Loving a girl outside of existing relationship...Causing huge mood swings
This is my first post here - I've been struggling with this for a few months now, so figured it was probably time to ask for a bit of advice.
I've been in a relationship with my girlfriend for about 5 years now. Things have always been smooth sailing, and I always considered myself to be deeply in love with her. Towards the beginning of the year, however, I started having an existential crisis of sorts - I was about to turn 26, but I wasn't (and still am not) where I want to be in life. I started thinking about all the things I want to do before I hit 35-40, and started having a very vague sense of panic that I was going to achieve anything before that happened. My girlfriend is in her 9th year of university and will be a dentist by the end of the year, and the fact that she will only be licenced to work in Australia was compounding this fear of being tied down.
A couple of weeks later, this new girl started at my work, and we immediately hit it off. It was literally like she could read my mind, and was telling me EXACTLY what I wanted to hear with regards to achieving things in life (career-wise, adventure, family, etc). She had moved to Brisbane from Perth to be with her boyfriend whom she met travelling, but her relationship was failing. I spent the next few weeks thinking pretty long and hard about things, and ended up telling my long-term girlfriend that I needed some space (not to immediately pursue something with this new girl, but to actually contemplate my life goals etc), while the new girl had done the same thing in her relationship.
Sure enough, the new girl and I ended up having a bit of a fling, but neither of us had completely severed ties to our previous relationships. She ended up going for a weekend back home in Perth, where her friends/family convinced her to get back with her boyfriend.
After she broke the news to me, I felt completely numb for days. I was so furious, but at the same time I knew that this was always a possibility.
Fast forward a few months, and my long-term GF and I are trying to work things out and get things back to normal (with the added intention of being more adventurous, plans to travel etc). However, I am still deeply, hopelessly infatuated with the new girl, and my moods are hugely dependant on how things are going with her, rather than my GF. I feel like a real scumbag for treating my GF this way, but at the same time I feel so depressed that I don't have a future with the new girl..
I am by no means "settling" with my girlfriend - she is a hugely important part of my life, and I don't want to give up on our relationship. I can honestly see myself being with her for the rest of our lives, and she is perfect in almost every way.
However....I still can't shake this feeling of "what if...?" with the new girl. It reignited something in me that I thought I'd lost in my teens - a feeling of unwavering desire and a longing to be with somebody more than anything else.
I know that the new girl feels at least something similar to me, but she is telling herself (and - consequently - me) that she is "100%" committed to her boyfriend. Every time she mentions him, I can feel my blood boil, followed by a deep sadness, followed by shame that I'm feeling this way about somebody who isn't my significant other.
I want to get over her, and focus entirely on my existing relationship, but I just can't. I've ended up having quite a few drinks just to get to sleep some nights, and I sometimes wish that I would have an accident just so I could take a few weeks off work to avoid her and make a real effort to take her off my mind.
I've tried to ignore her to the best of my abilities...but little things keep happening that put me back to square one. Just the other week our workplace created a story and unbeknownst to one another, new girl and I were selected to play the couple. It is things like this that are making it so hard for me to get past.
Normally I am pretty good with relationship advice, but this scenario is really getting me down. Some days I think I am on the path to overcoming this case of "oneitis", and then others I feel completely worthless and that I have "lost" some sort of competition that my brain has come up with between me and new girl's boyfriend, and that I'm therefore totally inadequate. It makes it difficult for me to focus on work or my hobbies when this starts to kick in.
I also feel so terrible that I'm not 100% committed to the girl whom I thought was my life-long partner, but I really believe if we give it more time then it will work out (it already feels a 500% better compared to a month or so ago). There's no doubt that I love my girlfriend, but I'm lying to myself if I say I'm not on the same path with the new girl...
beyondblue's clinically-trained moderators often work offline (invisible to you) on issues relating to suicide or self-harm. At the same time, general supportive comments from the community are encouraged. If you have concerns around suicide or self-harm, please phone our support service on 1300 22 4636.
Hi Matsuflex, thanks for posting.
We can see from your post that you are finding the issues with your relationship and this other woman incredibly distressing. You have described such pain and confusion in relation to your future. Although we can see that you value your relationship enormously there is something about this other woman that is making it hard for you to move on. Rather than being about the woman herself, it looks like you may be struggling with this due to the competitive feeling you have with her partner. Sometimes when a person is unattainable this ignites desires further. We wonder if you would feel the same way if she was single and available to you.
Whatever the case this issue is certainly continuing to impact on your well-being significantly. We would encourage you to seek some ongoing, professional support. Here are some services that specialise in relationship issues that would be able to offer some guidance and help you move forward in a positive way:
1) MensLine Australia
Phone: 1300 789 978
Hours: 24 hours; 7 days
2) Relationships Australia
Phone: 1300 364 277
We can see that sometimes the distress of this situation leads to feelings of wanting to escape and imagining being in an accident. This really does indicate that it would be worth seeking some support. We hope you take those next steps to reach out for some professional help.
Remember you are never alone. If you ever feel at risk or would ever like further support from us you can call the beyondblue Support Service on 1300 22 4636. We can help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with counselling support, information and referrals. We also have web chat service available from 3pm-midnight 7 days a week, you can access this from here.
dear Matsuflex, hi and welcome to the site, where Sophie one of our Moderators has replied to you, and a valid point she has made ' when a person is unattainable this ignites desires further', and how many times has this actually happened, well I must agree it's happened for me, and the old saying 'the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence', and surely this must happen to most people, although it's not fair that I say that, but that's as far as it gets.
We may wish and dream and sometimes our spouse or partner may know what we are thinking about, and could tease us, or get cross with us, but this depends on how the relationship is going.
So now she is living a few doors down from where you are staying, so now this becomes a persistent magnic where you will always be looking out for her or her boyfriend, with the constant thought of visiting her, and what this will do is that it's going to finally put pressure on you, your girlfriend and then her and her boyfriend.
Eventually what will happen is that you could destroy your relationship with your girlfriend, and in turn destroy this other girl and her boyfriend's relationship, and I'm not sure whether you want to do this, because what you are feeling now and at this present time is that you are on cloud 9 with her, but that doesn't mean that a long term relationship with her would ever survive, even though your feelings and ideas seem to be similar.
Are you able to get a transfer to another department, just so contact with her has reduced.
I hope that you can get what I'm trying to say. Geoff.