Boyfriend Isn't Defending Her
Q: I'm noticing a lot that my boyfriend rarely stands up for me. Not to his friends when they're clearly being rude to me and not to his brother when he makes inappropriate remarks about my figure. Aside from this, I am totally in love with my boyfriend. When something like this happens, I hate him for a day or so. I guess I haven't told my boyfriend how I feel about it, but I definitely have given him the hint! Cold shoulder and silent treatments usually helps me deal with it, but I feel he may be too dense to get the point. How can I make him understand how I feel?-Paige, 33
Dr. Anna: No relationship is perfect. But let's get one thing straight: hints don't work. Hints, cold shoulder, silent treatment. These are all very confusing for the other person. Why make him guess why you're upset? When something this important comes up, find a time to sit down together and calmly point out what's happening. Figure out what you'd like him to be doing differently and then ask him directly to do that. "Hey, I don't like it when your brother comments on my figure. Could you help me by telling him to stop next time?" He might need to do a better job of standing up for you, but you also need to do a better job of letting him know what's going on with you.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.