I’m having a problem with my girlfriend. I love her to pieces and we’ve been through a hell of a lot together, and other than this issue – my thoughts are that our relationship is amazing.
But throughout our relationship she has the behaviour of being very emotional reactive / getting very upset and shouting / crying / having a go at me out of nowhere, and when I try to talk to her and calm her down / communicate when she’s like that it just doesn’t get us anywhere. She becomes accusatory, argumentative and visibly angry, and continues to respond in this way usually until the next day when she’s slept and then wakes up and expresses regret for the way she behaved.
We’ve talked about it when she’s calm and she’s acknowledged it’s because her chimp brain (reactive primitive brain) is activated.
In order to navigate these situations I’ve set a boundary that when she starts sending messages of this nature when I’m in work I won’t respond because my brain’s natural reaction when someone has a go at me is to cry – and that isn’t ideal when I’m at work.
I’ve also set a boundary that when she’s this ‘triggered’ I’ll stop replying over message and tell her I’m going to give her some space to calm down until we can talk more calmly and rationally.
Last night it happened again and I replied with love and told her I was going to stop replying and give her some space to process her emotions.
I know I can’t control her emotional responses and I need to accept that this is what she’s going to behave like when she feels this way and decide whether I want to continue in the relationship. But I’m struggling with my thoughts about it and could use your help!
C: M’s emotional reactions
T: I don’t want to have to experience it regularly – Anxious
(Why don’t I want to? Answer is next thought)
T: When it happens I can’t help but cry and my body goes into fight or flight
T: She shouldn’t treat me like that – Hurt
T: These outbursts are relentless and I don’t know how to handle them – Depleted
T: She doesn’t think her behaviour is that bad, and she’s wrong because it is – Frustrated
T: I don’t want to accept this kind of behaviour – Sad
T: I deserve to be spoken to with love and respect – Sad
T: Maybe I can accept it and we can stay together – Hopeful
T: If I can just keep my boundary and manage my mind then this doesn’t need to be an issue – Hopeful
T: I love her and I want this to work – Love
T: I know this behaviour is about her and not about me – Calm
Thanks in advance! ❤