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Arguments and Impossible standards

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My boyfriend and I both live in the United States. He’s Turkish and I’m Irish-American. I’m also a mental health counselor and expected there to be some adjustment and cultural differences but this feels to be too much. His anger feels out of proportion to what he labels as the offense.

ex. Not responding to a text of his for 16 minutes. We’re both professionals, have different routines, it’s I do my best but there’s only so much I can do. 

-Claims I show disinterest and am giving him the cold shoulder. I started learning Turkish for him, we text frequently throughout the day which was what he wanted last time we had this discussion. Only so much can be done on my part as he can take a break and text as he pleases aside from meetings. I can’t-I see clients back to back. I asked if I should plan dates if that would help as he claims he puts in so much effort and I’m cold. He said it wasnt necessary and that he likes planning. He’s not concrete in what is coming off as cold to him. When we’re together everything is fine, passionate, we have long discussions on the future. But then during the work week not seeing each other is where there’s a problem. 

-I do my best but it is never enough. I ask what would be enough. What does he need? He tells me he can’t make me like him. I do care for him very much otherwise I wouldn’t bother myself trying. With learning Turkish for him. With communicating about the problem but he doesn’t seem to understand while I feel as though I looking for a solution. 

-He’s been here in the US for over 10 years and says he wants a partnership, isn’t traditional, considers himself modern but then does things like this that tell a different story. Later he’ll apologize for being harsh but then present it all as my fault. That I’m a poor girlfriend and showing him a cold shoulder. I came over his place last time to talk things over and work it out. I don’t like feeling as though I’m not good enough, being yelled at via text, not engaging in anything back because that’s not my style. I’m not confrontational. This anger and texting just hurts. It takes a lot to get me to a breaking point and two episodes of being blasted out within one week just hurts. My needs are ignored for his and I can’t continue like this even though I care for him. 

-Does this sound as though it’s a difference in cultural expectations in a relationship or insecurity? It feels like insecurity to me but I want to make sure i’m Covering my bases and considering it from all angles. I’d like to work it out but I dont know if I can take this pattern repeating each week. 


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OMG!  That's VERY controlling behaviour, & it will get much worse if you marry him, especially if you continue in your job after marriage.  As a mental health counsellor, you are probably aware of this, but perhaps a little in denial because you are in love & he's so nice to you on the weekends when you're together.  You have an important decision to make soon.....

I wish you the best, whatever your decision.... :)  

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