When my girlfriend gets stressed out, she dumps me.
July 18, 2011 5:29 PM   Subscribe

When my girlfriend gets stressed out, she dumps me. Should I put up with this?

I am in a new-ish relationship (3 months in.) At first (6 weeks,) it was awesome, she was awesome, we were bring out the best in each other. She introduced me to her family. She introduced me at her work. We went on a weekend getaway. Then she dumped me. It didn't take. We liked each other and liked our relationship but she said "I can't be a girlfriend." She said "this was too much, too fast!" We dialed the intensity way back from "girlfriends" to "dating." We like each other. We have great chemistry.

If anything, I should be breaking up with her. There are some bigtime red flags. She has hardcore drug use in her past and never did 12 steps; she says it's "for weaklings." She has been clean since 2002. Off hard drugs. But she still uses some drugs (weed, and then it turns out, "pills.") My friends at first thought she was awesome and even helped me to feel okay about her past, because now she is a very responsible, upstanding citizen and is serious about her career. But she's no longer friend-approved because she has this tendency to break up with me and also to hurt my feelings by spoiling big nights for me (that's happened twice.)

I have never used any drugs. She originally said she smokes weed about once a month. I really have no issue with that; most of my friends do. More recently she said she smokes weed about once a week. And then corrected herself to "twice a week." I still don't care, but it kinda bugs me that she misrepresented it originally. Also, she never ever does drugs in front of me, and is very insistent on alone time--I can respect her independence but I wonder if that is just an excuse for her to use drugs without me witnessing it.

It's hard for me to walk away from someone I like but I also recognize in myself a tendency, in past relationships, to give a girlfriend way too many chances and make excuses for her crummy treatment of me. After an appropriate healing period from my last major relationship I went out with a lot of girls before I met this girl and I never liked any of them. I like this girl, and dating really sucks! I have great sex with this girl and that's not nothing!

She's away on a trip for 2 weeks. We're one week in. I'm trying to use this time to get some clarity on the situation. Intellectually I am pretty sure I should walk away from her. I just don't actually want to.

The last contact I had with her before she went away was an email from her breaking up with me. She was so stressed out about the trip and had convinced herself that when she gets back she'll have been fired from her job. This is irrational, the owner assured her she wouldn't be. I emailed her back and said "you're stressed out about other stuff, don't take it out on me. Let's talk when you get back, okay?" And she didn't respond.

How should I handle this situation?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (47 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
If anything, I should be breaking up with her.

do this.
posted by hmo at 5:33 PM on July 18, 2011 [32 favorites]


Anonymous, I am sorry to say this sounds like too much drama. Great chemistry& great sex would not be enough for me in this situation. And honestly, your question phrasing makes me think that your gut is telling you to cut her loose.
posted by pointystick at 5:33 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh for chrissakes. In three months, she's broken up with you multiple times. She told you straight up she "can't be a girlfriend." You have incompatible values re: drug use. She treats you like crap and isn't returning your emails.

Take a hint, bro. DTMFA.
posted by phunniemee at 5:34 PM on July 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


When my girlfriend gets stressed out, she dumps me.

new-ish relationship

bigtime red flags

pills

no longer friend-approved because she has this tendency to break up with me and also to hurt my feelings by spoiling big nights for me (that's happened twice.)

she misrepresented it originally

excuse for her to use drugs without me witnessing it.

an email from her breaking up with me

she didn't respond.


Good lord, dude, you're not an idiot. I can see that you know the answer. So, yes, the answer is: walk away and don't look back.
posted by Dasein at 5:36 PM on July 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


As a single person who's actively looking for a relationship, I have a rule:

When a girl says "I'm bad for you," I don't argue with her. I just walk away.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:36 PM on July 18, 2011 [37 favorites]


She is a liar, a drama queen, a flake, a paranoid, a drug user and is not nice to you to boot. It may be the way you framed the question and details, but I see no reason for you two to stay as girlfriends. Sister, do not contact her again and if she contacts you, tell her she was right, she is not your girlfriend and adios.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 5:37 PM on July 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Should I put up with this?

Nope.

But it probably doesn't matter. Her last contact with you was an email breaking up with you. There's nothing up with to put! You're broken up! And that seems like good news, so I'd run with it.
posted by mauvest at 5:38 PM on July 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


some people need drama. prove you aren't one of these people by moving on. examine why you were drawn to someone with these qualities to help you not end up here again. it shouldn't be this hard. i get the feeling you already know all of this. i think you're looking for validation or permission - so - here, i give you permission to find a partner you can be happy and safe with.
posted by nadawi at 5:38 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The last contact I had with her before she went away was an email from her breaking up with me."

You're broken up! You don't have to do anything. This is not a relationship you want to be in and you clearly know it. I assure you that staying away from her is the best course of action.

Good luck finding someone who is a better match.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 5:42 PM on July 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


The day will come when you realize that this amount of drama is not just unnecessary, but downright boring. Seriously, it's a fucking drag. You don't need it. You're a free woman, go out and find someone who needs less drama than the average eighth grader.
posted by 8dot3 at 5:47 PM on July 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


You should feel great you dodged a bullet. And you should not talk when she gets back.
posted by Lutoslawski at 5:48 PM on July 18, 2011


This just sounds like a hot mess.

Listen to her, and to what your own brain is telling you.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:48 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've found that, when people tell you their faults, especially when those faults pertain to your relationship, the best thing you can do is believe them.

Break it off.
posted by xingcat at 5:49 PM on July 18, 2011


If anything, I should be breaking up with her.

Do not stay in a relationship with someone to whom you feel superior.
posted by Meg_Murry at 5:49 PM on July 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


How should I handle this situation?

You're hooked and willing to put up with bad treatment. Put the heart in the backside, head in the front and get the hell out of dranaville.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:52 PM on July 18, 2011


You should break up with her, because she's lying to you and treating you like shit.

But you probably won't. You'll learn your lesson the hard way, like a zillion other people do.

Really, though, you should listen to your friends and to strangers on the Internet (I predict near-unanimity in this thread) and break up with her.
posted by rtha at 5:54 PM on July 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


nthing WALK AWAY
posted by goblinbox at 5:58 PM on July 18, 2011


Nthing that this woman is bad news. When she comes back, do NOT take her back. Do not return her phone calls, do not get together to "get closure".

Good luck finding someone who is a good match for you!

Hey folks, see the "girlfriends" reference? This poster is not your bro, not a dude.
posted by Specklet at 5:59 PM on July 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm going to hazard a guess that potentially you are not, in fact, a dude or a bro, and that you may in fact be the second girlfriend in the phrase "We dialed the intensity way back from "girlfriends".

Everybody is right though. This person is taking out her stress on you as if you were a punching bag to purge her emotions, has behaviours/values you have a problem with, and has identified that she doesn't feel equipped to be in a relationship. I know you have feelings for her, but keep in mind that getting out of this after three months is going to feel a lot less painful than it will after 8 months or a year and five more breakups.

Remember: the beginning of the relationship is when it's happiest. Do you want this to be high point in a long term relationship?
posted by Kololo at 6:01 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh Christ, you don't really like or respect this girl all that much. The fact that dating sucks is not a good reason to stay in a shitty relationship you don't even want to be in.

One other thought: this is not going to get better with time. Try to keep that in mind.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:02 PM on July 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm going to hazard a guess that potentially you are not, in fact, a dude or a bro, and that you may in fact be the second girlfriend in the phrase "We dialed the intensity way back from "girlfriends".

Sorry I missed that. Advice remains the same.
posted by Dasein at 6:11 PM on July 18, 2011


No, of course you shouldn't put up with this. Fortunately, you don't have to - because she's already broken up with you.

Trust me - the sex isn't good enough to put up with all this after only three months. And next time someone breaks up with you, for heavens sake listen to them. You can't turn this into a relationship all by yourself.

I'm sorry and this sucks, but there's so much better out there. Go find it.
posted by Space Kitty at 6:21 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


For god's sake, the first three months is the proverbial honeymoon period. This is when people are on their good behavior. It's only going to get much, much worse.

Move on, and be grateful -- truly, actively cultivate gratitude on this score -- that you found out what a toxic situation this is before you invested any real time, energy, and love into this.
posted by scody at 6:27 PM on July 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


3 months in is still 'best behavior time' in most relationships. Inshudder to think what kind of crap she'd be trying to pull at 9 months or a year.

Clearly, her best is not compatible with your long term happiness.

She dumped you, don't respond to any contact from her when she returns. Let your friends buy you a beer, or whatever your social circle does after these things happen.
posted by bilabial at 6:31 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think you liked her better than the other girls you were dating recently because you have some unresolved issues from your previous relationship or earlier. Something in you wants the drama and the bad treatment.

First and foremost, break up with her or remain broken up with.

Then take some time to figure out why all of this drama and unhappiness is so appealing from the get-go.
posted by freshwater at 6:32 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


My money's on you being such a sucker for pain and self-abuse that you keep trying to stay with this horribly unstable person. You're a sap for girls like that.

Go on, prove me wrong. Do something intelligent and positive, instead.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:54 PM on July 18, 2011


She broke up with you. So now you do the honorable thing and walk away from her.
posted by mleigh at 6:58 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Three months in and there's already been this much drama? Oy vey.

She's dumped you, let it stay that way. You deserve better.
posted by deborah at 7:24 PM on July 18, 2011


run.
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:38 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


"pills"! ?

Some of the hardest drugs are pills. William Burroughs hard. If she has a history of hard drug abuse and she gets her hands on "pills" she's not going to be a recovered addict for long. I don't think you want to date a drug addict.

But maybe you would enjoy the intensity. Before you make a decision either way, think about your previous relationships, but not about how they made you feel because your emotional memory is going to be distorted. Think about how you acted and what you did in those previous relationships, or earlier in this one. Think of it like a videotape, just looking at your actions.

Decide if you liked how you acted and want to continue that behavior or prevent it from happening. This should inform whatever decision you make.

I have great sex with this girl and that's not nothing!

Here is stickycarpet's profound table analogy for relationships. It should be required reading.
posted by fuq at 7:44 PM on July 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


When my girlfriend gets stressed out, she dumps me. Should I put up with this?
No.
posted by citron at 8:03 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


you should break up with her. okay, people who've used in their pasts aren't especially going to use again, but she's already lied about her marijuana use and that's a bad sign.

take it from me, i was with a girl who was 3 years sober two years ago. she was all over me and wanted to move in, until 5 months in the relationship when she just impulsively dumped me. we never spoke again-- not by my choice.

you need to get out now while you can. the sooner you do it, the less it will hurt. and yes, it will hurt. but you will move on and find someone better.
posted by dreamsofhorses at 8:15 PM on July 18, 2011


And next time someone breaks up with you, for heavens sake listen to them. You can't turn this into a relationship all by yourself.

Seriously. You need TWO people to have a relationship. Oh, I've tried to stave off breakups - but they're pretty unilateral. One person says you're broken up, that's it. It's not a question of whether or not you're going to tolerate it, it's a question of how much collateral damage is going to ensue.

Sounds like she's stringing you along to have sex - realizing that all she has to do to get it is to say that you're not broken up - and then breaking up with you again when she's done to avoid getting tangled in a long-term commitment. She has no reason to stop doing this since you've tolerated it so far.

Listen to what people tell you in relationships - she's told you that you're broken up, so move on.
posted by sonika at 8:28 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


If there is one thing I've learned in 30 some-odd years of relationships, with probably far too many partners, it's that there is precisely zero amount of quality sex that would be worth you putting up with one-tenth the bullshit you've taken on here, and a nearly 99% chance you can find someone else, saner, kinder and more compatible, who can rock your world just as well.

Get the fuck out, as fast and as completely as you possibly can. Do not look back. You will not miss a thing.
posted by kjs3 at 9:14 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


"How should I handle this situation?"
posted by anonymous to human relations

If you're dreaming you can save her from herself, and have a great, long term romantic relationship with a wonderfully reformed, grateful woman as a reward, I'm afraid you've come to the wrong Internet forum for ideas and support.
posted by paulsc at 9:49 PM on July 18, 2011


Run. Far far away. But you already knew that.
posted by monkeys with typewriters at 9:58 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Agreeing with everyone above me. Her ruining big events and dumping you this early on in the relationship, when people are still on their best dating behavior, tells you that you are in for a really bad time if you don't walk now. This is as GOOD as it gets with her. It's not going to get better. In fact, the drama will only get worse. Imagine how much time you will have lost and how much of yourself you will have lost a year or two years from now, if you can't see that this dysfunctional relationship is pushing buttons for you. That's what the chemistry you feel is -- something about her treating you badly and the drama, etc, etc, is feeding a thing for you you need to look at, because there are SO MANY NEGATIVES here.
posted by Ink-stained wretch at 10:27 PM on July 18, 2011


How should I handle this situation?

With no more contact. Not even as friends. I sense that there is more than one addict in this relationship. If it seems hard for you to walk away from this despite everyone's advice and what you surely know yourself, I suggest you check out Codependents Anonymous (whether you stay with her for now or not).
posted by Wordwoman at 10:46 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sweet jesus, go grab a copy of Offspring's Self Esteem and listen to it until you understand why you should just walk away and not look back.
posted by rodgerd at 3:23 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, but GET OUT NOW. RUN, DO NOT WALK! Do not hesitate, just drop this whole drama. She's ditched you multiple times in just three months, she lies big-time, she blames YOU for all the stress in her life! The good parts are definately not offsetting the bad; and the way she's manipulating your emotions makes me think of the way an abuser works, gradually weakening their partner.

Please, stay away from her.
posted by easily confused at 3:36 AM on July 19, 2011


This is a no-win situation, if we define winning as you two staying together and her settling her drama down and becoming a decent girlfriend.

You two are still in the relationship stage in which you educate each other about what each of you expects and will tolerate in a relationship. You are teaching her that you are willing to put up with lies, drama and manipulation. The only way to unteach her this is to stop putting up with it... and this entails walking away if it doesn't stop.

In all likelihood when you stop putting up with her shit, she will drop you for good. This is for the best, because people as messed up as she is don't really change without a strong desire to change for themselves, accompanied by a whole lot of therapy.

There is a small chance she may decide to stay if you demonstrate that you are not willing to put up with her shit. This is not necessarily a good thing. She won't magically turn into a loving and well-behaved girlfriend, she'll just keep changing her tactics until she finds some shit you will put up with.

You're only three months in. This barely even qualifies as a relationship in the grand scheme of things. It is a perfect time to cut your losses and move on.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:29 AM on July 19, 2011


In addition to all of the above, she doesn't seem to think that dumping people has real consequences - and so far, in your not-really-a-relationship, it hasn't. Allow it to take, this time. Make it take. Believe that you are broken up for real. You're not a couple going through a disagreement, you're two people going their separate ways. If she returns and tries to make nice, tell her that you've come to agree that you should no longer be seeing each other. And then cut her off.

And, hey, you might actually be broken up for real this time anyway. She might not come back to you. Might as well mentally prepare for that possibility.

Having "great chemistry" with a person is sometimes due to their propensity for drama. They're two sides of the same coin; we call the bad side "drama" and the good side "chemistry." It's possible to have genuine chemistry with a good and good-for-you person, though, and when you discover that, you'll have less tolerance for this sort of flipfloppy situation.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:59 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


This doesn't sound like drama. What exactly is she taking out on you? How did she 'ruin' important events? By swearing at your mum? Or just not showing up? First time that you broke up why didn't it take? Was she insistent that you get back together? If so that's drama. Or was it that 'just dating' escalated back into relationship mode because you had expectations she wasn't meeting? Maybe she backed out again because, as she said, she has too much on to be in a relationship right now.

Unless there's stuff you're not telling us I don't understand where all the judgement is coming from, she doesn't sound paranoid, just stressed. The casual drug use may or may not be part of that but it really doean't matter, If you want something more than she wants to provide you should take her at her word and go find someone else.
posted by freya_lamb at 6:56 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just nthing what fuq said about pills. I don't know where people get the idea that pills are somehow less awful than heroin or cocaine. Pharmacy holdups were not part of our society until oxycontin came along.
posted by Melismata at 7:59 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dump her and for future reference pills are usually as hard a drug as street heroin if not worse. AVOID
posted by WeekendJen at 9:21 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand your question. She broke up with you right before she left. She's not your girlfriend, and doesn't want to be. I'm not sure why you refuse to listen to her.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:02 AM on July 19, 2011


I can understand your position and hers. She isn't ready for a relationship and has told you as much. She's stressed out. Neither of these circumstances warrant judgment at all. It sounds like she's going through a tough time and can't give you what you need in a relationship. I can see how that's upsetting for you, but in my eyes, it's a perfectly valid stance for her to take. Part ways -- gently.

(and as for the "drug use", I don't think it's fair for us to freak out without knowing how severe it is. If you saw pills in her home, she's not necessarily abusing them. And hearsay can be inaccurate. The marijuana use sounds fairly casual and the notion that she wants alone time so that she can smoke sounds like speculation to me.)
posted by delight at 8:54 PM on July 19, 2011


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