Dear Miss Emily:

My girlfriend and I tend to have the same argument over and over again.  If we are out in public, she will swear that I am staring and gawking at other girls.  I am a daydreamy sort, and I tend to look around at people, but I am innocent of her accusations.  Most of the time she will yell at me for staring at a woman, that in reality, I didn't even see.  The reason I believe she is so sensitive about this is because she has been cheated on along with a few other issues that cause her to be very insecure. The problem is that we don't seem to be able to talk about anything. When I tell her I can't deal with the constant stress from her, that I want to break up, then she will admit to being insecure and unfair to me. I told her that if we're together that I want to be free to look at people whenever I want without question and she agreed to this.  It's like every time we get back together she regresses to her old habits, and we're unable to speak about anything because of how defensive she gets. What should I do to make her feel more secure?  How do I go about talking to her when she is doing all her normal things that stress me out?

-----------------------------Miss Emily's advice--------------------------

Unfortunately, you've done what I would have suggested. Approach it rationally -- explain that you should have the freedom (and expect it) to look at whomever you choose without fear of reprisal, but it did no good. After all, you said you do not ogle women and I believe you. You can't fix her insecurities. She needs to get to the bottom of it and, if she continues down this path, she will only find men who are abusive to her because no one else will tolerate that behavior -- or she''ll attract only wimps. You can't wear the shroud of her other cheating boyfriends, nor serve in a role of counselor/father figure. I'm afraid the stress of this will continue and, eventually, cause irreparably damage to the relationship. She may have many attributes but, again, you cannot be expected to repair the damage from her past. Courage-up and end the relationship. It's a harsh reality but, from what you have said, I don't see much hope for it.