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Relationship Health Message Board

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Hi, thanks for reading my post. I have been with my boyfriend for about 2 years now. We have fought a lot in this past year, mostly because we encourage eachother to be open and honest, but the truth hurts, and our opinions hurt one another. So I am afraid to bring things up yo him right now because we are always having relationship chats that end in fights and I am tired of doing that.

Anyway, I had really been feeling like he picks out my weaknesses constantly without making me feel like I have much value. He always points out that I need to "tough up"...not be so sensitive, thinks I am a push over, passive aggressive, shy, etcetera. It's true, and I know I need to work on these things but it makes me feel bad when he brings it ul, and when I say so, then he thinks I'm being too sensitive and says, "well fine I just won't ever bring up anything again because you can't handle it," or something of the sort.

I asked him one day to tell me what he thought my strengths were because I was honstly wondering what he saw in me if he was always pointing out my flaws.. and I was really disappointed in his answer, the only things he could come up with were that I am compassionate and that I like to introduce people to new things. I really wanted to hear him acknowledge intelligence, emotional strength and resilience, creativity, fun, interesting....anything more substantial and worth while! It is my fault for not explaining my disappointment with his answers, I let it go because I didn't want to fight anymore. Now I am afraid to being it up again because there will be a fight.

I love this man for who he is and I know he loves me but I really hate that he doesn't seem to think of me as a strong person. In most of my other relationships, they could see past my shyness and reserves and see who I really am and I want him to do the same because he is the best boyfriend I have had in that I he think he's the most healthy relationship...he's mature, has peronal and career goals and wants to plan our future out ina practical way. He also helped me get out of a drug and alcohol abuse problem with a tough love approach. He wants to take care of me, but not in a controlling way. He does want me to need him though and feels bad when he thinks I don't need him. Truth be told, I really don't need him, I want him. Things would be okay if we walked away from one another today, except for some brief emotional pain and loneliness. He has told me that I need to change because he won't be around forever and I'm resentful about that because I've lived my whole life without him and managed thus far.

He comes from a very different background than me and he sites our differences more than our similarities, but I try to focus on commonalities because then it would make me question why we are together, so I hate that he has to focus on those times when we have contemplated breaking up, his reasoning is that we are too different. Yes, we are, but that's what's beautiful. He is an African American from the south side of chicago, and I am a suburban white girl from an affluent neighborhood, but I really don't care, that is just one dimension of the many that comprise us and how we relate to one another. I really want this to work,.but I don't know how to go about it.

Can someone please give me some advice? Thank you so much.

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