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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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My boyfriend, yet again, promised he would call at a

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My boyfriend, yet again, promised he would call at a specific time and didn't. When I point out that he isn't doing what he said he would and therefore disappointing me he reacts by saying he's sorry but can't seem to understand why I'm angry. He tries to make me feel that I'm the one with the problem because I expect him to follow through with what he says. No amount of trying to understand his behavior, talking to him about it, or yelling about it seems to make a difference. He says he'll change and does so for a short time and then goes right back to his old behavior. I'm fed up. My question is am I a co-dependant girlfriend with a passive agressive boyfriend?

Hello and thanks for asking JA. I have a few questions. How long have you been dating your boyfriend. Has he always been casual about such things about when he will call? Is he this way with others? I am not sure that you are co-dependant but I wonder if you are dating someone with different values than your own.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We have been off and on for almost a year. I wouldn't call him casual, he's precise with what he says it's just actually doing it. I'm not sure if he does this to other people with phone calls but he is constantly late meeting me as well as other people and work. He does own his own business. When I asked why he's always late to work he said that when he worked for others he was always on time but now that he works for himself he doesn't have to be. I always feel like I have to fight (figuratively) to be a priority. He says he loves me and doesn't want to lose me and yet I'm sorrily neglected. Not the way you should treat someone you love in my opinion. Thank you for the quick response.
Hello there I am sorry about your boyfriend's being late, it seams to be part of his personality since he is late from his own business. I wonder if he a bit depressed or so stressed out that he is not good with time. I wonder if he makes it up to you. I understand that this behavior can make you feel like you are not a priority for him. I will give you a method of communicating what you want. Tell him Honey I love you but when you are late I think that I don't matter to you and this makes me feel really sad. When ask him if this is a behavior he is willing to work on. You have to notice and praise small changes in order for change to be affective. Such as I really appreciate that you called when you said so or that you are here on time. I also encourage couples to talk about their values. Tell him that this is not just a minor thing to you being on time is an imporant thing you value and that people in your family valued also. I think we learn our values from our parents. I wonder how he feels when you are not on time and when you don't call. I don't suggest that you do this just ask him if he had this experience before and what did that feel like? You can explain that this is something you need in order to feel loved.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No he doesn't make it up to me. It's always the same frustrating behavior. I'm always disappointed because he says he'll change and doesn't. The talks of how his behavior makes me feel doesn't seem to sink in, or in his mind I'm not worth changing for, I can only guess. He's not a good communicaor and if I try and call him on it he only retreats more. I think I was looking for insight as to why someone says they will do something and then not do it (passive agressive). What ever happened to "you're only as good as your word". Not to mention how this makes him unreliable and untrustworthy. I think I've worked this through now. The real question I should be asking is, "what am I getting out of this relationship"? to put up with such nonsense.

I think you are right. The real question is what are you getting out of this relationship. I think you see the potential on this man but potential does not mean that he will change. I don't think we will never know why people say one thing and do another. Maybe he does think you will leave him. It looks like you have done all you can do and that he may not change. The question what you are getting out of this relationship is important.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
perhaps the issue is me not him. Why would I settle for a relationship with "potential"?
this is a very good questions for you. I am glad you are asking yourself this question. I suggest that you read the book " Are you the one for me?" By Barbara DeAngelis. I don't think you should settle. You deserve someone who will give you the attention you need and will be reliable and keep his word. It is great that you are asking those questions before marriage.
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