I have been with someone for three years now and the “roles” between us have been divided in a certain way – he always talks and I am always the patient and understanding listener. He never sees when I am in distress and need someone to talk to. But when he says how difficult it is for him at work I stop everything and listen to his troubles. Six months ago I began seeing a psychologist just to have someone who would listen to me.
I have already talked to him about it but in vain. This is the person he is. Still, I can’t get used to such a situation, neither now nor when we are married, that will be soon. What can I do to wake him up?
You create your own reality and within it you attract certain people to your life who reflect to you certain aspects of you that need attention.
Your boyfriend may indeed be an egocentric person whose attention is centered solely on himself. He is perhaps not as sensitive to people around him, you included, as you would like him to be; perhaps he has no patience for other people’s issues and his thinking may generally be more rational than intuitive. But this is the person you have chosen to be with and you can’t expect him to change just because you two will be married soon.
Now, having said all that, it is definitely not necessary that you accept this status quo and give up. Leaving him would also not change the basic problem because you would only attract a person with the same character. In order to change your life, to have a healthy and balanced relationship in which you give and receive equally, you must look inside to locate that repetitive motive that creates the frustrating reality.
So, is it possible that you do not give to yourself enough? Have you neglected your own desires and needs in life? Have you repressed a hidden passion that was burning inside for many years, perhaps since childhood? Have you sacrificed your dreams for artificial satisfaction that seemed to you important at certain times in the past?
You need to check the basic beliefs that you have accepted as truth along the years. This status quo, in which you are the listener and your boyfriend is the one who receives all your attention without giving, is an image of the reality that you allowed to develop without stating clearly - no more! Placing limits and boundaries in relationship is very important and many individuals fail to do so out of fear. They sacrifice their own wellbeing to keep their spouses with them; they live in a survival mode in order to satisfy their spouses’ basic needs; they do it for the sake of domestic peace and less drama. Nevertheless, holding back and repressing natural impulses from the soul quite often ends with illness and physical imbalances like cancer. Your call right now – “I have had enough” – is appropriate and you should congratulate yourself for being determined to take care of your self. Be sure that soon after you begin the change your boyfriend will be faced with the “new you”, who will give him no practical alternative but to alter the way he currently thinks and behaves.
Then he will gain a new balance as well.