My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly five years, and have recently purchased a home together. We broke up briefly two years ago after his return from Iraq. Things were great initially, and after I took my first post-college job. Things have since changed, and I am dissatisfied with my job and work environment, and the 82 mile round-trip commute doesn't help. We argue on a regular basis now, and he says the only reason he is with me is because he doesn't want to dump me, and thinks I will change back to how I used to be. He claims that 98% of our issues are my fault, and he can never admit when he is wrong. He finds it nearly impossible to compliment me without adding a "but" statement that cuts me down simultaneously. He thinks that he is better than everyone, and claims he was "trained" to do so. He is incapable of discussing these issues without turning it into a mud-slinging event, and treats me as though I am beneath him and less intelligent. I have a strong personality, am opinionated and unafraid to stand up for myself, and am more independent than I used to be, which I admit can lead to disagreements. Should I believe him that I am at fault for all of the issues in our relationship, or am I correct in thinking that he is insecure and that is the cause of some issues as well?


Honestly, its probably like any other relationship, 50-50. Can you get him (or yourself) to see a psychotherapist or marriage/couples counselor?

It seems to me, that if you both could discuss this with someone there to regulate you, it would help tremendously.

Seek counseling if you can.



Relationship problems are never just one sided, hon. Is there counseling available for you through the military service? He might be insecure, and reactive, needing control of things to feel secure due to the war duty.

Try not to fall into the same pit he is in, with having to find someone at fault. This is a relationship and thus it needs attention. A third party who can see you both where you are now, and hear where you want to be, would help. He'd like that too, wouldn't he?

good wishes


Arguing or even trying to talk calmly with a person who always thinks they are right and blames others for the majority of what is going wrong is impossible. Oh lets see if throwing myself against this same solid brick wall feels any different or makes a dent... NO. If you dont want to run for the hills and you want to stand your ground with him then counselling maybe one way to deal with it. Take advantage of your resources within the military community and even though he was trained to be that way, it was for military purposes and not at home. Aha! Is he seeing his home life as a combat zone? Well anyway, all hope is not lost.

Sounds like you are dealing with a bit of hypermasculinity and narcissism all rolled up in one. The man appears to have some issues and must criticize others to make himself feel worthy. There are likely underlying issues with him that only therapy would resolve but this type of personality typically resists therapy. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if there was a drinking problem also involved here! You appear to have two choices, 1) find coping mechanisms to deal with his outbursts and criticism to prevent him from deteriorating your own self-worth and self-confidence or 2) deciding if this is the relationship you want. You have been with the man for five years now so you have a good foundation of past behaviours to allow you predict the future behaviours. Is this what you want? Do you have the strength and willingness to work on this relationship? Some people have the strength to deal with these individuals and not have their self-worth and self-confidence chipped away while others crumble under this type of behaviour. Couple's theraphy is ideal but you may not be able to get him to therapy since he probably perceives himself as not having problems. You however, if are planning to remain in the relationship could seek therapy to help deal with the issues, find coping mechanisms to deal with the situation and keep your own self intact. Life is full of choices and you have some tough choices to make.

Involvement with a narcissist is a constant battle- you may well spend your life trying to regain what it was you saw when he first charmed you, but never find it again. It's a tough, uphill battle and can only get worse. Clearly it can't all be your fault, but imagine it is. If it really is (and it's not), then you must not want to be with him. If he were to look at a lifetime of changing you to his specs, he wouldn't be happy either.

Yeah, that prolly doesn't make sense.

Maybe you should pick up Gottman's book on communicating in a marriage and see just what he's doing with his attitude of "nice, but…" and hold out for someone who respects you, whom you respect … (not saying you don't respect him but maybe I'm offering up arguments to help you see your value).

Just be sure to get your financial investment back.