Ongoing questioning of relationship… does he care (enough)?

Hi Brooke,

I have been in a relationship for 3 years with a great man, who I started seeing soon after his separation., There are many great things about him and us… we have a lot of fun, we can talk for hours and hours, we enjoy exploring the world, have many mutual friends, and are great when we are together. We have limited time together because of our priorities (both single parents and that is our #1 priority) and he has many more things in his list of priorities. My thoughts over the years have looped over whether he cares enough about me based a lot in how much time he finds for me and his lack of expressing his feelings/warmth/thoughts about me. When I get anxious about our relationship, he says he “hears me” and even though I say it would really help if he could express himself more often or acknowledge that he knows our lack of time together is hard for me, or that he is sorry when things switch up minimizing our time together, he doesn’t really change how he does things. And I need to know he cares about me as a person and not just for fun, which I believe he does, but sometimes I need to hear it and hear why. So I am working on my part a LOT. I am happy when we are together and disappointed or worried that this is never going to be enough for me. Like you said in todays podcast, doing a lot of work on your thoughts is exhausting. I have only started using the model in the past couple of months, but I have spent a lot of time previously doing thought downloads, journaling, etc. etc. I do know I look to my partner (him or my ex when I was with him) for my affirmation, and even with thought work, I feel like if he loved me, he would be more caring. (yes, the manual).

Anyway…My main unintentional thoughts that occur over and over are, if he cared about my feelings, he would tell me he cares; or if he cared about my feelings, he would apologize or proactively make a plan when things change; or its all on his terms; or its always going to be like this.

In truth, I know he does care, sometimes its hard to tell how much because he doesn’t do it through words about how he feels about us or me.

My intentional thoughts go to.. I care, I care about my feelings, I am ok and can make plans to do other things I like, I enjoy the time we have together, etc etc.

While it helps me temporarily, these thoughts are so recurring that I feel like I am missing something OR not digging deep enough. He and I get into conversations about all of this without much resolution.

What is standing out to you?

Thank you! 🙂