That's the problem with using the 'trope'. On one hand, you understand why the hero does this. They can't bear to see the person they love in danger for their association with the hero, especially with a public hero like the Thing, so they say "I can't do this to you." On the other hand, by doing this they are seizing all the responsibility in the relation ship and not giving their significant other a say in their relationship - key word there, because its not just about you, Ben/Hero of whatever novel or book.
Slipping in between these two hands comes a tentative, shy little bugger of an extremity who goes "Well, yes, but if you are in love you do stupid, selfish things, because of a variety of factors that would take far too long to explain in this one little quote here - essentially boiling down to, in a purely selfish manner, he can't imagine dealing without her so doesn't want to go that way." Another hand pops around and says, " 'Tis true. Love is all about opening up and letting someone in and well, let's be honest, we're not very good at that."
At some point a hydra/Shiva-like creature of many, many hands try to wrangle their way through the argument and it all ends in tears. Essentially, I think that while people are right in pointing out that the trope is not only overdone but rarely satisfyingly, it's also a bit too much to claim paternalistic. That would imply that his actions are either deliberately thought of through or caused by a paternalistic impulse, whereas I think that in this case, and probably in most cases, it's mostly selfish. Especially in character-driven books, since obviously we're supposed to look from the point of the protagonist(s). And you know what, that's okay. I just would rather they try to deal with it honestly and don't either Spat-fight or Martyr-Accept.