Need advice on helping my girlfriend overcome an emotional roadblock

Need advice on helping my girlfriend overcome an emotional roadblock

Ser Pounce-a-lot Ser Pounce-a-lot
Hello Everyone, I have a bit of a difficult situation and hoped I might be able to find some insight from others. This is kind of heavy, but here we go.

I've been with my girlfriend for about 9 months now and we live together. She has some rather bad emotional problems that I really want to help her with, but don't know where to start and feel like I'm in way over my head. We get along fine and don't argue, its not that kind of problem. To give some history as to why she probably has the problems described below, her last boyfriend was killed in a motorcycle accident several years ago.

She has a very poor outlook on life, she's flat out said that she hates life and that nothing makes her happy. It's almost like she's forgotten how to be happy, and feels nothing but being sad or melancholy. She has told me that she feels guilty because she doesn't think she is capable of loving me as much as I deserve, as much as I love her.

I've tried telling her that life is about making the best of and enjoying what you have, and not about regretting what is in the past. She feels like she's a bad person and selfish, and no matter how much I try to reassure her otherwise, I can't get through. She feels like she is broken and can't be fixed. It's like she's built up a brick wall inside and won't listen to anyone. It's like she's given up inside.

I don't know what to do, but I love her and also know that if our relationship is going to last and get stronger, she needs to learn to let the past go, forgive herself and be happy again. A relationship doesn't work too well when both people don't have their hearts in it.

She sees a counselor a couple times a month, and talked to them about it recently. They said that she needs to learn to do what is best for her and to stop taking the easy way out. I assume by that, they meant that feeling sad and giving up is the easy way. She takes anti depressants, they help a little but I feel like something like this is more than pills alone are going to change, she needs to learn to turn her life around.

Additional info: She is also overweight and hates how she looks, and even though I tell her she is beautiful, I can't seem to give her any confidence. I'm going to help her lose weight, but she has a substantial amount to lose, and that's going to take a while and take a lot of willpower on her part.
09/27/2011
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js250 js250
She sounds like she is clinically depressed. The best thing you can probably do is not to push her, be supportive and find a common ground that takes her mind off her problems for a short time. Do you have pets for her to care for and love? Sometimes this can make a difference. I used to feel disconnected as well and the only thing that helped was a puppy I rescued, time and more time. My friends found some small activities that I became interested in, but until I found a mind consuming hobby (motocross & dirt bikes) that I was able to do myself, I was frozen. As far as her weight, there isn't very many women that are entirely happy with their appearance, we have just learned to work with what we have been given.I have gained so much confidence posting pics on sites such as lpsg that I do not consider my flaws as much as I used to. Everyone is so complimentary! I don't know if any of this will help, but good luck and hang in there.
09/27/2011
Peggi Peggi
Well, first of all I'm very sorry for her to have to feel that way, and I think that she is very lucky to have someone in her life who cares so very much to seek advice and help for her. It really does sound like she has depression, or possibly even bipolar disorder? (more severe depression)

I agree that what you need to do is exactly what you are doing. Be supportive and let her know that you are there for her, but don't let it be a chore. Don't feel that you are responsible for her or her caretaker. The reason I say that is often after a while in situations like this, the healthy person can become resentful of the situation or even the person without meaning to, if they feel they have to modify their whole outlook and life to care for the other.

That being said, it sounds like the right thing is being done with her counseling.

As for the weight, I agree, some people just feel that way. I know that medically I am not overweight but I swear when I see myself in the mirror pounds start adding to me before my eyes!!! But if it adds to how she sees life which it very well may, that needs to be addressed.

Aside from professional help the other option is to do the therapy at home between the two of you. Have her share her feelings as much as she possibly can, and remind her you are there and you aren't going to judge her. Try to find hobbies you can do together, or something that she enjoys and do as much of it as you both can without it being boring. Find multiple things so you can alternate.

What they mean by "easy way out" is not trying to get better. In psychology you learn two methods of treatment. Medicated and cognitive. The first thing you tell the patient is that in order to get better they need to want to get better and if they want to get better they have to change the way they view treatment. You have to say, I'm going to be better and this is how I am going to do it! You come up with your own goals and ideas, saying that you are going to reach so-and-so level of happiness and want this-or-that for your future. Then, you have something to work towards and won't fall into the easy way out of saying it just isn't possible to get better, I am depressed, nothing will help.

So, set up goals together, and find things to make you both happy!
09/28/2011
Ser Pounce-a-lot Ser Pounce-a-lot
Thanks for the replies guys That was a very informative and helpful post, Peggi.

We had a good long talk about it and figured out what we can do to help make the situation better. Some back story about our relationship, we hadn't been dating too long, just a couple months, when circumstances forced us to move in together. I moved in to her place because I had to leave mine. Although we get along great, she was not ready to live with someone at all and we did so way too soon, and she's been finding it difficult, as much as we love each other. Before I moved in, she was loving the casual dating feel we had to our relationship, because it had been so long since she had felt that, and when I moved in it changed. We both feel like circumstances took that special feeling away from us. Together, we decided the best way to help our relationship and grow stronger was for me to get my own apartment and for us to continue off where we were before I moved in. I don't see it as a step backwards, I see it as a step forward. It will be nice to have that special feeling back, and to see her happy again.

Oh and far as the weight thing goes, it's more than a few extra pounds. Technically, she would be considered obese and we have health concerns to worry about. We both want her to lose weight for her own happiness and for health reasons, but that's another story.
09/28/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Ser Pounce-a-lot
Thanks for the replies guys That was a very informative and helpful post, Peggi.

We had a good long talk about it and figured out what we can do to help make the situation better. Some back story about our relationship, we hadn't been ...
Bless your heart. What a tough situation to be in, I give you both a lot of credit for even being able to talk so openly about situations such as this after only being together for a few months. As long as you keep this up, I think everything will work out in both of your favors.
09/28/2011
Ser Pounce-a-lot Ser Pounce-a-lot
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
Bless your heart. What a tough situation to be in, I give you both a lot of credit for even being able to talk so openly about situations such as this after only being together for a few months. As long as you keep this up, I think everything will ...
Thanks

It was only a couple months when I moved in, that was in late February / March. Our anniversary is actually new years day, so around 3 months or so. But we've been together about 9 months now, but still are able to communicate pretty well about such things

I think it will absolutely work out for the best too. To be honest, I really wasn't ready to live with someone either at the time, it will be nice have my own place again.
09/28/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Ser Pounce-a-lot
Thanks

It was only a couple months when I moved in, that was in late February / March. Our anniversary is actually new years day, so around 3 months or so. But we've been together about 9 months now, but still are able to communicate ...
See? Things are already better! Everyone needs their space and forced living arrangements are really tough to deal with in a new relationship. I wish you both the best of luck!!
09/28/2011
Ser Pounce-a-lot Ser Pounce-a-lot
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
See? Things are already better! Everyone needs their space and forced living arrangements are really tough to deal with in a new relationship. I wish you both the best of luck!!
Yeah they most definitely are looking good . It's probably going to be a month or so until I move out, need to find an affordable apartment, save up for a deposit, prepare to move and stuff like that. Thankfully I don't have a lot of stuff to move though, but getting my queen mattress out of storage and moved doesn't sound too fun. Will probably end up hiring a mover for that.
09/28/2011
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Ser Pounce-a-lot
Yeah they most definitely are looking good . It's probably going to be a month or so until I move out, need to find an affordable apartment, save up for a deposit, prepare to move and stuff like that. Thankfully I don't have a lot of stuff to ...
LOL Makes me think of when my husband and I carried our king mattress up a flight of stairs to our new place. It's definitely not something I look forward to doing again.
09/28/2011
muffles muffles
sorry not too much time to make a lengthy response now, but saw your post and skimmed most of it =P
she needs to be active, hobbies or w/e but preferably mostly just more around people, also being outside, some1 mentioned a pet helped...
I have a partner very much overweight and didn't know they were eating junk food on the side w/o telling me and i'd been trying to help for almost a year (kinda given up tho...) something triggered a serious attempt to get more involved in losing weight and told me about the junk food etc now we're going to a gym more often.... I suggested counting calories but that may/may not happen (500 cal deficit/day = 1lb/wk; preferably mixed w/ less food intake and exercise to make the 500) and ofc requires serious effort... i wish u best of luck!
09/28/2011
Ser Pounce-a-lot Ser Pounce-a-lot
Stormy:

Yeah I hear you there, I moved my queen mattress and box spring not all that long ago. Though it will be nice to use it again, it got put in storage not too long after I bought it, which seems a waste. It's pretty comfortable as I remember.

muffles:
Yeah counting calories is the best way to do things. I was going to supervise her on a strict 1700 calorie a day diet to get her losing weight, but since I'm moving out soon (read a couple posts up - we figured out a good solution to the problems), that's not going to work. I'll have to work with her to see what I can do to keep encouraging her to keep at it after I leave.
09/28/2011
DeliciousSurprise DeliciousSurprise
If someone changes for you, when you're gone, so is the change.

For example: if you're supervising her calories, she's not changing a lifestyle, she's having someone else solve her problem for her. She needs to be proactive and take charge of her life.


Just remember that this is supposed to be a relationship: you aren't her therapist, it's not your job to "fix" her, and you couldn't "fix" her even if you wanted to. She has to fix herself, or not.
09/28/2011
Peggi Peggi
Quote:
Originally posted by Ser Pounce-a-lot
Thanks for the replies guys That was a very informative and helpful post, Peggi.

We had a good long talk about it and figured out what we can do to help make the situation better. Some back story about our relationship, we hadn't been ...
Hope it can help! I have actually studied Psychology in mass amounts because I originally wanted to understand my own problems a little bit better and after a few classes I was hooked!!!

I'm glad you were able to discuss things and I hope that things work out for you both! Moving in with someone can be a challenge especially when it is done early on. I was in this situation as well in my current relationship. He was officially moved in after 2 months of us being together, and before that we hadn't known each other! We had met online a week before we began dating, so I can tell ya, it was the best but scariest thing I've done! Well worth it though.

SIt sounds like you two have both adjusted well given the circumstances! If you ever need to chat feel free to message me or even email me (email is on my page here) I love to help or at least listen!

I think that a weight-loss routine together would be great, as well by the way
09/28/2011
Total posts: 13
Unique posters: 6