Patricia Redlich

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm Afraid Of His Moods

I'm a single mother and have been living with my boyfriend for nearly four years. I have been a loyal girlfriend and have done all I can and I thought we were going good. I mean, we bought a house, and while the loan is in his name, the title deed of the house is in both our names. He also bought me a car, in both our names.
He used to always want to have me around, but for the past week or se he has been acting strange and making up excuses to fight. The issues are all little things, which could be solved just by talking, but instead he chooses to be angry. I don't know what to do. I've tried to talk to him, not accusing him of anything but just asking him to talk to me, and telling him how I feel. But then he just gets mad and says I'm insecure. I'm lost and need help.
I've no idea what's going on in your boyfriend's head. I do know what's going on in yours. You're terrified. Or as your boyfriend put it, you're insecure. I'm sure he said it in anger, or exasperation, made it an accusation. Please believe me, I'm not doing that. It's just a fact. Look at you. Your boyfriend is in bad humour for a week or so and you're so scared you're counting everything that connects you contractually. You're also frantically examining your conscience so you can say to yourself that you've been a good girl.
You're in trouble, and it's got nothing to do with your boyfriend's current run of ill-temper. All that has done is highlight the stark reality that you're living on a knife-edge of insecurity. Seen positively, it's important this bout of bad temper happened. It's forced you to look at how you really feel. You're so frightened this relationship might fall apart. Why?
Some of us are chronically insecure, born of a bad childhood experiences. When we love someone, we latch onto them emotionally. We need their constant approval and closeness, can't bear the separation that comes with an argument. We also presume that if they are in bad form, it's automatically to do with us, convinced we've done something wrong. Or even if we haven't, we fear they will simply dump us, suddenly, out of nowhere. We just can't cope with any emotional distance.
Is that you? Did childhood leave you fearful of not being loved, with no internal sense of security, convinced that someone could simply leave you, just like that? If so, you need to see a good therapist, because you've an emotional job of work to do on yourself, clearing out past damage and getting a better sense of yourself and your worth. You see, most women would either wonder what was wrong with their partners, maybe even be worried about them, or just be cheesed off at unexplained crankiness. Sure, a wife might be upset, saddened by the withdrawal, uncomfortable with the atmosphere. She would not be frantically looking at the bonds which tie herself and her husband together. Do you understand the difference?
We can also walk ourselves into emotionally compromising situations. A typical scenario might be that your boyfriend believes you should be a stay at home mum, you give in, and feel depressed and lost and dependent. You've done something that suits him, not you. Or perhaps he's a man who does all the money-managing, indeed all the practical living decisions, leaving you floating in an uncertainty born of being sidelined as an adult, or treated like a child. Or maybe you've agreed to being dragged off to a new country, or just generally dislodged from your circle of family and friends, and hence have become emotionally dependent.
Is that you? In that scenario you've just been knocked off course and need to reassess your life choices, take back an appropriate level of control, do things you need to do in order to feel secure. This doesn't necessarily mean turning your life upside down. Sometimes it just means actively accepting that you chose to agree with your boyfriend's plans, and now you have to make a go of it.
The bottom line is that you can't live with this fear. It's too painful. It also puts a strain on your relationship. Being that emotionally needy will just burden your boyfriend, leaving him feel he has no space to manoeuvre, and hence make things infinitely worse. It also means that you're permanently one-down, which doesn't make for happiness either. Take a deep breath, and start examining what's going on in your head and heart. In saying that, I'm not blaming you. This, as you know, is a blame-free zone. I'm saying you have the power to change things. Do it.
Irish based professional therapist and journalist. Website By : Deise Design