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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5837
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Recently split with my girlfriend which I am comfortable

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Recently split with my girlfriend which I am comfortable with being the right way to go, but am still processing a few things. I had a few issues with some of her actions which I initially just let go, but found myself needing to talk to her about them as I was becoming unclear of her intentions and weather she had my best interests at heart. Whilst I felt somewhat hurt at some of them, I did my best to own my feelings and not blame her, but rather explain how certain things made me feel. Ok, on her birthday I bought her a card and gift which she loved. She also brought home some flowers from one of her clients which she placed in a vase and on the shelf in front of my gift. No big deal. A week later when the flowers were being thrown out she said they were from this other guy that had been chasing her for a while. Shortly after this at a xmas party we had dinner and she left to dance (did not ask me to come, just went) and danced with the group, but within that group was dancing with a guy she knows i detest who tried to rip me off for $1000. I brought these things up with her, but was met with a fairly defensive attitude. Basically I felt her actions were a little thoughtless and disrespectful and am sure if the tables were turned she would not be impressed. I am also questioning weather I have been too sensitive. Where is the line between letting your partner be themselves and feeling like that have your best interest at heart?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
It can be very difficult to tell in a relationship where loyalties should lie. You want your partner to be on your side but you also do not want to restrict them so much that they feel smothered by you.
However, you bring up two instances where your girlfriend should have been more aware of your feelings. The first one with the flowers she received was clearly a boundary violation. She accepted flowers on her birthday from a man who is actively pursuing her. For one, she should not be taking flowers from a man who has shown interest in her while she is in a relationship with you. By accepting the gift, she has basically told this man that it is ok to have feelings for her and that her relationship with you is not a priority for her. So you are right to be upset. She should have told this man that while she appreciates his gesture, she is in a relationship and that she cannot accept such gifts from another man, birthday or not. It is up to her to set those boundaries with others as it would be for you.
The second situation with the dancing was less obvious but was still not thoughtful on her part. If one of the group was hurtful to you in the past, she might have decided to either invite you so you could be a part of the situation or decided to forgo the dancing and stayed with you. Going out with her girl friends is one thing, but if there is other men involved, especially one that tried to hurt you financially in the past, going out anyway is insensitive.
It seems from these two examples that she might not have been ready to be committed in a relationship. She was placing herself first in both situations and while everyone makes mistakes, she should have realized what she was doing and apologized.
I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
I hope the answer was helpful to you. It is hard to know how to feel about some of these things, but you seem to be accurate with what you feel. If I can help in any other way, please let me know.
May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Thank you very much for the positive rating and bonus! I appreciate it.
My best to you,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Kate. You're welcome. I did reply to your first answer, but seems you may not have gotten it. I didn't mention that she had only been 5 months out from a 10yr r'ship when we met, as I wanted an answer without the preconceived notion it was a rebound. Since splitting, she has sort more time with her ex husband. My job is to get my 'ZEN' back. I want to analyse my part in this. I had patches of insecurity with her after the incidents I mentioned. Would you consider this normal to feel hurt/insecure from such things and was I right to raise these issues with her? Or am i too sensitive? If so, does such sensitivity come from low self esteem? I don't feel I have low self worth at all normally, but do like to question myself. The fact that I am asking you about all this indicates a certain amount of unsureness, although some validation from an 'unknown' is nice. I have taken a knock to my ego from this, but am bouncing back and know I will be fine.

I did not get the post you sent. Sorry about that. Sometimes the system breaks down.
Yes, it is normal to feel insecure and hurt by incidents like you describe. It does not mean you have low self esteem. Anyone would feel those things if their partner was showing signs of not putting them first in the relationship. At some point, you have to draw the line. And not setting boundaries with other men while in a relationship with you is her way of saying that the relationship was not her first priority, which would make anyone feel as you did.