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I'm having communication troubles with my girlfriend

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We got together about almost a year ago now and we love each other. We're both messed up people, we've had bad experiences and we try to be there for each other throughout all the inevitable mental breakdowns and episodes. I remember last year I was really out of it going through a lot, and just before things could get the worst they'd ever been for me I met her, and in a way I feel like she saved me. 

I've felt indebted towards her ever since. Whatever episode she's having, whatever wave of depression or horrible thoughts filling her head, I wanted to be there for her the way she was for me, I was happy doing it, I felt like after everything she'd been through I wanted to be the person I felt like she deserved to have.

She has said a lot of things throughout our time together, some things that were really hurtful at the time. I justify it to myself that she never means it, that it's a heat of the moment thing and once she calms down and regains control she's always quick to apologize.

What hurts me the most is that I'm fine taking whatever she says. I do it for her sake and I don't know if it's fair to hold it against her, but it feels like she won't do the same for me. Sometimes it feels like I'm constantly watching what I'm saying out of fear I'll set her off or trigger something in her. We're both deathly terrified of losing each other, she's deathly terrified of losing me, she cares for me and she never wants to hurt me, and it feels like all I do when I tell her that she does hurt me is hurt her.

And I've tried opening up before. I've tried telling her how I really honestly feel when she does something that makes me feel bad, and she cries, and she curses herself, and I jump to comforting her and telling her it's okay and that I don't hate her and that she's not a terrible person. I want her to be okay, and I want to be there for her, but sometimes it feels like she isn't really there for me. I feel like sometimes I can't be sad around her, like it reflects badly on her and she feels some sense of guilt.

I don't know what to do. I want to bring it up but I don't want to lose her, or hurt her, or make her feel like she's failed me. She's a deeply troubled person, as am I, and I also wonder if maybe it isn't her, or something I'm doing, and she needs genuine help with her mental health. If anyone has any advice, please share, I'm really lost when it comes to this, thanks

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This is a very unhealthy relationship. 

Both of you need help for your separate issues before a real, thriving relationship will ever be possible. You are apparently accepting a lot of mistreatment from her, when you really shouldn't be. You need boundaries and better self-esteem, because her saying all these hurtful things to you is not acceptable. It isn't making anything better. You're only enabling a deeply dysfunctional cycle. 

15 hours ago, Dyl_ said:

she needs genuine help with her mental health

If she isn't seeking professional help, there is really nothing you can do and you should not stay. 

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Hurt people, hurt people. When that is what you have known in your life, it can be easy to fall into the same traps you've seen over and over. You become the very thing you dislike because it's all you know to do. 

A relationship between two people as damaged as you sound is a tricky thing. On one hand, you might be best suited for each other. You can understand each other in way that few people can. You've been through the same feelings and emotions. You can sense each other's moods. You know what to say because it's the same things you wish would be said to you. You don't want to hurt each other because you know how deep that kind of hurt can go. That kind of love can be the strongest.

On the other hand, you also risk making excuses for the other and accepting behavior that is unhealthy. You are afraid to be honest with her and say things she needs to hear because you don't want to hurt her or risk losing her. That's not healthy for either of you in the long run. You also aren't getting the reassurances you need to help you through your issues. 

Remember, you can be there to help her and support her, but it is she who has to work on her issues herself. Just as it is you who has to fully address your issues. Right now, you both seem to be avoiding certain issues. Avoiding things and not talking only prolongs it and causes more pain. You need to bring it up and she needs to find a healthy way of working through it. Let her know it's not about blame or either of you being wrong or bad people. It's about each side being heard and finding constructive ways to get though things and deal with the things that are hurting them. 

Your support and love can be a great help in getting her the help she needs. Just don't lost sight of getting the love, support, and help that you need as well.

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As much as you care about her, you are not a licensed therapist.  Helping her might be beyond what you as a BF can do.  You can't let her drag you down. 

Do make sure you both are getting IC.  If that doesn't fix things in short order, splitting up might be best.  

IMO if you need couples therapy to fix a dating relationship, it's a huge sign that this isn't working.  

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