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Anna, Social Worker
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  29 years experience in addictions & mental health. I'll tell you my honest opinion.
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My boyfriend and I shared many times with each other our feelings

Customer Question

My boyfriend and I shared many times with each other our feelings that our relationship is deeply satisfying on all devels to both of us, that we love each other and want to be together indefinitely. He is the most caring, loving, tender, sweet and compatible partner I've ever had. I'm about as perfectly happy as I can be with him. We've been living together for a year and have bother been very happy. We love spending almost all our free time together, are great friends and lovers.
However, periodically(every two or three months) sitting across from him at the kitchen table, he gives me a report on how he is feeling about me and our relationship. He might say something like, "I know I'm not giving 100% yet; be patient with me." Or, most recently, "I'm different. It takes me four to five years to fall in love. I don't know what love is, but I like you, I really like you and I like living with you. Things are going well, in the right direction."
It usually hurts my feelings because I never ask him for these reports, and except for the reports--or Conversations as I call them--I really am extremely happy with him.
I decided several months ago that the best strategy was just ignore him when he does, this, but sometimes it hurts me so much, I can't ignore it. We communicate really well and have several talks about the problem. Ultimately, he things he should be able to express any feelings to me, who he calls "his best friend." I'm not so sure. I mean, if it hurts me, why can't he keep it to himself or talk to a therapist about it. He says it's not about me per se, its something that bothers him about himself, that he can't express more love and commitment to me verbally and its his problem to work out. In the end, he still thinks he should be able to share it with me, although he says he's going to try not to because it hurts me. How should I deal with this?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.
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Anna :

I imagine he's got something that keeps popping up for him and he's sharing too much with you when it does. This is the kind of thing he needs to surface with a friend or counselor. I liken it to 'brutal honesty', which is very different from honesty. You don't tell someone their baby looks like a fish - no matter how true it is. To hide behind 'honesty' and 'communication' to excuse the harmful behavior is wrong.

Anna :

I also think that you've done the right thing by telling him your wishes about this, and asking for a proper boundary. Good call on your part.


Thank you for confirming my original instincts. I'm going to ask him to talk to someone other than me about this. I have a hard time saying no to men, and he's so very sweet, its hard for me to do that. But I know it's the right thing to do.

Anna :

It is the right thing to do. Remember that good fences make good neighbors. Boundaries allow us to be closer.

Anna :

My best to you.


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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I can't seem to find the feedback window now, but I thought you got to the point very well, were very direct and clear yet supportive. I would give you a perfect rating.
Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.
You're most welcome.