what to do when you don't know what to do...

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by jojo29, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. jojo29

    jojo29 New Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I’ve been with my girlfriend for 6 months and dated in a friends with benefits way for 6 months before that and have been friends for 4 years. I was really reluctant to get together because I didn’t want to run the risk of it not working out and it ruining our friendship. We took it slow and after being on and off she decided that we were better off as friends, sent me lots of mixed signals and then decided to give this a go. I don’t know when we transitioned from being friends with benefits to in a relationship but it happened in and around the time we were both house hunting-separately J we ended up moving in together after I found a two bed place.

    Anywho, in the time we’ve been together a part of me has struggled to trust her and not without reason. She messaged her ex-girlfriend to tell her she was “truly beautiful” shortly after we got together, I had had a tough time with my family after Christmas and I asked her to take an earlier train back to help me out and support me emotionally. I was asking only for a day earlier. Instead she went to a party the day she was due back, lied about it and let me think I wasn’t important and that she could only get the last train home. She also took a screenshot of her ex boyfriend, who apparently was this great 7 year love affair but told me on holiday that she would never take him back if he ever came knocking and that she was happy with me. But then she asked me to add a couple we met on holiday on her fb and as I went to type the girls’ names in, her ex boyfriend was in the recently looked up. I asked what she was playing at and she immediately got really defensive.

    When we were just friends she would talk incessantly about these two exes and she would talk about also wanting to keep her options open and didn’t like commitment. I think the fear of commitment hit me hardest last week, when I asked if she wanted to get onto the renting contract and she didn’t give me an answer but made excuses and changed the subject. She told me that any time we disagree about something she feels like she has to reassess our relationship and told me the other day that she loves being with me but feels like she’s losing herself in the relationship. She never tells any of her friends about me and says they don’t need to know her business. Its not that she’s afraid of letting them know she’s bi, all of her friends knew about her ex girlfriend.
    I’m feeling like I’m at the point of shutting up shop and admitting that I will never be enough and she’s going to always play games that I have no interest in wasting my time on. Am I right to have a sense of mistrust or feeling like I’m being played for a fool?
     
    #1
  2. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    So, to recap: your girlfriend looks very fondly on her exes to the point of romanticizing them ("great 7 year love affair," "truly beautiful"), is afraid of commitment, losing other options, losing herself in a relationship, sees minor disagreements as potential relationship kryptonite, keeps you secret, and fails to show up when you have asked for (pretty minor, but inconvenient to her) support.

    Are you right to feel worried here? In the name of all that's sapphic, yes! Your instincts are trying to keep you safe from a whole lot of heartbreak here; your mistrust is speaking up because she is being untrustworthy; the little voice telling you to end it is the voice of caution and reason.

    I am sure that there are things that are great about her, but you have told us none of them: just a big pile of inconsiderate inconsistency, in which she holds the power of whether this relationship is happening, worth it, committed, exclusive. It sounds like you have asked her straight-up what you want and need, and she has not shown up; this is one of those times when someone is showing you who they are, and what she is going to offer you as a partner. Believe her.

    Assuming the best we possibly can about her, she might really really want this to work out, but just have no idea how to get past her fears and anxieties and past hang-ups to do better. That doesn't mean that her best is good enough, or that it's your job to treat her how to be considerate, supportive, and content in this relationship - or that the difficult work of learning it is even something she wants to do! If you want to have that conversation with her, you absolutely can - "The way we have been communicating and supporting each other does not work for me, and when you [don't want to talk about the future/mention your exes/don't make time to support me/etc] I feel that I am not a priority for you. It's pretty important to me to feel supported by my girlfriend, and I would like to work on this" - but I have a strong suspicion that she will take this opportunity to bail/create drama around threatening to bail, in an attempt to maintain her control over your relationship. If so, that's a strong indication that playing games has always worked for her in the past and she wants it to continue to be her MO; if she listens and is on-board with changing her behavior (because she's happy with you, right, and wants her happiness to be mutual and continuing), then it is her job to figure out how to do that and do the heavy lifting.

    The alternative to the "trying but failing" theory is almost too depressing to consider: that she is aware and capable of what being a kind, present partner requires, but unwilling to invest the effort or go out of her way for you. I hope that's not the case, but some people go through life getting as much as they can from people with the minimum investment.

    The only thing you need to end a relationship is to want it to end; you do not need iron-clad evidence of anything, or airtight reasoning, or proof positive of her bad behavior. If you are feeling unsatisfied, unsupported, annoyed - that's enough! If you don't want to put in the effort to straighten it out - that's okay! If you want a girlfriend who is willing to commit to a lease after 6 months - a year of time together - that's a legitimate desire! You have veto power here, and your comfort, security, and happiness are the only metrics you need to consider when deciding whether this relationship works for you.
     
    #2
    Lauren_1989, rac and Bluenote like this.
  3. jojo29

    jojo29 New Member

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    So I think that’s that.
    I asked if we could talk last night and she changed the subject twice. Before bed I told her I couldn’t do it anymore, it being pretending that I’m ok with being in a relationship with someone who always has one eye on the door, with someone who does what she wants without ever thinking of the impact on the relationship and who expects me to be there and frequently puts her own interests first. I said screen-shotting her ex’s photo and then checking him out on fb was a complete contradiction to what she had said to me and that my reaction to it was a normal one. Who in their right mind wants to be in a relationship with their partner and the ghosts of relationships past, especially when your partner is not leaving them to be ghosts? I said I was pushed to far and that a lot of my family stuff had perhaps masked what I was feeling about our relationship. She defended her choice to look him up, she can do whatever she wants, she’s a caring person and he will always be important to her. So I told her that was all I needed to know. In the next breath she was deleting him, although that didn’t happen and just made me laugh. She was deleting him apparently because I didn’t like him or it. I said the only thing I didn’t like was her behavior and was sad and disappointed that being in one relationship with someone who would turn the world upside down for her wasn’t enough. We left it with me saying I need so much space and that enough was enough. She stayed in the spare room and we’ve not spoken since.
     
    #3
    Kaorin likes this.

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