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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1381
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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My boyfriend and I have been together for over 3 years. We

Customer Question

My boyfriend and I have been together for over 3 years. We have a wonderful relationships but in the last month or so things have been rough. We had started a business together (we already work together anyway but this is a new venture) and things have from 0 to 60 in an instant. He is traveling more and I am left at our shared home to tend to the animals and his daughter and anything else that needs to be done. He says I am important to him but I do not FEEL that way sometimes and that is usually where our fights come from. We are in a very rough spot right now. He sent me on vacation for 2 weeks after we had initially "broken up" then decided breaking up was not the right thing for us to do so suddenly out of nowhere. So I was on vacation and came home, he was out at a business convention while I arrived home and we have now only seen each other for 36 hours after spending so much time apart. While I was away he was calling/texting/communication with me every single day. Each morning he would text me "good morning" and ask me what I was up to throughout the day. We sat down yesterday and talked a little bit and he said he worries a lot because he doesn't know where this is going to go. He says he is scared that we won't "ignite" again. We have been passionate these last 2 nights and they have felt better than ever so I know there is still SOMETHING there. I think he is scared and worried and that is clouding his brain. It clouds mine too but I have been trying to focus on the present/here and now and not worry so much as to what could happen an hour from now a day from now or two weeks from now. He asked "how long do we keep trying" because he is afraid. He has come from a very bad relationship before me and had taken time before getting involved with me. I think he is afraid it will end up like they did. And we are still young (26 and 27). Any help you can give me to re-connect with him would be greatly appreciated. He and I have had a wonderful relationship but the stresses of everything have gotten to the both of us (mostly me as I am the one to start the fights and bickering). I want him to remember that girl he fell in love with and loved so deeply even just recently. Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
Hello. What you and your boyfriend are going through is actually quite common, especially after 3 years of a relationship. If he is feeling anxious because of the past, that can certainly add to the stress.
I think that if its possible, you should both take a vacation together by yourselves and be able to reset and relax. I also think that you are doing a good thing by continuing to talk about things. Be open and honest about everything. That is really the only way to keep things out int he open and know what each of you is thinking at any given time. There are relationships of all kinds with a lot worse problems than you are going through that work through them just fine, so you should not give up. YOu both need to be honest with yourselves as to the expectations from the other. You don't feel he cares, but to him, he is working and taking care of what he needs to take care of to make a good life for each of you. Men have different priorities in life and if there is stress where he is trying to be the provider, that can cause a lot more problems than it can with women, who are able to multi task a lot better than men usually can, even emotionally. Ask him what you can do to help him not worry about the relationship. Then tell him what he can do to help you feel like he cares. Have an understanding of both sides and try to work through it from each point of view.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply. I am trying to stay on a positive note and continue to be open with him. I know he is very anxious and has a lot of things stressing him out, this situation in particular because he comes right out and says it. I know he is having a hard time with it and figuring out what is going to happen with us but he doesn't vocalize it as much. It is a stressful situation on top of everything else but I have tried to express to him that other couples come out of much worse and this is just a rough patch and we can come out even stronger than before. It does feel off and slightly awkward being around each other but we also had been fighting for two weeks then he sent me on vacation for two weeks following that and now we are seeing each other so it has been awhile where we weren't together and connected. I know it takes time to repair everything don't get me wrong, it is just tough in the in between. We have been very open about spending our lives together, whether in a marriage or not, and I want him to be reminded of all of the good things in our relationship, not the bad which I think is what he is focusing on.


 


 

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
I understand its tough. Good relationships can take work. Everyone has their ups and downs. You need to tell him a lot of positive and supportive things, even if you are feeling some negativity yourself. Tell him you understand his stress and that you are there for him. Be very positive, even if you are having some doubts. Not that you should fake how you feel, but if you see a change in him or the better, you can gauge how to approach things on a day to day basis. You are basically testing the waters and seeing if you change and stay upbeat, if that changes his behavior. If so, then you can go from there. If not, then maybe he is the one who needs to change his point of view. It's kind of like troubleshooting in a way. If he is just in a slump and a personal dark place, try to be on the same team and bring him out of it as best you can. Of course your needs are important as well, but if you are more level headed at this particular time in the relationship, help him out of it as your priority. Maybe the issues that you have will be repaired just by his attitude change based on your attitude change.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have been trying to be upbeat and stay positive. I gained a new perspective on things while I was away on vacation and had time to reflect. He told me he felt bad because he did not have some kind of epiphany. When we have been around each other these last few days I have had a positive attitude and can laugh at the things he says and does that I have always found funny. He says I am being "amplified" and not that it isn't necessarily genuine but just "different". I have had friends comment to me about how he has been acting a little different towards them as well so I am starting to believe that he may be in a darker place right now and having a really tough time. I am trying to pull him out of it. I know it won't happen in a day and like I said we have only seen each other for about 2 days so far.

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
I think it should be ok. If you feel a bit uncomfortable with him and how to act, you should ask him straight out about what he wants from you. Tell him you want to help him but aren't sure how and what he would respond to. Ask him to tell him what he feels the most comfortable with. You can only do so much before he needs to respond in his own way. Tell him that you are both a team and it is you and him vs the problem at hand, not you vs him. 2 days back from vacation will take some adjustment. he didn't have any kind of enlightenment because he was still stuck in the daily work grind. That's why I mentioned if it was possible for both of you to be able to go and de-stress somehow, even if its just for a day to get away and just be with each other. If he calls you out about being "different" tell him you are just trying to be positive.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am slightly afraid of planning a small getaway just the two of us as I don't want him to 1) say no or 2) become anxious before going. I don't think he would but that is me overanalyzing a situation.

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
You don't have to do it right now. Give it a few days or whenever you feel comfortable.
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1381
Experience: Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
Dr. Paige and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We were intimate the first two days of him being home but not last night. Should I continue to be intimate with him?

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

That is what I thought I just don't want to always be the one initiating


it. But if he goes along with it then I take it as a good sign. I don't want to always wait for him to initiate. I am very aware of his anxiety and don't want to push things, that is my biggest fear.


 


 

Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 1 year ago.
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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige
Psychologist
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Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist