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am I not doing all I can?

Published on July 14, 2014 by donkeykong

First, let me tell you a little something about myself. 29 y/o. My father is from Surinam, mother from the Netherlands. Youngest of 6. Parents divorced when I was 4. Currently I am residing in the Netherlands as well. I am Dutch, I speak Dutch, so please bare with me; my English isn't what it used to... I've never been married, no kids. I've been in 4 committed relationships, and I am still trying very hard to keep the 4th one. She is a 34 y/o mother of a 6y/o daughter. The biological father is still present in the little girls' life. I've been with her for almost 1,5 years. My longest relationship is 1,5 years. Here's the thing. I think Ive been blessed with having not too much ' emotional baggage' from my childhood, and not too many issues in my adult life. Of course, I've had my fair share to deal with, but I think I'm doing pretty ok! I feel strong, very strong, at times. My girlfriend on the other had, had a different start: Her father an alcoholic, her mother a drug abuser. My girlfriend was abandoned and put in foster care, while her older sister was allowed to stay with family. Her father promised to visit, but every time he'd end up not showing, or being in jail. Later on, in my girlfriend early twenties, her father ended his own life. She broke contact with her mother, but since this last year, they're actually talking again. I can proudly say that my support and advice for my girlfriend have to do with that. And lastly, some of her last boyfriends cheated on her, and some of them even hit her.

Here's my issue. She doesn't trust me, one bit(she tries though). If she calls me, and I don't answer, she gets mad and ignores me, because obviously I'm cheating. And then continues to say things like 'if you do it, im going to do the same thing.' If she e-mails me, and it takes too long for me to respond, she thinks i'm with someone else. If we talk, and my response doesn't satisfy her, she gets mad. If she plans things, and I'm late. She gets mad. If she plans things, but things change a bit for me, she gets mad. She doesn't appreciate me trying hard to be a father to her daughter, because if I don't do it her way, it's wrong, but she forgets I have no experience with being a father. She tells me a lot that her daughter is number one... I know this. Of course, your child has to be your number one priority.. but it hurts for her to keep reminding me all the time. She tells me that I don't have to expect her to be happy that I am with her and her child. But she has told me a couple times that if I had kids, she wouldn't want to date me. At work, I'm a fitness trainer (and also a strugglin actor sigh), she thinks all I do is talk to young girls. Or when I workout myself, she'll think the same. She is extremely impatient. Most of these things resulting in her ignoring me, for a night, a day, sometimes longer. We don't live together, which makes all this even harder for me. Funny thing is, if I call her, and she doesn't answer, she's 'just busy' and I shouldn't push her. If I e-mail her and she doesn't reply, she's 'just busy', and I shouldn't push her. If she's late 'it happens.' If she cancel's or plans something different 'it happens.' She can be the most loving, caring person, and she'll tell me that I am literally the best thing that has ever happend to her. That she never thought this would happen to her or her daughter. And that her wishes have come true. And literally a minute later she gets pissed off. Half the time, I don't even know what it is that I did. She'll just look at me with almost disgust, but she'll tell me 'nothing.' I am a big fan of talking, but she hates it, and she hates it when I want to talk things out. Though when she talks, she always raises her voice 'thats how i talk. Deal with it.' She'll tell me that she would've walked out on me ten times already, if I did what she did. And she doesn't understand why Im still around. She'll also tell me that she always keeps in mind that she will never ever settle for less, and if she finds something better, she will go get it, and I should do the same. But I really don't want to hear that, to be honest.

I've already lost myself once, trying to make her happy. Trying to be a different 'me' that she would maybe like. I was tired of that. Emotionally drained. She broke up with me once, via text msg. I broke up with her twice, after that, but not via text of course. The last time, which was december 22nd 2013, after having spent a whole day with her daughter, because she had to work, I snapped, but in my own way. She said something very hurtful about me never being a father to her daughter. I was sitting down on her couch. She was towering over me. I got up, I told her to come back because she wanted to walk out. I gave her a hug, and very calmly told her that that would be the last hug she would ever receive from me, because I was tired of always doing things wrong in her eyes. I very quietly and respectfully grabbed some of my things, because the little one was sleeping. I kissed my gf's cheek and I walked out of her house. I didn't physically hurt her, and never have. I've never layed my hands on her and the fact that her ex boyfriends have, makes me extremely mad. We were broken up for almost a month. I told her to go talk to a therapist. And she did. I also told her I never wanted to break up with her, but I wanted her to find out that the way she was acting wasn't healthy. Not for her, and not for me.

But I couldn't bear with the fact that this woman wasn't in my life any more. I feel like we are connected. I feel like we belong together. I feel like she has awoken something in me that makes me feel strong. A man. I love this woman, so much. I can honestly say that I had never really, truly, deeply loved any of my girlfriends, until I met her. I want her to be 'the one.' I love her and her daughter so much that it hurts. I cannot describe the love I have for her, because my words would not suffice. I have never in my life been so commited to loving someone or showing them how much they mean to me. I think I wasn't happy in my past relationships because I felt, somewhere, deep inside, that it wasn't working for me. I just never had the courage or a way to put my feelings into words. Her sisters, her mother, her friends, colleagues, they all see how much I try to make her happy, and they all appreciate my effort because they all know her very well, and also know that any other guy would have walked out on her a long time ago. Though, I think that every one needs love and also deserves to be loved, no matter the circumstances. But honestly, I am tired. Again. This happend before, and I think I am getting to the same point. All I want for her to love me as much as I love her. I don't care that all the other's see how good I am for her, I want HER to see it. Her sister has told me that she knows I'm good for her. But my girlfriend will tell me the opposite. I don't want to give up on her. Walk out on her, like all the others did. Like her father did. But, i'm reaching a point where I want to give up. But I really don't want give up. I've been reading. Trying to figure out a way to get through to her. And, I'm not the easiest either, lets be honest here. But, I think that she's making this a lot more difficult than it has to be. Or am I just being naive here? Please help me out guys, Sincerely

ANSWERS

Hello Donkey,

I get that this connection feels very special to you, but it's not equal. You can't have a healthy relationship that is not equal. You're always on the defensive. You're wrong. You're cheating. It's like being under constant emotional attack. Sooner or later, this will wear you down.

If I were you, I'd figure out what it is about her that is so valuable to her and find that in someone who can be more of a healthy partner with you. If you find that you like being dominated or like being a rescuer, then you've got some work to do. In a relationship, no one is all good while the other is all bad. Use this as a means to grow and grow beyond it.

If this woman wants to grow with you, that's awesome. It sounds like she hasn't yet though, and it's not her job to move at your pace or in the direction that you desire.

Laura Giles, LCSW

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