I love my girlfriend very much. We’ve been dating for about 3 years now. I shower her with gifts and take absolute perfect care of her. Despite that, she says she wishes I would treat her worse. But she only gets upset when I do. Meanwhile, she yells at me about everything I do. Why does my girlfriend treat me so bad?
Relationships experience ebbs and flows depending on it’s current developmental stage. Three years into a relationship is considered new, and therefore, both of you are still attempting to understand the other, reveal your true selves, and generally strengthen the couple system.
Have you voiced your concerns to your girlfriend about your feelings and difficulties with the current state of the relationship? If so, is she willing to work on the relationship with you? These are questions to consider.
From the information that you have provided, you and your girlfriend need to be clear on what you require and expect in the relationship from the other. Once this has been identified, teaching each other how to accommodate to these expectations would be beneficial.
Because there can be different imbalances within the relationship, including a third, neutral party may also be helpful in obtaining growth within the relationship without losing oneself. A third party can also provide additional psycho-education on active listening and communication issues that may be present as well. If you and your girlfriend are both interested, we have a variety of therapists at Insight Psychological who are able to support both of you in working through this issue.
If your girlfriend is not open to the idea of seeking support, I would suggest individual counselling for yourself. With the support of a therapist, you will be able to strengthen your assertiveness and communication skills that can be utilized during situations that you may feel mistreated. In addition, developing and strengthening boundaries for yourself can also be beneficial, not only in this particular relationship, but other relationships in your life.
Asha Thomas, B.Sc., M.Sc. Marital and Family Therapist