By Carolyn Hax
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hello, Carolyn:

When my girlfriend gets under my skin, usually by being selfish or inconsiderate, I tend to get angry. When I get angry, I like to be alone.

However, my girlfriend gets angry at me for getting angry at her and not wanting to talk about it, and she usually ends up in tears.

My issue is that being angry at her in the first place makes me very unwilling to comfort her during these times. She thinks I'm being inconsiderate or don't care about her. But I am so angry at her that the last thing I feel like doing is comforting her.

Where do you see the problem?

I am at my wits' end to figure out what is wrong here.


What's wrong here is the oldest dance in the Failure to Communicate Revue.

She: in the course of being herself, upsets you.

You: get angry, and then withdraw from her.

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