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Relationship problems... and then some



New member
Mar 14, 2010
Hello all, I'm a 29 yr old man who for the longest thought I was perfectly sane and well adjusted. That any issues I had I could (and already had) dealt with inside of my own mind.

But events over the last 3 yrs of my life with my girlfriend have made me realize otherwise. We both had very abusive childhoods, and hers was barely over when we started dating. I was 24 almost 25, and she was about to turn 18. She was a very strong willed girl who seemed to have overcome great adversity and had the drive to pursue her dreams. I was immediately attracted to her not only because of her personality, but because of what she had gone thru and how she seemed unappreciated and unloved.

I had recently come into a lawsuit settlement and took her in after her mother kicked her out of the house. She immediately seemed to want to become just like me, and forsook all her friends and passions. She seemed to have lost interest in the things she had previously enjoyed, and began to seem interested in the things I was interested in. At first I thought it was cute, you know imitation being the sincerest form of flattery and all that. But it became clear that she wasn't me, that the things I enjoyed and were interested in didn't interest her, and I began to resent her for it.

I think that essentially marked the begging of the decline. I obviously began acting different towards her, and she began to resent me as well.

It slid slowly downwards for almost a yr if I remember correctly, and then the first fight happened. It was bad, the both of us punching and kicking and shoving each other. I ended up injuring her more than she did I, and after that the dynamic of our fights changed.

I believe that the both of us have controlling personalities, we both had very similar childhoods and dealt with them very similarly as well. So after that we both became very manipulative.

We both began to emotionally abuse each other, and I would physically abuse her as well. I never looked beyond the physical abuse I perpetrated upon her, I saw that as the only real problem that needed to end. For I NEVER justified hitting her after the 1st time. So I didn't see the big picture, and things got worse.

I think we both essentially are borderlines, and we've both only been triggering worse and worse symptoms in each other for a long time now.

And a month ago I almost killed her.

Before that I would look for disorders that she may have. After that I began looking for what was wrong with me. I began to think seriously about my childhood and if anything I learned had anything to do with my world view and my coping mechanisms.

When I was a very young child I have happy memories. Once my mother began to go thru early onset menopause when I was 6 (thru 10) I only remember pain, terror, hurt, and abandonment. All of them involve my mother doing something to either physically or emotionally hurt me. But somewhere around my memory of being old and big enough to fight back I also have a memory of my mother saying that she was being just like her mother was, and she didn't want to be like that any more. But I was well on my way towards almost 6 yrs of getting into trouble in a row, and I wasn't around her any more.

As I progressed thru my teenage yrs and into early adulthood, I managed to have some good friendships, but never had a real relationship. In my early 20s I had some serious talks with my mother, as I had grown to truly hate her in my teen yrs. My father had passed when I was 17(which truly made me feel abandoned for a very long time after that), which gave me a renewed need to patch things up with my mother. So I brought up some of the things that I had conscious issue with, such as the way my mother never accepted any responsibility for ANYTHING during my entire childhood. Yet I always knew I wasn't entirely to blame. She admitted that it had seemed as tho I was trying to blame her for everything, and that if she accepted ANY responsibility than I wouldn't accept ANY.

And I thought I was cured.

So I didn't realize how I was damaging my girlfriend right from the very start. She needed someone who was completely supportive of everything she did, as she was only 17, and her childhood abuse was VERY fresh. And not someone supportive in the twisted way I had been taught to be. I grew up with my mothers way being the only right way. That even if you managed to achieve the same goal, you were still somehow doing it wrong. But of course, I was her son, so she'd support and love me regardless....

And that's the same way I viewed things. I never intended to make her feel as tho I thought things she had interest in like music and baseball were stupid. If anything, I'd have started loving them simply because she did. But I now see that the way I presented my opinion at the time didn't leave any room for an interpretation of "well I don't like it now, but if you do, I'll sure give it a chance!"

So now to the important part. I've seriously traumatized the poor woman, and I want to do anything I can for her. She still wants me in her life, and I want to be able to get the help I need so that I don't make anything any worse for her OR myself.

Because I find that I'm having a very hard time dealing with this. I know that she needs her space, and I'm finally able to do that ( I was experiencing some very bad separation anxiety coupled with a feeling of (absolutely unreasonable) abandonment that kept causing me to do the majority of stereotypical things a man does in my situation. Which I absolutely HATE. So I managed to get to the DR and get a script for welbutrin (my mom talked about depression being in the family, and it working for her and my aunt), and thankfully I am much more capable of doing the right thing for her as well as myself.

She is trying to cope with her feelings for me (both positive and negative), as well as doing a few other things I've read are very healthy for someone in her situation, so I'm happy for her. But I'm having a lot of trouble handling the fact that she doesn't feel as tho she can be in a relationship right now and I don't know why.

I'm amazingly grateful that she even wants me in her life in ANY way at this point, but I'm deathly afraid that I'm going to screw this up. She doesn't feel as tho she is ready for a relationship right now, and I totally respect that. But I am still very deeply in love with her, especially because of the amazing resilience and strength she has shown over the last month. It's the woman I have wanted all along.

And she is very uncomfortable with me doing anything at all that makes her feel as tho I am acting as tho she is still my girlfriend. So I want to do that for her, but I am so afraid that I'm not going to be able to hold those feelings in.

I'm trying to take at least a few days before I even talk to her again, I had a bad reaction to the initial dose of welbutrin the dr gave me, and need more time for any of it at all kicks in.

I'm hoping someone (who managed to make it all the way thru this long winded intro) has some insight on how I can cope with these feelings and do the right thing for us both. For I need to get help as quickly as possible, I can't damage this any more than I already have.

Any questions, or want me to clarify any of the vague points I made, feel free.



Well-known member
Dec 6, 2009
Welcome. I'm sorry if this sounds like a 'standard answer' but it really is the best one - talk to a doctor. I posted my problems on these forums too, was told to print out what i typed and take it to my doctor and I did. I found it very helpful!

I would also recommend the same for her. I know what you mean about both making each other worse, people really do pick up on and are affected by each other's vibe/energy/actions/body language/tones/etc. It can be so easy to fall into a cycle feeding off each others negative aspects/moods essentially dragging each other down.

You seem very rational and thoughtful, so I have faith you will do really well if you get a little help - whether it be CBT, therapy, medications - that'll be discussed with you by your doctor.

Good luck!! :)
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Mar 15, 2010
First of all - Bravo. What you just did, posting all that was so very brave. Even when we are anonymous we are our own closest critics and to post what you have was very brave.

Now. As Lil said, print it out. Take it to a doctor. Take it to a therapist. You have more issues than a pack of pills will solve.

You need to really realise that, too. Your girl is going through a lot, as are you, and if and when she decides she wants you back in a romantic sense she deserves to have you well. Realise that what takes time to decay a relationship takes time to cure. It isn't a lightbulb moment, its closer to rubbing two sticks together and waiting for the spark.

Your desperation to be back with her is symptomatic. I'm not saying its bad, or wrong, or you want and need to be with her for the wrong reasons. But they arent all the right ones either.

All I can advise you is accept what she wants, take a step back and concentrate on you. Let her concentrate on her. You both deserve healing and when you are on that path, then you might look towards healing whats between you. But you can't build a solid relationship on a shaky foundation.

Take the courage you have shown here and put it to work on being brave enough to heal yourself.

Good luck.


New member
Mar 14, 2010
Believe me, I would talk to a dr if I could. I'm self-employed, and have no health insurance (I'm in the US :rolleyes:). And I'm not getting any income for the next 6 weeks.

So I've done what I could, which was go to my GP and get the scrpit for what my mother said worked for her. I fully intend to go to therapy once I've got the funds to do so, but I'm looking for ways to cope in the meantime.

Because I can see all to well that I HAVE to start coping differently and acting/reacting differently ASAP if I'm to be able to have a friendship with her currently without opening up wounds for her, which in turn will only make me feel more incapable of change.

So far the simple understanding of the mental ramifications of the abuse I've done to her is enough for me to deal with the symptoms of them. They don't trigger any anger in me any more, nor do they foster feelings of losing her.

But my being depressed and anxious still worries her and puts her on edge. And that is something that only makes me feel more depressed, because if I'm getting the chance to spend time with her I want to only be doing things that make her happy and as comfortable with me as she can.

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