Question asked by Julie -My boyfriend can be very loving and is very playful but his sarcastic comments go too far. I’ve talked to him about this calmly and told him that it hurts my feelings but I get the same “You’re too sensitive. I’m just kidding” answer every time. We have been living together for 2 years and dating for 5 in total. When I bring up our future together he tells me that we need to work on our communication before we go to the next step.
I am a person who can take a joke and enjoy a good time but his constant sarcasm is burying me. I am so confused.
Thank you for any light you could shed on this subject for me.
I’m sorry you’re feeling confused. No one likes to be put down by their partner—whether it’s sarcasm or not.
Bruising His Ego
Confrontation can be difficult, so I understand why you might shut down when your boyfriend responds “You’re too sensitive. I’m just kidding.” This is his way of defending himself.
When you tell him his comments hurt your feelings, he hears this as you telling him he’s done something wrong. I’ve noticed that men tend to have more trouble admitting fault than women do.
Instead of apologizing and acknowledging he’s in the wrong, he deflects this by putting the blame on you. “You’re too sensitive.” Aka it’s your fault, not his. The truth is that it is no one’s fault. It’s just a lack of understanding.
Work On the Communication
When your boyfriend says you both need to work on your communication before you go to the next step, what is he actually trying to say here?
Is he saying that you don’t communicate enough? Do you let him constantly tease you until one comment makes you snap and then it seems like your frustration is completely out of the blue?
Communication is the most important part of any relationship. It’s a great sign that your boyfriend acknowledges this—so what are you both waiting for? Go and communicate!
What To Say
Don’t wait until he makes his next sarcastic comment for you to confront him. Ask him to put time aside so the two of you can talk, or if you’re just hanging out watching TV, ask if you can pause the TV and talk to him about something.
Follow a pattern like this: “I know you love me and that you are only joking when you say some things, and I can take a joke, but sometimes your comments hurt me and make me feel [blank].”
He can say a few things, like “Jeez, I told you I was joking” or “What comments? What did I say?” and ask you to list. If he does either of these things, do not start listing. It’s not about each comment, it’s about the comments as a whole. Reiterate how it makes you feel in a calm manner.
If he’s still putting up a fuss about it, say “I would appreciate it if you could respect my feelings and in the future, if you say something that hurts me, I will tell you and then we can move on from it.”
If he loves you, this shouldn’t be a problem. It’s important that you act calm and don’t sound accusatory. Men are more sensitive than we give them credit for and his first instinct might be to defend himself, but know that it is not because he doesn’t care about you. Once you explain yourself and he really listens, it will all work out.
*Note: Please use this as a guide, not as a word-for-word script. Every relationship is different and there isn’t a specific guideline for each one. I hope my advice helps and you are able to find the confidence you need to move your relationship towards the right direction.