Loving Someone Who Won't Seek Help

Postby 363jay » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:28 pm

Hi there, new user to the forum, but regardless,

I have been in a loving, long distance relationship for the past three years or so. My girlfriend is very sweet, but is prone to "black moods" as I call it and has intense self-hatred. I love her so much, but it breaks my heart to see her so miserable. I make sure that she knows that I'm there for her when she needs me, but the fact I can't help makes me feel useless. Not only this, but even on her good days she can make me feel like I'm worthless. She constantly tells me that nothing good has ever happened in her life, or that everything good is inevitably ruined. I'm so sad to see her this way, and it hurts me to think that I mean so little to her.

I have told her that she might find it beneficial to seek help, though she makes excuses that even if she wanted it, she couldn't find it. I know this is false, because help is everywhere. Heck, it's why I'm here. And I am well aware that I can't force her to do anything she doesn't want to, but I find this situation is just wearing me down. I feel more like I'm trying to be a counselor than her girlfriend, and like I don't mean much to her sometimes. I have tried my best to help her in anyway I can, but it feels like I can't do anything. I make sure she knows I love her, and that I'm there for her, but I'm not really sure what to do anymore. Any suggestions?
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#1

Postby WonderGurl » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:35 pm

Looks like the relationship is moving towards being codependent. If it's wearing you down and making you feel bad about yourself, it might be worth considering if this is what you want long term, as chances your girlfriend will work on developing a more positive worldview are quite slim.
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#2

Postby Selenara » Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:37 am

If there is anything I have learned in life, it is that you cannot help someone who will not help themselves :/ You can support her as she battles her inner demons, but no matter how much you wish you could, you cannot defeat them for her. And if she does not defeat them, they will destroy you, her, and the entire relationship :/ I would try reading online articles on advice for convinced loved ones to seek professional help, and urge her to try reading online articles about self-esteem issues. This is a difficult process for people, so she may need some time to gather strength before she's ready to make a change--make no mistake, it is really scary and difficult and requires great strength and willpower, which her inner demons have completely destroyed. But if she still refuses to make any effort after you feel you've given her every chance, I would give serious thought to ending the relationship :/
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:38 am

363jay wrote: I have been in a loving, long distance relationship for the past three years or so. Any suggestions?


How about it no longer being "long distance."

Long distance relationships can only work for a limited time. People need touch.
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#4

Postby tokeless » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:02 am

What do you love about her? She gives you nothing in return for your devotion so what's in this for you? Have you actually ever met, held hands, kissed or hugged each other?
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#5

Postby 363jay » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:24 am

I did go and visit her during the summer for the first time. It was a brief visit, but neither one of us can really afford much. When she's not in these negative moods, she can be sweet and kind to me. She has also been there for me when I have anxiety attacks and she offers her help. It's just when she is in her moods, while I appreciate she is comfortable enough to admit it, neither one of us are particularly open about our feelings, it can be hard for me not to become emotional as well. It's not so much as she says bad things about me, it's just she's so stuck in her negativity at these times that she can't think of one thing that's gone right. I want to make this relationship work. I still love her, and I don't want to lose her.
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#6

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:59 am

363jay wrote: I want to make this relationship work. I still love her, and I don't want to lose her.


Really? Do you want to make it work, does she want to make it work? Because it doesn't really sound like either of you are willing to sacrifice and actually move to be next to each other. It has been 3 years and you saw each other for the 1st time this past summer.

There are very, very few reasons why people that "love" each other would not find a way to be together after 3 years. Sacrifices would be made if it was "love". She doesn't seem to want to sacrifice for you or you for her.

I'm not saying that you don't believe it to be love. It is your emotions and love is definitely subjective. I'm just saying what you are actually typing, the actual behaviors you and she are displaying are not the behaviors of a couple in love. It rather sounds like two people in an emotional, codependent relationship that are confusing love with a need for some form of companionship, neither really willing to make a true commitment.

With the above stated. Is there some very rare circumstance taking place? Is she a scientist trapped on a research vessel at sea? If you met her this past summer, it sounds like it is not an issue of both being young teenagers or one of you is actually in jail. Is it a visa issue? Is one of you married already?

I guess I am trying to better understand the dynamic.
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#7

Postby 363jay » Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:11 pm

I probably should have stated earlier that we are teenagers. Moving closer to each other isn't really an option.
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#8

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:55 pm

363jay wrote:I probably should have stated earlier that we are teenagers. Moving closer to each other isn't really an option.


That helps clear things up a bit.

So basically, you are a mature teenager with a decent grasp of things that simply lacks life experience. Not much we can do about life experience as that comes with time.

You want to make something work based on what you currently, at an emotional level, believe to be love. My question is why?

What I suggest you start doing is questioning your emotions. Concentrate less on this other person and really begin to reflect on your own emotions. Don't assume "love" based on gut feelings. Instead, ask yourself why as a teenager you decided to pursue a 3 year LDR?

It is psychologically normal to take the easier, more comfortable path. It is common to make the excuse that we don't "choose the one we love", that it just happens, but that is cognitive bias to avoid an uncomfortable confrontation with ourselves. If we open ourselves to scrutiny, we find we do choose based on some underlying thought process. We fear not meeting someone else or we have self-confidence or esteem issues. The person isn't right for us, but it is easier than admitting that we just don't have the confidence to face rejection from someone new, etc. There are a ton of ways to rationalize and claim "love" when truly it is simply settling to avoid fear, rejection, anxiety, etc.

As a teenager, a 3 year LDR screams that you are avoiding something and need to focus all of your energy reflecting on your own underlying issues rather than trying to figure out what is wrong with some other person.
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