September 4, 2003
Send us your questions
* Strange behaviour
Fitst I would like to thank you so much for your articles, they are so informative
and more helpful than you realize, as well as entertaining. Okay here is the
story. I have been dating this guy (6 years older, also Iranian) for 2 years.
Our relationship started out not so serious, but has become more serious due
to the length of our involvement and other circumstances. However, he has started
displaying some strange behaviour!
For example, we went on this vacation together accompanied by his friends
to a ski-resort and when we would get dressed up and go out at night
I looked very beautiful. He would pick this moment to point out other
girls to me and make joking comments like "oh look at that nice
ass" and then immediatly he would be watching eagerly for my reaction
so he could say "oh but no one looks as good as you do," or
something of the sort.
At first I reacted to these comments, which strangely enough, werent
even directed at good looking women! But then I grew irritated and started
to ignore it, as they were becomming more frequent during the evening
and I didnt know what to do. It was starting to piss me off, but at the
same time I knew he couldnt be serious. When I ignored it, he grew more
aggressive with it, and I could see him waiting anxiously for my reaction,
which I didnt give, so then he would still say he was sorry and that
he was only joking and try to kiss me or hug me, but I pretended to be
Then I decided to play a little bit of my own games with him, and when
a man came up to me to ask me something, I gave him my full attention
and even stepped away a bit to the side to talk to him, which infuriated
my man, and he came up to me and grabbed my arm and goes "I told
you to stay with me you idiot".
I should also explain that he might have been slightly intoxicated when
he said that, but definetly not drunk in the real sense. Basically my
question is this, why does he always make those complements about other
women that arent even more attractive, and why does he immediatly say
hes sorry and no one is better than me and he didnt mean it? I dont understand
what the point is other than trying to hurt me, or make me jealous.
Sometimes his comments can be pretty malicious. I dont know how to
act except to ignore it. I tried talking to him and he basically blew
me off and didnt take my concern serious, so thats why I just ignore
it when he does this. Oh, he also tends to do this more in front of his
Please help! Thanks! :)
Abjee Fotti and Abjee Pari write:
Looking at people of the other opposite sex, commenting on their beauty,
even some light, harmless flirting should not be reason to pause in a
relationship, if there is trust between the couple. In fact, it
is a very natural human reaction to be attracted physically to others,
even while committed to one person. To try to stifle those urges
through a demanding jealous behavior is suffocating and not conducive
to a healthy relationship.
The key however is that this bheavior is "harmless". In your
case, from what you say, it seems your boyfriend is not innocently commenting
on other women rather he is purposefully picking on you by comparing you to
other women and getting a rise out of you. Then, he grows more aggressive
and frequent when you try to ignore his childish behavior. This behavior
has crossed from harmless to a real annoyance and potentially destructive.
It seems your boyfriend has some major insecurities and self-esteem issues. His
comparing you out loud to other women at the precise moment that you have spent
a long time getting yourself ready and looking beautiful and confident in yourself is
meant to burst your bubble. As in, don't think you are that attractive,
there are a lot of other women out there.
The actions of your boyfriends may stem from the fact that he feels
secretly you are "too good" for him and so, to preempt
any strike from you, he is already telling you loud and clear that in
fact you are not that special. Whether he is justified or
not in his thoughts does not matter. Whatever his insecurities
are, they are the ones controlling his vision of reality. Also,
the fact that he purposefully points out these things in front of his
friends is yet another sign of disrespect.
Teasing and joking is fine, when done in appropriate amoutns and the
joker needs to know that he should get ready to get as good as he gives. i.e.
if all this is really just harmless fun, then you should be able to reciprocate
without him getting angry at you. The level of his anger at you
when you try to react to his behavior by some "games"of your
own is just a reflection that he indeed does not takes these as harmless
little games but symptomatic of a bigger problem in the relationship.
It is up to you whether you can tolerate his insecurities and his constant
attempts at humiliating you in front of his and your friends. He may
react very swetly and positively to you in private after a bad public outburst
but don't be fooled by these tactics. Someone who is all sweet and cuddly
with you in private then goes to pull a Jekyll and Hyde routine in public is
someone who is playing games with your mind to always leave you uncertain. Maybe
he thinks by constantly putting you on the edge, he is keeping you too busy
to notice whether you can do better than him in a relationship. Unfortunately,
this very tactic looks like it is going to backfire on him.
After 2 years, it is ridiculous that your boyfriend is too scared to show his
true affection (if it is true indeed!) to you in front of others and instead
verbally and emotionally humiliates to gage your reaction like a little kid
brother who keeps poking you until you finally burst out and scream.
Remember that it is very hard if not downright impossible to change people. You
should ask yourself honestly if it is worth it to you to pursue this relationship
at the cost of such behavior. The fact that he blows you off when you
try to communicate with him shows he is not interested in resolving
your problems rather he prefers to continue as is, with him in the control
seat and you the victim of his whims and cruel behaviors.
Don't let him make you used to his ideas and letting your self-esteem crumble. You
seem to have a good head on you, with a logical analysis of his behavior and
a level of maturity that goes beyond these "mind games."
We wish you the best and are sure you will make the right decision... for you!
Abjee Pari and Abjee Fotti
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by Liz Greene