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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Hello, I am struggling with my girlfriend and trying to

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Hello,

I am struggling with my girlfriend and trying to figure out what is wrong with our relationship and then if I can figure that out how to fix it. We have been together for a little over a year and a half. Things were very good when they started and now I am feeling disconnected and worn down I guess is the best way to put it.

Here is where the problem starts off. I am quick to be very defensive whenever I feel that I might have done something wrong. I immediately snap off a quick retort before she has had the time to even criticize what it is I thought that I might have done wrong. This is causing a lot of arguments between us and I realize it is not good or healthy behavior on my part, but I also feel that I have been conditioned to have this response anymore. I attempt to do my best to make sure what I say or do is not able to be criticized to avoid her saying something to me. I have never had this issue with anyone before and as far as I can tell she is the only one I try and act this way around.

For example if I am cleaning the garage and I spill something and she in there she will come over and as she is coming over I will assume she is going to criticize me for spilling something and I will response with I’m something along the lines of sorry didn’t mean to spill that I’ll clean is up. I won’t say it in the nicest way though. I think I have been trained to expect negative reactions from her and I am preemptively responding to what I think will be a negative reaction. It is causing a lot of fights and she is now realizing that I am trained to response this way even though when we first got together I did not do this.

Most of my friends have made comments to me that they think she treats me badly in public by criticizing things that really didn’t need to be criticized and I don’t feel that she has a lot of empathy for others in their problems. Although people won’t tell her I have been asked by friends and family why she is so mean. We went on a vacation with my parents and the first two or three days were very much everyone walking on egg shells.

I am not sure whether I am doing something to cause this behavior or not but I don’t like how I now feel when we are together. I feel very cold and empty towards her and don’t want to say or do something that will cause her to snap. She doesn’t really have bouts of anger or outbursts but the few times I have mentioned something about this it usually involves her crying for a while and eventually I try and calm her down and tell her everything is all right. I don’t really think it is though. We are living together and if that were not the case I may not be trying so hard to figure this out.

Any advice or additional information that might help? I am totally willing to accept that it is me causing issues as well I am really just unsure at this point what to do. I feel very detached from her and that I need to fake most communications, but there are other times that she makes me feel great…

Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are having these issues with your girlfriend, I can imagine how this distresses you

Dr. Z :

I do not think that you are the one causing this type of behavior from her, so I would not worry about that

Dr. Z :

When she cries, what exactly does she say to explain her behavior or do you not get that far when you bring it up?

Customer:

Well the last time this happened which was on Saturday we were preparing to go to my familys house for a party

Customer:

Evevtually she said that she is unhappy that she is hurting me and dosent realize she is doing it

Customer:

And said that she is too blunt when she speaks

Customer:

And that if she was less blunt that things would be better

Dr. Z :

Has she always been blunt like this, or is this a more recent behavior for her?

Customer:

She has always been that way, I think I just overlooked it for a very long time. Really just a few months ago I just had trouble coping with it anymore and I started being very defensize

Customer:

Usually she gets reviews at work that say that she needs to relate better to people, she works in helping people resolve issues with her company

Dr. Z :

Okay, may I ask does she have any issues with looking at people in the eye when talking with them and would you describe her as "clumsy" at all?

Customer:

She dosent really have an issue with looking people in the eye and is rarely clumsy, I think she puts forth a very large amount of effort to avoid being clumsy or acting inappropriately

Dr. Z :

When she engages in conversations, are they usually one-sided where she does most of the talking?

Customer:

Usually she will talk a lot more than I will talk

Customer:

We also have issues where if it dosent go her way she has trouble accepting an alternative solution to a problem even if they both would solve the problem

Dr. Z :

Well she may have a disorder called Asperger's Disorder, where individuals have difficulty reading and empathizing with people, and can be blunt with what they tell people, so it comes off as mean. Here is a good link explaining it in more detail for you

Dr. Z :

Sometimes individuals with this disorder also see their way as the best and have difficulty seeing other solutions. Usually individuals with this disorder are intelligent, but have a hard time relating to other people.

Customer:

That is an interesting diagnosis and I will keep it in mind. I dated someone with Asperger's in the past may years ago. This dosent remind me of the same but I am sure it can manifest in different ways

Customer:

*many yearts

Customer:

lol, years

Dr. Z :

It may be a mild version, because you do say that she puts forth a great effort to not act inappropriately or clumsy, so she may be conscious of what she is doing and trying to put forth more mental energy than average to help not exhibit these symptoms.

Customer:

Does that in any way realate to her harsh critism of people when they make mistakes? I see that as more of the problem myself is that whenever something comes up that is a mistake it gets immediate and harsh critism

Customer:

I hope im not talking more of your time up than I shopuld be btw

Dr. Z :

The other possibility is that she may have a personality disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), but I do not see maliciousness in her behavior to suggest this

Dr. Z :

No you are not taking more of my time at all.

Dr. Z :

I just type slow

Customer:

Ok I dont think she is trying to be malicious either in what she does

Customer:

I just dont think, she realizes that she is hurting people

Dr. Z :

And this is why I think it is Asperger's Disorder, most likely a mild version though.

Dr. Z :

Yeah and individuals with Asperger's Disorder do not think they are hurting others.

Customer:

alright, well thank you very much for your time and I think you adequately answers my question :-)

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am always happy to help. Is there anything else I can do to assist you?

Customer:

Any tips on how to deal with this?|

Dr. Z :

Well for her, she would need to see a therapist to help individualize appropriate behavioral management techniques specifically for her

Dr. Z :

You can try couples therapy too, so that you can be a support for her

Customer:

ok thanks for your help

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