These past couple weeks have been stressful and dreadful for both my girlfriend and me. I'm 18, lately she hasn't been texting me, or anyone else.
She's very stressed about life and seems less interested in me. I'm worried for her and our relationship.
It's been almost two weeks since we last hung out, but I'm going to see her tomorrow and hopefully have a fun time and work things out.
But her attitude and feelings about me have me down. I love her and I’m worried she doesn't feel the same way.
I do so much for her and it seems like it just goes unappreciated.
How can I cheer myself up through this gloom and hopefully make her happy with me again?
I sometimes hate myself that I get so attached to love, even when I try to give her space I'm just a fool crawling back, and can't get her out of my head.
It's like she wants my personality to change right now.
It’s your own insecurity that you need to confront.
You say nothing about why she’s stressed, but it’s clear that your own anxiety when she apparently has personal problems could be pushing her away.
When you do get together, listen to what’s troubling her. Otherwise, give her that space she wants.
If you know why you get “so attached to love” – past hurts, a parent’s abandonment – recognize that this can be overwhelming to someone needing time on her own. Her immediate troubles may be more pressing than yours.
Also, talk to a counsellor about your insecurities. Your doctor would be a good start, or he may refer you to someone.
Commentary – Regarding controlling spouses, male or female (Jan. 27):
Reader – “I can attest to my wife’s controlling nature and my inability to stand up to her.
“At 12 years, she asked me to choose our marriage or my work. I chose the marriage, now 18 years together.
“Since then, I feel diminished personally. She only tolerates my activities, and my friends. She prefers me more mild and calm than exuberant and energetic.
“A year ago she said, "I’ve resented you from the day I met you." I responded, “I’m glad you told me.”
“Was I spineless, or accepting and acknowledging?
“I’ve also been diminished professionally and economically, since we now depend upon only her salary to maintain our home.
“My friends believe I compromised when I married her and made a deeper compromise to keep our family (we have two sons) together.
“She refuses marriage counselling, saying the issues are all mine. I’m too afraid to change our relationship. We once went eight months without intimacy.
“I resumed being the initiator and returned to our previous patterns.
“Now I think it’s time I show our sons that choices that lead to resentment or diminishment are only one option.
“It’s time for another path. I’ll seek employment that allows for more independence. (I understand that this is a one-sided story I’m telling, but it’s nonetheless factual.)
“I’ll start to assert some control in areas where I’ve been previously reluctant. I’ll ask her if she wants to keep our relationship or undo our marriage.
“She might say, lets work on it, who knows?”
Turning A Corner
A-You’re understandably choosing a different option, but this time, think it through ahead. If all is factual, she’ll still be a controlling personality, so you’ll need good legal advice for your child custody agreement and for a financial settlement.
This time, you MUST speak up.
Reader #2- “My husband was emotionally and verbally abusive. I’m going through a very difficult separation with our two young children. At the end of the marriage, he was including our children in arguments and persuading them that "Mommy isn't being nice to us."
“The separation has increased his hostility and I’m now dealing with even more emotional abuse than before.
“I found little help for victims of emotional/verbal abuse. Unless someone threatens physical violence, there’s little that the police can do to stop the harassment.
“And with youngsters involved, a restraining order causes huge logistic problems for exchanges, putting added stress on the children.
“Marriage counsellors, friends, and family all seem to brush off emotional abuse because too often the abuser has a "charming" public persona.
“Various support agencies that I’ve been utilizing, all agree that emotional abuse is often most painful because the damage can last a lifetime.”
Tip of the day:
When a partner’s under personal stress, it’s not all about YOU.