Hi. Not really sure how I should head this, but, well, hi. Anyways, I am very deeply in love with a woman who is also my best friend, and we met online and talk on the phone all the time. We have everything in the world in common, and can talk for hours about nothing and have a wonderful time. She admitted to me when I told her how I felt that she felt the same way, but there is a problem.She has a boyfriend, who she also loves very much. They have been together for a couple years, and from everything I know about him he comes from a controlling household, where the man is the boss and everyone else isn’t , and so he tries to control her. They argue incessantly and I am always the one who makes her feel better afterwards and tries to give her advice as best I can.I know that I always make her happy, she even says so, and I know that she would me so much happier with me than she is with him, because we’re alike and understand each other. Last weekend, for example, she went to stay with him (they go to differe nt colleges), and came back telling me she thought about me the entire time and even tried to break up with him at the end of the weekend, but was pursuaded not to because she still loves him.I just know she and I are meant to be, we’ll be doing the same things at the same time sometimes even. One night we were both eating chicken ramen (water drained and then the noodles seasoned) with coffee (with cream and sugar). And she has even admitted that she believes we’re soulmates, but yet she stays with him for now. . I’m trying to be as patient as I can and let her think everything through, but I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do. . One very confused guy
I want you to understand that your girlfriend wouldn’t be attached to this man who controls and fights with her if this relationship weren’t meeting some deep need inside of her. Your girlfriend is stuck in a repetition compulsion (the compulsion to recreate some traumatic aspect of her early life). If you have been reading my columns for a while, then you know that the unconscious mind is drawn to lovers that will repeat the traumatic and emotionally upsetting aspects of our childhoods.The purpose of this repetition is twofold: 1) to work-through the old pain; and 2) to receive a happier ending to the childhood trauma. In your girlfriend’s case, it sounds like she had parents that controlled her and she is hoping that this time around, she will be loved and accepted for who and what she is. You may be thinking, but I give her that already. Yes, but when a person is locked in a repetition compulsion, he or she is compelled to exactly recreate the struggle from the past. The fantasy being: if I can extract the emotional response I need from my lover or spouse, then I will feel that I actually received what I needed from my unavailable or unyielding parent.So, when a person is tied up in this type of repetition, they are hooked on the struggle and are less interested in someone who gives them the emotional goodies they desire without a war. This explains why she isn’t ready to be with you–you give her what she needs without a fight. So, you may be right for her in terms of tastes, values and interests, but this unfinished business is enough to destroy any hope of a future for you both. . . unless she gets help.You could ease her in the direction of treatment by making the following observation: I notice that a man who doesn’t give you what you need is more appealing than someone like me who gives to you freely. When she agrees that this is so, you can ask her why she thinks that is. And, ask her how it relates to her history. Once she sees the connection, and where her problem lies, she will be ripe for therapy. Lot’s of luck. I hope that your ‘soulmate’ heals this wound so that she came become your true and complete soulmate.