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At times I feel like I can't discuss my feelings with my boyfriend because he doesn't respect my feelings. I'll admit, I don't let go of things easily, and I can understand that having to listen to me expressing my feelings again and again annoys him. I do it because I want emotional validation from him.

For instance, if something happens and my feelings are hurt, and I explain that I am hurt, I want him to say that he's sorry and mean it, rather than defend himself. When he rushes to defend himself, I question the validity of my own feelings. I console myself with the thought that he didn't mean to hurt me. But after a while I realize I still feel hurt, and that whether he meant to hurt me or not doesn't change the fact that whatever he said or did was hurtful.

Of course, I only ever realize these things in retrospect, when I am calm. I find it difficult to put my feelings into words when I'm feeling hurt. However, revisiting old issues is annoying to him, and I can understand why.

For him, resolving an issue means finding a solution that prevents a recurrence of the issue. There is no sense of mutual understanding, and the solution seems ingenuine; it feels as though the solution is made quickly to avoid trouble. Whether he really believes that there is a valid reason for concern, or whether he is just trying to quickly pacify me, is uncertain.

While I appreciate his solution-making, I find it important to having my feelings accepted by him as well. If he empathized, I would feel understood and accepted, and the solution would seem to be genuine. I would know that he is making a solution because he understands the nature of the problem, not just because I say there is a problem.

Which is more important to resolving an issue, acceptance or solutions? Am I being too demanding if I ask for empathy? And should I be satisfied that he is offering a solution whether he accepts my feelings or not? I understand that we will not always see eye-to-eye on every issue, and that compromise is necessary in relationships. However, I feel that a small amount of empathy from him will help me to really put issues behind me, and prevent lingering, unresolved feelings.