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Relationship Avoidance in Relationship, what should I do?

garythesnail

New Here
My girlfriend and I (both 27) have been together for two years and we have been living together for a year. The relationship was great, very intimate and there was nothing missing. I'm generally very independent and need a lot of time for myself and alone - but that still worked well. I knew that she had a very difficult childhood because her mother has BPD and was or is dependent on her. In addition, she was in two toxic relationships before me in which there was pathological control and violence. She never told me much because she supposedly had processed it and it wasn't an issue.

A few months ago I had health problems and was physically restricted and became a little depressed. I withdrew and was a bit grumpy. According to her, I have already triggered the first triggers here. She started to distance herself. Suddenly ghosting started, coming home late every day, not picking up, hardly telling me anything anymore, etc. I became afraid and wanted to save the relationship, which triggered her fears of control. One evening I had a panic attack because everything was too much for me and I couldn't understand why the relationship was breaking down. This panic attack was the tipping point because I triggered her childhood trauma. While crying, she said: “Everything is like it was with my mother again.” expressing hatred against her mother... It all became too much and it really wasn't working anymore, so we agreed on a one-month break without contact. She started going to therapy, and so did I.

We met after the month and decided to continue the relationship. In separate households, I have been living with my parents since then. I thought everything would go back to normal, that's not the case. She told me that she currently cannot be intimate (she told me, thats not about me), that she is confronted with an incredible number of triggers and fears and that she needs time to work through them. I told her, that if I get communication and transparency, then I'm ready to continue the relationship and support her.

In the first few weeks I hardly received any communication from her, a lot of ghosting, distancing, she was out with her friends almost every day (I was excluded from everthing), we saw each other once a week and worked through the relationship in nice, long conversations. After about 5 weeks after the break, I told her that I couldn't continue any further if I didn't get a minimum of communication and transparency from her. I asked her if she even wanted to continue this relationship because I often feel like she has already finished, her answer: she doesn't know right now. After this conversation, she suddenly wrote more, contacted me, etc. It briefly felt like a relationship again.

Now, the last 8 days it's stopped again, communication it's one-sided, we hardly see each other, she doesn't get in touch, only I write - how she's doing, how her day was...

She now takes a lot of time for herself and is slowly working through her trauma. Every time we see each other in person it's nice and feels good, even if it's not intimate. Thats all great, but this imbalance is simply not a healthy relationship for me. I've kept my needs to a minimum and I'm really just asking for a little bit of communication. I love her more than anything and she's a great person, but back then she gave me so much love, cared for me, enjoyed spending time with me and that's all gone... It's like she just doesn't care anymore... As her boyfriend that feeling is hard to process. If the communication is always one-sidedly, then it just doesn't feel good...

Is this behavior trauma driven? Am I asking for too much? Does this make sense anymore?
 
Is this behavior trauma driven?
Maybe.

A great many people with PTSD isolate in order to manage their stress levels. So that’s super common. But what that looks like? Varies tremendously between individuals, and is almost entirely personality driven. As is how much wiggle room they have in adapting their need to isolate, with what other people (sit others, kids, employers, etc.) need.

What’s more important than whether it’s trauma based, or personality based, in my experience, is the WAY someone isolates. If we cannot Venn Diagram what they need & want, and what I need & want, to find a place where both of us are happy? It’s just, quite simply, not going to work.

Am I asking for too much?
Nope! You’re asking for what you a) need & b) want… and it sounds like the 2 of you have discussed it several times… and each time she is agreeing to too much.

I have no idea whether she’s being dishonest about what she’s capable of, or she just doesn’t know, and instead of saying that so the two of you can find a working pattern? Or find out if there is a working pattern? She pushes herself too hard, and fails. So neither of you are getting what you need.
 
This is not how someone who’s “gotten over their trauma acts/reacts”. It kinda sounds like the relationship is over unless she seriously decides to put forth the effort to communicate and improve things with you in general. Your needs are fine and valid and her being traumatized doesn’t excuse her from putting forth effort. Trauma is tricky to navigate and hopefully she’s actually working through it, and it does affect relationships but that doesn’t mean you just don’t try.
 
This is not how someone who’s “gotten over their trauma acts/reacts”. It kinda sounds like the relationship is over unless she seriously decides to put forth the effort to communicate and improve things with you in general. Your needs are fine and valid and her being traumatized doesn’t excuse her from putting forth effort. Trauma is tricky to navigate and hopefully she’s actually working through it, and it does affect relationships but that doesn’t mean you just don’t try.
Well said.

"doesn't excuse from putting the effort "
And "Doesn't mean you just don't try."
 
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