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psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
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My boyfriend has high expectations of me...

Customer Question

Recently, I've decided to move out. This is a big deal for me, as I am a very family-oriented person, and I don't often stick to decisions that have to do with going against my parents wishes and/or going out on my own. This time is different, though. I saw a counselor to find out why I'm so resistant to moving away from my family and to decide what I really want to do (move out anyway). I've worked through a lot of emotional barriers. I've done the budget planning as best as I could, set a savings goal, and made a resolution to move out in a year if I can afford it by then.

Unfortunately, while discussing this with my boyfriend today, he revealed that he felt let down and disappointed by me. I couldn't answer his questions specifically enough when he asked me what I would do if my very unsteady job couldn't provide me with enough work to save up the total amount I needed, or if it would be possible to save up what I needed (he needed me to be more sure than I was). This is all very new to me, and I've only just decided recently to do this. I feel like I've made quite a lot of progress for the kind of person I am (compulsive spender, easily guilt-tripped by family, etc.) and I am proud of how far I've come. 

He says he is also proud of my progress, but at the same time, it is not enough for him and his expectations. Since me moving out means we will get to see each other more often, he feels disappointed that I haven't made a backup plan and a backup plan for my backup plan yet. He is upset that I haven't done all the calculations yet to make this as close to 100% possible as I can. After telling him how much this hurts me to hear, he tells me that I should just let it be and let time change his mind, because he will feel like this for a while. I don't know how to handle that. It hurts me a lot, I mean, to the point where I've cried all night about it. I feel like I'm not good enough, like I'll never be good enough. I feel like he isn't really proud of me and that he will always feel let down. He doesn't seem to understand why it hurts me so much that he has high expectations of me. He says it is a sign that he loves me and is vested in me and doesn't understand why I want him to put those expectations aside, no matter how hard I try to explain it! 

How do I learn to deal with his expectations? Or am I right? Is he in the wrong to judge me like that when I am a different person than he is? Help, please, I'm so distraught... Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
I don't think his expectations are fair not because they are not helpful but because he should be more willing to support you whatever your decisions are. He seems very controlling and that worries me. He can have ideas about what you should do but that doesn't give him the right to say I want this and you want that so I'm right. He is in no place to you. You should be able to resolve your problems how you want. If he can't be supportive then let him go
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I want to make this work with him, as this is a fairly minor dispute. He isn't trying to control me, as far as I can tell when I analyze the situation (it's hard to present all sides of the argument through one block of text).

When I tell him how it upsets me that he feels let down, he says he doesn't see how it is wrong for him to want the best for us (which means me moving out) and feel that way when doubts come into the picture. He told me he is extremely proud of me for all the progress I've made and that I've done as much as I have. But at the same time, he is disappointed that I haven't met his expectations - he feels that by now I should have accomplished more in the planning stage. He doesn't want me to change anything about what I'm doing. He wants me to continue doing what is best for me, and to just accept that for the time being he is going to feel the way he does: let down.
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
It is up to you to decide if he is being unrealistic. You know what you can do and what you can't. He may just feel that he has the plan and that you weren't fulfilling your part. I do have trouble with the fact that he feels "let down". That sounds very negative. It kind of says I have to live up to your expectations
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I know that I could have done more specific planning by now, but I don't see anything wrong with the pace at which I'm going. How can I get it across to him that it's not him telling me he feels let down and disappointed but the fact that he actually feels that way that bothers me? I want him to continue to be honest with me about how he feels, it just hurts me to hear what he said.

I know I shouldn't care about his expectations, but I do. I do personally have expectations of him, so am I right to ask him not to expect more from me? He is going to be affected by whether or not I move out. He keeps trying to explain to me that he has a right to have these expectations and to feel disappointed because me moving out benefits him and us as a couple. I can't deny that...
Expert:  psychlady replied 6 years ago.
That is because you are progressing according to your own pace. That is what all of us do. That doesn't give someone else the right to dictate how fast I should be going. It is up to you how much power you give him. You have to tell him exactly as you told me. You feel like he is disappointed by you. That doesn't promote trust and honesty. It is natural to care about his expectations. I see his reasons but it doesn't make it right