Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Dating => Topic started by: Mental Magpie on January 21, 2012, 07:34:09 PM

Title: Being an after thought...resolved #28
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 21, 2012, 07:34:09 PM
Dark Boyfriend and I had been watching Netflix together.  When the show ended, he asked what I wanted to do.  I asked, "Do you want to play MW3?" (a game we often play together on Xbox).  We have two Xboxes in different rooms, he plays in the living room while I play in the bedroom.  I get up to go to the bathroom (he knows this because he followed me there to tell me something).  While he is waiting for me to be finished, he logs in and joins a game with his friends.  That's normal; there's no reason he can't play a game while he waits for me (the games are max. 10 minutes).  While he's playing, I finish, log in on my Xbox, and wait for him to finish the game.  He then walks into the bedroom (the match was done) and says, "We're in a full lobby so don't bother waiting for us for a game."

I picked up my controller to turn off my Xbox and said, "Well I don't want to play then."

DB:  Even by yourself?
DM:  No.
DB:  I can always back out and play with you.
DM:  No, I don't want to play anymore.  Just go play.
DB:  I'll back out and -
DM:  Just go play.

I was just so angry and so hurt that I was going to explode if he kept standing there.  After the next match he came back in and asked me what was wrong.

DM:  You really, really ticked me off.
DB:  Why?
DM:  I didn't suggest playing the game so I could play by myself.  How do you think it made me feel that you wanted to play with your friends when I'm the one that suggest playing?
DB:  I didn't think it was that big of a deal.
DM:  That would be like me suggesting going to the movies, you seeing your buddies and going to watch a movie with them instead.
DB:  Well I'm sorry. *Silence from me because I'm trying to not cry; he picks up my controller to turn on my Xbox*.  Let's play.
DM:  I don't want to play.
DB:  I've already backed out (which I don't think he did because I could hear people talking on his headset).
DM:  I don't want to play anymore.  I don't want to play.
DB:  Okay *leaves the room*.

His apology sounded more like an exasperated "I'm apologizing because you're mad not because what I did was wrong".  There have been times he's been playing, then I decide to play and have told him there's no reason to add me because I decided to play after.  That is completely different than me suggesting playing then him in effect ditching me for a better offer.  I have absolutely no problem sticking up for people or voicing my opinions on other matters, but when it comes to my emotions it's like my brain shuts off.  I am extremely hurt by this but I have no idea how to effectively tell him and to do it nicely.  What I want to say I know is wrong, somewhat mean, and will not be helpful at all.  Not only do I think what he did was mean, I think it was rude, too (ditching me for a "better" offer).  How do I phrase this?
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: penelope2017 on January 21, 2012, 08:42:06 PM
To be totally honest, I think you would make more of an impact if you weren't so extreme in your reactions. Just by reading this post I  don't really understand why you were so angry you were ready to explode or cry about what he did over a video game. Maybe it is me, but I sort of reserve being ready to "explode" or cry regarding my SO when it is something majorly significant to our relationship.

I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly but are you the same poster who was deeply hurt your SO didn't want to look at pictures of people's feet in the sandals you like?

My experience is that people do start to just "apologize because you're mad" when you get emotional or dramatic over a lot of things, and it loses its impact. My advice to you if you'd like to make your point is to be reasonable and explain your feelings in simple terms, rather than losing your temper over it instead. You didn't really explain why you were upset, so of course he was just trying to mitigate your emotional response.

You had just finished watching a movie together so it wasn't like this was your one moment to spend together bonding over your video game. Maybe he, like me reading this, didn't realize how crucial it was you play this game 'together.'
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Sharnita on January 21, 2012, 08:48:03 PM
Maybe it is because I am not a gamer but this honestly strikes me as an overreaction on your part.  At most I would say it was clueless or thoughtless.  I don't see anything approaching "mean".  When he did catch on to the fact that you were upset and why he tried to correct and you rejected it. At this point what do you expect him to do?
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: WillyNilly on January 21, 2012, 09:13:27 PM
So you two were going to play a video game together in separate rooms of the same home?

Honestly, you came here for advice and an outside opinion, right. Please consider this: do you think this is how you want to live forever? This post, the shoe post, a few other comments... Dark Boyfriend doesn't sound like a bad guy, but he sounds like a bad fit for you.

Your post reads like someone who is overall tense about your relationship. This wasn't a heavy deal, it was a straw breaking the camel's back.

Honestly, regardless of whether anyone here thinks playing with you was a big deal or not, you did, and I think that's the kind of preference a person should know about their partner. There's nothing wrong with being the kind of person who wants to do things as a couple, together. The trick is finding the right person, who also wants that; it sounds like DB doesn't prioritize that, or if he's ambivilent hasn't caught on its important to you.






Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 21, 2012, 09:45:48 PM
penelope2017 - That was me, but I wasn't upset that he didn't want to look at those pictures, I was upset because I felt like he directly insulted me by saying those were gross because that's what I wore.  I'm not sure what that has to do with this though... :-[  I thought I explained why I was upset but because you don't think I did (this is not snarky), what could I have said that would have explained it?  It wasn't that it was crucial that we play it together, it was that I wouldn't have suggested it had I wanted to play alone.  He asked me what I wanted to do now, so I asked him if he wanted to play the game.  It was definitely a conversation of what do you want to do together.  Had I not cared that we played together, I would have said "Well I'm going to play MW3."  It was that I expected us to play together only to find I'd been replaced.

As for the crying bit, I should clarify: I do that when I'm mad and frustrated, not when I'm hurt.  I was ready to explode because I have told Dark Boyfriend in the past, and as recent as 1.5 weeks ago, that I feel like I'm often an after thought to him.  I forgot to include that in my original post and I apologize for the confusion.

I should also clarify that even though I think it was "mean", I by no means think he did this on purpose.  It definitely was thoughtless, but that's part of the problem.  I've told him I feel like an after thought then he turns around and does this.

WillyNilly - The separate rooms of the same home was actually a happy joint decision.  Playing split screen (two different people on one screen that is split in half so each player can do his own thing) is a pain in the behind.  When we got a second TV we were both so happy that we wouldn't have to play split screen anymore.  The thing is, we actually do a lot together.  We enjoy a lot of the same things; sometimes we even just sit around and read together.  I really just think he is clueless about some things, specifically how his actions affect others and how the way he says things can be misconstrued.  There is also the possibility that sometimes I may be sensitive about some things because of my last relationship, in which my ex would do these sort of things on purpose.  That coupled with that I just told him about these things is probably what made me so angry.  I really appreciate your honesty.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: SisJackson on January 21, 2012, 09:48:02 PM
I have a gamer husband, and if we were ever in the same sort of situation (ha!  I've tried playing COD in split-screen mode with Mr. J, so that he could practice shooting a moving target, and even just trying to run around the terrain made me look like a spastic idiot.  I have a great deal of respect for anyone who is good at these games.) then the conversation would have been much different:

Mr. J:  We're in a full lobby so don't bother waiting for us for a game.
Me: You're saying you're playing without me?  I asked you to play so we could play together.
Mr. J:  Yeah, but I logged on and [Friend] and [Buddy] and [Pal] were already in a party and they invited me so I joined.
Me:  So you're playing without me, after I asked you to play with me?  (Yes, I would probably have to reiterate this - for some reason my darling husband sometimes turns into a clod when a game console powers up, heck if I know why.)
Mr. J:  I can always back out and play with you.
Me:  Yeah, go ahead and do that, tell the guys I said hi though.

I think your "Well, then I don't want to play at all" was very "I'm taking my ball and going home" immature without giving him the opportunity to try to fix his obvious mistake.

So you two were going to play a video game together in separate rooms of the same home?

If you don't have a gamer in the house (and this would be compounded by having more than one) then I can see why this would be difficult to understand.  But you can only have one console active per TV*, and the vast majority of households don't have two TVs in any one room.  From what I can tell, even Sheldon and Leonard only have one TV in their living room.  In order for both members of the Dark household to play the game together, they have to be where the TVs/consoles are.  No, it's not ideal.  But it's what works.

(DM:  Mr. J is very jealous of the two XBOXes and of the fact that DarkBoyfriend has a partner who plays games.  Oh, but he still loves me.)

*Yes, split-screen is possible but it sucks.  When the option of two separate consoles exists, that will be the preferred set up every time.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Amava on January 21, 2012, 09:51:57 PM
Ok he misjudged your needs at first, but he offered to back out and play with you almost immediately as soon as he noticed you needed him... He caught on faster than most people I know.

 :-\

How about:

I picked up my controller to turn off my Xbox and said, "Well I don't want to play then."

DB:  Even by yourself?
DM:  No.
DB:  I can always back out and play with you.
DM:  No, I don't want to play anymore.  Just go play. That would be lovely, especially because that was the plan in the first place...
DB: Ok then.
DM: Ok.

Don't make things so difficult for yourself. It's not worth it. Hugs!
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Cosmasia on January 21, 2012, 10:06:29 PM
I'm a gamer and my partner is a huge-mega-ultra gamer so I get the gaming culture aspect of it, nothing's weird about that (might be to non-gamers but.. meh?)

However, OP, you went really wrong when you started the whole "I don't wanna play anymore" thing. That's immature and it's also actually manipulative because you aren't letting him fix his mistake but at the same time you want to keep being mad at him. It's a "damned if he does, damned if he doesn't" situation and that isn't fair to him at all.

If you want something be completely frank. "Do you want me to quit and play with you instead?" "yes frankly I would, as that was the plan. And in the future please refrain from making me an afterthought, it makes me feel like I have to force you to play with me - and that isn't fun". It's obvious to you, but that doesn't mean it is to him.

If you spoke your mind instead of playing mindgames (which "I don't wanna play anymore but I'm gonna keep being mad" is) then he might start not making you an after thought because he realizes that "hey, if I start a game with my friends when I was supposed to play with my partner, I will have to quit right away AND she's hurt. That's not fun."

But if you keep the mindgames up then you are gonna end up hurt, alone and frustrated every time and he is gonna end up confused and frustrated - because you won't let him fix his mistake but at the same time it's pretty obvious you'll be mad at him when he then goes back to playing with his friends since you don't want to anymore. That's a really bad situation to put yourself in and it's going to just ruin your own mood time and time again instead of getting you what you want.

If it's any comfort I do understand that it'd be nice if some people would just, by themselves, stop being clueless jerks, but in the end you can only control you - and the first step to getting what you want is to be direct and frank rather than playing mind games.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Really? on January 21, 2012, 10:25:30 PM
hi DM, Thank you for explaining why you play in two rooms.

i don't know if u over reacted but that is because i have been in the same situaion, where i was always in second place and was tired of explaining myself. I do think you should have handled it differently because you would feel better being direct. also next time i like the suggestion of letting bf back out of the other game and maybe telling him that u appreciate thefact he is willing to fix the problem he created.

i found that letting my bf fix the problem, that he actually finally got it.
Onlyme
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 21, 2012, 10:27:58 PM
You've really given me something to think about. I saw me not wanting to play as a) I thought he would feel resentful and obligated that he was made to quit playing with his friends because his girlfriend was being whiny, b) that he in effect told his friends he was going to play with them so it wasn't fair to withdraw that offer, and c) that I was so mad I didn't want to be near nor hear him until I regained my cool. It's really the feeling like I'm an obligation that was first in my mind.  I didn't even see it as a mind game nor that I was not allowing him to fix his mistake. Maybe I'm the clueless one, lol. I will apologize to him for that.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: shhh its me on January 21, 2012, 11:12:26 PM
  What Sis Jackson said .   If it was a 10 minute game I might even have said " play this one with the boys BUT I yes asked if you wanted to play so we could play together so next game we play together...DUH "
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Firecat on January 21, 2012, 11:17:57 PM
I think sometimes it can be really difficult for non-gamers to understand gamers; there really are some aspects to gaming culture that look pretty odd from the outside (and even sometimes from the inside, but that's another discussion  ;)!)

Anyway, OP, I do understand how you feel. Feeling like an afterthought or second choice is a hot button for me, too. Since you had an ex who did that to you on purpose, I suspect that part of your reaction may be to that old pattern, even though you're not with that person anymore. Would it help for you to sit your boyfriend down and explain that to him, if he doesn't already know about it? It might help him understand where you were coming from, or at least help the two of you communicate better about it.

For what it's worth, it does sound like he was clueless rather than intentionally hurtful; I do agree with those saying you overreacted, but I think I understand why. You didn't ask, but can I offer a (((hug))) anyway?
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Viscountess on January 21, 2012, 11:58:16 PM
OP, my ex pulled the same stuff where he would want to play a game with me then ended up on a campaign with his friends.  I would (angrily) insist that he play with his friends then went to pout and huff in a corner somewhere.  So he got to have a fun time gaming while I was stewing over the fact that I was put on the back burner .  I learned that it was better in my situation to speak up and tell him how I felt, so that way we could come to some sort of agreement like spend 15 minutes with your friends then we'll start a game together. 
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: zyrs on January 22, 2012, 03:46:04 AM
Dark Magdalena, first my kudos to you and your boyfriend for being able to play together in separate rooms.  My wife and I tried that, but found we weren't able to communicate efficiently enough and she was always dying of status ailments I didn't know she had.  Now we have 2 tvs and a computer monitor in front of the comfy couch and I can glance over at her screen from time to time.

Cosmasia is spot on on the problems that not letting him fix his mistake can create.  Who knows, if he had mentioned that he was backing out to another lobby, maybe his friends would have wanted to switch too and you would have had an even bigger group (I haven't played MW3, so don't know if that is a good thing in your game, but it is in ours). 

 
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: gypsy77 on January 22, 2012, 05:56:20 AM
*snip*

As for the crying bit, I should clarify: I do that when I'm mad and frustrated, not when I'm hurt.  I was ready to explode because I have told Dark Boyfriend in the past, and as recent as 1.5 weeks ago, that I feel like I'm often an after thought to him.  I forgot to include that in my original post and I apologize for the confusion.

I should also clarify that even though I think it was "mean", I by no means think he did this on purpose.  It definitely was thoughtless, but that's part of the problem.  I've told him I feel like an after thought then he turns around and does this.

*snip*
  There is also the possibility that sometimes I may be sensitive about some things because of my last reationship, in which my ex would do these sort of things on purpose.  That coupled with that I just told him about these things is probably what made me so angry.  I really appreciate your honesty.

I am quoting these specific statements because they really struck a chord with me.  I too, cry when mad and frustrated, and because my ex not only did things on purpose to get me to that state, he liked to twist what I said when telling him about my anger and frustration so that now when I am feeling that way, I don't trust myself to talk.

This was very frustrating for my SO to learn to deal with, because the poor guy could tell I was upset, but if he asked why, I simply got more upset because it was so hard for me to tell him. After a couple of times when this happened, I went to him when I was calm and explained that while I understood he only wanted to talk and try to fix the problem, I am unable to do so in the heat of the moment. We have come to an understanding that if I tell him I need a few minutes, he will back off until I can collect myself enough to tell him what is bothering me. Because I know he will wait for me to be ready, it rarely takes me more than 5 minutes to be able to discuss the situation with him. It also has the added benefit of being a kind of RL version of Scritzy's coke rule, and we are both much calmer and able to see each others points of view when we do start discussing it.

You may not experience the same kind of issue as I do in voicing your concerns when you are upset, but even if you don't, it might be helpful to discuss it at a time when you are both calm.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: atirial on January 22, 2012, 06:16:49 AM
Telling you to play on your own is very definitely ditching you (for non gamers, it's like going to a cafe with your date, running into your mates and then walking out with them, leaving the girlfriend behind, so a pretty big breach of gaming etiquette). If this is part of a larger problem with you being left out, I can see why you reacted as you did - especially if he's going to make you out as the whiny girlfriend to his friends.

If he's still in the lobby he can switch without harming his team in the middle of a game, and should have when he saw the lobby was full. Unfortunately some guys are a bit clueless.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: TheVapors on January 22, 2012, 08:21:33 AM
I'm a gamer, and so is my husband. I completely understand what happened.

It would be like me saying to my husband "Let's go do a dungeon on WoW." And then we get online, and he finds a different group to play with entirely.

It's something that non-gamers may not necessarily be able to appreciate in full.

I would've come right out and said, "I suggested that we play, because I want to play with you. When you're done with that quick fight, let's do something together."
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 22, 2012, 08:32:35 AM
gypsy77 - That's exactly it.  I spent so much time resenting my ex that my first thought is really mean, unfair things to say.  That's not Dark Boyfriend's fault so I do everything I can to not take it out on him.  That includes telling him to "just go play" but in hindsight, I should have just asked him for a minute.  I do plan on talking to him about it today (and apologize for being unfair) and will bring that up.  Thank you for putting words to something I've known all along but couldn't quite figure out how to say.

TheVapors - It's exactly like that.  I thought that is what I said when "I wouldn't have suggested it had I wanted to play alone" but your way is so much more direct and I can see where what I said wouldn't have gotten my point across.  Funny thing about hindsight...

Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: rashea on January 22, 2012, 08:53:34 AM
I asked, "Do you want to play MW3?"

You've already discovered the issue of needing to tell him clearly that you wanted to play with him when he asked, but I wonder if the problem didn't start here. You asked if he wanted to play, not if he wanted to play with you. It's subtle, but if you can make "with me" a part of the request up front, then there will be less chance for him to misunderstand.

Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: penelope2017 on January 22, 2012, 12:16:34 PM
The reason I brought up your previous thread about the sandals was to point out another example, like this one, where  I feel your emotional reaction is out of line with what is actually occurring. I know why you said you were upset with your BF in the sandal thread. You explained it clearly. I didn't necessarily agree with your interpretation of him saying he wasn't interested in seeing the photos of other people's feet in sandals and why it turned into a personal insult against you because you have a fondness for them. Nor do I totally get how the current situation of him starting a video game without you translates into feeling like you are about to explode with anger, hurt or resentment. I'm pointing out a pattern.

I'm not saying it is wrong to feel moderately hurt by either of these scenarios, I'm saying the extent to which you are reacting is over the top. I'm glad you are realizing that it might be lingering resentment over your ex causing you to overreact and I do think taking a minute before doing so is smart.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: JoyinVirginia on January 22, 2012, 12:51:46 PM
I agree with amava, sisjackson, pps, and especially penelope.
Bf is clueless, not malicious. Clear, direct communication is needed.
I have friend who is cancer survivor. When she has any problem she has a saying: "if this is the worst thing that happens today, it is a pretty good day."
Because once you have faced a life-threatening major problem, it is easier to realize that most everything else is small stuff.
Give the bf a hug, then calmly tell him the story like you told us.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: bah12 on January 22, 2012, 02:13:00 PM
He made a mistake.  I'll give you that.  I agree that when you asked to play, it was insensitive of him to join another group and then tell you not to bother waiting for him. 

But, when he tried to rectify the problem, you wouldn't let him.  He tried more than once to "fix" it and give you want you wanted, which was to play together and you refused him each time.  What was it that you were looking for at that moment?  He couldn't go back in time and undue what he did, so what else would have not escalated the argument and frustration?

I'm not a gamer, but I do understand how you feel.  If I get upset by something DH does, sometimes I'm unaccepting of his efforts to rectify it because I feel like he's only doing it because I'm upset.  Then I let my pride get in the way and refuse all attempts he makes to put things back.

But, that's not healthy behavior for a relationship.  People make silly mistakes all the time that deeply hurt us without realizing until it's too late what the impacts of the actions were.

Here's what I think you should do now:  talk to him.  I'd start by saying something like, "Dark Boyfriend, I'd like to talk to you about what happened the other night with the games.  I was hurt when you told me you were playing with another group because I felt like you ditched me for them.  When you offered to play with me later, I felt like an afterthought.  I do think I overreacted in refusing to play later.  I understand that you were just trying to make things right and for that I'm sorry.  I know you didn't see this situation the same way I did, but I hope now you understand my perspective a little more and will try to remember that when I ask if you want to play, I mean with me.  Again, I'm sorry for how I reacted and I hope you understand a little more about what happened."
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 22, 2012, 02:18:48 PM
He made a mistake.  I'll give you that.  I agree that when you asked to play, it was insensitive of him to join another group and then tell you not to bother waiting for him. 

But, when he tried to rectify the problem, you wouldn't let him.  He tried more than once to "fix" it and give you want you wanted, which was to play together and you refused him each time.  What was it that you were looking for at that moment?  He couldn't go back in time and undue what he did, so what else would have not escalated the argument and frustration?

I'm not a gamer, but I do understand how you feel.  If I get upset by something DH does, sometimes I'm unaccepting of his efforts to rectify it because I feel like he's only doing it because I'm upset.  Then I let my pride get in the way and refuse all attempts he makes to put things back.

But, that's not healthy behavior for a relationship.  People make silly mistakes all the time that deeply hurt us without realizing until it's too late what the impacts of the actions were.

Here's what I think you should do now:  talk to him.  I'd start by saying something like, "Dark Boyfriend, I'd like to talk to you about what happened the other night with the games.  I was hurt when you told me you were playing with another group because I felt like you ditched me for them.  When you offered to play with me later, I felt like an afterthought.  I do think I overreacted in refusing to play later.  I understand that you were just trying to make things right and for that I'm sorry.  I know you didn't see this situation the same way I did, but I hope now you understand my perspective a little more and will try to remember that when I ask if you want to play, I mean with me.  Again, I'm sorry for how I reacted and I hope you understand a little more about what happened."

That's exactly what I want to say!  I have been trying to think all day how to word it and you've nailed it.  Thank you for your help!
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: shhh its me on January 22, 2012, 03:28:32 PM
Telling you to play on your own is very definitely ditching you (for non gamers, it's like going to a cafe with your date, running into your mates and then walking out with them, leaving the girlfriend behind, so a pretty big breach of gaming etiquette). If this is part of a larger problem with you being left out, I can see why you reacted as you did - especially if he's going to make you out as the whiny girlfriend to his friends.

If he's still in the lobby he can switch without harming his team in the middle of a game, and should have when he saw the lobby was full. Unfortunately some guys are a bit clueless.

I think if the games are 10 minutes most it's more like going to play pool together we're going to play for a few hours.  When we arrive I take a few minutes to settle in , use the rest room and BF normally plays the first game with friends and I join in on the second game. If BF has to wait for the first game or the first game goes very fast and he is already waiting to play the second game, I wouldn't call it ditching. Playing one of 6-20 games with someone else is not as egregious as walking away and having dinner with someone else.   Once you establish it's OK for BF to play a game while you're getting situated then it's reasonable for him to start a game without you. 
I think OP had a right to be annoyed but BF wasn't a total dofus either.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 22, 2012, 03:45:46 PM
Telling you to play on your own is very definitely ditching you (for non gamers, it's like going to a cafe with your date, running into your mates and then walking out with them, leaving the girlfriend behind, so a pretty big breach of gaming etiquette). If this is part of a larger problem with you being left out, I can see why you reacted as you did - especially if he's going to make you out as the whiny girlfriend to his friends.

If he's still in the lobby he can switch without harming his team in the middle of a game, and should have when he saw the lobby was full. Unfortunately some guys are a bit clueless.

I think if the games are 10 minutes most it's more like going to play pool together we're going to play for a few hours.  When we arrive I take a few minutes to settle in , use the rest room and BF normally plays the first game with friends and I join in on the second game. If BF has to wait for the first game or the first game goes very fast and he is already waiting to play the second game, I wouldn't call it ditching. Playing one of 6-20 games with someone else is not as egregious as walking away and having dinner with someone else.   Once you establish it's OK for BF to play a game while you're getting situated then it's reasonable for him to start a game without you. 
I think OP had a right to be annoyed but BF wasn't a total dofus either.

I was completely ready to play the second game; I was ready to play it 3 minutes into the first game.  In your scenario, I wouldn't call it ditching either because he technically would still be waiting for me.  What happened was I was waiting for him; that I would call ditching.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Danika on January 22, 2012, 03:47:59 PM
Great suggestions and points made my PPs. My DH is a gamer too, and we've had similar situations.

About 10 years ago, I was flipping through TV channels and came across some guy on a stage lecturing an audience. I think he was trying to sell a book. I don't remember who he was and I only watched a little while but he told a little anecdote that was very eye-opening to me and I've often thought of it in situations like this.

His story was something like the following. Sally wants to spend some time with her husband and a new movie is out. She says "DH, let's go to NewMovie together tonight." Her husband thinks about it but he doesn't really want to see NewMovie. He wants to see OtherMovie. He says "I don't want to see NewMovie. Let's see OtherMovie." But Sally's not interested in seeing OtherMovie and she says so. So her DH says to her "OK, well, Bob would probably like to see OtherMovie" and he calls Bob and they go see OtherMovie. Sally is left alone wondering where she went wrong.

The man giving the presentation had a list of 5 "layers" of desire or some such thing. The only two layers I remember were the two mentioned here. Sally wanted to do something with her DH. She just wanted to spend time with him. It was the relationship layer. It didn't have to be that movie specifically, but she didn't communicate that to him. Her DH heard her suggestion but only heard about the activity. That was lower on the priority list than the relationship layer; it was the activity layer. Her suggestion planted in his mind the desire to see a movie. And the specific movie, to him, was more important than who he shared the experience with.

Sometimes, Dark Magdalena, I'm in your shoes with my DH. And remembering the thing I saw on TV, if he asks me "what do you want to do now?" I will think about it answer something like:

1) Activity priority: "I want to go on eHell and catch up on some discussions. If you'd like to sit beside me and watch TV while I do that, it would be fantastic. But if you would be bored, please, do whatever you're interested in doing (here or in another room). I'm going to surf eHell."

or

2) relationship priority: "I want to spend time with you. Ideally, I would like to surf eHell, but if that bores you" (or bothers him because my chosen activity has sound or too much light or something) "then what would you like to do and I'll do that with you? For example, if you want to watch the football game, I can find a book and sit beside you while you do that."
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: zyrs on January 22, 2012, 11:44:16 PM
I discussed this with my wife today and she suggests a tactic that she uses when she wants me to know that suggested activity is for us to do together. 

boyfriend: So, what do you want to do now?
You: Let's play MW3.
Boyfriend:  Okay.
You : Give me a couple minutes to take care of "whatever", then we can log in.
boyfriend: Okay.

The bolded statement makes it clear that this is a 'play together' night.




Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Ceallach on January 22, 2012, 11:54:58 PM
He made a mistake.  I'll give you that.  I agree that when you asked to play, it was insensitive of him to join another group and then tell you not to bother waiting for him. 

But, when he tried to rectify the problem, you wouldn't let him.  He tried more than once to "fix" it and give you want you wanted, which was to play together and you refused him each time.  What was it that you were looking for at that moment?  He couldn't go back in time and undue what he did, so what else would have not escalated the argument and frustration?

I'm not a gamer, but I do understand how you feel.  If I get upset by something DH does, sometimes I'm unaccepting of his efforts to rectify it because I feel like he's only doing it because I'm upset.  Then I let my pride get in the way and refuse all attempts he makes to put things back.

But, that's not healthy behavior for a relationship.  People make silly mistakes all the time that deeply hurt us without realizing until it's too late what the impacts of the actions were.

Here's what I think you should do now:  talk to him.  I'd start by saying something like, "Dark Boyfriend, I'd like to talk to you about what happened the other night with the games.  I was hurt when you told me you were playing with another group because I felt like you ditched me for them.  When you offered to play with me later, I felt like an afterthought.  I do think I overreacted in refusing to play later.  I understand that you were just trying to make things right and for that I'm sorry.  I know you didn't see this situation the same way I did, but I hope now you understand my perspective a little more and will try to remember that when I ask if you want to play, I mean with me.  Again, I'm sorry for how I reacted and I hope you understand a little more about what happened."

This.  Exactly.   He made a thoughtless comment/assumption but as soon as he realised he tried to fix it.   Your feelings are 100% understandable in that moment, but you should realise that you do have control over how you respond and react.  I think it's important that you think about what he could have said or done in that moment that would have been acceptable to you.  Is it possible that you were so hurt and angry that you were determined to remain hurt and angry no matter what? 

I understand completely because I'm also a crier, and I used to react badly when DH did or said the wrong thing.  I gradually learnt over the years to be the bigger person, and in turn he learnt to be more considerate so these situations arose less frequently.  I realised that *I* didn't want to be unhappy. So if given the opportunity to fix the situation / be happy again, I'd take that opportunity instead of being proud or angry. Otherwise I was punishing myself as well as him, and that was no fun.  I'm not suggesting that I'm magically a completely rational non-crier now - I'm still me - but we are able to deal with things very reasonably and to both of our satisfaction.  And afterwards I calmly explain in a non-confrontational manner what my concern was, so he can learn from that.  It's much more effective in the long run than having a confrontation, and it's a much happier use of both of our time.  And we're pretty darn happy!   ;)
Title: Re: Being an after thought...
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 23, 2012, 07:57:35 AM
He made a mistake.  I'll give you that.  I agree that when you asked to play, it was insensitive of him to join another group and then tell you not to bother waiting for him. 

But, when he tried to rectify the problem, you wouldn't let him.  He tried more than once to "fix" it and give you want you wanted, which was to play together and you refused him each time.  What was it that you were looking for at that moment?  He couldn't go back in time and undue what he did, so what else would have not escalated the argument and frustration?

I'm not a gamer, but I do understand how you feel.  If I get upset by something DH does, sometimes I'm unaccepting of his efforts to rectify it because I feel like he's only doing it because I'm upset.  Then I let my pride get in the way and refuse all attempts he makes to put things back.

But, that's not healthy behavior for a relationship.  People make silly mistakes all the time that deeply hurt us without realizing until it's too late what the impacts of the actions were.

Here's what I think you should do now:  talk to him.  I'd start by saying something like, "Dark Boyfriend, I'd like to talk to you about what happened the other night with the games.  I was hurt when you told me you were playing with another group because I felt like you ditched me for them.  When you offered to play with me later, I felt like an afterthought.  I do think I overreacted in refusing to play later.  I understand that you were just trying to make things right and for that I'm sorry.  I know you didn't see this situation the same way I did, but I hope now you understand my perspective a little more and will try to remember that when I ask if you want to play, I mean with me.  Again, I'm sorry for how I reacted and I hope you understand a little more about what happened."

This.  Exactly.   He made a thoughtless comment/assumption but as soon as he realised he tried to fix it.   Your feelings are 100% understandable in that moment, but you should realise that you do have control over how you respond and react.  I think it's important that you think about what he could have said or done in that moment that would have been acceptable to you.  Is it possible that you were so hurt and angry that you were determined to remain hurt and angry no matter what? 

I understand completely because I'm also a crier, and I used to react badly when DH did or said the wrong thing.  I gradually learnt over the years to be the bigger person, and in turn he learnt to be more considerate so these situations arose less frequently.  I realised that *I* didn't want to be unhappy. So if given the opportunity to fix the situation / be happy again, I'd take that opportunity instead of being proud or angry. Otherwise I was punishing myself as well as him, and that was no fun.  I'm not suggesting that I'm magically a completely rational non-crier now - I'm still me - but we are able to deal with things very reasonably and to both of our satisfaction.  And afterwards I calmly explain in a non-confrontational manner what my concern was, so he can learn from that.  It's much more effective in the long run than having a confrontation, and it's a much happier use of both of our time.  And we're pretty darn happy!   ;)

Yes, I can see where that would be possible subconsciously. 



I sat DB down and pretty much said bah12's suggestion.  I apologized for playing a mind game, that I should have let him fix the problem when he realized it, and that I was hurt by what he did.  He shrugged and said he didn't think it (what he did) was a big deal.  I tried to reiterate to him why it hurt and used examples of what it was like.  He continued to argue that it wasn't like those scenarios at all.  I finally found one that made it click for him and he apologized again.  I apologized for freaking out a little and told him why (probably) I did.  Then...well then I started to cry  :-[ this time because of all the hurt I felt from ex resurfacing.  I told DB that I have never told him the specifics of what ex did because I didn't want him to ever feel like he had to fix ex's mistakes, that I just wanted him to be him, BUT that ex would do things like that on purpose and would make me feel unimportant out of malice.  I made sure to tell him I know that he didn't to it on purpose, that I know he's not like that.  He hugged me and just let me cry.  I feel important again  :D
Title: Re: Being an after thought...resolved #28
Post by: Sterling on January 23, 2012, 10:18:54 AM
This weekend I did the same thing.  My fiance and I were sitting on the couch with our laptops talking about wedding stuff and playing on line.  I had an issue I wanted to talk to him about reguarding the wedding.  As I explained he interrupted and said "Hold that thought" and proceeded to watch a youtube video.  I got up and walked out.  I was so mad and I too cry when I get frustrated.  He came and found me right away and started apologizing for being rude so he knew he messed up.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...resolved #28
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 23, 2012, 10:28:05 AM
This weekend I did the same thing.  My fiance and I were sitting on the couch with our laptops talking about wedding stuff and playing on line.  I had an issue I wanted to talk to him about reguarding the wedding.  As I explained he interrupted and said "Hold that thought" and proceeded to watch a youtube video.  I got up and walked out.  I was so mad and I too cry when I get frustrated.  He came and found me right away and started apologizing for being rude so he knew he messed up.

Dark Boyfriend has done that, too!  I thought it was only him!  I waited until he was done and asked him how important that video was.  He said it wasn't, so I asked him why he couldn't have waited until I was done talking if it wasn't that important.  He didn't have an answer and is getting much better about not doing stuff like that.  :D
Title: Re: Being an after thought...resolved #28
Post by: Softly Spoken on January 23, 2012, 05:08:35 PM
Late to this party and so glad it was resolved. I just wanted to add one little scrap of food for thought to chew on, hopefully with the idea of avoiding hurt feelings in the future...

I pod just about every comment on this thread, but I noticed what I paid attention to (my own life-experience bias at work here) was the pattern of approach/isolation that played out when there was a problem.
IMHO, it is important to be aware of how each of you respond to a problem. It's kind of a "fight or flight" thing, where in this case it seems as if you flee at first so as to avoid a fight you do not want to have. BF pursued you to ask what was wrong - I hope you can see what a good thing that is!

You see, for me, the worst thing someone can do when I am upset is leave me alone unless I expressly tell them that I need space. When someone is upset, others instinct is usually either to give space or comfort/try to help fix. If I need someone to listen and my SO is giving me my space because I'm upset, I end up feeling like he doesn't care. If I need my space because I'm too overwhelmed to talk and my SO is hovering around and trying to get me to open up then I feel overwhelmed and like he doesn't respect my boundaries and once again doesn't care. Nine times out of ten I want to be approached, but it is my responsibility to communicate that to my SO, as it is my responsibility to make it clear that tenth time that I need him to back off instead.

It is very important to be able to be aware (during a conflict) of what you want and why, and be able to tell the person you are dealing with what you want from them.

I guess this is my long and fancy way of saying communication is important. ;D

Glad you were able to recognize where things went wrong and work things out DM. Sounds like your BF is trying pretty hard despite his occasional cluelessness, and is willing to work with you and listen to you as you try and exorcise the negative patterns laid down by your ex. Good luck! ;D {{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}
Title: Re: Being an after thought...resolved #28
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 23, 2012, 05:18:16 PM
Late to this party and so glad it was resolved. I just wanted to add one little scrap of food for thought to chew on, hopefully with the idea of avoiding hurt feelings in the future...

I pod just about every comment on this thread, but I noticed what I paid attention to (my own life-experience bias at work here) was the pattern of approach/isolation that played out when there was a problem.
IMHO, it is important to be aware of how each of you respond to a problem. It's kind of a "fight or flight" thing, where in this case it seems as if you flee at first so as to avoid a fight you do not want to have. BF pursued you to ask what was wrong - I hope you can see what a good thing that is!

You see, for me, the worst thing someone can do when I am upset is leave me alone unless I expressly tell them that I need space. When someone is upset, others instinct is usually either to give space or comfort/try to help fix. If I need someone to listen and my SO is giving me my space because I'm upset, I end up feeling like he doesn't care. If I need my space because I'm too overwhelmed to talk and my SO is hovering around and trying to get me to open up then I feel overwhelmed and like he doesn't respect my boundaries and once again doesn't care. Nine times out of ten I want to be approached, but it is my responsibility to communicate that to my SO, as it is my responsibility to make it clear that tenth time that I need him to back off instead.

It is very important to be able to be aware (during a conflict) of what you want and why, and be able to tell the person you are dealing with what you want from them.

I guess this is my long and fancy way of saying communication is important. ;D

Glad you were able to recognize where things went wrong and work things out DM. Sounds like your BF is trying pretty hard despite his occasional cluelessness, and is willing to work with you and listen to you as you try and exorcise the negative patterns laid down by your ex. Good luck! ;D {{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}

I always want to be left alone, I'm definitely a fleer in this situation.  I feel like I'm being smothered and it makes me even more irritated.  Next time I just need to say, "Please leave me a lone for a few minutes" instead of becoming obstinate (kind of a heat of the moment thing I am not proud of).  Thank you!
Title: Re: Being an after thought...resolved #28
Post by: hobish on January 23, 2012, 05:31:10 PM
Late to this party and so glad it was resolved. I just wanted to add one little scrap of food for thought to chew on, hopefully with the idea of avoiding hurt feelings in the future...

I pod just about every comment on this thread, but I noticed what I paid attention to (my own life-experience bias at work here) was the pattern of approach/isolation that played out when there was a problem.
IMHO, it is important to be aware of how each of you respond to a problem. It's kind of a "fight or flight" thing, where in this case it seems as if you flee at first so as to avoid a fight you do not want to have. BF pursued you to ask what was wrong - I hope you can see what a good thing that is!

You see, for me, the worst thing someone can do when I am upset is leave me alone unless I expressly tell them that I need space. When someone is upset, others instinct is usually either to give space or comfort/try to help fix. If I need someone to listen and my SO is giving me my space because I'm upset, I end up feeling like he doesn't care. If I need my space because I'm too overwhelmed to talk and my SO is hovering around and trying to get me to open up then I feel overwhelmed and like he doesn't respect my boundaries and once again doesn't care. Nine times out of ten I want to be approached, but it is my responsibility to communicate that to my SO, as it is my responsibility to make it clear that tenth time that I need him to back off instead.

It is very important to be able to be aware (during a conflict) of what you want and why, and be able to tell the person you are dealing with what you want from them.

I guess this is my long and fancy way of saying communication is important. ;D

Glad you were able to recognize where things went wrong and work things out DM. Sounds like your BF is trying pretty hard despite his occasional cluelessness, and is willing to work with you and listen to you as you try and exorcise the negative patterns laid down by your ex. Good luck! ;D {{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}

I always want to be left alone, I'm definitely a fleer in this situation.  I feel like I'm being smothered and it makes me even more irritated.  Next time I just need to say, "Please leave me a lone for a few minutes" instead of becoming obstinate (kind of a heat of the moment thing I am not proud of).  Thank you!

I have to do that, too. I also cry when i am angry and frustrated. I also scream and yell and throw things  :-[ so i try really hard to keep it in check. Honestly, i can see me and Gish in your OP so much ... except we don't have a 2nd XBox ...yet. I see where you are coming from with not wanting to play any more. I don't think it is neccessarily a mind game, or not letting him fix it. Sometimes you can't fix it. Having to go out of your way to (re)explain to someone that you are looking for their time and attention (in playing the game with you) can take some of the luster off. Sometimes i am sure it is; but i don't think that is always a "I'm taking my ball and going home" situation, more like a if i have to fight for your attention it's jut not worth it situation. BTDT. Trying, trying, trying to be more forthright and level headed; but i definitely see where you are coming from.

I am very happy to hear it worked out ok in the end.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...resolved #28
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 23, 2012, 05:49:50 PM
Late to this party and so glad it was resolved. I just wanted to add one little scrap of food for thought to chew on, hopefully with the idea of avoiding hurt feelings in the future...

I pod just about every comment on this thread, but I noticed what I paid attention to (my own life-experience bias at work here) was the pattern of approach/isolation that played out when there was a problem.
IMHO, it is important to be aware of how each of you respond to a problem. It's kind of a "fight or flight" thing, where in this case it seems as if you flee at first so as to avoid a fight you do not want to have. BF pursued you to ask what was wrong - I hope you can see what a good thing that is!

You see, for me, the worst thing someone can do when I am upset is leave me alone unless I expressly tell them that I need space. When someone is upset, others instinct is usually either to give space or comfort/try to help fix. If I need someone to listen and my SO is giving me my space because I'm upset, I end up feeling like he doesn't care. If I need my space because I'm too overwhelmed to talk and my SO is hovering around and trying to get me to open up then I feel overwhelmed and like he doesn't respect my boundaries and once again doesn't care. Nine times out of ten I want to be approached, but it is my responsibility to communicate that to my SO, as it is my responsibility to make it clear that tenth time that I need him to back off instead.

It is very important to be able to be aware (during a conflict) of what you want and why, and be able to tell the person you are dealing with what you want from them.

I guess this is my long and fancy way of saying communication is important. ;D

Glad you were able to recognize where things went wrong and work things out DM. Sounds like your BF is trying pretty hard despite his occasional cluelessness, and is willing to work with you and listen to you as you try and exorcise the negative patterns laid down by your ex. Good luck! ;D {{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}

I always want to be left alone, I'm definitely a fleer in this situation.  I feel like I'm being smothered and it makes me even more irritated.  Next time I just need to say, "Please leave me a lone for a few minutes" instead of becoming obstinate (kind of a heat of the moment thing I am not proud of).  Thank you!

I have to do that, too. I also cry when i am angry and frustrated. I also scream and yell and throw things  :-[ so i try really hard to keep it in check. Honestly, i can see me and Gish in your OP so much ... except we don't have a 2nd XBox ...yet. I see where you are coming from with not wanting to play any more. I don't think it is neccessarily a mind game, or not letting him fix it. Sometimes you can't fix it. Having to go out of your way to (re)explain to someone that you are looking for their time and attention (in playing the game with you) can take some of the luster off. Sometimes i am sure it is; but i don't think that is always a "I'm taking my ball and going home" situation, more like a if i have to fight for your attention it's jut not worth it situation. BTDT. Trying, trying, trying to be more forthright and level headed; but i definitely see where you are coming from.

I am very happy to hear it worked out ok in the end.

I think that was it exactly!  I didn't actually want to play anymore, it had no interest now that I had been left behind.  (Get that 2nd Xbox...it means you can play, too, if he is playing something else you have no interest in (I don't like sports games)).  Thanks, I am, too.  I'm trying to be more forthright, too, but it's not quite working easily :/.  One of these days...
Title: Re: Being an after thought...resolved #28
Post by: Danika on January 23, 2012, 06:27:08 PM
I also scream and yell and throw things

And I fear doing that so much (both my parents do that) that I clam up and walk away and need my space to collect exactly why I'm mad.

It's very important for my friendships and relationship with DH that people allow me to revisit the situation later. I need time to examine a situation and think about precisely what upset me so much about it. And sometimes, if it's something really big, I don't like my DH or my close friends to tell me "I don't think you should be mad for reason X" because very often, if I think it over a lot, I was not mad for reason X. I was mad for reason Y. And then I need to be able to go back to them later and revisit the topic and say "Just so you know, what upset me was Y. So if X happens, it's not a huge deal and we don't have to avoid X. But we do need to avoid a Y situation."

I find that most of the time, the Y situation is that I felt disrespected. It wasn't about an action, it was that the action against me meant that I was disrespected or disregarded or treated as a lesser individual not worthy of as much consideration. Basically, the situation that OP described here. Not about the game, or my free time. Just cast aside like my presence or needs didn't matter.
Title: Re: Being an after thought...resolved #28
Post by: Ceallach on January 23, 2012, 06:54:57 PM
I'm glad it's resolved.   I think you're a very reasonable person and take feedback well.  It's important to remember that these situations occur to some extent in *every* relationship.  It's about learning the other person's communication style and needs.  To some people, it truly mightn't be a big deal that he started first.  To others, it's the height of inconsiderateness and thoughtlessness. So both of you have learnt something here about how the other thinks.  He'll hopefully be more considerate in future and realise that it's the "us" time aspect that's important to you. Likewise, hopefully you realise that to him it was just "playing the online game and he had no intention of hurting you in any way. Neither of you are wrong, you're just too people adjusting to loving each other and the natural miscommunications that occur.   :)
Title: Re: Being an after thought...resolved #28
Post by: Mental Magpie on January 23, 2012, 10:16:22 PM
I also scream and yell and throw things

And I fear doing that so much (both my parents do that) that I clam up and walk away and need my space to collect exactly why I'm mad.

It's very important for my friendships and relationship with DH that people allow me to revisit the situation later. I need time to examine a situation and think about precisely what upset me so much about it. And sometimes, if it's something really big, I don't like my DH or my close friends to tell me "I don't think you should be mad for reason X" because very often, if I think it over a lot, I was not mad for reason X. I was mad for reason Y. And then I need to be able to go back to them later and revisit the topic and say "Just so you know, what upset me was Y. So if X happens, it's not a huge deal and we don't have to avoid X. But we do need to avoid a Y situation."

I find that most of the time, the Y situation is that I felt disrespected. It wasn't about an action, it was that the action against me meant that I was disrespected or disregarded or treated as a lesser individual not worthy of as much consideration. Basically, the situation that OP described here. Not about the game, or my free time. Just cast aside like my presence or needs didn't matter.

Are you me?  That's exactly my process.  It's because it makes me feel lesser and unimportant.  I even told Dark Boyfriend that I just want to feel important because ex always made me feel extremely unimportant.  Ex: "Oh, you got a 4.0, way to be an bacon-fed knave kisser" DB: "Oh, you got a 4.0, I know you worked hard for that!" then he teasingly told me I was a know-it-all smartypants and made me laugh.  He does make me feel important, but when he suddenly (even accidentally) makes me feel unimportant I feel it tenfold.

Ceallach - Thank you.  I had to make sure he knew that it wasn't because he started without me or that he's never allowed to play without me, it was that in this situation I feel like an afterthought, a burden, an obligation, unimportant to him...I made it clear to him (he even said so) that it wasn't because of the game, necessarily, but that I wanted to spend time with him and play the game.