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She says there are some problems that might be in the way of our relationship. The last "problem" kept her from talking to me for a year about anything more than what she did that day. It seemed like a menial issue when she finally told me, and after we had talked about it briefly, she started telling me everything again, we were the closest we had been in a long time. I thought she was ready to tackle anything that stopped our relationship from being the best it can, especially since she told me we could talk about the other problems whenever. I guess I should have asked her to talk about it then, but I thought she had enough stress going through the first one. Later, when I asked if she wanted to talk about them, she broke down again. She's sitting with her head on the table now, and she will barely respond to me. What should I do? Please, any advice is much appreciated. Should I seek help with some stress management thing?
irdumb irdumb 18-21, M 11 Answers May 23, 2012

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Taking a guess that in her family, talking about problems may have ended up making things worse.

She either fears your reactions (because of the reactions of others in the past), or feels shame about her thoughts or feelings (not necessarily rational shame, could be something quite minor.)

Best way to overcome fear is to face it.

You sound to me as though you can already handle discussions very well, so just be with her while she struggles with herself, and keep gently encouraging her and being willing to sort it out. Eventually she will realise that it really is OK, and even preferable, to talk about it.

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Her father and her could never talk anything through with her mom. Mom was always too stubborn. Eventually they both gave up reasoning with her and let her make all the decisions. Thank you for your answer. You make it easier for me to stay by her and wait through this.

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btw, are you some sort of counselor by profession? : P you were very analytical and thoughtful given the little information I gave. Although what you've advised me to do in the end is what I've been trying to do for awhile, there is a level of understanding and care that is very reassuring and helps push me on. I will stay by her side most definitely and you are helping hold me up. Thank you.

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She might be taking after her mom, too; if you quit, she wins.

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I did counsel as a trained volunteer (Rogerian method) for Lifeline in Australia for 2 years or so... have also done lots of work on myself. You're welcome to contact me any time if you feel like it. Thanks for your very nice words. :)

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I don't like talking about things I can't fix it is a total waste.I myself hate stress I try to dodge it and it is wonderful,I know where she is coming from.

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even if most of the things are actually quite easy to fix? If you do understand where she's coming from, I'd be really interested in how you think I should approach this. She really wants to open up. I see it every time she snaps out of a break down and she's so happy then, so happy to be back beside me. If you could give me anything to help understand what she's going through, I would be very very grateful.

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My wife is the same sometimes, what I do - Drop the subject and attempt to make up, keep cool, wait for a "good day" and broach the subject again if she seems happy to talk about it I press the issue and be ready to back off if she seems to be getting tense and return to the beginning again.. eventually I can grind away at her until all the "getting around to how we are going to talk about it" has been worn away and we can actually discuss it. Usually the issues have been financial (on both sides) or the kids. Basically keep grinding away at the problem, being gentle and understanding as you go.. you can't be male about it, just makes it worse.

Oh, big advice, if you've been in the relationship a while you should know what her "triggers" are, words or phrases that will set her off, you can be sure she knows yours.. avoid those at all costs.

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I didn't catch on until late that certain things triggered her, so I'm just starting to learn them. It seems like it's changing all the time too. These episodes themselves have also evolved drastically. They have become more extreme as to the ramifications of her decisions but they seem to be better in her emotional condition during them. She's also able to stay closer to me now when they happen, that is unless she goes to the point of thinking she'll never want to see me again.

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Relationships are work, love is an important aspect of it but second to the work involved in keeping it together. If the rewards didn't justify the effort no one would be in one for longer than it takes to procreate.. thank goodness a stable long term relationship (hopefully life long) is well worth the effort that goes into it. All pain fades and if (as I sincerely hope you do) you can both keep it together you'll both look back on these days as a minor hiccup on the road to happiness.. trite I know but sometimes trite works :)

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thank you, I really hope and believe that it will turn out alright.

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excellent :)

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ir, from all that you'e said here it sounds to me that you've ceded all of the power in this relationship to her, and I don't imagine that "solving" that problem really interests her. You can't "make" anyone happy except yourself; she determines what makes her happy. Myself, I'd bail, but if you enjoy riding the emotional roller coaster, go for it.

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meh I'm used to the roller coaster, I got bipolar. Leaving's not an option unless she speaks to me plainly and tells me she would rather not be with me. I want to see this through with her and hopefully we'll come out the other side both happy. Thank you for your input though, every answer makes me think about things a different way and helps me with this issue.

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I wish all of the best for you, ir.

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give her a hug and tell her you're there no matter what :) and if she can't talk about it let her write it all out and you can read it later

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for some reason that usually makes her more stressed out : / once she's been triggered, there's not much I can do to undo it. It seems like the emotional and irrational thinking must take it's course.

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If you want to make the relationship work, let her either approach you with her problems on her timetable (as long as you are not harmed) and be the calm, steady, manly stabilizer, or (gasp) leader. If you don't think you can continue the relationship with her as she is now, tell her such.

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I tried waiting for her and giving her time (a year even), but it feels like if I don't push sooner or later, it will eat away at her driving her slowly away from me and making her more depressed and stressed, which causes more of these episodes.

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Get out while you can. A year? F*** that. Tell her to grow up and tell you what the problem is or else you are going to assume that it's fine. Remind her that you aren't a mind reader.



Although... If you've been together for awhile - everyone's getting engaged around you - you haven't really talked about anything like that - and 'if you don't know, I won't tell you' is the attitude... Well. She might be wanting some massive show of committment or something. I don't know. I'm not a mind reader either - but this has been the cause of a couple of my girlfriends melt-downs recently.



Good luck man.

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She has agreed to marry me, but many times through these episodes of hers she denies such saying things like "what if it was all a lie?", "I don't ever want to see you again", and "I have no promises with you". She deleted my number multiple times, thrown me out in the winter at past midnight multiple times, but sometimes she holds onto me pleading that I help her to stop doing this and pleading me to help her stop hurting me. We have agreed to go see a psychologist or counselor, but that was when she wasn't in one of these episodes. I thought we were finally out of it.. guess not.

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oh man

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ya it kinda sucks. I just want her to be happy

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