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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1765
Experience:  PHD LPC
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I love my boyfriend a lot and we spend a lot of time together.

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I love my boyfriend a lot and we spend a lot of time together. Recently I have been feeling resentful of him and wanting to micromanage his life. I went on a trip for 3 days and now I am missing him and appreciating him. I think we need to spend more time apart cultivating our own interests for our relationship to stay strong. How do I tell him this without hurting his feelings?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 7 years ago.

Although it's hard to tell someone you need to spend some time apart, if that's the way you feel then you tell him straight out. The problem most people have is that they don't want the other person to have their feelings hurt. Don't you think they may be hurt more if you don't tell him, keep feeling resentful and then wind up with no relationship at all? In the long run, it is so much more healthy to be up front and say what you feel. If his feelings get hurt, he'll get over it. In every relationship someone gets hurt at one time or another but what you want to do is healthy, and this is a good chance to practice some real good communication skills. Practice what you want to tell him and use "I feel" statements and let him know it's not all the time just less time.
I hope this helps
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks...this is a good start. But how? Which words should I use? Should I ask for one night a week? Just do it on a case to case basis? When I can be with him, even if I feel like I want some time alone, I have a hard time acknowledging that. How can I be true to myself?
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 7 years ago.
Ah, to be true to yourself you have to put yourself first, a difficult concept for some to understand. First thing I would suggest is that you tell him you need to talk (the dreaded need to talk) and tell him how you are feeling. You will have to think hard about all that is going on in your head and even write it down so you'll know how to begin ...tell him you are struggling with your own time, energy and feel you need to cut down on seeing him all the time. Tell him that you realize that you need a day on your own (that can be a start) and then tell him you are sharing your feelings about this with him because it's important to be in a relationship based on truth, good communication and needs. Tell him the truth, you need some alone time. If he gets upset well....his problem...and if he gets angry then maybe you shouldn't be together for the time being or maybe at all. You need to do what you need for you. You can do it, it's hard sometimes to say what we need to say but in the end it's the best thing you can do not only for YOU but for the relationship.
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Edited by Dr. Keane on 11/1/2009 at 1:34 AM EST
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