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Question
Posted by: SARA | 2012/05/11

COMMITMENT

How do you deal with a boyfriend that will never fight for you? If the situation gets a bit stressed he will tell me this is how he is accept him or leave. He said he can make a few changes here and there but he cannot change who he is. I recently brought up the issue of commitment and sadly realized that even though he does love me he would rather let me go than put himself out. He went through a bad divorce and says the anxiety he felt then overwhelms him more than the thought of losing me. He says he would hate to lose me as he loves me but he cannot give me what I want at the moment..he says he wants the same thing as me and is sure we will get there. I am just feeling really insecure about everything and I think knowing that he would have let me go without a fight hurts even more.

I am also divorced with children so its not like I am in a hurry for marriage but I do feel after many years (4) of dating I need some sort of further commitment from him and he just will not do it NOW! This is what he can offer take it or leave it type of thing - and that is it. Can someone be so badly affected that they have this anxious fear of commitment? His attitude is its your choice I cant change what you decide if you need to go then he will accept it - he will hate it but he will be fine. That doesnt make me feel very special and I question the love that he says he had for me? His ability to detach himself amazes me. Our relationship is actually really good - a few hiccups here and there but good which blows my mind even more that he will just let me go like that.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Couples counselling may be a eally good idea, to help you both to understand yourselves and each other, rather better.
You may be talking at cross-purposes in several respects. Firstly, he is saying that he cannot change his essential nature. THough that may be true, he can change how he expresses and exercises that nature, far more than he thinks. Its about changing one's behaviour when it is causing problems, rather than reconstructing one's bones.
It is annoying when people who are behaving selfishly and badly towards others, excuse themselves saying " That's just how I am" like a tiger protesting that it's unfair to complain that its not vegetarian. Often what is being complained about is unkind and thoughtless begaviour towards others and an utterly self-centred approach, which indeed can and should be changed.
But then I also wonder whether you assume the same meaning to terms like "committment" ? It appears that you and he, both coming from previous hurtful broken relationships, are reacting in contrasting ways.
You see "committment" as providing security and comfort for both of you ; he sees it as providing risk. The more impatient you get about wanting it NOW, the more anxious and fearful he gets about feeling it will just make things worse.
This is where skilled counselling can make a real difference.

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/05/13

Couples counselling may be a eally good idea, to help you both to understand yourselves and each other, rather better.
You may be talking at cross-purposes in several respects. Firstly, he is saying that he cannot change his essential nature. THough that may be true, he can change how he expresses and exercises that nature, far more than he thinks. Its about changing one's behaviour when it is causing problems, rather than reconstructing one's bones.
It is annoying when people who are behaving selfishly and badly towards others, excuse themselves saying " That's just how I am" like a tiger protesting that it's unfair to complain that its not vegetarian. Often what is being complained about is unkind and thoughtless begaviour towards others and an utterly self-centred approach, which indeed can and should be changed.
But then I also wonder whether you assume the same meaning to terms like "committment" ? It appears that you and he, both coming from previous hurtful broken relationships, are reacting in contrasting ways.
You see "committment" as providing security and comfort for both of you ; he sees it as providing risk. The more impatient you get about wanting it NOW, the more anxious and fearful he gets about feeling it will just make things worse.
This is where skilled counselling can make a real difference.

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