How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Kate McCoy Your Own Question

Kate McCoy
Kate McCoy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5559
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
54658078
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Kate McCoy is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

41 year-old man. Been dating this woman for 4 years (same age)

Resolved Question:

41 year-old man. Been dating this woman for 4 years (same age) and I can't figure her out. It seems like when I do something nice for her, she appreciates me for a few minutes and then goes cold. Here is an example. I brought her to San Francisco with me this week - I have a work meeting and I gave he ra bunch of money to go shopping and took her to a concert last night. This morning, I got her a limo to the airport (I have to stay here for another day) and she leaves without really looking like she will miss me, gets to the airport and gets on the plane without texting or calling me. usually, our pattern is one of us will text or call before we fly out/leave, but she didn't and is acting like she doesn't care. Not sure what to do because when I ask her, she gets all defensive and angry.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Kate McCoy replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your problem.

It sounds like you are doing all you can to address this issue with your girlfriend. However, her defensiveness and anger when you ask her about her behavior towards you is out of place. If there was something that could be addressed between you, she has the opportunity to express that in a normal, healthy way to you. But instead it sounds like she overreacts and tries to push you away.

When two people enter into a relationship, they not only have feelings for each other, but they also bring in whatever unresolved issues they have from the past. And it sounds like that might be what is going on with your girlfriend. Her reactions to your behavior and your inquires seem to be geared towards keeping you at an emotional distance at all times. And that seems particularly true when you are very kind and thoughtful towards her.

Given her reaction, it is very likely that your girlfriend has been hurt in the past by someone she trusted. And because she most likely never resolved it, she is taking those feelings out on you because she might be fearful she will get hurt again.

Another possibility is that she is experiencing low self esteem issues. In that case, being kind to her might trigger her feelings of low self worth. She could feel as if she does not deserve it and as a result, she sub consciously pushes you away.

The best way to approach this issue is to mention your girlfriend's reaction to her again but this time, tell her that you feel this is too important of an issue to continue to drop it. She may get upset, but if she is unable to work this issue through with you, she might need to talk to a therapist. There seems to be a root issue to this problem and not one that is caused by your relationship. By talking to a therapist, she can have the guidance and support she needs to find out why she feels as she does and how to resolve it.

In the meanwhile, you might want to try talking to her about changing how you are reacting to her behavior. You both are caught in a pattern. You are kind to her, she accepts the kindness yet is holding you at arm's length, you talk to her about it then she reacts with hostility or anger, you back off. This pattern needs to change. So instead of being kind to her then accepting her behavior towards you, try backing off a bit. Not in a mean or vengeful way, but because her reaction hurts you. If she sees that you no longer move towards her when she hurts you, she may be able to see her own behavior as part of the problem.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Expert:  Kate McCoy replied 1 year ago.
You may also find this resource helpful:

What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal by John Gottman Ph.D. and Nan Silver

Kate








May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Kate McCoy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5559
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
Kate McCoy and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/deedeeham/2011-1-24_51523_408.64x64.JPG Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy

    Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1235
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1215
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2012-3-9_31019_Jen.64x64.jpg Coach Jen K.'s Avatar

    Coach Jen K.

    LMSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    726
    Providing the utmost care and support.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    549
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    349
    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/suzmsw/2011-9-2_184634_Thisone.64x64.JPG Suzanne's Avatar

    Suzanne

    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    338
    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Counselor
Kate McCoy
Kate McCoy
Counselor
5559 Satisfied Customers
Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues