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I have a very complicated situation and was looking for some advice. First of all, I met my girlfriend about 16 months ago and for the first 6 months, it was amazing. We were totally connected, said we'd be together forever, said we never felt this way about anyone when we were never able to say that before, etc. In January, she broke up with me because she questioned if we were right together. Bear in mind, we always used to have fun and always had amazing times together so this didn't make sense. So, we broke up and were back together 10 hours later. But, since then, I questioned her if she really wanted to be with me and she always said she did. But, with her breaking up with me and with my dad abandoning me twice in my childhood, I could never get that out of my mind.


Nevertheless, things were going well, we still had a great relationship, except for the times I questioned her commitment. I moved out in August because she said she was going crazy w/me asking her if she wanted to be with me. So, I sought help and the person I am seeing made me realize that I kept asking her if she wanted to stay together because I had abandonment issues caused by my father. I told myself I would never question her again and that I would never let my dad keep hurting me. So, I never questioned her commitment again. We moved back in together in October and I told her I was bothered because she didn't seem as excited. She got upset and told me she wasn't as excited because it isn't the same as when we first moved in. I accepted that and it was fine. I realized it can't be the same as it was before.


So, things were fine for a few days and 6 days after I moved in, I told her to "feel free to wake me when you get home from work" (she worked until 1-2 am). I wanted to spend time with her. She called me at 230 and told me that she was going out and wouldn't be home. I got upset because this was only 6 days after I moved in and I thought she would've been more excited. I tried talking to her about it and she didn't want to. I told her that if she didn't call by the time she went to work the next day, I wouldn't be there when she got home. She didn't and I wasn't. She hasn't let me come back and is now questioning whether we work together. She said we are still together, but she needs time and space and she wants to talk to her therapist before talking to me again.


I have always tried so hard to make this work but she doesn't seem to be in it right now when she always used to in the past. I have no idea what to do. Please help.

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Wow, thanks for the quick response. Yes, actually it was her idea to go to a counselor and we did go twice, but, since August, we haven't had much time together to see how things go, except when we moved back in together, which only lasted a week. I only left because I was upset that she'd rather go out than spend time with me 6 days after I moved back in. I didn't mean to move out permanently. That was never my intention. Anyway, she said to hold of on the couples counselor until she sees her own conselor.

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I know this will probably be the hardest thing you'll ever do - but my advice is to calm down and give her some space. You already know that you have abandonment issues from your dad - and this is severely affecting you right now, even though you might not feel it.


It sounds like you are very much in love with her - and if she is seeing a therapist to try to get her feelings sorted out, then she is probably very much in love with you as well - but confused.


Just because you don't verbally question her commitment to you, does not mean that those issues don't go away. It sounds like you were driving her crazy with questions about whether she was committed - so you tried to "be good" and shut up. But your feelings were not dealt with, and you still felt insecure, worried, and scared. This is why ONE instance of her not coming home is threatening to break up your relationship.


You need to deal seriously with your issues surrouding your dad, JNN45. You need to get some good therapy and work this out for yourself, because until you do, this abandonment issue will affect every relationship you will ever have. Even if you break up with this girl, you will have to deal with the same issues with the next one - and "not questioning their commitment" out loud is NOT going to help.


Feel free to email me with comments or questions.

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Thanks Second Chance, but believe me when I say that the abandonment issue wasn't a problem after I talked to someone and realized it. My eyes were finally opened because I finally realized that if she didn't want to be with me, she would say so. If she didn't want to be with me, she wouldn't have asked me to move in. So, I know that my dad affected me subconsciously and I swore to get over it, which I am doing.


But, we were completely and totally in love with each other. You should see the stuff she used to write to me. It was unreal and completely on another level. I wrote the same letters to her as well. I just don't understand how she can go from wanted me to move back in, and then a week later, questioning if we work together.


Like I said, she says we are still together but she said she is very confused and doesn't know what she wants. I also agree that I shouldn't have expected her to want to be with me 6 days after I moved back in, but I did and I got mad and left. It was a mistake. I admitted it and aplogized for it. But, to no avail. Thanks again for the response. Any other advice is greatly appreciated.

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I didn't mean to imply that I thought you two weren't in love - it sounds like you truly are...


Maybe it's just like you said - it's hard for you to understand how her feelings can change so fast when your feelings seem to be solid. I know for me - sometimes I get confused because I have conflicting feelings about someone I love at the same time. Like part of me feels one thing and part of me feels something totally different - that happens a lot, that I feel mixed feelings about the person I'm closest to.


So maybe right now your task is to try to understand and be patient with her mixed feelings - because it is normal in healthy relationships, and not a sign that she doesn't love you.


I still think counseling would be a good idea... but obviously, it's your life, and you sound like you have a pretty good handle on things.

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Hi, you are really good at this, just so you know. I am still continuing my counseling. I'm not naive to think that a few sessions solve problems so I will continue to go. Just out of curiosity, what triggers your conflicting feelings and how do you overcome them? Also, I am giving her the space she wants and will let her contact me. I agree, I will be patient and let her work this out on her own.

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Oh, thank you for the compliment... Actually, I'm a counselor myself, so I deal with this stuff all the time...


Plus, you're not the only one with abandonment issues around here...


Anyway, the mixed feelings issue is difficult, even for those who have had a lot of very good therapy (like me). I think it's human nature to feel ambivalent about those we love - e.g. that we can love them and hate them at the same time. The problem comes when we start acting on those feelings.


So for example - I love my husband, but because of my "issues," there are times when I wish that I wasn't married. Because I'm aware of these things, I can a) understand that (most of) these feelings aren't really about my husband but about other things that have happened to me and b) talk to my husband about them - and fortunately, he is very understanding, aren't I lucky.


It's like, I don't think that I will ever "get over" all of my crap 100% and there are certain things that I wish I could have but will probably never happen - but if I'm careful, I can keep my crap from screwing up the rest of my life. That's what it's all about for me, I guess. It's not perfect, but I haven't found anything better...

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I know what you're saying. Maybe I can't get over all of my crap, either, but I am trying like hell to not let it ruin our relationship. I should mention, she's been in a few nasty relationships. One was with an unemployed crack addict, one was with a sexual pervert and the other was with a coke addict. I don't think any of them could even drive. So, I don't know if that has anything to do with it. But, what puzzles me is how, just a week ago, she wanted me to move in and now she questions us.


Just a couple of months ago, before I moved out for 2 months, she was saying she has never felt as connected to me as she did at that moment. I don't understand how someone can lose such strong feelings for someone over such a short period of time. The only thing I can think of is that she is truly confused and has some other personal issues to deal with.


I left her a message last week telling her how painful it is to think of the amazing past we had and to now think of the stuff she is telling me (not sure if we can work, etc.). I told her if she just wanted to break up with me, just do it and get it over with. She didn't want to. I haven't seen her since last Weds. and the anxiety is killing me. I just want to know what is going to happen.


I just need your opinion as a counselor and as a woman to try to figure her out. Or maybe I shouldn't try to figure her out, I don't know. But, this is extremely confusing to me.

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Yeah, I would say that those few "nasty relationships" might have something to do with what she's going through right now!!!


Unfortunately, YOU are getting the result of (at least) three other guys' crap! I don't know what happened with these losers, but at one point, she was probably in love with all of them (not at the same time, of course). Then, she had to wake up to the fact that her trust was broken, these guys were losers, and that her own judgment in men is, well... somewhat suspect, no offense to you.


In any case, from her point of view, it sounds like she FEELS in love with you, but she's FELT in love in the past, so she knows she can't trust her own feelings. It's like she wanted to step up the relationship with you, to move it to the next level, but then got scared and bailed - which is not surprising, given her history, and now she's trying to figure out if you're going to be Loser #4 or Prince Charming.


I'm sure the anxiety is killing you - I've been there, it's EXCRUCIATING. Are you guys 100% no contact? Yikes


Maybe you could call her and work out some kind of deal with her - I mean, I know you walked out on her, then you apologized - and now she's talking to her therapist (which is good...) - but if she loves you that much, she can't be talking about whether to bail on the relationship altogether. So, she (with the help of her therapist) should come up with a plan - seriously, like, "while I'm trying to figure this out, let's talk on the phone but we won't see each other" or "we'll see each other but won't spend the night" or something - but it has to be consistent, and both parties have to keep to it.


Keep me updated.

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Yeah, well, I have been the Price Charming in her life. She has always said that it was fate that brought us together (because we met a few years ago, were both coming out of bad relationships, and although the meeting was pleasant, nothing came of it). A couple of years after that, we found each other again and it was completely right.


I have a very good job, I am not a drug addict, I keep myself in excellent shape and besides my past issues, I know I can make her very happy as I have in the past. And I am working on my issues, like I said and making great progress. Maybe she's scared that she will see something in me that she saw in those other guys, who knows?


Anyway, we havent seen each other in almost two weeks and havent had any contact at all in three days. I emailed her today asking if she'd like to see each other. She replied saying "Why? What's up?" I replied saying that we haven't seen each other in two weeks and I just miss her. She replied saying that she had to do something after work and will be done by 9. She said she is not saying no, but she's not sure. She said she was hoping to wait until after her appointment tomorrow. I told her no problem and to let me know.


I also asked if she missed me and she said "that's a tough question considering you were pretty much on me with the emails and i felt like i needed to cease contact with you completely to get away from it. it's been a nice break from all of that and i've had a really productive week at work so far without that blowing my concentration. probably not what you wanted to hear but that's my truth" I then asked if she's even thought about me since we last spoke and she said she has.


So, what do you think?

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She's obviously thinking about you, and you are obviously very important to her. But if she's even feeling smothered by your emails, then... she's feeling pretty smothered. As in, she's asking for space, and she's getting some, but for whatever reason, she needs 100% no contact in order to "breathe."


That's why I think even more a "plan" would be good - like tomorrow, when you see her, work something out, even if it's like - "once a week, on Saturdays, from 7p to 10p, we will see each other." That way, you can leave her completely alone the rest of the time and still know that you will see her, and she can BE alone the rest of the week, and breathe. Right now, the uncertainty is killing you, and I understand she feels smothered, but you're left hanging and you have NO IDEA when you'll get to see her again.


It's like being addicted to gambling - you know you're going to eventually win, but you don't know when, so you keep on playing, hoping and hoping that the next time will be it. I think she definitely needs to compromise with you on this, and then you can promise to give her whatever she needs the rest of the time e.g. no emails no phone calls or whatever she wants.

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Well, we may see each other tonight and if not, then tomorrow. The thing is, she works til midnight tomorrow and Friday so I'm not sure when we'd have time. As far as working out a compromise as to when to see each other, we did kind of try that before and we both agreed we just didn't have enough time, which is why she wanted me to move back in with her.


We both have very hectic schedules and living together seemed to be the only right thing to do. But, like you said, maybe she is waiting for something horrible to come out of me as what happened with her previous relationships. The worst thing I've done was break up and leave. I always treat her with respect, I help around the house, I always took her out, always told her how much I loved her and how much she means to me, I always make her laugh and we've always had so much fun.


How can I convince her that I am not going to question her commitment again? I mean, I haven't in a long time which is a great improvement from questioning her all of the time, like I used to do. I told her I would have no expectations and I will just let things be, as we did in the past and what made things so amazing between us. I know she cares about me very, very much and I'm almost certain those feelings are simply clouded by her confusion at the present time. I just hope she realizes that when she sees her therapist.


It's just that it's taken me 31 years to find this person. We "get" each other, we connect so well, we have amazing conversations and we were totally and completely in love. I've been out with many women and I've never been so in love as I am right now. Not even close. I've never had these types of feelings for anyone and she's always told me the same and then some. She once told me that she was never able to reciprocate when someone told her that they've never felt this way about anyone. Not until she was with me. It would be a shame to lose this forever and I know if we split up, we will never find that again.

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