My boyfriend and I can be pretty combative and we can get into some truly pointless arguments. But sometimes he takes it to another level and will call me a bitch or other names. … I know he loves me, but how can I make it clear that he’s hurting me by saying that?
- Baffled Non-bitch
Whoa, sounds as if there’s a lot more wrong here than just some fiery name calling. First of all, any dude who resorts to insults during a fight needs a swift kick in the direction of Immaturitytown. You have to nix this negativity as soon as it starts, so be piercingly clear that his behavior is unacceptable. Explain how much it hurts and embarrasses you, but also be firm in saying you will have no tolerance for it. And because you’re sitting down to chat, maybe you two should try to pinpoint why it is that you’re both brawling so hard. If you’re fighting about major issues, then it’s best to deal with them once you both have time to chill out for a bit. But if you find you’re butting heads, in a serious way, about inane things (who should get up to get the remote, who’s a better thumb-wrestler), then maybe you two should make a conscious effort to let the little things go. After all, hanging out should be about bantering, not bickering.
Inept at getting action or unsure about STDs? E-mail Sally anonymously at email@example.com.