I have been in a relationship for three years and in those three years, we have had innumerable breakups. The thing is that if I say something in a funny or genuine way, he thinks that I am insulting him. He feels I don’t respect him. I mean something in one way but he always takes it in a sense that I am not respecting. This has made our relationship weak over time. I have been apologetic too because I never mean it, but he doesn’t understand this. What do I do?
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Prachi Vaish says:
From what you’re describing as the pattern of your relationship, it sounds like your boyfriend has serious self-esteem issues (please don’t repeat this [restrict] to him or you’ll antagonise him further!).
But yes, it does sound like a complex he’s harbouring. It could be because of something that goes back to his childhood. But he is hypersensitive to “perceived” criticism and that that makes it difficult for him to take your jovial comments in the right spirit. Unfortunately, your apologising would not help in this case because he would see it as a cover-up and fake.
Maybe talk to him and ask the exact feelings your comments incite within him and try and reason with him. Those feelings may also give you a clue into what might be the root of his insecurities.
The ideal way out would be for him to see a therapist to work through his suppressed anger and feelings of humiliation but I can understand that would be difficult for you to convince him for that. As for your relationship’s direction, it would depend on your patience and your bond because that would decide if it’s worth to invest in the relationship while there’s an underlying complex.
I wish you all the best!