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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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My girlfriend and I have been engaged for 8 months now. For

Customer Question

My girlfriend and I have been engaged for 8 months now. For the past month or so it seems like her level of affection and interest in me dropped significantly. She started going out every weekend with friends to drink / party. We have not been intimate very much during that time. So me fearing that maybe she was pursuing other guys, i broke her trust and looked in her cell phone. I found texts with other guys from all over the country. Kind of flirty but nothing too bad. There was one message that she basically said that she "had to sneak down into the basement" at her mom's house "just to call him last night".. then the man replied "do you feel like you are 13 again" and then she replied "no i feel scandellous"... so... I confronted her about it she got angry. i admitted i did wrong and appologized... she left to her mothers house and wants space. I left her alone she came back 2 days later to charge her phone age get medicine, left to the store and then came back to get her phone and go. I asked if i could talk to her and she said yes, i appologized and what not... then i said whenever she was ready to talk i was here. she responded with "i haven't completely thought about what i'm going to say to you yet" ... she texted me the next day and said "i been thinking maybe we need a long break...i feel being away is less stressful for me..." we then txt back and forth for a few mins ... she said things like "i been thinking you deserve to be alone, i'm not sure what i want right now, i feel it's better we do our own thangs for awhile, im just lost right now and need to think over things" .... it has been over a day since that conversation ended and our 2 year anniversary of dating is in 10 days... should i still plan an anniversary date over the weekend which would be in like 8 days? should i text her at all to say i love you or i miss you or i'm thinking of you, or even a "goodnight"?? HELP.. we have a 14month old daughter and this is the girl i actually invested in and told things i told no one before!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this frustrating situation.

Customer:

it's ok ... i just think this is the first relationship i actually invested in and made real committment

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely, and it is not only the fact that you truly cared about it but had your daughter too.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It is very sad and concerning since you were not just like teenagers dating but in a committed relationship, with a daguhter

Customer:

yes... my first child... but it is her second... she was also married once very young because of it... she was pregnant at 15 and got married... she was divorced for 2 years and in and out of relationships before we met

Customer:

uhm i forgot to also note.. .as silly as it may sound... a few things actually...

Customer:

we are engaged on "facebook.com" .. i know.. corny.. but she still visits the site everyday and the status hasn't changed... she also came back to the house yesterday to grab laundry... so i have seen her twice since she "left" and she hasn't "ended" things by giving her ring back.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You were totally assertive when taking responsibility for your behavior, when you read those messages, but you have not mentioned anything about her acknowledging her unacceptable behavior, apologizing nor making any changes for better but mostly reacting offended and withdrawing without being clear about what she wants.

Customer:

she told her sister that she was just having a rough patch and needed some time

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Has she shown being caring and responsible on all the the areas of her life? Since these behaviors do not show she holds accountbility for the serious changes she presented during the last month you were together

Customer:

well she texted me and said maybe we need a long break... i told her that i was thinking of her, missed her, loved her, and missed our baby... i also told her to take time if she needed it ... then i said... i know that i messed up, i know nothing i do now can ever make up for my mistakes.. what i do know is that it will never happen again.. i promise from the very bottom of my heart.. you are my everything

Customer:

then she said i been thinking maybe you deserve to be alone but i don't know im not sure what i want right now

Customer:

she takes care of the children and herself just fine

Customer:

like i said it was just lacking of feelings towards me.. but i feel like i was probably smothering her and that's why she was ... distancing herself some? im not sure.. is that an incorrect assumption

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, but again, what about what triggered your behavior, she was acting out like a teenager having fun without any responsibility during that month, and it seems that was totally fine for her to do, and you are the only one with an unacceptable behavior. I do support your decision not to push her at all, since that would never help, but I think it is essential for you to come to terms with reality that her behavior during that month and her present reaction and behaviors show she does not share the same level of affection, understanding, accountability, commitment and support towards you and your relationship-family.

Customer:

really?

Customer:

that saddens me... do you believe that after a little time to herself she will not come back.. or believe the relationship is worth it?

Customer:

do you think that being away may make her realize that she is missing out on something good? or not? plus... do you think i should just not speak to her instead of inviting her out to an anniversary date? i don't want to go overboard and just outright kill the relationship

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What you described here was that she became distant, changed not showing much affection nor interest, going to party every weekend and drinking and that your sexual intimacy was very poor too, those were not only red flags but concrete issues going on, showing she was not truly into the relationship but focused on having fun with other people, and everything you have said here does show how much you felt sorry for going beyond a boundary and reading those texts, who revealed she was in touch with many men, but nothing about her feeling sorry for what she was doing at all, and that is very serious, since show you do care about her , the relationship and your family together, while she feels very different and is focused on other people not you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do not see how a person in your shoes, by being responsible, affectionate, consistent in your actions with what you feel and want for your relationship and child, could "kill" or damage the relationship at all. But what I see is that while you are working on protecting and nurturing your relationship and family, she has been focused on her own path away from you, and that's very sad and frustrating but real.

Customer:

so would me asking her to help me understand what she was doing help any? If I state that I felt it wasn't respectful to me?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think you should continue to respect her boundaries, not pushing her at all, but letting her know your position and what you want and expect while fully respecting her decision, that you would like to be with her for that special occasion but if she does not want it to happen, that you would also respect her will.

Customer:

so let me ask you this then

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think you must have confronted all those behaviors as soon as they happened. It seems that everything was focused on you apologizing for reading her messages but nothing was discussed about her behaviors leading to your reaction, that she never acknowledge how dysfunctional that was for your relationship and family and never apologized, but chose to leave, what would point at her not truly feeling that into your relationship, and I am afraid all her behaviors together could effectively show that, which would not be the consequence of your reaction to her behavior, not your fault at all, but what she chose to do from a month ago because of her own issues and the way she was already feeling about the relationship.

Customer:

if i left her a message saying that "i want you to be a part of my life and I would like to celebrate our 2 year anniversary on the 24th, because even though things are rough it is a very special day. unless you are not ok with that." is that ok?

Customer:

so do you think that by me digging and confronting i already put the nail in the coffin?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely, I do totally support that initiative, since it is consistent with what you feel and want and at the same time you show respect, not pushing anything.

Customer:

and doing this even though she wants space will not seem ... like needy or anything?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If to this point she has not acknowledged her behaviors, taking full responsibility for them, I think she need to work on herself and make improvements to know what she wants. By now she is showing through her behaviors she doesn't want to be next to her. The last point you mention would depend on how you approach it. If you care about your family and take this proactive actions, it would not be something unhealthy nor needy. Needy and dysfunctional behaviors would be if after you do what is consistent with your feelings, concerns and commitment, she continues to reject you, without taking any responsibility herself and you keep trying to get her back, that would be needy and would not help but damage you.

Customer:

also... since i have you here... i think the whole situation of her being distant came from her feeling i was needy maybe? i have a lot of love to give... neither of us drive and i'm the only one that works... so money is tight... we don't go on dates as much.. and see each other a lot... do you think that me being around too much started this... AND I already analyzed this behavior some and made some friends since i have like none... this is a new town for me... and did a couple things... am taking charge of what i need to instead of procrastinating and she sees some of this... do you think that may help rectify the way she feels .. and drum up that attraction again?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is about a special occasion, then you have the right to take this initiative and invite her to consider it, as she has the right to take it or reject it, each option would show you more about her, what she feels and wants about your relationship. Everything you have described here clearly shows you are the one who truly cares about and does work for this relationship to work, while she seems focused on other people and a life away from you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do support anything proactive, responsible and healthy you may do in order to improve yourself and life style, that could only help any situation including this, but at the same time, you need to come to terms that no matter how hard you work on yourself and offer every good thing you can to this person, if she does not feel the same and works on herself and the relationship, it would never work.

Customer:

so do you think if coming up with a tactful way of asking her to help me understand her actions... and ask her why she is so focused on other people instead of me ... do you think that would help? maybe she doesn't realize what's going on? or maybe do you think i could get her to come with me to some couples counciling? do you think she would accept that.. or be more offended? just so that for instance she could see that she is not invested? just realize what is going on?

Customer:

right... i am doing this for me... because i need it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Set a time frame for her to think about what she wants, like 1 month from now, after that period of time you would meet and talk about what she truly wants and needs, you would do the same and see if the two of you are able and willing to work together in your relationship or not. But please remember that if you do your best but she does not even start by taking responsibility for her feelings, choices and actions, and you continue to allow-enable that, then it would not help but deepen a more dysfunctional situation that would not help you nor your daughter, and she would continue to show behaviors that could be manipulative and neglectful.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think that is she has acted out this way without you confronting her behaviors before, she would react even more negatively to a confrontation in the present; but it is obvious that you should have addressed and worked on these issues right when they happen and before she left, that's why I think she was manipulative taking advantage of your fears and strong affection and attachment to her, for you to feel overwhelmed by her leaving with your daughter instead of her taking recognizing and taking responsibility for her actions.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Couples counseling would be essential in this situation but I am afraid that she would refuse to go since her past and present behavior continues to show she doe not want to take responsibility for her own actions nor is willing to work on it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry but what I see here is that while you try and do your best for your relationship and family, she does the opposite, and that's very painful to acknowledge but necessary, for you to take good care of yourself and of your child.

Customer:

wow... i feel so ignorant about the dynamics between men and women... up until this disaster i didn't really even think anything was wrong... well if i gave her time ... like a month... should that be completely NO CONTACT? like should I give her a text like once a week to say she's on my mind or i love her? what about seeing my child.. she is staying with family... do i just arrange to have her dropped off her by family... or arrange to go see my daughter for a while through her family... also... if after that month... i am able to have a discussion with her about things and am able to "get a little bit ouf of her" and come to an agreement to work on things... do you think the possibilty of getting her to do some counciling is greater?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I suggest you to set a time frame, for her to do what she wants to do, but after that period of time, you would meet and talk about everything , each taking full responsibility for your actions, feelings and choices, and from there you would decide if you could truly want and can work on your relationship or not. One being ready for it would not work, it must be both. If then you see her keeping the same approach, then you would have to start working on moving on and rebuilding your life, thinking on how to do your best to take good care of yourself and of your daughter, but please, you would need then too, to stop taking responsibility for her actions or her life, since she is an adult and must do that herself.

Customer:

also do you think that maybe there is some fear on her part of jumping into another marriage and failing? because after divorce she only had two years of being out of it? her sister said that she told her she just lives day to day

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The contact between you must respect her boundaries, if she said it is OK for you to text, email or call her once a week or "X" times, then do so, just respect her boundaries. If you do not know, then ask her what would be fine for her about it, then stick to it. That's about your relationship. Now about your daughter it is a totally different thing. You do have the right and need to spend time with her, then if she does not want to see you, no problem, but she has the responsibility to make sure you see each other as necessary.

Customer:

so should i tell her to take a month to herself? or just silently wait and if at one months time she hasn't come to talk then initiate it? again i have to say... all of her possesions are here at our apartment... she only took bare essentials.. just "some" clothes and "some" makeup, her phone, thats it.

Customer:

ok so contacting her directly about our daughter should be the way to go

Customer:

what if she shows just to get things.. .should i even say hi?

Customer:

as it would probably be unanounced

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Couples counseling would be the way to go, but it would only help if both happen to be honest, open and accountable, willing to work on the relationship, an if she happens to have personal issues, as I can see, and is unwilling to work on them, couples counseling would not work, she would need individual counseling.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

No, please do not "silently wait", you need to be proactive and clear, otherwise you could spend months if not years hoping for her to come back, while she does her life as she wants and you still wait for it to work. You need to assertively address it. She wanted time to think, then one month could be a good period of time to clarify things in her mind and then talk about it, if she keeps being this way, non accountable and rejecting even talking about things, then it'd be obvious you would need to start working on taking better care of yourself and daughter without depending on what she wants and does, since it would not work, she would have already confirmed she does not want you in her life.

Customer:

well i have another question then? if i was able to be somewhat successful in breaking through to her... after an agreement to work on things... could making a request for her to get some individual counseling work... without her getting upset and just upright denying it... also ... she has a social relationship with my mother... they do talk a lot.. but my mother is on vacation and i haven't been able to speak with her... but my parents have been married for a looong time and dealt with a lot of rough stuff.. and my mother has gone for a lot of counciling... do you think if i mentioned something to my mother .. that maybe she could put some value on the power of counciling and maybe show my girlfriend that it might be a good choice

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You have the right and freedom to do anything you want as long as you show respect, caring, understanding and maturity as an adult, if being that way triggers people's negative reactions, that's their problem not you, and please do not take responsibility for other people's actions at all. She needs to mature a lot and work on herself, but if she does not take responsibility for her own choices, feelings, and actions a, for her life, nothing could work fine for her, no matter how hard other people try to make things work.

Customer:

and by show i mean demonstate... by example... like my mother says .. i was dealing with this and that.. and husband was doing this and that.. but i spoke to someone about it and was able to see this and that and we got better

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Again, you have no control on her feelings and reactions, most times when addressing issues or something healthy that needs to be done would trigger a negative even aggressive reaction in people, but that does not mean we should all become codependent and deny or avoid reality, enabling what is dysfunctional. If you are in a relationship and see counseling would benefit, there is nothing wrong about mentioning it. If the other person reacts in a negative way, that would only shows her issues and unwillingness to work on herself with adequate support.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Right

Customer:

so by knowing that she probably talks about me to my mother.. and probably complains or asks questions... would it be beneficial to let my mother know everything that is happening... and see if some... "motherly love" kicks in and her and my mother have some talks... but only if initiated by my girlfriend... i know she calls my mother "mom" so.. i think that she has invested enough monetarily and emotionally... but... like you say is dealing with responsibilities to the relationship... and maybe not wanting to be locked down and think that this is it... i know she probably isn't ready for marriage yet but she gave me a promise ring after i proposed .. so i figure there is something there... i was waiting for the relationship to mature more before even talking about setting a date... which is now another thing all together for DOWN THE ROAD... but hopefully by talking with my mother she can see a future instead of just day to day living?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If they have this open and good communication, and she takes initiatives and looks for her counsel, sure it would be very helpful for your mother to support her promoting her awareness of reality and the benefits of getting counseling. It's obvious to me that focusing on marriage is not something helpful at all in your situation, since her behavior shows she doe snto even want to continue living with you, being in the relationship, thus now it is all about her finding out what she wnats and working on her personal issues afefcting the relationship, and taking responsibilities as an adult, whether with you in the relationship or not.

Customer:

yes i agree

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Good

Customer:

that's why i did some "soul searching" i guess you could say... looking at my own behaviors to make healthy changes to things i didn't realize i was doing... i was hoping that maybe having a chat with my mother would spark some thinking on my girlfriends end... well

Customer:

i guess... we have covered as much as we can at this point.... i appreciate your time... you have given me some great insite into this matter... if at some point i choose to come back to this site for more counsel especially on this matter... is there anyway that I can speak specifically with you?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely, just make sure you include my name in your question, directing it to me. I would be able to offer counseling support yoo, in case you consider it as helpful. I do always suggest people facing tough situation to consider counselign as an ideal source of support, from venting, to developing better insight and for effectively coping.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you for your trust.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please take gentle care and consistent action.

Customer:

THANK YOU SO MUCH! bye

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Rafael M.T.Therapist and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Well she finally decided to talk to me... She is still placing all the blame on me and admits no wrong doing. She said she forgives me as a person but can't forgive my actions... I don't know... I guess I'm walking away.

Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry to here that. It's obvious to me that she has a lot of work to do on herself to build back her mental health, since her actions are very concerning. I support your decision to focus on taking good care of yourself and do the best you can to take good care of your daughter too.
Please feel free to contact me as necessary, since I am willing to support you.

Thanks for your trust,

Rafael

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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist
Mental Health Professional
3189 Satisfied Customers
MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach