I need help with my relationship and an agreement.
My girlfriend and i have a difficult situation. We had a bit of a rough time due to her anxiety and she made an agreement with me where I can only talk to her on certain days of the week (tuesday, friday and sunday) and im not allowed to see her unless she says so. This agreement will last until the end of the month when she comes back from a holiday in Bali and then she will make a decision if she wants to continue with the relationship or call it a day.
To set the picture..She has some very bad anxiety and she had been sent a message by a coworker of mine accusing me of cheating with some fake facebook messages showing some a conversation between myself and the coworker. The conversation, although fabricated did a lot of damage to my girlfriends trust since I had not told her that I was helping a fellow coworker with a troublesome situation at work considering im a manager and her anxiety at the time was getting pretty bad. My reasoning for not telling her about what was happening was that I felt as if I couldnt talk to her without her over-reacting about the situation and her brain having a meltdown. In the past she has though she has had a few people say to her that I was only with her because I was rebounding (I certainly was not I really love this girl a lot) and that has affected her thought patterns on me as well. This agreement has also caused a lot of anxiety for me as well since she still tells me that she loves me and that she wants things to be better but at the same time I receive a lot of mixed signals from her in the sense that one day she can say one thing and then the next she will say the complete opposite.
I dont know if she has spoken to her psychologist about the agreement but I have spoken to my friends and my family and they all suggested that I run for the hills as quick as what I can...Although i cant just give up on her because my love for her is so overwhelming that I will feel like I have failed her if I did that. I dont pretend when I tell her that I love her unconditionally and i honestly do want to spend the rest of my life with her but I honestly need all the help I can get with this.
Tomorrow her and I are going to play some Mini Golf and do some bowling and shes already worried that her anxiety isnt going to let up and let her enjoy her day. I honestly just want her to enjoy her day and see how much I love her and come back from this mess.
Thank you for the help in advance. I appreciate it
Hello and welcome to the bb forums.
Sorry you're in such a tough spot with your girl. You sound like an amazing, patient, understanding person. I think your girlfriend is lucky to have you and your love.
I agree with your friends and family that the limited-contact arrangement with your girlfriend does seem a little odd. However, given she's confused and feels she needs to consider the relationship, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Living with anxiety means she likely needs a bit more decompression time/breathing space to cope at the best of times and it's better she think over such an important matter with a clear head and calm mind.
Funny thing about agreements though, all parties need to consent. At some stage this must have made sense to you. Doesn't mean you can't try to re-negotiate the agreement. Three steps to consider.
First, think about what would improve things for you and still give her some space. Second, if she's open to talking, have an honest a discussion with her tomorrow to explore if the current situation is working for her and explain that it's not working for you. Third, suggest a change to the agreement that you think might meet both of your needs based on her response. You might get a lovely surprise.
It's a strange arrangement only being able to talk to her 3 days a week, because what happens if on one of these days her anxiety level is high and won't talk to you, or alternatively she feels great and does want to talk to you
I would be taking it day by day, not by contact being only 3 days a week because a relationship needs to be open, enjoy your mini golf and start to build a working relationship and to do this you may need to see your own doctor, discuss what has been happening.
Build on each other's strengths but also develop ways to overcome this situation, that's how a relationship becomes stronger and share what you experience from your counsellor, in other words, talk about it. Geoff.
I'm sorry you have such a complicated matter to try to sort out, it must be most upsetting for you.
While obviously there is the possibility you have read the situation wrong and she wishes to gradually tail off the relationship without an abrupt end I don't realy see much point on continuing down that line and will assume your impressions are correct.
Both Summer Rose and Geoff have given good advice and I'd like to expand on it a little. Taking things at face value the only reason I can see your GF has imposed a set of contact days is that firstly she does need space from you and secondly she is not comfortable asking for it when the occasion demands.
This would seem to go hand in hand with a strong impression that there is less trust there than is good for a healthy relationship. Your GF should be able to say at any stage that she is getting overwhelmed or uncomfortable and needs to break off. You yourself have been less than forthcoming about helping a worker you manage as you feared an adverse reaction.
That brings up the whole matter of not talking. At present until she presumably goes to Bali and returns there are more days you are not talking than ones you do. I can't realy see this arrangement promoting the easy and trusting attitudes needed for a successful relationship. You should both enjoy being together.
As a result, like Summer Rose, I'd suggest a gentle talk about both your needs and hers, perhaps with an undertaking that if she was to attempt to talk more often you would give her the space she needs at any time.
Hello everyone and thank you for the help that you have offered. Having a person outside of the situation understand and give advice means a lot..
First I have to clarify something that I failed to mention. She decided to call off the relationship and end it because she couldnt trust me and she said that the person who she spends the rest of her life with she will have to be able to trust 150% and I am not that person. In the days/weeks after this I have been fighting to show this woman that I love her more than anything in the whole world and that I am not the person who everyone thinks that I am...one who hurts her intentionally and one who she cannot trust because of these reasons.
An update on today and how mini golfing went. The day started out rather well and things had been going as planned. The one thing which annoyed me at the start of the day was that she decided to check on to facebook to say that she was playing mini golf but since she wont re-add me to facebook I feel a bit left out and more so like she is embarrassed to let people know that she is A. spending time with me again and B. working on our relationship so I felt a little flat about that.
The day itself went rather one. We played a round of mini golf which she one and we had a game of bowling which I won and we had a pizza (pizza was average...would not recommend it again lol). But we left that part of the day on good terms and made our way home through the Adelaide hills since its a beautiful day to go for a drive in Adelaide.
I honestly tried to talk on the topic of the agreement we have in place since I dont agree that it is making it easy and promoting trust in our relationship but we did talk in the car outside her place about our feelings. I have made it well known to her that I love her a lot and that I am doing a lot to change the things about myself that have put us into this position. The thing that worries me is I fear that she has made no progress on whether or not she would like to remain in the relationship. I know that she is torn and she has made it well known to me that she will have to make the decision that is best for both of us and not just for me which I appreciate.
I am yet to talk to her on messenger again since today being one of the days where I can actually talk to her and also speak to her about our agreement and explain my feelings and thoughs. I would have liked to have done so in person but this is a lot harder than some may imagine.
Really nice to hear from you again. Sounds like you had a nice time today. Don't worry too much about not raising the agreement issue. I know it would have been hard, as there's a fair bit of risk involved in initiating such a conversation. It's not a conversation I would conduct over messenger but I'm a lot older than you, so will leave that to your best judgement.
Thanks for the clarification about the trust issue being the cause of the break-up. It changes my thinking a bit. You're right the agreement stands in the way of promoting trust in your relationship and she wants it that way for a reason. Without a concrete and definitive choice being made by her to either stay or leave, the relationship remains in limbo. Her biggest fear right now is that you will do it again and that she won't be okay.
You will not be able to move forward with her until she makes a decision. You can be patient and wait. You can try to move the boundaries in your favour but you still won't make the kind of progress you seek until she's made a decision. Or you can walk away. It's your call.
If she does tell you she wants to continue with the relationship you need to have some ideas of your own about how the two of you are going to repair the trust. It's not a one-way street and you need to be mindful of what you might be asked to agree to. There can be no room for anger, resentment or bringing up the past from either of you. You will need to work hard to re-gain her trust and she will have to work hard at forgiving you. It can be done but you can't do this alone.
Hi Summer Rose. Thank you again for a replY
Last night I managed to speak to her regarding our agreement and the conditions of it. I also sent her a link to this forum post to show her what we all have been talking about and to involve her in the conversation with me and she was very thankful that I had reached out to seek advice from someone regarding our situation. Last night we agreed to change the conditions of the agreement to the following terms...I can message her on any day but she doesn’t have to reply if she can’t or if she doesn’t want to.
we had a bit of a conversation as well about how her feelings about the relationship change day by day. Some days she wants to fight for it and others she wants to walk away since this is hurting us both. In a sense I have made things a lot harder as well for both of us by constantly repeating certain things to her such as telling her how much I love her and how I am sorry that all of this has happened and I don’t wish for it to happen again.
obviously hearing that all the time has been very frustrating for her so that’s one of my downfalls I am working on as well although as much as she says this isn’t about love I strongly feel that it is. Last night we also agreed to sit down with someone in regards to our relationship because we had both agreed that we were running in the dark and we needed some form of guide light to help us in this situation. We both know we would rather fix this than just walk away and that gave me some hope for our situation since lately my brain has been telling me that this is over...mostly in part to our agreement.
I understand and that this will be hard work for the both of us and we will have to do it together but also at times the past does get brought up by her because she still feels hurt. This makes things harder for me because her memory is a lot sharper than mine on these events and once they come up I feel like there’s a lot of anger and resentment which I’m hoping a relationship counsellor will help us with and also the trust issue. I also understand that I will have to work extremely hard on this too and I know she will too. The reason why I suggested a relationship counsellor is because as much as she says she is trying to trust me again...there’s tiny things a young 20-something male sees that screams that there is a lot to do that can be done but her anxiety and fear stops her. Again I’m hoping this will also not clash with her psychologist and her getting better
Congratulations. You and your girlfriend have taken two important steps forward and you should both be really proud of yourselves. You are wise beyond your years, my friend.
I really like the way you have amended the agreement because it is respectful of both your needs. For someone dealing with anxiety responding to messages can at times be an extra pressure. Try not to read too much into it if she doesn't respond. It more than likely will mean that she's just not up to it. But she does care about you, as you can message her and don't have to feel so cut off.
Don't hound her for responses and don't bombard her with messages. This is important because if you can respect her now you will be demonstrating that you really have her best interests at heart--and she really needs to know this now. It will help lay the foundations for future trust.
Your girlfriend's new willingness to work with you on the relationship is huge. A relationship counsellor is a fantastic idea because you will likely get good guidance to help you successfully navigate the waters ahead. Re-building trust takes time. It takes little steps that build on each other. It will not happen over night and you both need to be patient.
It will be interesting to see what her psychologist has to say. Feel free to keep posting and letting us know how you are getting on.
Kind thoughts and best wishes
Hi all just giving an update on progress
We went out for breakfast this morning to one of the bakeries we frequent. I was thinking about going there and she messaged me and asked if I wanted to go there with her. Same wavelength maybe? Anyways all went well and there was no drama or fighting which was a positive in my mind.
With regards to the couples therapy shes yet to give me a definite answer now. She has told me that she has to speak to her mother about it first which I completely understand although I fear her mother maybe against it since her mother was the one who came up with the original agreement in the first place. At first the mother only suggested she speak to me for 2 days a week rather than 3. It was my girlfriend who said 3 because she didnt want to have to go with out speaking for 5 days which I respect her for.
I do have valid fears about her mother being against the relationship therapy since she has showed up on my door in the past week saying that i need to "go away so that she will have a chance to miss me" in other words give her time which we have been doing. At the same time I also think my fears arent justified since as her mother she is looking out for the well being and mental health of her daughter.
I know that there are positives of going through a period like this and as such there are negatives too and as much as I focus on the positives she focuses on the negatives since the as she says the negatives outweigh the positives and the whole reasoning of seeing a counselor together was to work on increasing the positives and eliminating the negatives. Although that is a matter I certainly cant work on alone and neither can she and she has mentioned that she is working with her psychologist to learn to not think about the negatives.
I also have been keeping her up to date with this post on the forum because I dont want her to think that I am using this forum as a means of putting people against her although she does think that everyone thinks that she is a terrible person for doing what she is doing although I have tried to assure her that no one on this forum who has replied has thought that at all and I dont believe that she is a bad person either. I think that this is just a very hard period in our relationship that we are struggling with due to her anxiety although that doesnt mean I love her any less and It doesnt mean I think of her any differently.
moving forward from here Im still hopefull that we can work out!
Im back to give an update of the happenings.
So at the behest of some friends and family I have hadveto make the very hard decision of cutting contact with my somewhat girlfriend as they felt (as did I in a way too) that I was on a wild goose chase. We have been using the new agreement in a good way and I have done my best to show her that I am not the person that people say that I am but quite simply I feel like there is more that can be done and she is not willing to take that leap of faith in moving forward with this relationship because she is still determining if this is the right thing for her and what she wants. I have told her quite a number of times how I feel and how much I love her and she also told me she loves me but I feel as if she isnt quite doing as much as what I am. I know that may not be the case but I just dont see it and I would like to see if but she wont let me see it. This weekend is her cousins birthday and I personally thought it would be a great way of showing our support of each other in moving forward together but she was not willing to do that. I also asked if we were able to add each other on facebook once again and if i was allowed to come and visit her at her work (she works in a cafe) like she had mentioned (one of the things she was upset about that I didnt do) but again for this she has shut me down.
Im beginning to thing that this is a lost cause now not because of either one of us but because there is a lot of effort that can and should be made but neither of us can do any of this if the other party isnt willing to let each other do that. I feel that it just stops the progress dead in its tracks and it makes this situation a lot harder to come out of. With regards to her friends they are very cautious of our relationship now too even though one of her friends is going through the exact same situation and has already pulled through (I dont like to compare but they made that progress in a week...this is going on for months) but they will continue to think harshly of me if they dont see the effort I am willing to make.
Honestly I feel very alone in this situation she has asked me to be upfront and honest with her which I have been but these are simple things I am asking for and she has been unwilling to work with me because she is not ready. I am afraid she will never be ready and also that if she doesnt know if it is right now....then what difference will a week 2 weeks or 3 make.