Even if you are the most patient of people, dealing with a difficult boyfriend can push you to your limits. While it is normal, even healthy, to fight in relationships, it is also important to ward off trouble before it starts. Learn how to maintain composure and read your boyfriend's feelings before they spiral out of control. Some people are more adept than others at communication and talking through their problems. Relationships are a two-way street, and both parties need to work toward finding common ground. Before you get frustrated, keep a few simple tips in mind to keep your cool and reduce confrontations that may arise.
Identify what makes your boyfriend act so difficult. He may simply not be skilled at identifying and discussing matters that bother him. If he acts exasperated when you go on a date of your choice, perhaps you can agree on outings that incorporate both of your interests. If he becomes jealous when you mention other men, what you are saying may be triggering his insecurities. Nobody likes hearing tales about their significant other's exes. Once you know what is likely to set him off, you can avoid these topics.
Consider how you handle difficult situations with your boyfriend. When he is feeling touchy, do you immediately get frustrated with him, or do you acknowledge his guard is up and try to reassure him that you care? Think about how you would like to be treated if the situation were reversed. It is easy to get defensive when someone is provoking you, but bracing for a fight does not help the matter. Instead, keep your cool during these moments and calmly talk about what is bothering him.
Give the two of you time apart when situations get overheated. It is normal for people to get so emotional that rational conversation is not possible at that moment. If your boyfriend is worked up, walk away and return to discuss the problem when he has cooled down and can see matters from a more rational perspective.
Approach your boyfriend about his difficult behavior. He may not realize he is behaving in this manner. If you do not let him know that his behavior is affecting your relationship, there is not much he can do about it. Talk it out and come to a common understanding. It's possible that he is acting out for reasons that you did not know about. The next time he falls back on this behavior, remind him of your conversation. Set boundaries that will protect both of you from harmful consequences.
- If your boyfriend's jealousy is causing him to become controlling, talk to a trusted friend about it.
- If you believe you are being abused, mentally or physically, seek help immediately.
Katie O'Gorman has more than 10 years of professional writing experience and holds a degree from Columbia College in creative writing. She is the founder and owner of Going Steady Studios; an event planning, floral design and styling company.