QUESTION FROM READER
I have trouble with my boyfriend. I feel we are originally different in character but he claims that we are totally matched. I don’t care about trivial matters, thinking “that will be all right,” but he is very nervous about things and is totally different from me.
Right now we live together in his condo. He always finds faults in me like the way I speak and so on. When and if I fail to follow his advice, he gets angry at me. I think he is quite short tempered and easily reaches the boiling point of fury. Even if I respond to him saying “You don’t have to worry about such a trivial thing” he firmly insists his righteousness not compromising to talk.
I think he is quite smart so I can understand his intention when he says something like “I care for you and I don’t want you to get involved with any trouble”. But I get exhausted to hear his criticism and anger and his demand to respond every day, particularly when I come home very tired. I feel blue returning home because I imagine we will argue.
He also demands that I get rid of friends who he thinks are not intellectual enough and give me bad influence. My activities and schedules are controlled by him, which makes me feel suffocated although I know he loves me.
Every time I ask him that we split up, he wouldn’t agree. I once tried to leave the condo leaving him a letter but he stayed home to make sure this would not happen and I failed.
I can find some good quality in him, so I sometimes think I should continue our relationship for a while. But I can’t make my decision about whether or not I will be satisfied with him. We did talk about getting married and he met my parents already. Honestly speaking, it seems to be difficult to return to the beginning. （N子）
REPLY FROM COUNSELOR KIYOMI KAWANO
The kind of conflict and confrontation occurs not only in love-relationship but in many other relationships. Although being attracted by a different tendency-character of a partner (companion), at the same time this tendency may start to bother you according to your criteria、especially when the relationship becomes stable. This is of course simple generalization.
Let me show two points of view from which you think of your relationship: 1) life value system and 2) lifestyle (customs, behavior patterns, etc.)
About 1), it could be your ideology, belief and/or your view of life and death. For example, as being a feminist, I may not be able to make any deep relationship with someone who is insensitive not only about sexual discrimination but also all kinds of discrimination. I may be “Con” on conservative view politically and socially. Have you ever discussed with him such matters? If not, please try to talk with him. If he thinks talking about such issues is not important, he is “out” for me.
It sounds that he is a dominant type. Is Controlling you his important value? Manipulating and loving are the opposite sides of a coin. Please do not misunderstand this.
About 2), the difference on this issue could be unavoidable because customs and /or behavior pattern should be different depending on how you were raised in each family. For example, you’d wipe the squarer room circular. You know what I mean? Both of you have to talk about these issues and try to settle down at some point during a long relationship (marriage). If you make your firm decision to leave him and yet he does not let you do it, please seek help from professional counseling services.
QUESTION FROM READER