I’m a mid-30’s male professional who’s always been very social and had many female friends/colleagues.
A year ago, I met an amazing woman with the brains, personality, humour, looks, and chemistry that I’ve been seeking.
The feeling was mutual, we began dating exclusively immediately and talked of moving in together and marriage.
Several months in, she discovered that I had a female friend with whom I often communicate by text.
When she found out, she had a severe panic attack and asked me to delete this person, and all other female friends/colleagues from my life entirely.
I normally wouldn’t do this, but I agreed as I value my girlfriend and our potential together tremendously.
However, nearly a year later, she still daily questions me about my friendships and even my past relationships.
She goes into a violent panic attack if I glance at a female, and questions me daily if any female has tried to contact me (which hasn’t happened).
My girlfriend suffers from major anxiety and depression, both untreated.
It’s massively straining our relationship, as it’s difficult for me to handle the daily questions regarding my past (which in my opinion is irrelevant and has nothing to do with her).
I’ve said that no one from my past matters anymore and that I only want and love her, but she still has dangerous panic attacks, which then upset me and the whole situation blows up.
Lately, I’m questioning my future with her, and if I’m even the right person for her anymore. The thought of living together and being questioned daily about my past is unacceptable.
When I mention how I’m unhappy with the relationship and the constant questioning, she falls into another anxiety attack.
Yet, she refuses to leave me, and insists that we work through things together. If I disagree, she makes comments surrounding suicide, and how her life would be over if I choose to leave her.
I take these comments seriously and I’ve reached out to her family and friends (apparently, she’s been dealing with these feelings for several years).
None of them is stepping up or pushing her to get the proper help that she needs (she saw one therapist, possibly not the right fit for her).
When I try to push her to talk to someone about medication, she has an anxiety attack immediately and becomes insecure.
I’m still with her because I love her and I want things to work and for us to be happy. When she’s not fixated on my past, the relationship is amazing.
I want to help her, but I’m afraid that I no longer can.
Fearing She’ll Harm Herself
You’re dealing with a volcano of anxieties, insecurities, and fears, that can erupt at any time. That’s why you need professional direction, immediately.
Talk to a crisis counsellor at a mental health clinic, to ask how best to get your girlfriend to seek help, accept medication, and work through the issues that cause her panic attacks and massive insecurity.
Do the research to find her an appropriate therapist whom she’ll trust - someone experienced in treating people with suicidal thoughts despite their seemingly successful lives.
Insist to your girlfriend that therapy’s essential for both of you if you’re to stay together.
And mean it, because you do love her, and once you both learn the root of her mental health issues, you’ll be a crucial support to her through her treatment.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man whose girlfriend has three dogs (April 29):
Reader – “I love my dog and my husband assured me that I could always have a dog, but he put a limit on one dog only at a time.
“He isn't as much a fan as I am but can happily tolerate one well-behaved dog.
“Perhaps this couple can make a compromise that, as the dogs inevitably pass away, the woman will not replace each, but she can always have one.
“For me, a man who wouldn't tolerate a dog in his life would be out the door. They bring so much joy and love to our lives, it’s irreplaceable.
“What man wouldn't want his wife to be happy unless there were allergies involved?”
Ellie – A man who doesn’t understand the relationship between a woman (whom he says he loves) and the dogs she’s had before they met, doesn’t “get” her.
Tip of the day:
When someone you love has mental health issues, your understanding of their origins and fears is crucially needed.