Girlfriend’s low blows may break their bond
My girlfriend and I have been together for more than five years. We have grown a lot and gotten past the immaturity of our early 20s.
We used to fight constantly, but nowour fights are so rare that Iwould saywe have a great relationship with great communication.
My girlfriend can say some extremely cruel things when she is angry. I’mtalking about personal attacks. The gist of them is basically thatmy family doesn’t have any money. Once whenwe were on the verge of a breakup, she calledme“ghetto trash.”
While it’s true thatmy family isn’twell off, I neverwent without anything I needed and rarelywent without things Iwanted. My mother did a great job. I have a good job and no legal troubles of any kind.
While eventually I do forget these fights and forgivemy girlfriend, these remarks hurt so much thatwhen I’mreminded I’m left crying and depressed. I’mnot exactly the most sensitive guy, but I find these comments devastating. Howdo I address this, Amy?
Kicked Below the Belt
Some people disappear into a kind of white-hot trance when they’re angry and strike with cruelty.
But it is never okay to verbally abuse or belittle someone— and the comment your girlfriend made about you is belittling and mean.
You don’t need to describe and defend your family, tome or to her. Instead, you should treat this like the serious matter it is, talk to your girlfriend about it, and receive a sincere and believable apology from her.
It’s wonderful that you two have a more stable and peaceful relationship than you used to have, but you need to talk about how to fight fairly.
You should also seriously consider what choice you will make if this happens again. When your girlfriend trashes your family, she is trashing you. If she can’t figure out away to behave differently, this is a dealbreaker, inmy mind.
The letter from “A HappyWife” really got to me. She pines for her family at holiday times, and I completely understand.
My family and I are very close. They live in Australia and I amin the United States. It is a rare holiday that I spend with them.
I choose to appreciate the sadness and longing I feel for them during holidays, seeing it as an indication of just howmuchwe love one another.
Howoften do you hear about people dreading going to the family gathering?
I feel so lucky that every event I get to share withmy extended family is one I truly look forward to and enjoy.
Homesick and Coping
You have embraced the very thing that makes you sad, and in my mind that’s an emotionally healthy response to the wistfulness of the holiday season.
My family and Iwere talking about NewYear’s resolutions. Do people ever keep them?
TheNewYear’s resolutions that last the longest are modest, specific and achievable.
Rather than resolve, “ This year I’mgoing to be a better friend,” you can promise yourself, “ This year I’mgoing to reach out to one friend every day.”
I’d love to hear about readers’ resolutions.