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Question
Posted by: Confused girlfriend | 2012/09/25

What should we do?

My boyfriend and I have been together for 10 months. I first moved in as a friend because I needed a place to stay while I started my new job in a new city and found my feet. After a few days we realised that we wanted more than friendship and started dating. Although we live together, we are not having sex as he and I both decided that we would wait until we were married. Anyway, he is Catholic. I''m not. This has caused a lot of problems as he is a very strong Christian and our views often differ. We argue about this a lot and I am trying to immerse myself in his faith, not to necessarily convert, but just to see what it is all about so that I can make an informed choice. The problem is that we have only been together for 10 months but I feel so much pressure to see things his way. I come from a background where my mother is Anglican and my father Muslim but I never really cared much about religion. I have come a long way through depression, a bad marriage, etc and am as yet unsure where I need to be, spiritually speaking. The pressure he put on me was so severe that I couldn''t cope with the new job, the new relationship, the new city, being away from my family that I felt close to just snapping and left the new job after 3 months. I was home for a while and am now working again but feel the strain again. It''s not only religion we argue about but many other things. He hates it when he advises me on things and I end up doing it differently as he prefers that I do it his way. He had a girlfriend in the past who did not listen to good advice and who is now living a messy life due to not listening, according to him. I am always being compared to this ex who slept around. I understand that he has difficulty trusting etc. because of the pain she inflicted on him but it''s getting tiring for me to have to defend myself all the time as if I were her. It''s like my relationship with him is simply carrying on from where he left off with her. I have asked him to go and see a cousellor with me but he refuses as he says that he believes it will turn out badly and that he does not need a third party to tell us how to run our relationship and that God is his counsellor. Although I love him very much and I know he loves me, I am often very frustrated in this relationship. I vowed never to let another man change who I am but it seems like I''m slowly losing myself here. He takes very good care of me and I know he wants good things for me but I''m torn between doing what is right and doing something because he says I should. I''m afraid to make any mistakes at all now because he will say that, had I listened to him, everything would have worked out better. Small issues are blown way out of proportion and we can spend days not really talking to each other. It makes me uncomfortable and I have thought about leaving many times but really want to try to make this work but, frankly, I''m scared to be myself and to say anything that he disagrees with because it will result in a fight. I have an ulcer now which I never had before and have found that I shake uncontrollably a lot lately because the tension in the relationship and this new job in which I travel a lot have put so much strain on me. He often complains that I don''t enter into religious discussion with him but I don''t because my views differ to his and may offend him, which it does. Even if he does not react negatively then, my beliefs or comments will come up at a later stage and end up in an argument because he feels insulted that I don''t believe in his views. Sometimes I wish he could meet a nice Catholic girl who represents all that he values because there is so much about me that seems " wrong" . I''m not saying that I will never convert or understand hiw viewpoint but at the moment I''m running around like a headless chicken trying to just be what he wants me to be. Unfortunately, I am unable to just accept everything mindlessly. Sometimes I wish I could. What should I do? I don''t want to paint this terrible picture of him because he really is a good, loving man but we have been fighting about different things almost daily and it is taking it''s toll on us both.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Look for the pattern in all these details. You seem undecided about what you want in many areas of life, but have a wholesome sense of independence and want to make up your own mind. But he sounds very controlling, and wants you to accept his own views and ways of doing things, and not to differ from him.
A wholesome and stable relationship occurs when you lie each other AS YOU ARE, rather than when one of the pair expects the other to change, especially in the direction of duplicating their own views. What is the real benefit, to either of you, to continuing this relationship ?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: Ella | 2012/09/25

Hi there - it really is not a case of ''what should we do''?. It is a case of what YOU should do.
As CS said - look for the pattern. Its clear to see as your bf''s philosophy is: my way or the high way.
Ask yourself 1 question and answer it truthfully: do I want to spend the rest of my life trying to do exactly as he says as to avoid confrontation etc or do I actually want to be true to myself, make my own informed decisions and not loose myself in this relationship. You know what to do.
It''s hard, but it''s going to be worth it - for you.
x

Reply to Ella
Posted by: Confused girlfriend | 2012/09/25

He says he just wants what is best for me. Even though he refuses to go for counselling, are you able to recommend someone we could go see as I want to try to work this out.

Reply to Confused girlfriend
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/09/25

Look for the pattern in all these details. You seem undecided about what you want in many areas of life, but have a wholesome sense of independence and want to make up your own mind. But he sounds very controlling, and wants you to accept his own views and ways of doing things, and not to differ from him.
A wholesome and stable relationship occurs when you lie each other AS YOU ARE, rather than when one of the pair expects the other to change, especially in the direction of duplicating their own views. What is the real benefit, to either of you, to continuing this relationship ?

Reply to cybershrink

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