His Girl's Suddenly Sarcastic
Q: My girlfriend and I have been together for two years and are planning to move in together. I thought we were both equally happy about this next stage of our relationship, but now I'm not so sure. As we've been house-hunting, she hasn't expressed any excitement about living together or picking out our new home. She complains about every place we look at, talks about getting rid of my "ugly" furniture and responds to everything I say with sarcasm. Is this just a phase or should I be worried? - Cody, 40
Dr. Susan: It's hard for me to see a habit of sarcasm as a phase. It would be a good idea to work on your couples communication before choosing that new home together. Clearly, something's bothering your girlfriend. Sounds like she's being passive-aggressive toward you because she's afraid to tell you her actual feelings. At the very least, calling your furniture "ugly" isn't very nice, unless she's joking and knows you're not sensitive (but you are!).
I'd guess she's not quite ready to move in together. Perhaps she imagined a wedding would come before that (just a wild guess on my part), or she hoped the two of you would be able to afford something better than what you've been looking at. If her sarcasm is only coming out now for the first time in your relationship, get to the bottom of it. That means, talk about how her words make you feel. See a counselor for a while if necessary.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.