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Difficult situation, am struggling
Hi everyone, appreciate the opportunity to discuss current problems in my relationship. We have been seeing each other for about 2.5 years. She had previously been married for about 20 years and has 4 children ranging in ages from 8 to 16. The children do not know that we are dating and I have not been involved in their lives, we both agreed this is best for them at this stage of their lives. Prior to us dating, we have been in and out of each others lives as we went to uni together and worked together for a few years. We have always been great friends but never romantically involved up until 2.5 years ago. When she and her ex divorced (3.5 years ago], she had main custody of children as ex worked and continues to work long hours. She has been a fulltime mum to them. About 3 months ago her ex asked to have the children on a 50/50 basis and since then, they have been negotiating and trying to sort it all out..... The entire process is causing her a lot of stress ontop of the dramas of bringing up 4 children and life in general. To add to this she has just gone through menopause which exacerbates everything. This has placed stress on our relationship, she has become extremely intolerant of me, at times it feels like I am having to walk on eggshells. I completely understand what she is going through and have tried to help and support her as best as I can. Despite all this, we seem to be drifting further apart due to all this stress and fighting. I give her her space but her treatment of me is bringing out my insecurities which doesn’t help the situation. We have spoken about things when she is calm and she admits she just isn’t coping and finding everything difficult, including being in a relationship. When we have spoken about breaking up, she wavers, talks about “being friends” then saying that she is just stressed and overreacting. As selfish as it sounds, I am finding her being hot and cold and the emotional rollercoaster very difficult. I am not ready or wanting to give up on this, I love her very much and want us to get through this, just makes it very difficult when I don’t really know what she wants. She tells me she loves me and I know she does but she is just not coping with many things and our relationship is dysfunctional at the moment. I don't know what to do and can see that I am starting to internalise and get stressed with everything. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
It does sound like life is difficult at the moment for you and your partner. It's good that you found Beyond Blue (forums). People here are friendly, caring, supportive and respect individual's privacy. We not counsellors or therapists, all we do is share our experiences to see if this helps.
You seem to have known the person a long time, as you've only recently (2.5yrs) become romantically involved. From what you've said, she is certainly going through a lot and I'm sure this has an impact on your relationship. I know I'd certainly not be managing all that well - work, 4 children, menopause, custody issues. Wow. That is a lot.
I can't provide any relationship advice. What I can suggest to you though, since you are starting to internalise and get stressed about things is to see your gp if you haven't done this already. Also, talk to your gp about whether you might benefit from seeing someone, e.g. counsellor.
At the same time, take a long slow breath, in through your nose to the count of 5 and out through your mouth for the count of 5.
Have a think about how you could help her? Does she have anyone to talk to about what's happening? Does she need to see her gp also?
Often, we think we have to do everything by ourselves, but it's okay to reach out and ask for help.
Beyond Blue has a Support Service - call 1300 224636, or chat on line between 3pm-12pm.
Appreciate your response and support. My GF does see a clinical psychologist to help her, but unfortunately is not doing so on a regular basis. Her GP has also put her on a small dosage of antidepressants. I have also spoken to my GP and have made an appointment to see a counsellor tomorrow. I agree, my GF is going through a very difficult time and advice, she needs all the help she can get from the right people and I need to be postive and together to help her through this.
Thank you so much for getting back to me. So often we respond and never hear from people and are left wondering how things turned out.
Just remember you need to look after yourself too! It all seems so difficult at the moment. Hopefully things settle down.
Maybe in addition to you both seeing someone separately, you try something together to focus particular on your relationship. One particular agency is Relationships Australia - try doing a google search.