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).
I am very sorry to know about this very sad and frustrating situation.
Could you please tell me for how long have you been in this relationship and how long ago did these issues around trust, honesty and respect have been present?
We've been together for a year. The issues started a few months after being together. With a guy she was seeing a few weeks prior to meeting me,who wouldn't stop texting her, and calling at 2am. She'd make up excuses as to why she couldn't see him, instead of telling him she was seeing someone.
That's when I started to feel uneasy. She said it was because she didn't want to hurt his feelings.
I see, then that is not for sure something you created out of personal insecurities or past issues, but a concrete unacceptable behavior for somebody who is in an exclusive relationship.
Correct, there have been events that have happened, that have brought on this behaviour, I'm not normally an insecure person, or jealous, unless given a reason.
Her excuse was very childish and unacceptable, since it shows disrespect towards you and lack of maturity and consistency with the commitment you were supposed to have with each other.
I can see where she came from though, because this guy was the older brother of a good friend of hers who took his life in July. She was afraid of hurting him more, but at the same time, it was hurting me.
I can see that, and if you happened to deny or tolerate these behaviors you would be fooling yourself, since they are concrete red flags showing you the level of honesty, respect and commitment in your relationship.
But you said it has not been only about an isolated episode, right? but about a pattern that you feel uncomfortabel and have confronted her abotu it but she perpetuates the same behavior
Her ex came to pick up his belongings that had been sitting at her place for 8 months. She told me he sent her a facebook message saying it was really hard to see her, and he was sorry things didn't work out. It turned out it was her who sent the message. That's when I really lost trust, and started snooping on her. I'd sit home all week knowing she's on Facebook all night, wondering who she was talking to, or what she was doing.
It seems obvious to me that you approach many things around relationships in very differnet ways, to the point you easily get into conflicts because of not thinking the same way
I don't know if it's a factor, but she grew up without a father, and I feel like she's not used to having someone who's protective of her.
Her past relationships she's had have never cared about how much she drank, or what drugs she did, she just did anything.
What seems acceptable and fine for her is just not good for you around this type of behaviors
I'm the opposite, I care where she goes, and with who, what she's doing.. not in a controlling manner, just out of love for her.
I never stop her from going out, or tell her she can't do anything.
I see, then the fact that you are in a long distance relationship does not help for sure
but brings extra challenges around trust and honesty that must be taken into account and assertively addressed if you want to build a healthy and mutually fulfilling relatiosnhip
No, it doesn't. I try to be honest with her, and upfront, always, but she always seems to go and do something in secrecy behind my back, and the cycle repeats itself. I just don't understand why she's so infatuated with her past relationships, instead of focusing on us.
Then you are being truly respectful and not controlling at all, but on the other hand she has not been fully honest and open towards you, what has fueled even more fears and doubts in you
Yeah, I don't know what to do anymore.. I feel like I've been so fair, and my voice just doesn't get heard. It's almost as if she has no boundaries. Like she wants to have her cake, and eat it too.
I agree with that, and as long as she does not acknowledges such behavioral pattern as a real issue undermining your relationship, I do not see how your relationship could heal and grow stronger moving forward
I know. I did do something I regret to her though, in July.. I did it out of pure spite, after a big fight we had. She turned down going to an important family event of mine, in order to go to a concert instead with friends, and she got a ticket for that guy who was constantly texting/calling before she met me to go with her, and I never even had a clue she was going with him. I found out when I snooped and checked her phone..
Right, it is very frustrating , and that's why you need to reassess your core needs and expectations from this relationship, set and consistently keep clear boundaries, confronting any behavior that does against your commitment, and making it clear that the only way for your relationship to really grow stronger and healthier is by "reciprocal" respect and total honesty.
That caused a huge blowout, and I decided to add girls I had previously dated on Facebook just so she could see how it felt. I didn't know what else to do? I'm not normally a spiteful person, but I was so frustrated, and angry.
So naturally she started to feel insecure. These weren't even women I had slept with, just went out with, had fun as friends. I had zero interest in them. Needless to say, I no longer use Facebook, social media has done nothing but cause issues in our relationship, and she somehow failed to see that, so I just got rid of mine. The amount of time she spends on it at 30 years old is excessive.
I understand your reaction, and this is what I mean when I say that without each of you as adults, taking full responsibility for your own feelings, choices and actions, there would be no way to heal and build a healthy relationship, but you would need sabotaging it, hurting each other,and that could never make your lives better for sure.
Exactly. I hate seeing her upset, but I also hate not being heard, and shown respect. I feel like I'm being taken for granted now. I drive two hours after work on Friday to see her. I clean her place, do her dishes, cook, tend to her pets so she can rest, since she works really hard too, but I just feel like it goes unnoticed, and it's not expected of me.
*now expected of me
I see you have made changes in order to take good care of your relationship , promote its growth and show you care about her, and set your relationship as a number one priority, but unhappily it does not seem she has been doing the same , at least as much as you have.
I am very sorry to know that, then its truly this frustrating.
I'm just really confused Rafael. I care so much about her, but I feel like this relationship isn't her top priority. It seems it's her work, friends, and then me.
I also hate the fact she airs our issues to her friends, and her mom. It's like I'm painted as the bad guy now, and they all think it's all me.
Then you need to be clear about what else and how much are you willing to afford in this relationship, and then commit to it. You cannot control what she chooses to do, but you still need to take good care of yourself.
Then there is not enough respect, nor the privacy you need as an adult couple in a mature relationship.
What's your opinion on this dream thing I asked? This is new issue that surfaced just recently.
It really shook me up, but again, to her it was no big deal. She said if she told her friends, they'd all agree it means nothing.
I think you need to reassess this situation and then see from her actions, more than from her words if she is truly able and willing to make necessary changes, to work on it or not.
I always tell her that her actions speak louder than words, unfortunately, I'm not seeing much "action".
The problem here is that it is not about her friends, it is about you and your relationship, how each of you feel and how you impact each others' liife
Correct and that's why words could be used so easily to manipulate, so to abuse and neglect in subtle or obvious way, if there are no honesty nor consistency following them.
I feel like our priorities are just very different. She seems to care more about her friends, and having fun, than our relationship. I'm 31, I've had my fun, I want to focus on getting married, growing as a couple, not getting drunk.
We're having this blowout, and rather then tell me she wants to see me, and work it out, she's going to a birthday party..
For an adult relationship to develop, growth and be mutually fulfilling, you need to share the same value and belief systems, same core priorities, needs and expectations and have compatible personalities and ways of approaching things, otherwise you would be pushing each other and it would not work.
I know, that's where I'm confused.
I have never had so much fun with another woman. We can lie in bed, and just laugh together, and have a great time, we always show a lot of affection, but it's the dishonesty, and her not making an effort to make me feel comfortable in this relationship that's making it difficult.
Be very realistic, base your decisions and plans on reality more than on hopes, and assess what you have already experienced and what each of you is willing and capable of offering to this relationship, then take consistent action based on what you find.
right, and those are key requirements for a healthy relatiosnhip
Thank you for your trust.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or to follow up.