Criticizing the person you love?

Discussion in 'Vaginarium' started by DTR rex, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. DTR rex

    DTR rex New Member

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    To make a VERY long story short I dated this girl for several years and things started getting crappy after a while due to the usual stuff... I got too lazy with the relationship, had a "whatever" attitude and wasn't really there for her. Naturally, she ended things and we were apart for a good 7 months.
    We ended up getting back together (she felt she was ready again) and we have now been dating again for ~ 3 months.

    Well, we had a huge fight the other day and she more or less ended things. I was really tore up the first time we broke up and I thought it would be easier this time around, but it wasn't. After a couple days of not talking we had a sitdown and we are going to give it one more week to see how things are and if all is still bad, I guess she wants out of this relationship for good.

    The main thing here though is that it really bothers her that I criticize her... and most times I don't even realize that I am doing it. She smokes 2 or 3 cigs a day and I always give her crap for it. She has friends that always screw her over and she constantly complains about them and I give her crap for even being friends with them to begin with.
    The thing I don't understand is why if I love her so much do I criticize her? I love this girl more than anything. She means the world to me and I would do absolutely anything for her..... but then why the hell do I judge her and criticize her the way I do?

    If I really love her to death then her having a few cigs a day shouldn't bother me that much. But for some reason I can't keep my damn mouth shut.
    This makes her feel bad about her self, makes her think I don't really even want her and makes her want to leave me.

    I have gotten a lot better than I used to be, but nonetheless I find myself being a jerk to her sometimes when I don't want to be. I want to be with her, and I REALLY REALLY don't want to blow this again. I lost her once and was lucky enough to win her back again, but now I am blowing it ALL OVER AGAIN :rolleyes:
    I am about the lose the person I love more than anything because I do stupid little stuff that I really want to stop.

    I'm really not a bad guy. I treat her well, make her feel attractive and loved, etc... but she is emotional, has self esteem issues, and is pretty sensitive.... and I keep hurting her despite my effort to be what she needs.
    I have no doubt that I want to marry this girl and spend my life with her and she used to feel the same way.... but now when I say/do something that may come off as dickheaded-ish she wants out of the relationship immediately...and I guess I can't blame her.
    I want to be with her, but I am ruining it for myself!

    It angers me and confuses me. I don't want to lose her, and I don't want to go through the hell of the post-breakup sadness, but it almost seems like it is inevidable. We're giving it one more week, but when I look in her eyes it seems that I have already lost her.
    I can't really imagine life without her especially if I blew it a SECOND time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2008
  2. althepirate

    althepirate Talk nerdy to me.

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    So....she got back with you a second, soon to be third time knowing you were going to be an asshole to her about certain things?
     
  3. fray

    fray New Member

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    Well, it's all a trade-off. Do you think it doesn't bother you enough and can you keep your mouth shut (or learn to apologize) enough to keep her? Is that actually changing part of who you are and do you mind doing that to for her? Also, if she's feeling bad about this, then it's possible you're not making her feel as attractive and loved as you think you are. (All of these things are evaluated from her perspective, not yours.)

    Should be a little compromise on her part too. If you tone it down, can she understand that's just how you are and let it go? She's gonna have to drop the immediate break up shit if you make an honest effort. You can't be in a relationship teetering on the edge all the time - too stressful.

    My boyfriend can be terrible like that. It drives me crazy. Sometimes we bicker, but that's basically how he is and unless he's being just a crazy jerk and real outlandish about it, I usually just let it blow over because I ultimately don't care.
     
  4. DTR rex

    DTR rex New Member

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    Well, I have been working on fixing that stuff.

    I want to clarify that I am not a total asshole. I treat her VERY well for the most part, but I am very opinionated and stubborn so I sometimes I don't shut my mouth when I should. I think "hmmmm, she's pretty sensitive and that probably hurt her feelings or upset her" after the fact. I want to think that, BEFORE I say anything.

    I really love her, and she really loves me.... but sometimes love isn't enough and I am going to lose her because of this. I just can't figure out why I would criticize her if I love her.
    Shouldn't I just let it be for both our sakes?

    I used to think the criticism was me telling myself that I need to find someone new and I am not really happy. But when I am not with her all I want to do is be with her and she makes me happy so I can't imagine that I am secretly unhappy.
    I have been known to be a bit of a perfectionist, but is it normal to criticize someone you love.... or am I just afraid to let go because I don't know what the future holds for me?
     
  5. althepirate

    althepirate Talk nerdy to me.

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    No, I don't think you're being a total asshole; just a jerk on certain topics.

    Being insecure in a relationship creates more tension which leads to....wait for it....criticism and snapping at one another. Is there something in particular, before the added threat of her breaking up with you, that was bothering you?
     
  6. DTR rex

    DTR rex New Member

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    She's usually pretty good about letting things blow over. But ever since that first time we broke up she has kinda realized that she has the power and can leave at any time if she's not happy..... So instead of working things out it just becomes a "maybe we would be better off not dating" sort of thing.

    I will admit, it bothers me when she smokes, when she complains about her friends all the time and never says anything to them, and when she expect a lot from me. But, nonetheless I have the utmost love for her and I am thinking that if I really love her I should not have to criticize her and I could just look past it all to make us happy.

    But then of course, it comes down to "am I really happy"?

    I know I love her to death, and I can't imagine my life without her.... but I am getting the feeling that I am having to compromise too much here and it's just not going to work anymore.
    But another side of me says to do anything I possibly can to keep her.

    There is no doubt that I want this to work more than she does though... and I am on this quest to become the perfect boyfriend for her, and I just can't figure out I am doing the right thing. If this is all going to be worth it or if I am just clinging on and need to just let go of her and find a way to move through it.
     
  7. DTR rex

    DTR rex New Member

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    When we first started dating in high school I did your typical immature shit and criticized her hair, outfits, friends, etc... I moved past that and I realized I was hurting her and it needed to stop.
    Which it did for the most part.

    But now, she'll ask if I mind if she has a cig and I will roll my eyes and say harshly "if you HAVE to". I don't like that she smokes, but the fact that she even asks if I mind is pretty damn cool of her now that I think of it.

    I also criticize her swearing, her study habit, etc... She complains about her own swearing, her own friends, her own study habit, and when I criticize or give advice she gets pretty upset.

    Point is, all that stuff she does bothers me.... So should I take that as a symbol of needing to let her end it and finding someone more suited to me, or does that mean I need to stop being a dickhead and show her more often that I love her despite her habits?

    It seems as though I have already lost her so all of this might be vein, but I am going down swinging!

    If it matter to anyone: We go to the same college, she is 23 and I am 22. Both dated other people, but we are both each others' first love and first REAL relationship.
     
  8. althepirate

    althepirate Talk nerdy to me.

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    But why are you the one that needs to change so much? Relationships are about compromise. If this is your personality, she needs to either [a] grow a thick skin or tell you to cut your shit without insisting it means you need to break up.

    You, my dear, need to stop playing Mommy. Tell her you'd rather her not smoke around you at the very least, but you also need to accept that she smoked when you started dating her. On the topic of her friends, just tell her you don't want to hear her complain about them if she's not willing to do anything about it.
     
  9. demosnat

    demosnat New Member

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    Some people are just overly critical, i'm one of them.
    Just try to bear in mind that you have this tendency and be on the look out for it.
     
  10. DTR rex

    DTR rex New Member

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    When we started dating she didn't smoke. She started smoking during our breakup. Now that we are together she has cut down to 2-4 cigs a day as opposed to half a pack though.

    The main problem is that whenever I complain it seems to cause her to feel like I am complaining directly about her and then she starts getting upset thinking I don't think she's good enough, and we shouldn't be together because she's tired of feeling inadequate.

    I know, it's childish, but she has been insecure and sensitive the whole time I have known her (years) and despite it I still love her dearly.
     
  11. DTR rex

    DTR rex New Member

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    I certainly think this is true of me. I do tend to be overcritical and am quick to judge.

    I am really trying to work on "looking out" for it... but is there something wrong with me criticizing the woman I love. Does this mean perhaps we are not as "meant to be" as I thought, or do I need to just STFU and learn to live with keeping my opinion to myself if I want to keep this relationship?
     
  12. Alaya

    Alaya Active Member

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    I agree with Demos - but with that in mind, try to control it as much as you can, and if you MUST say something you could do things a lot more constructively.

    Also, I'll try to find where antihero explained it but he's said it very well about when women bitch [about her friends, work, whatever]: men want to solve problems, women just want to be supported... BRB finding that post...

    edit:
     
  13. althepirate

    althepirate Talk nerdy to me.

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    She started smoking....but you still got back with her anyways. And she's cut down. Stop playing Mommy. Tell her you don't approve, don't smoke around you, and leave her alone about it.

    I could never date someone so insecure. Sweet Jesus, I would slap someone. You are complaining directly about her. You can't love someone despite this and this and this and this....you love someone because that's part of who they are.

    Edit:

    Alaya and Demos have the right idea. She thinks you're trying to change her and she just wants you to listen...
     
  14. demosnat

    demosnat New Member

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    Lately i've been trying to, if I want to say anything critical (ie why can't you just do the fucking dishes) I make a mental note of what I want to say, and then do something else for an hour or so, if I still want to say something later i do. Nine times out of ten I don't
     
  15. ww_Crimson

    ww_Crimson New Member

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    I think you criticize her because these things are part of your collection of morals and standards that you have, and you want them to change. You might tell yourself it doesn't bother you a lot that she smokes 2-4 cigarettes a day but that's because you are scared of losing her. Really, you do care that she smokes because its a turn off to you.

    How many women did you date while you two were broken up? Any?

    What is it that makes you feel like you need her so much -- I understand being in love but is there something she offers that you really feel no other woman could ever bring to the table? I'm not suggesting that you break up but it sounds like she wants to but doesn't have the balls to end it herself.
     
  16. Leah

    Leah OT Supporter

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    Loving eachother should always be enough. Enough for her to be able to forgive and for you to try to change. :dunno:

    If you don't think you're capable of laying off of her a bit when you know EXACTLY how much it bothers her, then maybe you don't care about her as much as you think. I understand being bothered by her smoking or her choice of friends, but it sounds to me like you probably make pretty frequent comments about it and that's why she is getting so upset.

    Then again, she might be overly sensitive, but I think you would've mentioned that a little more if you really thought it was a self esteem problem on her end. Do you compliment her plenty, too? This could help take some of the sting out of your minor gripes...and maybe by reminding her that you only want her to quit smoking because it's unhealthy, as is having shitty friends surrounding you all the time. You're really just looking out for her.
     
  17. Leah

    Leah OT Supporter

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    It's something I could probably argue all day. I don't believe it because it's what I WANT to believe. The reality of someone not truly loving you enough to change is probably more painful than telling yourself that "Oh, they do..." followed by excuse after excuse for their behavior. That's just how I feel about it though, and who knows, more likely than not I'll experience something that will totally change my mind...such is life.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2008
  18. iwishyouwerebeer

    iwishyouwerebeer you shut your cunt Moderator

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    Stop fighting for this relationship. Move on.
     
  19. Leah

    Leah OT Supporter

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    About 2. :dunno: I'm not saying I'm an expert on the subject, it's just my opinion...I think it's silly when someone says their relationship didn't work even though they "loved eachother so much, it just wasn't enough". Why wasn't it enough? In what circumstance could that possibly be true? If there was a serious problem in my relationship, and I knew what I could conceivably do to make it better, I would do it.
     
  20. mavfan1

    mavfan1 Active Member

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    i do the exact same thing you do. its hard when you know they are doing things that aren't good for them, hanging around bad people, etc. etc.

    so, i just learned to change the way i criticize to empower and uplift her
     
  21. DTR rex

    DTR rex New Member

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    Just to answer a few of the questions asked here:

    1) Does she has insecurity issues and is she oversensitive? YES. Bigtime. She has been dealing with it all her life since her mom was pretty rough on her always comparing her to her sister, etc...

    2) Is it possible I don't love her as much as I say because I hate these things she does? No, I love her dearly. I could EASILY see myself marrying her and spending my life with her. It's just that for years she was one way and and in the last year or so (which is natural when growing up) she has been changing.... wanting more independence, wanting to smoke, wanting questionable friends, etc...
    I don't hate her for any of it, it's just a hard adjustment for me because I don't really agree with much of it.
    She's still an AMAZING girl though.

    3) Do I compliment her still? All the time. I constantly tell her how smart/beautiful/great, etc... she is. And I say it because I mean it.
    But I could compliment her a thousand times and one slip up of criticism destroys all of that.

    I think a couple of you nailed it though. I have certain standards and morals that I expect from myself and naturally I just the same expect that from my s/o's.... and when they don't live upto it I criticize them. And since we've been dating for years (aside from the 7 month breakup) she's probably heard a lot of criticism through it all.

    I guess I just have to really learn to keep the criticizing down and make sure it takes a backseat to my love for her. And just the same, like the antihero quote, when she complains I need to stop trying to solve her problems and just listen to her.

    Of course, the damage has already been done....and it very well might be too late to fix this now. She's pretty fed up and I am not sure she is going to give me the opportunity to show her that I might be able to do this.
    I guess we'll see what happens. I know I can do it, but I don't know if she even wants to let me try.
    The ball is in her court now :(
     
  22. DTR rex

    DTR rex New Member

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    Also, I have come the realization that I may get to point where I sacrifice my own beliefs to keep her happy and I don't want it to get there. However, I just the same could stand to be less critical and not expect so much from others.
    I guess it's all in trying to find that balance.

    I love her and want to be with her, but there are things she does I don't like... but the love MUCH outweighs any negative feelings towards her habits.
    She tries to combine the freedoms and thoughts of a single girl with the lifestyle of someone in a relationship.

    We both have work to do and I don't want to be the only one working on myself.
    Again though, we'll see what happens. It might already be too late anyways.
     
  23. iwishyouwerebeer

    iwishyouwerebeer you shut your cunt Moderator

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    After all this do you really believe you'll ever just think that way? Or will you keep trying?
     
  24. DTR rex

    DTR rex New Member

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    I get you, but it's easier said than done.

    I have been through a lot trying to make this work (and the same goes for her) but despite everything we still love each other and still "want" it to work. I am not sure I could just pick up and walk away from this as things are. I am someone who always goes down swinging.... no regrets.

    It might not work out and that would really suck... but I need to know I did everything I could to try and make it work. If I was falling out of love or had doubts about our chemistry I would end it no problem.... but the love is still there and still strong as well as the chemistry. The sex is absolutely INCREDIBLE and we have very much in common.

    We are perfect in so many ways... but it's the stupid little stuff like my criticism and her insecurities that are pulling it apart.

    I can't walk away from all that unless she forces me to or the love just isn't there.
     
  25. DTR rex

    DTR rex New Member

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    Well, by too late I mean she ends it and wants nothing to do with me.

    I can't force her to be with me. We love each other but like I said, she is telling me all the criticism and me playing "mommy" with her is getting too much and she can't take it and thinks we might need to end it if I can't cool it off with all that.

    I hope I have the opportunity to show her I care enough to change things, but it just might be too late... and if it is, there is nothing I can do about that.
    She's at the point where she doesn't want to leave someone she loves, but apparently I am making her feel like crap and she would rather be alone than be with someone and feel like that.
    I feel bad for her, and I know I am a part of the problem... but I know I am not all of it.
     

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