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Thread: Should we break up?

  1. #1
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    Should we break up?

    Hi everyone,

    It seems like a strange question to ask to a group of strangers but I don't have any lesbian friends and although I have a number of great friends who listen and support I suspect bias comes into play a lot when people give advice.

    Me and my girlfriend have been together for nearly 3 years, I moved about an hour from where I live so we could live together in the city she's from and so we've lived together for about a year and a half now.

    I love her family and she really gets on with mi e too which is great as that's really important to me. We like doing the same stuff and we do alot together and spend a lot of our time together.

    I feel like it's hard to give the full picture on here in just one post, there's a lot I could include. Basically, the "bad" part is that we argue. But not just an argument which happens, you then talk, and then eventually sort it out. We will argue, she will refuse to talk about anything, we won't speak to each other for 1-2 days (despite living in the same house) we then eventually start slowly talking again and things return to normal. Sometimes the arguments turn into 'We're breaking up' but we never actually do. Even when I try to go and speak to her after we've argued and things have calmed down she won't have it "oh what do you want?" "I don't want to talk" every response to whatever I say is angry (Not like throwing things angry) with no rational to her responses. I can sit there and calmly say that I'm not mad and I just want to talk but she cannot just say 'ok yeah, let's have a chat and sort this out' she is just angry and defensive.

    She's highly insecure and rarely talks about anything "deep" about herself and she's often thought I was cheating or whatever which had caused countless arguements in the past. We don't argue about that so much now, she is just always annoyed with me it feels like.

    We haven't had sex in 3 weeks and sometimes it can go up to 2 weeks that we don't have sex at a time.

    There's so much I could say I just don't know if anyone could truly understand what's going on and therefore give suitable advice but I just don't know what to do.

    I don't want to leave her but I don't know what to do.

    Thanks for reading x

  2. #2
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    Well, I'm not a lesbian (obviously) but it seems to me she could be suffering from Impulsive Aggressive Behavior or a light case of Borderline Personality Disorder. In any event, it winds up being emotionally abusive to you. The groundless accusations of cheating, the threats of breaking up, and the withholding of sex are all part of emotional abuse to control you, to make you submissive and to lower your sense of self and self-esteem. In a way, it's being done to keep you there.

    Other than deep therapy, I don't see her changing. I know you don't want to, but I think the only solution is to save yourself and leave the relationship. Sorry.

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    Thank you so much for replying Danzee. Yes she does withhold sex, to the point where she will make out that she wants to and then says no at the last second (Knowing I want to). The latest argument all began because we were at her parents and everyone at the table started talking about sexual abuse and women. She removed herself from the convo and went upstairs on the bed on her own. I went up to see if she was alright (no relevance to sexual abuse) and said she should probably come down as this get together was for her birthday and that sometimes people talk about things we don't fancy talking about but that you have to either say you want to change the subject of just sit there and listen. Anyway, she got so angry that I was saying this that we left early, she slept downstairs and wouldn't talk to me yesterday. I tried to approach her and see if she was ok and that we should talk and sort it out and she basically told me where to.go. I was completely calm and reasonable. But apparently i ruined he previous night and she didn't want to talk to me because of it. We still aren't really talking but not got lack of me trying.

    I also told her yesterday that she makes me walk on eggshells everyday and she replied "you shouldn't be with me if I make you feel like that then".

    I like to think of myself as someone that is intelligent and fairly good at reading people but I cannot work her out after nearly 3 years of being with her. There's countless stories I could regale which would relate but I've already written a lot.

    My question is, if we do break up, surely she cannot carry this on with the next person she is with so surely something has to give, surely something can help her to change?

    I did actually mention that she see someone professionally yesterday, she basically said that I can f off if that's what I think.

    I don't understand, and I don't know what to do. I am (luckily) quite a mentally stable person, but recently I have been feeling anxiety that I've never felt before and that's making me think harder.

    Again, thanks for reading and I appreciate the precious advice
    Last edited by Rugbygal; 11-20-2017 at 06:59 PM.

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    Is it also worth me continuing to suggest therapy or is it just pointless?

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  6. #5
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    The decision to go into therapy is an intensely personal one. Someone else suggesting you do so can feel insulting, no matter how well-intentioned you are... so I'd hold back on that one.

    However, she does sound very emotionally abusive; her refusal to discuss issues means that difficulties never get addressed, nothing changes and a toxic atmosphere prevails. I recall a therapist telling me - as I was thinking of starting a new relationship - that at the first sign of jealousy or sulking - GET OUT! Because it isn't going to work.

    You need to be considering your own emotional health here; you have stated that you're already feeling unprecedented levels of anxiety, and that's a standard response to being in a relationship like this. It's also unlikely to get better. It's also very dangerous to remain in or start a relationship working on the basis that the other person's going to change; thinking they will is something that keeps people in very emotionally/physically abusive relationships for years. As it is, staying with her while she treats you like this is enabling her bad behaviour - she will carry on behaving like this unless she, and she alone, decides she wants to change. And that's not likely to happen while you stay with her.

    You are not responsible for her behaviour or wellbeing - she is. But you ARE responsible for your own welfare, and sometimes the only thing we can sensibly do is to walk away.

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    I will echo NB's comments and say the way you presented the idea of therapy suggests that she's to blame and she is the one in need of help and/or correcting.
    It's no wonder you got the response you did.

    Based on your story it sounds like she definitely has some issues with interpersonal relationships.
    In all fairness, without hearing her side of the story you might have been better off considered suggesting couples therapy for the both of you, because this is rarely one persons problem, but an unhealthy dynamic between the two of you.

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    Originally Posted by nutbrownhare
    The decision to go into therapy is an intensely personal one. Someone else suggesting you do so can feel insulting, no matter how well-intentioned you are... so I'd hold back on that one.

    However, she does sound very emotionally abusive; her refusal to discuss issues means that difficulties never get addressed, nothing changes and a toxic atmosphere prevails. I recall a therapist telling me - as I was thinking of starting a new relationship - that at the first sign of jealousy or sulking - GET OUT! Because it isn't going to work.

    You need to be considering your own emotional health here; you have stated that you're already feeling unprecedented levels of anxiety, and that's a standard response to being in a relationship like this. It's also unlikely to get better. It's also very dangerous to remain in or start a relationship working on the basis that the other person's going to change; thinking they will is something that keeps people in very emotionally/physically abusive relationships for years. As it is, staying with her while she treats you like this is enabling her bad behaviour - she will carry on behaving like this unless she, and she alone, decides she wants to change. And that's not likely to happen while you stay with her.

    You are not responsible for her behaviour or wellbeing - she is. But you ARE responsible for your own welfare, and sometimes the only thing we can sensibly do is to walk away.
    Thanks for your response NB. I agree with what you've said and perhaps I didn't see that the emotional abuse which is a little blind of me... I understand that I should walk away and I know it is not my responsibility to think about her welfare, I just struggle with the thought of leaving her in a bad place without her realising she needs to get some help. I want her to know what she is doing and want to change it. I don't want to sound pathetic, I just care about her despite how she treats me. She has been there for me through things and I won't just forget it. I feel so sad about the whole thing, I wanted us to work and I want her to se what she is doing but you are most likely right in that she will continue her behaviour if I stay with her.

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    Originally Posted by reinventmyself
    I will echo NB's comments and say the way you presented the idea of therapy suggests that she's to blame and she is the one in need of help and/or correcting.
    It's no wonder you got the response you did.

    Based on your story it sounds like she definitely has some issues with interpersonal relationships.
    In all fairness, without hearing her side of the story you might have been better off considered suggesting couples therapy for the both of you, because this is rarely one persons problem, but an unhealthy dynamic between the two of you.
    Thanks for your reply. I did actually suggest couples counselling before suggesting that she got some and her attitude was that we shouldn't be needing that if we are not married. I got her to the point of saying 'maybe' but I'm sure she just said that to shut me up. There is an unhealthy dynamic and I by no means think I don't have a part to play in this, what I know is that 90% of the arguments are caused by her, by her getting angry at something which I cannot imagine anyone else getting angry at and then dragging it on for days at a time. I know I try to resolve things in a calm way, she does not. I am never nasty, she often is when we argue. I don't have a solution, I just wish I could make it work with her but I think receiving this impartial advice is showing that maybe I do need to walk away. Just wish there was another option.

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    I don't have a solution, I just wish I could make it work with her but I think receiving this impartial advice is showing that maybe I do need to walk away. Just wish there was another option.
    One of the ironies of very unhealthy relationships is that they can be incredibly difficult to leave, not least because of the temptation to try something else to make it work.

    You mentioned in the original post that you've lived together for one and a half years, and so what you're seeing now is the real her - within my experience it takes around two years before you can tell whether or not you've got a keeper. You can't change another person, you really can't.

    Of course, only you know whether the positives of the relationship outweigh the negatives and whether it's worth your while staying. But one thing you need to accept, for your own sanity, is that this is the way it's going to be.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Nobody here can diagnose a person. Not even a therapist who's never met and assessed the person.

    I'd start from the question, "What do I want?" If you want out, then it doesn't make you a villain. Nobody else is living your love life for you, so nobody else gets a vote. Not even your partner.

    If you want to stay in this relationship but only if 'she' changes, that's not going to get you what you want. Instead, I'd approach partner with the premise, "I want to learn how to be a better partner for you, and neither of us knows how to make that happen. We need help to learn how to communicate with one another, and I want to know if you'll consider going to couple's counseling with me."

    Then give her a few days to think about it. If the answer is yes, have a list of family or couple's counselors ready, and ask if she'd be willing to choose the counselor and make the appointment. This avoids her feeling ganged up on by someone you choose. If she tells you to choose, then you've given her the opportunity for a say in the matter.

    If partner refuses couple's therapy, then that may help you to decide whether to stay in the relationship 'as is,' or not. If you want out, get out, but if you want to stay, you may want to consider counseling for yourself to learn how to change YOUR responses to partner and how to best manage your own behavior in dealing with her.

    Suggesting to partner that SHE ALONE seek therapy is a losing position. It comes off as accusatory, and it will prompt a deeper defensiveness than you're facing already. Stick with the premise that YOU want to change, and that opens the door for partner to contribute her input on the process.

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