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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
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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Hi...a few weeks ago my girlfriend went to the doctors and

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Hi...a few weeks ago my girlfriend went to the doctors and was told she needs to have a colonoscopy and endoscopy. She is terrified of anything internal. The next day we talked on the phone and she said the last 2 weeks she doesnt feel the same for me, and wanted to break up. We talked for a while, and she said she didn't know what to do, was crying a lot and she said she would call me the next day. She didn't call. We agreed to meet for lunch last Sunday but she texted me in the morning saying she was crying, she didn't want to talk about us, but that we did need to talk, she just wasn't ready for it and that she needed her space for right now, but that she didn't mean it in a bad way. She said she was not doing well emotionally, and I was completely understanding of that. On Tuesday she texted me 'Hi dear, how are you' and later 'Our trip is almost here'; we are supposed to go to the Galapagos Islands in 2 weeks. I have given her her space, have not been chasing or needy in anyway. Any communication, only via text, has come from her and not me. I was debating whether to just go over to her house, but I don't know if its a good idea. If this was only about our relationship, I would have gone over. If this was only in regard to her medical issues, I would have gone over. But the combination of the two makes me feel that I should not, and wait for her to want to communicate, talk, and see each other. Any advice?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

I believe that I can help.

Your girlfriend is suffering from a possibly serious (and perhaps painful) medical condition and is wanting to suffer this alone and not be a burden on you. She believes that it may interfere with your relationship.

She is suffering from great anxiety and may also be suffering from depression as well. She is not rational, and is not capable of thinking clearly.

If you truly care for her, this is the time that she needs you more than she ever has in her life.

If she is depressed she will be irritable and may try to push you away. You must do your best NOT to let her push you away. She needs you to hold her and soothe and comfort her and to REASSURE her that she will be ok and that you will stand by her.

I believe that if she ever needed you, this is the time she needs you the most. I would go to her, not text or email or call. Go gently and put up with her negativity. Do not react to it with anything but kindness and understanding.

She may need psychological support as well. You must be there and help her through this if you care. It will be rewarding for you and will cement your relationship.

I strongly urge you to go to her and help her with all of the patience and kindness that you can muster, and do your best to gently resist her rejection.

If you think it will help you can go there with flowers (or chocolates if she would prefer) in your hands.

I wish you great success and shall keep you in my prayers.

Warm regards,

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
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 Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Elliott...I didn't realize you were online and am glad you'll be able to respond, since you were advising me yesterday. I took your advice and brought some beautiful flowers. I went over after she got home from work (she lives with her mom). There were fifteen people in the apartment. This isn't strange, since they often have a lot of family members over. I gave her the flowers, she gave me a kiss on the cheek. I asked her about her medical problems and her appointments arent until August. Other than that, she seemed pretty happy and healthy. So I felt a bit out of place since I went over the make sure she was ok, and that didnt appear to be a major issue at all. After a little I asked her how the two of us were doing and she said she didnt want to talk about it. Not a smart move on my part. I asked her if she wanted me to leave and she said no. So I stayed for about five hours, mostly just talking and watching tv, like we normally do. I did notice that she changed the picture on her computer from a picture of us to a different picture, which hurt a bit but I guess cant be unexpected. She did reach out and touch my arm a few times, which I'm not sure how to understand. We talked a lot of about our upcoming trip, which is in two weeks from today and will last two weeks. I'm very surprised she still wants to go. If it were me and I broke up with someone, I wouldnt want to sleep in the same bed with them for twelve days. Id either take the loss of money or see if the other person could find a replacement. Anyway, when I left she hugged me and thanked me for coming over and for the flowers. I said I was very happy that she was healthy and feeling better. On the way home, she texted me thanking me for coming over and flowers, but most of all that I cared so much about her and that I was there for her. I know I need to have patience and give her her space, and that I should not expect her to define our relationship, regardless of how she sees it. I'm just not sure what I do next. I've read a lot of how I should cut off all communication, dont chase her, and wait for her to contact me and initiate any getting together. I was thinking of seeing if she wants to get a quick, casual dinner sometime this week...maybe go for a hike on the weekend that we had planned to do in the past, but never got around to it. SO, I'm just wondering what I should do next?

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the help Elliott....I will continue to be patient and let the relationship define itself by actions, and not words. But do you have any advice as to how I approach the next 2 weeks before I leave. Should I see if she wants to get a casual dinner this week or go for a hike on the weekend (its an all day thing)? Or should I let her initiate contact and/or getting together? Thanks!

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Great, thanks for all the help Elliott. One last thing...how should I act on our trip. Like her boyfriend? Like just her friend? Somewhere in between. After all, we'll be sleeping in the same bed for almost 2 weeks. Or should I just read her signals and react accordingly?

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Elliott, you're a lifesaver and its much appreciated! Last one, I promise: unless I hear from her, on Tuesday I will enthusiastically suggest grabbing a quick dinner. i just want to make sure that its ok for me to initiate the contact and/or dinner and not wait for her to do so.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Elliott and I'll certainly do my best to be patient. I talked things through with my sister, who is a bit of a hot head and she said if it were she wouldnt let her go on the trip; that I should cancel it or just go by myself, because a) she hasnt not wanted to talk about anything, but said a few weeks back that we do need to, she just wasn't ready and b) she is putting me in an incredibly difficult position of being in limbo. Obviously this leaves no room for reconciliation.


 


It kind of feels like Im in limbo. I'll be willing to be there for a while, but at some point (I suppose after the trip) I'll need to ask her whether she wants me in her life and future. Do you agree/disagree?

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Well she agreed to get dinner Thursday! She didn't seem overly excited, she responded (sure, Thursday is good). But I suppose she has to keep things close to the vest, especially if shes testing me and/or giving me a second chance.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Elliott!


Ok a corny question here....when I pick her up, I was thinking of opening the car door for her. I did that the first time we ever went out...and I'm pretty sure she's pointed that out along the way. I know women remember those little things that men dont....and I dont! What do you think?

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok, another extremely corny question....shes has always wanted me to wear a pink dress shit, she said they look nice. And I of course, have always said never in my life would I be caught dead in a pink shirt. Anyway, I was thinking of getting one and wearing on the day of our flight. I'm trying to think of ways to show that I acknowledge her, and that I might not have in the past, I'm willing to going forward. Is that too much? I know these are super small details, but I know most women do sweat the small stuff.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Oh, I've been rating you as 'excellent service the entire time'.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Elliott, I just gave a bonus, hope it went through and you got it. So, a quick update....we went to a quick dinner tonight, and all went well. At first, I think she might have have been nervous that I'd bring up our relationship, but of course I didn't. So there was no talk about that. But I think we both had a good time; we talked and laughed about our trip. When I dropped her off she didn't invite me up and I didn't want to assume, so I just dropped her off. She said 'well, I guess we'll keep in touch before our trip'. I wasn't sure how to read that...that are we going to see each other before the trip or its best we dont see each other before the trip. And I told her if she wasn't busy this weekend and wanted to get together, let me know. So that was about it. Should I just wait for her to make the next move, if she does at all? Should I text her that I had a really good time tonight, or just leave it as it is?

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I will text her tomorrow that I had a really. I did tell her to let me know if she wanted to get together this weekend. If i ask her again to do something specific without hearing from her first, wouldnt that be trying to force it?
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok thanks Elliott...if I dont hear from her by tomorrow, I'll get in touch and said I had a really nice time, and maybe propose doing something over the weekend we both like. I know I told her to let me know, but if she is the leaving the door open, she might want me to be straightforward and clear that I want to see her. I was thinking either the movies or a baseball game; she is not a fan of sports, but does like the Yanks. Haha and she knows I hate them, so maybe that would surprise her.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Elliott, thanks for all the help...one last thing, and this is just me thinking things through. If she had made up her mind to NOT be with me, then all of this would be mute because she would be gone and no vacation would happen. So she isn't sure or she is sure, but she hasn't ended it and that much IS for sure?


 

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yep, I'm completely aware...I really have never been in this position of limbo, and its not too comfortable and its hard to know how to react. In past relationships, if we broke up fine, time to move on, no worries. But I feel stuck right now, where we're not together and not apart. I feel like I'm going on an upcoming 12 day audition for something.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Elliott, I wanted to thanks for all the help. I'm going out of town for a few days and then we leave on our trip, so this will be it from me. I will approach the trip as friends and be positive and fun, and hopeful for more. But I'm sure shes taken the time to see this from my point of view as well, and might be thinking about what I'm thinking. And if thats the case, what could she possibly expect from me? Comforting and understanding, or distant? To prove my value to her? I know my own expectations, but its hard to determine what she expects out of me during these 12 days.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Elliott, i will do exactly that and give her no reason to be upset or uncomfortable. She texted me the other day that we will have 22 weeks to ourselves and that she hopes it does us good. Thats the first time shes mentioned us, and if we are both hopeful, hopefully only good things will happen!
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Elliott...we leave on Sunday, but I just picked up this book (I guess it could be kind of a game too) called 365 questions for couples. There are questions about our relationship, relationships in general, likes/dislikes, goals, etc. Some are simple like whats your favorite food and others are deeper, like What is your favorite memory about our relationship? I've been thinking and realized that we know a lot about each other (likes and dislikes and stuff like that), but we don't really know about each other, as another person (like dreams, fears, etc.). And since her and I are not the best communicators, I thought bringing this on the trip might be a good idea and give a chance to open up to each other about who we really are. Do you think this is a good or terribly bad idea? Should I suggest this, or just mention it and see how she feels about it?

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Elliott,


 


I've been back from the trip for about a week and due to all of your help, I thought I'd give you update. Unfortunately, the trip did not go as I had originally hoped. We got along just fine, though it was clear from the outset, she did not see this trip as a way to reconnect. Though we had a lot of great times, she was also very rude and snotty towards me for absolutely no reason. We didn't hold hands once, she didn't ask for any pictures taken together or anything. But this trip was more of an adventure than a vacation, and for two people looking to reconnect, this was probably the worst place in the world to go. If I could predict the future, I would have booked a trip to Hawaii or Tahiti. This was always my trip, and contained many things that she would never do on her own. On the 7 day boat trip, she was not able to contact her family, no internet, walking through animal poop all day, trying to fall asleep on a boat that was literally walking sideways. I like those things, and she loathes them. She was very stressed and I could tell she tried to get me into a few silly arguments that I managed to avoid. At one point she said she was extremely hurt because she had never been so ignored by anyone before, referring to me on the trip. I'm pretty sure the boat made her delusional because I certainly didn't. I did my best to read her body language and because she wasn't inviting of any affection, I did not follow in her footsteps like a puppy. In fact, I am more proud of myself for the way I acted those 12 days than anything else in my life. I truly did my best. I truly did my best. I was understanding, friendly, funny, had the patience of a Saint. I was literally the best version of myself every minute of the trip.


 


The conditions were also tough on me, but knowing they were far tougher on her, I held it together. I really feel a lesser person would have just blown up on her and cursed her out. By the time we got back, I had completely accepted that the relationship was over and I was fine with that (she also made sure that I heard her refer to my as her ex-boyfriend). I developed the mindset that she didn't deserve to be with me, and I certainly didn't deserve to be with someone like that. So by the time we landed, I had moved on emotionally and mentally. She said she would contact be about giving me the check for the trip, and I was pretty confident we would never see each other again. Which I was fine with.


 


Since then she has gotten in contact a few times. Asking how I was doing, wishing me a belated birthday (yep, she seemed to even forget that). She also said that she felt we left things awkward and that she felt very bad about how things went on the trip. To me, what things aren't awkward the last time see an ex boyfriend or girlfriend. She asked if I wanted to get together to talk. I agreed, not because I really want to, but mainly because regardless of everything, I will not give her any reason to place any blame on me. So I didn't hear from her for a few days (she forgot my birthday and said sorry, she's been in her own little world). She got in touch yesterday saying she was getting the vibe I didn't want to talk to her. I replied that I never said that, and she shouldn't judge my vibe based on text messages. She asked if I was available on Thursday, andI told her I might be going on another week long trip, and she said please let me know when you get back or maybe we can meet before on Tuesday.


 


I honestly am done with trying to predict what shes feeling or thinking, maybe you could get a better read. I don't know what she wants to talk about, if she wants to be friends (which I will politely decline) or she just wants to talk to clear the air for her, so she doesn't feel bad. After all, its been 6 weeks since she initially said she wanted to break up, and now she finally wants to talk. Though given, that trip was the last time and place to have any type of relationship talk. I promised myself after the trip I would not contact her under any circumstances, and that if anything happened at all (whether big or small) would have to come from her. To me, when I dropped her off that was the last time I'd ever see her, but now she wants to get together. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions or advice?

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Elliott, I agree with everything you said and feel the same way. I have no intention of over thinking anything, because in my mind it doesnt much matter either way.


After 6 weeks, why would she want to talk now? At this point, what is there even to talk about? Why doesnt she have the mindset of me - its over, move on, best of luck. I dont keep in touch with any ex's and neither does she. I only want to be prepared so I dont make my own self vulnerable in anyway.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.
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