What do you do when your boyfriend is threatening to leave you?
I recently had a client that was in just that position.
Her boyfriend and her were doing pretty well as a couple, then something happened that put a shock into her world.
That is when I heard from her. She was fumbling for an answer as to what to do. Her boyfriend had never threatened her with anything before. And from all the things she knew to be true about his personality, he was not the type that would put you in a position where you felt your back was against the wall.
But that is where she stood. Her back was against the wall and she was unsure where to turn or if she could even salvage the situation that had unfolded rapidly with her boyfriend.
I guess it would be beneficial to you if you knew a little about her background and how she arrived at this place in her life where her boyfriend was on the edge of ending it all.
Since they started dating, things had gone very smoothly. She loved him and he loved her and they made sure each other knew that multiple times throughout the day.
Neither of them were the fighting type. When things got out of hand, both were usually quick to apologize and look for solution. “Life is too short”, she would say to me.
They were both romantic and passionate about their love. And for the 8 months they had been dating, they both trusted each other and jealousy just did not enter the picture.
The threat of their romantic union breaking apart was the furthest thing from their minds. Rather, if we were to apply threatening behavior to this loving couple, it would be that they were a sure threat for Best Couple of the Year.
It is not often I come across what I think is something close to the perfect relationship. Bear in mind, I said close to. Because every guy and gal that I have come across have had to battle through some ups and downs.
What Happened to Cause Her Boyfriend to Threaten to Walk Away?
It all started innocently enough. That is usually how the origins of a budding breakup gets its start. My heavenly couple was enjoying a lazy afternoon watching movies and talking about an upcoming trip they were going to take to Austin.
Then it happened.
For reasons that she still cannot quite explain very well (either to me or herself), my client told her boyfriend that she knew she was deeply in love, but it just seemed their times together were become flat.
I guess that is when the temperature in the room began to change as her boyfriend, as she later described, started to squirm a bit as he sought further explanation on what she meant.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation with your boyfriend when you just happened to, accidentally like, say the wrong thing which elicits a bad reaction from your guy?
Then before you know it your are backpedaling and saying things that are making worse and worse. And as your boyfriend gets more annoyed, you get more defensive, and before you even realize it, you have opened up a can of worms.
It’s as if all your worst boyfriend nightmares have come crawling out and whatever you say just makes things worse.
That is what I like to call, the “Infinite Pickle”.
Have You Backed Yourself Into a Corner With Your Boyfriend?
Try as you must to get things squared away with your guy, you sink deeper and deeper into the muck
This is what was happening to my client. Her boyfriend was getting all over her about, “What do you mean things with us are flat?
Of course, in turn she says,
“Well, I don’t mean that our love is not pure, it’s just that things have been boring lately and you know, when I read about dynamite couples they are doing things that standout and draws them closer, you know?”
Of course, her boyfriend had no idea what she was talking about. So back and forth they went as she tried to explain that she just meant neither of them were doing enough to advance the relationship.
Then she committed the Mother of all Dreaded Boyfriend Fears. She compared her man to her previous boyfriend, who by the way she had left because he was too unpredictable.
“Look Honey”, she said, “I don’t mean we need to tear the world on fire everyday. I am just saying we ought to look for memorable things we can do as a couple that will cement our times together like no other couple. Like, I dated this guy, who was really just wrong for me and of course you are so right for me. But we would just sometimes do these crazy and wild things, just for fun and I would spend all day in a buzz. Of course he was a nut. Not like you.”
This was the point of the conversation where I asked her if she realized that she had handed her boyfriend a back handed compliment and had entered into the Ex Boyfriend Twilight Zone.
You just don’t want to give you guy something to grind on with regard to any of your former lovers.
If you do, you are entering into dangerous territory. I consider it a quicksand for all couples when either of them start talking about past experiences with their boyfriends or girlfriends.
We would like to think we are all mature and secure and can handle such dialogue. And it is indeed tough to slay the dragon of curiosity. But let me tell now, just in case you have not heard it from yet.
Stay clear of talking about your past romances. If you do, it like entering the murky waters of boyfriends past.
But my client fell into the trap.
So, just for my readers, let me lay it down again for you in no uncertain terms!
The Dreaded Ex Boyfriend Twilight Zone
Rule number 1: Never talk about your ex boyfriend in any kind of glowing terms with your current boyfriend
Rule Number 2: Run for the hills if you ever break Rule Number 1 as your boyfriend will ultimately get turned and twisted, taking every word your said wrong. Don’t be surprised if you are met with anger, shouts, and threats of breaking up.
There is a lot to be said about practicing the “less is more” strategy with it comes down to these kind of things.
But sometimes, we just can’t help ourselves. And that is what happened to my client. As much as she tried to wiggle out of her predicament, her boyfriend’s face grew redder and his temperament become more animated.
“Look sweetheart, I don’t mean to compare you to my ex. He was nothing but a mistake. You are my hero. I am just saying we can apply things we learn in other relationships and if they can help us make our current relationship better, why shouldn’t we try”
Yikes, I thought to myself, there she goes again talking about her past exploits with her ex. BIG MISTAKE.
So, I was not too surprised when she told me that her boyfriend suddenly stood up and screamed at her if she wanted to go chasing after her old flame, then she ought too. And then he turned his wrath on the one thing he knew would catch her by surprise.
Out of sheer rage, he threw her the “old curve ball”.
“Look Sweetie Pie (in a sarcastic tone), this hero of yours is putting you on notice. If I ever hear you moan about not having enough good times, I am out of here. If you feel the need to lecture me on how couples bond tighter and tighter, then I am walking. And If you are wondering if your hero boyfriend (me) is resorting to threats or intimidate such that our relationship hangs in the balance, you are fricken right.”
Of course, all this leads me to my neat, tidy list of things you should never say to your boyfriend.
Not that he will leave you high and dry or suddenly break things off with you. But, if you want to avoid the dreaded ex boyfriend twilight zone, then pay heed to my advice.
So What Do You Do When Your Relationship is on the Edge of Failure?
If you should ever find yourself in a situation where your boyfriend is threatening to call it quits, consider these tactics.
- Remain very calm. Talk slowly. Move slowly. In time, your boyfriend will begin mirroring your behavior and calm down to climb off his high horse. In most cases when a boyfriend is talking nutty and throwing around a lot of angry words meant to reduce you to rubble, he is just acting out his anger. Anger, when vented, tends to eventually extinguish itself. So just allow your guy to work it out of his system and remain calm.
- Avoid launching any those clever countermeasures that I know you possess. Women are masters of passive aggressive statements. And while you will be very tempted to start in with your counter attack after coming under your boyfriends verbal assault, just hold them in your pocket. It will not serve you in the long run. It is more likely that your boyfriend will just get more riled up.
- Use soothing and supportive words that reflect your boyfriend’s angry outburst. Repeat things like, “I can see you are really upset and I understand where your anger is coming from”. Or, “I sincerely hope that all we worked for does not come apart in one night”. When you sound concerned and supportive, it makes it more difficult for your boyfriend to remain upset and resort to more threats of leaving or quitting the relationship. That does not mean your are agreeing with what he is saying. That is a different matter and dialogue around those points can come much later when cooler heads prevail.
- There should be a fuse on how much time and room you give your boyfriend to act out his anger. So while you are remaining calm and patiently letting your boyfriend to vent, just know that there is a fuse on how long you can do this. If your guy cannot gain control of his temper after 5 or 10 minutes or if he becomes emotionally or even physically abusive, there is no room for your continued presence in the room. So if your boyfriend ramps it up and continues to lose it and starts in on you about this thing or another, then resorts to telling you that he is threw with you if you don’t start doing “this or that”, you need to end it. How do you do so? It is simple. Leave. Do what he is threatening to do to you. Leave the room or where ever you are. Now, you have choices as to where you go and how long you stay away. If you believe your boyfriend can still redeem himself and the two of you just need to be separated, you go exclaim, “I need space”, and then move to another room for several minutes or longer. If the situation is more explosive and your boyfriend’s temperament is clearly abusive, then leave the house. Tell him “your behavior is scaring me” and then leave and don’t come back for a day or longer. There is no one right answer for when you leave and how long you stay away. It varies for each couple depending on a variety of factors. But one things is a constant. You are not to allow yourself to become a verbal punching bag for your boyfriend no matter how much you love him. Once you set the “fuse” (in you mind) and it burns out, then take the initiative and remove yourself from the equation.
- Once things settle down, calmer minds usually prevail. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself, even if your boyfriend has convinced you that the relationship is hanging in the balance. You should never play ball with those who think it is acceptable to push you into a corner with intimidation or threatening behavior. A relationship is usually doomed for failure if you are negotiating with your boyfriend from a position of weakness and fear. Think about it. You are in the wrong relationship if you find yourself in that situation and that is not healthy.
So let’s move on to some related advice.
Everyone one of us is different. Guys or different than girls. I could write abut that all day. Some guys don’t behave and react the same way as other guys. But, by and large, most guys share many similar views about things.
So to that end, let me give you a peek about things that you might not ever want to say or do with your boyfriend. Bear in mind, these suggestions are not going to be 100% accurate for every relationship out there.
But to the extent that these little wisdoms might help you better understand your boyfriend, I offer them with only the best intentions and potential outcomes
The 7 Things You Never Say to Your Boyfriend
Thing #1: Never tell your boyfriend that he looks pretty.
Guys don’t want to look pretty or cute.
It is not in their makeup to look that way. Tell your boyfriend he looks rugged. Tell him you love his broad shoulders. Express to him how much you feel protected and safe around him.
All of those things appeals to your guy’s ego and his sense of his own masculinity. Pretty guys just don’t get it done and your boyfriend won’t like being compared to anything feminine.
Thing #2: Avoid making your boyfriend repeatedly tell you that what you are wearing looks dynamite.
If your guy says he loves that colorful dress you climbed into, rest assured he truly loves the way you look. Don’t throw on another dress and make him tell you again and again.
It is likely to annoy him.
Men, by and large, are not great fashion critics. But if they give you a thumbs up for your fashion selection, trust in it.
Thing #3: If your fellow wants to hang out with the guys, don’t stand in his way.
Now if it becomes a habitual thing, multiple nights of the week, then that is different. But in general, if you boyfriend wants to have a poker or video game night with his buddies, let him.
You use the time to go out with your girlfriends and make it count.
Just because you are a couple doesn’t mean you should spend every minute together.
In fact, that is not healthy. You both need your own lives and enjoy the company of your friends.
When you and your guy hook up again, it will be all that more enjoyable.
Thing #4: Never ask your boyfriend about his past dating history or his favorite girlfriends.
Believe me, you don’t want to get into that topic.
It will only cause you to start thinking far too much about things you shouldn’t reflect on. The past is behind us and what counts is the present moment and planning for the future.
If your curiosity gets the best of you and you find yourself trying to extract little morsels of information about your boyfriends love life before you came along, just know that it seldom leads anywhere positive.
Thing #5: If your boyfriend is a bit of a fashion slob, don’t hold it against him and don’t make him feel uncomfortable and self conscious about it.
Most guys are not all that style conscious.
When it comes to the wardrobe, I have found that usually men tend to run the gambit from Mr. Slob on one end of the spectrum to Mr. Debonair on the other end. My sense is that most guys identify with the casual look or extreme casual. If dress is important to you, before you start advising and critiquing your boyfriend’s selection, make sure he is completely on board and genuinely wants the attention and help.
Most guys usually do not want to be dressed up like a doll. And chances are that really won’t be attracted to a doll man anyway. Most of the time, just let you guy wear what he wants…what makes him feel comfortable.
It is OK that you out shine him in the wardrobe/dress department. He wants you to look good (compared to him) and probably revels in your effort to show the world just how beautiful you are. It makes him feel like a stud.
Thing #6: Don’t let your man get away with making all the decisions. If he asks you what you want to do, give him a specific answer.
Most guys are really attracted to a woman who displays confidence and a can do attitude. Of course there are exceptions.
There are some boyfriends out there who are really insecure such that a show of strength and confidence from their girlfriend causes them to fear they are losing control. But we are not talking about those kind of dudes. And I hope you are not mixed up with that kind of guy.
What is sexy to a guy is a woman who knows what she wants and is not hesitant, but also demonstrates that she adores her boyfriend. I know. It sometimes sounds like an impossible line to walk. Be confident and sure of yourself, yet also make sure your boyfriend feels sufficiently stroked and manly.
But that is the quality of the Ungettable Girl which I talk about throughout this website and I have no doubt you can attain such qualities.
Remember, if you are going to err, do so on the side of acting confident. Most men don’t prefer a passive girl. Nor do they like someone trying to run their life. Find that middle ground.
Thing #7: Never, ever fall prey to cheating on your boyfriend.
I know…it sounds so cliche.
Don’t cheat on your man.
I think we can all agree that betrayal is one of the leading causes of sudden breakups. So here is my advice. And before you judge me on what I am about to say, just remember I have literally dealt with thousands of breakup situations involving cheating of the physical or emotional betrayal.
Ok, are your ready for my little pearl of wisdom. If for whatever reason, you do cheat on your boyfriend, yet you know you love him and want to remain with him, you need to do at a minimum two things.
Stop the affair.
The longer it lasted, the more likely you will be found out. And of all the difficult breakup situations I deal with, getting over a lover’s betrayal is at the top of the list and without a doubt the number one mistake I see women making is continuing to engage in this type of behavior.