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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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My girlfriend and I were together for 2 incredibly happy years.

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My girlfriend and I were together for 2 incredibly happy years. She used to be madly in love with me and dreamed of spending the rest of our lives together, getting married and having children; she pictured me alongside her in every single moment of her life. She always missed me when I wasn’t around and counted down the minutes to see me. I always loved and respected her very much as well, although I had doubts whether or not it was the time for settling down – the typical scare men get when they think they found the right woman, I suppose (I’m 26).

That doubt brought us to a painful breakup. It was my decision. Although I wasn’t completely sure I wanted out, I just didn’t want to ‘take a break’ to leave her hoping we’d eventually be fine when I could actually decide I really didn’t wanna be with her. So I ended it. I told her it was because I felt suffocated in our relationship (which is true – I didn’t wanna tell her I just didn’t know if I wanna be with her). She tried to talk things over and I didn’t want to. I broke her heart.

We kept loose contact; saw each other every now and then casually. I telephoned and messaged her at times, to see how she was holding up.

Now it is 2 months after the breakup. During that time I went out with friends, traveled, did different stuff, and had a quick thing with another girl. I always thought about her though.

She didn’t feel fine to date anyone during the time we were separated, although in the last week she did start an online emotional affair with a guy she doesn’t even know personally. As we spoke later about it (after I tried to get back together with her, from the next paragraph on), she said she was needy and that he told her everything she wanted to hear from me, and I wasn’t there anymore to tell her. She thinks she let herself get emotionally involved with him because he lives far away (in her hometown that she seldom visits, as she works and studies where I live), so she wouldn’t really have to get real with him.

As I said, we were in a happy relationship for 2 years and the breakup was 2 months ago. I know she went through hell trying to get over me, and honestly I did too, and I finally realized that I truly love her and that I am ready to commit and give her everything she needs and always expected from me.
So I went after her with the intention of making things right. I told her how I felt and what I went through; I apologized for all I made her go through and begged for her forgiveness. I told her about all the process I went through, the things I realized, and that now I know that she is the woman of my life and that I want to truly commit and marry her in the future, and make all of those dreams come true, with me alongside her, as she always pictured it – as now I do, too. I am now the man she always wanted me to be.

We talked. She just wasn’t sure our relationship could be made to work again. She is hurt that I dated someone else and said she wished she could have done that too (she met interesting guys but she just wasn’t ready). I asked her not to talk to her internet emotional affair dude (that she seemed to be very much into) till she decided whether or not we’d get back together, as it could definitely be the end of us, making her drift away from me completely. She didn’t contact him again.

We talked more and more. She made it very clear that she didn’t want to get back together because she doesn’t feel like I’m special to her anymore; that her heart doesn’t beat faster around me; that she enjoys my company just the way she enjoys any other nice person’s; that she doesn’t feel physically attracted to me anymore. And even though she wants to feel all those things again, she doesn’t really feel she will ever be able to. Apparently, the fact that I dated someone else doesn't seem to bother her much.

Now we’re in a relationship again. So much is different, though. She doesn’t count down the minutes to see me. She doesn’t even care if I go see her or not. When we’re together, she’s cold and distant; she barely even kisses me.

We were separated for 2 months. Is it at all possible that she really doesn’t love me anymore? Or could all that strong love she felt be suppressed underneath so much disappointment and emotional trauma? I would like to believe the latter, but all the evidence listed above points to the contrary. I would expect her to at least be angry or sad, but not completely indifferent. She doesn’t even care being around me or not, and isn't attracted to me. I told her I believed we can turn things around, but honestly it’s difficult, given the whole situation. If she wants out, I won't fight it.

I regret so much having broken her heart. All I want is to be able to win it back so I can have another shot to make her truly happy, as now I know that I want exactly what she wanted in the first place, and I hope it’s still there! Can it all just be gone after 2 months? What can I do to make the love come back?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 8 months ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this truly sad and frustrating situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I can see how both of you have been having a tough time since your relationship got into frequent fights because of the way you felt, and that you did not want to have her wait for you in case you decided you did not want to make a life together, that you were honest, but also that your decision truly broke her heart, just as you said, what led her to fight for it without success.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then it was your own experience which showed you that you that this person was truly special for you and that you wanted to fully commit to her. Unhappily she also underwent a deep change after feeling overwhelmingly hurt by your decision to leave. I do really believe this situation could have been overwhelmingly traumatic to her to the point of pushing her into this dramatic change.

Customer:

What does this dramatic change consist of exactly? Is her love for me gone for good, or is this just her self-defense mechanism hiding her feelings for me? Is there anyway to bring it back and win back her heart or should I just give up? I'm desperate to make it work!

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do believe and have seen people in her shoes feeling overwhelmed and traumatized by similar behaviors, numbing themselves and pushing themselves not to attach or fuel further affection in order not to expose themselves to suffer again and even more.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

There is no way to know for sure if this would change or not to promote a real emotional reconciliation, only time will tell.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Since as you said, you truly love this person and she has given you the chance to get back together, you would need to show her during this time that you truly deserve her affection, trust and commitment, hoping she would heal from what happened and allow herself to work on rebuilding your relationship.

Customer:

Hi, Sorry I was away for awhile.
What intrigues me is this... If she loved me so much how can it all be completely gone after 2 months... even after all the pain and suffering, I thought there's still be a flicker at least. I feel like I need to bring down her defenses, but I fear she'll never love me the same way again.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

No problem

Customer:

I wonder if it's still inside her or gone forever... and it makes me cringe..

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Pushing her would not help but undermine your situation even more. As I said, her reaction shows she got truly traumatized by what happened, and she could feel that emotionally exposing again to suffer the same or worse pain would be self-sabotaging

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That's why I said only time will show you,a dn the best you can do if you really can and want to invest on it, is to consistently show her how much you care, how sorry you are and literally work on rebuilding the affection, attachment and hope between you, then time will tell you if she is able to heal and allow another chance or not, but at least you would know you did your best in consistency with your feelings.

Customer:

I'm giving her all the space she needs. I told her not to put any pressure on herself. Sometimes when I tell her I love her she gets sad wishing she could say it back, but she doesn't feel it. I tell her it's fine. And if she wants out, I won't fight it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then you are already being wise and truly respectful and supportive.

Customer:

And how do I do that? Just being me? Treating her well the way I always did? You see, what's really frustrating is to feel that nothing I do is appealing to her anymore...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Yes, just being yourself and consistent with your love for her, taking full responsibility for your own feelings, choices and actions, hoping she would feel the affection, trust and hoe back. Focus on what you can and should control, everything else depends on her, and time will tell.

Customer:

Of course I don't expect this to be a walk in the park.. I know there's a lot of work to do in rebuilding this relationship. It's just that she barely has any hope, and the way she reacts to everything also makes mine short. I'm desperate...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It's tough and that's why you need to work on processing your emotions, coming to terms with the fact that your reality changed, that at least now she gave you another chance, but that it continues to be tough for her, and that only time would show both of you how well or not this could evolve into a healthy and mutually fulfilling relationship or not.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does it make sense?

Customer:

It does. One question though. Can post-breakup trauma put a definitive end to true love? How long would that take?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Yes it can, it depends on the individual's personality, vulnerability and sensitivity levels, previous painful experiences and issues, the way present situation evolves, and more factors. How long could it take? It's like a grieving process, for some people it could take a few months, while for others years or never to heal good enough from it.

Customer:

That's tough to read. Thanks. I just hope it isn't completely gone.
If she doesn't feel a thing for me in the present, can it be that it's still there but blocked off somehow??

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is why you would need to continue being totally truthful with yourself and honest towards her about your core feelings, needs and expectations, what you are able and willing to afford or not. This way you would be taking good care of yourself while offering your best as possible.

Customer:

I mean. She says being around me now is just like being around any other person. That's really discouraging.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It could be but only time will show you if it changes for good or not.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Yes, it is.

Customer:

She always wanted an engagement ring and I never gave her one.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, it's very sad indeed.

Customer:

If I do it now will it help me towards rebuilding trust, for her to see I'm real, or could it backfire for seeming 'out of character'?

Customer:

by out of character i mean incongruent with what I was before the breakup..

Customer:

not the best use of terms..

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

My suggestion is not to push her at all> Now she is directly telling you how she feels about you and I do not think it could help her nor your relationship. Much better to show though your consistent actions what you feel and hoe for.

Customer:

Okay. Thanks.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. Thank you for your trust.

Customer:

Don't take it personally, you were helpful, it's just that I expected the help of a woman here..

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

No problem, I understand and appreciate your openness and patience.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Cuide-se muito.

Customer:

Thanks.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Rafael M.T.Therapist and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Hello Rafael. It's me again.


There is one issue making things more complicated, and that's the online emotional affair my girlfriend had when we were separated. It had started about 10 days before we got back together.


It is a random guy from her hometown who she doesn't even know personally who randomly started talking to her on facebook. She grew fond of him very quickly, as she was apparently needy. She later said to me she was needy and that he told her everything she wanted to hear from me, and I wasn’t there anymore to tell her. She thinks she let herself get emotionally involved with him because he lives far away (in her hometown that she seldom visits, as she works and studies where I live), so she wouldn’t really have to get real with him.


I asked her not to talk to him till she decided whether or not we’d get back together, as it could definitely be the end of us, making her drift away from me completely, as I cannot compete with someone who's partly idealized in her mind. She didn’t contact him again since.


Then we got back together. He still sends her SMS sometimes and probably facebook (that she hasn't checked in days - I don't know if she's afraid to) and he sent her a bonsai tree by mail the other day. She hasn't contacted him and feels guilty. But she also said that the breakup had 'serious consequences', meaning her apathy towards me and her feelings for this guy. I asked what she felt for him and she said "I like him... I don't really know HOW, but I do".
So, that's it. She seems confused. I don't know if she is feeling guilty or if she really likes him over me, and it's killing me, becase this seems not to be letting us move forward in rebuilding our relationship.

Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 8 months ago.
I think based on your story that you should not push her at all. A healthy and fulfilling relationship cannot be built based on pushing feelings, it needs to be spontaneous, and reciprocal.

She is telling you she has feeling for this person and that should not be denied. Then I think it would be much healthier for both of you to give yourselves a time for her to work on herself, on what she feels, wants and is able or not to afford, then if she feels comfortable and truly wants to work on rebuilding the relationship, then you would try it.

I believe this would be the most responsible, respectful and mature approach here.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

I'm giving her all the space she needs, as I told you yesterday. I don't want her to deny it, but I'm really afraid to talk about it with her. I'm really thinking about asking her if she wants some time to work it out, but then if she decides not to try again, that's it for us. I guess I don't have much of a choice now, do I?
But then I think... Why did she get back together with me then?

Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 8 months ago.
I do believe the healthiest approach could be to give her the time and space she needs, and I do not see how this could happen while you are still in the relationship the way you are.

sure, if she continues to feel this would not work, that would be it and there would be nothing you could do about it, but also if you keep things the way they are right now, it could lead to the same or even to a more painful place. I do not know why she got back with you, if it was because of you wanting her to give you another chance, her feeling guilty, too attached fearful of fully embracing the loss that could have happened the moment you ended your relationship. Only time would tell you about it.
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Rafael M.T.Therapist and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

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