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Ask Rafael M.T.Therapist Your Own Question

Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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ive been with my girlfriend for about a year but we fight

Customer Question

i've been with my girlfriend for about a year but we fight all the time over the smallest things. I have trouble communicating and i have a bad habbit of of staying silent because that's how i've always been. now we are on the verge of breaking up and i do not want that to happen. this is my first real relationship and i don't know what to do to get things back to the way things were when we first met a year ago.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years 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 with this situation.

It does not look very hopeful for this relationship, according to what you have said.

Getting back to the way things were when you first met her would not do any good if you have not learned to changed your manner of communication.

A year ago you had not yet begun to communicate with her except in a very cautious way that new relationships start off.

We don't show all of our cards at first and because of your communications problems which alternate between you being argumentative (as is she) and going silent (which a lot of ment do - it is the retreat to the cave).

At this point, if you want to save this relationship which seems as if it is teetering on the edge of destruction, then you must seek immediate outside help in the form of a seasoned and intelligent licenced marriage and family therapist (LMFT) who can help to quickstart your communication, and have you two talking honestly with each other, while finding the best ways of communicating with each other.

I also recommend that you immediately purchase and start to read the very best and most effective book on family therapy that I have ever read or seen.

Communicatin is the backbone of relationships and you must improve that immediately.

Here is the book that I have in mind:

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert... by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver


The best hope is to start working on yourself. Try to buy some time with your girlfriend, go to a therapist and get this book and begin learning how to remake yourself.


If you can do these things and start showing REAL improvement by working on yourself, then you can save this relationship.


I shall keep you in my prayers for strength and commitment for trying your best.


Warm regards,



Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 2 years 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 very frustrating and sad situation.

What you describe here is very concerning since you said that you have been fighting all the time. Could you please tell me a little more about this situation, like how long ago did these constant fighting started? Was this early in the relationship? Did any specific issue happen at that time that changed your relationship from being healthy and fulfilling to this dysfunctional?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I can see you are online, I'd love to have the chance to dialogue with you about this frustrating situation. If you reply we could work on better understanding it in order to find better ways of coping.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

When you say that this is your "first real relationship", I assume you are still a young adult with not much experience dating in committed and long term relationships, right?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Lack of experience and having difficulty expressing what you feel, need and want, can be truly frustrating, even more when you have "always been this way". It would show it's part of your personality to be this "silent", what some times could easily lead other people to misunderstand you, not allowing the necessary processes of "mutual" exploration and learning, that could allow you to build a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

For negative conflict to happen, both partners have to play an unhealthy role, whether it is through a more passive or active fashion. One's person passivity, or being quiet, silent, could trigger the partner's fears around lack of trust, intimacy and neglect, even when nothing around that is truly happening nor meant by the person who is being this "silent". This is just an example of how fights and destructive conflicts evolve from lack of adequate communication, poor coping and social skills, lack of assertiveness and from different values, beliefs and ways to approach things in life.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You said you have been taking time apart, having a break and basically avoiding to deal with these core issues, right?
This could be a core limitation here, not allowing you to move forward, making necessary changes and supporting each other. When working on resolving problems is avoided, it could never truly help, because it would only delay solutions while fueling further painful feelings of frustration, sadness, anger and resentment, which we'd end acting out again and again, feeling even more out of control, since what was being repressed by avoidance, sooner or later shows up undermining our mood, insight, self-control and every other behavior even more, no matter how much we try to make things work, once we would have been literally self-sabotaging.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does it make sense?

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