My girlfriend has too many rules to follow

My problem starts with the fact that my girlfriend expects me to be completely honest with her, no half truths, and no omissions.

That being said, it is quite amazing that in the past no matter what the issue was, as long as we talked about it, and brought it out in the open, everything would be fine. We could talk about anything.

However, sometimes something happens, and I’m afraid to tell her... afraid of how she will react. When I finally get the nerve to tell her, her reaction is to the fact that I kept it from her, not WHAT I told her.

We recently have been going through a lot of growth the last week, and we have both been hurting a lot... but we have stuck together, and know that as long as we talk about it, that we can deal with it, and we are...

The last time we had a misunderstanding, she flipped out... but we talked about it, and are still talking... the problem is that during this time, I went to a friend for advice, and if nothing else just someone to vent to (a female friend of mine in Canada, I’m in Texas)...

My girlfriend thought this as suspicious, and was angry that I was involving someone else in our relationship... that we needed to deal with it, no one else.

In the last week, every time something would happen, I would go to my friend to "update her"... this has made my girlfriend furious, and I can honestly see why... but the last time I did it... well the situation was this: I was talking to my girlfriend, and my friend messaged me... I immediately told my girlfriend that (like I always do), and she didn’t seem to have a problem with it... the day before when it happened, she asked me if she wanted me to let her go so I could go talk to my friend, and I told her no...

This apparently upset her, because I said, I would rather talk to you, I’ll just call her later after we’re done talking... (She saw that as sneaky)...

I explained that I was just being courteous... I’m not going to drop what I’m doing to talk to a friend when I’m talking to my girlfriend... I’ll just call them back later...

So this time, when my friend (mutual friend I might add) messaged me only about a new job she would be getting, my girlfriend asked me if I wanted to talk to her, so I thought I would respond the other way this time... and apparently THAT was the wrong decision as well (I told her that I had talked to her earlier for about 20 minutes on the phone, so her response was, "you already talked to her today, why can’t she leave you alone so we can work on our relationship")... she got angry, said "this isn’t working, goodbye" and hung up...

And of course, since I had been involving my friend in recent events, I messaged her back saying that my girlfriend had just said goodbye forever, and that I needed to be alone for a while, she said ok, and hasn’t spoken a word to me since.

I called my girlfriend back and well... I kind of got upset that she was acting this way, because she had just told me the other day that she wanted me to be open, and not be "sneaky" so I thought that if I proved myself by talking to her now and getting out of the way, that she would have no reason to be suspicious... she understood, apologized for overreacting... A LOT... and we continued on...

I expressed that if my friendship with my friend was going to bother her, that I would end it... no problem... she didn’t want this... but considering what’s happened, I don’t really even want to chance it...

I told my girlfriend that I wanted to message our friend and tell her that we needed to be alone to work on our relationship for a while and that I wouldn’t be available... and my girlfriend asked me not to... I told her I wouldn’t.

But after we hung up... I felt bad about even GOING to my friend for council, but I DID message her anyway, and told her that: "We worked it out. After yelling and her seeing that she was overreacting. But she and I REALLY need to work on our relationship, so I’m going to be invisible for a while. She and I need alone time like I said. Take Care."

The next day I told my girlfriend that I told our friend this, that we needed alone time... and she got livid that I talked to her again... and blew up...

I thought my girlfriend was mad at me because she often says that I run to “to whichever mommy you need at the time"... but it was because I told her I WOULDN’T talk to her, and I did...

But the message was innocent... it was just to leave us alone (tactfully of course)... the part that I left out when talking to my girlfriend was the: "after yelling and her seeing that she was overreacting" part. I didn’t think it really important at the time... the message was ABOUT, us being alone.

Now in the past my girlfriend has reacted negatively to me coming to her with my "omissions and half truths" when I would come clean... her initial response is "why can’t you be honest with me?"...

I didn’t tell her this little tidbit about my conversation, because I didn’t honestly think it mattered at the time... and it didn’t occur to me until late the next day, that I didn’t tell her... but by her standards that’s too long to wait...

So I haven’t told her, and I have dreaded that she will talk to our friend and find out what I said... I’ve thought about emailing my friend asking her not to mention it, if at all possible... but then I would feel guilty for even CONTACTING her... and in my girlfriend’s defense, even though this level of honesty is very demanding... she has been doing better with me since I can’t be completely honest like she wants, and at least we are trying to work it out.

Honestly, I want to tell her, to get it out of the way, but we have had such a rough week... I don’t know if she could handle it right now... but I also feel that the longer I wait, the worse her reaction will be.

In my mind... it’s ridiculous... that, that little bit of information could upset her, but I love her so much, and don’t want to hurt her... we’ve been doing a lot of work on our relationship and are getting MUCH stronger...

Anyway, I need some advice, please.


Let me try to recap: You and your girlfriend are having problems… she wants you to always tell her the whole truth, right away. Your girlfriend gets upset when she discovers things after the fact. But at the same time, she often gets upset when you’re completely honest with her. Recently, the two of you have been having problems, and you’ve turned to a mutual friend for advice; your girlfriend doesn’t like this. In order to make your girlfriend happy, you politely told the mutual friend that you need to work on your relationship without any third party involvement. Your girlfriend gets upset again. And to make matters worse, when telling your girlfriend how you explained the situation to your mutual friend, you left out the tidbit about mentioning to your friend how your girlfriend recently overreacted. And now you’re afraid your girlfriend is going to find out. Right?

Where to start?

Sometimes it helps to take a step back and look at the big picture: From your question, it seems like you are trying to please your girlfriend... But, no matter what you do, somehow you manage to do the wrong thing.

To an outsider, it’s surprising how someone who seems so eager to please his girlfriend could make so many mistakes.

Perhaps there is another way of looking at this situation.

Have you considered the possibility that your girlfriend likes placing you in this type of “no win” situation?

  • Tell me the truth, but if you do I’ll get upset.
  • Please feel free to talk to your friend when she calls, but if you do, I’ll cause a fight.
  • We need to work on our relationship without any interference, but don’t end your relationship with the friend on my account…
  • I can’t believe that you talked to her again…

Do you feel like you’re in a bind? Are you feeling helpless? Do you want to “follow the rules,” but the rules are almost impossible to follow?

If this description seems to fit, the real issue may not be about your mistakes, which everyone makes, but about your girlfriend’s need to be in control. And while issues of control are present in every relationship (see relational dynamics), sometimes they can go to the extreme, making people feel helpless—filled with anxiety over the most “ridiculous” of issues.

Our advice: Be wary of people who try to solve relationship problems by setting unrealistic rules. Relationship problems are best solved when two people try to discuss and understand each other’s feelings and concerns. Dictating rules to each other in a romantic relationship does not work (see talk about problems).

And while it is important to always discuss problems directly with a partner, someone who has your best interest at heart should encourage you to seek advice from other sources as well.

We are not saying that your girlfriend should not try to limit the conversations you had with your mutual friend. It’s understandable for your girlfriend not to want your problems discussed amongst your circle of friends or with someone whose intentions she does not trust.

But, does your girlfriend encourage you to seek the advice of someone who is not directly involved in the situation? This is often a good way to test a partner’s intentions. To what extent does her issue of needing to be in control outweigh what might be best for you?

Hope this is of some help to you.

 control issues | going crazy | playing games | troubled relationship

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