Am I pushing him away?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I have been dating my boyfriend for 1 year and 4 months now. I am officially scared that I am pushing him away. I feel like I told him everything about me we are always with each other and I love him a lot its just lately I have been taking everything to heart I guess and everything he tells me makes me sad. I don’t know if it’s my hormones acting up and taking it out on him, which is very bad. I’m scared to push him away from me since I love him so much it hurts. I know that he is my best friend and boyfriend but sometimes I feel like he treats me way worst than his best friends who are my best friends. I feel like I’m too much in his face everyday wanting a kiss. Am I clingy to want him to kiss me every time I see him? I usually start to cry when I’m feeling down and he usually tells me to shut up and it doesn’t help to cry. Today we went to help our best friend out today with his issues he has been having and my friend was crying and he didn’t tell him to shut up. Why does he always have to speak to me in a tone that hurts me more? Is it just a guy thing to speak to his girlfriend in a tone that makes them feel like shit? Also if I try to talk to him about his tone he gets even more offended and I don’t know what to do. I love him and wanna be with him and I’m confused mucho.

A: It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not. ~ Andre Gide

Thank you for writing to us about this. It is an important issue because most relationships have a push and pull dynamic, but when that gets lopsided it is time for a correction. And, no, it is not a guy thing to speak to his girlfriend to make her feel bad. It is an inconsiderate thing.

As I see it there are two avenues for adjustment and experimentation. It is important to know that your goal isn’t to change into being someone else, but rather to make a refinement in the relationship. The first would be to say something direct to him at the moment (or as close to the moment as you can) that conveys your anger, frustration, disappointment, hurt, etc. about what, or how, something was said. This does two things: It gives you a much-needed voice in the relationship, and it alerts him to the fact that he just did something that hurt you and that it needs to change. These are important things to communicate in a relationship.

The second thing to do is to experiment with not being so “clingy” as you put it. What I am suggesting is to be mindful of holding back as a way to see what, if anything, changes in his behavior. Very often with couples the correction has to do with one member of the partnership changing the frequency or intensity of their behavior. This will often allow the partner to change his or her reactions.

But if this doesn’t bring about the changes you hope for you may want to try couples counseling. You can find a certified therapist here. But as the opening quote suggests, don’t lose yourself in the relationship in an effort to be loved.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Apr 2010

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2010). Am I pushing him away?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/04/26/am-i-pushing-him-away/

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