Question: My girlfriend said she’s going to hurt herself if I stop seeing her. I care for her very much, but I want time to myself for a while. How do I deal with hurting her and how do I tell her to hang in there and that I just need some time? I don’t want her to go through with hurting herself, but I can’t stay just because she’s threatening me. Kinda makes me mad that she’s putting that pressure on me.
Answer: So glad that you are writing in, as this is a very important question. This is a very unhealthy dynamic. You should have the freedom to take time away from the relationship. It is understandable that it is hurtful to your girlfriend, but it is not acceptable for her to put that type of pressure on you.
Your response is healthy. You know you can’t be manipulated into doing something that you don’t want to do in order to make her happy. It sounds like your girlfriend is co-dependent–meaning her happiness is based on being with you.
She is using a controlling behavior to get you to stay with her, because she does not want to be without you. She is not in the right state of mind to be in a relationship right now. Her mental and physical health are at risk. You should tell your parents or an adult that you trust about this. If you think your girlfriend is really going to hurt herself, call 911.
You should suggest that she talks to a therapist or calls a hotline. You could try to explain to her that this behavior is unhealthy. Maybe you can even offer to go to one counseling session with her. Please take this threat seriously. If she does end up hurting yourself, know that it is not your fault. But since you sound like a good guy who does not want her to be hurt, my suggestion is to do all I have stated, as that is everything you could do to prevent this from happening.
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About the Expert: Rachel RUSSO, MS, MFT is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a Matchmaker, Dating & Relationship Coach, Author & Speaker. She has a master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Iona College, a BA in Psychology from Rutgers University, and a certification as an Intentional Relationship Coach. Rachel is the founder of Rachel Russo Relationships-a NYC-based dating and relationship consultancy-and has worked as a matchmaker for twelve years. She currently acts as the resident relationship expert on Brooklyn Savvy Tv, is a matchmaker with Lisa Clampitt Matchmaking, and trains entrepreneurs at Matchmaking Institute. Her drive, credentials, and unique experience make her the ultimate dating and relationship expert. Read More…