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You Asked: How Can I Change?

Dear Sugar,

Me and my boyfriend got into a couple of bad fights last month. Actually it was more like me yelling like a crazy person and him trying to walk away. He says he does that so he won't say something he'll regret, but I take it as him not listening or not caring. We finally talked a week after our last spat, and he told me that he doesn't think it's going to work out because he's tired of trying.

Every time it gets to the point where he wants to breakup with me, I change my tune and don't sweat the small stuff. But after a couple of months go by, I get back into the routine of getting upset and flipping out. I know I need an attitude adjustment and I want to change, but I don't know how. Do you have any advice? — Want to Save My Relationship Sandra

To see DearSugar's answer

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Dear Want to Save my Relationship Sandra,

This isn't a healthy cycle to be in so I'm glad to hear that you want to make a change. I think acknowledging your flaws is the first step, and I know that's not an easy thing to do, so I applaud you for stepping up to the plate.

It sounds to me like you get angry easily. Try taking deep breaths and thinking through your emotions before letting your initial reaction get the best of you. If you find that that doesn't help, try to look deeper inside to see if there's something else going on that's creating this anger. It's also important that your boyfriend looks at the role he plays, as something tells me he's not just an innocent bystander.

While I understand that you want to save your relationship, I think it's important for you to make this change for yourself, not only your boyfriend. Talking to a trusted friend or a therapist might also help you sort through your emotions, but whatever route you decide to take, try to keep it all relative. Good luck to you.

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Marci Marci 6 years
It's possible you need an attitude adjustment. It's also possible you just need a different partner. Being with the right person makes a big difference in that department. I was with someone for years who I swore up and down I loved and couldn't live without. Eventually, I wised up and broke up with him, realizing we just pushed each other's buttons. Now I'm with someone who it flows with. We have our issues, but most of the time it's great, and we don't sweat the small stuff with each other.
Marci Marci 6 years
It's possible you need an attitude adjustment. It's also possible you just need a different partner. Being with the right person makes a big difference in that department. I was with someone for years who I swore up and down I loved and couldn't live without. Eventually, I wised up and broke up with him, realizing we just pushed each other's buttons. Now I'm with someone who it flows with. We have our issues, but most of the time it's great, and we don't sweat the small stuff with each other.
Alyssa9986 Alyssa9986 6 years
This was totally me and my ex...now my new guy has a VERRRRY hard time ever picturing me as a "drama queen". Seriously, it's the guy you're with. I'm not usually a proponent for the blame game, but in this situation it might just be a conflict of personalities. There's clearly something inherent in him that's creating a deep rift in your interactions with him. To all of the posters above, dear lord, sounds exactly like the crap my ex would spout off to me.
princess_eab princess_eab 6 years
I think we need more info about this whole situation. I agree with those who are saying you might not necessarily have a problem - it might just be the relationship and how you react to each other. A neutral party like a therapist would help you gauge whether you do have an anger problem.My ex used to say I was passive aggressive and picking fights with him, so I believed him, even though he had a nasty temper. With my current boyfriend, I realized that saying completely normal things used to set my ex off. I constantly ask my current boyfriend if I've offended him by asking a question I wasn't supposed to ask, or mentioning something accidentally. He always laughs at me and wonders why I'm so sensitive.
princess_eab princess_eab 6 years
I think we need more info about this whole situation. I agree with those who are saying you might not necessarily have a problem - it might just be the relationship and how you react to each other. A neutral party like a therapist would help you gauge whether you do have an anger problem. My ex used to say I was passive aggressive and picking fights with him, so I believed him, even though he had a nasty temper. With my current boyfriend, I realized that saying completely normal things used to set my ex off. I constantly ask my current boyfriend if I've offended him by asking a question I wasn't supposed to ask, or mentioning something accidentally. He always laughs at me and wonders why I'm so sensitive.
sparklestar sparklestar 6 years
I used to be like this with my ex but now I'm with my boyfriend I don't do it at all!! What is it that makes you blow up?
sparklestar sparklestar 6 years
I used to be like this with my ex but now I'm with my boyfriend I don't do it at all!!What is it that makes you blow up?
hope2be hope2be 6 years
How about instead of chasing after him and yelling, take a breather and walk away too? Maybe then you can rethink things over rather than saying things that you may regret. Therapy is good too if you want. And you don't provide more details as in what's the 'small stuff' that flipped you out? Maybe it's not so small?
hope2be hope2be 6 years
How about instead of chasing after him and yelling, take a breather and walk away too?Maybe then you can rethink things over rather than saying things that you may regret.Therapy is good too if you want.And you don't provide more details as in what's the 'small stuff' that flipped you out? Maybe it's not so small?
sprinkibrio sprinkibrio 6 years
I'm voting wrong guy. I highly doubt anything is wrong with you. Take a good look at if you are really happy, and realize there are people who will make you feel normal.
sprinkibrio sprinkibrio 6 years
A relationship shouldn't be that hard. Maybe this is the wrong time in your life to be serious or maybe this is the wrong guy.
Seka21 Seka21 6 years
Therapy, Meditation... having a code word with your partner that you both can use to diffuse and argument..I think you have dont one of the bravest things. Admitting you are the problem.. you want to change.. aso i think its possible as your heart is in the right place. Good Luck
Seka21 Seka21 6 years
Therapy, Meditation... having a code word with your partner that you both can use to diffuse and argument.. I think you have dont one of the bravest things. Admitting you are the problem.. you want to change.. aso i think its possible as your heart is in the right place. Good Luck
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 6 years
You should follow his lead and just walk away for a few minutes the next time you feel something like this coming on. If you really feel you have no control over your own behavior then you definitely need to seek therapy.
sparklepants sparklepants 6 years
Are you positive it's really you who has the problem? Are you sure it's not your boyfriend doing something really aggravating to make you mad? I thought for a long time that I had a really bad temper and had blow ups over everything and nothing...at least that's what my ex made me believe. He made me believe that I shouldn't get angry when he let dishes sit for days, not take out the trash, do his own laundry, help with general cleaning, share money with me, pay the bills, pick up his own messes, etc... When I did get upset over those things, he turned it around and made me believe I had a temper and was unreasonable when clearly that's not the case. Now that I have a partner who works with me as a team, I have no anger issues and no fights. I don't snap at anything and I bite no ones head off. Were you always snappy like this? If not, take a look at your relationship and determine what is actually making you so mad, you really might have a good reason and you're BF isn't acknowledging it. Before you go changing yourself, be sure that you're not having a reaction that any other normal person would have. I wasn't an overly angry person then, and I'm not now. Someone just found out how to manipulate the situation in his favor and turn me crazy when I wasn't. Or maybe you are quick to fight for no reason. If that really is the case, admit this to your bf and ask for his help. When he tells you you're behaving poorly, immediately sit down and discuss and figure out what the real issue is. If that doesn't help, try joining a support group for tips on anger management. Good luck.
sparklepants sparklepants 6 years
Are you positive it's really you who has the problem? Are you sure it's not your boyfriend doing something really aggravating to make you mad? I thought for a long time that I had a really bad temper and had blow ups over everything and nothing...at least that's what my ex made me believe. He made me believe that I shouldn't get angry when he let dishes sit for days, not take out the trash, do his own laundry, help with general cleaning, share money with me, pay the bills, pick up his own messes, etc... When I did get upset over those things, he turned it around and made me believe I had a temper and was unreasonable when clearly that's not the case. Now that I have a partner who works with me as a team, I have no anger issues and no fights. I don't snap at anything and I bite no ones head off. Were you always snappy like this? If not, take a look at your relationship and determine what is actually making you so mad, you really might have a good reason and you're BF isn't acknowledging it. Before you go changing yourself, be sure that you're not having a reaction that any other normal person would have. I wasn't an overly angry person then, and I'm not now. Someone just found out how to manipulate the situation in his favor and turn me crazy when I wasn't. Or maybe you are quick to fight for no reason. If that really is the case, admit this to your bf and ask for his help. When he tells you you're behaving poorly, immediately sit down and discuss and figure out what the real issue is. If that doesn't help, try joining a support group for tips on anger management. Good luck.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 6 years
You should follow his lead and just walk away for a few minutes the next time you feel something like this coming on. If you really feel you have no control over your own behavior then you definitely need to seek therapy.
kia kia 6 years
Good luck. You can change. It will either be through a therapist, a friend, or some sort of epiphany where you will learn that you don't need to let yourself get out of control. Just be honest and compassionate with yourself while you learn why you do this kind of behavior.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 6 years
Look into therapy. That may help you.Or if you want to try to do this by yourself, be aware of the self-message you tell yourself when you're angry (right before you ramp into "yelling like a crazy person"). I think your self-message triggers your obnoxious behavior. Try to replace your negative self-message with a more constructive self-message like, "I'm okay. I can communicate my frustration calmly." Or you can use some humor, and tell yourself,"This is so silly. Why are we arguing over this??" (Personally, this works for me. I end up gently teasing my husband, or employ some self-deprecating humor. We have a good laugh, we kiss and make-up. And usually, a compromise ensues).
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 6 years
Look into therapy. That may help you. Or if you want to try to do this by yourself, be aware of the self-message you tell yourself when you're angry (right before you ramp into "yelling like a crazy person"). I think your self-message triggers your obnoxious behavior. Try to replace your negative self-message with a more constructive self-message like, "I'm okay. I can communicate my frustration calmly." Or you can use some humor, and tell yourself,"This is so silly. Why are we arguing over this??" (Personally, this works for me. I end up gently teasing my husband, or employ some self-deprecating humor. We have a good laugh, we kiss and make-up. And usually, a compromise ensues).
sham28 sham28 6 years
Everyone suggested the same things while I was writing, sorry for the redundancy.
sham28 sham28 6 years
Sandra,I'm dating a guy who doesn't even spare a brain cell before he gets angry, and it is sucking the life force out of me. I'm not at the ultimatum point yet but being unable to take him seriously when he's mad is really detrimental for us, I feel like my eyes are stuck in my brain from constantly rolling them and I keep hearing myself say "Please just LEAVE me aLONE." I'm glad you're aware of your snap reactions, I'm not trying to hate on you by any means, I just wanted to share my perspective. Hair- trigger tempers are relationship killers, if you really really love this guy you should probably go ahead and see a therapist, it will probably help you change your behavior the most significantly.
sham28 sham28 6 years
Sandra, I'm dating a guy who doesn't even spare a brain cell before he gets angry, and it is sucking the life force out of me. I'm not at the ultimatum point yet but being unable to take him seriously when he's mad is really detrimental for us, I feel like my eyes are stuck in my brain from constantly rolling them and I keep hearing myself say "Please just LEAVE me aLONE." I'm glad you're aware of your snap reactions, I'm not trying to hate on you by any means, I just wanted to share my perspective. Hair- trigger tempers are relationship killers, if you really really love this guy you should probably go ahead and see a therapist, it will probably help you change your behavior the most significantly.
TidalWave TidalWave 6 years
A quick temper is definitely a sign of general anxiety. I always just thought that I had an irritable personality until I read From Panic to Power by Lucinda Bassett then I realized that it was just part of a lot of other personality "quirks" I've always had that is really General Anxiety Disorder. Her book is a great starting point of how to address some of these issues.However, if you can't solely do it on your own, then I do suggest speaking with a support group (check meetup.com, there should be an anxiety meetup in your area) or a therapist (if you're a student, most schools have free counseling)
TidalWave TidalWave 6 years
A quick temper is definitely a sign of general anxiety. I always just thought that I had an irritable personality until I read From Panic to Power by Lucinda Bassett then I realized that it was just part of a lot of other personality "quirks" I've always had that is really General Anxiety Disorder. Her book is a great starting point of how to address some of these issues. However, if you can't solely do it on your own, then I do suggest speaking with a support group (check meetup.com, there should be an anxiety meetup in your area) or a therapist (if you're a student, most schools have free counseling)
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