My boyfriend and I have been dating about 2 1/2 years. We have a daughter together.
For the last several months (starting in July, and it has been snow balling since then) he has been picking fights with me, and then getting butt hurt when I refuse to have a yelling match with him- so much so that he's started several arguments specifically about how to argue.
I try not to yell during an argument, partially due to a past in which yelling often led to fighting, as well as I don't argue well. I prefer to talk things out calmly, when everyone's less heated about the argument, and prepare mentally, what I want to say. He prefers to just scream it out, and be done with it, but yelling itself flusters and scares me, so, I typically end up saying something along the lines of "this is becoming a circular argument, and I'd really like to stop talking about it before we both say things we don't mean." Which, just pushes him into yelling more, and, as he says it, I shut down, which enrages him (he hasn't become physically violent, but you can sense the rage in a voice), and then I take our daughter and go do something fun, to let him calm down, and to allow myself to calm down.
He will then sulk for days, and won't say anything to me, and even recently, just glares at me when he's not hiding away in our room, or if I make dinner for us (like I typically do), he will make something for himself, and sulk off to our room. It's to the point now, that when he gets home from work, he goes straight to bed, then wakes up when my daughter and I go to bed, and then he's up all night, and sleeps in the next day, if he's not working.
These fights aren't even about things which, I would think, are good reasons to argue. The last one we had, was about how I manage my money. Frankly, since he's the one who decided to keep our finances separate, I wouldn't think he gets a say in how I spend my money. Second, I know that I'm not the greatest financial guru, but every time I introduce him to an idea of how I could keep myself on track, he just says "that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard". (and I'm not THAT bad with money- i don't over draft, or ask him for money- i just run out of it, then casually mention it, and he flips out.) Thirdly, part of why I'm so bad with money this time around, is because he's asked me to buy things he needed for him, as well as he doesn't buy anything for our daughter. I buy her clothes, diapers, toys, and food, as well as his food (and specific foods he wants to take to work because he refuses to take a lunch).
Lately, when we fight, he brings up that he "can't go on like this" like I'm some tyrannical girlfriend. Personally, if he wants to break up, he should just say so, and stop being a baby and dragging it out. But he keeps talking about wanting to take our tax returns to put down on a house (which would not have my name on the title), rather than allowing me to update my computer (which is old, and used for school), or go to the doctor (as I have a few medical problems, but can only splurge to go to the doctor when there's extra money, because I'm the only one in the house with out insurance), or even, god forbid, put some away so my savings account isn't so scarce. I just don't want to put thousands of dollars down on a house that won't be mine, and I won't live in if we break up. When I mention this, he just gets upset. It doesn't seem smart, to me, to buy a house in those conditions, especially if we won't have any money to update, repair, or modify the house if we wanted or needed to.
In addition, he will casually find ways to demean me, both to me, and to my daughter (about me). If I say something, he tells me, or our daughter, how stupid mommy is, or if I try to do something even mildly creative, he points out whats wrong with it. I make it a very big point to never demean my daughters father to her, no matter how upset I am with him. it's hurtful, and confusing for her to comprehend. Not to mention pointless.
I'm just having a hard time understanding what he's trying to accomplish. I've tried to come up with compromises, give him time to himself (which is rarely returned), and insist that he go hang out with his friends by himself once in a while. I just feel like he's trying to break up with me, but also get what it is that he wants. Does anyone have any advice, or insight? I'm just getting really down about this, as I love the guy, but like he says "I can't live like this".