How do others respond to support?


I am 51. Really just started getting into relationships about 5 or so years ago? And ... I will deny this later (haha) but my current relationship is on a completely different level. It's healthy, loving and becoming more serious. In past relationships I've kept a lot of my issues hidden. I'm trying to open up to my bf because *if* this continues to become more serious he's going to end up dealing with the real, messy me.

Today I am not doing well at all. And it's new and ... interesting to navigate that with him in my life. He's there to talk/listen but not pushing me. I'm way more quiet with him than normal and he's not pushing. But he's being sweet. And I don't want to "dump on him" as I describe but he also sort deserves to know what's going on. And I guess, I worry about that power imbalance too. But he just thanked me for encouraging him to walk his dog. And there are probably other things I do to support him that I'm not even aware of. And it's both scary and wonderful that because of him, I want to pull my self together more than I would on my own. Because being in a relationship reminds me I don't live in a bubble. I matter. I can't just give up or self-sabotage. And so yes, I'm leaning on him some but I'm also getting some self respect out of knowing I'm trying like mad to be healthy. And self respect in knowing that in the midst of a day where I feel like I'm a burden and all that stuff my brain spits out at me, he's grateful to me for convincing him to walk his dog (didn't take much).

Not sure I'm saying any of this well. This is very new to me. I'm still very much figuring it out.