Dear Abby: The Man Who Won’t Fight Fairly Turns Arguments Into Battles
DEAR ABBY: I am in a relationship of almost two years with a man that I love. In many ways this is the relationship I have always hoped for and being in my early 30s I feel ready to settle down. The problem? He does not fight fairly.
I have made exorbitant efforts to remain calm and loving during arguments to prevent our relationship from deteriorating, but he seems unable to meet me halfway. His unfair fights come in the form of aggressive tones, obscene faces, staring at his phone while I’m talking and sometimes ignoring me completely.
These arguments usually focus on minor issues that are far from justifying a full-fledged fight (for example, the dishes are not done when he comes home from work because I work from home and put it off during the hours. off-peak hours).
Our relationship is otherwise great, but if I am committed to someone for life, I want them to be able to have calm and healthy conversations. He thinks I’m in control when I ask him not to use aggressive tones or make faces. What do I do? – FIGHTING FAIR IN OREGON
DEAR FIGHT: I guess the man you’re in love with is about the same age as you. By the time someone turns 30, their personality is usually defined. This man behaves the way he does because it works for him. It allows HIM to control YOU.
If he values your relationship, he should be open to discussing it in couple counseling so that these conversations are constructive rather than adversarial. If he isn’t, keep looking for a more suitable partner because this gentleman is not wonderful.
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DEAR ABBY: I would like to alert your readers to something that has happened to me so that it can prevent this from happening to them. In her later years, my dear mother suffered from dementia. When it became clear that she couldn’t live on her own anymore, I went to live with her.
One day I went to look for photo albums of my brothers and I as kids, family vacations, etc. After looking up and down without finding them, I asked Mom what had happened to them. Turns out she threw them out because she couldn’t remember any of the people in the photos! To say I was devastated would be an understatement.
I couldn’t be mad at mom. It wasn’t his fault. But Abby, your readers should know that it can happen to them. My mom has been gone for 10 years and I still wish I had these photos. – MISSING MEMORIES AT MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR MISSING: I’m glad you wrote. Your letter is a reminder that as family members begin to age, it is important to take the time to sit down with them and browse through family photos. My dear mother urged her readers not only to review these photos but also to write on the back the date they were taken and the names of those in them. It is a precious gift as the memories start to fade. It can spark wonderful conversations if people are willing to put in the effort.
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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.