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My (28F) boyfriend (28F) only tells me his issues with me when I bring up mine with him. Is this a red flag?

Things are going really well with me and my bf but like all couples we’ll do things the other doesn’t like and it needs to be discussed. We’re long distance atm and only get to sit down and talk 3 times a week online. During the last call we were playing an online game together and he invited his room mate to play with us. I didn’t appreciate this as I felt like it took valuable time for just us away, when he obviously sees his roommate every day. It’s not a huge deal but something I wanted to talk to him about.

Anyway like usual, when I started talking to him about how I felt he started bringing up small issues he had with me for things I’d done weeks ago. This ALWAYS happens. He will only bring up an issue with me if it’s really offensive to him, otherwise he just sits on it. So every time I try to say my issue it turns into him saying his issue with me. I asked him why he didn’t tell me at the time what I’d done had upset him (I didn’t reply to a bunch of messages he sent) and he said “because I don’t want to be a needy bitch” is this a red flag? These issues are always very small, to the level I’ve said here

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  1. It sounds like he’s deflecting when you’re upset about his behavior and trying to make it about yourself. That can be pretty irritating and not at all a healthy way to communicate when one partner has a problem.

  2. It’s an orange flag, it indicates bad communication and conflict resolution skills.

    I think you should raise it with him. Just point out that its a bit too overwhelming and that you would like him to raise issues as they arise as you find it a lot more constructive.

    Then next time it happens, pause and say calmly but firmly, “this is a discussion about Problem A. I’m happy to discuss Problem B with you at a later date” and set a date eg tomorrow.

  3. He’s 100% deflecting and that’s not at all a healthy way to communicate. Healthy communication would have him being involved in the conversation and working through the issue that’s brought up first then talking about how he feels if there’s something he thinks it’s necessary to talk about, otherwise he’s just deflecting. Not necessarily a red flag, but if you make him aware of this issue and he still does it, yeah that’s a massive red flag.

    I say massive here because a relationship is nothing without healthy communication. Even if it feels like a small issue, if there’s a roadblock in communication the relationship can only get more unhealthy. Your boyfriend communicating also doesn’t make him needy, maybe he’s insecure and needs reassurance?

  4. My boyfriend used to do the same, so I got fed up and told him to tell me what bothers him as soon as it happens because I’m tired of it blowing up in my face months later.

  5. I have experienced the exact same thing with an ex and in my case, the flag was as red as it could be. I’d say it’s an orange flag with the potential to become a red flag, depending on how he deals with it after having a serious conversation about it.

    I think the biggest problem can be that the original issue goes unresolved due to the fact that the conversation gets twisted over to a different topic/issue, or you get dismissed because the thing he suddenly remembers that you did was somehow worse or equally bad.

    I would question his reasons for bringing things up in this manner, because he labeled it as unimportant and not worth mentioning/talking about until the situation at hand occurred, and that would make me wonder if it is done deliberately in order to avoid having to apologize for being thoughtless (in the case of him asking his roommate to join you two without even asking you if it was alright). Because **that** would certainly be a red flag.

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