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Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 235
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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i am in a very complicated relationship with someone i love

Customer Question

i am in a very complicated relationship with someone i love deeply... however, i am unsure if we can make it work although we love eachother. i am really struggling... issues:
1. both left our partners of 10 - 17 years to be togehter
2. i have 3 kids... who she tolerates... but does not like (likes the youngest... sometimes) i have 25% custody.
3. we are gay, and she has not told anyone... her family, friends etc ... we met at work and can not let anyone there know either... very isolating.
4. in november she left moved out for 3 wks to see if she could work it out with her ex ... she did not... and came back
5. in April i left for 1 wk to give us space (she said she could not live with the kids, hated them would never want to bring aonther child in to this relationship)
6. she is looking to pursue her phd at a school that is not local and we will be seperated as i can not leave my children to move with her
7. she does not talk, crys often and will not tell me what is going on since last time she did we talked it out for weeks and decieded to take a break.
8. after our break we both realized we are better together than apart and agreed to work on our differences.. that worked well for a few weeks.. now its falling apart again.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Heidi LPC replied 2 years ago.

Heidi LPC :

Hi! Good afternoon.... I hope to be of some assistance to you here today....

Heidi LPC :

It sounds like a very complicated situation, no doubt, and you are in quite a state of limbo.

Customer:

yes totally, and dont feel very safe or comfortable... like it may end at any min and i have a lot invested


 

Heidi LPC :

Communication sounds somewhat stifled, and there seem to be so many outstanding factors adding stress to an already shaky foundation...

Customer:

yes, she does not talk... has really never shared... works though things in isolation then makes a move


 

Heidi LPC :

Sure... and this leaves you with zero power.

Heidi LPC :

Feeling powerless and dependent on her in this way is not healthy for you...

Customer:

i stiffled that further in april when she did talk... then we agreed it would not work... and seperated... then missed each other so much came back agreeing to work on it ... but she no longer talks because she feels that talking is what lead to us leaving


 

Customer:

and yes... no power....


 

Heidi LPC :

The most important elements in any healthy relationship are honesty and trust, and effective communication skills... without them, the relationship is weakened.

Customer:

yes i am not sure there is alot of trust... and we dont communcate

Customer:

well i do... which just irritates her


 

Heidi LPC :

You can't be honest with others about the relationship, and she isn't being honest with you, you don't trust that she is 100% invested and you're not able to talk it through together. One way to fix this is to agree to possibly talk with a therapist together to get past the fears... have you considered this?

Customer:

yes ... thought about it... worried it is so early to need a therapist

Heidi LPC :

Also, your children will be your children forever... and her "hating" them is a serious issue...

Customer:

yesssss that was the only reason i left ....

Customer:

then came back as she agreed to try to make it work

Heidi LPC :

Yes, however, if you are getting nowhere in your efforts to communicate, you may benefit from some help...

Customer:

agree, are there ways i can inititate communication?


 

Customer:

non threatening ways?


 

Heidi LPC :

You almost have to take her out of this equation and turn the focus back onto you. What do YOU need in a partner? What are the things that YOU need in a relationship? What compromises are you willing and not willing to make in order to have a relationship? As for your question about communicating, you can ask questions to try to understand her position, and then add gently, "I see where you are coming from. What I need from you is....", and state your opinions in an "I" format, without any blaming or finger-pointing, etc...

Customer:

so something like..."i really need communication to function in a relationship"


 

Customer:

i know she works thru things independentingly but i need to be pulled in on occasion otherwise i am acting insolation and not making the best decisions


 

Heidi LPC :

Exactly. You can validate her fears, "I know being honest and sharing your feelings in difficult, but I can't manage without open and honest dialogue"....and state your hopes... and ultimately, remember that the only person you can ever change is yourself... and being at the mercy of someone else's passive-aggressiveness or conflict-avoidant tendencies can be very very frustrating...

Heidi LPC :

Relationships are choices. We choose who to surround ourselves with... and it is helpful to try to surround ourselves with people who lift us up rather than drag us down.

Heidi LPC :

She may have very good reasons for her fearfulness, and maybe has had limited role models for healthy communication skills. It will be up to you to decide whether you can work through it with her, or if it is just too difficult.

Customer:

ok, that is great advice...


Customer:

i am stuggling to work this out in a vacum i have said that i need her to be open and honest before and she has agreed and has tried but we go back to this always eventually... i also need to look at how i respond when she is honest... not judging and not acting to quickly


 

Heidi LPC :

I know it is difficult with all the added stress... just take it an hour at a time... if she is a good friend first and you both truly care for one another, the work will be worth it! Anything worth having is worth working for. Yes, if she gets judged when she speaks, she will learn to be fearful. We teach people how to treat us, so don't teach her to be afraid to talk to you.

Customer:

thank you


 

Customer:

may i contact you again in the future?

Heidi LPC :

Absolutely! Just put my name at the front of your question, and it will be directed to me... and good luck!! I hope it works out beautifully for you both!

Customer:

thank you heidi


 

Customer:
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 235
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor
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