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What's wrong with my girlfriend? What's wrong with me?


woahisme

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I've been with my girl for roughly three years now. When I first met her, she was in a pretty dark place, but I decided to stick around and see it through. All her close friends and family love me. They credit me for influencing her drastic turn-around. My girl has also acknowledged this on numerous occasions. I'm not perfect, but I treat her with respect, listen to her, encourage open communication and honesty, strive to make her feel safe and secure in our relationship, support her aspirations, try to keep things romantic and fun, pamper her when she's feeling stressed, etc.

 

I don't know why she does this, but she loves to create problems. She'll talk in circles and find inferences when there aren't any to find. She'll try to make the irrational rational when you can literally, and I mean literally, present her with Point-A-to-Point-B evidence of her irrationality, heck, she's even admitted to her own irrationality countless times! She throws these ridiculous nuclear temper tantrums over absolutely nothing! She acknowledges all this and says she'll do better, but I feel like she does better for a little while to appease me and then the behaviors return! I feel like I've been pulling most of this relationship's weight for the bulk of it! I feel like a secretary-parent.

 

I can't even approach her and tell her that something is bothering me because she'll internalize my grievance and then--this is what really drives me nuts--a couple days later she'll blow up and accuse me of what I was initially upset with her about with no probable cause! God, sometimes I really feel like I'm losing my sanity because this happens without fail, I'm talking every single time I bring something up! I don't understand this, it makes no sense to me, none. And when she promises to do better and doesn't, she gets mad when I point it out, when I try to explain my frustration. She even makes me feel guilty about the frustration I'm feeling, like my patience should be this eternal renewable resource!

 

I can't help this growing feeling of resentment towards her because how can she be trying if she blows up four times a day? And if I were to ask her that very question, she'd get mad at me for being upset with her! I feel like I can't work out any problems with her because she just blows up to blow up. I'm so frustrated, so, so frustrated. It's not fair that I'm stuck cleaning up her senseless self-induced meltdowns and still expected to be cool, calm and collected; loving, funny, and emotionally/physically available! I'm not Superman, I'm not. When do I get to feel angry? When do I get to blow up? When do I get to relax and let her take the reins for a while?

 

I find myself bouncing between wanting to end the relationship and trying to make it work. She's lived with me for sometime now and has absolutely nowhere to go or any sufficient funds saved up towards finding a place. As miserable as she makes me feel sometimes, I'd feel like a monster for putting her out. The worst part is I often doubt my feelings because I'm Bipolar. Sometimes I'll tell myself it's not that bad, but every couple of months or weeks, I get this feeling, this anger, resentment, disgusted feeling and it's intense. And then I dunno where it goes, I guess I bury it, but I fear there's gonna be nowhere left to bury these feelings. Sometimes I get so frustrated with her that my heart hurts and begins to beat erratically. She denies all rational thought and trying to have a conversation with someone who denies the truth with cold hard evidence staring up at them is maddening! Sometimes I'm really, really, really concerned about my physical/mental health, and then I convince myself I'm exaggerating; I try to weigh the relationship out in other ways, try to fabricate some semblance of balance between us. Why do I bend over backwards to justify this relationship, if that's even what I'm doing? Am I wrongly justifying this relationship? Have I not tried enough, have I not given enough?

 

I think I've had this sick compulsion to step up as a caregiver throughout my entire romantic history. Looking back, all my serious relationships involved some type of superhuman struggle. Exes from years ago still contact me and hint at rekindling a relationship so I guess maybe this burden I'm feeling is a one-way street? My girl's favorite thing to say when she's really raging is, "Oh, because you're so perfect!" Which is ridiculous and hilarious at the same time because 1) I've never, ever felt perfect and would never presume to be perfect and 2) she's called me perfect on numerous occasions so those are her words, not mine, yet she claims that they're my words! What's up with that? It's like she totally disregards what I'm actually saying and references some delusional internal script instead!

 

Sometimes I feel like I'm giving and giving and giving and she's taking and taking and taking and I don't know, one day maybe I'll have nothing left to give. Like sometimes I feel physically/emotionally/mentally drained, tired, exhausted from the inside-out. I don't know where this notion of unflinching self-sacrifice and unwavering servitude comes from, this notion of allowing myself to be used and re-used, overextended ten times over. I played caregiver to my mom growing up, in fact, I still do. My mom often leaves me with the same drained feeling, maybe to a different degree. She's always put her wants and needs first and I don't know, a part of me feels like I don't deserve anything, not even happiness. I don't know how to change this. I'm hoping some of you guys can give me insight or advice, maybe explain what exactly is going on?

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"I think I've had this sick compulsion to step up as a caregiver throughout my entire romantic history. Looking back, all my serious relationships involved some type of superhuman struggle."

 

"I don't know where this notion of unflinching self-sacrifice and unwavering servitude comes from, this notion of allowing myself to be used and re-used, overextended ten times over. I played caregiver to my mom growing up, in fact, I still do. My mom often leaves me with the same drained feeling, maybe to a different degree. She's always put her wants and needs first and I don't know, a part of me feels like I don't deserve anything, not even happiness. I don't know how to change this."

 

 

Your pattern in romantic relationships is your attempt to relive, repeat, and recast the primary relationship that you have - the one with your mother. If you grow up giving to a woman who is a bottomless pit, a woman who drains you instead of energizes you and helps you grow, you develop a skewed understanding of the relationship balance. You don't believe you deserve love and respect from a woman because you never received that in your parental relationship. I would suggest that you first get into therapy and start trying to understand how this had impacted your relationships. The more you understand yourself, the more courage you will have to develop a healthier relationship with your mother, heal from the past with her, end this relationship, and move on to something healthier.

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To be honest, I can't really tell you what's wrong with your girlfriend. The picture you paint of her is rather one-dimensional...and it ain't pretty. After reading all that, I have to ask you: aside from feeling bad about throwing her out on the street, why on earth are you still with her?

 

It seems like she's always been down, and since you have, in the past, taken responsibility for her emotions, she expects you to do the same now. Something tells me that there are unresolved emotions inside her--ones that don't necessarily directly involve you, such as insecurity--that drive her to lash out. I have done this before when I was feeling really, really terrible about myself: You feel so low inside that you project those feelings outwards onto your partner in hopes that they'll take all those hurtful, irrational things you say and validate you in spite of how ridiculous you're being. I haven't done this in a while, and I really can't tell you just what made me do it... although I think it was a subconscious desire to make someone else understand or feel how bad I felt about myself inside (without, of course, directly stating it).

 

You already know that this girl is no good for you, particularly since you have your own disorder to worry about. Are you being treated for it in some way? I'm sure you understand better than me what's necessary to manage Bipolar disorder. It may be part of the reason why you go for women who are "broken"...do you feel, perhaps, that by getting into relationships where the women are psychotic and make everything about them, you some how divert attention away from your own problems?

 

Just my thoughts.

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Thanks for your reply.

 

Aside from the thorny living situation, I'm still with her because, well, there's a random handful of things. Because she's threatened to physically harm herself in the past and I believe her. Because despite the emotional hell, she's a really attractive girl and we have a unique sexual dynamic that isn't going to be easily replicated or established in a new relationship. Because I guess, if I'm being totally honest, I'm terrified, beyond terrified, of being alone. Thinking back, I've never had a clean break-up. I've either just wordlessly dropped out of the picture or hooked up with someone while I was in or near this stage of a relationship (which is how we met).

 

You really shed some light on the possible reasoning behind her irrational behavior. I think she does expect me to take responsibility for her emotions, not only her emotions, but for her life, it seems like.

 

I've self-medicated since I was 9, quit my Rx meds at 17 and have solely relied on self-medication since, so four years Rx-free. The meds severely impaired my quality of life. I know people say that it's not an exact science and yadda, yadda, but I tried dozens, more than that, too many. Most of them made me feel worse: lethargic and hazy and monotonal, kind of like a zombie, and the ones that made me feel better came with heinous side effects. I know people that swear by meds, people that wouldn't be here today without them, but it's just not for me. Hm, and I don't know if I'm trying to divert attention away from my problems, but maybe. I dunno, I do have a tendency to downplay my moodswings because I feel ashamed for having them, like I'm being annoying and whiny.

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Staying with someone because you're afraid of being alone is possibly THE worst reason for staying with someone. You need to find a way to be happy about yourself and about your life without a romantic partner. It's obviously way easier said than done, but if you find yourself in these situations frequently, chances are that it's not just a coincidence. Choices are being made, consciously or subconsciously.

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I can't help this growing feeling of resentment towards her because how can she be trying if she blows up four times a day?

 

Really?

 

Four times a day, or close to that?

 

If so, that's not just a relationship - its a minefield. Gosh. I think you should see a counsellor (yup, you not her) tell him all about the issues and the way she acts, and let the counsellor guide you though what you should do. He/She will help you reach the best decision for you in these circumstances and help you either walk away.. or put something into place which makes thing workable in the long term.

 

And perhaps they might even give you some insight into why she behaves this way.

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Thanks for your reply.

 

Aside from the thorny living situation, I'm still with her because, well, there's a random handful of things. Because she's threatened to physically harm herself in the past and I believe her. Because despite the emotional hell, she's a really attractive girl and we have a unique sexual dynamic that isn't going to be easily replicated or established in a new relationship. Because I guess, if I'm being totally honest, I'm terrified, beyond terrified, of being alone.

.

 

Whoa.

 

So when it comes down to it, you're in a relationship for the hot sex.

 

Because everything else is a burden or a fear.

 

That must be some super-hot sex. I've had a lot of mind-blowing sex over the years, and I can't figure out for the life of me just what it is you are doing to make it worth all this....

 

Where's your support? Where's the shared dreams of the future? Where's the "makes me laugh, makes me feel safe, makes me feel good about myself"?

 

You need to value yourself more. Is this all you deserve?

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