Relationship Need some advice, on the fence and lost

BrotherNerd

New Here
I have been with my girlfriend for 15 years. I have seen her threw some bad times. But threw the years it seems like it has been getting worse with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. I try to do everything I can for her to help calm her and try to bring her up when she is down.
With in the last 2 years it seems like the only people that can help her are her friends. She keeps telling me she loves me and that she doesn't know where she would be with out me and that I'm her rock.
To me it does not feel that way. Its like she is just telling me this out of habit or something. Part of me questions do I leave her? Because I just don't feel loved? But then on the other hand everyone she has ever trusted has lest her. Does this make me a bad person? Also does it get better if they see a therapist?
On the fence and lost thanks for reading.
 

Friday

Moderator
But then on the other hand everyone she has ever trusted has lest her. Does this make me a bad person?
If the ONLY reason to stay is that other people have left her? Leave.

((to be clear, I’m not telling you to leave, full stop. There may be lots of reasons to stay. Good & valid & amazing life reasons.. But if the only reason to stay is that sick-thinking paints you as a bad person if you leave? Leave.))

Yes. That -most likely- means that your 15 years together are just going to be ignored and she’ll lump you in with all the rest, and tell people what a terrible person you are for leaving her... if she’s that sick in the head that the only thing that matters to her about you, & your relationship, is that you’re a warm body not going anywhere. Does that actually make you a bad person? f*ck. No. It. Does. Not. It makes you a real person. Not just a warm body. YOU are a real person different from everyone else because you’re you, your relationship has been a real relationship / unique because of the two people in it; and if she can’t see that, or value it, because in her head there are only warm bodies (any warm body will do, it doesn’t matter how special you are) filling the role of not-left & bad-people-who-leeeeeeeeeave-meeeeeeeeeeee? That doesn’t make you a bad person.

Think about the subsection of young men who will f*ck anything with a pulse. ((No, that’s not all young men; and, yes most of those will grow out of it and start to see women as individuals... in time... and even go on to develop standards.)) Does that mean that the parade of young women in their lives/beds are worthless? Nope. It just means that the blokes neither value them, nor see them, for who they really are. Their will-f*ck-anything-with-a-pulse doesn’t in any way define who their partners are. It says a lot about them, but it says nothing about their partners. Except, you know, that they have a pulse. 😉

It’s a common byproduct of abuse. Abusers tend to see their victims as objects/possessions, only valuable in what they can do for them / their ownership of them & rage out -or guilt/shame/wail like a child whose doll has been taken from them- at any attempt to leave; and abuse victims tend to pick of that way of relating to people >>> Either treating themselves like objects, or treating their friends/lovers like objects.

^^^NONE of this means that she will just lump you in with “everyone leaves me” = bad people, nor does it mean that she values you like an object (something she owns, and whose only value is the pulse, and someone leaving feels like someone has broken into your house & stolen you stuff // both sad that the stuff is gone & angry at the person who took it IE you) rather than a person. It’s just water-is-wet common with abuse. And totally f*cked in the head. And. Not. Your. Fault.

Leaving doesn’t make you a bad person. Even if they’ve been taught that leaving is bad, by their abusers. Nooooooooo one is onligated to live their lives according to how abusers see the world. Not their victims. Not their victims friends/partners/spouses.


Also does it get better if they see a therapist?
Yes. No. Maybe.

1. (Good) Trauma Therapy will make everything WORSE, in the beginning. How long “the beginning” is? Depends on the person. For some, it may only be a few months. For others, a few years. Then it usually starts to get better. Most kinds of therapy? Are like going to your doctor when you get sick. You start feeling better almost immediately. Trauma therapy is like going in for reconstructive surgery after an accident. First? They have to rebreak bones. So you walked in, but won’t be walking out again... for months. Or maybe even years. Because you’re going to be a lot worse, with broken bones & cut muscles & physical therapy, & more surgeries, etc. After months/years? You’ll not only be able to walk into the office, but run, dance, climb, bounce, and be 1,000 times better than when you first gimped in. But there will be a loooooong time you can’t even gimp about. At all

2. Bad therapy will just makes everything worse, full stop. As will someone who is disinterested in doin therapy. Like someone who comes in for reconstructive surgery, but doesn’t do any of the follow up, and tries to walk on a broken leg, & rebreaks it... or decides they’re just going to motor around in a wheelchair, forever, rather than doing all the painful PT

So a person BOTH needs good therapy AND needs to be totally motivated/committed to doing the work. 2 vey big IFs. Even so, no, it’s not going to get better right away. It will be months/years of things being worse.

Long term relationships, like yours, can sometimes handle that timeframe... but a lot of the time it’s not only a day late & a dollar short // their partner simply cannot take anymore & has already been pushed beyond their limits for years... but even once things are better both people find they cannot be together anymore, because their relationship was built on patterns that no longer exist. Which doesn’t make either of you bad people. Just very different people.

So... sometimes things get better, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes people can stay together, sometimes they can’t. None of which means you or she are bad people. Just 2 people trying their best.
 
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Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
Do you know what your love languages are, and what are hers? More importantly, have you told her you don't feel loved, and know yourself what feeling loved would look like to you (what actions specifically), and told her that as well, or asked for it?

No, leaving doesn't make you a bad person. Her calling you a bad person doesn't reflect your actions or choices are bad or make you a bad person necessarily if she did. Not communicating and walking out, or being dishonest is probably not ideal, though. But pity is not love, that is gross really (to me). If it's that case, you deserve better, and so does she.

Good luck to you.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @BrotherNerd. People change and people (even though you know them inside out) go in different directions in life. Rather than thinking about 'leaving her' , how about you both discuss separating but remaining friends?? You questioning this doesn't make you a bad person. Healthy relationships aren't one sided. You have your own thoughts and feelings too. It's not selfish to want or need something else.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Just to add. When I was younger, I stayed in relationships when actually I wanted to leave and do my own thing. As a adult now I really regret that. It f*cked me up and wasn't good for my partner either. Sometimes we are scared to make important life changes but doing the right thing is sometimes the hardest at first.
 

BrotherNerd

New Here
This has truly given me a lot to think about. I think I'm going to see how things go when she goes to therapy. I know from your advice it's going to take a while. We have been together for 15 years and there is something there. But you all have helped more then you know. Also maybe I needed to get it out in this group, instead of being in my own head. Thank you everyone for your amazing advice.
 
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