Boyfriend’s tem­per trau­ma­tiz­ing

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - LIFE - MAU­REEN SCURFIELD

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: As a joke, I filled my new boyfriend’s room with bal­loons on his birth­day (his dad let me in the house to do it). When we got back to his house af­ter din­ner out, I gave my BF his gift and rigged things so he’d have to go up to his room to get some­thing — and see the bal­loons! He walked down the steps and yelled: “I HATE prac­ti­cal jokes!” Then he asked his mother for scis­sors and went up­stairs and popped ev­ery bal­loon — Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! — I heard ev­ery one. I was in tears down­stairs and his mother said to me: “Go home. He’s likely to go into a rage now.” I ran all the way home in shock. What didn’t I know about this guy? Why did his fa­ther let me do that if his kid goes into rages? What should I do now? I haven’t heard one word from him since. — Too Shocked to Cry, Out­side Win­nipeg Dear Shocked: In a strange way, you’re lucky. You learned this boyfriend has se­ri­ous emo­tional prob­lems in a safe sit­u­a­tion when his par­ents were around. The dad let you in to play the trick be­cause he didn’t know how to say his son was un­sta­ble and could fly into rages. Don’t try to make any con­tact — just be glad you learned. If this guy tries to con­tact you with an apol­ogy, just say you were hurt by his re­sponse and think it would be bet­ter to go your sep­a­rate ways. Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is in re­sponse to Much Bet­ter Cook (the guy whose new live-in makes pork chops ev­ery day and he’s kicked her out of the kitchen). Many years ago, I re­mem­ber my great-aunt telling my mom how she once made my great-un­cle Denver sand­wiches for lunch 17 days straight. When he fi­nally asked for some­thing dif­fer­ent, she got up­set and asked, “Don’t you like my cook­ing?” to which he replied, “Yes, but not the same thing ev­ery day.” The rea­son she made him the same sand­wich ev­ery day was be­cause she knew he liked it and she wanted to make him happy. It could be the same for Much Bet­ter Cook’s girl­friend. As for his pre­tend­ing to learn to cook, I think they should try learn­ing to cook to­gether. It can be very sen­sual to cook (and feed) each other a meal. May I sug­gest The New In­terCourses: An Aphro­disiac Cook­book by Martha Hop­kins and Ran­dall Lock­ridge? — Cook­ing for One (Still Fun), Win­nipeg Dear Cook­ing: Kick­ing this new live-in out of the kitchen cre­ated a big hole in their re­la­tion­ship with an exit sign over it. Cook­ing sexy new recipes to­gether could mend the fab­ric of their re­la­tion­ship in a beau­ti­ful way. Con­sider your smart sug­ges­tion passed on. This guy needs to apol­o­gize and back off his all-or-noth­ing ap­proach now. Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I had a re­cent sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence to Abused and Used. Af­ter many abu­sive re­la­tion­ships I found a guy that knocked him­self out mak­ing me happy. We had an in­cred­i­bly in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship and he was a self-pro­fessed “pleaser.” We were talk­ing about a fu­ture to­gether. Our first dis­agree­ment was about his daily beer habit. So the first time I wasn’t pleased with him, he coldly with­drew from me. He ended the re­la­tion­ship af­ter the ar­gu­ment by show­ing up on my doorstep unan­nounced with my be­long­ings. He re­fused to work things out. He coldly shut down emo­tion­ally. I felt plenty abused then. Les­son learned? Some­one who tries too hard to please can be in­se­cure and try­ing to buy un­con­di­tional ac­cep­tance. Also they may be afraid of con­flict. This is the mark of a nar­cis­sist as well. I hope this woman does not be­come emo­tion­ally drawn in by this man. How some­one deals with con­flict is a mea­sure of their true char­ac­ter. She should be cau­tious, as this is an­other type of abuser and this is how they gain con­trol. Good luck to her. I would like to be­lieve men like hers are gen­uine. — Been There, Done That, Win­nipeg Dear Been There: He may not have been a nar­cis­sist at all. That was the first time you men­tioned his al­co­hol prob­lem, but prob­a­bly not the first time a woman has crit­i­cized him and per­haps left him for it. He may have said to him­self, “Now she knows my ugly se­cret, I’ll never hear the end of it. I’m get­ting out of here.” If that was the case, nei­ther you nor she need worry about lov­ing an­other man who likes to please a woman. The wise course is to look for a mid­dle ground: a guy who can speak his mind and his feel­ings nor­mally and re­solve con­flict, but still en­joy pleas­ing his mate. Don’t use your re­cent in­ci­dent as a rea­son to go back to less-pleas­ant guys.

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