#12 Should I stay in this relationship? / Is boyfriend mirroring me?

Dear Abby: I love my boy friend very much, but he's not affectionate in any way. When I ask him if he loves me, he gets angry. He told me that he said he loved me once, and after that, he shouldn't have to repeat it. He says he wants an independent woman who makes no demands.

Abby, I enjoy his company. He takes me out every weekend and calls me every day. But he never holds my hand or kisses me. I need some affection and reassurance of his love, but he refuses to give it to me.

Should I stay in this relationship? —MISS GLORIA IN GEORGIA

DEAR MISS GLORIA: Metaphorically speaking, you are fire and your boyfriend is ice, a decidedly incompatible combination.

Since he is unwilling to fulfill your needs, you should consider ending this relationship so you can be free to find a man who is a better match. —ABBY

Gabby's Reply

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Gabby’s Reply:

Hi Gloria: It's so great that you wrote. Your father would be terribly disappointed to know that he trained to you to seek affection from a seriously shutdown person, that you can't recognize his behavior as abuse, and that you don't know that you deserve to be treated with love and respect; it would disappointment him. Is it possible that you're intent on punishing your parents by dating someone you know would invalidate and upset them?

The old custom of introducing dates to parents was a wise one. Parents can detect within seconds if you're on the right path, if you are intent on bringing someone into the clan that will be compatible in all aspects.* It's not just that they must like him, he must admire and respect your parents as well. Your BF will cause unwanted problems for everyone until he completes about 25-hours of therapy, even then he'd have to estrange himself from his parents, for life, else he'll submit his wife and her family to their invalidating abuse.

I'm concerned that you have stayed with him this long. More so, that you attracted him into your life. Not to worry, your genius is at work here. Whenever I hear someone blaming another for supposedly undesirable results I'm suspect.

Even if you dump him, which I'm not certain you will (you are confronting your addictions here), you'd still have to discover why you created him in your life. In some way he is your mirror. Put another way, no actualized woman would go out on a first date, let alone a second, with him. She would immediately recognize his inability to acknowledge and to come from, to operate from, love. It's not hard to see unless one has similar stuff going on. You might look and see who in your life would say the same about you. Sometimes we act like we're a loving person. We think of ourselves as affectionate; we have an affectionate act and have come to believe it. It gives us something to be right about, something to make other's wrong for, But in truth we are as comparatively bound up and angry as he is.

Inappropriate dramatized anger such as his ". . . don't make me repeat it . . . " is always used to hide a withhold or perpetration. There are no exceptions to this fundamental communication principle. His angry reply is what's referred to as an invalidating make-wrong, a smoke screen. It's both controlling and condescending. Under it is fear. Why you can't recognize it as such and why you would hang around for more is your far greater problem. If after reading this reply you continue to interact with him for another 24-hours, for any reason, you will have revealed that you are addicted to abuse and to creating more breakdowns in communication and, that you need equally as much therapy as he does.

Re: ". . . he's not affectionate in any way." and, "When I ask him if he loves me, he gets angry." Both sentences are examples of your addiction to blaming. A responsible person would have written, "I don't inspire affection." and, "I don't know how to get him to verbally communicate that he loves me, and so I find myself wanting to change him which I know isn't love."

Have you entertained the idea that you're supposed to love everyone as you do him and that there is something else far more magnificent than you can possible imagine that comes from true supportive intercourse. In other words, you don't have to live with or marry everyone you love.

Get some therapy/counseling, just for yourself. Why? Because your question is one that you're supposed to ask your parents. Until you can have such a conversation with them you'll always have communication problems with others. Thank you, Gabby

 * A mother will even unconsciouly thwart a daughter's choice of a date if he appears to be like the daughter's father; this, because the mother doesn't want her daughter to marry a man like her father, wanting to protect her from, say, an emotionally bound up husband.

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Check back occasionally for minor edits (last edited 11/9/15)

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