Author Topic: The Relationship Thread  (Read 525 times)


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Re: The Relationship Thread
« Reply #30 on: Today at 08:18:45 AM »
1)  Why has your hand been hurt for months?  What kind of care are you getting?

2) Why is it OK for him to be repeatedly hurt by the cat per the post on another thread?

3) Why are you even together if neither of you cares enough about the other to make minor adjustments that would result in less physical pain all around?

Again, I have to wonder why feelings seem to be important and yet nothing changes.

You may not want to be told to make better choices, but, damn, it seems so easy to fix some of these things. 

Someone who won't sit on the other side of the couch for a while doesn't care enough to matter.

Someone who won't deal with the cat to either get it to stop attacking everyone who lives in the household or send the cat to a new home also doesn't care enough.

I never said I don't want to be told to make better choices, especially if specific actions are being advised. I certainly value action-based advice.

What I was objecting to earlier was being told to choose better emotions or choose not to have certain thoughts, because altering thoughts and emotions is a lot more complex than altering a behavior, and people who push the "choose how to feel" advice rarely seem to acknowledge this.

1) I've had some appointments at a hand rehab clinic; they taught me some exercises I could do at home and gave me some anti-inflammatory treatment. They told me this is something I should expect to take months to heal; in the meantime, go easy on it and use ice when needed. They also gave me a brace, but I'm supposed to limit how much I wear it. It's been gradually getting better, but can still flare and certain movements are still painful.

2) RE: the cat. The cat doesn't attack *everyone*; the cat attacks my boyfriend in ways he never does to me. I did take action on this; training the cat has been a long-term project for me. I read a lot of cat behavior articles for advice on how to reduce the nipping. I went through a list of ideas to try, experimenting to see what helped, reporting results to boyfriend so he could adjust his interactions with the cat more effectively. He ignored a lot of my advice, so I'm not sure what else I can do for him.

I told him how effective it has been for me to hiss at the cat when he is being too rough, but boyfriend says he feels weird doing that (I suggested downloading the sound of a cat's hiss onto his phone and using that; boyfriend didn't like that idea either). I bought some bitter spray specifically sold to get pets to stop biting stuff. The spray has worked well to deter the cat's chewing on wires; I suggested boyfriend either put some on his feet or spray around his work area (the scent is also aversive) since the cat is most likely to go for him when he is at his desk working. I repeatedly told boyfriend that his frequent use of his foot as a lure when playing with the cat is only teaching kitty that feet are acceptable targets; he'd say, "yeah, yeah...ok" but kept doing it. I bought cat toys designed to be thrown and chased, so boyfriend had a means to divert the cat away from his feet; this worked well until the cat eventually got bored with the toys. Best bet at this point is using a can of compressed air (which coincidentally sounds something like a cat's hiss); the sound gets him to back off. I told boyfriend he has to use it consistently, every single time the cat bites his foot, until the attacks stop; for some reason, boyfriend does not do this.

I even taught the cat the "leave it" command so we had another tool to stop him from chewing anything he wasn't supposed to; told boyfriend to keep a packet of treats near his work area so he could continue to reinforce "leave it" outside of training sessions. He only did this sporadically; I don't think he does it at all anymore. I keep telling him the cat won't learn unless he is consistent. He keeps saying "ok" while continuing business as usual.

When boyfriend has Zoom meetings, I bring the cat to my room or play with him to make sure he leaves boyfriend alone. The cat is much gentler with me, probably because I've been consistent with the 'no biting' rule.

I do care about this issue. Every time something didn't work, I didn't just shrug my shoulders and say "oh, well". I tried something else. But I can't run interference 24-7; boyfriend needs to put the techniques to use if he wants the benefits.

I wouldn't consider rehoming the cat unless I thought we had exhausted all other options. And I can't believe we've exhausted all other options when boyfriend is only applying potential solutions half-heartedly.

3) We are together because these issues don't define our entire relationship. The majority of the time, he makes a sincere effort to hear me out when I say something is bothering me. He has made many adjustments (and kept it up consistently) regarding behaviors that inadvertently caused me physical discomfort or emotional hurt. I've tried to do the same for him (and he acknowledges his appreciation). He's been a huge source of moral support while I've been going through my various health issues; he says he appreciates the moral support and faith I showed in him when he decided to quit work to retrain for a new career path. We do care about each other, but each of us still has our blind spots and this can lead to frustrating situations.

« Last Edit: Today at 08:26:17 AM by smallcleanrat »


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Re: The Relationship Thread
« Reply #31 on: Today at 08:50:28 AM »

I never said I don't want to be told to make better choices, especially if specific actions are being advised. I certainly value action-based advice.

Your "boyfriend" has hurt you. Repeatedly. On purpose. That's not normal. That's not acceptable. And you should notice how you dance so very lightly around his "feelings" and "routines." You need to leave or you need to get him out of your house.

And yes: This is much, much easier for me to say than for you to do.

But life is just a party and parties weren't meant to last.  ~  Prince


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Re: The Relationship Thread
« Reply #32 on: Today at 08:57:40 AM »

I know it's pretty common for one partner to have a habit the other doesn't like, and at some point it becomes clear that habit isn't likely to ever stop. The other partner either learns to live with it or continues nagging. If this were something like leaving the cap off the toothpaste or forgetting to put laundry in the hamper, I could learn to live with it. But this is something that causes me physical pain.

I think that's the correct read. And Hegemony is right that it would be one thing if his reaction was to be very apologetic and annoyed at himself for forgetting. I'm a fidgety person and often when I'm watching tv with my wife she'll say "stop shaking your leg, you're driving me crazy!" However, while I try to remember not to do that, it's just annoying to her, not painful. If it was causing her intense physical pain for some reason, I'd try a lot harder not to do it, and if I found that I really couldn't stop, I'd go sit on the chair or something.

The other thing is that my wife would insist I either be able to stop or go sit somewhere else. It actually can be hard in a relationship to consistently be considerate of your partner. I fail all the time at it. In a functional relationship, however, both people can point out when the other person is screwing up and hurting them. That might lead to an argument or a fight, but then you can figure out what's going on and how to deal with it.

I'm concerned that you don't seem to feel like you can do that. You said in another thread that you had determined you couldn't rely on your partner in a mental health emergency, but didn't seem to feel like you could  address this with him. If you don't think you can trust your partner and you can't talk to them about that concern, that's not good.


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Re: The Relationship Thread
« Reply #33 on: Today at 09:53:25 AM »
Your partner's preferred routines and hurt feelings are not more important than your own health, physical or otherwise. You equate this to leaving the cap off the toothpaste. That is annoying and messy and 100% worth living with for the right person. This is not the same at all. Ideally, he should change his behavior much as Caracal describes. You can't make him do that, but in a healthy relationship, you should be able to explain your own conditions: "I'm sorry you miss sitting next to me, but I need to sit over here to protect my hand so it can heal." [optional: "I can't wait until it is better! I miss holding your hand."]

It's a huge red flag to me that you can't even switch sides of the couch. Keeping you safe and comfortable should not be worth less than his general preferences. I like "my spots" a little obsessively, but I would generally move out of any of them not just for my partner, but for any random acquaintance whose physical discomfort could be alleviated by occupying one of my preferred spaces. Wouldn't you?