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Question
Posted by: Sara | 2010/02/08

chaotic cycle

My boyfriend and I are caught up in a vicious cycle. We have been together for 3 years, but we are very different people –  in fact we are complete opposites. I am very loving, outgoing and affectionate. My boyfriend is serious, rational and not very affectionate. He describes himself as emotionally detached and me as emotionally dependant. Our problem is that I need a lot of affection and love and feel hurt and unhappy when he doesn’ t give that to me. I lash out at him and set ultimatums in an attempt to get him to understand that my needs are not being met. This only causes him to withdraw even more. We fight a lot and when we make up I want to feel even more loved, but he is still hurt by the things I said. Which makes him less able to be loving and affectionate, this in turn hurts me all over again and so it goes on and on. It’ s a chaotic cycle and we have no idea of how to get out of it. I know that I need to let him be and he knows that he needs to show me love and affection and even though we try we just don’ t seem to get it right, despite our best intentions. Can you help us at all, or suggest someone who can?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

In what way do you think the two of you can form a lastingly happy relaonship ? What you really need is something he isn't good at providing, and what he really needs is something you're not good at providing, according to your story. Why are you so determined to stay together despite what sound like pretty obvious incompatabilities ?
Maybe a few sessions of couples counselling would help you figure this out, and either fix things ( which might not be practical ) or part amicably and better able to make a better choice next time round

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Our users say:
Posted by: Imago counselling helped us! | 2010/02/09

We were in a similar situation - went out for 12 years before marrying, but are happy now. We stumbled across a psychologist practicing Imago therapy, which is short term, and you will see a difference or have more clarity by the end of the 10 sessions. Imago is about healing the ' whole person'  in both of you. Maintains we all have varying degrees of childhood wounds from our parents that are unaviodable, and we are programmed from these to seek a partner who will redress this situation by being opposite enough to have to deal with these wounds. We found that most of the issues in the relationship were actually our own issues with ourselves, but it taught us ways to negotiate past the ' vicious cycle'  scenario. Like us, you sound like you both have issues to work out within yourselves (I was/am more like you and I am male!). Google Imago for your area, or contact your local psychology association to find a therapist). Good luck!

Reply to Imago counselling helped us!
Posted by: I was in your shoes | 2010/02/09

Hey!
I can so relate to what you saying and the advise I got from CS then was to just relax on it.
I decided to not drown him with my affection and just let him be.
If he wants to kiss me I' l kiss him back but I did not initiate it.
I stopped smsing/ calling him.
I just became ' emotionally detached'  like him for a while and guess what! I guess he started missing it and it drove him to initiate these things first.
I left him at it for long so that it became part of him and then afterwards became my loving self towards him again.

Now he is even worse than me lol! He wouldnt even hold my hand walking in a mall but now he wont let go.

Its as if he felt that if he never stepped up he would lose me because my attitude towards him was changing and this forced him to just let go and show me how he really feels no matter where we are.

If this dsnt work then yes perhaps you should think about why you are with him...
I must say thanx again to CS for his great advise!

Reply to I was in your shoes
Posted by: Whena | 2010/02/09

Break up.Neither of you are happy in this relationship -so why stay?

Reply to Whena
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/02/09

In what way do you think the two of you can form a lastingly happy relaonship ? What you really need is something he isn't good at providing, and what he really needs is something you're not good at providing, according to your story. Why are you so determined to stay together despite what sound like pretty obvious incompatabilities ?
Maybe a few sessions of couples counselling would help you figure this out, and either fix things ( which might not be practical ) or part amicably and better able to make a better choice next time round

Reply to cybershrink

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