I am in a long-term relationship, four years, that has recently hit the rocks. My boyfriend and I have been arguing over a lot of petty, but a lot of important things lately. I feel that I am not as big a priority in his life as I should be, and I feel that he doesn't take my interests and feelings to heart. Recently I have felt myself pulling away from him, and it breaks my heart to think of losing my best friend and a relationship I have invested so much time and energy into. My boyfriend complains that I am not attentive enough, not nice enough to him, and selfish. I will admit to being slightly selfish, but am I wrong for wanting him to treat me like a queen?
There are certain things I expect from a man when we're in a relationship (fidelity, honesty, respect, love, and acceptance), but what does a man expect out of a woman? What do men value as highly as I value the above qualities? Is it possible that I am not giving him what he needs just like he is not giving me what I need? — Unsure Ursula
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Dear Unsure Ursula,
Relationships aren't easy, but they shouldn't be all that hard either. It's perfectly normal for you to fight with your boyfriend from time to time but it sounds like you're arguing out of some built-up resentment. If you feel like your needs aren't being met, I urge you to talk to him about it ASAP. It's very clear that you know what you want, but the only way to find out what he wants is to ask him. All women dream about being treated like queens, but Ursala, you need to be realistic here. No relationship is perfect all the time — we all have off days, we all fight, and we all need our personal space.
Yes, you have put in a lot of time and energy into this relationship but that isn't a good enough reason to stay together. If you're both unhappy, perhaps your relationship has simply run its course. As people grow up, they can change. I suggest talking about all your hesitations with your boyfriend, explain why you've been pulling away and let him tell you about his concerns as I'm sure he has some as well. Keep in mind that all couples go through their ups and downs so once everything has been laid out on the table, ask each other if you're both willing to put forth the energy to make this relationship work. I wish you luck.