Dr. Love, I need your help. My girlfriend of over a year recently broke it off with me. She had been seeing a church counselor without my knowledge and the counselor convinced her we were not compatible.We had been talking of marriage and we were having the best time of our lives. Then one day we had lunch together, everthing was fine, I kissed her goodbye and she giggled and we were in love. That night about 8:00 p. m. she called me to come over to her house. There she was sitting at the kitchen table with my ring on the table and a serious look on her face. She told me it was over.She said she had been seeing a counselor for a while and today was her last session and that through the counseling she realized we were not compatible.How could things go so wrong? I want her back, what should I do? I am so in love and I don’t want to give up. I know she would not cheat on me, so that is not the problem. I am lost, what should I do?
First of all, no therapist has the right to say whether a couple should or should not break up. In fact, a therapist is never supposed to tell a client what to do or not do. That is overstepping the therapist’s role.A therapist is supposed to help the client overcome his internal blocks to getting what he/she wants out of life. If your girlfriend came to that therapist and said, ‘I want to break up, so help me overcome my block to doing so, ‘then the therapist would have been in bounds.We obviously don’t know what went on behind closed doors. We don’t know if your girlfriend did decide to break up on her own, but felt too weak to own the decision, which could explain why she said that the therapist told her to break up.You certainly have a right to pursue this question, and ask her if it is true that the therapist convinced her to break up. If this is true, then we need to examine whether your girlfriend is so dependent that she will follow the advice of anyone in a position of authority over her.If she admits that it was true that she was influenced, then you need to tell your girlfriend that her therapist was out of line. Her therapist had no right to play God with your lives. You need to tell her that a more appropriate interim step is couples therapy.If your girlfriend admits that the break up was her idea, then she needs to be confronted on her outrageous behavior. She dropped the ax, and you were beheaded before you even saw it coming. Isn’t a person supposed to be given a chance to argue his case before being sentenced to death? I am outraged over how you are being treated. Does she realize how much she is mistreating you?No matter what you decide to say or do, make sure that you get in touch with your feelings of outrage and anger. If you don’t, you will likely turn the anger against yourself and become depressed.It sounds to me like you really want to be given a chance to fix what isn’t working for your girlfriend. I assume that you told her so. I think you also would feel better if you were to fight for yourself and for what you want. Insist that before she drops you that you at least be given a chance to be fix whatever you were doing that wasn’t working for her.Point out to her that no partnership is a perfect fit. We are all different, and there is no such thing as a perfect clone. Even if she dumps you and dates someone else, what’s she going to do when she finds out that this next partner isn’t perfectly compatible with her? Is she going to spend her life dumping boyfriend after boyfriend.Why doesn’t she stick with you, a guy who loves her enough to want to be responsive to her needs? Tell her that she can always break up with you down the road, but that before she does you would like to have her communicate to you what she feels are your areas of incompatibility. See whether, in fact, the things that bother her reflect true areas of incompatibility, or whether the clashes exist in areas that can be changed.Your girlfriend may not understand that incompatibility refers to differences that cut to the core of an individual and his/her values or beliefs. For example, a person who believes that all money earned should be saved would be incompatible with someone who believes that money is meant to spend.Monetary, religious or sexual values and beliefs make up the core of an individual, which means that they won’t ever change. If a couple clashes on basic values, then they are truly incompatible. If, however, your areas of conflict don’t involve values, then you and she can work to change the behaviors that are not working.Good luck.