14

It occurs once per two days, on average. She gets mad about something really stupid and not worth arguing about, yells, gets really upset, stops talking.

For example, we go somewhere, she's not sure if the way we choose is right, then she says 'That way', then she's not sure again but keeps going, then she hesitates again. So I ask the first person we encounter what's the way and she gets mad, because she does know the way.

With me, she realizes that I'm not the reason for her anger, most of the time. But then she explodes anyway, to the point at which she told me, crying, that she sometimes wonder why so many bad emotions accumulate inside her and stay there for so long when mainly it's not worth even caring for. Then I told her, that if she sees that as a problem, maybe she should talk to "specialist". All she said was NO WAY. I took advantage of our previous conversation, where we talked about parents with disabled children not aware of kids condition, shutting down when somebody tells them about it. We both agreed, talking about that, that it's no reason to be ashamed but something to act on, and I reminded her about the conversation. She said not to push it, I said - OK, just tell me why, but she did not answer.

Another thing is, she has Hashimoto's disease, which comes with bipolar disorder - her mood falls from dark into light and back to dark pretty quickly. For me, it's just another reason to visit the specialist, but she's delicate about it and I guess touching the subject would only hurt her.

I can see, that she's worried that I'm going to leave her because of it - I myself am the child of divorced parents blaming myself for it for the most of my life, so anytime she's mad at me I feel guilty when I'm not. I do not want to give her ultimatum of any kind, wouldn't be true anyway as I'm not leaving her.

Q: How can I smoothly get back to the subject of getting help with her anger, and encourage her that there's no shame in it and I don't think of her as of some psycho?

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    "All she said was NO WAY" , "She said not to push it," - sounds a little bit like she's had her experiences with "specialists"? Is that possible? – Fildor Nov 10 '17 at 16:08
  • Nothing I know of, no. But as far as I know her, it's more about her thinking that I consider her as 'not normal', saying that, when I don't. – wscourge Nov 10 '17 at 16:10
8

Although you already have a few answers, I wanted to give you feedback as someone who has been in your girlfriends position. The following emphasize what I found very helpful to me when my boyfriend was also trying to help me see that talking to a professional does not label me as anything other than human.

Patience

Unfortunately the process of helping someone realize the benefits talking to a professional can have for them can be a time consuming process. Do not set timed expectations for your girlfriend to accept your suggestions for help.

Little bits

Focus on having small, positive discussions about professional help when you are both able to engage in a positive atmosphere. If it seems like she's putting up a wall between this discussion and her, end it before she completely dismisses it or quits listening to you all together.

You do not want her to feel overwhelmed by your suggestions - this will only make her feel like it's 'you and the professional' vs her, when really you're trying to help her for her own sake, too!

Don't get discouraged

It's likely she will continue to reject your ideas, and that's okay. Even when (if) she starts to feel like she could benefit from this help, there will be days she might fall back into feeling like she absolutely does not.

Don't forget about yourself

My journey to allow professional help into my life came years after my boyfriend planted the seeds that have ultimately allowed me to seek help without having a breakdown. Your girlfriend may or may not ever reach the same conclusion. Some people will just not seek help, and there is no set of rules that can ensure you will effectively convince her to ever do so.

If it does come to the point where you feel like this situation is emotionally weighing you down, I would encourage you to visit your thoughts on how sustainable this situation is for the both of you.

15

Choose the right time: Don't talk when she is angry

Its hard, in the good times you want to keep things calm but if you wait until her negative emotions are taking over again to talk about it then she won't be respond positively to any suggestions.

Talk about it away from other stresses and other people, a walk in the country could be good but that depends completely on you two. Don't sit in front of the TV or any other sort of distraction and, with something so socially sensitive, don't add the extra concern of people overhearing.

Don't make it about you

You're concerned about her, feel it is making her life difficult. Sure it effects you too but don't add guilt to her emotions, that won't help.

Talk about examples

When she is feeling calm she probably tries to forget about how she acted, its hard to carry on as normal if you're berating yourself. Considering these in a calmer state of mind might be just what she needs though.

Make sure you don't become cold in this, yes she needs the facts and you can't sugar coat them. Perhaps she blew off about something trivial every day last week...but you're worried she isn't able to relax properly and it takes its toll on her.

Separate her from the anger

It is more a matter of "these outbursts" rather than "your outbursts", that way any effort to solve them is aimed at the disembodied anger. You know that isn't how she wants to act, this is an attempt to free her from something controlling her rather than to change how she feels about things.

Have the information all to hand

Look up classes close to you, find out costs and travel. If she agrees to it you want it as easy as possible to follow through with.

Don't push it!

Maybe, after all this, she says no. She has a choice in this too, accept her right to exercise it. She has to want to make the change, not be guilt tripped, manipulated or forced into it. In time she might come around to it.

  • 1
    Also consider that the right answer in the end may be to end the relationship, for your own health and safety. They tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first in the event of an airplane emergency for a reason. – Marisa Nov 10 '17 at 20:33
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    Also, research what you can about anger management yourself, and be prepared to suggest alternate solutions the two of you can try if she is still unwilling to see a specialist. – Arcanist Lupus Nov 11 '17 at 6:24
  • You might also want to offer her to accompany her to the appointment, just waiting for her outside. I did that with a girlfriend once. Seeing a specialist can be quite nerve-wrecking, so hold her hand in this. – Chris Wohlert Nov 15 '17 at 9:56
7

The key might lay in destigmatizing mental health assistance. A common thought is that psychological help is needed "by crazies" only. But that's just not true. Luckily, more and more people are opening up about times in their life where they sought the assistance of a professional regarding some aspect of their life that they want to improve.

Kudos to you for being reassuring and saying that you won't leave her. Make her feel safe in that regard. And ask her if she is OK with having those periodic meltdowns. If she isn't, tell her that there is no shame with seeking help.

PS: this approach should change if she ever becomes violent to you. An ultimatum for her to seek help would be most recommended in that case.

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