Dr. Darcy, I'm a 40-year old woman who fell in love with a woman for the first time. It is like nothing I have ever experienced. But I have a problem with her talking and hanging out with her ex, who she admits still has feelings for her. She even told me they hung out one night and watched a movie. It was late so her ex slept on the couch (later I found out that she slept in her bed fully clothed but NOTHING happened...hard to believe right?) [My girlfriend] is 48, her ex is 28 - BIG difference in age but the 28 year old knows how to play mind games. My girlfriend suffers from mental illnesses such as BPD [borderline personality disorder], anxiety & PTSD.
Question is when is enough ENOUGH??! I'm confused beyond belief as to what to believe anymore. My girlfriend says she is just a friend - they’ve known each other for 2 years but only dated 3 months). Never had sex with her but being new to the girlfriend/girlfriend situation, I thought exploring with your fingers and kissing were sex?? I feel as though I can't break up with her but I can't stand feeling like this anymore…
You had me with borderline personality disorder. Do you know anything about this disorder? Do you know how chronic and resistant to treatment it is? Do you know that it’s not a mental disorder that one is born with but that it is a learned behavioral response – a manipulative behavioral response that is 100% changeable but because the individuals who have it tend to be so averse to change, they virtually never get the help that they need – in part because one of the main characteristics of it is an unwillingness to look at oneself critically or objectively. Another not-so-attractive hallmark of this disorder: Pervasive drama within relationships – all relationships. They just can’t seem to get along peacefully, sans drama, the way the rest of us do.
I’m going to piss a lot of people off with this post (and I hope it repels personality disordered individuals from seeking me out as a therapist – I am not your girl). I would date virtually anyone (were I single) with any diagnosis they had – so long as it wasn’t what your girlfriend has. PTSD? No problem. Anxiety? Fine. Is your girlfriend in treatment? Because she needs to be. She should be in EMDR therapy for the PTSD & anxiety, and she should be in a DBT program for the BPD. Her life should be so consumed with therapy and management of her emotions that she doesn’t have time for the bullshit you’re describing with her ex.
When is enough enough? Yesterday. Last week. Last month. You’re there. Losing a girlfriend is nothing like losing a boyfriend. It’s going to leave a gap in your gut twice the size because you’ll lose a level of emotional intimacy that is very hard to find in a heterosexual relationship. But you’ll survive.
Get yourself into therapy to determine what it is about you that attracted and was attracted to someone like this woman – and you’ll increase the likelihood that you’ll pick better next time. For now, rip it off like a Band-Aid.
Gender & Orientation: Female, Unsure.