#AskAnnie: He runs home to mom when we fight

mom son



Agony Aunt Annie from All4Women offers advice to a reader whose partner runs home to mom whenever they fight, instead of sticking around to resolve the conflict…


Dear Annie

I have been reading most of your posts onAll4Women and I must say, you have helped me in so many ways. But here’s the thing:

I have been in a relationship for the past 14 months.

I have two beautiful daughters with my previous boyfriend. I fully understand that it is a huge challenge to accept someone in your life with kids that are not your own. He has accepted me and my kids, even though it can be so hard at times.

When we have an argument (not even big) he will climb in his car and run home to his mom

We don’t live together but he does come over most nights.

After he gets in his car and drives off, I won’t hear from him for a few days. (I call it his cooling off period). The person that I am, I will try and calm him down to stay so that we can talk about our issues and get over it.

He can’t seem to understand that talking about it will make it easier. We can figure out a solution that best suits both of us and work towards it.

He will get extremely nasty and put a lot of words in my mouth

When I ask him where he come up with this stuff, as it never came out of my mouth, he will either drive off or put the phone down in my ear. He will turn off his phone and then I won’t hear from him for days.

I do love him so much, but I don’t know if he sees me as his girlfriend only when it suits him.  I am so confused. I would like to work towards a healthy relationship.

If I ask a question or would like to speak about an event or problem that I have, then he will get angry and run off. Its like my opinion doesn’t matter at all.

I have learnt that you need to live with someone whose values you can live with. I accepted him for who and what he is the day I met him.

But after eight months of being together it kind of went downhill…

Arguments, the lying and an emotional affair started (from his side). We worked through it and I am quite sure there isn’t another woman involved again. We all argue, we all fight. But to argue about even the slightest little thing and then. To leave is not healthy in my books.  This new thing of climbing into his car and driving off drives me insane, along with not hearing from him for days especially over a weekend.

I am hurting and don’t know what to do

I have to think about myself and my kids. I have to protect three hearts and not just one.
My kids love him to bits and I know he loves them too. Is there any advice you can give? I would really really appreciate it.


Dear Annie

Thank you for your letter. Well done on the awesome choice of a pseudonym name.

While good women, who coincidentally are more often than not right, are to be found in abundance, good men at our current or post baby-making age, seem to all have been snapped up.

Some have been pleasingly house trained and kept while stats show that 50% have been chewed up and spat back into the sea.

Now when good women go fishing, they are always wary of mercury poisoning.

Truth be told there are actually good kind and honourable men out there to be reeled in. Yes they may be battle weary but let’s be honest: the bait on our hooks is far from perky and fresh and we tend to require that our catch of the day sign up for the package deal (kids and all).

They’re our kids. We made them and we think of them as the deluxe spa upgrade. While they may be that to us, even spas need someone to change the mucky Jacuzzi water and unclog the greasy hair from the showers.

Superman needed a magic power, like flying, for us to look past his embarrassing underwear exhibiting behaviour. Would we turn a blind eye to those spider webs if Spiderman visited without cleaning up a bad guy or too?

You’ve reeled in a seemingly good fish who comes with a super power of looking past the Jacuzzi water needing to be changed and is embracing the complete spa experience.

Everything is hunky dory until there’s conflict….the story of everyone’s life

The only people together that are not experiencing conflict are strangers standing in supermarket queues together.

When you have a conflicting situation and your partner does not want to immediately talk about ‘how-you-made-me-feel’ you can probably assume that your partner won’t be borrowing your lipstick either –  because your partner is a man.

How about trying a different approach?

Next time you have a conflicting situation arise, respond by reflecting back to him what you are hearing him saying and tell him that you are interested in hearing how he is experiencing that.

Maybe you’re the one that is upset and he is bobbing along unawares. Tell him how you feel. If he does not want to talk about it, tell him that you can see that he does not want to talk about it now. Tell him that you would like to talk about it when he is ready and can you set some time aside tomorrow to talk about it?

Make sure that he is not tired or hungry or is attached to the remote when you want to talk. Remember to affirm the positives that are there so the baby is not thrown out with the bath water.

Can you reach out and physically touch him (no I don’t mean with a heavy object) to remind you both that although you are having a conflicting situation, you love each other and remember the bigger picture?

When he does not feel that he has been weighed and found “lig in die broek” he may feel more willing not to bolt and run to mamma.

Remember mamma accepts and affirms him

Take over her role. Reading a book together on communication can be very helpful. Ask him if he would work through a book with you because you love him and want to learn to understand him better. Cracking the Communication Code by Dr Emerson Eggerichs explains the difference between how men and women communicate and offers useful tips.

If you can’t work it out together, a few counselling sessions can offer you the support you need while teaching you to communicate better.

Learning to understand each other’s language is worth the effort!

You are beautiful!
Love and blessings

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