I recently was so mad at my boyfriend during a fight that I said to him, "I wish you would die!"
I feel SO terrible saying this and wonder if I even deserve another chance with him.
We’ve been known to say a lot of aggressive things to each other. But even to me, this was unacceptable.
It was beyond unacceptable, to downright nasty!
Worse, you both resort to verbal aggression – like two children screaming at each other about which one’s stupider.
Being “so sad” is of no use. You owe this man an abject apology without any excuses about what he said or did that angered you.
Even if he’s unwilling to give you another chance – and that decision is probably best for both of you – you need to change your own behaviour in any future relationship.
What you said revealed your personal shortcomings, at least in this situation: No self-control, and a crummy self-image.
If you had either, you’d have said that you can’t have this discussion now due to the heat of the argument and you’d have walked away.
That’s just a basic lesson of how to forestall an all-out battle of words as weapons.
It’s obvious that in this case, with this guy, to get back together you’d both need relationship counselling and anger management too.
My brother’s charming on the surface but irresponsible in relationships due to his narcissism.
He was married and had one child. There was some talk that he abused his wife but there were no charges and they divorced.
She moved to a nearby city but he’s had no contact with his now-teenage daughter.
He then got involved with another woman and had a second child, a boy. But there was always turmoil between the couple and they split up even though she was pregnant again.
He rarely sees his young son or the now-toddler, but their mother periodically brings them to visit him.
I just heard that, from one of those visits, she’s pregnant by him yet again.
How can I get through to him that he’s the problem in all his relationships? He admits to no blame for his actions, and he’s always been this way.
“Narcissism” is a description tossed around fairly loosely these days.
As a true personality disorder, it’s described as “a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.”
It sounds like you’re pretty close in your assessment of your brother. Unfortunately, it means that it’s never going to be easy to convince him to behave differently.
If you want to protect anyone that you care about, you may have to try to convince others involved with him of what they may be facing.
His children’s mothers, for example, may benefit from understanding that his charm is always self-centered, not inclusive. He’s very unlikely to change. As ex-partners, they need well-defined legal agreements to insure that the children get the ongoing benefits of appropriate child support.
For your own comfort as a relative, recognize that you are not your brother’s keeper in that you can’t control his personality disorder.
You can encourage him to get a diagnosis and to discuss treatment with a mental health specialist. You can also try to direct him to healthier ways of seeking admiration (e.g. by showing up as a caring and consistent father).
FEEDBACK Regarding the man whose half-sister expressed “feelings” for him (December 28):
Reader – “Why not clear the air? Instead of being uncomfortable and not knowing what she meant, he can behave as an adult and have the conversation.
“Perhaps she meant nothing more than a close connection due to the bonds formed when they were younger. Is it not possible for two adults to discuss the relationship in a mature and respectful manner?
“Rather than dig one’s head in the sand, and pretend that something doesn’t exist and hope it goes away, I prefer to address the issue.”
Ellie – My response raised several possibilities about her meaning of “having feelings,” because his question and his discomfort was about his not knowing what she meant and not wanting to stir the pot.
Your straightforward approach can work well for someone comfortable with it. Maybe in time he’ll handle it directly as you suggest here.
Tip of the day:
Verbal aggression resolves nothing, can become physical, and exposes both parties’ weaknesses.