Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Dear Emily,

I’ve been with my partner for about four months. At the beginning of our relationship, things were great as usually they are. He thought I was perfect, and I felt the same, but I would pick at him to keep my wall up after so many rough break ups and that fear he would do the same…In the past month we have been arguing on a consistent basis. We argue mostly about sex and communication since I wasn’t putting out because of stress, and he would poke fun at me which would upset me. After discussing it, I have tried to get back into the sack with him, but last night we attempted sex while on my period. It felt amazing, but I knew I was bleeding and some positions were hurting me. He ended up stopping and I automatically felt defeat, and went into panic mode asking him a ton of questions. He just rolled over and went to bed annoyed with my “nagging.”

I’m afraid that our relationship won’t be able to go uphill. When things are good, they’re amazing; but lately we’ve been arguing weekly for the past month. It’s only ever about sex, and he has never wanted a break or a break up. I don’t know what to think or do.

Also, because some of my stress has come from figuring out how to tell him I love him, I said it today (the morning after the attempted sexcapade) and he didn’t say anything, but kissed me and went to work.

Is our love able to be reconstructed? Or should I cut my take my losses and throw in the towel?

-Tara

Dear Tara,

Whenever people argue about sex, they are also arguing about underlying issues in the relationship.

Your issue is that you don’t want to be alone again. You’ve grown attached to him and you don’t want to go through the loss of another breakup. You look for things that are wrong with him to soften the blow if he leaves you. But you’re wrong if you think that building walls around yourself will protect you from getting hurt again. If anything, your fear of losing him will work as a self-fulfilling prophesy. Dwelling on fear that it won’t work out, even though he has never expressed wanting to breakup, can cause you to act destructively.  Looking for flaws, “picking” at him, and endlessly stressing about the relationship,  all work to chip away at the relationship you so desperately don’t want to lose.

I think it’s good that you decided to tell him that you love him, if that is truly how you truly feel. Telling him after the sexcapade might not have been perfect timing, but it does show that you want to fight for this relationship. Don’t just throw in the towel and cut your losses. That’s your fear telling you that it will be less painful to walk away now.

I’m not saying that he’s necessarily “the one” for you. He needs to work on his communication problems if this relationship has any chance of working. He shouldn’t disregard your need to communicate as “nagging,” or give up on sex when you’re trying to make it work. Making fun of you is not a mature way to react to you “picking” at him.

The honeymoon period is clearly over. The question now is whether the relationship can actually become stronger after realizing each others flaws. Can you both commit to working on your issues to save the relationship? If not, walk away and never look back.

xxx

Emily