Q. I need your help.
I’m a 26-year-old woman and have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for over three years. At the beginning, he was very attentive, vulnerable, and sweet. Now I feel like I can’t even get a single emotion out of him. I feel alone and it has a lot to do with the fact that I feel like I can’t be open with him anymore. It seems that any feelings I do share go in one ear and out the other.
When I try to sit down with him to have an honest conversation about our relationship, he almost seems antsy and like he wants the conversation to be over as soon as possible. I have always been a hopeless romantic type and have imagined my partner being open, sweet, and thoughtful. I feel like I’m stuck in this relationship. I would hate to break his heart, but, if things don’t get better, am I willing to make myself seriously unhappy forever because of how it might affect him? Please help.
ALONE AND CONFUSED
A. Maybe it’s a good time for couples therapy. Why? Because he’s antsy about talking, and you have questions. A third party might be able to manage the conversation so that you both get what you need.
A therapist/counselor might also be able to figure out whether he’s disconnected from other parts of his life too. How long was your boyfriend vulnerable, sweet, and engaged before he became distant? Has he been checked out emotionally for six months? A year? More? I’m wondering whether he might be having his own mental health issues, something that might come up if you see a professional together.
Ask him to join you for an appointment. Waitlists can be long (hop on them as soon as possible), and if you can’t find an open appointment in your area, the app space for this is booming. Do some research.
Please know that if you’ve felt this way for most of the relationship, or if he tells you he’s OK with things as they are, this isn’t the match for you. You’re not stuck in anything, and yes, leaving him might hurt, but a breakup could be the biggest step toward real happiness for both of you. There are a lot of people out there who might better match your communication style, love languages, or whatever you want to call what you’re missing.
But first, if you really think there’s something to save here, ask about counseling. Keep the conversation short. Tell him that the therapy time is designed to minimize these other uncomfortable attempts at conversation.
When you say “I can’t even get a single emotion out of him,” I think it’s time for some help.
I’d skip therapy and just break up, to be honest. If you’re already having these problems and you’re not married, it won’t get better.
Exactly. Honestly, no therapy is going to save this and it doesn’t need to. Not everything can be fixed and not everything has to be. Also not understanding how she thinks she’s going to break his heart if he’s already not showing any emotion.
He is trying to break up with you without doing it himself. His goal is to make you feel so bad about the relationship you break up with him. Welcome to the world of the passive aggressive partner who wants you to take full responsibility for ending it.
Break up and find that open, sweet, and thoughtful guy. Whatever is going on with your boyfriend, I don’t see any point in trying counseling with him. He gets antsy during relationship conversations but he’s going to jump at the chance to go to a counselor? Nope. Time to move on. He’ll get over it (sounds like he already is) and so will you. Good luck.
Accept that he was attentive in the beginning (honeymoon period) and now he has settled in to basically ignoring you. You are at the marrying/buying a house/planning a family stage. ... So I wouldn’t waste time with partners who are not a match.
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