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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Awhile back, a former GF and I went out to a bar with a best

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Awhile back, a former GF and I went out to a bar with a best friend of hers. We were both in our mid20s. Ex-gf and I get pretty buzzed and head to the dance floor. All of a sudden things get a little hot and heavy between us and we start making out like a bunch of teens. She starts telling me how she has never been this attracted toward someone she was dating before and how happy she is with me. She goes on to say that she thinks we will be a great couple and that she asks me to be patient with her. Then out of nowhere, she slaps me in the face!! To say I was stunned was an understatement. She looks at me in shock and starts laughing! Then she does it again. At this point I'm getting pissed. I grab her hands and calmly ask her to chill the f*** out. She then goes on to slap her friend later on in the night. She apologizes profusely the next day nearly in tears after a reaming from her friend. I forgave her and put it past me.

We split up a yr later...Fast fwd a few yrs. I am now 30 and she is 33. I see her at a bar a few weeks ago and we both exchange waves and hellos from our seats. We have a few mutual friends there and she starts talking to people about our old dates from a few yrs ago and even though we didn't have much money between us, we still had lots of fun. She gets up and walks over to me and asks me to pick a few songs with her from the jukebox so we can catch up. I agree and walk over with her. I can already tell she'd had a beer or 2 as did I. So we're at the jukebox. Then wouldn't you know it, slaps me in the face, puts her hand over her mouth in shock then gives me a hug! WTF! I pride myself and am known amongst people to have exceptional control over my emotions so I react by giving her a blank look and start to walk away. She then tries to grab me and asks me if I am "mad at her for being aggressive and that she want me to sit and talk to her for a bit."...WTF?!! I am still a bit upset at that point and just walk away from her as I did not want to do or say anything back to her that I would later regret. (I think we all know how things would shake down if the situation was vice versa. Also I know she had been in an abusive relationship at a point before me.)

There seem to be no reason or provocation for her to do this. What was she trying to accomplish by her strange actions?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is a very unusual reaction for someone to both express feelings of affection and of dislike in the same conversation. It sounds like there could be a few possibilities here:

One, she is hiding feelings of hatred of you and her friend. Some people will make a great show of liking someone but hold on to old resentments/grudges. And when your ex uses alcohol, she no longer has control over these buried feelings and they show themselves.

Two, your ex has violent tendencies either stemming from her personality or her past. She hides them well until she is in a situation that is highly emotional or she is too intoxicated to stop herself.

Three, your ex has a past history of being abused and she sees hitting someone as acceptable. She may hide this until she is unable to control her feelings.

Four, she is fearful of being close to someone so she hits or lashes out in order to get "space" between her and the other person and keep herself emotionally safe.

Since your ex hit both you and her friend, it seems that she harbors bad feelings in general and not necessarily towards you in particular.

If your ex is willing to deal with her issues, then she should seek therapy to find out why she acts out like this and what she can do to address her feelings. There is only so many times she is going to be able to lash out and get the other person to accept her apologies before she starts losing relationships. If you don't feel she is willing to seek help, then it may be a good idea to keep your distance, even if you do accept her apologies. It seems she is unable to control her feelings when she has had too much to drink.

I hope this has helped you,

May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Dr. McCoy,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX the way. Thanks for getting back to me. I really appreciate it.

To be honest, these 2 instances are the only times she has pulled this stuff on me. And yes, in both cases alcohol was involved. She actually did not drink often. When we were together, there were good moments without alcohol....HOWEVER, she could throw a fit when she wouldn't get her way. Yelling, damn near shrieking, belittling, put downs, storming off. I'd never seen it before. I got with her because I assumed that since she was older than me by 3 yrs (also a single mom) that she would have been a bit more mature that what she displayed...."I want to be treated like princess!" she would say....
Hi Erick,

It sounds like she could also have a personality disorder. If she is throwing fits and yelling when she doesn't get what she wants, that indicates very immature and self centered behavior. It is difficult to say what diagnosis she would fall under, but it could be Borderline or Histrionic personality disorder. Either way, she will need to see there is an issue with her behavior in order to get help and change it.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Kate, thanks for the help.She also went back to the abusive ex bf for a little who she would speak terribly about when we were together. Abuse, cheating, etc...Her family even sent her away to get away from him. She used to also speak poorly of her child's father and used to tell me that she knew deep down that she already liked me more than him....she went back to him as well. Why would she contradict herself like this? She was a woman's rights activist for pete sakes.
You're welcome.

It sounds like she has issues with abusive men. It could be that she experienced abuse in her past so she goes back to the relationships because it is what she knows. The women's rights stance could be about cognitive dissonance, which is a technical term meaning someone who says one point of view but then acts out another. It is difficult to tell without talking without talking to her directly, but that is the most common reason people stay or go back to abusive relationships.


PS I will be signing off for the night so if you do respond I will catch you in the morning. And thank you for the positive rating. I appreciate it!