How Can I Help Our Compromise, Commitment and Respect Issues
Ok I wanna make this as short as possible because one its 4am and two I don't want to confuse anyone..
First off I don't want to be judged for my age and her age. Yes we are young and we know this.
I am 100% Committed to "Caitlin" my girlfriend/not girlfriend, this is the story.. We have knowen eachother for a long time and I moved around when we were both 11 at the age of 12 she was told by the doctor and therapist she has depression. At age 16 we got back in touch and started dating, at this time I did not know that she had depression. We later broke up due to distances. At age 17 we started dating again and talking about some serious stuff like pregnancy and marriage.. at this time I still did not know about her depression. Through our relationship there would be moments inwhich she would be quiet for random reason even if there was nothing that I could see was wrong.. when I asked her what was wrong in these instances she always said "Nothings wrong" or "Idk" that made me think it was something I did and escalated into arguments sometimes. Every time we dated she quite smoking cigarettes for me because I disliked this in many ways as for example I hate the taste of kissing someone who smokes and in my family I have lost close people due to cigarettes. I always did everything possible to please her. I loved to go out to dinner and be a very romantic guy. One night she was acting very strange and I happened to comment that she was "acting like two different people" (at this time I still didn't know about her depression) and this escalated into a fight and she ended up telling me about her depression and I stupidly freaked out because I had no experience with depression so my first thought was how are we going to live a normal life with this.. because at this moment we were both about 4 months from turning 18 and hard big plans. This was our biggest fight and I deeply regret doing anything or saying anything I did that night.. we later calmed down and pushed that aside to not be so stressed. We talked about it and she also said she had medication for it but made her feel numb. I went home the following day and asked my mom about depressions and learned that she also has depression but is on medication, I told my mom about the numbness she had and she said she probably is not on the right kind or dose. I text her saying that I wanted to talk and it was nothing bad (so she didn't freak out) but didn't want to say it was about her depression because at the time it was a touchy subject. One day after I told her that we were talking on the phone and she was coming home and when she got there there were cops at her house and her mom was out there.. She let me go to see what was going on and about 10 mins later I get a call with her balling because her dad committed suicide.. I was speechless and all I could tell her was how sorry I was and tried comforting her.. (Her mom and dad were divorced and he became an alcoholic) She then told me she had to go and after that I got 2 text from here within about a 3 hour time.. when usually we text a lot.. She completely shut down and cut out everyone in her life.. all I wanted to do was help her.. I then tried calling her after hours and hours of no communication she told me that she didn't want to talk and I was so shocked I have never dealt with something like this. I was extreamly emotional this whole time and day passed and more day went by with nothing of hearing from her.. she has a history of cutting and drinks but no longer drank because of me and she had not cut for years. after about four days of nothing I drove to her house about 45mins away and knocked, her mom answered and I asked to see her she said come in and I waited..Caitlin didn't want to see anyone but I still went up in hopes to HELP her, she was silent and yelled at me for coming this was all so new to me because she acted like I meant nothing to her and she didn't even care for me.. She started to insist that she can't handle being with me right now and that we she needs to break up with me. I did not want this, she is the love of my life and means the world to me.. It got to the point to were I was on my nees begging for her to stay with me and I even said I would leave and give her as much time as she needed.. she still broke up with me. This was the hardest moment in my entire life. I was very depressed and felt sick a lot of the time.. Weeks after this her sister text me to tell me she needs Caitlin's stuff from my place. (Clothes and other belongings) the exchange was made and we were finished.. I never got to have that talk with her and tell her that I now understood depression and we could make it work.. I studied depression and what caused it and everything I could from the internet..
There has not been one day since we broke up that I have not thought of her and about 3 months after our brake up she text me saying sorry and how she wanted to meet in person to talk.
We did and things were resolved. We both want to go out again but with better understanding of each other and what we really want.. I sat down with here and talked about her depression and how we can live with it (She now has her own place as do I in a different town that I have chosen not to stay in until we figure out what we are doing) I am trying to show her how much I want this to work, we looked on the internet about depression and how to cope with it, I full understand it and will give 110% to deal with it and it will help that I know about it now so I know why she feels sad sometimes and when she was quiet I always thought it was me so we ended up fighting.. now that I know she has depression there is reasoning for a lot of things that I before thought was just all her when it was really her depression. I left that night after talking and went back to my place.. We were not completely resolved in the fact that we still needed to talk more before going out to see what our views are.. I called her earlier tonight and talked about these three things the most "Compromise, Commitment and Respect" because if we intended to get together it is for good and long term (forever) so I wanted to be sure she and I are ready and those three things I feel is a must to keep a relationship alive. So this is what happened.. I have found that we have differnt views on compromise a lot.. I feel as a couple we are not necessarily "one" but our decisions effect each other so compromising on things that we disagree on is important, I have found she does not think that some way.. as an example, She wants to get plenty of tattoos and piercings and I am fine with that to an extent of compromising on what it actually is of or where the piercing is etc.. BUT she thinks that since it is her body she should be able to do whatever she wants when ever she wants.. with out talking with me.. so.. I asked her to maybe "compromise" and I would put my opinion in and we go from there but even if I dislike it our disagree she will get it no matter what.. am I wrong for thinking I have a say in this? But remember this is planned as if we were together, engaged, or married.. because I feel since we are together what she does to her self will effect me as the same of what I would to with myself would effect her.. so I would compromise and discuss what I do with her.. ANOTHER thing is smoking.. she insist that it is "too hard" to quit so there for won't.. am I wrong for not want to be with a smoker? Please help me and her, I don't care what side you take as long as it gets resolved.. I am deeply in love with her and from how she acts with me and what she tells me she is also in love.. we have a strong healthy sexual life and her depression sometimes makes it difficult to know what she really wants.. like one day she will say she wants to get married just because maybe what is going on at that moment is good but tomorrow she may feel different.. I don't think she looks at the full spectrum when she says stuff like that.. so when she says she wants to get married thats what I believe and if she changes her mind I never know so it is very confusing and frustrating.. I just speeled out my whole life to everyone so hopefully we can work out because she means the world to me and I will do anything to be with her..
The basics of what I want to know..
- Am I wrong for not wanting her to smoke and does she have a valid excuse to not? (I don't know If I could handle dating a smoker)
- I feel compromising and talking is meant for anything in a relationship from small to big things.. is this true or should she just be able to get any tattoo and piercing without compromising or at least talking about it.. and if I disagree what happens from there? does she still do what she wanted to do or should she change her mind or maybe do something else. Because currently I feel like I either have to put up with it or shut up about it.. Like the smoking issue which is a very big problem for me..
- Basically comment on anything that you feel would help us be happy without much differences or at least how to deal with out differences.
This girl means the absolute world to me and I know I am young but I know she is what I want, her personality and everything is just amazing.. when we are just with each other we are perfectly fine and very happy but we have differences that I feel need to be solved before we go further.
Jake, please take this in the spirit that it's meant.
Almost all of us have "been there". We were 17 once too, and thought the love of our lives at 17 was a lasting relationship.
It almost never is. Almost never. And certainly in your case, you two don't sound like a match. You are putting a tremendous amount of energy into this relationship that probably won't see another year.
Having said that, all of us who have been 17 and madly in love will also agree that the feelings of passion and pain that go with that are PROFOUND. Few of us would want to go back to those times - it's too painful.
I know this sounds like I'm "judging" you, and in fact I am. Been there, done that, don't want to do it again, that's the reality.
Sounds like you're having a tough go with this but I do understand the other side of the story all too well. I'll take a stab at the questions you have and address depression a bit for you in hopes of giving you yet a better understanding.
About smoking: Kind of a two way street here. First, you've known that she was a smoker in the past. She has been back and forth on the issue, and yet you've still accepted it. I don't think your out of line to want her to quit smoking, but anyone who is going to quit has to make that decision on their own. We cannot change other people, we just can't. Regardless of what you want for her and how you feel about the subject, she has to want to quit in order for it to happen. (It is doable. I quit after using for better than 30 years. My addiction was almost twice as long as you two have been alive. She has to want to quit.)
About compromising: There does have to be some compromising in relationships. This too needs to be a two way street. Both parties have to be willing to, otherwise it is a one sided relationship. Those relationships won't last. If the smoking thing is a deal breaker, if you cannot be happy living with a smoker because of how YOU feel about it, the party is over. Neither of you are willing to make concessions... it's a stale mate. The question at this point is, do you want to be happy or do you want to be right? About the tattoo and piercing issue. She should be willing to make compromises, but again, so should you. Would a tattoo or piercing take away from who she is? Would that make her a different person? She should want to honor your feeling about this, but it is her body. Again, change has to come from that person. Both of you are ok in regards to how you feel. This isn't a right or wrong issue. It is matters of opinion.... general consensus says that smoking is bad, and we know that-but if she is an adult, she gets to make that decision. Nobody is making her smoke. General consensus about tattoos..... they aren't for everyone. Some like/some dislike. It is that simple. Again my friend, there has to be some compromises and if neither is willing, it is time to move along.
And with depression.... this too is a case where the affect needs to want to get help. I did absolutely nothing to treat my depression for 30-35 years. I took talking to a shrink or therapist as a threat to my manhood in my teens. (That's when I knew I had a problem but was depressed before then.) In actuality, getting help would have benefited me. I've only recently began treatment, and I am a different person.
Depression can run in the family. Her not knowing what is making her feel depressed is all too common with me. I used to just fall into a mood. I could sometimes feel it coming on, and other times it would come out of nowhere. The thing with people with depression disorders is this.... in order to give love, they have to feel loved. Sometimes this not feeling loved comes from within. It is a protective device... it is ones ego saying "nope, we've done that before and it sux so we wont do it again".
Any number of things could be the cause for depression, but a few common traits are low self esteem, low self worth, not feeling wanted, not feeling needed, not feeling worthy of love or affection. The key to treatment is, you need to find out what causes the depression. The only way to do that is to seek out professional help. Depression does not go away on its own, and leaving it alone will allow it to manifest. Again, this is something that one has to take the first steps...
You really need to take a step back and look at the dynamics of this relationship. You need to write down all of the pros and cons of living with this woman. You need to take a look at what you will and will not tolerate. You mentioned above, "I'll either have to put up with it or shut up about it.". Those are the same things, except one you're quiet about and the other you are voicing your opinion. This all goes back to being happy or being right. It does go back to both people being willing to make compromises. /If neither will budge, this thing is DOA and regardless of how much it hurts, you may have to walk away. You can ask her to get help, you can be supportive and go with her, but yo9u cannot make her do anything that she doesnt want to do.
Jake, most women go through depression, its just our make up, hormones, ugh... Ok, now thats out of the way, id like to tell you that im a smoker, my boyfriend is not, he swore up and down that he would never date a smoker, well im the only one he has ever been IN LOVE with and has commited to, im 31 he is 45, so you can see with his age he has dated many non smoking women. If you really truely love her you dont have approve of it but accept it. Dont hound her about it, you seem to be kinda smothering pushing her to quit will only make her nerves worse and want to smoke more. Depression can be fixed. Right at this moment im going through severe panic disorder, ive had to stop working for awhile untill the meds the doctor put me on level me out.. My boyfriend isnt all in my face asking me "how can i help", "what can i do"... He is just there emotionaly supporting me with words like "its gonna be ok baby, your a strong woman and good mother and we will get through this".. If you fell in love with who she is, why are you trying to change her, she knows smoking is bad for her and it can kill her, she will have to be the one to make the decision to quit.
Thank You for your reply, I just got off the phone with her and read her this post. (We are going to read the others together) but as much as it hurts to deal with her smoking I will accept it like you have said. I want to message you privately on how your other half copes with your cigarette addiction.
Depression between me and her is no longer a problem, I do now understand it and am able to help her out through it, we have talked about this a lot now and she has agreed to tell me when she feels a certain way and possibly how it was triggered.
Jake, I will tell you from experience that it is almost impossible to help someone through depression. It is a chemical imbalance when depression is of a clinical nature. She should tell her parents and seek true professional help for it via her doctor and a talk therapist/psychologist. Nothing to play with. What you can do is be 'supportive' of her and encourage her to seek help for it. This is different than the blues that we all get------- but getting the blues often means that she has not developed great coping skills for the frustration, anger, pain, and sadness and that is something that she will need to also address. Again, she should talk to her parents and ask them to speak to a psychologist to provide true help with building her ability to handle what life throws at her. Your role is to support. Only to support.
I will tell you from a woman in my 40's and married in my 30's. You have to look at a significant other as what are deal breakers. Honestly, smoking was one for me. I never even dated a man who smoked. Our relationship wouldn't have worked because I would have always been bothered by it and wanting him to stop. If your girlfriend chooses to give it up for herself, great--------- if she does it for you, it won't last. That's the reality of it. But it might not be a deal breaker for you---------- you must think of those things. You are not currently walking down the aisle, so you have time to figure out if that habit is something you could live with if she never gave it up.
The only thing I can really say is that relationships are hard. What is hard about them when you are young is that handling emotions of it all can be something a teen isn't really ready for. And I think we all have to be self protective---------------- when relationships are extremely rocky during the dating phase . . . that doesn't often improve. Drama free and happy is how it should start out for the best chance of going the long haul.
I hope you can sort it all out and have a happy outcome that you desire. But do support her to get help------------ true help for any depression that goes on. good luck
She is right about the depression, ive had it off and on for years and never seeked help, now im paying a big price because its developed into major chemical imbalance, and now i have, like i said before panic disorder, and it really sux. I have to take sedative meds that i have such a fear of side affects.
Currently I feel the depression is not the biggest deal because I do understand it now. I know she needs to seek help and she has, she has been to a therapist and got medication as I have said in my first post. I think as of now I am ready to be fully with her and accept the things she has and the things she does I will only support her in her depression and suggest more medical help. I don't know what is keeping her from me when she says she loves me and more.. she tell me how much she likes me and so on. I would like to share the text that we just had with each other to help you help me.
Me: Do you feel like you could be with anther guy right now?
Her: I don't know..
Me: So other then me you feel you could possibly be with someone else?
Her: I don't know. I don't know if there's someone that I wouldn't have these issues with. Its so confusing.
Me: I am willing to deal with the issues.. I am trying to show you that. What is it that's keeping you from me? I need to know.
Her: I don't know..
What do I do here? I will cope and deal with the issues.. I am afraid she will find someone that does not understand her and hurt her.. there are nasty rude guys out there and I feel like I am one of the respectful, caring guys. I love her so much. I have been in relationships before and never before felt this way about someone like I do for her.
Please do not get upset when I write this----------- she is being honest with you. And she is smart. She is questioning the issues and if they are particular to the dynamics between the two of you. She is clearly stating that she worries that this relationship isn't right. Her inner voice is speaking to her and she'd be foolish to deny that.
My sister gave me this advice. You want to be with someone that is slightly more in love with you than you are with them.
Hey Jake, I'd like to add a few things that I feel are important to what specialmom has said above. (That gal is a smart cookie filled with great information. You can learn a lot from her.)
As specialmom mentioned above, this girl is questioning the issues and the dynamics of this relationship. That is totally normal, and you are doing it too. There is nothing wrong with that. I think you have to realize that at this time, when she says she "doesn't know", she is telling the truth. Not all things are cut and dry, and this especially goes for emotions. I think you trying to help this young lady is honorable, but I also think there is a thin line here and you may or may not be standing on it.
If her emotions are running amok, the last thing she needs right now is you seeming "clingy" or "needy". I'm not saying you are that guy, but I am saying that you are standing on that line. For her right now, as much as you are concerned about her, she is twice that about herself, and that is the reason for her questioning the issues.
As specialmom said, I also think you need to give this woman a bit of time and space. I know that's hard man, but it is necessary. She has things to weed out and kind of has to do that on her own. You can be supportive by saying something like, "I know that you are going through a hard time right now, and I want to be supportive in any way I can. I think letting you have a little space right now might be best, but know that I am available whenever you need me, for any reason.".
For me, I'd rather let her have the time she needs to get right and better understand what it is that she is looking for than me being right over the top of her, smothering her and making her make the decision to not be with me. I think you have to put it all in her hands and be patient. Look, in reality Jake.... it is either going to work or not. If not, that sux and life goes on. If I were you, I'd not want to be the reason for it not working. Space buddy, give her space. Sometimes doing nothing is what will work best. (When you doing nothing, as in regards to this relationship, you are giving her time. That is really being proactive.)
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