Really need help with relationship issues

I have been in a relationship with my gf for a few years and we’ve had a lot of problems mostly due to me. We have actually broken up multiple times and gotten back to together. The issues in our relationship usually stem from my actions due to me messing up and making stupid mistakes and she would get very upset with me. In the past I had been friends with some people who had questionable morals and being young and impressionable these traits had rubbed off on me. This caused me to be a selfish and disrespectful person especially towards my girlfriend who did not deserve this treatment. Because i was surrounded my these friends i had, i thought my the way i thought and acted was normal and i couldn’t wrap my head around why my gf would get upset at me so much so often and it caused many fights with her. In the beginning i was the one that broke up with her multiple times because i could not sit with her being mad at me so much. Through these fights i did slowly understand that maybe there was something wrong with the way i was and i should be treating my gf better than i am and that there are valid reasons for her to be upset with me. However, these thoughts were stuck in my head and my actions were not following i was still stuck in my old ways and my gf continued to get upset at me. I really could not handle people being upset at me at that stage in my life and it caused me to push her away and break up with her because i though i could never improve enough to deserve her and she would still always be upset at me. For that break up i genuinely thought that we would never get back together and she would not want me after that. I felt utterly worthless and because i thought i would never have a chance with her again, i entered a self destructive phase and made grave mistakes i deeply wish to take back and i regret so much i am so disgusted with myself. By some miracle, i had gotten back with my gf after some period of time, on the condition that i cut off my two best friends for reasons related to my self destructive phase and after some hesitation i did cut them off because i really love my gf and i want to be with her. However, i was still an idiot. Because i was so shocked that she would get back together with me, i did not tell her the full true story about my mistake and lied to her about some part of it. Eventually, she found out a few months later and her trust towards me was broken again. I have really been doing my best to redeem myself for my mistakes but i am afraid it will never be enough. I have deeply hurt my gf so much but i still very much want to be with her and make up for everything. Because of my actions she questions her self worth, she feels deeply hurt and goes through very difficult periods sometimes because the times I’ve hurt her come rushing back and triggering her again. Now shes reminded of the hurt I’ve brought on her again and she is contemplating if she should stay in the relationship. How do i save my relationship? How can i do more to be better? I’ve been trying to listen to what she tells me and improve myself but its hard for me to remember everything and be consistent because its hard to form habits and this hurts her. So how can i be better? she has issues trusting me because of my actions and my lie, now she cant trust when i say i love her even though i truly do love her so much. I really need help, i want to spend the rest of my life with her and i dont want to lose her please.

1 Like

Thank you for sharing your story, @anonymous286. It sounds like you’re deeply aware of your mistakes and genuinely want to change. This self-awareness is a critical first step. What are some specific changes or actions you think would show her that you’re committed to being better?

I think i could be more considerate of her feelings and be more consistent with my changes. However, im afraid its too late, she has broken up with me, blocked me and asked me to leave her alone for good this time. I feel utterly ashamed and angry with myself for being so stupid and losing her.

1 Like

Dear @anonymous286,

I’m sorry to hear of the heartache you and your ex are experiencing now. A breakup isn’t a comfortable process. Your willingness to seek help and be vulnerable shows significant strength and a genuine desire to grow. It’s commendable that you recognise your past mistakes and are taking steps to improve yourself. This self-awareness and your commitment to change are powerful assets that can lead to a healthier relationship and a better future. Thank you for coming onto this platform and sharing your story. It takes courage to admit faults and seek advice, and it’s a good step towards positive change. Well done! :clap:t4: :clap:t4:

May I suggest, first and foremost, practising self-compassion. Acknowledge the struggles you’ve faced and understand that while some of your past behavioural choices may have been unhelpful, they were often attempts to cope with difficult emotions and situations. It’s important to recognise that these actions don’t define your worth as a person. What you have now is an opportunity to unlearn old habits and learn healthier, more constructive strategies for navigating challenging situations. Instead of beating yourself up for past mistakes, focus on the fact that you were doing the best you could with the resources and understanding you had at the time.

It also sounds like you may find it difficult to delay gratification, leading to impulsive actions without fully considering the consequences. Acknowledging this tendency is the first step toward change. By developing more patience and learning to weigh the pros and cons before acting, you can make more thoughtful decisions that align with your long-term goals and values.

A thriving relationship requires both parties to develop a wide range of skillsets, such as communication skills, conflict resolution skills, and a growth mindset. Each of these categories encompasses many sub-skills, including active listening, whole-body listening, non-verbal communication, feedback delivery, feedback receptivity, self-awareness, and positive self-talk. When a relationship encounters difficulties, it’s helpful to view these challenges as gaps in skills rather than deficiencies in either person. These are essential life skills that can be learned and improved over time. Ideally, these skills would have been modelled by our caregivers, but if they were not, it’s still possible to learn and develop them now. Once again, it’s important to give ourselves grace and kindness.

It’s understandable that your ex-girlfriend might need space and time to grieve the loss of the relationship. Her desire for space shows a sense of self-awareness and the ability to set healthy boundaries. This is a sign of her strength, as prioritising her well-being during this time is no small feat. Be proud of her for recognising and honouring her needs.

It’s common for couples to experience difficulties and sometimes, even after challenging situations like an affair, relationships can be repaired. Other times, the relationship may not continue, but the lessons learned can help both individuals grow and become better partners in the future.

Perhaps giving her space and respecting her boundaries while you both work on improving your relationship skills separately might be the kindest approach. Sometimes, having the space to reset and focus on personal growth can be beneficial for both parties.

You might also consider creating a proposal outlining your plans for improving your self-regulation skills and sharing it with her. This shows your commitment to change and allows her to decide her next steps.

In the meantime, here are a few suggestions to get started with self-regulation for your consideration. The goal is to find the next ‘just-right’ step for yourself rather than trying to do everything at once. I suggest picking just one item from the list below to start with, and then build on from there:

  1. Recognise Your Emotions: Start by identifying and acknowledging your emotions as they arise. Pay attention to physical signs like increased heart rate, sweating, or tension, which can indicate that you’re feeling stressed or upset. Use a feelings wheel to help you in naming the varying degrees of emotions.

  2. Pause Before Reacting: When you feel a strong emotion, take a moment to pause and breathe before reacting. This can help you respond more thoughtfully rather than impulsively. Practice Mindfulness exercises to stay present and aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindful walking can help you stay grounded.

  3. Set Clear Goals: Establish specific, achievable goals for your behaviour and emotional responses. This can give you a sense of direction and purpose in regulating your actions. It’s important to measure the daily wins instead of just looking at the gap. Aim to improve just by 1% each day and by the end of the month that will be 30% better.

  4. Reflect and Learn: After experiencing a strong emotional response, reflect on what triggered it and how you handled it. Consider what you did well and what you could improve next time.

  5. Seek Support: If you’re struggling with self-regulation, consider seeking support from a therapist or counsellor. They can provide guidance and tools to help you manage your emotions more effectively.

I hope the above has been helpful and if you’d like more resources or if there is anything else you’d like to share with us, please do. We’re here to listen to you, your feelings are valid and you matter! :grinning:

Take care,
CoolBreeze =)

Thank you so much @CoolBreeze, your advice has been super helpful. I feel seen, thank you for listening, for your response and for the work you do.


You’re most welcome, thank you for your thoughtfulness and appreciation @anonymous286. =)