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Doctor Kevin
Doctor Kevin, Ph.D.
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1482
Experience:  25 years in private practice
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My girlfriend and I are separating. We have a 2-year old daughter.

Customer Question

My girlfriend and I are separating. We have a 2-year old daughter. I left my girlfriend because I never fell out of love with my previous girlfriend, and it finally came to a head after many years of occasional lies, longing for another, etc. etc. Obviously, my current gf is very hurt, and very angry, and I understand it all. Unfortunately, because we have a daughter and a condo together, we must remain involved with each. She is so angry that it is impossible to have rational conversations about some very important issues (like selling/renting out the condo, custody/visitation issues, etc). SO it's a very tough spot now. How can we come to decisions that will benefit both of us long-term when emotions are still so raw and will likely to continue to be short-term??
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Doctor Kevin replied 3 years ago.

Dr.Kappler :

You are in a situation where you have decided that you want to end your current relationship because you want to go back to a previous relationship.

Customer :

Yes and no. I know I can't go back into something and have everything be peachy. That previous relationship needed work too. But there was, and continues to be, an undeniable chemistry between us...something that neither of us has left behind us even after 4 years apart.

Customer :

I've tried so many things, including counseling (both alone and with my current girlfriend), and I simply cannot forget about my previous relationship. It has driven my crazy, but I'm tired of hurting the one I'm with by lying about my feelings. I do care very much for her too...but its almost like my mind is convinced that my previous gf is the one I'm supposed to be with for good.

Dr.Kappler :

Your current girlfriend is angry for a good reason and it wont be long till she turns to a lawyer to separate the material things. She will not want you back and at this point you have only the previous relationship to fall back on. If you are lucky your current girlfriend will agree on one attorney to divide things otherwise with paying two attorneys. Have her choose the attorney if necessary.

Dr.Kappler :

Then you must be "true to your heart" and take the financial consequences. A single attorney will reduce cost however.

Customer :

Yes..I understand that. If it comes to legal matters, I'd prefer mediation. Either way, as she and I talk about current issues that need decisions (What is a fair visitation schedule for my daughter? should we sell or rent out condo? etc.), how if at all can we discuss these very important things, come to rational, long-term decisions when she is so angry? Again, I understand the anger. I'm not saying she doesn't deserve to be.

Customer :

But these are BIG issues...and I feel like I'm communicating with a coiled rattlesnake about decisions that will greatly affect both of us for a long time.

Dr.Kappler :

Your current girl friend may just be too angry to be rational.

Customer :

Yes.

Dr.Kappler :

She may refuse to cooperate with you except through her attorney.

Customer :

So, in short, if her decisions are based on anger, there's not much I can do about it. Even if the results of her decisions will likely be detrimental to her as well as me.

Customer :

And therefore, this is the proverbial "bed I've made" to sleep in?

Dr.Kappler :

Yes. There is no hell like a woman's scorn and in your case she may want to make you miserable because she feels betrayed.

Customer :

Yup. That's the feeling I'm getting. Problem is, I don't even think she's aware of the long-term consequences of that misery...even for her (in terms of the condo, for example...which she wants to sell and be "completely disconnected" from me and I want to rent out and hold as a valuable asset that will benefit both of us financially). Arrghh.

Dr.Kappler :

That is correct and she may very well not care if she gets anything from the divorce, just that you don't get anything either. I doubt you can change her anger now. Just be glad she is not wanting to kill you for betraying her.

Customer :

OK. Thank you for you insight.

Dr.Kappler :

Just remember be civil and hope for the best.

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