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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My girlfriend of 54 and I recently planned a vacation to Las

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My girlfriend of 54 and I recently planned a vacation to Las Vegas during which we were to celebrate her birthday. We have been together for 5 years, unmarried, not engaged, not co-habitating, just weekends staying together. Unfortunately she has been in a highly frustrated and angry state (quite melodramatic) for some time now and I have tolerated a lot of her frantic and erratic behavior anticipating things would smooth out for her, hence for us. Less than a week before our trip departure, she was emotionally abusive on the phone with me (this happens very often) saying that I am not controlling my weight (maybe 10 lbs overweight at the most) and the only time I do watch my weight is when we are in the presence of my ex-wife (two times in 5 years), then went into a myriad of other sensitive subjects from the past in a tirade that ended with her saying "lose my number, game over, I'm not going away". Granted I have heard that countless times, but not on the eve of leaving on a $5000 trip. I gave her a chance to cool off, which she didn't therefore I called and cancelled flights, hotel and related accommodations for fear that if I didn't I would eventually be stuck for the costs. She, of course, blames me for spoiling her vacation, her birthday and that things could never be the same between us. Frankly, that last angry comment appeals to me because I couldn't take much more of the same anyway, yet I'm having a hard time with it all......some guilt for spoiling her good time and birthday, or maybe that I was hasty given this is her unfortunate normal behavior and should have ignored it. She takes no accountability and her comments about my ex-wife and family always lie shallow and ready to spout out. I am 64 years old and I really don't need the stress and emotional abuse thrown on me constantly. She had personal problems that she can't deal with very well and takes it out on me constantly. However there were those early years in the 5-year relationship that were very very good. Now it is 2 steps forward, 3 back. Obviously I am confused about what to do, despite my instincts telling me to move on. We haven't spoken in a 3-4 days and somehow she thinks time apart is the only solution, but I know without fail she will re-visit this unfortunate happening, like she does all other unfortunate happenings, whenever we bump heads.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like you are seeing this very clearly. This person is emotionally abusive. She seems to feel that everything that she perceives that goes wrong in her life is your fault, even things she causes (like the canceled trip). She is trying to control you and make you the blame for everything so she doesn't have to ever feel bad.

It is very common in abusive relationships to try to find the good parts to hold on to. The previous years may have been good and you wish for them to come back. But anyone who has the capacity to ruin every event, good or bad, and bring up your past to yell at you about is not going to suddenly become nice again. There is something going on with her and unless she sees herself as the problem, she will continue with the same behavior.

It is also common in abusive relationships to start questioning yourself. After all, here is someone telling you everything wrong with you and they know you, so there must be something to it. But that is how emotional abuse works. The abuser says these things to demean and make the other person question who they are. And the abused partner wants to be loved so they try to improve themselves, which never works. It is about control and not about love.

It would be best for you to move on from this relationship. Your girlfriend is not going to stop her behavior and you will continue to get blamed for everything. If you find it difficult to end the relationship, consider counseling. You may need to talk to a therapist briefly to recover from this experience. To find a therapist, talk to your doctor about a referral. Or search on line at

Also, you can learn more about abusive relationships through this link:

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Kate, I think I expected pretty much everything you recognized. My instincts are pretty good. My ability to break the tie completely not as good, and the difficulty is in part that I don't think she can help herself and really doesnt want to see me leave. At my age, I want a relationship to be a love affair, and that's how it was in the beginning. It is just a little scary for me to start over, although I have confidence in my appearance, the kind of person I am and my ability to be truly monogamous. My downfall, is that's what you might call it, is that I have to be physically attracted to a woman and most women my age or close do not satisfy that need. So, being alone for now isn't such a bad thing, but wont work for long.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I understand. That is why I thought counseling, at least short term, might help. Leaving a relationship is never easy but in the case of emotional abuse, it may be necessary. The longer you stay the worse it will get. And it will be harder to leave.

It is scary to start over. It is at any age. But I understand you feel your options are limited. I think if you were able to have relationships in the past, then you will be able to do so again. For women, it is often more about who you are and how you treat someone than what you look like.


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