Home / News / It’s hard to live with a sullen girlfriend – Chicago Tribune

It’s hard to live with a sullen girlfriend – Chicago Tribune


Dear Amy: Forty years ago, my wife was three months pregnant. I have never forgiven myself for my behavior during those few months.

The pregnancy was planned, but instead of being satisfied, doubts and fears attacked me. Instead of being supportive and optimistic towards my partner, I was grumpy and unsympathetic. I felt trapped and resentful.

Then it all ended with a heartbreaking miscarriage and a consuming feeling of guilt for my actions.

Wanting to atone, I endured five years of humiliating infertility treatments and finally told her I couldn’t take it anymore. He accepted. We gave up trying.

Were my actions during that brief pregnancy as inexcusable as I thought, or did other people have similar feelings in such situations?

If I realized that they were, maybe I could forgive myself.

– Guilty Man

Dear Guilt: Yes, anxiety, doubts, and fears during pregnancy are common for pregnant women and their partners.

Have I known men who were unsupportive and cranky during their partner’s pregnancy and the early days of parenthood? Certainly. Pregnant women may exhibit similar behavior. (I probably can’t be the only one.)

Pregnancy can be an extremely stressful experience, and people who don’t take the time and effort to sort out their inner feelings and look for ways to behave well tend to behave badly and become angry rather than deal with their own weaknesses.

The difference between your story and the stories of other expectant parents is that many of these negative emotions migrate and dissipate as the pregnancy progresses. The extremely distressing series of losses you and your wife have experienced has deprived you of many things, including any opportunity for redemption through enthusiastic and loving parenting.

Atonement is an outward course of action to attempt to right a wrong.

Your ongoing feelings of guilt may be a sign that you still need to acknowledge your actions and take responsibility for the impact your long-ago actions had on your family.

We all make mistakes. We all behave badly. But the way to move forward is to accept your mistakes and weaknesses and seek forgiveness.

Have you sincerely accepted responsibility for your behavior and asked your wife to forgive you? If not, what are you waiting for?

You will only know if your behavior is “unforgivable” when you are brave enough to ask for forgiveness.

Dear Amy: I have been with my girlfriend for five years (we are both in our mid-20s).

We moved in together about a year ago and both have good jobs. Her job is either more stressful than mine, or maybe she feels the stress more, but when she comes home after work, she’s often in a bad mood. He says he is always hungry and feels better after eating something.

I think that makes it pretty hard to live with.

The other night it was my turn to make dinner and he didn’t believe I was paying enough attention to what I was doing. He followed me in the kitchen and criticized my work. He went to the refrigerator and got a bowl of yogurt to eat.

I was doing a puzzle on my phone while the rice was cooking, but nothing was going fast enough and – long story short – she threw the yoghurt (spoon and all) at me.

My back was turned and the yoghurt hit my back, splashed all over me and fell to the floor.

I wasn’t injured but I think this was the final straw. He truly apologized. He attributed this outburst to his hunger, but I’m thinking of moving. I do not know what to do.

– Man on the Fence

Dear Hedgehog: Your girlfriend can easily control her “hangry” outbursts by grabbing a snack on the way home from work.

His violence is unacceptable.

Men sometimes ignore intimate partner violence if they are not injured. I hope you don’t make this mistake.

Now it’s time for you to go out. Move in with a friend, make a clean escape, and don’t look back.

Dear Amy: Your answer to the question “Depressed (but not depressed) Daughter” was wonderful.

I watched two of my parents die and was often in DD’s position and didn’t know what to say.

Your suggestions were simple and very useful.

– in Barry, Indiana

Dear Barry: A person who tells the truth about a dying relative is not “degrading” as long as he or she accepts “I’m sorry” as a sincere and adequate response.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or write to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or on Facebook.)


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