Help! my girlfriend is a Psychotherapist!

by Jerome Andrews
(Portland Oregon)

Thank you for your time Dr.

I have fallen in love with a woman that turns out to be a Psychotherapist in real life. The connection is more than strong as we are from the same place and have had almost exactly the same life experiences. Both professionally, spiritually and in our personal relations. We met through a friend and it was Love at first breath it seemed. Over this year, we did fall in Love and things have moved fairly quickly. We began to both speak in terms of "Finally finding the one we could let into our hearts and trust," the first person that had given us the long sought after "Feeling of home." During this time, with several visits and many hours spent talking on the phone, she started to tell me that there had been many men that had fallen in love with her, but she not in return. She told of her father teasing her relentlessly and telling her he wanted a boy instead of her. How she'd only revived their relationship a few short years ago, and how she had ask him why he had treated her that way. He told her it was because "She could take it." She told him that her whole life had been ruined and that she had hated him for most of her adult life. And although married several times, it had made it near impossible to have good relationships and positive outcomes with men.

In addition, she was a middle daughter and spoke of pain from that, but as I listened, I could hear between her stories of being cheated on by husbands, date rape(s) and of being under appreciated for most of her life, with her mother included in her detractors, that there was a lifetime worth of pain being carried. Initially I believed and saw that those burdens were being carried with grace and a brilliant awareness that amazed me - but alas, I am here because of the affects of those damages. And certainly not to throw stones from the glass house in which I reside.

Before I tell you how this all affected me, let me first say: She is, by far, one of the most loving angels I've ever met. She cares for everyone and gives love to all she touches. (Mostly 12 to 16 year old girls in the CPS system) She is a driven person that bikes 50 miles a week, if she can, jogs almost every day and by her own admission, always has too many projects going. She admits that it overwhelms her and that she is in an almost constant state of anxiety. Not to over simplify, because I do Love her very much, but at this point, I am trying to figure out if I want to chase her as she runs from her problems or does she want me to chase her - but here's the event!

The time spent with her has been the most emotionally rewarding time in my life. It was the most loving time I have ever experienced with anyone. We laughed and talked about anything and everything but also about moving in together and starting this great new life. During this last visit she sobbed deeply and told me that she was finally giving her complete heart to me, and that it was with total trust in our future that she did so. I came home to pack for the move back in three weeks, but when I got home, and opened my email, I was astonished to find a letter from her, telling me that she didn't think we were the right match at all and that our backgrounds were too dissimilar to mesh for the long run. I was devastated but soon found out that my phone had also been blocked from calling her. Keep in mind - no hint or clue at all! and certainly nothing I'd done to give cause for blocking my attempt to communicate with her. This is a girl that kissed me for ten minutes before I boarded the plane and couldn't wait for my return. Everything was perfect - or - right up until it wasn't anyhow!! Needless to say, I'm blown away!

My first question is ego driven it seems, but: 1. Does the theory that the "Best" love and best match for her have more potential to hurt her the most, and therefore she is running, hold any water? - Or 2. Does the combination of her own neurosis prevent her from taking a chance on Love ever again. Or 3. Was it a test or a defensive mechanism, or is she simply waiting for someone strong enough to push through all of her walls, see her true heart, and Love her for who and how she is?

Ben's Answer:

Jerome, to answer your questions - All of the Above. She's obviously terrified of being hurt again. And letting her guard down with you, as she has, brought her to a new level of fear. If all your relationships suck to begin with - then when they don't work out - it's not so devastating. But when you give your whole heart to someone, if they end up cheating on your, abusing you or leaving you - it can be agonizing.

Should you chase her? Maybe. Only you can know. Just don't stalk her, please! But if you really love her, you owe it to yourself and to her to not give up on her so easily. Prove to her that you are serious, but respect her boundaries. If she breaks through her fear and can commit - it will be well worth your persistence. But you can't control what she does. Ultimately it is her choice, and you will have to respect her wishes -- but maybe you should at least give her another chance.

For your own sake though - if she keeps on with the back and forth thing -- you might save yourself a lot of grief by knowing when to let her go.

Best wishes, And good luck!

Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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Mar 22, 2017
Intimacy Fears
by: Ben

Well, Anonymous BF, here's the reality:
While the world is full of gifted therapists who really have their shit together - there are also many people who are very intelligent, sensitive people, who are drawn to the psychology profession because of their own codependency and their own experiences of being hurt, abused or mistreated in their childhood, and yet never heal their own wounds. Even as they succeed in getting through school and getting licensed as therapists, some people never really deal with their own issues.

Of course nobody is perfect. And a therapist doesn't have to be enlightened in order to be a good therapist...

But your girlfriend clearly has some major fears of intimacy and a fear of not being in control. And if she would just own it, you might be okay in a relationship with her, but she is projecting it on you, which is not fair. She doesn't know how to set healthy boundaries without rejecting you and ending the relationship completely. Your intuition sounds accurate to me.

The yo-yo phenomenon is a very bad sign. Find a more stable woman if you want a normal life!

Take Care,

Mar 20, 2017
Similiar situation
by: Anonymous

I guess you can say I am in a similar situation. I have been dating a therapist for four months now. We are/were completely in love with each other. Recently she has broken up with me about half a dozen times. One day we are completely in love and having the time of our lives. The next day she writes this huge text message, why we are not a match for each other. She unfriends me on Facebook and is done with me. Two days go by and I get a text from her, she misses me and wants to see me. I agree and things are back to normal. She asks me for a friend request on Facebook and everything is dandy. Well not even a week goes by and I get another long text how it's not going to workout because I've poured my childhood wounds onto her and goes on for a while detailing why I'm not hugging her in a picture to how I owe her for cooking for me and cleaning after me why I stood there and watched. What the F**K??? That this comes from my childhood, that my needs were not met. She then goes on to say that is the reason why she had a kidney stone. That there was something inside her waiting to find its way out.

Do all women therapist act this way? I am a very confident and secure Network Engineer. I dress my best, I workout five days a week, I take her to the nicest restaurants in the LA area. I love this women dearly but I can't continue with an unstable relationship. She has children of her own which I like because I have my own children and don't want anymore, we are both aware of that and are perfectly fine. She has mentioned some of her dating horror stories. Which I find humorous and funny.

I am going to back off this relationship. This is very odd to me, that a very educated women can act like this. I sometimes feel that this women, that I love, is making excuses to end our relationship. I will admit I wasn't the perfect boyfriend but hey it's only been four months and she started acting this way a month into our relationship.

In the last txt she sent. She says she knows I love her and she is so in love with me too. And that she hopes I don't take this into my next relationship. That I am so much fun and she will miss that. She loves me and wishes me a good night.

I don't know if this will help anyone who is also going through something similar. But this, I love and hate you thing that my girlfriend/Ex is doing is absolutely ridiculous. I sometimes think she's insecure and her only way out is breaking up with me when things start to get serious. Maybe because in her past relationships she's been the dominant one, now she feels threatened?
I could sit hear and guess all day. I will miss her dearly.

One very confused - boyfriend

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