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Is Our Relationship Normal?

"Is Our Relationship Normal?"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I've been in very few relationships throughout my life and whenever I was, the relationship didn't last long because of different misunderstandings. Now I'm in a relationship and some of the things that my boyfriend thinks aren't a big deal, are to me. For example: When he asks me for something small, he gets it — no problem, because it's not that important to argue over. But one day I asked him if he could switch the radio station while I was driving because the song was getting on my nerves. He put up an argument and said something like, "I wanted to listen to it, and it's about to end anyway." I told him that it was his car, so he could listen to it another time, but he kept on and on, so I told him to forget it.

Sometimes I think: "Do I really trip about unnecessary things? Or is he just used to getting his way?" I think it's a little bit of both. He's a good guy, and when I tell him about things that bother me, I minimize them because I don't want it to get in the way of our relationship. I know that this should be a comfort in any relationship, but I feel needy when I ask for things. If I need something, do I just out and ask for it? What is normal in a relationship? What stuff is okay to talk about? Is it normal to express everything to him that annoys me, or do I pick and choose what's appropriate?

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steph1234 steph1234 5 years
i think you and everyone else on here are over-analyzing the situation. It sounds like you nag about nit-picky things that don't matter. So what if he's listening to a song he likes and it gets on your's his car , it makes him happy, and the song will eventually end. Stop being selfish. I can understand your concern if he were taking you to strip clubs and you expressing that you don't like it and he continuing that behavior...or anything else that was harmful to you.or if he never listened to you about your feelings...but this stuff is insignificant. You will NEVER agree on everything while you're in a relationship..I listened to a whole Lionel Ritchie CD with my husband just the other day and hated it, but it made him happy, so I didn't say anything...that's what you do when you love someone.
JenJangles JenJangles 5 years
Relationships are always give and take. It's built upon trust and respect for one another's feelings. If one person isn't paying attention or accommodating to your wants and needs, then obviously it's not an even playing field... My boyfriend absolutely hates country music, and I love it. He loves Eminem, and his music drives me up the wall! But, out of respect for one another, we avoid both when we are in the car together. Doesn't mean we don't blast it when the other person isn't around though! You should feel comfortable talking about anything with your significant other, especially things that you want from the relationship that he isn't necessarily providing. Hope everything works out for you!
testadura67 testadura67 5 years
I have never seen a "normal" relationship. I'm less concerned about "normal" here, and more about "healthy". Having needs doesn't make you needy. I don't know if that's something you need to work on in being more comfortable setting boundaries and asking for what you need, or if it's an issue with him not respecting set boundaries. The radio is not the issue, the setting and respecting of healthy boundaries is. Work on that, and the little things should fall into place. If they don't, it may be time to move on.
BiWife BiWife 5 years
They actually have a great site with a lot of the book's info and a self-assessment for love languages (and even languages of apology)
BiWife BiWife 5 years
I would say that arguing over a song on the radio is a pretty petty thing to make you question your relationship. I don't know what other examples you might have, so it's hard to gauge whether he's putting himself ahead of you or not. It sounds like you're just a very passive and capitulating person, trying to please someone and find the easiest path. Problem is, you can't just be a doormat and never bring up your own desires, needs, concerns, etc. If you hold that all in, you start to resent your partner for what begins to feel like them taking advantage of you - even though they have no idea that you feel this way and have no opportunity to try and make it better. This is something that I struggle with after nearly a decade of marriage, so don't worry, you're not alone in this and it's not just your inexperience. Learning how to ask for what you want and how to verbalize how you feel without nagging or freaking out or whining is definitely a process. I highly recommend The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It discusses the different ways that we can communicate and help you identify the languages that resonate best with you and your partner. Figuring out *how* to talk to each other in a way that is most meaningful is so key.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 5 years
Every relationship is different, but I personally find the example you gave troubling because based on the rest of your post it seems to point to a larger issue of him putting himself first instead of you.   You're right that asking him to change the station wasn't a big deal, so my question would be why couldn't he just switch the station?  If he isn't even willing to make that small gesture for you, my concern would be that he is completely ignoring your needs in other areas as well, which isn't exactly the dynamic you want in a healthy, long-term relationship.  Relationships involve give and take and there are some issues that aren't worth arguing over, but if you never push for what you want and always "minimize" your concerns then you are going to end up with a lot of pent up resentment towards him.  You don't need to wage a war over every minor issue, but you also don't want minimize your feelings or not share them just to protect the relationship.  If he's as committed to you as you are to him, then he should be willing to give you your way on some issues as you do for him.  As far as how you know what battles to fight and what to let go, that's really personal to you and what you consider a big deal.  If you never address how you're feeling, then you will end up blowing up over something like a radio station because of all the pent up anger.  And if he's never willing to give you your way, then you may want to reassess whether this is the best relationship for you.
henna-red henna-red 5 years
Well, first, relationships are defined by the people in them. There are certainly common structures, and common reasons, but comparing yourself to others is not neccesarily a helpful thing to do. You need to understand what you want from your relationship, what you want from your partner, and what you are willing to do and to ignore to have those things. All relationships include negotiation. At least, all successful relationships do. A partnership is about understanding what both of you want, and then meeting in the middle to get it. I agree that you should be able to discuss everything with your partner. At least everything that you want to discuss. I always have things that are private, things I don't share with eveyrone, and things I don't share with anyone. It's up to you to know what you want to share, and to not feel obligated to share what you don't want to, whatever that may be. You say it sounds like a bit of both, that he's used to having everything his way, and you're used to ignoring thins. Well, it does sound like that. And you are one of the people continuing to teach him that it's ok for him to have it all his way. I find it very, very discourteous, the story about the song. In my life, whoever is driving is in charge of the radio, no mater who owns the car, because they are the person most likely to be distracted, and that is dangerous. That is how I define my personal boundary. It's up to you to define your own, as a solitary person, and as a couple. I wonder if it is your parents example that has made you so hesitant and uncomfortable to express your needs and desires to you boyfriend. That's usually what it is. Some women have learned that it's all about what the man wants, and put all of their own stuff on the back burner. That's not healthy, and I agree with senorita, that it will pile up and eventually burst out. It's much, much better to deal with these things as they come along. If something is bothering or annoying you, and it's something that will continue to bother and annoy you, then say something. Little things, like the toothpaste cap off, common habits, are things we all just have to adjust to. People are who they are. But if there is a behavior, like him refusing to help with a certain chore, or refusing to honor a simple request, like changing the station, because his wants are more important to him than your are, are the issues that will break a relationship. You need to do some homework on building boundaries. You need to do some reading, I think, to help you understand what is reasonable to ask, and what are the things that we all agree to disagree on, the things we all learn to live with. We are all raised with differences, which don't make us right or wrong, but just make us different. Learning to listen, hear, and respect each other's desires, needs and differences is the work within a relationship, and it's a lifelong lesson. I am not hip to the best self help books. There are plenty of people on this line who make great suggestions along those lines, and I hope they post. Try google. Also, a life coach is someone who helps with clarity and self education around issues like this, teaching skills and sharing resources. Sounds to me as though he is a relationship like his parents', and so are you. You have each found what feels familiar....him getting his own not expressing or even quite understanding what is ok to express. We can learn to change our behaviors, to accomodate others and to compromise, but it is work, and effort, and intention to make ourselves happy as well as our partner. And that is important. Making this as equal as possible. No relationship is 50/50 all of the time. Not all needs are equal all of the time, it's a give and get kind of thing. One needs more at one time, and the other has more to give. But that needs to be a two way street, and recognizing that is the first step to actualizing. Look for a counselor or life coach who can help you define for yourself your needs and boundaries, and give you some skills, and resources/reading, excercises to practice those skills. You both need some work on your interpersonal skills, and some help to point you in the right direction. good luck to you
senorita135 senorita135 5 years
If you are in a relationship, you should be able to talk to your significant other (SO) about things that bother you. You both should be able to make compromises where necessary - that's what friends and SOs do. You should be comfortable being completely honest in a relationship. If you minimize or "play down" things like you said you're doing, these small small things will eventually pile up and become big issues. If he's the right kind of guy, he will respect your feelings and try to make adjustments where necessary. As for asking him for things - I'm not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean money or items of significant monetary value? If so, be very careful about it. In cases where relationships have turned sour, people have gone to court over such things. You need to really set aside a time and start talking to him about the things that bother you. If he doesn't know about them, he's not going to make any effort to change, right?
pax4pax pax4pax 5 years
Yours does not sound normal or healthy.
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