I cannot come to a conclusion about my current relationship. My boyfriend has all the qualities I look for in a man. I feel if we were supposed to be together I wouldn’t have to go through all this stress just to feel loved by him.
What it comes down to is, it doesn’t take a lot to make him feel loved. I, on the other hand, am high maintenance. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We are just on two different spectrums. This is affecting the way I act towards him, and I am always mad at him and frustrated.
I don’t know if it’s worth it to try counseling or should I just break up?
Danika, above is our summary of the letter you wrote last week. In that letter two lines stand out like bookends. In the beginning you told us you come from an affectionate, loving family, and you said you planned on living life by yourself and traveling the world alone. For good measure you added that “I always said, in the end, love causes more hurt than good.”
Your beliefs don’t square with coming from a family of love. But people hurt at an early age say things like that, or they express a desire to live life alone in a cabin in a wilderness. What drama of childhood, what insecurities do you have, that when a good man tells you he loves you, you don’t believe him?
Near the end of the letter you admit your boyfriend is perfect, but “I, on the other hand, am high maintenance” and cannot feel loved by him. That line is a confession that “some part of me knows the problem is me, not him.” You want an extreme show of love, like slaying a dragon or risking his life, and likely even that would not be enough.
There is such duality in your words. You say he has a good heart yet he doesn’t love you. How can this be? A good heart is the expression of love. Everything a man could offer seems to be there, except it is not enough to fill the pit of need within you.
You mention your boyfriend’s inability to make you feel loved as if it is a flaw within him. You tell a man who loves you that he doesn’t love you. You say you need him to understand your intentions, but that isn’t the issue.
You need to understand your own deeper intentions and why you are trying to drive him away. The size of the love you need is what needs fixing. This is an internal issue that needs to come to the surface in individual counseling.
Change is hard and you don’t want to change, so he must. In effect, that is what you are saying. You ask if it’s worth it to try counseling, or should you simply break up. It is not a dichotomy. We suggest both: breaking up and individual counseling for you.
The sad thing is we think he loves you. We feel sorry for him, but you are the one acting hurt and you are the one blaming him.
He is not big enough to fill your hole of need. No man is. The sky is not big enough to fill your hole of need. The problem is, some part of you is telling you that you are unlovable.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Direct Answers Column for the week of September 16, 2019
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Wayne & Tamara answer as many letters as they possibly can.