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My bf criticizes me over trivial things! He's from a military family and says I'm "spoiled" and should "toughen up."

Tagged as: Big Questions, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (14 November 2006) 5 Answers - (Newest, 15 November 2006)
A female Australia, anonymous writes:

I have been seeing this guy for about a year, and while I love him dearly and think he's incredibly smart, funny, charming and sexy, at times he's extremely critical and frequently hurts my feelings with his harsh words and sharp tone of voice when he's irritated about something. Usually it's something trivial. He's also a bit of a perfectionist and I am not. I try to do everything the way he likes, but sometimes he still criticizes my best efforts. I've told him time and time again about how I feel and that I don't like being talked to like that. But he says it's because

he came from a military family and because I'm "spoiled" and I should "toughen up". I came from a very loving, family who believed in goals, and discipline but it wasn't "boot camp" at my house! When he's in one of these moods, I end up feeling horrible about myself, it really messes up my self esteem and he seems oblivious to my feelings no matter how many times I've told him. I'm starting to think we don't have a future together because we are too different. Should I continue to try and fit into this mold?...or move on. We get along great in every other area. Help!

View related questions: military, move on, self esteem

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A female reader, Toria +, writes (15 November 2006):

Toria agony auntIn every relationship it's about give and take, we all have to accept and adjust to the other person and their ways and wants, that doesn't mean you have to fit into every way and every want he has and demands it means you both give and take on the adjusting and moulding to each others routines.

He has a military background and you come from a loving family, that doesn't make his background more important to follow by than yours just means your different and was brought up differently and he needs to accept you for who you are, that's what love is about, love isn't about changing someone to what you want them to be it's about loving someone for who they are.

Good luck :o)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 November 2006):

I totally know where your coming from, my bf is ex miltary.

when i read your question i felt like i ws not alone with this problem. my bf is also a mojor perfectionist, anything i do wrong or not the way he would do it i get yelled at, it makes me fill like im not good enough and im not good at anything. he also yells at me and calls me names, he also says to me that i should learn to tounghen up because i am so sheltered, he thinks yelling at me will make me understand and learn, yet it just makes me depressed and upset and worried. i am also wondering if its worth staying because my self esteem is suffering so badly. if you like you can email me [email address blocked]

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (14 November 2006):

He might be right and you should up your standards and toughen up- there is no way of telling without some examples.

What is actionable is that you two should have a conversation about this. Clearly not everything can be done perfectly and not everything is worth doing perfectly and he should see that. You waste a lot of time trying to be a perfectionist.

See if you can air out this issue and come to a concensus. There is no reason for a bed to have to be made perfectly but there is a point to take some care when aligning car tires. You can probably agree together what things are important and what things can be allowed to slide.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (14 November 2006):

It'll never work. Dump him and start over.

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A female reader, msel2304 +, writes (14 November 2006):

msel2304 agony auntNo guy should make you think twice about yourself or your actions. By him saying that he talks to you like that b/c he came from a military family is just an excuse for his disapproving behavior. He needs to understand that your views are different and although your trying to accept his ways, you really shouldn't have to. You should not try to become who he wants you to be because if you do, eventually it will catch up with you and your won't be happy. Let him know whats up again, lay down the line and compromise but dont let him have it all his way. Thats called controlling and you could end up in a dangerous situation. If he can't take your feelings into consideration and try to meet you half way then i say move on. I wish you the best! :)

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