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Theresa, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 877
Experience:  PhD. Clinical Psychology
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How do you deal with a partner that is always ...

Customer Question

How do you deal with a partner that is always emotionally closed off and untalkative? I''ve tried expressing myself to him until I''m blue in the face and it''s like talking to a wall! He says the fact that he comes home every night to me should be enough to tell me how he feels. But it''s just not. I need to hear compliments from him and to hear the words "i love you" from time to time. He''s so closed off though. We''ve been together 2 1/2 years (living together, no kids). I''m seriously unhappy. Do you see any way to save the relationship? Any tips?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Theresa replied 7 years ago.

Hi Dee:

When did you begin to realize the distance in your relationship?

How old are you?

Is this a first co-habitating relationship for both of you?

What are your expectations: What do you think he should give and vice versa?

The information that you provide to these questions will provide a foundation for me to be able to begin to help you work through your concerns.

I am looking forward to your response.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to Theresa's Post: Hi! I'm 24, he's 28. I've already been married and divorced (5 year relationship alltogether). Hes been in long term relationships but (believe it or not) had never lived anywhere other than his parents house until I came along. He wasn't gun shy about moving in with me either, it just kind of progressed until it was official.
I expect that I should be hearing compliments and I love you's at least some of the time. He's said I love you a few rare times, but it's not enough for me. He's NEVER given me a compliment even though I always try to make him feel good about himself. It's not that I'm unattractive or unworthy of compliments, I know this. But not hearing it from him is really taking a knock on my self esteem.
We've had deep conversations a few times and he's expressed that he doesn't feel he's capable of love (even for his family) and that I deserve better that what he gives me. So at least he realizes it. But I guess when he talks like that I feel a sort of pity for him, and can't bring myself to leave because I keep thinking (maybe stupidly) that I can be the one to teach him what love is all about. But unfortunately, things haven't really improved in the span of our relationship, and I'm worried that they never will. I'm very cuddly too, and he's not. I sometimes feel like when I try and cuddle like I'm an inconvenience or an annoyance. Maybe we're just chronically incompatible? He feels that sex and cuddling aren't a good thing to base a relationship on. But aren't they a pretty important part of it? I really worry about him and I've asked him to see a doctor to investigate depression but although he has said it's not a bad idea, he won't actually follow through with it. I don't know what else to do. And yes, I've expressed all of these feelings to him- several times. And we're still in the same boat =). Thanks for listening!
Expert:  Theresa replied 7 years ago.
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