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Marriage/healing past hurt from critical arguments and bringing up past arguments

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Question
..............

I've been dating and living with my girlfriend (until recently) for about 7 years now and we've been having problems with:

1) Me being too critical during arguments,

and

2) her always bringing up the past and avalanching it on me in all fights, which she justifies because it relates to a past issue.

I explained it to her that: I am a big believer in fairness in all things that I do, but it is very difficult to be non-critical when you are outraged by something that you find is unacceptable for your significant other to do.

For example:
For my girlfriend's birthday one month ago (we were engaged at that point), she went drinking and eating with her male boss one on one for 5 hours at two different restaurants on a Monday night and got home at 11pm. She told me that she was going with her boss, and told me it is okay because she kept me in the loop the entire time she was there.

After their dinner, her boss followed up with flirty texts saying:

- He's sorry he blew our her birthday candles because he doesn't get out much.
- He "really enjoys her company a lot" and they should celebrate her birthday more often.

After waiting one day, I told her it is a deal breaker for me for her to continue all these outside of work activities with her male boss including: weekly one on one lunches and coffee--- especially when her boss clearly likes her based on the things he says to her at work, the $160 he spent on her for her birthday dinner, and the 5 hours he spent with her on a monday night knowing that she has a fiance.

She argued that it is part of her weekly routine, and she finds her lunches fun because she can get away from the office. She then said it was like she is losing a friend if she doesn't go to lunch or coffee with her boss and she does not have any friends. I said she can always go take another person from the workplace with her, and she said there's no one else to take with them.

She said that it is too controlling to make it a deal breaker for her to go to lunch or coffee with her boss one on on one.

I told her then well if your fun is more important than your relationship with me then I will just do my own thing.

Fast forward, we fight all week about it, and the Friday immediately after the monday when she went out, we get into an argument about how I think she should take her attorney bar exam because she will remove herself from that job situation and make more than $24 an hour.

She then said she can't deal with my critical arguments of her anymore and i've been critical in so many arguments we've had and it hasn't changed in 7 years and people should never have these type of critical arguments.

So she said she wants to break off the engagement and take a step back where we are just dating each other.

It is absolutely impossible to not be critical in situations like this.

In regards to her one on one lunches with her boss, I settled with: I want her to do whatever makes her happy but I wanted to warn her that "work spouse syndrome" is a real thing, and even though she may go to lunch or dinner with innocent intentions, she's giving her male boss who clearly likes her many opportunities one on one to build emotional rapport by doing so many one on one lunches and coffee runs together.

Do you have any advice on how I should handle this matter about her thinking that i'm unjustified to be critical in situations?

And how do I heal her past hurt of 7 years worth of critical arguments that she is holding against me?

Thank you so much for your time and help

Answer
George,

Your question is best answered in person with a licensed professional.  Being a critical person and dealing with a 7-year relationship are not well served in an email.  

By going to therapy you are demonstrating to her that you are trying to respond to her needs.  Same with couple therapy.  You are showing her you value the relationship enough to see a therapist.

So, she's supposed to give up something she needs, like lunch with her boss but you don't have to give up something that you need, like being 'justifiably' critical.  You are saying your needs matter more than her needs.

Good luck.

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