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Cher, Relationship Enthusiast
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 21447
Experience:  Extensive experience as Educator/Teacher, M.A., Counselor, Spouse, Parent, Psychic Advisor
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My significant other and I have been together for about 3 years

Customer Question

My significant other and I have been together for about 3 years now and I tend to feel very often he doesn't understand in the slightest how easily my feelings are hurt and how damaging it is to me. He doesn't comfort me when feeling upset/depressed and when I am overwhelmed with insecurities. He leaves me to cry and solve my problems myself. Because of his need to be overly honest, he has no "filter" when mentioning my imperfections such as my weight which is an extremely sensitive subject to me. I don't know how to communicate with him how hurt I am because of certain actions and things he says and fear to spend the rest of our lives with this communication issue which has already resulted in my medically diagnosed anxiety and depression. Can you please help me?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.

You've said you're 21 and how old is your significant other?

Do you live together or separately?

Can you give me an example of what you've said to him re: this issue that is causing you so much pain?

Thanks for all your additional detail,
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
hes 34. We do live together and have for about a year. Normally everything is great but the problem I have encountered is that one problem I dont know how to deal with! For example, last night during dinner he told me he wanted to go to a club but the bad news was i wouldnt be able to get in because of my appearance. They only let a particular group of people in. My response to him was " I would NEVER go ANYWHERE where you were not allowed to go to." He responded with "But its work related" So later when we got home, he got dressed and went out anyway. Didnt get home till about 530 am and told me he ended up hanging out with his friends at the club. Meanwhile im sitting at home crying my eyes out not able to even get out of bed. He hasnt even acknowledged me.
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks very much for your reply and also for your patience. The site has been experiencing technical difficulties and I wasn't able to respond before now.

I can appreciate the pain and frustration of your situation, but after your description of his treatment of you, I'm having a hard time understanding why you choose to remain in this relationship. While I don't doubt you were both initially attracted to specific traits in the other, which you appreciated and enjoyed, his behavior is technically emotionally abusive and I can't comprehend why you tolerate it.

He had no right going out to a Club last night, without you, and I highly doubt that it was work related. If he came home at 5:30 AM, do you ever doubt his fidelity to you? Telling you you wouldn't be let in, due to your appearance, is beyond hurtful. This isn't the 80's; Clubs aren't like that anymore, and if they are, it's discrimination, and that can't be legal.

If he has caused you such emotional pain and distress that you needed to be medically diagnosed with anxiety and depression, why do you choose to stay with him? YOUR health (mental and physical) and YOUR happiness is the most important thing. While he may also do some nice things for you(?), he sounds like a heartless person who takes joy in hurting people he cares about; but could a person who truly cares about you, treat you this way? Think about it, and decide if he really loves you, based upon his actions and words.

If you've already tried to explain to him many times, that his words hurt you, and his actions continue to be the same, he doesn't deserve you to be his girlfriend and you owe it to yourself to consider leaving this relationship. Because of the type of man he is, I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX there is anything else you can say to him which will change his treatment of you. I'm sorry if this is not what you want to hear, but I'm trying to help you put YOU first, which is what HE should doing, and YOU should also be doing. You're a young person, who is intelligent, attractive, with your whole life ahead of you; you deserve to be with someone who will love you for who you are, and treat you with kindness and respect. You deserve someone who isn't shallow enough to judge you, based on your appearance, and put you down about your weight, which he KNOWS is a sensitive issue for you. You can tell him in no uncertain terms: "NO comments will be made about my weight, from this day forward."

There is quite a large age difference between the two of you, and I think this may also be contributing to the problem. You initially mentioned "I don't know how to communicate with him how hurt I am because of certain actions and things he says and fear to spend the rest of our lives with this communication issue which has already resulted in my medically diagnosed anxiety and depression." You need to get yourself stronger, first, conquer your depression and anxiety, and I don't think you can do that, remaining with him, since he is the cause of your depression and anxiety.

Why are you considering spending the rest of your life with him if he causes you this angst? Partners in a relationship make each other feel 'good' and will listen and comfort, when each has a problem; that's the nature of relationships and couples. You're 'there' for each other and are best friends, in addition to being lovers. You know each other so well, you are a source of comfort and wisdom, when the other needs to talk about something that is concerning/bothering them.

If he is not understanding how much he's hurting you and you HAVE told him this, not danced around the issue, yet he continues to treat you this way, disregarding and disrespectful of your feelings, you really need to reconsider why you remain in this relationship. It might be a good idea to write a list of pros and cons about him, and see if there is a great difference in the number of each.

You said, "normally everything is great", but if he continually says hurtful things to you, 'unfiltered' and never considers your feelings, how can things be great? This is a very important part of any relationship: successful communication, and if you don't have that, and he refuses to change the way he communicates with you, even after you've asked him not to say hurtful things, it's difficult to see how much he cares about you.

I'm sorry if these words are hurtful to you, this is certainly not my intention; I'm on YOUR side, and I'm trying to help. If you feel you want to remain in this relationship and think "one day, he'll change the way he communicates with me and it will be better", you may be fooling yourself. Men like this don't change; men in general don't change that easily with bad habits they've developed over the years. However, the way he speaks to you, SHOULD be easier to change, since he knows it hurts you. All he has to do is think before he speaks, and/or decide not to say anything, knowing how it will affect you.

If you feel, at this particular time, you have no place else to go, you don't want to stop living with him, etc., that's alright, you have time to make a change, if and when you're ready. I'm sure you have sympathetic RESPECTFUL friends who truly care about you, and who will be there for you and help you out, if you need it. I don't know your family situation, and if you can live elsewhere at this time, or if you have considered ending this relationship. The thought of 'starting' over, especially since you've been together with him for 3 years, and started seeing him when you were 18, can be scary, but in my personal opinion, I feel you need to make a change for the better, to save your own sanity, get well, emotionally, and be happy, with a man who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated.

It would also be a good idea to go to couples counseling with him, and/or start therapy on your own, to learn how to best deal with this communication issue, which is causing you so much anxiety. In person sessions with an experienced counselor will be beneficial.

I do hope things will improve for you, very soon.

Please let me know if you'd like to talk more. I will be here for you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I would like to confront him again. But perhaps i'm not going about it the right way. I tend to get stuck mid conversation a loose track of my thoughts because of my overwhelming pain. Can you please please please help me figure out what to say?
Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your reply.

Yes, I will help you figure out what to say, and please give me a short while to send you a detailed response.

Expert:  Cher replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your patience.

You need to keep in mind that you are telling him these things to help yourself and help your relationship. If you keep the purpose of your words in mind, and not get emotional, you will be able to say what you need to, and get through it without tears. Try to emotionally remove yourself from the situation, even though it IS an emotional thing, and you will be able to get through what you have to say to him. Think of it 'logically' and prevent yourself from letting your emotions take over. I think, when he sees you emotional, he knows he can take advantage of you and hurt you with his words. You can stop that by rehearsing what you're going to say, think about it as something you MUST do, to let him know how you feel, and you can't keep going on the way you have, with him saying the things he is saying and causing you medical problems and anxiety.

You can say something like this: I know you care for me and would not intentionally hurt me, but the way you have been speaking to me and putting me down, IS very hurtful, and it needs to stop. We've discussed this in the past, and I thought I made my feelings known, yet you continue to speak to me in this way. Since you don't seem to be aware of how your words are hurtful, I'll help you. From now on, any mention of my weight, is off-limits...just don't talk about it. I'm aware of how I look, and don't need you to remind me, in a negative way. Speaking of negatives, if you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all. If you have a 'work thing', give me advance notice if you won't be home in the evening, so I can make my own plans. Don't tell me they won't let me in, due to my appearance; that's a lie, and again, hurtful and uncalled for. I don't see a "Mr. Perfet" banner on YOUR chest!

You'll need to learn to 'filter' yourself and your words, before you speak them, and ask yourself: 'will what I'm about to say, hurt her feelings?' if the answer is 'yes', keep quiet.

If you have an issue about my looks or anything else, there's the door. No one is keeping you here against your will. I thought we had something special, and it seems you may not agree. We need to communicate in a way that is beneficial to us both, not with you putting me down. I'm very willing to work at improving our relationship, if that's what you want, too; if not, I think we have very different goals and perceptions, regarding what makes a good relationship. Take a few days to think seriously about what I've said. It's important that you take the time to listen to me and understand my feelings. I've always shown YOU that courtesy, and I deserve the same.