Change The Way I Act? Even though I don’t feel like I should…advice needed Forums Couples Change The Way I Act? Even though I don’t feel like I should…advice needed

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    I need a third party opinion. Not sure if I should just give in. If I do, I’ll be a bit bitter about it because I don’t think I did anything wrong or different than how I normally am at parties with my friends. I don’t want to be bitter…so I’m asking for advice as to help me understand where I’m going wrong here or if my partner is in asking too much.

    Me: Outgoing, Fun, Loud, Usually the crazy one, good 1v1 conversationalist.
    Partner: Reserved, Sweet, Caring, Doesn’t like to be center of attention, gets embarrassed easily.

    History: Together 6+ years. Living together. No kids, no pets, just housemates. I work full time, Partner is Full Time Grad Nursing Student. I have the more dominate personality.

    Setting: My Partner is a Grad Nursing Student, we are at an after-term Christmas party wearing ugly sweaters and drinking lots of booze. Students and their partners are there: 30 people. I know some people there…but really meeting most people for the first time.

    Traditionally: We do better at parties when I go and do my thing, and my partner goes and does their thing. Different personalities and our ways of communicating are different. I am standing in the kitchen talking to people, my partner is sitting on the couch talking to people. I am spending most of my time talking with the other significant others at the party. But mostly hi, what do you do type of conversations. Having fine conversations, nothing uncomfortable…just drunk people shooting the shit and having a good time.

    Scenario: After being at this party for 3+ hours, we have a white elephant gift exchange. During which I am yelling things out when people get funny gifts, laughing. Encouraging other people to steal other people’s gift. Saying that a gift can be stolen twice and then it stays with the person, etc. Being loud, being a bit obnoxious I’m sure. However, nothing out of character and consistent with past Christmas parties with my friends.

    My partner says to me, will you be quiet and calm down a little. I tell my partner, no…I’m having a good time and this is how always am.

    *Needless to say, my partner is unhappy with me the rest of the night and we have a spirited discussion about it the past 2 days.

    My Argument: I am like this all the time, this is no different from when we first met. I’m out there, I’m loud. When I have a bunch to drink, I’m usually going to be a big overwhelming for some people. I’m sorry if I embarrass you. But I’m not doing it “to” you. I’m not saying obnoxious things “to” you or “about” you. I am just being loud in a group atmosphere. I’m not falling over drunk. If I make a fool of myself for being to loud…then that’s my problem.

    Partner’s Argument: These are my classmates and I know them better. You were being too loud. This is not your party. You need to respect me around my friends. If I ask you to be more calm because you are embarrassing me, then you should respect me enough to say OK and do it. If it was your friends and your party, I wouldn’t ask you to do anything different. But with my friends, you should have acknowledged me and listened to me. I want to be able to say things like that at future parties I take you to.

    My Take: I understand my partner is embarrassed. I understand that these are my partner’s friends. If we were wearing suits and trying to impress my partner’s boss or something, then I would not act that way (and not drink that much). But we are at a ugly Christmas sweater party at an apartment with your classmates. I should be able to be who I am and if I’m not doing something to you to embarrass you directly or disrespecting you as my partner…then I should be able to act naturally and without being told that I need to change. Or I should not go to the party in the first place.

    Am I taking too tough of a stand here? Should I give in? Should I not go to these parties anymore? Should I not drink at these types of parties? Should I just be a DD for my partner at all their parties? Should I just say OK and be bitter for the sake of keeping peace? How can I change my perspective so I’m not bitter. Hence my conundrum!

    Any thoughts would be helpful.


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