Article #: 256345
My boyfriend and i have been together for 9 months. Every day he mentally abuses me. He says he “doesn't know how to show emotion“ but to me all it takes is just a text saying you love me randomly or randomly visiting me at work one day just to say hi. But he doesn't do any of those things. He forgets things a lot and no matter what I do for him I never really get anything in return. He sent me flowers on Valentine's Day and got me a gift card for a massage on Christmas, I'm not asking him to spend his money or anything. I just wish he would be a better boyfriend and I don't know how to tell him everything I feel because it's hard to get it all out there because I choke up. People tell me “you just need to break up with him and be done with it“ but it's honestly not so easy. Please help me. I don't think I explained that too well to you but I mean it's kind of the jist of it. I need someone to tell me something besides break up with him, because I don't want to because I know in my heart that one day... he will change. I just don't know how long that will be.
I'm glad you wrote to us about this, and I hope I can help.
I'm not quite sure what you mean when you say he "mentally abuses" you, but what you portray in your letter is kind of a one-sided relationship where you do lots of things for him and he doesn't thank you and doesn't do anything for you in return. Is that what you mean by mental abuse, or is there something more?
Sounds to me as if there's a big communication problem in your relationship. He doesn't know how to show emotion, and you can't express your feelings because you choke up, so there's probably a lot of misunderstanding going on between you. Have you tried writing him a letter expressing how you feel?
If he's not an emotional guy (and lots of men have difficulty talking about feelings) he may think that flowers on Valentine's Day and a gift card at Christmas are pretty expressive. I guess men who send "I love you" texts and pay surprise visits are pretty rare, so I don't think the fact he doesn't do that is a good reason to break up with him unless there's more going on than you're saying in your letter.
Does he cheat on you, put you down, treat you badly? If he does, count me in with the people who tell you to break up with him. If not, maybe there's hope, and you just need to learn to communicate with each other better. You may have to lower your expectations of a "romantic" boyfriend a little and he may have to step up to the plate with his "feelings" a bit more. I wouldn't expect major changes, though. We really can't change other people; we can only change ourselves.
You've stuck it out together for nine months - maybe it's worth investing a bit more time to learn to really talk to each other.
I hope you can work it out and I wish you good luck. Write again any time.