- Dr. Love in the Media
July 6, 2010 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
Dear Doctor Love,
I have been with my boyfriend for 3 months. We love each other very much but he moved in about a month ago and now he's moving out because we fight too much. I have got to admit I have yelled at him for previous things like taking the dishes out picking up after himself and showing me more attention and passion. He said to me on Monday he's moving out and this week is when I have my apprenticeship to go to all week, but before he said he was moving out on Saturday he said he was thinking about moving out and I said not to talk about it until after my week because this is the week my parents are proud of me and so am I.
I come home from work on Monday and find he's telling me he's moving out to save our relationship but he dragged it on for 3 days. I was crying 3 nights straight until now he stayed at his mum's last night and said he wants to come back and today he says he's going to say there. I want him to come back and live with me because now we are falling apart. He picked me up today from work and we never spoke in the car. I told him it's hard for me to handle 2 jobs and school and work our relationship out and I said it would be better if he moves back in to work on it because every night I'm with him and every morning but he doesn't understand. He got very upset when I said I didn't want to be with him anymore. He cried so I'm not to sure what to do. My parents say he's just confused and say it would be better to get rid of him. But I love him so much. What do I do?
I hear that your poor heart is broken. I also hear that you love this man and don't want to lose him. I have a suggestion that I believe will save the relationship. Before I give you the suggestion, I want to explain why I think you both derailed in the first place.
You said in your letter that you yelled at him for his various inattentions. The problem is, when you yell at someone, he becomes angry with you. The angry feeling causes him to want to do less and less for you. This in turn leads you to yell at him more and more. This is how you both fell into a vicious cycle.
To turn this rupture around, you need to take responsibility for pushing him away by yellingRaising one's voice during a conflict is a dysfunctional way of behaving. No matter how angry you are, it's vital to learn to control your impulses and never deliver raw rage to another person. When...(Click for full definition.) at him. Tell him that you are going to stop yelling at him and that you are going to learn to communicate your needs constructively. My book, Till Death Do Us Part (Unless I Kill You First): A Step-by Step Guide for Resolving Relationship Conflict will show you how to do just this.
He is resisting moving back in because he doesn't want to be reamed out by you. If he feels that you are willing to own your part of the problem, he will feel more willing to reconnect to you.
Please let me know how you make out.
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
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Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
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Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
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