Howie Reith. Connoisseur of cuddles
You have to set a boundary and she needs to either accept and respect that boundary or you're going to need to break up. It might hurt her feelings, but maybe her feelings need to be hurt. She needs to grow up and accept that she's not entitled to her boyfriend sacrificing his goals and entire life to obsess over and dote on her constantly, and that any guy who would do that would be extremely needy and emotionally unhealthy. If that's what she wants, she should go and find that guy. Otherwise, she should stop being a damn hypocrite, criticizing you for caring more about your work than her when she clearly cares more about you satisfying her insecurity than about supporting you in your efforts.
Here is how things need to be. You are the most important person in my life, but I do, in fact, have a life, and I think that's something you liked about me and something you found attractive. I'm not going to sacrifice the entire rest of my life because you want attention. I had hoped that we would be a couple that supported each other. I need you to support me in my efforts and I will support you in yours. We should be a team. If you are going to guilt me about pursuing my dreams, we should not be together.
I love you and I want to be with you, but if you want someone who will dote on you and obsess over you and sacrifice his entire lifestyle for you, you should find someone else, because that's not going to be me. If you want someone who has a life and has ambitions and also loves you, then stay with me, because that's who I am. I love our time together. I enjoy every second of it and I never want it to end.
I also have other goals, and if we're going to be together, I need you to accept that and not see them as things that rob your entitlement to my time. If we're going to be together, that ends today.
So what do you want?
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Ryan P. Long. Trying to be the better man, and not necessarily succeeding
Have you tried scheduling time with her? You could say, I have to complete my work from 8am to 5pm and then help my family out for a couple of hours. After that, I am all yours!
Let her know you're thinking about her, even though you have other things to do. Maybe that will help.
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Gwen Sawchuk. I've loved and lost a few times, but have been found when it counted
I think there are some excellent ideas on the thread already. Making sure you are discussing this issue, making concrete time when you can share attention – both of these are really important. And these are issues that every couple struggles with.
What is a concern is that you describe your gf as too needy. This is truly a problem that can drive you apart. It also seems to be the root of the problem.
Talk to her about trust. Is she afraid that if you're not with her/speaking with her, that you're up to no good?
Is she monopolizing your time to control you?
What can she be working on herself, to build her confidence?
You both need to know that issues around trust, controlling, jealousy/neediness will destroy a good relationship. Work towards getting these issues worked through. Find your compromise.
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