Dr Love. . . I’m in desparate need of your help. I have no-one else to turn to. . Me and my girlfriend has been living together for three years now and she is busy leaving me.Something happend in her past that she does not want to tell me about. I think she was raped. Our sexual activity has taken a fall and our lives. She has moved out several times and she tells me that she need time to think about us.I love her and she still loves me. She just hates men at the moment. I only happend in the last two months. She gets nightmares and sees little boys hanging from a rope and sees things chasing her etc.She is seeing a doctor and a psychologist, so she tells me. She has called it quits several times but keeps coming back. I really feel that she is the one for me and that we are meant to be married some day.She suddenly started to change her appearence and her ways of doing things. Though she says that there is no-one else. I really need some advice here as I have no friends.I always only had her and it feel like my whole life is falling apart. I have never felt about anyone like I feel about her, not even my first real love. I thought about suicide as well. . . but I’m not sure if it will solve it.She is staying with her brother and his girlfriend at the moment and I’m not sure how to handle it. . .Must I give her more time, is it common, what is the chances of it working out, what do we have to do to make it work out. Please help me.This is the whole story in short as I don’t want to waste your time I just hope you can help me get my relationship back on track. Please help me. Regards
You are in a tough spot. Here’s what’s going on. Every time unbearable feelings or memories arise in your girlfriend, she goes into action (runs away, breaks up) in order to escape the feelings. The action serves to temporarily release the pressure, since it enables her to escape whatever is triggering her feeling.This way of escaping is technically called avoidance, and in the end avoidance backfires big time. You might tell her that her behavior can be likened to that of a drug addict.When feelings become intolerable the addict temporarily numbs the feelings through the use of drugs. But, when the drug wears off the issues always return. Then the person has to deal with the issue plus the addiction.The same is true for your girl. The escape gives her temporary relief, but the problem always returns. Meanwhile, she risks losing a great guy who loves her. Tell her that when she feels like breaking up that she is actually escaping feelings that she can’t stand.Explain why this isn’t healthy for her and encourage her to work in therapy on ‘sitting’ with her feelings rather than running from them. Tell her also that if you are saying or doing anything that reminds her of past abuse that you want her to tell you, not run from you. I hope this helps.