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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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My Girlfriend is having issues with an event, How do I deal

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My Girlfriend is having issues with an event, How do I deal with it?
I'm a 62 year old man,My girlfriend of 15 months who is 51 years old has 2 sons who were incarcerated for a home invasion murder..I have stuck by her though this for the 3 months since it happened.I have went to counseling with her and have been very patient. She also is starting menopause to ad to this.. It has been a rough road.. She is acting out at me.. getting mad at me for some minor statement. She has asked to be alone 2 of the last 3 weekends.. And we go out almost every weekend.. I stay at her house or she stays at my house.Friday she got mad at me because a week ago I had told one of here neighbors she was doing ok. She flipped out at me in the restaurant,outside I asked why she lashed out at me. She said she did not know.. We went back to my house and she said she was going home and wanted to be alone.. She did not call me the next day so I called. she apologized for being mean.. She still wanted to be alone.. We normally go to church together she did not invite me . We have talked on the phone.. I asked her to consider seeing a physician and getting some medication..She told me today she made an appointment for next Tuesday. I am really wearing down here. I know she is still in some sort of shock over her sons actions.. But she had some of this behavior prior.. Is it the menopause that is creating the erratic behavior.. She goes to work every day and appears to function fine. I have to ask am I just getting pushed away ..I don't want to leave her but I just feel like a fifth wheel and don't know what I should be doing or saying. I upset her when I dicuss her kids so I only ask general questions. Give me your thoughts Please!!
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your girlfriend could be acting out for a couple of reasons. One, she is going through menopause which is difficult at best in terms of controlling emotions and two, she is trying to come to terms with what her sons might have done. What they are convicted of is very serious and to know that not just one but both of your own children are capable of these actions would be very difficult to accept and take in.

She may feel that you are the only person she can talk with or express her feelings to that understands. She may feel horrible inside yet she has to hide it from the world. But with you, she is able to be herself and all of those emotions are coming out, which is not easy on you. It is often family that sees a person for who they are inside and she may feel that you are that person who she can express anything to.

However, that makes it very difficult for you. You are in a caregiver/support role, which is very stressful. You are giving emotionally to her and are not getting back. While that is understandable given her situation, it can wear on you as the supportive person and make you feel you have nothing left.

I'm glad to hear that you have gone with her to see the counselor. Hopefully, she will continue to see the counselor so she has a source of support outside of your relationship. And seeing her doctor will help as well. If she is in menopause, there are options for her to help her cope.

You may want to start addressing this by letting her have more time on her own. She may be struggling to come to terms with her new reality and needs time to sort it all out. Tell her that you are there for her but let her call you when she is ready to get together. If a few days pass and you don't hear from her, send her an email or text checking in. Don't ask anything of her. That way, you can at least touch base.

Also, try to plan some fun things you can do together when you do see each other. Something that will help take the focus off her situation and let her forget for a while. And that will also help refocus her emotions so she doesn't direct her feelings at you.

Most of all, try to let her guide you to what she needs. This is a difficult time for her, and there is no guide so she needs to find her way. She just needs time to work this through.

I hope this has helped you,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Kate,

Up until the last 4 weeks I felt like we were moving forward.. I now feel like it is backing up..These are her only children although young men at 22 and 24 they are her babies.. I can only imagine the feeling she is dealing with.. I love her so much and it eats at me every day..I can hardly stand the separation, but have been understanding and giving her the space she is asking for.

I have helped her with her menopause by giving her B6 and acting like a guardian and making sure she takes them. I no the cycle and can usually tell when she is going to be mean.. But this time it came after her period which through me off..

What would be the best way for me to respond to her acting out.. I have maintained my calm. I do not yell back or attempt debate..I do want to mention she did not include me in her last counseling session and refer'd to her next one as if I was not included.. Makes me feel like i'm being excluded..I'm only looking for little rays of light and am seeing darkness..

One of the best ways to deal with her acting out is to tell her that you care for her and understand she is going through a difficult time, but that you need to walk away for a bit. Then go into another room or take a walk until you feel she is calm enough to talk to you. You don't have to stay with her if she becomes abusive or out of control. You can be nearby and still be supportive. The key here is balancing her need for support with handling her acting out. And she needs to know that there are limits with how she treats you, no matter how badly she feels.

It is ok if she doesn't have you in her sessions all the time. She is going through a tough time and may need to focus on her coping skills right now. As she works them through, she may ask you back in to be a part of her healing. Give her time, she will get through this and be able to be there for you.


TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you very much for the rating and bonus! I appreciate it.

My best to you and your girlfriend,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Kate , some time has lapsed and some changes have taken place.. I am writing to you as you have the history already and I won't have to bring someone up to speed..

A lot has changed and thank you for your advice previous.. We got engaged in February .. All has been good.. But I have an issue and I want to make sure I deal with it correctly..

My fiances ex husband has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer he was given about 2 years with radiation therapy.. Now let me explain that this man made her life hell during and after there marriage per her. She now goes to visit him every week under the premise that it is to relay info to her sons.. I disapproved maybe wrongly but I feel like he is taking over her life again. She has started to not inform me that she is going and for all I know she could be communicating with him all the time ...Her sons can only call at certain times from prison so she coordinates the phone calls and goes to his side in the hospital so they can talk. I would not mind but he has the same ability to contact the boys as she does..

She has always told me how bad he was and controlling, He was mentally abusive during her marriage per her..

Should I just go along with this?, ask to be included?.or stand strong with my thoughts and feelings that he is just taking advantage of her yet again?.. I really need guidance here as I feel like I have alienated her on this issue.. Please note that I am ok with this being a new charge and a new question...


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