Lesbianing with AE! What To Do When Her Behavior Scares You

on

Getty Images

Hi there,

I was looking for some advice. I’ve been dating my girlfriend for almost a year now and we have been living together most of that time. (I own my own home and she lived with her parents 5 minutes away and we love spending time together so it seemed to work). We have the same values and ideals in life and want the same things. I adore her more than anything on this earth and I cannot imagine a better person than her. She is without doubt the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, have a family with and spend every day with. There is just one problem: her anger. When she does not get her way, or when she is feeling emotionally vulnerable she throws full temper tantrums, like a child. She sulks, cries, throws things, kicks and punches me unless I do exactly what she wants to do when she wants to do it. At the start of our relationship before it ever got that bad I would do whatever she wanted to do. She wanted to stop everything and go for a road trip and explore towns, we did just that. And if she wanted me to come with her everywhere I did because in the honeymoon period I didn’t ever want to part with her. But now, when she gets the idea she wants to go somewhere or do something. I must drop whatever I’m doing, no matter what it is and go with her (even if I have a migraine and can’t leave bed) or all hell breaks loose (I’ve suggested she go alone if she wants to or go with a friend but that’s not good enough). Apparently I’m the worst person ever and I don’t care about her or what she wants and this goes on for hours or until I give in to her and she gets her way. She packs her bags and sits in her car and demands I go come get her and make it better. And then complains that I never come to her when she gets like that, calm her down and make her happy like I used to. (I use to give in very quickly, apologise and just do what was asked of me in the first place, but as time is going on I realise that has just been reinforcing her behaviour and making it worse so I now stand my ground and won’t give in) but that makes it worse, she will go on for hours and hours until I give at least a little bit. And I do. And I’m worried it is just reinforcing this bratty tantrum attitude. So what should I do? Because I’ve been tempted to just get in my car and leave her there for a while, but she either gets in the car with me or parks behind me so I can’t leave. I try to ignore her and she hits me, I lock myself in a room and she hits herself and tries to break my belongings and house. I’m also concerned that if I do nothing and don’t stop her leaving etc then she will actually leave. And I really don’t want that. Because as soon as her temper is under control she is wonderful and my best friend in the world. But I just need this temper to stop, because if we had kids and she acted this way in front of them I would take them, leave, and never come back. She is in counselling for it at the moment (because she knows how bad it is and wants to get help) but I don’t think they know how bad it is, she won’t take any meds or anything, and it’s getting worse. What should I do here? Please help with any advice. Is there anything I can do to try and help the behaviour and stop these tantrums?

-Dating a Brat

Hey there,

Your girlfriend isn’t simply a brat, she’s manipulative and abusive. Or at least she’s acting that way, even if she is, as you say, trying to change.

I urge you to go to a couples’ counselor with her – someone who is a separate person from the therapist she is seeing, and perhaps someone who specializes in lesbian/gay relationships.

The Gay and Lesbian International Therapist Search Engine is one resource for finding a therapist who understands your needs as a lesbian couple.

You need to do this ASAP.

Getty images

Your girlfriend is physically and emotionally abusive in the following ways (I’m going to spell it out for you, because you might have become accustomed to the way she treats you and you might not see everything clearly):

-She prevents you from leaving your house by getting in her car behind yours

-She prevents you from going places without her

-She hits you

-She hits herself if you try to shut her out for your physical and mental safety

-She damages your property if you ignore her

-She insults you no matter what you do (you can never make her happy, whether you give in to her tantrums or try to stay strong)

I am glad that you recognize that it would be dangerous to bring children into this relationship. But you do not seem to recognize how dangerous the situation already is to you. She is causing you significant emotional harm and even physical harm.

I am glad that you recognize that it would be dangerous to bring children into this relationship. But you do not seem to recognize how dangerous the situation already is to you. She is causing you significant emotional harm and even physical harm.

If she continues to treat you this way while you’re seeing a couples’ therapist, or if she flat-out refuses to go to couples’ therapy, please please please make a plan to protect yourself.

Please see a therapist yourself or use an app like Talkspace so you have someone you can talk to when she starts acting up. A therapist can help you see the situation more clearly so you can advocate for yourself.

Please prepare a go bag for yourself with some changes of clothes, credit cards and cash, cell phone charger, and other essentials. Keep it in your car, your closet, anywhere you are able to grab it the next time she acts up. If she blocks you in the driveway, call a tow truck to tow her out of the way or call law enforcement.

Do not engage with her when she acts this way. Just get out of the way while she’s in a rage state and don’t come back until you feel safe. Go somewhere you do feel safe.

You own your home, so you can call a locksmith when she goes to work, change the locks, pack up her shit, and drive it to her folks’ place and when she is able to control her anger, you can discuss whether she is allowed to move back in with you.

I am being as blunt as I can in the hopes that you are able to hear some of this and act in your best interests. You say you would absolutely leave if you had kids to think about. I encourage you to protect your own self with the same love you would protect hypothetical kids because YOU DESERVE IT. You really do. I promise.

I encourage you to protect your own self with the same love you would protect hypothetical kids because YOU DESERVE IT. You really do. I promise.

It is absolutely the best thing for her behavior for you to create firm consequences for her actions. If she does not change, she will lose you. If she won’t go to couples therapy, she will lose you. If she hits you again, you are out of there for good.

You don’t need to leave today. You don’t need to set these consequences today. Setting boundaries and standing up for yourself is difficult especially when you are confronting partner violence. But you do need to make it clear to her that you’re absolutely done with this behavior and if she cannot make lasting, real change and make amends, she’s going to have that forever life with another lady because you’re done.

Do you need Lindsey’s advice? Write to the editor at memoree@afterllen.com, with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line. 

More you may like