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I (23F) cried yesterday, and now my boyfriend (27M) isn't speaking to me.

Dada Peng

Jan. 09, 2020

My boyfriend (27M) and I (23F) have been living together for months, and we've had zero issues. I love him, but I had never cried in front of him until yesterday.
What happened is: I've been planning to quit my job after this project is over at the end of the month. I asked my boss for 2 days of PTO next week, and once again, my boss tried to weasel out of giving it to me. When my boyfriend heard my boss was being reluctant, he told me to just quit now instead of waiting until the end of the project. I agreed that this was ridiculous, and I should probably just quit early, but I explained that I really didn't want to burn all my bridges since I really appreciated one of my co-workers. I didn't want to make her life harder by quitting before the project finished.
I got my boss to give me my PTO, and I told my boyfriend I had gotten it all figured out. My boyfriend still insisted I should just quit early, and I kept explaining why I wasn't going to do that, but he wouldn't really take no for an answer. He kept wanting me to justify myself, and I tried to shy away from the conversation, but my boyfriend wouldn't leave it alone.
Eventually, I sat down and tried to explain myself one last time, and I just couldn't handle it anymore. I started crying. I was sleep deprived, I hated my boss, it was two days before my period, and now I had to justify my own decisions to the guy I loved. I didn't want my boyfriend to see me crying, so I managed to get out, "I'm sorry," and then I left the room to try to cool off.
Fast forward an hour, I'm still crying in the other room. By now it's a full-blown anxiety attack, and it's gross, and I don't want anybody to see. My boyfriend comes in and I immediately tell him, "I'm not mad at you, I'm just overwhelmed. I'm sorry."
He came over and sat next to me in silence for a long time. I cried, I said things like, "I'm sorry, our opinions on this are just different, that's all." I asked him if there was anything he wanted to say, and he shook his head. Eventually I asked if he wanted to go to bed, and he got up, so we went to bed.
After a long time of petting cats and me trying to get a grip, I explained that I was just mad at myself for staying at this job for so long. I explained that I don't have a good handle on when I deserve better and when I should make changes in my life. He finally spoke up and said (paraphrase), "that's fine, that's why I'm here. I can tell you when you deserve better." I replied, "Yeah," but I still didn't say I was going to quit early.
Ultimately, I feel like this decision should really be in my hands, and I'm grateful for his advice, but I think I need the final say in my own career. This is a difference of two weeks of work, so I'm not sure why he's so set on me quitting now. He may feel like he knows what's best for me, but I'm fully capable of making my own decisions, and I don't like being coerced into doing what he wants. He thinks he's being helpful, but when we disagree and he won't stop pushing his opinion, it feels like he's just being controlling.
Thing is, I couldn't get him to really participate in the conversation enough to explain that I was feeling trapped and defensive. I hardly got three sentences out of him, and none of them gave me any ideas about how he felt. I still have NO idea if he's mad at me for leaving the room to cry, sad I'm not quitting now, just irritated with my boss, disgusted with me, or what.
Today is no better. He really isn't speaking to me, and I can't even get things to go back to normal. He seems entirely shut down, and it's tense as hell. I'm trying to give him space, but maybe I should ask him to talk to me again. I have a few options at this point.
Ignore my breakdown entirely, pretend everything is normal for however long it takes. I'm usually nothing but optimistic, so I don't know if he's just freaked out by me being sad. Send him a text or something to ask if he would prefer to talk there. I get it, it's super hard talking to people when you're worked up, and I won't judge him if he needs some degree of separation before he can communicate. Apologize, tell him I'll quit early. Obviously the emotional hassle of not quitting early has far-outweighed the hassle of quitting early, but I also feel like if I capitulate now, this sends a bad message about how I expect our relationship to play out in the future. Point-blank, in-person tell him "I need you to tell me how you feel, it's driving me nuts to not know. We need to talk, because this whole silent treatment is not helping."
TL;DR: My boyfriend tried to tell me to quit my job earlier, I disagreed. He insisted, I started crying, and now he won't communicate with me. How do I resolve this?
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