My Girlfriend Keeps Anger Emotions For Years, Abuses Me Emotionally, And I Can Be Explosive
Sorry for my English, I'm French.
My girlfriend and I broke up a month ago, after a fight. She is 27, I am 37.
We had been together for 15 months. So far we didn't have many disputes, but when they happened it was really bad.
When I met her, during the first weeks together she explained me 3 stories. Each of those stories were old for years, but she was emotionally at the top at explaining them, crying. Two stories were related to drama with ex-boyfriends: one humiliated her, another one dumped her in the middle of nowhere in foreign country.
So far she didn't tell me what happened just before she was punished like that, but my own story will probably enlighten the things. The last story was related to the death of her mom. She was 22. Two weeks after her mom passed away, she saw a girl about her age at coming back home. The girl was pregnant for 6 months and it was the girlfriend of her father. She was crushed at explaining those.
One morning she woke up from a dream, in tears. In the dream she was at work, she did something wrong and everybody was blaming her, she was really feeling terrible. I came beside of her. She was sleeping on sofa in the entrance of apartment, me in the bedroom (she lives in Hong Kong, apartments are small, we had a distant relationship, I was in visit from Beijing.)
I wanted to take her in my arms to provide her with comfort when her sister passed at front of us and said to get out. I didn't pay attention to her and my girlfriend made a drama with that. At that moment I felt that her reaction was disproportionate and after 5 minutes of arguing leading to nothing, I decided to go back in the bedroom to let her calm down first.
Mistake ...after one minute she arrived in the bedroom ten times more mad, and I saw there was no way but to face it. She was now feeling abandoned and still angry with: the dream, and the fact I didn't pay attention to her sister when she walked out. That emotional cocktail was pretty hard to deal with and it took me the whole day to make her calm down and finally we went out to restaurant at the evening.
Well, I was needing to relax as I absorbed a lot of her stress during the whole day and I drank a little bit too much. Enough to release my stress at blaming her for the mess she did regarding my attitude with her sister whereas herself had bad relationship with her for years and was doing nothing about it.
That was a huge mistake because it broke all the efforts of the day in a 10 seconds range. I abused to say that to her. She left at running on her side, it was looking like a drama in a movie. At this stage I stayed quiet, I came back to her home, her father (Hong Kong guy) was there. I talked with him in Chinese, as well as I could, asking advice about how to deal with his daughter.
Well he told me to let her calm down on her side, that there was nothing else very useful to do. When she show up, her father spoke to her in Cantonese so I couldn't understand what he said, but I saw the effect. The tears have shown up, it was an inside explosion. She left in the bedroom immediately. I went to join her and she told me, "What did you say to my father? Why is he punishing me like this at asking me if I did the hot temper girl again?"
I didn't have time to finished my sentence when she slapped me with all her strength. I took her immediately by the neck and stick her on the wall asking her to stop any violence immediately. I just made things even worse, now she was out of herself, I put her on the ground threatening her to punch her if she was not calming down immediately.
Emotionally I was sky high, my world was falling apart, I love her so much. I tried to talk with her through the door, but there was no way. I went to hotel. The day after we had a long talk, she wanted to break up. For her what I did couldn't be repaired. I was accused of everything, I had no other way than to take all the blame on me if I wanted to keep her, even if I was sure that this was unfair.
And the same time, she told me that from now she would be very tough to me, and that first we wouldn't see each other for 6 months. The day after I went back to China. Bitter. I was really feeling weakened and somehow abused emotionally. That day she really took the power in our relationship whereas before there was a balance.
In October she came to visit me for 2 weeks, no single fight, very nice time. In December I lost my job, I had nothing else to do than to visit her. I came in Hong Kong by surprise. I shouldn't have done that. I was received with argument and blaming and she talked about dumping me, and talked about stopping.
So far I was quite agreeable, from beginning of November, I was suffering the distance, I was frustrated and also emotionally abused as she told me that she didn't really need to see me, once every two months was enough for her. I really couldn't stand that. The whole week I was punished. She was barely talking to me, we never could make love, I was forbidden access to her body.
The 25th of Dec we went to have dinner with friends. After dinner, in the street, she started to reproach me to have drunk too much. So far I had happy alcohol, just this. I wanted to take her in my arms at saying it was OK, but she just got mad and started to slap me and beat me.
I caught her arms to stop that and took close to me begging her to calm down and she said I was hurting her and to release her. So I released her and she slapped me again. Then it turned insane, she saw police in the street and found it was a good idea to call them. They came and left after 3 minutes after seeing that I didn't do any violence to her and that I was not in the mood to be violent.
She left back home on her side, I left on mine to her home. But I didn't go directly there. I waited about 45 minutes outside, at having one or two beers in order to let things cool down. It was not really a good idea to drink this because after that, I was drunk.
I don't think I am the perfect guy, but I have always treated her very very well, maybe too well, and I don't think I was deserving such humiliation at being fired like that and treated as criminal for which police was required.
Right now I don't know what would be the efficient way to communicate with her to bring her to go to talk with a specialist. Every pain in her life is entering and never get out, that's why she can explode so easily. I think she is scared to suffer again, she is protecting herself, but I don't know against what. Please advise.
(Julien--parts of your story were deleted, because it was too long for this format).
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Julien, and thanks for telling your story here. I can tell you really care about your girlfriend, and you really want your relationship to work. It is also clear that, from your viewpoint, she has a significant anger problem.
The main point I want to make to you Julien, is that you cannot help your girlfriend. She will either seek help for herself, or she won't. She will resist any effort you make to help her, or to get her to seek help.
You have to help yourself. I will suggest some resources about relationships, but first I want to make a very important point with you.
From what you've written here, Julien, it is clear to me that you are in the early stages of alcoholism. You will see what I mean when you read this page on alcohol abuse. If you don't address this problem, any effort you make in other areas could very well be a waste of your time.
Having addressed your alcohol abuse problem, I suggest that you read this page on relationships: relationship advice.
Your personal well being has to come first, Julien. Then, once you are sober, and clear about what it takes to create a healthy relationship, you may or may not be able to work things out with your girlfriend.
Believe in yourself, and follow these recommendations for you and your good heart.
My very best to you,