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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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My significant other and I have been together for the past

Customer Question

My significant other and I have been together for the past 8 months and for the first 6 it was perfect. Around late january she began looking for problems in the relationship but couldn't find any. She would then come to terms with the fact that its perfect and apologize to me for being crazy. We literally never fight, with the exception of the occasional argument over something silly. About 6 weeks later the same problem had surfaced once more and she began to refer to it as " cold feet ". She would tell me that she feels like i would some day down the line wish to revert to my single life and no longer want to be with her which is nowhere near true. I have lived an EXTREMELY eventful and reckless life and have my and maybe even 10 men's fair share of women which makes me understand so much more how important this woman is to me. Before me she was in an extremely abusive relationship where her BF would do nothing but her make her feel bad about herself, beat her, and cheat on her. Meanwhile she always forgave him and gave him another chance. This went on for TWO YEARS!! After her friends brought her to her senses she cut him off. Once her and I met we hit it off almost instantly. We hung out each and every single day for 3 months straight! I kept it real with her from the very beginning and she did the same. She told me about the abuse from her last boyfriend and that she was past it. She had about 2 and a half years to get past what her ex did to her and it now surfaced that she did nothing more than suppress it. 3 Days ago she broke up with me because she " wants to save me from herself" she told me shes been fighting her inhibitions for the last 3 months of our relationship but just cant help that she cant trust Men because of her ex and her father who abandoned her after repeatedly cheated on her mother for 13 years. We broke up on good terms because more than just being her boyfriend, i was her best friend, her diary. We established that we would be each others best friend and for the last 2 days its been alright. On a side note, in between me and her ex, she "dated" a few guys that she purposely got to develop feelings for her and then shot them down. As much as i want to help her for US i want to just see her happy. For the last few months i haven't seen the smile that i fell in love with and just cant help but want to help her. I totally understand that there is nothing i can do directly but be a good friend to her till she can get her head on straight. She said to me that she doesnt wanna be in a relationship where she cant FULLY trust me. She doesnt wanna be single she just wants to be alone. She doesnt understand that she cant get past this on her own. She had 2 years to try and all she could do is suppress it. And all that is going to happen if i walk away is she will suppress it again and the cycle will start all over. The thing is that shes never been in a position where she was just friends with someone she was in love with. I am the 2nd person shes gotten in this deep with, but i know that deep down all her mind can do is feel like im lulling her into a state of comfort then getting ready to hurt her. I would love nothing more than to see the love of my life happy and in a healthy mental state.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your girlfriend has been very traumatized and is behaving exactly as a traumatized woman does.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

She may have Borderline Personality Disorder or posttraumatic stress, but she is not able to trust yet.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You may be the best thing that has happened to her in years, but if you want to be with her you will have to be very very patient.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You will have to win her trust and put up with the fact that she is very emotionally wounded.

Customer:

i understand

Customer:

at the moment she just wants me as a best friend

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It sounds that being her best friend is the way back to win her trust.

Customer:

should i just keep treading lightly and showing her that i am a trustworthy person

Customer:

ok

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Absolutely.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are a man of the world and of great experience, even if you are young.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have paid some dues and understand life.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If you want her, stay there, take it slowly, and you will stay in her life.

Customer:

one last thing as well

Customer:

we were together yesterday

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

She can dump a boyfriend but can't dump a best friend.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes.

Customer:

i picked her up from work

Customer:

and we were talking about love

Customer:

and how you can never UN- love someone after you start

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

(Scary for her)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

true

Customer:

and her ex boyfriend, the one that caused all the damaged came up

Customer:

and she was telling me about how he will always have a place in her heart because no matter how much bad he did, there were times where there was lots of good which caused her to fall in love obviously

Customer:

her girl friend asked her the other day, if he wasnt such a bad person till this day would you take him back, and she said she would

Customer:

which is understandable because he was her first everything

Customer:

i just want her to see that im nothing like that man

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

She will have to let him fade away.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are not like him and you will take over that empty space in her heart once she lets you in.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

His memory is just a place-holder.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

She needs YOU.

Customer:

what about therapy?

Customer:

as much as i want to be there for her, and as much as i do know, theres so much that i dont

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The best kind of therapy for her would be what you call dialectical behavior therapy.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I can give you a link to a great self-help DBT workbook.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Give me a moment:

Customer:

please, and thank you

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

How old is she? Here is one book.

Customer:

she is 20

Customer:

she was with that man for 2 years

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


This book is age appropriate for her.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

She needs to get her trust back and this book - and YOU - will help her do that.

Customer:

is it for me to read and implement upon her or her to read?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Both of you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I have a book for her too.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Does she ever hurt herself?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Physically?

Customer:

no, not physically

Customer:

she tends to bottle her emotions and go "numb" as she refers to it

Customer:

which i sometimes think is worse

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

When she learns to trust she will open up.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Does she have mood swings?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Does she get very angry?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

she gets very angry and says things she doesnt mean

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Then she may have Borderline Personality Disorder. I will recommend this book for her.

Customer:

if she ever feels like her anger is about to get the best of her, she leaves me, and either goes to her house if we are at my place, or just goes for a walk

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

She is trying so very hard. She is a good person, I can tell.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Here is the book:

Customer:

now i have one problem left in all of this

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


Yes, what is it?

Customer:

as much as i love her and care about her, i cant look her in the face and hand her books like this

Customer:

its not awkward, i feel almost as if its a slap in the face

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Then get them for yourself.

Customer:

it would almost hurt me to give them to her

Customer:

i dont want her to feel offended

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I understand where you are coming from.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

And she is VERY prone to being rejected or feeling abandoned.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Here is a book for YOU instead:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have two choices:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


or

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


These books will help YOU to help her and she will be none the wiser.

Customer:

Thank you so much

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I shall keep both of you in my prayers.

Customer:

i am considering going to her mothers work place and attempting to implement this through her mom because her mom is like her best friend as well

Customer:

what do you think

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

As long as it doesn't backfire and cause you grief.

Customer:

in what sense?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That her mother says something to her making her angry with you or thinking that you are rejecting her.

Customer:

well we've gone on breaks before, but she broke up with me as in ended the relationship as a whole 3 days ago

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

She is on a hair-trigger sometimes, I believe.

Customer:

i understand

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I wish you great success.

Customer:

should i give it some time before i start trying to "help" her?

Customer:

or should i just act now

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Just continue to be her friend and accept her uncritically. Watch out for those hidden triggers. They are hard to avoid because she will be looking for them. Innocent words can be misconstrued. It is like walking on eggshells, you understand.

Customer:

yes! i actually used that analogy to her

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you know that phrase is used in several books that deal with BPD.

Customer:

i told her that we are both standing on glass, except that she is barefoot. and that we cant clean the glass up unless we both step back

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Another GREAT book is

Customer:

ok

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

 


That was a good metaphor that you told her.

Customer:

it's impossible to overcome something like this alone isnt it?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is better with help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is best with unconditional love given to her so that she regains trust.

Customer:

what do i do when she tries to keep pushing me away

Customer:

because she tells me that she pushes me away for my own good

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Tell her to remember that you are now friends, and it doesn't work that way for friends.

Customer:

she tends to try and dodge things like this

Customer:

thats the whole problem

Customer:

she'll either say why are you always trying to talk about stuff like this, or she'll hear me out then it'll go in one ear and out the other

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You either keep riding the big waves or you jump ship. Don't have discussions with her about this. Just enjoy your time together.

Customer:

i want to have the knowledge to cut through her stubborn exterior and nurture her true kind soul

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That's easy. Use action, gentle body language, and forget the words. Don't try to talk to her about things.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Don't give her advice, just companionship and friendship.

Customer:

i understand

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If you give her advice or suggestions then you are telling her she is not OK the way she is.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

She knows that herself. She just wants you to accept her.

Customer:

yeah, thats exactly what i dont want to do

Customer:

i dont want to make her feel like im aware shes damaged and i want her fixed

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Keep loving her unconditionally and she will improve and you will win her trust. It is a tough job but you are the guy for it, I believe.

Customer:

i most definitely will!

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I wish you great success.

Customer:

thank you for everything

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are very welcome. You are a good guy !

Customer:

i appreciate it

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

:)

Customer:

i just hope i can be mature and well collected enough to show her that

Customer:

have a nice day!

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that you are.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You too ! ! ! !

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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