Dear Dr. Romance:
I have been in a relationship for 4 1/2 years now. First 3 years were great were got along very good and had no big issues. But as of approximately 1 1/2 years ago to this day we have discussions at least once a week.
The Problem: Him not spending time with me we maybe spend 3 to 4 hours a week together.
His priorities are with his family (brothers and sisters) Particularly 1 his only sister she is very dependent on him to do everything for her.She is married and spends more time with her brother than with her husband. I feel jealous about this since I think that he should be spending more time with me since supposedly he is in love with me and were are planning someday to get married and have a child. I feel that she manipulates him we have discussed this and he got pretty upset about my comment. What do you think I should do about this problem. Is it my fault or is it time to move on. Since this has been an ongoing problem and we cannot resolve.
Dear Reader: Your story makes me want to ask "What happened at 3 years? Did you begin to ask for more at that time?" If so, then your partner only wants as much relationship as you had then, and no more. He probably feels that you are asking for more than he wants to give. "Should" is not going to get you anywhere. You hit it on the head with "His priorities are with his family (brothers and sisters)."
You are probably right about his priorities, and it doesn't sound like he's open to change. So, right or wrong, the one who has to change (if you want this relationship) is you. Is there a way you can share this time with him and his family, so you are not shut out? After all, if you begin relating to him like his sisters, he will begin treating you like them.
Planning someday to get married and have a child is a trap. There's no way to tell if "someday" will ever come, and a fantasy is only a fantasy, unless *both* of you want to make it real. If he can be manipulated by his sister, he can also be manipulated by you. Be smarter. Think about what will work with him; not what he "should" do. If you back off and see less of him, he will probably want you more -- it usually works that way. "Getting to Yes"; "Asking for What you Want" and "Stop Reacting and Start Responding" will hlep you understand how to get a conversation started. How to Be Happy Partners: Working it out Together will teach you both the skills you need to balance your relationship, and keep each other interested. It sounds like you're going backwards right now.
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