This article was co-authored by Jessica Engle, MFT, RDT. Jessica Engle is a relationship coach and psychotherapist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She founded Bay Area Dating Coach in 2009, after receiving her Master's in Counseling Psychology. Jessica is also a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Drama Therapist with over 10 years of experience.
It takes a lot of courage and strength for your loved one to confess about something that they feel may be bad or hurtful. When you judge your partner, you make them feel worse, and you also psychologically affect them and make them shut themselves up. And once your partner feels uncomfortable sharing their dark secrets with you, they’d prefer to hide their secrets or talk to another friend rather than tell you what they really feel. And that’s never going to help your relationship. In fact, it could be one of the worst things that can happen to your relationship.
So, when we just recently broke up, we talked about a lot. He was bawling his eyes out the entire time. I could clearly see how much this was tearing him up. He’s explaining to me all these reasons that just don’t add up with how the actual relationship was. We were happy. We were best friends. we were so in love. We talked about out future together, moving out, getting married, careers. I have a connection with him who I don’t have with anyone else and its impossible for me to see me having that with anyone else. I could go on and on and on.
Most of us are generally able to pull off being adult at work, or when we're in a good mood. Trouble happens when we're at home, when the mood is sour. It's then that we're apt to slip into feeling like a 10-year-old and get all sulky or angry or powerless. As soon as you realize you're slipping into that 10-year-old feeling (and you know when you are), it's time to remind yourself that you, regardless of how you feel right now, are a grown up, and map out in your mind what a responsible adult may do. Sure, there’s an element of “faking it till you make it,” but by doing your best to adhere to an adult stance you can gradually train yourself to feel empowered rather than frightened or small. It's a matter of catching and changing it; with practice, the catch and change will become easier, more automatic.
You should investigate whether he is not being loving or interested, or if he’s just not doing that in the way that you expect or are used to. You may have unspoken expectations or fantasies of what a relationship should look like, and your projections are getting in the way of appreciating the good relationship you actually have. It sounds like you might have different love languages as well, where you need a lot of verbal affirmation and maybe that’s not his strong suit. That is something you can discuss with him and ask for more of. You can tell him what’s working for you and what’s not, or that you’re unsure whether he’s into you romantically despite all the evidence, and try to hear and understand where he is coming from.
Long distance relationship, We dead-loved each other for one year and then I broke up. She left immediately and I missed her for two weeks and texted back. Three months I didnt care, She kept texting and called. slowly she came up with this breakup thing. All of a sudden she declared breakup and I couldnt digest it. I begged her for 2 weeks. Will she get back? How long should I wait?
I have been seeing my boyfriend for about 8 months now. He completely swept me off my feet in the beginning (it was like a love bomb). He started changing a couple months after that -- we never really "dated" -- it just went from a couple dates where he would take me out and drop me off at my apartment and go back to his. Then, a few weeks later he was practically living in my apartment full time. He blames me for everything wrong in the relationship -- shuts down emotionally now and we just had another blowout and he says to me he needs a week of space. I think he was just using me for convenience because my apartment was closer to his for work. I am so confused. He is not texting much anymore, not interested in my goals and things we used to share and that bonded us in the beginning. It just feels so empty and I can't talk to him because he automatically says that I focus on him too much and I analyze the relationship too much. He calls me crazy and negative, among other things. He basically just comes over and sleeps. No connection, no emotion. I don't know what to do anymore. I think it's time to let him go -- I also think he has narcissistic traits as i've been trying to read and educate myself. Could you offer any advice? Thank you.