What to do when the one you love turns momentarily nasty?
March 3, 2006 12:04 PM Subscribe
Red flag filter: how seriously should I take an out-of-character outburst from a romantic partner?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have been seeing a man for a couple of years, and the relationship is extremely good. He is a kind, thoughtful person, easy to communicate with, and as a partner his MO is to be exceptionally giving.
I have never been with another person who seemed so sincerely to want to help me with my life and work. Since I'm also pretty generous by nature, this has proved a sweet experience for us both. We both have had relationships where our partners enjoyed our good natures, but didn't give much back.
However, there is problem, and in light of how good things are between us otherwise, I am wondering how much weight to give it. In the time I have known him, my partner has had two outbursts where he vehemently announced that he hated me, appropos of nothing that I had done. In each case, external stresses built up--one time quite severely, the most recent time really out of nowhere--and suddenly the person who tells me he loves me several times an hour was gone, and this hate gremlin in his place. The anger blows over fairly quickly, perhaps because I turn cold and analytical in the face of such things, and don't fan the flames, but in the aftermath I find I'm quite nervous about moving forward with plans to formalize our relationship through marriage.
He says it's not really how he feels, but I wonder. He's a high functioning person, but with some child abuse issues that haven't been fully worked through.
Conversely, when he's actually upset about something I have done or not done, he's good at expressing that openly. I truly don't think the "hating" is directed at me.
If anyone has any experience with such Jeckyll & Hyde behavior, or ideas about how to handle it, I would be grateful for your insights. Thanks.