My girlfriend and I got into a rather heated argument over something simple that she refuses to take responsibility for.
Just a little background:
I have struggled with major depression and anxiety since I was in middle school (I am now 23)
We've known each other for over 6 years; dated briefly in high school and for about the past year
She knows I am good at hiding my feelings, but that I've been trying to share much more recently so she isn't confused or think it's her fault
She is very passive aggressive sometimes and has told me it's something she's been working on all her life
She knows I have been suicidal a couple times in my life (only after the fact since we grew apart)
I told her during fall that my depression gets much worse with shorter days and I understood if it could be too much for her to deal with on top of school
So one evening (late March) I had her and some friends over to hangout in my basement. While I was setting up the ping pong table with a friend, she was talking obnoxiously loud about wanting to move out of her parents house, but that she would need a roommate (something she's told me a few times) hoping I would offer to get an apartment with her I assume. When we rejoined the group she was started telling us what they had been talking about while we set up and I laughed saying "yeah we could pretty much hear everything you guys were saying". This clearly struck a nerve because she was quiet and grumpy the rest of the night and didn't want to be next to me when we were playing games.
When we went up to bed she was still being cold and almost ignoring me, but I always try to stay positive when she's acting like that to hopefully put her in a better mood or just so she sees that she doesn't have a good reason for being so upset. But when I got into bed and tried to cuddle her she was so still I thought she may have fallen asleep. I was sad, but turned over to lay on my back. Within seconds she asked if I wanted her to spoon me (I love being little spoon). I responded, crying a little, with "I don't care". She was surprised by this and got defensive when I said I felt like she had been ignoring me, but I didn't understand why. She refused to admit that she was doing anything I said I thought she was and if she did seem off it wasn't at all intentional. I said "okay, but there's no way that was all in my head". We were both crying a bit (I NEVER cry, but she does almost every day) until I went to the bathroom to blow my nose and came back to go to sleep. She asked if I was really going to sleep after the argument (guilt trip) and I told her I didn't have it in me mentally or emotionally to fight anymore.
In the morning I woke and sat up to see her, dressed and putting her things in her backpack since she had work. When she saw me looking over she asked "what"? She said it almost with disgust. I laid back down for maybe 5-10 seconds and then got up to put shoes on so I could walk her out and to her car (which I always do). She said I could stay so I kicked off my shoes and got back into bed and she continues to make argumentative remarks. We went in circles a bit: Me asking why she couldn't just admit that she'd been acting different and her asking why we had to fight and why it had to be someone's fault. She didn't leave until after several minutes of us both arguing and crying about the situation.
These are messages we've sent since then. Please tell me I'm not crazy for feeling emotionally manipulated. I've been in a pretty dark place the past few months (which she knows), but I don't think this could be all in my head.
ME: I figured I should wait until you were definitely done with work but there’s some things I really need to hear. I never think you’re doing or saying something to purposely upset me but you do a lot.
Every apology is backhanded and makes me feel guilty or crazy.
“I’m sorry it seemed that way, I really wasn’t upset” - nick even asked when we were leaving if you were upset or something. I tried to joke while getting ready for bed but you barely laughed and didn’t say anything between us going upstairs and after I tried to cuddle and you didn’t respond so I rolled over and you finally said something.
“You can stay in bed” so I go back to bed... “it didn’t seem like you wanted to get up anyway” why say something like that if not to make me feel bad?
I don’t remember waking up at all when you’re alarm went off and I honestly don’t know if you completely made that up. I don’t feel like I can really trust what you say anymore :( it broke my heart when I woke up from the sound of your bong or shoes and sat up to look at you and you just said “what?” In such a nasty tone. I felt sick
“I’m sorry that my not responding in the same way I do usually made you think I was upset” CAN YOU FOR ONCE PLEASE JUST SAY “I’m sorry I wasn’t responding in the way I usually do, I understand why that would make you upset or confused” - it’s ridiculous that our arguments usually get to this point over something so minuscule simply out of stubbornness. If I let it go EVERY time though I’d literally go insane.
“I’m sorry . I can’t always tell when your sad because you don’t tell me”
That actually hurt really bad because I’ve been trying so hard to be more open with you about my feelings and it never feels like enough. I feel like if I told you how I felt more often we would have way more arguments like this. You always make me feel guilty for how I’m feeling (even if you don’t mean to).
Anytime I make a valid point you completely change the subject or start crying and saying “I’m sorry because I love you more than anything in the world and you’re the last person I want to argue with”. You responded that way to what I said more than a couple times (basically anytime you ran out of good explanations). There’s absolutely no acknowledgement of what I said making sense. You just become the victim. It feels like a manipulative and psychologically abusive relationship more often than I’d like to admit.
You always deny or have some excuse for your behavior but only after I point out that you’re acting weird. I’m done ignoring that behavior and pretending I don’t notice because I can’t deal with it anymore. Please don’t ever use your love for me to justify some endless argument over something that you should be able to apologize for. It’s like you’re implying when I don’t want to argue (about something you could easily just say sorry for), that it’s because I don’t love you enough to. It feels like you don’t even believe me when I tell you how I feel because you continue to make every situation about you and how you’re feeling. Do you not believe me because you exaggerate or lie about how you feel? Because I am always so confused by your responses to things I tell you.
I’ve told you SO MANY TIMES over the past like year that I don’t feel like have the mental or emotional capacity for a relationship, which is why I haven’t been in one for over 5 years. But you still hold me to these expectations and when I don’t meet them you somehow always make me feel like garbage. I don’t think it’s intentional but it makes me feel that way regardless, which isn’t healthy. I don’t want and really don’t have the mentality for some long argument back please. You can send one of you want but I need a real break.
ME (5 days later) : So I guess I won’t be hearing anything at all back from you :/that’s pretty disheartening 😔 Hope you’ve been alright
HER: Honestly i was processing all that you said and didn’t want to continue to argue with you. you also said you needed a real break so i didn’t even know if i should text you yet. It was just a lot to process on top of trying to give you space. i guess i was waiting to hear from you first
ME: I guess I just thought you’d say something or maybe just check in since I’ve been in a pretty horrible and hopeless state of mind. I just said I needed a break from arguing. But you’ve still yet to ask how I’ve been doing.
ME (7 hours later): You say you care but I don’t know how you don’t see why it doesn’t feel like you do yo me 😔
HER: no i can see why it doesn’t feel that why and i’m sorry. i don’t want it to seem like i’m making excuses but i really did need some time to process and reflect. it was a lot to take in and i really couldn’t fight anymore either. i’m sorry for everything. i’m really really sorry
ME: I’m sorry too. What I said was a lot but I really needed to say it.
Any chance you’re awake?
HER: yeah but i’m tired. why, what's up?
ME: It's ok then
HER: no tell me.
please tell me
ME: I feel like an inconvenience and there’s nothing to really tell so it’s ok
HER: you’re not an inconvenience and whatever it’s about isn’t an inconvenience
Are you okay? Do you want to facetime?
ME: I appreciate you asking but it is really ok. Not doing the greatest but your messages made me feel better
HER: it’s not okay. just because i’m tired doesn’t mean i don’t care or that whatever’s going on is an inconvenience to me. like can i help? do you want to ft? do you want me to come over like can i do anything? like i'm worried
ME: I promise I’m ok! I’ll be going to bed soon 😘
Thank you though <3
HER: i’m glad you’re okay but i’m still worried
ME: I’m sorry 😞 What can I do so you don’t worry? promise im feeling better and will probably go to sleep very soon 😘
HER: there’s nothing you can do to make me not worry. i care about you & you said you’ve been in a horrible and helpless state of mind, just gonna worry even if you say you’re okay right now
ME: I’ve been in the state of mind most nights the past 2 months 😔 I promise I’m feeling better and I'm sure I’ll be much better in the morning
HER: so then can you text me when you wake up? even if it’s just “hey i’m okay” and then you don’t have text until you wanna talk or you have the energy to talk but it’s really hard when you say something like that and then i don’t hear from you until really late the next day
ME: Im sorry :( that does make sense. I’ll text you when I get up tomorrow :)
I'm awake :) What are you doing today?
HER: there’s been a lot happening in my family that i need to deal with so nothing. hanging with sam and possibly watching the game later
ME: Aw I hope everything’s ok :( Hopefully shopping with sam is relaxing
HER: yeah everyone’s back at my house so it’s really not haha but we’ll see
ME: How are you doing?
HER (guilt trip) : i’m ok. really trying to focus on my mental health recently on top of school and family issues so it’s a lot to juggle but i’m getting into a good pattern i guess and i’m okay. how are you? are you with your dads family still?
ME: Sorry you’ve been dealing with that recently :( I feel like dealing with that yourself is probably really tough with everything else going on. I am glad you’re finding a pattern that seems to work well! If it ever gets too much and you need a break or anything let me know ❤️ I know I have a lot going on and understand if that can be more than you can handle while dealing with stuff yourself.
I didn’t end up going :/ I honestly didn’t think I could get much lower than I felt like a month ago but I have not been well 😔 Jen coming home Thursday was nice but it’s tough when she leaves
HER: i’m sorry you’ve been feeling so low. it’s good you realized that you weren’t up for it opposed to going and really not having a good time
ME (a few hours later) : Jesus I didn’t realize you responded. You up still?
I’m so sorry I leave my phone open a lot 🙄
Did you get any puzzles recently?
Sorry I’m bombarding you with messages 😕 I’m feeling a little better than the past few nights and I don’t want it to go away
Her: sorry i just woke up to pee 😩 the weed i smoked makes me really really tired. i got an ice cream puzzle today at target! it was only 1000 pieces :)
no worries though, i’m glad you’re feeling a little better tonight. that’s good
ME: That’s ok! I kinda thought you may have fallen asleep haha
It looks like a nice one!
HER: i’ve been going to bed around 11 ish and falling asleep by 1130 and then have been waking up by 7-8 cause of the dogs or the baby so it’s hard for me to be up after that now lol
ME: Oh haha I thought it was because the new weed makes you really sleepy
HER: it’s both
HER: did you just remonte a heart from a message from days ago
ME: Because I don’t believe you meant what you said. You talk a lot but actions speak way louder than words. And I don't really believe your words anyway. I don’t wanna go back and forth waiting for you to show that you care when it doesn’t happen. Maybe you’re not capable of caring right now or something but it’s something I need for my safety at this point and I think I should just rely on my family from now on
HER: i’m at work and i’m too tired to keep arguing with you. i have tried to show you that i care in countless different ways over the past year or so and i’m sorry if my actions have not reflected that. i truly believe that i have done the best i can to show you that i care and be there for you while also dealing with my own mental health issues and my own family issues. i don’t think i can be with someone who doesn’t believe what i say since that hurts a lot to hear and if this is what you need for your own safety then okay i’m not arguing with you anymore. im sorry i couldn’t be there for you the way you needed me to be.
ME: That’s how you respond when I say I’m concerned for my safety? I feel like I don’t understand you at all anymore :( I can’t believe just a week or so ago you were telling me how much you loved me and wanted to be with me especially when things are hard. I know you said it hurts a lot to hear that I don’t believe what you say, but it’s been hurting too much for me to not say anything (this is the most I’ve ever had to speak up so much for my own well-being). You even said a few days ago you understood why it would seem to me like you don’t care, but nothing changed :(. You’ve never even asked if I was ok any of those days after we argued until we were both in tears. That was less than a few weeks after I told you I was wishing I were dead 😔 Can you be the bigger person for once?! Even since then any conversation about how I’m feeling becomes about you. Then Sunday you mention that YOURE focusing on mental health (you never said anything before and now I’m REALLY in a place where I can’t help). Like you’ve never ever JUST LISTENED to me. I mean I just started a new medication for the first time in 6 years because my emotions have been SO bad. You seemed really concerned the other night saying there was nothing I could do to make you not care or worry about me, but it does that feel that way :( even after I told you the other day My depression has gotten worse since last month (when I told you I wished I was dead). I’m not sure when the topic moved to summer but I was only talking about now and recently, when I needed you the most 😔
I don’t know why you would say to someone you “love” that you don’t think you can be with them during a time when they’re struggling so bad they want to die
I’ve never been so hurt and confused :( but I truly hope you find someone who will make you as happy as you deserve to be ❤️
HER: i don’t know what i’m supposed to say anymore. everything i say to you is wrong. you never asked if i was okay either, just because one of us i struggling more than the other doesn’t mean the other one is completely okay. you keep thinking that i’m making it all about me but half the time i don’t even tell you what i’m dealing with so it’s one less than you have to worry about. but i’m also struggling, what’s happening between me and you is effecting me, what’s happening in my family is effecting me, school is effecting me. you told me once you don’t think i take mental health seriously and sunday i tell you i think i’m getting into a good pattern and suddenly that’s me taking away from what you’re dealing with? i was doing the best that i could to be there for you WHILE trying to be there for MYSELF and for the other people in my life who need me. i don’t know how you can call the person you love a liar, an abuser and tell them you don’t believe a word they say and expect them to be a bigger person. i’ve never been so hurt and confused either. i don’t know where it went wrong but i guess it did so i’m sorry. i hope things start getting better & i hope you find someone who will make you as happy as you deserve to be too
ME: Holy ***. I actually can’t believe you and how you’ll twist things the way you do - you didn’t even acknowledge most of what I sent. Idk why you’re confused because I can explain any of my words or actions you’d like. It’s as if you’ve never heard a thing I’ve told you in the past and you can’t even hear me now while I’m screaming for help... for my life. I didn’t know you could be so cold and selfish :( I’ll ask my dad to drop off what stuff I know I have of yours
I spent the next three days in an adult treatment program for people suffering from severe worsening of mental health. I haven't told her because I feel like she tries to compete with how poorly I'm doing.
ME: I’m sorry I didn’t want him going in my room but I can get it to you by tomorrow latest
Last time our conversation turned into more of an argument you wanted to talk about stuff in person to try to figure out where things went wrong, but I understand why what I said would hurt and make you not want to anymore :( Thank you for all the support you did give me this past year and for sticking it out for as long you were able to. I truly do appreciate and cherish all of it. I wish I could’ve prevented this
HER: i don’t want us to end . i want to have a conversation with you in person and figure out what went wrong and talk about things but last time that happened you ended up sending a really long text (of things you needed to say and maybe things i needed to hear, i know) and it did really hurt to hear those things from the person i love the most so it makes me hesitant to even want to have the conversation
we can still prevent it :/
tl;dr My girlfriend never seems to take responsibility for her actions, with me or others. I was surprised by many of the things she said to me (her girlfriend and someone she loves) when I spoke up for myself because I was seriously struggling with my mental health. I can't tell if she's just emotionally immature or purposely manipulating me so that I feel like it's always my fault. Based on her most recent message, I feel like she thinks this wasn't a big deal. Am I overreacting or does this seem like a dysfunctional relationship?