I received the following letter concerning the tricky business of maintaining a relationship:
I’m a recent law school graduate studying for the bar exam. I just got into another argument with my boyfriend of four years, and I’m feeling frustrated and upset.
Our relationship tends to break down when I’m going through a period of heightened stress — writing my law school admissions essays, studying for finals at the end of each semester, and now, studying for the bar. I know I can get moody and depressed during these times, but I’m up front with him about my state of mind, and I wish he could be more understanding.
The problem is that, on the one hand, I’m starting to feel like the girl who cried wolf, since these periods of stress have happened regularly throughout our relationship. On the other hand, I still feel hurt and upset when he loses patience with me, like I can’t rely on him during tough times.
Any thoughts or advice you can provide would be much appreciated.
And here’s my response:
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