Keep all negativity off of this post please.
I met my boyfriend after my divorce and he moved in with my son and I a few months later. He is a great man in almost every way, but I am having trouble deciding if he is just a natural care giver, or if he is treating me like a child.
I can be pretty disorganized, sporadic, and forgetful, so I have always been appreciative of the fact that he makes sure I don't forget my medicine every night, he packs my sons lunch every day, he reminds me of bills that are due, etc. If I need him to run an errand, he does so without any problems. He always wants to solve problems when they arise but that is kind of what is causing this problem. The issue I am having is that when I do something that upsets him, he gives me this long, long lecture about why I am doing it and how it can be solved. I like that he communicates with me, but I feel like he is doing in in a way that is somewhat toxic to our relationship.
One example is this. It was my 27th birthday recently and my friend had people over at her boyfriends house. I haven't been to a house party in YEARS, so I was excited to play beer pong and flip cup with everyone. While doing this, my boyfriend was paying very much attention to how much I was drinking. He wasn't nagging me or anything, but he kept making comments like, "Babe, you might wanna slow it down a bit". Well I guess I did go overboard because I ended up throwing up that night (also something I haven't done in years). While throwing up, he was trying to tell me how I shouldn't dirnk to that point. OK yes, lesson learned, but its not like I do this ever, and I kind of got upset with him over his "dad like" tendencies. The next morning, he was so mad at me, and gave me this big lecture on how I need to control myself. Thank you, but I am 27, divorced, gotten through a lot of shit, and am doing pretty well for myself and I don't need someone telling me what I should or should not be doing. He held that grudge from the night before all day, and I got several lectures about it.
I explained to him that I was sorry I got that way, but that I don't need him to treat me like a child. We got into a fight and we were quiet for a long time, but he eventually apologized to me for the way he reacted and said he would work towards getting better about it.
Something similar happened last night (not drinking) but more about finances, and again, he treated me like I was very irresponsible and lectured me about how I need to change my ways financially. I am very well aware of what needs to be done and he could have discussed this with me without a lecture. This morning, he apologized again saying he doesn't realize he is acting that way until he sits back to think about it.
Do you think he means well or is this a control mechanism. He really is a great man and cares so much about me, and my happiness, but I'm more of a free spirit and don't like to be told what to do. If he is realizing what he is doing and genuinely wants to fix it, do you think it can be done or will this forever be in his nature? Am I over reacting to this? I just want him to talk to me about his concerns without the feeling of a lecture from my daddy.
DH and I have both changed the ways we communicate over the years. I think it's definitely possible, especially if you don't find him controlling in other ways that are harmful.
How old is he?
Out of curiosity is there much of an age difference between you guys?
I think he does mean well. Yes the lectures would get old but it would also get old that you can remember when bills are do your to take your medicine on your own. I mean there are things to help you do this. Calendars and alarms. If he wasn't there would things just go overdue and not get paid?
It doesn't sound like control it sounds like frustration. I'd just tell him you don't want to be lectured, that you appreciate his reminders and help but you want to be talked to like an adult. Honestly though, if you recognize that you're disorganized and sporadic you should try to make an effort to be more conscious about things. It's cool to be a free spirit but it sounds like you want his organization when it's convenient for you, like making the lunches etc and not when you just don't want to be told what to do. I don't mean that to be rude but I'm thinking that's probably where his frustration is coming from.
Quoting BlackVelvet:" Out of curiosity is there much of an age difference between you guys?"
He is 29, and he is a lot of fun, but he can drink a lot when we go out and not show a single sign. I can get a little over the top but in a fun way. I just get a little pissed if I am drunk and someone tries to tell me what to do. This is rare by the way. My ex has our son every Saturday night and we go out maybe once a month if not once every 2 months
Quoting Blythe.:" I think he does mean well. Yes the lectures would get old but it would also get old that you can remember ... [snip!] ... there are things to help you do this. Calendars and alarms. If he wasn't there would things just go overdue and not get paid?"
No its not that I can't do it, but he is a lot more organized than I am and it just comes naturally to him now.
Yea... sounds like he's either older than you... or maybe it's just different personalities. You do also sound a bit defensive about him or anyone for that matter telling you anything. Was there control issues in your previous marriage? By all means, the guy sounds fucken amazing.
Oh and also, you have to remember... when most men conversate it's not to listen and simply understand... it's to resolve and fix... I mean, he could probably change his tone to not come off as condescending but the point of him speaking to you in any way about an issue is to resolve it.
I don't think you're over reacting, I'd be upset if SO talked to me like that, but I also think he means well and just doesn't know how to simply have a conversation with you instead of lecturing you. It's great that he communicates with you and lays everything out on the table instead of holding it all in and letting it build up, he just needs to work on how he delivers his thoughts. Also.. the fact that he ends up apologizing is awesome IMO because SO is hardly ever the first one to apologize. At least he realizes how he's coming off, even if it is later than you'd like (better late than never).
Quoting Just Ames:" It sounds like he's trying to be responsible. I mean, not getting slobbering ass drunk and being responsible ... [snip!] ... like he means well. Maybe his delivery is not the best but the bottom line is that he's concerned about legitimate life issues."
Yes I understand that, and I appreciate that factor in him, but I feel there are better ways to approach these talks by treating me like an equal. When I met him a year ago, he was very irresponsible and I took the initiative to help him get through it. He had just passed the BAR, but didn't have a job, was drinking every night and partying with friends. When we met, he became this responsible person, and got a full time job in Atlanta where he has to commute 35 miles in traffic for. It seems that all the fun was wiped out of him at this point and I want a little of it back. I am not talking about college like parties. That was a fun time, but I can't handle that scene often. This is not a common occurence
Quoting BG ~Jennifer~:" No its not that I can't do it, but he is a lot more organized than I am and it just comes naturally to him now."
so you're just being lazy because he is there to remind you. Show him you can be a grown up an maybe he'll back off
Quoting Jeronimo:" Yea... sounds like he's either older than you... or maybe it's just different personalities. You do also ... [snip!] ... his tone to not come off as condescending but the point of him speaking to you in any way about an issue is to resolve it."
Yes, I was very much emotionally abused in my last marriage, and it even got physical a couple of times. I spent 8 years of my life being put down, and I KNOW that I have an extreme defensive side that I am trying to work on. I hate, hate, hate criticism and do not take it well. My boyfriend knows this though, and I feel like he can meet me in the middle as far as communication goes. He is awesome and he loves me very much. I got mad at him once for raising his voice and I told him to stay at his parents. He was so upset that I said that, he took the day off work so we could spend time together. He really is amazing and I am not saying I am perfect by any means, but his lecturing is only making things worse.
I do the same thing to DH. I mean well. I don't do it to control him, I do it out of concern. He hates it and I'm working on it :oops:
So I kinda feel like that's what your boyfriend is doing, as well.