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Norman M.
Norman M., Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2536
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DHP, ECP, UKCP Registered, 10 years in relationship counselling, over 2,000 satisfied mental health customers.
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I Just split up with my girlfriend of nearly 5 years. I had

Customer Question

I Just split up with my girlfriend of nearly 5 years. I had just separated from my wife and had 4 children. When I met my partner who was a mutual friend at work I thought she was my soul mate, for the first couple of years we had an amazing relationship but we are both a little volatile. Over the last 2 years she has built up a lot of resentment in the relationship because she wants nothing to do with my girls and gets very annoyed at times when I am with my children (every second weekend). She feels very lonely at these times as do I as would like my partner with me. She has built up resentment also over the fact that things have not moved as opposed to other friends she has who met their partners at the same time. I've always said I would commit via moving in, having kids with her and getting married. I've lost a big job also 4 years ago so I know have financial pressure as well. Over the last 7 months she has become more distant and is taking advice from her friends that it is hard work taking on someone elses children. She has just turned 40 and 2 weeks ago she dumped me. We have had the splitting up chat 3 times before in the last couple of months but I've always convinced her to stay together. We said even up to a month ago that if it was just the two of us we get on great and would be happily married at this stage. She dumped me and said she does not love me and does not want to be in the relationship, I am deeply in love with her and I know when we spend time together it is perfect. Since the split up she has been very distant, won't take my calls and has already gone out flirting. What can I do to get her back, I know we could be very happy but the main stumbling block has always been my girls and my amicable relationship with my ex, not legally separated yet. At this stage I would nearly consider reducing contact with my kids as my ex partner feels she is no 6 in my priorities. What can I do ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Norman M. replied 1 year ago.

Of course it is hard taking on four kids, but lets face it, she new what the package was and choose to accept it. Maybe she thought she could handle it, but it has become clear that she cannot. Frankly she is acting like a spoiled child.

It is also clear that she is extremely unsure about being in a relationship with you. However, if you try to pressurize her, she will probably just turn stubborn. I think that if you feel there is a possible relationship wither her, it's worth letting her know that you still want one, and that to a limited extent, you might change the arrangement about being with your kids. Be careful on this point, though, because you might find yourself being led into a place you do not want to in regard to your children.

Secondly, I’m going to suggest that you would benefit from some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

It would help you to see your situation in a very clear light, and help you make the best decisions possible for you and your family.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also causes the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,

the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfoforall/treatments/cbt.aspx

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/cbtstep1.htm

Also, there is a book called ”Feeling good - the new mood therapy” by Dr. David Burns. It has a hand book which gives you practical exercises to work through and further instructions on how to better use CBT. I really do recommend it.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook for Dummies By Rhena Branch, Rob Willson is also pretty good.

Best wishes, NormanM

Norman M., Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2536
Experience: ADHP(NC), DHP, ECP, UKCP Registered, 10 years in relationship counselling, over 2,000 satisfied mental health customers.
Norman M. and 3 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do I do next, do I give her space and let her date other men?
Also could she still have feelings for me, but are they so wrapped up in anger that she has got confused and now is trying to punish me.

I was going to meet with her to tell her I accept her decision, but also let her know that I still want her. Also I was going to say about accepting the girls, how much that meant to me and if she did I would marry her in the morning ( figure of speech)
What can I do to get her to switch back on, I don't think she would go to any counselling with me. She is so Pre occupied about having a baby and getting married that she will only focus on this.
Expert:  Norman M. replied 1 year ago.
I really do think that you need to give her space. She might still have feelings for you, but as you say, she is probably feeling hurt and confused right now, and unable to make good decisions.

I also think that you should makie your feelings clear to her so that she knows she does have an option when she cools down a bit. Other than that, there is little you can do realistically. Pressure will not work.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i met with her over a week ago and told her I wanted to move in , and if that went well we could try for a child and if she accepted the girls I would marry her in the morning. I said that there were things I needed to change re controlling issues, jealousy which were very negative. I also told her she needed to see a therapist as she could not deal with the girls and the fact she could not control the outcome it was giving very mixed feelings about us, she was quite emotional throughout the conversation but it was very easy and comfortable for both of us in each others company. We hugged a lot and kissed but I left after a few hours. I heard through the grapevine that she thinks we get on the best and that we are really compatible but she does not want to have more face to face meetings as she does not want to give me false hope as she is unsure of what she wants, I sent her 2 texts just light stuff and she replied once quite cooly. On the night she completely opened up to me but I think she also does not want to see me so she protects herself. She is going away for 2 weeks now next weekend, what can I do as I know when we are face to face she can't hide the fact she still has strong feelings for me? Do I try and keep some communication lines open between us?
Expert:  Norman M. replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Norman,Following on from your past e-mails, I have some questions to ask you.We got back together in the middle of October and she had started to go to counselling in September to see if she could work on accepting my kids. Things were going well, in the end of November she said she was having doubts and she sometimes feels so hot than cold for me. Anyway we went away and had a fantastic time for 4 days. After Christmas my 16yr old was attacked late at night, she lied to us to say where she was. My partner spoke out about her being out late to me, then 10 days ago she said she could not deal with the kids again. We had a long productive chat and I said I would move in and the girls would start to stay with us 2 months later and for the interim I would stay with my mam when I had the girls. She told me how much she loves me and how good we were together. We had a great weekend together and on the Sunday she said she wanted me to move in at the end of the month, that I needed to save for an engagement ring, that the girls could stay over and if it worked out we would get a house together plan for children and get married. She said that the two of us worked well together and it would be very easy to live together. We had a quiet night the next two nights and we talked about having full sex again and that I should get the protection. The following night she met with her counseller and 5 mins after coming out she phoned me to say she wanted to talk. I met her for 30 mins she said she did not want me to move in, she could not handle the kids, she did not love me and she did not want to have full sex with me, up to this point we had been very physical sex wise without full inter course. I had already told people I was moving in and she went mental when she found out I had told my ex of my plans, she also said she would not miss me if she did not see me for a month. I left it at that and we have not contacted each other since. I have from someone that she is planning to go on dating sites and that she is desperate to meet someone that will be with her, have kids and get married too. She wants this all to happen within 2 years she is 41 inAugust. All this pressure has been escalated as 3 of her close friends got engaged around Christmas. I don't know what to do, how can she be so hot for me at the weekend yet so cold a couple of days later? I was thinking of getting a ring and asking her to marry me, to show I meant what I said about my commitment to her? How can she have no feelings for me 3 days later? What should I do, as it will kill me to see her dating other people?

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