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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.
Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
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 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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Does it make sense?