Thursday 15 November 2018

Dear Mary: My argumentative boyfriend disagrees with everything I say

'He is not very good at forming arguments or backing up his opinions'
'He is not very good at forming arguments or backing up his opinions'

Mary O’Conor

I am in my 20s and have been with my boyfriend for three years. We have a solid relationship and I could see myself spending my life with him - if it wasn't for this one thing. He constantly disagrees with me, from the littlest to the largest, of things. If I say black, there is no doubt that he will say white.

He left school at 15 and has never made anything of himself career wise. He is not very good at forming arguments or backing up his opinions. I have a masters in finance, yet he will still disagree with me over anything I say that is finance related, which I find utterly ridiculous. He disagrees with all my opinions on kids, marriage, mortgages, you name it. He will disagree with a fact I've learnt from credible sources and constantly asks how I got my facts.

I am so fed up of being told I'm wrong all the time. If a friend tells him something he won't doubt it, but if I tell him something he will search online for confirmation before he realises his mistake and tells me I'm right. I can't recall a situation where I have been wrong in this regard and yet he persists in telling me that I am.

I have brought this up with him several times. I have asked him to respect my judgments and consider my opinions, before he tells me I'm wrong, but nothing changes. I don't know how to go forward.

Mary replies: I don't see this as a solid relationship - it is anything but. It must be very wearing to know that no matter what you say, about pretty much anything, your boyfriend will challenge you and question your sources. Obviously he seems somewhat threatened by your education - achieving a masters in anything requires years of study - and his reaction is to try and prove you wrong in whatever you say.

You should think very carefully about your future. At this stage in a relationship you should be enjoying life without any worries, enjoying each other's company to the full, and always be looking forward to spending time together. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with somebody who doesn't think you are wonderful and who doesn't admire what you have achieved? Because if he did, he wouldn't be undermining you every chance he gets.

After you have given this some more thought, and if you find that the way he treats you is a deal breaker, then share your thoughts with your boyfriend and give him a final chance to change, bearing in mind that change is really difficult and we can only change ourselves and not a partner.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at dearmary@independent.ie or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

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