Pretty Petty

20 Apr

Letterbalm Woman with Bag on HeadDear LetterBalm: My boyfriend and I have been together for almost seven years. Over time, our relationship has settled into an ordinary rut. I think I no longer thrill him. He criticizes everything about me and picks fights. Sex is routine, even our evenings out are boring, and he no longer suggests things we can do together. He’s stopped praising my cooking – and, I’m a very good cook. He doesn’t compliment me when I get a new haircut or get dressed up for him, and I see him looking at other women and asking why I can’t become a blonde or lose some weight. I don’t think I’m pretty enough for him anymore. I’d like to get a boob job and get my eyes done. It’ll make me look younger and maybe help revitalize things. Maybe if I got pregnant he wouldn’t want to leave me because he loves kids.

–Ugly and Unfulfilled

Well, you certainly are angry and depressed, and your boyfriend isn’t helping matters. Overtly comparing you to other women and picking fights may mean he wants to break up and doesn’t have the guts to do it properly. But for heaven’s sake, don’t go under the plastic surgeon’s knife or get pregnant now. (Besides, a good surgeon will want to be sure you’re in a good frame of mind to get enhancements.) Ms. L.B. wants you to sit down alone and reflect on a few things: One, seven years is a long time to invest in a relationship without knowing whether it is worthwhile to both parties. Two, cosmetic surgery isn’t an answer here. Three, this isn’t the time to bring a child into the situation. Four, your boyfriend has serious faults, exacerbated by your passivity and lack of self-esteem. You may decide to seek counseling, leave the relationship permanently, take a hiatus or throw your boyfriend out. No matter what, both of you are overdue for the truth. Talk to him and find out where his head is at. Get your thoughts in order, don’t rant and don’t lose your temper:

Eric, we’re past due for a serious talk. I won’t belabor things. Here it is: Do you want to stay in this relationship? Because I gotta tell you, when you pick fights and criticize me and compare me unfavorably to other women, it hurts me deeply. It isn’t the sort of thing a loving partner does. I know I’m not perfect, but I care for you so much that I’m willing to go to couples counseling with you to work things out. But that’s only if you love me, too, and really want to. If you don’t, tell me the truth and we’ll go our separate ways. It’ll hurt, sure, but at least we’ll be mature about this. Now is the time to be absolutely fair and honest, Eric. What do you want to do?

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