensitive and need to learn how to handle criticisms. I started to wonder if he's right.
There are also a lot of positives about the relationship, so I'd like to give this problem a fair shot before I think about ending the relationship. I'd appreciate your advice on how to approach this in a more productive way.
I need your thoughts on how to handle this.
- 1. Are the criticisms / advice beneficial to you in the long term, and do they negatively impact your life? Has not following his advice negatively hurt you or anyone else in the past? E.g. "wash your hands after you poop, please. You got the whole party sick last time you 'forgot'"
2. Have you ever told him directly not to say these things to you? It's shitty, but an ultimatum might be a good route.
3. Can you see yourself marrying this person?
- 1. It doesn't matter if they are beneficial or not, it is extremely disrespectful to command your SO what to do like a 🐕. Try "Hey honey, could you make sure to wash your hand after you poop? Thanks honey."
2. It's not shitty and it's not an ultimatum. It's having a spine and standing up for yourself.
3. Has nothing to do with the question.
- ^ if someone's consistently not washing their hands after taking a shit, and polite requests to do so haven't ever helped, there's not much the SO can do.
Regarding the second point, I suggested an ultimatum. E.g. "stop doing XXX, or we're done"
If you don't think 3 isn't related to the question, you're not qualified to answer anyone's relationship questions. If OP doesn't see a future with the person, she should just get out. If she does see a future with this person, the issue should be discussed further and resolved.Jun 5 2
- 1. I suppose some of them are technically beneficial, like exercising more would be helpful. But I think I exercise plenty (3 hrs/wk + outdoor weekend activities) and honestly I have other priorities and don't want to spend more time at the gym. Same goes for his other comments like how to organize my things; the way I do it may not be ideal but I'm fine with it and don't really want to change it. So yeah, they're "beneficial" I guess but I don't see their necessity. I'm also uncomfortable about the way the criticisms are delivered and the frequency :(
2. Kinda, but it wasnt like "I'm breaking up with you if you say that one more time," it was more like "it bothers me when you say that."
3. I keep going back and forth but it's never been a "hell yeah."
- @OP, I asked about 1 to try and see if the things he's asking about are of a controlling nature, or if they're things he's genuinely trying to help you with because he, as you said, claims to want to help you. For example, if you were morbidly obese and ate cake all day, and he loves you but doesn't want to see you die at 35, pushes to get you to exercise is understandable. If he's just commanding you to do bullshit stuff you're already doing, it's more of a control thing. Sounds like it's more of a controlling thing.
Regarding giving an ultimatum, I'd recommend doing that if you see yourself having a future with him. It would save some heartache later on, knowing you tried and were as brutally honest as you could be. If you don't see a future with the person, decide if it's worth the energy to keep trying.
- You should assume he will never change when deciding if you want to marry him because people seldom change because you want them to and if they do then there's a good chance that it's only temporary.
Lasting change usually only happens if a person wants to change themself.
I would go abandon anyone who commanded me to do things a certain way all the time.
My now wife used to tell me how to cook, e.g. you're cutting that wrong and need to do it like this. I told her in no uncertain terms that she could suggest how to do something once. If I agreed with it then I would change and if I didn't then she needed to be okay with it. If she couldn't handle me not changing then she needed to leave (the kitchen while I cooked) or not eat what I cooked.
She eventually learned it was infinitely more enjoyable to accept that I was going to do some things differently than her and then we were able to cook together.
When I saw that she stopped the behavior of demanding I do things a certain way for long enough to convince me it wasn't a temporary change then I proposed.
There was no way I would have proposed if she didn't drop that behavior first.
- I brought it up probably by the third time she did it as I realized it was a pattern and not a one off thing.
I was upset which probably wasn't the best way to deliver the message but at least there was no doubt that I was seriously not okay with it.
She got upset because I was upset but could tell I wasn't kidding so she presumably weighed whether I was worth staying together with despite my refusal to cut carrots just so. She then stopped trying to control me for things that didn't matter.
Since then we've gotten into arguments here and there when she's done it again for non-cooking things but every year it happened less and less so it's pretty much non existent now.
It probably helps that she learned very clearly that I'm going to do as I see fit when it's my own behavior with myself or others.
If she asks me to change something with regards to how I interact with her then I'm far more agreeable.
- Holy crap run the hell away and fast. - short answer
On one extreme , Controlling behavior is a precursor to more controlling behavior and even violence. Does he ask who you’re with? Check your phone? Demand your time? What would he do if youtold him there was a really nice guy who joined your group and you went to lunch to talk shop? Any anger about that, Leave yesterday.
What’s his TC? If he isn’t making as much money as you, or feels unattractive, this could be his way of getting an upper hand in the relationship. He could resent your success and try to belittle you to lift himself up. If he is unable to feel like he is the provider, leave him. Not only will you resent his controlling behavior but you’ll resent that you’re taking care of him too. And so will he.
In a best case scenario It’s possible he is just really particular and wants you to look/dress/act in a way that he finds attractive. He might have controlling parents and not be aware that he is being rude. Sounds like you’re trying to help him see that. If after you telling him how it makes you feel, and he still doesn’t get it, then you could have a relationship, but it would suck.
Leave before you get too attached and leaving gets harder and harder.
- Wow interesting, haven't thought of it that way. He used to throw weird jabs about my male friends and colleagues (and I have a lot of them, I'm a software eng), but I've gotten seriously mad about it a few times and it's gotten better. He's currently unemployed and has 0 TC. I've always been happy with my health/looks/social skills and I feel I've worked hard to achieve them, so I've always been a bit confused about all these requests to change them. Thanks for your input.
- I’d love to be in a relationship like this and have someone who cares about me so much. Dump him and give him to me please
- Hell no!
I can understand how it can be appealing sometimes but if you're so bothered by it now then you should expect it to drive you nuts later.
Relationships naturally become less connected after the honeymoon unless both people consciously put positive energy into the relationship.
If your SO truly cared about you then he would listen to your very reasonable request to nicely suggest changes instead of commanding you.
It doesn't sound like your SO respects you and it will be really difficult to make love last without mutual respect.
- Classic psychological projection. “only cares about me and wants me to be a better person” says the unemployed guy in a peaking economy. He needs to go to work and redirect his energies to something he can control. What is his profession?
- He’s more interested in being right than being in a relationship with you.
And oh by the way, 8 glasses is totally arbitrary and has been reported to be a myth. NYT article talked about it. : https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/upshot/no-you-do-not-have-to-drink-8-glasses-of-water-a-day.html
- Intel peekaboo 👻I think it is good advice. Even if you do it jokingly, he will get the message. You can use even same words and tone that he use on you. Sometimes people understand when they hear their own words.
At least it works on my bf. I do it all the time. Message conveyed in nice fun way (I do it jokingly)Jun 7 0
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- Bloomberg errorsDo the same thing to him. Try to correct everything he does(even if it’s correct but try to change little bit). Make him watch the movies/series you like not what he likes. Make him eat only healthy food that he doesn’t like. Wake him up early morning at 4 and then do exercise. Try to change everything about him.
I am pretty sure he will realize his mistakes. If not then just leave him because he doesn’t love you. He is just trying to change you to some perfect person that he thinks he will love. He doesn’t deserve you if he can’t love you the way you are. Don’t loose yourself for some shallow person.
- Facebook / Eng deepanalysmoreAre you a gay couple? How much water does he want you to drink?
- Lyft hdhsb@OP It doesn't matter if he's right about 8 glasses of water. What matters is he thrusting his ideas on you and you're not liking it. My wife used to do this a lot before and still does it to an extent. The only way to get back control is to firmly tell the other person that you are gonna do what you think is right and follow up on it. Don't budge just to keep peace even once in a while.
One of my therapist said it's training a dog or handling children. You repeatedly do the same thing over and over till the other person gets the message that you are too strong to be changed.
Start small and gradually build up the courage to do what you want to do. Over time, they'll stop bothering you and ironically might start respecting you more for respecting yourself.
Lastly, some dominating people never change. It's friction 100% of the time with them. In such cases, you just leave. There's no better option.