We're doing this series with mental health professionals who are answering questions about ... everything scary and weird about life right now. Both sessions have been really helpful and fantastic. You can find the videos (for free) at the bottom of this page. I hope they help you, too.
Send your letters and general existential crisis rants to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My girlfriend of three years (we're both 23) recently decided to leave me. Our three years were rough. We had fights over small things and they progressively got worse over the years. She always says I'm mean or rude when she's upset. I feel like she misinterprets my meaning and tone.
Recently we got into an argument. She said I was being mean, and I asked how was what I said mean when I was just asking a question. She got upset and said, "Don't ask why I'm mad if you’re just going to turn it around on me." This led to me being frustrated. I was doing laundry, and I start pulling the clothes out (I was being aggressive about it out of frustration), and some of the clothes hit her and she assumed I was throwing them at her. Things devolved and she told me to leave her alone. I got more frustrated and left to go to the bar (first time I’ve ever done this). I was frustrated and needed space. She left my clothes in the laundry facility at our apartment and locked me out. Then the next day sent me pictures of our used condoms and accused me of using them with other women. She then left town to go to her mom’s and continued to text me all the things I always do wrong and how abusive and mean I am. She said she'd pack her things and come get them next month.
I get upset when she doesn't let me explain the things I say. She won't meet in the middle and would rather have me apologize and take the blame for everything. She has yet to apologize for what she has done, accusations and all. I have apologized for my attitude four times through text. She's blocked me on social media and deleted all of our pictures together. Is there any hope?
– Let me explain
Hope? Hope for what?
I know you're hurting right now, but what you described is a terrible, exhausting relationship. You didn’t even bother to tell us the good stuff, like why you want to work on this and what drew you to her to begin with.
Let this go. Stay out of her way when she picks up her stuff, and tell her you hope she has a happy and healthy life. The two of you are incompatible. You make each other miserable. There's no meeting halfway if most of your complex conversations end in someone feeling hurt and unheard.
It's a tough time to start any self-evaluation right now – we're all just trying to get through every hour, every day – but you might benefit from thinking about how and why you've been misinterpreted, and if the issue with tone and attitude affects any of your other relationships. Find someone to talk to about that, because there are always lessons to be learned from breakups. I don't want you to miss them.
Readers? What should the LW be hoping for?