Artwork: Tess Emily Rodriguez
She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to… Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.
I don’t know how to deal with my boyfriend’s comments about my body.
I’m in a long term relationship with a guy. He’s normally funny and sweet. I love him a lot and enjoy spending time with him.
However, sometimes, when we are just chilling and cuddling, he will make comments about my body that seem to come out of nowhere. For example, the other day, he suggested that I should get breast implants.
This upset me, and I told him so (I have no desire for plastic surgery, and my breasts are already DD naturally, which I’ve felt insecure about). He apologized, but later, a few days after, he did it again while we were intimate.
I feel annoyed and ugly.
I’m not sure what to say to get him to cut it out.
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Ugh. It infuriates me that your boyfriend is commenting on your body. And even more so since you told him how it makes you feel.
This type of behavior is a form of gaslighting.
It’s dealbreaker behavior. Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt — and he’s not consciously trying to undermine your confidence — this is a huge red flag.
If you were my sister/friend/daughter, I would tell you to get out of this relationship. In my experience, this pattern of commenting on a partner’s appearance leads to more severe forms of gaslighting and controlling. I understand that this may seem like an extreme reaction, but it’s not.
That said, there is a chance that you can correct course here, BUT only with some very clear boundaries AND I would recommend you see a couples’ counselor together. He must hear what you are saying, and sometimes an objective third party is the one who can help that happen.
I’m going to tell you what I have told countless friends over the years…
Don’t stay with someone who is almost right for you.
Yes, he may be funny and sweet, but do you really want to make a long-term commitment to someone who says things he knows are hurtful because he wants to change something about your breasts? I don’t like it at all. You deserve to be loved by someone who loves the breasts you have now. Because every body is a good body.
As I said, at the very least, draw that line. Please don’t stay with someone who continually chips away at your self-esteem and ignores your feelings. You are worth so much more.
The information within Ask Erin should in no way be interpreted as medical advice because I’m not a medical professional. But I am here to help — to share with you the wisdom I’ve gained after years of making mistakes. If you have a question for me about relationships, addiction, dating, friendships, depression, parenting, sex, consent, what I’m watching, what I’m reading, Fire Agate, or anything at all, use the contact form below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, your anonymity is golden. Lastly, I’m so excited to share with you my Ask Erin Self-Care Guide, free when you sign up for my weekly newsletter. xoxo