What to do with a boyfriend or girlfriend who demands everything be on their terms

Zynella asks: I’m in this relationship and don’t know whether to leave or try more. I feel I don’t get the total care and attention I need. He acts really insecure all the time. Really weird whenever he sees me relating with other male folks. He says he loves me but I really doubt that sometimes. He wants us to remain low-key for now and not trumpet the relationship, and I don’t feel comfortable about that. He’s not introduced me to anyone close to him yet though we’re just a year and some months. He doesn’t like calling, only prefers to chat, and I’m just the other way round. He can be really possessive and authoritative sometimes. He got his heart broken by a lady who left him for someone else and he feels I’m also going to do same whenever I say I’m tired. And what I’m tired of is his behaviors, sometimes to the point of not loving him. I find it difficult to get emotionally attached to people and when I do is always hard to let go. Now I’m on a crossroads of letting go or still hanging on a little more – I don’t know. I still love him very much but this is torture. He’s not violent in anyway and can be very romantic sometimes. Please what do I do?

Hi Zynella –

You bring up a lot of issues, and each is worth discussing, but I’m mostly struck by one feeling as I read your letter.  Which is that this is a guy who demands that everything be on his terms, 100% of the time. 

Now I know there can be something very attractive about people like that.  You always know what they want, they tend to be very interesting…  but relationships with them can also be ones where you lose yourself! 

In a funny way, it’s not unlike my life with my human friend Handsome.  He gives me a yard I can play in, but he’s really the one who determines when we meet and what we do – whether going to the dog park or the beach or the veterinarian’s office! 

But you’re a human.  And you deserve to have more say in things. 

So what I’d really like is for you to do is to

take a day or a few, and write down, throughout, what you’d like to be going on, especially as it concerns him:

2:00 – I’d like to talk with him, but he refuses to talk on the phone.

2:15 – I’d like to make plans for this weekend, but I have to wait for him to determine when he wants to meet.

3:20 – My brother’s friend offered to take us all out to his family’s farm, but I shouldn’t say yes because my boyfriend doesn’t like me talking with him and his friends.

And when you have a pretty full list (and it can include good things too – ‘4:30 he called and said he loved me!”), I want you to look over it and ask yourself one simple question: Is This The Life You Want? 

Do you want to be waiting to find out when he’s available?  Do you want to base your social life on who he wants you to be with when he’s not around?  Do you want to worry about how his mood will leave him treating you?

And if so, then this is the right relationship for you.  And yes, we can discuss all these aspects in detail.

But if not (and I’m suspecting that’ll be the case), maybe a bigger question will be how you can create the life you want and deserve.

Let me know!


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