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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3530
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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I have been accused by my girlfriend of neglect for 11yrs same

Resolved Question:

I have been accused by my girlfriend of neglect for 11yrs same amount of time as our son, where I worked overtime to pay for bills(holidays etc)most times 7 days a week. I love her dearly. Now she wants to split up and sell the house. quoting the neglect as the main reason, I dont want this and have tried everything without success. During this time she has had a hysterectomy following on from bad periods, developed a chest infection which is now life threatening should she get a re occurrence, and now I find out that she has been going through the menopause. She says that she no longer cares about us, but I feel that these events have influenced her. She wont listen to me or hear what i have to say about it, and somehow believes that she controls it. But my question is if your going through the menopause would it cause relationship issues feelings of neglect, a sense of lost youth. mood swings loss of sex drive resentment ....
I dont want to lose her but cant get her to see whats happening to her. its as if she is in denial.

Martin
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 3 years ago.

Coach Jen K. :

Hi and welcome. I'm a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

Coach Jen K. :

I think many things could be at play here. Yes menopause could contribute to mood swings and difficult feelings but if she has felt neglected for 11 years then this could be more of a long standing issue.

Coach Jen K. :

She may need some time to sort things out...she has had a few medical issues that can feel overwhelming and this can cause additional stress and desire to be on her own.

Coach Jen K. :

If she would consider going back to counseling together then that could be a great place to start...but it may be where she needs the space to see how she feels.

Coach Jen K. :

not easy for you at all, but as you know we can't hold on tightly when someone wants something different.

Coach Jen K. :

If she feels that menopause contributes to her mood issues then having her see a doctor for that is a good idea but I think her feelings about the relationship are longer standing and need to be addressed.

Coach Jen K. :

The hardest thing for any of us to do is to let go a bit when someone asks for it...the fear of loss is too great. But holing on doesnt make it stay.

Coach Jen K. :

tell me some thoughts...and welcome.

Customer:

its true they are long standing but we have never had time to take a breath. when jamie was born she got the blues and i had to get the socail worker to get her seen to. we were in a run down area of london which spurred us on to move. I had debts and need to pay them off and so started the circle of overtime. unfortunately when those debts went others took over.

Coach Jen K. :

in terms of your work..you were doing what you needed for your family...and yes there were costs to that...her feeling neglected.

Customer:

as you said its hard especially when we have been through so much.

Coach Jen K. :

she is dealing with a lot and her decisions may feel abrupt

Coach Jen K. :

would she go back to counseling with you to see if repairs can be made?

Customer:

it was hard and the cost to me was that I didnt see much of him growing up

Coach Jen K. :

or is she giving you no choice and her decision is final

Customer:

I have asked

Coach Jen K. :

yes and you were doing what had to be done for your family...not easy on all involved

Customer:

and she says the damage is done and that she doesnt care,

Customer:

I want to go back as I feel the distractions and I feel more adult about it if their is such a thing

Customer:

its was as if I was going into battle

Coach Jen K. :

the statement of she doest care just leads me to feel that some sadness and possibly depression are there. if she would be willing to be seen then that can all be looked at including how menopause might play a role into her apathy

Coach Jen K. :

and also how you feel and can be open and less guarded in therapy

Customer:

now I feel that if we went so much would be gained

Customer:

yes i think so

Coach Jen K. :

yes I agree. and she is refusing?

Customer:

I feel that my side is not being considered

Customer:

and that it is justified to all but her

Coach Jen K. :

it may not be right now...but not with malice but because she cant if that makes sense...

Coach Jen K. :

her feelings are overpwoering right now and that is where the care needs to be.

Customer:

its as if her issues are forefront and mine are secondary

Coach Jen K. :

not easy for you but the same as you wanted validation i therapy the first time I would suggest that her feelings become the focus

Customer:

i agree

Coach Jen K. :

yes and they are!

Customer:

I am trying to understand her

Coach Jen K. :

and it doesnt mean yours arent valid or wont be recognized but it sounds like she needs to be forefront now...can you give her that

Coach Jen K. :

she felt neglected and now she needs to be acknowledged.

Customer:

but want her to look around her and to think about how her actions might affect others me

Coach Jen K. :

you might not agree with it but if you hold onto a position that only hurts you in the end

Coach Jen K. :

she is not able to do that right now and if you sit in that argument she will move further away from you

Customer:

im not sure if I need to leave

Coach Jen K. :

so a statement to her might sound something like this....

Customer:

it seems like i am forever being challenged by her

Coach Jen K. :

honey, I love you dearly. I see your pain and I hear your feelings about neglect. I did what I thought needed to be done and I am so sorry for how you felt through it all. I want to do what we can to repair this and have you feel cared for and responded to."

Customer:

thats nice I will use that I have the valentines card

Customer:

that that can go in

Coach Jen K. :

excellent. that response is from a caring place and not a challenging one.

Coach Jen K. :

it lets her know that you see her feelings

Customer:

I keep thinking that she will one day see what I have been doing and appreciate it

Coach Jen K. :

it doesnt mean you get put on the back burner for good but right now she needs to feel that you care and can see how she might have felt

Customer:

at moment i am the villian

Coach Jen K. :

yes and there are inherent differences between men and women

Coach Jen K. :

she needs the touchy feely stuff and you were being a great provider yet she was feeling neglected

Customer:

exactly emotions and factural

Customer:

they mean the world to me and it was only ever them

Coach Jen K. :

so we all have to open up our minds to experience the others space

Coach Jen K. :

yes and men and women give differently

Coach Jen K. :

she needs the touchy feely now...can you give it to her without having to make her see the things you desire her to see?

Customer:

i would work and then take them on holiday loading the debt then having to work more overtime vicious circle

Coach Jen K. :

and yes your needs are important but right now I think she needs that from you

Coach Jen K. :

yes and you are a good man but it wasnt working truly for anyone

Customer:

true

Customer:

sadly

Customer:

I am patient

Customer:

but would like a way of getting her to a councellor

Coach Jen K. :

so be open with her...be vulnerable...put the pride away for a bit and let her see you understand her expereince without defending yours

Customer:

not sure if that is possible she is pretty stubborn

Coach Jen K. :

yes I think that would be good too. but start here and then go from there.

Customer:

although she did say she was shocked to hear that she had been going through menopause

Coach Jen K. :

when we are stubborn as women it is because we are hurting...take your time with her and be genlte and caring

Customer:

she wants to go out more with her friends is that her making up for lost time

Customer:

or something else

Coach Jen K. :

yes because she is trying to find herself again...

Coach Jen K. :

can you give her that space?

Customer:

I can

Customer:

but dont know as a man what the boundaries are

Customer:

should I get annoyed or disturbed if she wants to go on holiday

Coach Jen K. :

I think you are good man with lots of pride...be gentle and caring and help her feel loved through the touchy feely

Customer:

without me

Coach Jen K. :

she may need that time to feel free and it may help her to miss you and the family unit.

Coach Jen K. :

we all have those moments-mid life- hard to negotiate but holding her too tightly doesnt get her to stay. she needs some wings now

Customer:

its a shame its that what I want us to be a family

Customer:

she said i should move out at christmas

Customer:

for 3mths

Customer:

then said nothing afterwards

Customer:

not sure if its knee jerk from hre

Coach Jen K. :

she is feeling a bit lost now...give her the care we have spoken about and go from there.

Customer:

its hard

Customer:

but will try

Coach Jen K. :

yes it is. but you have done many difficult things in your life.

Customer:

ironically i will be around more now as job is changing

Customer:

most probably too needy for her at moment

Coach Jen K. :

find that balance..give her some space and care for yourself...

Customer:

were splitting bills now, although that caused a funny comment as i said it would mean more time for her to do her things to which she replied that she wouldnt be able to as she wouldnt be able to affoard it

Customer:

so not sure what the message is there ..lol

Coach Jen K. :

exactly...this tells me that giving her this time could help her realize and reconnect.

Coach Jen K. :

but you must not "show her" just let her be and give her the acknowledgment of her feelings/

Customer:

she felt neglected by her mother as well, she left her with friends when she was a child so that she could work, beginning to think this is a deep issue

Customer:

deeper

Coach Jen K. :

yes it is long standing.

Customer:

even more reason for that councellor

Coach Jen K. :

the quiet love and support will go a long way here. she tries to push you away but cant

Coach Jen K. :

exactly.

Customer:

sorry could you elaborate on the last bit

Coach Jen K. :

yes all the ways we have been talking about...the gentle care that is needed

Customer:

so how to get her to counselling thats the million pound question

Customer:

wish me luck

Coach Jen K. :

yes and dont rush with that one...she will feel threatened. in time you can suggest that you would like it if you could both get back in it

Coach Jen K. :

yes I wish you luck. you can come back and request me anytime.

Customer:

cool

Customer:

i will

Coach Jen K. :

just put for coachjenk only at the start of a new question

Customer:

excellent

Coach Jen K. :

please take a moment to click on the rating tab to rate my work.

Customer:

will do

Coach Jen K. :

I am here when you need and happy to support you. I wish you the best

Customer:

thank you

Coach Jen K. :

my pleasure

Customer:

happy valentines day for tomorrow, mine might be the ok corale but the thought will be there

Coach Jen K. :

ty and I wish you a great one too filled with love!!!

Coach Jen K. :

have a great rest of your day and evening

Customer:

ty bye for now

Coach Jen K. :

bye and ty in advance for a positive rating

TherapistJen and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you