Tl;dr at the end – sorry this is so long.
Background: A little over a year ago, when we first started dating, my boyfriend said something to the effect of “I'm really good at noticing things about people that they can't – or won't – acknowledge themselves.” I shrugged it off because whatever. And he's a great boyfriend; we're perfectly happy otherwise. But it's started to become a problem.
The issue: My boyfriend has been psychoanalyzing me with increasing frequency, and I'm losing my mind. He'll assume he knows why I'm feeling a certain way or doing a certain thing, and he tends to treat it like a “Gotcha!” situation. Telling him that he's wrong is impossible.
For example. We recently watched the new Invisible Man movie together. For those who haven't seen it, the major plot point is that the main character is being tormented by an unseen force, and no one believes her. There's this awesome moment of vindication when everyone finally realizes that she was telling the truth, but then they turn around and doubt her about one small detail. As we were watching, I said something to the effect of, “Wow, that's really obnoxious. She turned out to be right about the first thing – why would they doubt her about this?” My boyfriend paused the movie, looked at me like a parent who's comforting a five-year-old who's just fallen off a bike, and said, “Are you frustrated because you can relate? Has there been a time when no one believed you?” I pointed out that the movie was meant to frustrate the audience and that my feelings weren't that deep, but he got all “Sure, Jan,” so I let it drop.
When we first started dating, these remarks didn't bother me. I thought it was sweet, it seemed like he was using these questions as an opportunity to get to know me. But now it just feels very patronizing, like he's constantly trying to suggest that I'm burdened by some deep trauma. Another example – we were watching some random thing on Netflix last night, and he stepped out for a moment. When he came back in, he tackled me (not in a particularly aggressive way, he's just an avid cuddler). I expressed annoyance (I said “Was that necessary?”) because I'm covered in bruises and road rash from a recent accident, and he'd hurt me (plus, I was eating something and he knocked it to the floor). He sighed and said, “You're just upset because the girl in the movie is getting bullied, you don't have to take it out on me.”
It finally came to a head today. We were walking to the store, and I was telling a funny story about my siblings watching Phineas and Ferb. I asked if he'd seen it, to which he responded, “No, I stopped watching kid shows when I was 12.” I replied that I did, too, but that I have younger siblings and so I know the premise. He stopped walking and asked in a weird therapist tone, “Do you like kid shows? Is this a form of regression? Is that why you play Pokemon?” I calmly responded that I was starting to get frustrated, and asked him to please stop. He put his arm around me comfortingly and, in the same tone, said, “I'm done, I'm done, it's okay.” I pointed out that he wasn't stopping, but he just kept using the same tone to say it was okay. I ended up shaking his arm off of me, turning around, and walking back home without him.
He came home and insisted that he's just messing around, and he said he's just referencing the study module that we're in (FTR, we're both in medical school and we've just finished our psychiatry rotation). But he's done this for over a year now, and it feels very belittling. I'm older than him, just as intelligent as he is, and I've also brought this up before. He knows I hate it. But whenever I express annoyance, he kinda takes on the attitude of “Yeah, I know it's uncomfortable to realize hard things about yourself sometimes.”
HOWEVER. I know he's not doing it to be nefarious. It doesn't happen THAT frequently, just more now that we spend our time at home together. And also I'm a little hormonal. And we really are genuinely happy in every other regard. So I need to know – is this something that I just need to get over? Am I overreacting? What do I do from here?
Tl;dr – My boyfriend talks to me like he's my therapist and tries to unpack benign comments and emotions; he doesn't believe me when I tell him he's wrong. I think it's annoying, he thinks I need to get over it. What do I do?
I mean, next time he does that to you, you could always respond in the same tone: “Does needing to find a deep hidden meaning behind my actions make you feel helpful? Do you think subconsciously you wanted to help someone psychologically in the past and you’re just not remembering? Is this evidence of past trauma? Let’s explore this.”
My best advice is that whenever he psychoanalyses you like that do it right back to him. Does he do it because of an inferiority complex? Could it be linked to a type of narcissism? Could he have ICD (Impulsive Control Disorder). The point is at the end of the day he’s making you feel bad and he doesn’t care. That is a big problem.
P.S. I think his behavior is extremely childish and I play Pokémon.
Wow I literally could not date someone who did this, even hearing you describe it makes my skin crawl. It’s patronising and not funny, and most importantly, you have REPEATEDLY ASKED HIM TO STOP and he hasn’t. Either (a) he genuinely doesn’t understand how much it frustrates you, which means he doesn’t listen to you or ignores what you say, or (b) he’s doing it deliberately to frustrate you and piss you off. I think it’s the latter but either one makes him a douche.
Edit: a typo
Im not sure if hes just patronising or if hes trying to gaslight you but i wouldn’t be able to put up with someone constantly assuming they know better than me about my own emotions and experiences.
He sounds insecure. He’s not “analyzing” you. He’s belittling you as a way of putting you in your place. I have no doubt that, as you say, you are just as smart as him, if not smarter — that’s why he does this.