Romantic relationship with girlfriend suffering from anxiety

M

mindfulseeker

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
6
Hi all and thanks for the look.

I've been dating my current girlfriend for 7 months now. Once we started dating, she was very upfront about suffering from anxiety and had been treated for depression. She is also in recovery, over a yr now, she's an alcoholic.

She's suffered some childhood trauma, perhaps abandonment maybe emotional abuse.

She's been seeing her therapist for over ten years now and seems to do well it and depends on it.

I recently experienced a very different dynamic in our relationship, for the past 3-4 weeks, we've experienced intense arguments. Perhaps the holidays or season change in the northeast here played a role or was a catalyst?

It appears that every chance or opportunity is taken (by her) to point out a fault of mine or to bring up an argument that I don't want to participate in. I'm a very level headed individual and can certainly maintain a healthy level of emotions. Our arguments end with her telling me how frustrating it is to talk to me and that I'm the one that encourages the arguing and that I seek it out and that she's the victim.

I've done some searching on line and in forums and it sounds a lot like gaslighting.

I'm confused and wondering if she is suffering from bipolar disorder and maybe hasn't felt safe to disclose this about herself? She has mentioned more than once, in passing, that there's something she wants to tell me but she's way to vulnerable, at the moment, to say. It always comes up when she tells me about her therapy session or therapist.

It could be that I had mentioned early in our dating relationship, that my ex-girlfriend may have suffered from bipolar. Mind you, I didn't disclose that about my girlfriend in a derogatory way or disrespectfully. But I can understand why she would be apprehensive about disclosing. Which ever the case, I believe there's something - bipolar or something different.

I care about her deeply and she has had a genuine fear of communicating with me and has kept her distance. I'm not this person, not this boyfriend that she "believes" I am. And it seems the more I try to convince her that more she doesn't believe. She's actually accused me of making stuff up to make my argument or defense more believable. I've found myself explaining several times that I have ZERO to gain by lying and that I have no problem accepting my part or fault in our arguments. Basically I've shown humility, have opened up and been vulnerable and pleaded to be open to communicate.

She seems to have shut down on me. We actually had to meet up last night because I got her tickets to show for Christmas and so we met.

Of course the night ended in another argument...I actually felt like she was trying to look for an excuse to fight and maybe perhaps wants to end the relationship or push me away...it feels that way at least. I've even given her the opportunity to break up by telling her - if you don't want to continue in the relationship, I'll be okay with the decision.

I told her that I love her - for the first time - and that I have nothing to lose or gain by telling her that I want to work it out and that I'm here to stay and won't go anywhere if she wants to work it out.

With this her mood changed and she appeared to fall back into more of a baseline "her".

I should disclose that disclosing that I love her was in no way shape or form to "keep her" or trick her, it was simply to let her know exactly how I feel and how much I sincerely care, regardless if we can work it out or not.

I've been preparing for the potential of a break up so I truly do not have anything to really gain by telling her...this could all be a non issue in a week.

She seemed receptive after all this and asked for hug, we embraced for a good amount of time. She calmly asked if we could work on communicating and that she really wants us to.

So now I'm really apprehensive about communicating because it always ends in the default where she seems unwavering and finger pointing...saying that I constantly interrupt her (I don't) and it's not actually happening! She'll bring up scenarios that have flat out NOT happened.

Is this gaslighting?

I really do love her and want to work it out - I'm not out to save her, I'm no knight in shinning armor - I don't want to be a hero, I'm super comfortable in my own skin. I'm just willing to be vulnerable and to work through this and am aware if this is bipolar that we're dealing with we can set boundaries and map out a plan, together.

Thanks again for the look and any feedback would be appreciated.
 
Liza9560

Liza9560

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
116
Location
Texas
Hi, Mindful—

You sound like a super open-minded and patient guy! Kudos for being so sensitive.

Jeez. I don’t know what to tell you about whether or not she’s gaslighting you. If she’s really ill, she may not mean to be doing it, but that doesn’t excuse it. How frustrating it must be.

Can you go to her therapist with her once or twice? Offer to pick up the tab for those sessions. If there is a third person there, there will be accountability all around. If you do go, and she’s a totally different person in front of her therapist, then point that out. Maybe even suggest she’s gaslighting, and that you feel it’s unfair and a real mind-screw.

And if she flips out yet again, then maybe it’s just time to call it quits. I hope you can work it out; sounds like you love her lots. But your sensitivity and patience could be better focused elsewhere.
 
M

mindfulseeker

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
6
Liza - thanks for the look and for your reply. I really appreciate it and that is sound advice, I would be very open to doing just that. In any case, I want to get to the bottom of what is driving this...And I completely believe that SHE believes that I'm out to get her in some way. It must be painful and I'm empathetic. At the moment, I have the emotional bandwidth and desire communication, but the thought, the prospect of this not working out is certainly looming overhead. I'm prepared for that as well. Just want to give it all I can (safely of course)
 
Liza9560

Liza9560

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
116
Location
Texas
Seems like you’re definitely giving it all you can. Good luck!
 
S

SirBacon

New member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
1
Hey mindfulseeker keep it up. It sounds to me like you've got this thought out well and you're as prepared as you can be for whichever direction things turn. I agree with Liza that if she's gaslighting she doesn't know it. You two have been dating for a bit and your love seems genuine, which is no small thing. God speed.
 

Similar threads


Top