Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I’m Sick of My Boyfriend Ignoring Me!”

My boyfriend and I have been together over nine months now, and things were going great… at first. Lately, things have been really difficult. He lives far away (3,000 miles away, but he’s coming home in three weeks) and the last I saw him was for a week in February. I got sick in January and was out of work for three months. So, for those three months, he was the only person I talked to. Being stuck at home, having only a dog, and having a probably unhealthy lack of friends didn’t really help the situation. Skype has been our connection (along with text messages, letters and phone calls) so I saw him almost all day every day.

So this last month, as I’m finally starting to get back into things, he’s wanting to get his life started again, too. That, however, has not been the easiest thing for me. I’m still home a lot of the time, and, I realize this is extremely selfish, but I want him to be home with me, too. When he’s not around I find myself missing him the entire time. I realize it was completely selfish of me to start to assume he’d be around all the time, but my hormones are a little out of whack recently (I just started taking a new birth control pill) so I cry… a lot. The thing that stuck out most to me and what made me realize I need some help with this, was the other day when he wanted to play video games online with his friends and I wanted to talk. Like I said, hormones are flying like crazy, so when he stopped mid-sentence and said, “I’m gonna play some games now, I’ll be back in a bit”, and hung up, you can only imagine I was upset. In my defense, he played a game the night before, after I had literally just gotten home from my (horrible) first night back at work. He didn’t ask how my day was, hardly said a word, and disappeared for four and a half hours playing fucking video games. When he came back I was, obviously, very angry, and proceeded to complain and cry to him about not paying attention to me.

I know, I sound like a ridiculous and needy girlfriend, but I’m totally not like this at all. I swear, these pills are making me crazy (I’m switching to the low-dose version this week). I’m just afraid that when I get off and everything falls back to normal, I’m still going to feel left behind and a little abandoned. (I won’t go into my whole life story, but I’ll sum it up with: there was a lot of neglect and abandonment.) My boyfriend told me the other day that I’m becoming “too much to handle” and that made me feel horrible. It hit the side of me that’s not affected by hormone-imbalances and I felt like I’m letting him down. It’s been really hard to have conversations with him without them turning into him being upset that I don’t like the idea of him going to a bar with a bunch of guys. I mean, come on, he’s 3,000 miles away. Being cheated on by every ex doesn’t exactly give me peace of mind. He is different than they are, though.

What should I do? Should I ignore all these things and just accept that I’m being ridiculous and clingy, or am I missing something here? I feel bad for making him feel guilty for doing things, it’s not my intention at all; we used to be able to talk about how things made us feel and lately I understand my feelings have been pretty strong. — Hormonally Charged

As a pregnant chick and as someone who has had issues with birth control pills in the past, I am totally sympathetic to the woes of hormone imbalances, I am. But, what you’re describing sounds a lot more serious than a bad reaction to a new prescription. This, this neediness and isolation and, frankly, what sounds like depression, has been going on at least since January when you became house-bound and your only human interaction was with your boyfriend 3,000 miles away over Skype. “Probably unhealthy” doesn’t even begin to describe your situation. What you need so much more than a boyfriend who’s willing to forgo his own life to sit around day and night staring at your image on a computer screen is: 1) Therapy. Serious therapy; and 2) A life of your own — a life that includes friends, hobbies, and activities that bring you some joy.

I cannot stress this enough. Your relationship isn’t the problem here. Your birth control isn’t the problem — though it may certainly be contributing to it; the real problem is you — specifically, your emotional and mental health. You aren’t happy and you’re relying on someone else to make you happy and that just won’t work. Your boyfriend, bless his heart, has already shown serious signs of being over it. It’s just a matter of time before he backs out completely — and who could blame him?! You cry and throw a fit every time he dares to doing something fun. You are pushing him away. And then what? Who’s going to be there for you then?

It’s up to you to start creating a support system — and a life — outside of him. Get the psych help you need. Join some clubs, teams, groups, etc., and start making some friends. Turn off your computer and go live. For the love of God, live! When you become someone who has a lot going on, not only will you quit being so obsessed with how your boyfriend spends every minute of his day when he’s off Skype, you’ll be a more interesting, well-rounded, happy person who will begin to naturally draw people to you instead of pushing them away. And even if it’s too late to save your current relationship, I promise you that being a happy person will make you a much, much better partner in the future.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

112 comments… add one
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    eel avocado May 23, 2011, 8:00 am

    LW, are you my brother’s girlfriend? My brother and his girlfriend are in a long distance relationship and she’s been cheated on in every relationship. She gets angry at my brother whenever he gets together with friends. She wants to speak with him at least two hours a day — even though they’re both in college and he’s holding down a job. She wants him to be the last person she speaks to at night — even if they have nothing more to say because they spoke for two hours earlier. She gets angry if he makes plans before consulting her. She cries. She throws fits. They fight nearly every day. She threatens to commit suicide if he breaks up with her.

    My brother comes to me for advice, and I’m going to give you the same advice I tell him to give his girlfriend. Like Wendy said, you need therapy. You have deep-rooted issues that need to be sorted out before you can have any fulfilling relationship. Also, you need to focus on YOU. Focus on finding new friends and new, fun activities. Ask a girlfriend if she wants to grab lunch. Go for a walk. Take a class. Do things that don’t involve your boyfriend. Then, when you do talk, you’ll have exciting things to talk about. You also won’t be so focused on him. This may be harsh, but your boyfriend has probably already thought about breaking up with you. And, given your behavior, he might. That is sad, and I’m sorry if that happens to you. But then take this as a lesson and focus on therapy and yourself to get yourself healed. You’ll lead a healthier, more fulfilling life (with or without a boyfriend) for years to come.

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    • kali May 23, 2011, 3:56 pm

      I can hear LW now saying she doesn’t have any friends… so, take the dog to the nearest dog park or hiking on a trail. Meet people there. I feel for all the people involved but the poor dog(!) needs some attention too and he/she is right there!! Dogs are great for making friends with people and you have one. Go for it!

      I agree with everyone else you need your own life, interests, friends, activities or that boy will be running for the hills. And soon.

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  • AnitaBath May 23, 2011, 8:29 am

    Awesome advice. I was so afraid it was going to focus on the relationship and how the girl doesn’t feel like the guy is giving her enough time and how he’s being selfish with the video games or something. Definitely not the problem!

    It wouldn’t hurt for the LW to apologize to her boyfriend for her recent behavior and to tell him that she’s seeking some help, and that she’d like for him to stick it out with her.

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    • thyme May 23, 2011, 7:38 pm

      “It wouldn’t hurt for the LW to apologize to her boyfriend for her recent behavior and to tell him that she’s seeking some help, and that she’d like for him to stick it out with her.”

      Yes. My boyfriend was once the male version of the LW. It was so overwhelming and exhausting to deal with his crazy needy and jealous mood swings. I started feeling guilty about doing anything that didn’t involve him, his neurosis consumed me so much. It was suffocating. The reason I didn’t bail was because A) he knew that he needed serious professional help, and, most importantly, B) he went out and GOT it. Own up to your crazy, appologize profusely for it, vocally appreciate his patience over and over and over again, work hard on yourself in therapy and give him updates on what you’re learning about bettering yourself, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll stick around.

      But honestly, I totally wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t.

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  • callmehobo May 23, 2011, 8:44 am

    Seriously- Wendy’s advice x1000.

    I’ve been in your situation, LW. Let me tell you, if you do not absolve the issues that you have, your boyfriend will not stick around. I almost ran mine off.

    I thought it was that he wasn’t paying attention to me and that he wasn’t as sweet as when we first started dating. I realized that this wasn’t just him acting out- it was him REACTING to how clingy I had become. I was so desperate to have his attention it was suffocating him. I backed off a little bit, which helped our relationship, but I didn’t get help then. I still had the issues that came from before him, which affected the way that I thought and felt.

    I did get help later, and let me tell you, it makes everything so much easier. You start to learn why you feel so scared or upset when the situation doesn’t warrant it. You learn how to deal with those sinking feeling emotions. Please, please, please find a counselor or a psychiatrist. It sounds like you are in college, and if you are, most schools have a free counseling service that you can use. It can’t dispense drugs, but it can refer you if need be.

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    • LTC039 May 23, 2011, 9:20 am

      Same thing with me…When I started dating my current boyfriend, I carried baggage from my last relationship…That drove him awayyyy, he broke things off. I can’t blame him. I was awful. We eventually got back together & I still, to this day, thank him for breaking up with me at that time. During our break up I learned so much about myself & really got down to the problem of what was going on with me. We have been together for almost 2 years since we broke up & are really happy. Our dynamic is completely different. But it wasn’t easy getting there!!

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  • Maracuya May 23, 2011, 8:46 am

    Great advice, Wendy. My boyfriend is also faaaar away (after you pass a few thousand miles, who’s counting?) But I encourage him to go out and do things. I want him to go to out and have a drink, bbq with friends, go take day trips. I do the same.

    Sometimes it’s lonely being in an LDR. You know that; he probably feels that way too.
    He misses you, but he can’t make time can’t pass faster. Think of it as a regular relationship. Would you demand your boyfriend stay home with you all day for two months? Would you tell him not to spend time with his friends because you need to talk? He needs balance and space. Like you can’t gush about cute dresses and shoes to him, he needs a friend who will help him kill some Covenant and shoot the shit.

    Just imagine him telling you not to go out on a Saturday night because he’s afraid you’ll cheat on him at a bar. It sounds a little ridiculous. In a long distance relationship, you trust him or you don’t. If he wanted to cheat on you, well, he has plenty of more opportunities than just going to a bar with his buds. If that sounds incredibly scary to you, take comfort in that it also applies to people who don’t live 3,000 miles away. You shouldn’t have to feel that you need to police his every action in order for him to stay faithful.

    My advice: Take a deep breath. Call him up and apologize for being so needy. And don’t blame it all on your birth control. Recognize his need for space and alone time, and say you’re sorry that you didn’t realize it until now but you want to fix it and ask him how he feels. Like Wendy said, it might be too late, but I think if he’s put up with all this he could be willing to stick it out with you if you’re honest about how you’ve been behaving.

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  • ReginaRey May 23, 2011, 8:46 am

    LW, you sound like me three years ago. Suffice it to say that I was co-dependent to the point of depression. Whenever my boyfriend wanted to spend time with his friends, without me, I panicked. I yelled at him for “me not being enough” for him. I had to spend every waking minute with him, and in doing so alienated my close friends and hurt my family. Over two years, I slowly devolved from being a girlfriend to being, as best I can describe it, a parasite. I couldn’t be happy by myself. He was the sole source of my happiness, and it made me the UNhappiest person you can imagine.

    It seems like you are in a position similar, if not worse, than I was over 3 years ago. I’ll tell you what I wish I could have told myself: When you allow someone else to be the sole source of your happiness, your well-being, your livelihood, you give them the power to hurt you. Every little thing they might do, like choosing to play video games or hang out with their friends without you, feels like a betrayal when you solely depend on THEM for all of your communication and love and attention. It’s kind of like getting in a plane with someone who you don’t know is even a pilot…you’re trusting your life and your fate to someone you have no idea is qualified to fly that plane.

    It’s going to sound corny and trite…but learn to fly your OWN plane. The way you do that, like Wendy said, is to go to therapy. I didn’t get a chance to do that. Instead, I pushed my boyfriend farther and farther away with my desperate reliance on him, and he broke up with me COUNTLESS times. Eventually, he broke up with me and it stuck. You do NOT want to end up alone, after a break-up like that. Because your friends, your family, all of those people aren’t really there for you. You’re by yourself, and the ENTIRE source of your happiness is gone. Please learn, with the help of a professional, how you can be OK with or without him, and how you can be happy with yourself.

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    • LTC039 May 23, 2011, 10:28 am

      That analogy is really good & spot-on! We need to be our own “pilots”, if you will… & not to mention it is **emotionally exhausting** to depend on one person day in & day out, to them & to yourself!

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    • MissDre May 23, 2011, 11:24 am

      Sounds like you and I have been through the same things. I did all the same things to my ex. I was so bad that I ended up in the hospital after he broke up with me, because I was having hysterics and panic attacks, dry heaving and pulling my hair out, so I was admitted to out-patient therapy through the psych ward.

      It took a lot of work to get myself back together and it will take a lot of work for you too, LW. But everyone here is right. You MUST learn to be happy within yourself, you MUST learn that YOU ARE ENOUGH, just you. Another person will not complete you!

      I recommend getting into counseling, maybe an anti-depressant (I have a chemical imbalance so I’ll probably need to take a pill for years to come, and there’s nothing wrong if you are struggling with a chemical imbalance too).

      This is also a great book, it’s not just something to read, it’s an actual work book with activities and assignments. It’s called The Everything Self Esteem Book.

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      • LTC039 May 23, 2011, 11:32 am

        There’s also this book that I read when I was going through my drama:


        That one is also very good!

      • moonflowers May 23, 2011, 1:37 pm

        Melody Beattie’s book “Codependent No More” is also a great resource.

        And ReginaRey’s post had me nodding my head vigorously at every line. I hated the person I’d become when my ex finally dumped me – a shadow of my former independent self, a lonely wreck crying my eyes out hysterically when I found out he had a new girlfriend.

        This was the kick I needed to get myself into serious therapy for codependence issues. LW, don’t wait until he’s already broken up with you to go get counseling! The sooner you start, the better, even if this current relationship might not be salvageable.

      • ReginaRey May 23, 2011, 2:04 pm

        “A shadow of my former independent self” – yes, exactly. By the end, I was completely unrecognizable to everyone, including myself. It took me time and a lot of work to feel like I had FINALLY gotten back to being who I was before that relationship. Talk about a waste of time…I spent years with soemone only to try hard to go back to who I was BEFORE I met them!

  • kerrycontrary May 23, 2011, 8:50 am

    Oh my god…Wendy is totally right. This is a serious mental health issue. When I read the title of this article I thought that it was an inperson relationship, but the LW is complaining about her BF going out when he lives 3,000 miles away? I can understand being upset if you live with your boyfriend, or you live in the same town as him, and he’s constantly going out. But it sounds like your boyfriend is trying to make the best of a long-distance relationship by keeping himself busy and interacting with others. I am currently in a long-distance relationship. Normally we are 3.5 hours driving apart, so it’s not bad, but temporarily he’s across the country. I am HAPPY that my boyfriend has friends and hobbies in his new location. That he’s taken up golf. That he’s not bored on weekends. Yeh, we both need communication with each other on a daily basis, but that does not involve one of us sitting home if the other is without plans. I would never tell my boyfriend to not go out and play golf just because I don’t have any friends or no one is available to go out. LW, your request for your boyfriend to not have a life outside of you and skype is unreasonable. I know your hormones are going crazy right now, but this sounds like a lot more than hormones. Since you are already in touch with your doctor about your birth control, I would talk to her about how you have been feeling lately.

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    • kerrycontrary May 23, 2011, 8:55 am

      Oh another thing that I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet: I think that this is a control issue. The LW sounds very controlling and taht she wouldn’t let her boyfriend do anything, even if they wern’t in an LDR, without consulting her or “asking permission”.

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      • Callifax May 23, 2011, 2:12 pm

        YESSSSS. That’s exactly what I was thinking! Her behavior totally reminds me of my ultra-controlling boyfriend in college. He would get mad when I saw my friends, wanted me to be online to talk to him all day, and didn’t even like me going to class for fear that I’d meet another guy. The LW needs to get help, and fast, before she goes over the borderline from “controlling” to “emotionally abusive”.

      • thyme May 23, 2011, 7:45 pm

        I’m not sure that there is a borderline between those two.

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        Lanchik May 24, 2011, 8:21 pm

        I don’t think that there is one either…

  • WatersEdge May 23, 2011, 8:57 am

    I really hope you’re able to hear Wendy when she says that you sound depressed. You do sound depressed. Something that people with depression do a lot is blame other, external issues on their depression: If my boyfriend would stop ignoring me then I wouldn’t feel so bad, as soon as I get myself on a better birth control pill I’ll be ok again, etc etc. Please don’t fall into that trap. Life can be so much better than what you’re describing. You deserve friendships, and you can be of use volunteering your time, and you have a lot to contribute to groups and organizations. Find a therapist who will help you get out there and live life again. Part of this process will be “fake it till you make it”, meaning you’ll have to go out and do things without enjoying them for a little bit before the enjoyment kicks in again. Good luck.

    As for your boyfriend, tell him you’re seeing a therapist to focus on re-building your life. Only he knows if he’s past his breaking point. But you have to get your life together for yourself, not just to keep your boyfriend.

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    • moonflowers May 23, 2011, 1:45 pm

      Seconding the “fake it til you make it” part. When I first began reassembling my social life after my breakup, I honestly had no friends. I “borrowed” one of my ex’s friends for a short time, but that put him in an awkward spot, so I had to start branching out.

      I was quite out of practice, didn’t know what I could do to escalate acquaintances into friends, and it just didn’t feel natural at first. It was super awkward, but also a blessing in disguise, because there were many people, it turned out, who cared about me and would’ve liked to be my friends, but I had ignored them so long when my entire social life was my boyfriend.

      I realized that I really had never thought too hard about how to create my own social life before – I’d always been meeting people at school, in classes, or in dorms, so I didn’t have to schedule things with people to do, keep in touch and check in with people I hadn’t seen in a while, and otherwise cultivate close friendships. I’m glad that I was forced to learn this shortly before starting grad school and real life – it’s a rough adjustment from college socializing otherwise.

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  • Desiree May 23, 2011, 9:03 am

    LW-your relationship is over. And even if it wasn’t, you are in no place to rehabilitate it. Get thee to a therapist. I totally understand what having a rough past feels like; but I don’t use it as an excuse to treat my boyfriend like dirt. When things got bad, I went to counseling. And I branched out with my friendships and activities. Works like a charm. Just don’t get so hung up over the inevitable ending of this relationship that you impede the healing you so desperately need.

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  • LTC039 May 23, 2011, 9:11 am

    Oh man…this letter hits home for me. I was in a LDR for 1.5 years & was exactly the same way! The only difference was that my ex was a total d-bag who provoked my already fragile self-esteem…but that’s a different story…
    Focusing on just me, I missed out on SOOO many awesome college parties, new friends, & activities because I wrapped myself around one person for so long! My best friend was always going to parties & inviting me every weekend, & every weekend I would say “Nooo I think I’m gonna stay home & talk to (insert d-bag here).” But, if he had plans that night, then it’d be me, my bed, & a movie…I was 19-20!!!
    I thank God everyday that I learned my lesson when that relationship ended. You CANNOT make one person your source for happiness. **YOU** need to make your own happiness! I cannot tell you enough how unattractive it is for a man for a woman to be emotionally dependent on him! They get turned off SOOO fast! From your letter, your bf seems like a decent person, so you’ve already got the first part, accepting that your behavior is wrong. Now do something! It’ll be difficult, but if you want your relationship to work out you NEED to do it!
    Are you enrolled in a gym? If you’re not you should! Start taking the classes there: yoga, pilates, cycling, whatever, just go out! Catch up with old friends that live in your area & ask them if they want to hang out. If they’re good friends, they’ll accept you back with open arms…That’s what my friends did.
    & if you need to cry about your boyfriend going to a bar or w/e, call someone else or cry to your dog, but DO NOT cry to him… Unless he’s doing something that is wrong (which he’s not) pick your battles! Hopefully the LDR has an end date. Good luck to you & as per Wendy’s advice to get therapy: yes, yes, & YES! I did that too! Worked marvels!

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    • ReginaRey May 23, 2011, 9:37 am

      This: “Nooo I think I’m gonna stay home and talk to D-Bag” is EXACTLY what I did in college. I spent my whole freshman year crying and pining away for him at his school, while he was out partying and having fun and making friends! The friends I made at that school were limited to my suitemates and roommate…I didn’t try at ALL. I ended up transferring to his school (where a lot of my friends were too, thankfully). I said it was because I didn’t like the school I’d chosen, but let’s be honest…it was for him. Thankfully when he broke up with me, I had some of my best friends there for me.

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      • LTC039 May 23, 2011, 9:54 am

        Yes, it’s just awful to be like that & its comforting to know Im not the only one that spent freshman/sophmore year of college like that! You know, I actually tried to transfer to the city he was in & he literally yelled at me & told me that if I did, he’d break up with me & I would be all alone…That I was only doing it for him & he didn’t want that, & I was crazy. Total DOUCHE but I’m SOOO glad I never did it!

      • Desiree May 23, 2011, 10:14 am

        I know what you mean. My sophomore and junior years of college. Ugh. It’s amazing I even kept my GPA up.

    • Bricka May 24, 2011, 12:29 pm

      Oh wow, I see im not alone in this o.O

      I was in a LDR with a controlling, abusive, manipulative guy for 5 years and when I broke it off last October (Due to severe stress and after a happy visit that ended up going horribly wrong), I felt I would go crazy with sadness and guilt. He was my everything, I neglected my family and friends and I felt so responsanble for his happyness that the guilt of making the right choice for me ate me alive for months and months.

      Now that im going to therapy I realize how toxic and horribly controlling my relationship was. I was supposed to be there for him 24-7 and It was so easy to disappoint him or get him upset.

      Lw, your boyfriend diserves better, get help or set him free, he is not in charge of you and he shouldnt feel like he is at all. You are hurting him.

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  • Elle May 23, 2011, 9:14 am

    Spot on, Wendy!

    A couple of things for LW – you have no friends. I don’t want to get into why, or how come. But because you’re against your bf going out, pretty soon he won’t have any friends either. Why do you want to do that to him? Why do you want to isolate him from his friends? So that he won’t have anyone else but you. And soon, you will be the only person in his life. And no normal person would make this kind of unreasonable demands on their SO.

    The second thing that stood out for me – you blame the pill for how you’re acting. I’m with Wendy on this one – the pill can’t change your personality. Blaming it on hormones is just not going to fly with me. Do you have the tendency to blame other people / things for the things that go wrong with your life, instead of making small changes for improving your life?

    You said that you’ve been out of a job for a while. I hope you can afford to get some therapy. You have to fix this before it ruins your life. You know that the way you act has pushed other guys away. This is a pattern that you need to break. You should know by now that you can’t force someone to love you. It’s hard for anyone to put up with your unreasonable demands on their time. You need to slow down. Because if you don’t, your demands will increase. It will never be enough for you. Find a way to limit your demands on your bf’s time. And stick to them. It will do wonders for your relationship.

    Best of luck!

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    • WatersEdge May 23, 2011, 11:39 am

      If she can’t afford therapy, then she should look into low-cost therapy options. Graduate schools offer counseling on a sliding scale to train their therapists (which is, in my opinion, some of the best therapy you can get. cutting edge treatments, lots of individual attention because your therapist has one other client, not 25 others) or community mental health. If she’s in college she can go to her counseling center. Therapy can be affordable if you look hard enough.

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    • Hobbesnblue May 23, 2011, 10:30 pm

      I agree that LW is being clingy and unreasonable, BUT I can speak from experience that the Pill can really do a number on you. My gyno, at my request, tried to switch me onto Seasonique to have fewer periods a year. Within less than a week, I had turned into a pathetic emotional wreck, culminating in breaking down in tears at a gas station because nobody would help me jump start my car (rough night, yes, but far from how I’d usually react). When the hypothesis finally occurred to me that it was the new Pill causing this, I switched back to my old kind, and my teary, out-of-control drama stopped immediately

      Anyway, it made me seriously reevaluate the effect hormones can have on your body. This doesn’t mean LW should use it as an emotional crutch, however. Once you realize you’re having a bad reaction to a medication, why would you stay on it one more day?

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        Wendy May 24, 2011, 8:06 am

        But she JUST started a new pill, and she’s been behaving this way since January (at least), so it doesn’t add up…

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    Budjer May 23, 2011, 9:26 am

    I was in your boy friends position my freshmen year of college. At the time of that long distance relationship I went to a very academic school and was also on the swim team and just didn’t have it in me to spend 3 hours on the phone every night when I had work / hw / social stuff I was trying to fit in after 12 hours of class and 2 exhausting practices. I tried like hell to get her to branch out and find things to make her happy, but she just clung on to me more which made me distance myself and have a really negative connotation with my relationship. Eventually I gave up and she got so frustrated she dumped me because “I couldn’t give her what she needed.” In reality no one could.

    If he is still (for the most part) entertaining your extensive attention demands then there is still hope – he WILL get burnt out though. So take care of what you need to take care of in your own life and start working towards making him put a more positive connotation towards your relationship. I think the other commenters here really show you that it can get better and it doesn’t have to be this way. That you can and will be happier with a little effort and non-biased advice and hopefully your relationship doesn’t have to end because of it. First thing I would do is let your boy friend know you know this is ridiculous and you hope he can stick it out with you while you try and get your life back in order. Knowing you “get it” will go a long way for him.

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    • Fidget_eep May 23, 2011, 10:05 am

      Your story sounds like my freshman year, my ex-BF would call for hours on end in the evening whinning and crying that I was being selfish for going to college and leaving him behind when I could have just gone to community college until he graduated. He finally only called in the evenings because my mom yelled at him for running her phone bill up. I stayed far to long in that mess because he said that I was the only thing keeping him from suicide. It was a major mistake, but first loves tend to be. I felt trapped and angry; when he dumped me (yeah I know stupid) I think I really cried for the time I wasted in college being there for him. OH yeah, he started dating long distance a month after and about 8-10 months later her married her, I do not begrudge her one bit.

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        Budjer May 23, 2011, 12:44 pm

        I went through the same thing…I held a lot of resentment for her for a while because I was depressed / almost failed out / WASTED my freshmen year which would have been critical for establishing friendships in my major and the athletic team, etc , but I should have been stronger and ended it myself. Interestingly enough that was my first relationship and was the base line for a couple other co-dependent and f’d up relationships I had afterwards… I can’t advocate enough how much being single helped me get myself and potential future relationships in perspective; which is what I also recommend to the LW if it is unfortunately too late for her relationship.

  • Bostonian Thinker May 23, 2011, 9:35 am

    One thing I noticed: You were out of work, it seems, for three months because you were sick and, if my calculations were right, during that time you visited him thousands of miles away? This confused me. I also agree that medication, although it can really throw you for a loop, really can’t account for this.

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    • Christy May 23, 2011, 10:03 am

      I think maybe he visited her. The letter is unclear on the issue, but I think the LW lives in his hometown, so I think he’s the one who travelled, not her.

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    • TMSC May 23, 2011, 10:31 am

      I don’t think she means she was physically in the same space as him…she says she communicated with him through skype, texts, phone, etc., so “saw” him for hours a day…

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      • honeybeenicki May 23, 2011, 10:51 am

        She said she saw him for a week in February, so I’m guessing he was physically there then. And she said he’s “coming home” in 3 weeks, so my guess is she does live in his/their hometown.

  • spaceboy761 May 23, 2011, 9:43 am

    I think that the LW has to end this relationship because she is in no mental condition to date right now. Even if she does follow some course of therapy, it’s all going to go in one ear and out the other so long as she’s emotionally clinging to this relationship.

    She just isn’t in any condition to date right now and the boyfriend sounds like he has checked out of the relationship anyway. If you guys really have something, you’ll get back together when the time is right or just accept the fact that timing was seriously not in your favor.

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    • Desiree May 23, 2011, 10:18 am

      I 100% agree. Frankly, based on my experience with guys, he is almost completely checked out of this relationship. Since they are long distance, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is eyeing other potential dates now. But, regardless, you are completely correct: the LW is in no shape to address this relationship. Furthermore, with the relationship being long distance and relatively short (particularly for a LDR), I doubt they have a substantial positive foundation-definitely not enough to weather this storm.

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    • TheGirl May 23, 2011, 10:58 am

      Agreed! Regardless of whether he has checked out of this relationship, she is just way too dependent on him for her own good. A break is in order, or at the very least a very strict contact schedule (ie – she is not allowed to skype him for two hours every day).

      I’d also like to add that LDRs aren’t for everyone (I know I could never do it), and I think someone that has serious abandonment and cheating issues isn’t the best candidate for an LDR. You need to be very secure and trusting to have a healthy long distance relationship.

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        Katie May 23, 2011, 8:52 pm

        “LDRs aren’t for everyone”

        i totally agree with you- I am a relationship person, never having problems with cheating or whatever else… and then in college, with my LDR, i just couldnt take it. I dont know what it is about them, but i just cant do it.

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    caitie_didn't May 23, 2011, 9:52 am

    LW, you can’t force your boyfriend to be your therapist. No one has the right to make their significant other do that. If you can’t stop it, he’ll break up with you.

    That said, I think the LW is in absolutely no state to continue in a relationship and she needs to get herself to a therapist stat.

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  • silver_dragon_girl May 23, 2011, 9:59 am

    First of all, let me just say that I agree with Wendy’s (and everyone else’s) advice. I think you should definitely seek out therapy, and once you’ve got that going, start trying to make some friends of your own. It’s easier said than done (believe me– I am SUCH a hermit at times), but you CAN do it and you deserve to have a life of your own.

    Second, I just want to say that there is nothing wrong with you. Yes, you clearly have some problems and issues you need to work though, and yes, you have some things you’re going to have to change to lead a healthy, happy life…but there is nothing inherently wrong with YOU. I just think it’s important to remember that.

    It is SO easy to fall into the situation you’re in now. It’s so easy to rely on one person to fulfill all your social and friendship AND romantic needs, and it can be really hard to break out of that habit without help. When you go out to try new things, don’t overwhelm yourself. Start small- join a book club or go to a discussion or presentation. Make it a habit to go out and do something every weekend, at least once. Once you’re used to that, step it up. Strike up a conversation with someone every time you go out. If you’re invited to something, whether it’s a work event or a random book signing, GO. You do not have to develop a wide social circle of 15-20 friends in the next month, ok? Don’t panic. Start small 🙂

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  • SpaceySteph May 23, 2011, 10:00 am

    My goodness does this sound familiar, so add me to the buckets of people above who have been there, done that, and are telling you how to get better…

    I moved 1000 miles away at the end of college for a job, my boyfriend still had at least 3 years of college. When I left it was actually my boyfriend who was the codependent jerk who wouldn’t let me do anything because I had to be home to Skype with him. He was always giving me guilt trips, telling me if I didn’t want to come home and talk to him it must be because I met a new guy who was better than him. I was in a new city alone and really trying to make friends, but I kept having to beg off plans with my new coworkers because he was demanding me to come home and skype with him.
    Well, soon, all my new coworkers gave up on inviting me out and I was pretty much friendless out here. Then he found a new group of friends and starting getting busy and going out and making plans. Our roles totally flip flopped… I was sitting home alone and friendless and he was out there making plans. I was so lonely that I didn’t even realize that I was being just as ridiculous and clingy as he had been. Only he didn’t put up with it, he dumped me.

    LW, I know how you feel and I know how your boyfriend feels and I’ll tell you this is absolutely not a sustainable way to run your relationship. Get out of the house. Go make a friend. Is there anything you find interesting? A sport, an art, an activity? Whatever it is, go find a club or a local meeting board and sign up for something. Yes it will be awkward that first day you walk onto a softball team with 9 people you never met, but thats life. Go anyways. And go back the next week. Until you learn all their names and make a new friend or two.
    When you get invited to things, go to them. Even if you hardly know anyone and you would rather stay home on the couch and wait for your boyfriend to get back from the bar. You are miserable doing that, and feel neglected and not taken care of… its time you took care of you.

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  • Addie Pray May 23, 2011, 10:05 am

    LW, I hope you can see all the good avice here, in Wendy’s advice and in the commenters’, especially Regina Ray’s and LTC039’s – they give good suggestions of things you can do now to get better. Take their advice! Therapy is always good, for problems big or small, or no problems at all. But therapy can be really really expensive if you don’t have good insurance or services at your disposal. But I don’t think your “mental condition” is anything you can’t get control of. Take a step back, find things to do, others to socialzie with, so your day is more full. Distractions, if you will, so you won’t be so focused on your boyfriend. Then hopefully those distractions will be things you value and want to continue to have in your life.

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  • Meg May 23, 2011, 10:06 am

    I’m not going to restate what everyone else said about therapy, developing interests/relationships outside of your boyfriend, etc. They’re right. I’m not sure if, in the process of getting on your own feet, your relationship will make it through, but if you are to give it any chance I think you need to talk to your boyfriend ASAP, and take responsibility for your irrational behavior. Apologize for blaming him for your own depression issues, and tell him the actions you are taking to make things better. It sounds like he loves you a lot since he’s sacrificed so much for you for so long, so if you show him that you’re taking concrete steps to improve your mental health (which will take tons of strain off of the relationship), he may be willing to stick around.

    Good luck!

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  • Addie Pray May 23, 2011, 10:12 am

    Oh that’s good too, Meg. No one has mentioned her talking to your boyfriend. Maybe just a quick “I’m sorry I’ve been so irrational lately – I’m getting a grip.” But do it when you are calm. Don’t do it when you’re feeling emotional. And then drop the subject; or at least don’t turn him into your therapist and talk to him about “it” all the time.

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  • SGMcG May 23, 2011, 10:20 am

    It is one thing to ask your boyfriend in an LDR to contact you at least everyday, but it is an unreasonable expectation when you ask that boyfriend to stay at home when you’re homebound as well so you can skype with him into the night. A relationship entails two different individuals wishing to share their respective lives with one another. The way you want your boyfriend to be around for you, to be available at all times when you are homebound, is a description fitting a home health care worker, rather than someone who wishes to freely commit to you with love and trust. I bet you give your dog more freedom to run outdoors and play when he/she’s feeling bouncy – LW you got to let your boyfriend have that same right to go out and play, whether it be with friends or alone. If this is a guy worth being in a relationship with, he should be a guy you can trust. If you’re not ready to trust – you’re not ready to be in a committed relationship.

    More importantly LW, if you want your relationship with this guy work, you have to work on the relationship you have with yourself first. The fact that you have health issues that make it impossible for you to hold a job for three months makes it sounds like that handling your life alone is an impossible burden. I think your energies regarding your LDR should be redirected to your own life first. Focus on the things that make your life down at the moment – work on your careerpath, find friends, talk to a professional about your neglect and abandonment issues. Your self described clingy ridiculousness is a symptom of a potential greater issue, but only a therapist may help guide you to that. You owe it to yourself to become the best individual you can potentially become so that when you continue your relationship together, you have the best possible foundation to provide to build a life together.

    Good luck LW!

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  • Mainer May 23, 2011, 10:25 am

    Yeah, therapy may help. This issue may be resolvable though without the assistance of a professional. I feel like advice to seek a therapist is handed out like 2-for-1 coupons at the mall here (you have friends or family in the industry?). I think the LW main issue is having social dependencies. There’s nothing wrong with this, we’re social creatures and some crave interaction more than others. But where the LW gets into trouble with this is the fact that she has virtually zero social contacts. This may be leading to her feeling “depressed,” but more likely just unfulfilled. I’m willing to bet that if she went out and joined clubs, went to social gatherings, attended events – made SOME attempt to be social and makes friends – she would feel better about herself and her situation. Right now her only social contact is her BF, and she is relying 100% on HIM to fulfill her need to be in contact with someone. I do think she needs to end this relationship. As long as he in in the picture, she doesn’t really have any true motivation to get out there and establish a life for herself. Cutting off contact will force her to fulfill her needs in other areas. Staying with him will only lead to her continuing to feel disconnected and ultimately result in another heartbreak (which is sounds like she has had quite a few).

    I agree with Spaceboy in the sense that she is not in a place to date right now. If and when, and only when, she has a network of friends/social hobbies will she be in a place where she can start dating. If, after all this, she is still feeling depressed or still feels the need to be in constant contact with only one person, then I would agree that she may be dealing with a bigger overall issue and professional help may be necessary.

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    • spaceboy761 May 23, 2011, 10:40 am

      I also agree that the ‘go to therapy’ advice card is played way too often around here, but the LW is presenting a unique case. If she has essentially been homebound by illness for three months, that alone should come with some sort of mental evaluation to see how she is coping.

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      • Addie Pray May 23, 2011, 10:50 am

        100% agree that “therapy” seems to be played too much here, though I am a big fan of therapy. I just wanted to point out that in this LW’s case, she mentions “a lot of neglect and abandonment.” So it seems that too, in addition to her illness that kept her homebound for so long, may make therapy particularly good here.

      • Mainer May 23, 2011, 10:57 am

        This is a good point. It’s very easy to just tell her to get out there and meet new people, but it could be (and possibly quite likely) that she doesn’t seek friends due to this fear of abandonment. So in that light, it very well may be a good option.

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      caitie_didn't May 23, 2011, 10:42 am

      I’d rather see Wendy telling people to seek therapy than see her telling them seek medication.

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      • spaceboy761 May 23, 2011, 10:57 am

        We’re also assuming that all therapists are great at their jobs. Some of them just throw drugs at people because it’s easy.

      • cmarie May 23, 2011, 11:21 am

        Therapists are typically psychologist who haven’t gone to med school and therefore can’t prescribe medication. Psychiatrists are the ones who give out drugs and their job is focused more on maintaining the physical balance with medication. A psychiatrist typically doesn’t practice psychotherapy and when they do it’s in tandem with medication. And no, psychiatrists don’t just throw drugs at people. That would be unethical. They evaluate before prescribing drugs and as someone who spent a long time on anti-depressants I can say that those drugs you speak so highly of save lives. If you want therapy see a psychologist and if you end up needing medication they refer you to your regular doctor or a psychiatrist. A lot of the time what they patient needs the a combination of drugs and therapy.

      • MissDre May 23, 2011, 11:31 am


      • LTC039 May 23, 2011, 11:28 am

        Therapists don’t prescribe medicine.

      • spaceboy761 May 23, 2011, 12:11 pm

        I know, but some psychiatrists just kind of skim their therapists’ notes and make recommendations/prescriptions completely based on that. Every profession employs people that aren’t particularly good at the task at hand. I spent three years working in medical clinics and emergency rooms and saw some patients suffer greatly and even pass away due to bad or lazy diagnoses by doctors or other medical professionals. I understand that doctors need to be allowed to make mistakes, but some of the stuff I saw (like oh say putting a girl with Krone’s disease on myelin inhibitors, missing three fractured vertabrae in an x-ray, or dismissing an enlarged heat on a 67-year old man that was pretty much the size of his entire chest cavity) was mind-blowing.

        Psychotherapy is just like any other type of therapy. It usually works, but if adminstered poorly it can cause asymmetrical amounts of damage. DW readers are in the habit of just tossing out psychotherapy without considering any of the consequences.

      • cmarie May 23, 2011, 12:22 pm

        Things going wrong is the exception, not the rule. Getting hit crossing the street is a possiblity but you still cross the street. Yes, doctors make mistakes and some of them are even negligient mistakes. However, doctors are expected to be superhuman life-saving machines. A resident can work 36 hours nonstop before getting a 6 hour break to sleep. In today’s sue-happy society a doctor has to constantly check and double-check to make sure they cover all their bases so they don’t get sued. You say they prescribe medication too much, I can list the names of doctor who get sued because they didn’t give the patients the meds. In some hospitals ER doctors work 2 days on , 1 day off; that 48 hours non-stop and most of them can’t even sleep because they’re constantly on call. Doctors can see up to 30 patients a day depending on their practice and sometimes they only have time to skim the notes (which are itemized by importance usually). That’s why they depend on the patient to give all the relevant information Unfortunately, patients lie. Have you even watches House? It may be an extreme examply but it happens. I’ve seen patients lie about drug use only to go into cardiac arrest because the meds they were put on were contraindicated with the illegal drugs already in their system. Patients hide stuff, don’t tell the whole truth, omit information because they don’t think it’s relevant. With all the diseases out there sharing symptoms, one missing element can mean all the difference. I’m not saying doctors are perfect, I’ve had my own medical mistakes (my doctor missed my meningitis for examply) but to say you shouldn’t do it because something goes wrong is like saying you shouldn’t do anything because everything has it’s risks. I would never tell anyone to not see a doctor because I’ve had a bad experience.

      • spaceboy761 May 23, 2011, 1:05 pm

        I spent a ton of time working side-by-side along doctors for a while… I know what they go through and what is unfairly expected of them. I’m just saying that the medical professions (doctors, therapists, whatever) are exactly like every other profession on the planet. Some of the practictioners are amazing, some are awful, and most are mediocre. I’ve had experiences with all three kinds.

        A prevailing attitude here is that psychotherapy is a magic bullet to solve all personal problems large and small. I haven’t exactly been keeping a spreadsheet logging this stuff, but I would guess that close to 75% get recommended psychotherapy as part of the advice given or comments. If nothing else, I think that that’s horribly unfair to the people that choose to be psychotherapists for a living.

      • cmarie May 23, 2011, 2:59 pm

        I agree that you run the risk of getting a loser doctor. I’ve had my fair share. I disagree that most people thing therapy is a “magic bullet”. From my experience here, and in life, most people know that therapy is not effective unless the patient wants to change. I’ve seen a lot of comments agreeing that it’s useless to go to therapy unless you have the will to work for it.

        I don’t like therapy as a cure-all and I’ve said as much on this site. However, when the LW’s anxiety and fear of abandonment and trust issues have pushed into almost complete isolation from the outside world, with the exception of the BF who we can all agree won’t stick around for much longer, something needs to happen. You said yourself that she realized that she’s acting crazy. She just doesn’t realize why and instead blames her birth control. I truly believe it’s going to take more than a yank on her bootstraps to pull herself up again, if she ever was up. It sounds like she’s always had issues. I find it so sad that she has no friends. Even when I moved I still had friends, just long-distance friends.

        I hope that most people realize that in order for therapy to work you need to make the effort. If not, you’re right, therapy is useless.

      • Calliopedork May 23, 2011, 3:03 pm

        Agreed, but when you are so in need of help that you are trying to turn your bf into your personal therapist it makes sense to seek a professional

      • Sarah May 23, 2011, 4:22 pm

        That’s like saying you should never take your car into the shop because most mechanics will will overcharge you and then not do the work right anyway. Highlighting a problem with an industry as an example of why you shouldn’t use their necessary services isn’t particularly productive.

        You seem to have a specific bias against psychotherapy. A therapist will not give you drugs if you don’t want them and almost always the cater a session to your needs, whether its giving advice, or just listening. Maybe therapy is suggested so much on here because everyone could use some form of counseling or another in their lives. Why exactly is that damaging?

      • demoiselle May 23, 2011, 11:49 am

        Spaceboy, for me, when I was acutely depressed, it *was* just a matter of throwing the right drugs at me. The reason? It was a chemical imbalance, and the very day I was put on Wellbutrin, I woke up four hour after my first dose, smiling for the first time in months.

        Indeed, for me, therapy had been something of a red herring. Although I liked talking things out with a sympathetic social worker, there was no situational cause for my depression whatsoever. My parents’ inability to accept that it could be chemical (odd, since my dad was a psychiatrist, but that’s why one doesn’t treat one’s own family) slowed down my treatment considerably. It took a tearful confrontation with my family to make them accept that I wanted–no, needed–drugs to get better.

        Anyway, therapy can be good, and so can medication. Just wanted to stand up for the latter, which really was the only thing that helped me.

      • princesspetticoat May 23, 2011, 3:11 pm

        “I woke up four hour after my first dose, smiling for the first time in months”

        I’m so glad that you’re doing better, but this comment is bothering me a bit. That sounds like a placebo effect to me. Patients using these types of medications are usually started at a lower dose and work up to the target dose. Benefits of the mediation are not usually recorded until a few weeks after being at the target dose.

        But, like I said I’m so glad that you’re doing better and, in the long run, it doesn’t really matter how you got better, just that you did get better.

      • demoiselle May 23, 2011, 5:31 pm

        princesspetticoat, the medicine I used did not need to be slowly raised up to reach a therapeutic level, and even if there was some placebo effect, it was also immediately and genuinely effective. Remember that depression is a chemical imbalance–therefore, a medicine can potentially correct a chemical imbalance very, very fast. It’s not like a bacterial infection where something needs to heal.

        Not allpeople will be lucky the way I was. It just happens that my kind of depression responds to this particular medication VERY well. Zoloft did nothing for me at all, but Wellbutrin can make a noticeable difference–noticeable to me and all those around me–within a day. I am very grateful for my receptiveness to this anti-depressant.

        I also didn’t say I was 100% cured in four hours. Just that I got out of bed and could smile again. It took months for me to be completely myself, but only a day or two to go from “can hardly get out of bed” to “I can face the world.” The difference between those two states is so immense it would make anyone smile.

      • princesspetticoat May 24, 2011, 11:32 am

        Okay, well like I said, all that matters is that you’re doing better.

        I was just speaking from personal experience… I’ve been on a few different types of SSRI’s for anxiety and the medication always made me feel much worse before I got any better and I was told that was normal and basically I just needed to put up with feeling terrible to eventually get the benefits. However, the first one I tried made me feel so awful I just couldn’t bring myself to take more than 2 doses. The one medication that I was finally able to stick with still had me waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety for about a week.

        I haven’t tried Wellbutrin but I did do a bit of research on the drug before writing my response. I’m glad it worked so well for you.

      • demoiselle May 24, 2011, 4:00 pm

        I hope that you are able to find something that helps you as well as Wellbutrin helped me. I wish there was one drug which helped everyone, but since we all have such different bodies and there can be many different causes of depression, its always a matter of experimentation to find a medicine that works the way we need.

      • princesspetticoat May 25, 2011, 12:19 pm

        Oh, exactly. I hope my original comment didn’t seem like I was belittling your depression– not at all. I absolutely sympathize with the challenges of depression and I agree with your statement that sometimes medication is necessary.

        Maybe I was just feeling bitter because I had such a difficult time with medication. haha. But you’re absolutely right that everyone’s body reacts differently.

    • ReginaRey May 23, 2011, 10:58 am

      I agree that some problems can be solved without therapy, but as someone who has been in a similar situation I can tell you it’s not NEARLY as easy as saying “expand your social circle and go to more events.” I wouldn’t have done that when I was in her position, because I didn’t think I NEEDED to do that. And since the LW has admitted that she has a history of being neglected/cheated on, I would say her problems run deep enough that they likely aren’t fully solvable without some outside help.

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    • LTC039 May 23, 2011, 11:23 am

      I think it’s referred to because EVERYONE can use therapy at some point in their life. I really don’t feel that Wendy uses it that much, only when its necessary & in this case, it is VERY necessary!
      As noted in her letter, she has deep-rooted issues that go beyond her current situation & BC pills. & I know, I’ve been in her same exact position.
      So what’s wrong with suggesting therapy? It’s really good for the soul. I think you’re pointing that out because therapy has a negative connotation to you, i.e.: only crazy people with mental disorders go to therapy…That’s an incorrect way to define it.

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      • Mainer May 23, 2011, 11:43 am

        Well that is kind of a bold statement to make based off “therapy may help, but it might not be necessary.” I actually don’t have any negative attitudes toward therapy – it is very helpful for some people and everyone needs a non-bias objective person to talk to who won’t judge them on issues they’re having. I see nothing wrong with it at all.

        Personally, I always feel rational thought prevails. In fact, in most instances, therapists will often help you to approach an issue rationally. They don’t have any voo-doo magical powers that automatically change you – they get you to see things in a different way that helps you help yourself. I guess in that light, I prefer to take a rational approach first, and seek professional help after (if it didn’t help). That is just how I personally approach problems. As such, I am often prone to suggest tactics that may help the person with their issue first. NOT because I think everyone who seeks a therapist should be a in a straight jacket, but just because it is a good way for them to try and help themselves. If they are unable to, then they can seek a professional who will be better equipped to do that. But I have tremendous faith in personal willpower and feel that should be the first club you pull from your bag.

      • cmarie May 23, 2011, 11:57 am

        Sometimes a person can’t see the rational approach. Sometimes a person is so far into their own unhappiness they can’t see what’s wrong, therefore they can’t change it. It’s easy for us to see the rational approach because we’re at an objective distance but when it’s your life, your emotions, it’s harder to see what needs to be done. A therapist guides you to see things you haven’t been able to see because your issue were clouding it. Rational thought only works if you’re capable of thinking rationally about it and in many cases the person is too close to the action to do so. It’s easy to tell a soldier they need to go right to get out of the line of fire but when there are bullets flying by your ear it’s a bit difficult to be rational about it.

      • Mainer May 23, 2011, 12:04 pm

        Oh I agree 100% and then some. And just as a point of clarification – I’m not suggesting no one ever needs to go to therapy because we are all capable of rationally thinking through issues all the time. That would be absurd. There are cases in which people are incapable of clear thought, and as such should very appropriately seek professional help. But in the case of the LW (and this is based solely off this letter), she seems relatively capable of rational thought. She is well aware she is acting irrationally and realizes that it may be pushing her BF away. She does attempt to justify it with the pills, but I think the fact that she realizes she is acting a little crazy means that she is capable of rationally approaching her situation, which was the basis behind my original suggestion.

      • cmarie May 23, 2011, 12:11 pm

        I would say that because she is trying to blame the birth control pills, which may or may not have some impact on her behavior, shows that she really is incapable of looking at everything rationally seeing why she is doing it. True, she awknowledges that she’s acting a little crazy but she tries to justify it and excuse it while ignoring the underlying issue that are causing it. Seeing the situation rationally doesn’t just mean realizing that something is off, it also needs to include seeing what is really going on. You need to be able to see what’s really going on and evaluate what needs to change. She’s blaming the birth control without realizing that nothing is going to change when she switches to lose dose because they are not the reason she’s acting out. Thinking rationally also means taking responsibility for the true issues instead of playing the blame game with everything, and everybody, else.

      • Mainer May 23, 2011, 12:40 pm

        I’m not sure she’s absolutely blaming the pills. I think she’s looking for something in her life that is explaining her unusual behavior (she claims she’s “not really like this”). She also acknowledges the fact that she’ll likely still feel this way when she is on the low-dose pills, so I think she realizes they aren’t really the problem. She closes by asking if she should just write off this abnormal behavior as being “ridiculous and clingy.”

        I think if she wrote in telling us about her behavior and then asking “why is my boyfriend running away?” it would be pretty obvious she is totally unaware she is doing anything wrong. But I think her situation is more like “I’m acting really weird and it’s pushing my boyfriend away, how do I fall out of this behavior (of constant contact) I grew accustom to for the past three months?” This is how I interpreted it anyway, to which my advice was to get out there and get your mind on other things and start socializing so you don’t feel the need to continue this constant contact with your BF thing.

      • Elle May 23, 2011, 1:16 pm

        Mainer, I have to disagree. The LW acts a certain way, but says “she’s not really like this”. Do you see the discrepancy? Usually, people are the way they act. Or they act the way they are.

      • Mainer May 23, 2011, 1:20 pm

        So you have never acted out of character at any point in your life? You’ve never had mood swings or behaved in a manner that you later regretted?

      • Elle May 23, 2011, 2:41 pm

        Yes, for brief periods. Hours, days maybe. They never lasted more than a week. LW says she’s been acting this way for months.
        When I’m on my period, I can’t stop crying for a whole day. I’m not on the pill so I know it’s the hormones, so I don’t worry about it too much, and I can’t rationalize it either. But the next 20something days I’m ok. I think LW’s problem is more serious than a simple hormone imbalance.

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        leilani May 23, 2011, 12:23 pm

        I can agree with what Mainer’s saying. Obviously, if she thinks she would benefit from therapy, she should go, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with suggesting therapy to someone in this situation. But just as she might need it, she might not. Simply changing the way she is acting and looking at the situation through a different perspective could be enough to remedy the situation. It is also true that she may be unable to do that without the help of a therapist. Its kind of a chicken-or-egg scenario–if she’s depressed because of her current circumstance, a simple wake-up call and determination to better the situation might be all she needs. But if let herself get into this circumstance because she’s depressed, some professional help might be extremely beneficial. Its kind of impossible to know from one letter.

      • Laurel May 23, 2011, 12:01 pm

        Therapy doesn’t have a negative connotation to me at all—I’ve benefited from it personally—but I do have to sigh a little bit when it’s recommended all the time. It’s not the “only crazy people go to therapy”, it’s the “only people with health insurance or who are lucky enough to live in an area with free mental health services go to therapy”. 🙁

      • LTC039 May 23, 2011, 1:01 pm

        I agree that it sucks if you don’t have access to therapy. I just think that suggesting it sometimes isn’t such a bad thing because Wendy has said herself she’s not a licensed professional & I think in cases where she feels the LW can’t pull themselves out a situation, she suggests it. I know to people that can’t go to therapy, it sucks, but Wendy doesn’t know if the LW isn’t specific about whether or not they have access to it.
        My mom is a therapist & she’s generous with people that don’t have insurance, but I get not everyone is like that…I speak mainly on my experiences with therapy (bc I am lucky enough to have insurance), but I do know a lot of universities have free therapy for students & reduced rates for non-insured people. It’s all about reasearch.

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        Wendy May 23, 2011, 1:10 pm

        That’s just not true. Therapy is available to a majority of people, insured or not, well-off or not. It’s just a matter of actually researching one’s options. I once qualified for sliding-scale therapy when I was between jobs and only paid five bucks per session. Granted, I was in a big city where there are perhaps more options than in a small town, but I’d imagine similar options are available in many, many large towns/small cities across the country.

      • SpaceySteph May 23, 2011, 1:20 pm

        I agree. Even if you aren’t a student, universities with medical schools will take community walk ins at low rates because they need a variety of cases to train their medical students.
        Alsol, I recently read in a magazine that 90% of doctors offices surveyed had policies that allowed for discounts and payment plans for self-pay patients but that less than 15% of self-pay patients ever asked. If you are self-pay, don’t hesitate to ask for help on whatever the doctors visit was for… they are really likely to work with you.

    • Amber May 23, 2011, 11:40 am

      I think while some cases may not need therapy, this is one that definitely does. She mentions past issues and feelings of abandonment, etc. Those are things you can’t necessarily rely on your significant other or friends to help you with. And she definitely shows signs of being depressed. Another thing that is hard to get through without professional help. And I feel like it’s sort of obvious but this is Dear Wendy, people write in to ask about problems, considering that we see 2 to 3 letters a day, and I’m sure Wendy gets a lot more she might not have time to publish, you’re probably going to encounter quite a few people who write in with problems who might need help beyond that available from an online forum. Just my observation. There are plenty of letters where Wendy doesn’t suggest seeking therapy.

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    • Elle May 23, 2011, 1:06 pm

      @Mainer. You do realize that Wendy selects which letters to publish, right? We do have selection bias over here. I know that Wendy has a few criteria when she selects those letters. I do not know exactly what those criteria are, but I suspect urgency and seriousness of the issue are pretty high on the list. Wendy just happened to choose to publish some letters that were more serious in nature lately.

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      • Mainer May 23, 2011, 1:17 pm

        Of course I realize that. But would it be safe to assume that someone would write into a letter-advice website because they want advice on how to approach whatever issue they are facing themselves? I mean we could technically just tell every LW to seek therapy, but that would make for a fairly boring website. I think a lot of people who write in are in a way seeking therapy: they are looking for advice on how to handle their problem from an objective source. Therapy is a fine recommendation, and i’m sure is very appropriate for most of the letters, but I think we should take the approach AS the therapist and help them get many different view points and suggestions on how to proceed using anecdotal evidence. Don’t get me wrong, there are extraordinary situations in which professional help will be the most obvious recommendation, but I think for a majority we can play the therapist role and help them help themselves.

  • trillian May 23, 2011, 10:27 am

    If this LW had been a man, this could have been written my my brother’s ex. He had trust issues and control issues, and know this: it only got worse when they were no longer long-distance. My brother got tired of not being allowed to do anything or see anybody and finally left him, and he’s happier now than he has been in 5 years and isn’t looking back.

    That kind of relationship is not healthy. You will drive him away. You are driving him away. Frankly, that’s a good thing… because the kind of soul searching and rebuilding you’re going to have to do in therapy will be that much simpler without another person’s feelings to take into account. You need to understand where your own feelings are coming from – and it is NOT the birth control. And you need to put your life back together. To be honest, your relationship with your current boyfriend is probably a lost cause.

    The kindest thing you can do for your boyfriend is tell him you are trying to piece your life back together and part of that is finding out why you became so dependent on him, and you think you need to be single for a while as part of that process. He will probably be relieved.

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    • HmC May 23, 2011, 3:46 pm

      Your last paragraph gave me chills. Been there, done exactly that. It was the most difficult period of my entire life, followed by prolonged (to this day) and genuine peace.

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    leilani May 23, 2011, 10:33 am

    Wow, there’s a lot going on in this letter, but it really all boils down to you needing a life of your own. Therapy might help, but I’m not even sure if it would be necessary if you just got some friends that you could talk to and hang out with besides your boyfriend. The relationship you’re describing is unhealthy codependence at its finest. I’m sure you feel justified in feeling upset when he doesn’t want to chat when that means you’re just sitting around waiting for him. I’m sure it doesn’t make him feel great, either, when he knows you’ll just be moping by yourself when he wants to play a game with friends for a few hours. As others have said, I’m not sure if you’ll be able to break out of this pattern and develop a healthy, happy relationship. Once a relationship becomes like this, its really hard to reverse. But I think if you want to give it a fair shot, which it seems you do, you really, really need to work on cultivating your friendships and activities outside of this relationship immediately. You also need to talk to your boyfriend and tell him you know you’ve been unreasonable lately, and you are determined to fix it. Maybe it would be good to discuss with him how much he thinks you guys should be talking and how he would like your relationship to be. If he is already feeling like Skyping with you all day everyday is an obligation, it won’t be long until he starts feeling like YOU are an obligation, period.

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    • ReginaRey May 23, 2011, 10:49 am

      Your last line is spot-on. The quickest way to sap all of the fun out of anything is to make what used to be a voluntary, enjoyable action feel like an obligation. It’s why parents are discouraged from giving their children rewards for doing things they enjoy (like reading, painting, sports), because it removes the intrinsic meaningful value from it and replaces it with something meaningless. It’s the same with relationships.

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    • moonflowers May 23, 2011, 8:01 pm

      “Once a relationship becomes like this, its really hard to reverse.” So true! And the sneakily dangerous thing about all this is that sometimes codependent people pick partners to be codependent with – people who give them excuses for their neediness and agitation. “He’s not around, so that’s why I’m so worried.”

      And sometimes these partners also have issues of their own – if you go by attachment theory in psychology, anxiously attached people who were traumatized by neglect in the past unconsciously seek out people who are avoidant and neglectful, because either they’re used to the neglect and don’t know what healthy relationships feel like, or they’re trying to “fix” the old experience by doing it over “right” this time.

      Sometimes that means staying in a relationship will only prevent you from getting help, because it feels “okay” and not uncomfortable enough to require painful changes. It may be impossible to change a codependent relationship once both partners fall into that pattern, and they might keep each other from getting better.

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  • Christy May 23, 2011, 10:38 am

    From an outsider’s perspective… I talk with my best friend from college (who’s a guy, FWIW) on the phone and online every day. We’re the default person the other calls when driving, when bored at work, etc. When we’re talking and something else comes up, we basically interrupt whatever we were saying and say something along the lines of “Gotta go, I’ll call you later” and immediately hang up. We talk so much that we’ll just pick up where we were in the conversation later. Sometimes it feels a little abrupt, but most of the time, it’s just the way life is–we have to focus on driving, or get back to work, or take another phone call. I guess my point is–your BF knew that he was going to talk to you later, so why not continue the conversation later, when his friends might be calling for him right now? It’s pretty clear that you aren’t going anywhere.

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  • the1little1one May 23, 2011, 10:38 am

    LW, there are a ton of wonderful, wise words here — I hope you’re listening! But I want to come at your problem strictly from the long-distance-relationship/communication angle. My boyfriend had been overseas for 5 months and just recently came home. I will tell you — the month before he came back was not good. We weren’t skyping as much or chatting as much, and I had thought (given that he finally had a plane ticket home) that we’d be wanting to talk ALL the time — to plan what we’d do when he got back and just to gush about how excited we were to see one another. But that didn’t really happen. There were times during my stint in an LDR that I thought we were going to break up — that maybe we just didn’t care enough to stay home and skype… But I was wrong. We were both just living life and finding happiness outside of each other. Growing as individuals. Making it so that when we DID skype, we had stories to share. When he got back earlier this month, things fell right into place — normal and happy. In the midst of all the “should we break up?” turmoil, a friend of mine told me to cool it — that you can’t rightly judge a relationship when you’re thousands of miles apart. Wait it out, be in the same time zone and place, and then assess things. Point being: the LDR version of your relationship is not the ideal version of your relationship. No, you can’t ALWAYS expect “the ideal,” but just know that while it sucks right now, it’s not always going to be this way. He’s coming back in (you said) 3 weeks. This too shall pass. Take a deep breath, girlfriend. Get some perspective. Him going out with the guys for one night when he’s an airplane ride away from you is not the end of the world. 3 more weeks is nothing, and some sense of normalcy is just around the corner. Hang in there!

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    • kerrycontrary May 23, 2011, 11:13 am

      “Point being: the LDR version of your relationship is not the ideal version of your relationship.” that’s a really great line!!!

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  • Quakergirl May 23, 2011, 11:16 am

    LW, you seem to want to push these feelings of desperation and depression onto everything else but yourself. It’s the birth control pills, it’s because you and your boyfriend are long-distance, it’s because you’ve been abandoned and cheated on before, it’s because you’ve been unemployed due to illness. But the thing is, that’s called life. Life sucks, sometimes, but it doesn’t make it okay to flip out on everyone around you just because there are some obstacles or issues in your past or present. Right now, the only person around you is your boyfriend, so he’s getting aaaall the crazy– no wonder he’s having a hard time and pulling away. I’ve so been there with the housebound/ill/friendless situation– I was very, very, very sick my freshman year of college and was totally alone in a new city where I knew no one and had no family. I really couldn’t make any friends because I spent about 80% of my time outside class sick in my room and the other 20% at the doctor or in the hospital. So I relied a lot on Quakerboy (who lived across the country) to keep me busy and sane (old Price is Right reruns get pretty boring after a while). But the thing is, it was killing him. His friends felt like he was somewhere else, his grades suffered, and he just was exhausted from the stress.

    And at some point, I realized that, and it started killing me, too. I didn’t want him to start wilting away like I was, because he deserved to have a life of his own. I didn’t want him to feel guilty about “abandoning me” when I was sick. So I started figuring out ways to keep myself busy so that when he went out with his roommates or to a club meeting. I couldn’t really go out and party, so I worked harder at school. I started writing. I organized movie nights with my roommates. I’d do homework in the common room if I was up for it, so that I’d be there when my roommates came home and we could chat. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but even having a regular movie night was helpful for me to feel like a had something outside of my boyfriend. It made me feel like a real person again when he’d ask “how was your movie night?” Like I was something outside of this sick, invalid parasite on his life (to borrow ReginaRey’s phrase).

    So stop making excuses and get out there. Life is going to be hard again. You may get all hormonal again. You may get sick again. You may be unemployed again. But if you learn how to handle these things by yourself– without blaming life events for taking away your happiness and relying on someone else to give it back to you– life will be much less rocky, no matter how many bumps pop up along the road. The only person in control of how you feel is you. Own that saying, apologize to your boyfriend, and go make yourself happy.

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  • cmarie May 23, 2011, 11:48 am

    LW you need to get into therapy to work on your issues. It sounds like there is some deep-seated insecurities at play making everything else worse. I’ve been in your position before. I’ve done the LDR, I’ve done unemployment, I’ve gone without a social circle and it sucks. All you can do is try your hardest and accept that sometimes life doesn’t work they way you want it. Unfortunately, that’s a pretty tough pill to swallow. We want to believe that we can control all the factors, all the pieces in life, but we can’t and it is frustrating. Sometimes things just happen beyond our control; we get sick, a boyfriend cheats on us, parents neglect us. What helps get us through all the bad parts are the good parts, the friends who bring us ice cream after a break-up, the “Modern Family” marathon when we’re sick, finding out how much you love pilates. It sounds like all your insecurities and unhappiness have made it impossible to appreciate the good things you have, a boyfriend who hasn’t ran away screaming yet, a job! In today’s world you have a lot more than some people. Unfortunately, you can’t see past the loneliness to realize that.

    I moves accross the country to be with my LDR because I couldn’t handle the distance from her. Turns out I couldn’t handle the distance from my family either. I couldn’t find a job so I was unemployed for a year, I missed my family, especially after losing my mom, and I became incredibly depressed. I was lonely and didn’t think there was anything good about my life. My partner was my only anchor. I hadn’t made any friends. I’m not the most social of people and after becoming depressed I lost all interest. I depended on her to be my everything and our relationship started to fall apart. I put too much pressure on her to take care of me and be everything to me, I didn’t leave her anytime to be herself. That’s what you are doing to your boyfriend, and trust me, it doesn’t end well.

    Find a professional to talk to, whether you want medication or not. You need to work on your insecurites and anxiety so you can take the steps to creating your own life. Find a hobby you enjoy. I started doing pilates and started writing again. I loved to write, it’s actually how I met my partner, but when I became so depressed I couldn’t even pick up a pencil much less write. Importantly, find a hobby you can do outside of the house and even one you can do with others. I joined a writing group. The only way you’re going to make friends is if you give people a chance and you can’t do that from home. Go to work with a positive attitude, even if you have to fake it at first. There are some things we can control and how we choose to view life is one of them. Think positively, force yourself see something good everyday. I make an effort to find 3 things I enjoy or find beautiful everyday. If you want to stay in this relationship, you need to give your BF room to breathe. Set a schedule of when you’re going to talk and how long. At first really stick to the schedule. If you’re only allowed to speak with him for an hour a day, what you talk about becomes more meaningful, even if it’s just about work. Force yourself occupy yourself in activities you enjoy before you can talk to him. Change the times everyday so you can’t plan your day around him. Let him set the time. Most importantly, be flexible, but only for him. If he wants to end early, let him, without the guilt trip. If you want to talk longer, force yourself to hang up. LDR or not, you both have to have your own life and you can’t do that if you spend all day talking to him. Eventually you’ll be able to be more flexible with each other and he’ll be more willing to talk longer if you need him to because he won’t feel obligated to. Talk to him and tell him you’re making some changes and you would like him to be there with you, not for you. You cannot depend on him for everything, you have to learn to do it yourself. You can, you do have it in you. You can’t ever be happy with someone else if you’re not happy with yourself.

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  • LennyBee May 23, 2011, 11:53 am

    Wow, all the advice today has been great! I really hope the LW takes it to heart. One thing I’d like to add: getting out there and finding a life of your own is HARD! I get like that sometimes where I just don’t want to get off the couch – I don’t want to go out with my friends, I don’t want to go for a run or to the gym, I just want to sit on my couch and mope until my boyfriend comes over and makes everything better. I needed to enlist help from friends and family to get out of it. I needed someone to call me, and remind me (nag me, yell at me, whatever is necessary) to get out of the house. Just knowing that getting out of the house will make me happier isn’t always enough to get me out of the house. LW, since you don’t seem to really have a support system, maybe enlist your bf’s help in this. Ask for his help in getting you out of the house and into a life of your own, set up a talking schedule where you don’t talk for hours a day, but for maybe ten minutes a couple times a day, and ask him to remind you during that time of one or two activities you can do. Find a list of classes or clubs you might like (I find this easier to do by thinking of the people who I aspire to be like – what activities do they do), and have him remind you to go. When he comes back, ask him to drop you off at the gym (or wherever) so you have to go. It’ll be hard, and you probably won’t enjoy it at first, but it’s really a case of fake it till you make it. Tell yourself “I love my running club! It makes me happy and gives me extra energy!”. Even if that’s a total lie, say it anyway, and eventually it’ll be true.

    Also – dress like everyone else in whatever club or group or activity you decide to join. It’s way easier to make friends with people who are dressed the same – it automatically gives you something in common, and puts people at ease. And it’ll make you feel more part of the group, which is crucial to the fake-it-till-you-make-it plan.

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      leilani May 23, 2011, 12:02 pm

      I agree–even if you intend to make lots of friends and have a booming social life, that can be hard to do, and it can take time. But any progress in that direction would be a good thing, both for your relationship and yourself. Everything isn’t going to be perfect right away, but just try to step out of your comfort zone a bit by suggesting hangouts with people you don’t normally or starting a new activity.

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  • Lexington May 23, 2011, 11:54 am

    I’m gonna disagree with a lot of people here and say that you don’t need to break up with your boyfriend, LW. If everyone stayed single until they had worked through all their major issues, then we would all be single forever. I do think you need to acknowledge to yourself and to him that you’ve been overbearing lately amd you need to get some space for the both of you. And I do think your BC could be aggravating the way it all seems so overpowering to you at the moment. Go make an effort with some acquaintances- say you need a friend and to get out of the house. Get some other things going on in your life.

    I think letting your boyfriend know that you know you’ve been a bit crazy lately will do a great deal to ease the tension.

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  • demoiselle May 23, 2011, 12:06 pm

    LW, although the suggestions of therapy are good, and it is true that you are likely to push your BF away, I want to send a sympathetic note. My husband and I were in a long distance relationship for about six of the first ten months we were together, and it was terrible. Some of the time, he was in the UK while I was on the East Coast, meaning the hours we were up were quite skewed. Sometimes we were in different states in the US.

    I used to feel hurt and sad when he went out with friends. I suppose it was because I was stuck for a few months in my hometown, from which all my friends had long ago moved, and I was between jobs. I had no where to go, no one to go with, and wasn’t going to be “home” long enough to make new friends.

    I loved my boyfriend/now husband so much, and we got so little of each other. Skyping and IMing just aren’t the same as in-person contact–though I was grateful for those tools, which made it feel like we were *almost* together. There was a part of me that ached and was jealous when he went out.

    I remember one night in particular, when he’d received news that a close relative was terminally ill with cancer, just before going out with his friends. I promised to wait up for him to talk about it and offer emotional when he got home. But he stayed out until the wee hours of the morning having a good time, and I was sitting alone until morning reliving my own father’s struggles with cancer in an empty house where he had died. He never called, and I was very upset. We almost argued about it the next day, because he’d had such a good time that he’d forgotten that I’d been waiting for him.

    So I understand what you are going through.

    But it isn’t healthy for the relationship. My relationship with my husband is and was very strong, and we were very committed from early on, but if I hadn’t been able to resolve the issue, we might not have made it as a couple. I got a short term job, and he and I made plans to move to be in the same city. The knowledge that within a few months we’d have all the time in the world together helped me feel less possessive of his time. Over time, I made friends with his friends, so when we/he went out with them I knew I was “part of” the group. I faked it until I made it, basically–I encouraged him to go out as much as I could (very hard, when I was so lonely) and I made sure that I wouldn’t be stuck in my hometown for more than a couple months.

    In my case, therapy was not necessary. A change of my own situation was needed, and I had to remind myself continually that he was not a limited resource. That we had years ahead of us when we’d be together, and that losing a night or a weekend with him on skype would not mean our relationship would be weakened or that I wasn’t loved. In fact, it meant the opposite. It meant we were strong and that we knew we’d be there for each other in the future.

    I hope that you can make things better.

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    • SpaceySteph May 23, 2011, 2:00 pm

      Thank you thank you thank you for saying this: “I had to remind myself continually that he was not a limited resource. That we had years ahead of us when we’d be together, and that losing a night or a weekend with him on skype would not mean our relationship would be weakened or that I wasn’t loved.”

      Its so hard in a long distance relationship to feel like you need to see him now, you need to be talked to and said goodnight to NOW. Yes you want those things, but what’s one month or even one year without it if you have forever. Sometimes you just need someone to remind you that this isn’t permanent and this is not representative of the rest of your lives together. If he can’t skype tonight or has to cancel a weekend trip to work or got a summer internship, whatever the reason you can’t be as together as you want to be right this very minute, it isn’t the end of the world.

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  • Sarah May 23, 2011, 12:10 pm

    The way I read this letter, it seemed as though it was written in a way that made it seem as though the words were moving faster and faster, like a train about to crash. As someone who has gone through a bad birth control experience (ie: depression, massive mood swings etc etc), I remember thinking random rants in my head that sounded quite like this. Every problem in the world is the worst thing and you feel as though you have no control over the things you need to exist. I once in ran into the bathroom and burst into uncontrollable tears because my boyfriend turned on a Japanese cartoon that I thought was weird….. Really.

    A while back I swore to myself to make a rule I would always follow that I think applies here: I will never make life changing decisions during my period, during bad birth control, or during finals. This of course does not apply to all women, but it did apply to me because I understood how chaotic my body would get with stress/hormonal imbalance. It seems as though you feel this way too. Whether its just the birth control, or the birth control is revealing a deeper issue of depression, I think its important to find your bearings before you even think about that boyfriend of yours.

    Go to your computer. Find a local counselor through your health insurance or a publicly available listing if you don’t have health insurance. Make an appointment for the nearest available time. Until that appointment, whether its a day or week from now (try not to make an app past a week), make every effort to take care of yourself. STOP THINKING ABOUT THE PROBLEMS WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND. If he asks tell him that you need some time for yourself, but it nothing against him. Tell him you need a short break from worrying about things. I think he will understand/want a break to stop thinking about issues as well. Power down *insert computer noise here*. Take a nice bath. Give yourself a manicure. Make a nice summer salad to eat while reading an old favorite book. Do nice healthy things for yourself. In a way, treat your body as a separate entity, take care of it and treat it kindly. Practicing this and learning techniques with your counseling will teach you how to treat your whole self kindly.

    Until you understand why you’re acting and thinking the way you are with a counselor’s help, with all of this birth control, isolation, depression, codependency issues etc etc you simply cannot know what’s right and wrong with you life. Who could with all that pressure? Its too much weight, and your body is much too fragile right now.

    We’ve all been much too co-dependent on a man or a situation in our lives, myself absolutely included. There was a time where I absolutely COULD. NOT. BE. WITHOUT. THIS. MAN. I was so hung up on grasping at a relationship I needed so desperately, I did not notice my whole world crumbling around me. It took me years to get over the experience and I didn’t look for therapy until much after the fact, a decision I regret very very much. Who knows, this man could be good for you, he could not, but this is not the time to address it. Take care of yourself first, the answers will seem so much clearer after. Sorry this comment was so long, I think I just read so much of myself in it.

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      Budjer May 23, 2011, 1:00 pm

      I support your observation. As I read it I felt like she went from rationalizing it and feeling bad to getting pissed about it in the same paragraph the more she talked about it.

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  • David Jay May 23, 2011, 1:44 pm

    Wendy nailed it. It certainly sounds like you are suffering from depression, possibly brought about by your prolonged sickness and isolation. You look at your life through “hormone colored glasses”, but you may be contributing too much to the birth control pills. If you find yourself crying over things you never used to and seeking isolation, talk to your doctor. (I had to do this myself, and while it can be embarrassing, it is the best you can do for yourself AND everyone else in your life. Often it is hereditary… as in my case.)
    Anti-depression medication is not a “happy pill”, it just keeps your emotions at bay so you have the opportunity to pursue the things that DO make you happy.
    If you want things to work out with your current boyfriend (or any future one), you need to work on yourself first. Make yourself a person to be desired and your social calendar will take care of itself. I wish you courage!

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  • HmC May 23, 2011, 3:26 pm

    LW- This is not a relationship problem. This is primarily a *you* problem, with unfortunate (but inevitable) negative side effects to your relationship. I say this because I really think you need to approach these problems with some independent spirit. This is because:

    – Your boyfriend has already hinted that you are becoming too much for him. Most guys feel emotions like that far before they have the courage to articulate them, so you really need to hear him. You may lose him if you continue your current behavior. And even if he felt more up to it, I don’t think he can fix these problems for you, because they aren’t really coming from him. (And even if they are, you’ve got to sort yourself out first to figure that out).

    – You admit yourself that the negative feelings you’re having may be partially hormonal and/or your unusual isolation at home and general depressing life situation.

    I have been especially susceptible to depression/hormones/birth control and I know how overwhelming it can feel. And you want to lean on your significant other because they’re supposed to love you. But if you lean too hard, especially in a relationship that is less than a year long, you just may break that connection. And that really sucks, because telling yourself that you’re being needy just makes you feel worse and more needy!

    I think you need to have a calm conversation, when you are feeling good, with your boyfriend. Let him know that you’re having some issues with your birth control and feeling a bit trapped at home… not as excuses for your behavior, but just so he understands that your recent issues are not caused primarily by him. Then, explore birth control options, do whatever you can to spend some time out of your house and away from your boyfriend. You don’t need a million friends to have a satisfying social life- just a girlfriend or two to talk to and maybe go for a run with, would help you a lot I think. Also, consider talking with a counselor about depression.

    And, this hurts to think about I know, but don’t cling to your boyfriend when you’re feeling super sad. If he loves you, he will support you and stick around. But these aren’t issues he, or anyone, can fix for you. And if he really can’t handle your issues, even in small doses, then maybe you would both be better off apart, at least for now. Sometimes dealing with the guilt of bothering someone you love and feeling needy *on top* of feeling depressed yourself is a downward spiral that you need to extricate yourself from.

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    • HmC May 23, 2011, 3:36 pm

      p.s. Just wanted to say that Wendy’s advice is spot on! She basically exactly what I was attempting to say above… I usually write my response before reading others so I’m not influenced and I can just sort of shoot from the hip, but in this case I totally agree with Wendy and promise I didn’t copy her. 🙂

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  • Kat May 23, 2011, 4:02 pm

    LW, I’ve TOTALLY been there. My boyfriend and I are transcontinental and have been for going on 3 years (yes I know its ridiculous). I’ve always been a bit introverted and had difficulty making friends, so I was way more codependent on him than I should have been right off the bat. I’d get really upset if he couldn’t keep a skype date with me or if he was going out with loads of people I didn’t know. It all came to a head last year when I was about as emotional as you are sounding. And to be honest, it was my birth control. I had tried low hormone before (that made me feel suicidal) and regular dose (super codependent and needy) but then I just went off completely. I mean the boyfriend is so far away anyway was my logic.
    I’m mentioning this because it really might be the birth control. I’ve definitely had tendencies towards depression in the past, but the birth control literally pushed me over the edge. I was on it for so long (about 5 years) I didn’t realize that the epic depressions and insecurities I was experiencing were a result of it. Now that I’ve been off of it for a year, I still get down every once and a while, but I’m healthy, happy and I can see how bat shit crazy I was when I was on the pill. Basically, you really might want to go off birth control completely for a while. Like, 6 months, just to see how you react without it. It may really change your life.

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      caitie_didn't May 23, 2011, 6:26 pm

      Yup, I had a friend who reacted really, really poorly to two different brands of birth control pill. She never got to the point where she was suicidal, but she was moderate-severely depressed and so angry about everything. Her doctor told her that some people are just super sensitive to synthetic hormones and can’t take them. I’m okay with birth control, but I had really bad mood swings from an allergy medication…..it’s really interesting how something so innocuous (seemingly) can effect different people so differently!

      But, I still think this LW could use some counselling, because I think she has some other deep-seated issues going on.

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  • Britannia May 23, 2011, 5:34 pm

    Misery loves company. Company does not love misery. If you’re demanding that someone be company to your misery, you’re abusing them. Like someone above said, “Get thee to a therapist!”

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  • Fairhaired Child May 24, 2011, 5:02 pm

    Just a random other thought on the gaming “issue” i had a boyfriend who wanted to play video games ALL the time and i would drive 45+ minutes to see him, only to sit on the couch and play with the dog, while all his friends played. I didnt understand it and it made me angry. Needless to say we broke up because I felt neglected, now with my current bf he involves me in the games and mostly i protested ‘i dont play video games though’ but now i love to play with him and his friends and will often initiate playing mario cart or whatever while over at his friends house etc.

    Maybe another way for the LW to branch out is to play some online gaming with and without her boyfriend (dont use the communication log to talk about relationship stuff just regular “lOOK OUT AT CORNER BLAH BLAH” or “EPIC SHOOTING” or whatever). Maybe if she plays some online games she could meet other people that have similar interests as her who may surprisingly enough live close. I’m not a huge fan of WOW but many of my guy friends play it and have and “online family” (i’m more of a Diablo girl myself).

    thats just another thought – but otherwise i agree with everyone else above

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  • Tamira Allen June 30, 2012, 1:13 pm

    I just pray everything will be ok. If u seem like he doing something move around if he dont give u no sex or anything go bye your life we dont have to go doing this

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