I love my boyfriend. We’ve been together for 6 years. He is a treasure and a gift and his presence in my life is god-sent. But he is a human, he has made mistakes, he doesn’t exist solely to love and appreciate and validate me…………and I just keep fixating and ruminating on all the ways that I need/want him to treat me differently/better and I cannot seem to stop. I’m so bitter. I am angry for my younger self who was in so much pain and felt so unloved and didn’t know how to talk about it.
This is 6 years of therapy, coaching, and self-work that just doesn’t seem to make a dent at all in my dissatisfaction. I don’t know if I’m a broken woman who is codependent on this man or if I’m genuinely not appreciated enough and if I will be dooming myself if I stay in this relationship even though I feel like this.
I look at what I’ve sacrificed to stay in this relationship, and I want him to recognize this, appreciate it, apologize to me for situations that he created, thank me for my dedication to our relationship and to him. I want him to verbally acknowledge the effort I go to every single day to stay and build. He doesn’t think that I did anything heroic (his words) by staying. It boggles my mind how he could be so entitled, so ungrateful, so unappreciative of someone who is so loyal. Is it his job to make me feel anything, especially love or appreciation? No. Of course not. But I don’t know if he is healthily independent in this relationship or if he is an asshole who doesn’t appreciate and deserve me.
The thoughts “if he loved me he would_____”, “if he appreciated me he would _______”, “he doesn’t _______ even when I ask so that must mean he doesn’t care” are a constant. I’ve done a billion models. I’ve tried new thoughts but none of them stick because the other ones are sooooo deep. They feel static in my psyche. I’ve read so many books. I work on myself all the time. I’m so tired of feeling so resentful, unappreciated, and terrified that I am either choosing to be in a relationship that is actually not good OR that I’m in a great relationship that I am making myself miserable inside of. Help help please and thank you.
I might be looking to him to provide things to me that a partner can’t. I might be way too obsessed with making myself a victim here. I might be looking to him to do work that is actually mine to do. But I might be looking to him to simply be a more dedicated, present, attentive partner in a super valid and healthy way. I don’t know. I have looked to all kinds of people to TELL me which it is, and of course that leaves me with more questions, no answers.
I think I need to ask him to go to weekly therapy, not just to triage this situation but to build our relationship consciously and ahead of time.
But I also, after 6 years, I feel like such a burden because I’m always so miserable and so demanding/fixating on this wonderful man’s shortcomings as a boyfriend, and I am afraid to be more assertive about initiating/scheduling/asking him to come to therapy with me.