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Ask Dr. Paige Your Own Question

Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1420
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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How do I break through to my girlfriend to make her realize

Customer Question

How do I break through to my girlfriend to make her realize that she can trust me not to leave her? Her father left her mother when she was about 6 years old. He never showed that he cared about her. In fact in public he wouldn't even introduce her as his daughter just as relation and that was only if someone asked. When her parents got divorced the reason her mother gave was that her father would not give emotionally and she got fed up with it. My girlfriend says that my emotions are very bright and that they are pleasant but still seems to push me away emotionally. I think it is because she is afraid. Please give me any suggestions that will help me communicate in a way to make her feel secure with me.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 3 years ago.
Hello. it sounds like time is going to be your answer. Time and patience. I know 2 years seems like a long time, but for someone who has emotional baggage as she does, she probably doesn't see it like that. You are doing all the right things and it sounds like you have a wonderful relationship so far. There is no magic act or trick that will automatically heal all of her wounds and make her trust you completely. You are just going to have to keep going with this as much as you think the relationship is worth. You do have a right to tell her your feelings about this however. You can tell her that you know she was hurt by how she was brought up and that she had bad examples of male figures in her life, but you are not him and you deserve to have a woman emotionally involved in your life 100%. It doesn't have to be a mean conversation or anything to push her away, but don't feel afraid to express your feelings about this to her. Just because she does have some issues, doesn't mean that it all has to be on her terms. You can have empathy and understanding, but if it gets to a point where you feel you are giving everything and she isn't meeting you half way, you certainly can tell her that you want her to be able to open up to you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She is worth the time and effort because I do love her. I agree with everything that you said including talking to her about it. That is a suggestion that I want to take. For a complete answer to my question I need some examples of how I can talk about this in a way that isn't mean. This is the exact area where I really need your help. Could you give me several ways I can initiate a conversation expressing what we need to work on because I am afraid of offending her. I don't want it to turn into an argument or even worse me offending her so much that it ruins what we have.
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 3 years ago.
Hi Kevin. You can just keep things positive. You said you have had conversations about your future together and working as a team. All of that does get through to her. You don't need to have a sit down talk with her, you can make a point here or there to her. You know her well, so you know how she is, but even start by writing down some things that you want to say to her( for yourself) then decide how you need to say those things to her. Its hard for me to be too specific because I don't know her. You can kind of make a translation guide for yourself. A lot of times, opportunity just presents itself spontaneously. For example, maybe she has a girlfriend whose boyfriend did something disrespectful to her and your gf brings it up to you in casual conversation. You can make a comment about that to let her know that you would never do anything like that to her. Always bring things up in a positive situation. Never be too serious but also make a point. If you guys converse often about your lives, if she brings up her father, take that chance to make sure she knows that you are a different type of man.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello Dr. Paige
Sorry I need so much help.(smile) This is a little more complicated due to the fact that my girlfriend and I are corresponding because it is a long distance relationship. I agree that it is hard to come up with specifics since you do not know her. With that being said I guess what I need help with is initiating the conversation about her father. He does not come up in conversation often if ever because of their strained relationship. This is why I need help bringing up the topic of her father in a way as to not offend her. Sorry that I did not mention that it was a long distance relationship. With both of us having hectic schedules her finishing a masters degree and work. Me working a full time job and a part time job. We write a lot of emails to each other. Any suggestions would be appreciated.I have been keeping things positive and not to serious but I need her to give a little more because my emotional love tank is getting a little low.(smile) I know she is just afraid of being hurt again if she express her love. It is the only thing keeping us from growing like I know we can.
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 3 years ago.
You don't have to specifically bring up her father. You can even say things like "bad examples in your life" and that would be implied. Emails are good actually. Sometimes writing things is easier because you have the chance to edit it before it gets sent!

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Maybe you can just make an email and work on it until you say in it everything that you want to say. Some of the stuff you posted as your original question is good. Make it as long or as short as you feel you need to. Have it ready and hold onto it until you are talking to her about the future. You can tell her that you spent some time writing some things down and you would like to send it to her. Make sure she is in a good mindset. Make sure there is a lot of love and supportive comments in your letter as well as some humor. If you want to start writing it and send to me so we can go over it together, that's fine, or you can just keep it private, its up to you.

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