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Too Guilty To Leave: Are You Delaying A Breakup Out Of Guilt?

Most breakups aren’t mutual. Many of us are familiar with the sense of rejection and loss when a partner chooses to leave.  You might also be familiar with the difficulty of being the one to initiate the breakup.  Sometimes ending a relationship can be so hard that we put it off for days, weeks, and even years.  Many people get stuck in this stage, and one major reason for this is an overwhelming sense of guilt.

Relationships end. They end all the time and for all sorts of reasons.  Despite our best intentions, sometimes people just aren’t compatible, or they have different life paths. In fact, most people don’t find “the one” until after a series of “failed” relationships.  Ending a relationship doesn’t make you a bad person, even if you fear that your partner will see you that way.

Too often, we stay long after we know we should leave, because we can’t stand to abandon someone we still care about.  The thoughts cycle through our head:

  • “I don’t want to hurt her”
  • “I feel responsible for him”
  • “I can’t stand to make her cry”
  • “He’s not going to be able to cope without me”
  • “She’s such a good person and doesn’t deserve to have her heart broken”
  • “He doesn’t have a good social support system to get him through this”
  • “She’s going to hate me forever”

These feelings are natural, and show that you’re a caring, compassionate person.  However, this desire to protect your partner can keep you living a lie.  You owe your partner honesty and respect; you don’t owe him or her continued devotion when the relationship has expired in your heart and mind.

It can be especially difficult when you make a promise to your partner, and it conflicts with what your heart is telling you.  For example, what if you’re engaged, and you develop strong feelings that the engagement is a mistake?

I can’t tell you what to do in circumstances like that — major life decisions need to be taken on a case-by-case basis.  However, I can say that the feelings of regret and second-thoughts need to be brought out in the open with your partner.  Otherwise, the feelings will build, and you may come to unfairly resent your partner.  Don’t let guilty feelings silence you.

If you’re delaying a breakup, remember:

1. Heartbreak is a fact of life

As sad as it seems, we all sign-up for the possibility of heartbreak when we go into a relationship.  In fact, most relationships end in some form of painful feelings.  It’s futile to try to protect people from this, and any attempt to do so will only result in more pain.  In a way, heartbreak is a beautiful thing:  It shows us how vulnerable we are, and it makes the good times that much better.

2. If the roles were switched, you’d want to know ASAP

Would you want to be in a relationship with someone who secretly desires a breakup?  You deserve someone who wants to be with you, and so does your partner.

3. You’re wasting both your time and your partner’s time

You’re only becoming more invested as you stay.  You’re also taking up your partner’s time when he or she should be on the road to healing.

4. Nobody should have to fake their feelings

Withholding your feelings or pretending that everything is OK is stressful for you. What’s more, your partner can probably sense that something’s wrong.  Once you finally drop the news, it will be obvious that you weren’t acting authentic for a long time.  It will be painful when your partner realizes that you were “faking it” for him or her.

I hope you’re convinced that – once you know you that you want to leave – the breakup should happen sooner rather than later. I’ll be back with more tips for people dealing with the difficult issue of ending a relationship.

-Michael

155 Responses to Too Guilty To Leave: Are You Delaying A Breakup Out Of Guilt?

  1. Jazz May 30, 2015 at 10:00 am #

    Two days ago, I broke up with my boyfriend of 1 year and two months. When I first told him I liked him, he hadn’t even given us a thought, it wasn’t until a month later when I pestered him that he admitted to liking me back. And for a year, things were essentially awesome. Any problems or concerns I had prior to dating him were poor aside. I figured since I liked him and her liked me, it’s all our relationship needed. We’re both 21, by the way. He was so attentive, kind, affectionate (a little too much for my liking), patient, and fun to be around. But the longer we dated more I couldn’t ignore the concerns in my mind. He was jobless(do there was no way I couldn’t tell my farther we were together, he already didn’t like the guy; and constantly reminded me), had no motivation, and didn’t seem inspired to take me anywhere unless it was for some occasion. I didn’t think these things would bother me, but soon they got to me, especially when I was coming closer to the end if my final year of post secondary. Not to mention, he was very closed off. Also my mother was concerned about me dating someone with no ambition, especially since he’s never had a job before. He and my best friend did not get along, it’s like when he and I started dating, they both couldn’t tolerate sharing me. It was always a competition, before we dated we’d all been friends, but oncewe started dating, seems their disdain for each other heightened. I’m fiercely independent to the point where it can get annoying and he was not, kind of bothered me. Both he and especially me, have trust issues, and so we had promised to be open with each other. He didn’t hold up his end of the deal. Which ended up in us fighting because he exploded on me one day when I told him i wanted to talk to him about all these things he was feeling just came out of the blue, but I’ll explain more of that later. But for the most part, I loved him with all my heart, still do. And he definitely loved me to put up with all my shit and increasing bitterness, and nagging.

    Our relationship and other things in my life essentially made my anxiety even worse. I was breaking down all the time, couldn’t sleep, was crying all the time, couldn’t focus, and couldn’t be near him. It hurt too much to see how hurt he’d get when I’d shy away from his touch. It was killing me. This went on for about a month before or fight, I was busy with school, so I couldn’t see him. And this is when I became extremely neglectful, which is why most of my guilt stems from. Or maybe it started a bit before that. But I got so busy and didn’t see anyone, excluding a friend who I felt I could explain my feelings to about my situation with my bf. I didn’t have time to text and chat with him as much, but he promised to wait for me to finish school. It hurt that I put him through that, but I couldn’t really do much about it.

    Then our fight happened, but I figured it was worth giving us a shot. I felt like because of how he reacted to our talk, It broke my trust. I found out so much he wasn’t telling me and it broke my heart. The one thing I asked him to do, be honest with me no matter what, and he didn’t. When I was up late at night, crying because of my anxiety I would tell him, but he didn’t do that same. He didn’t tell me anything, but I could tell by the looks on his face. He thought I was breaking up with him so he exploded, he was mean. It was a side of him I’d never seen. But wr talked it out and got it out on the table. I finally got the relief I needed, I thought we finally fixed everything. Nope.

    For the following month, I couldn’t trust him anymore. My trust is very really broken and hard to get. I’ll forgive, but not forget. I was emotionally and physically detached from him, I felt like I was waiting for another bomb to go off, or like suddenly everything would magically be fixed due to our talk. I hoped if wr took things slowly, I would earn back up to him. But I was lying to myself. The damage was done and the more I tried to make things right, the wise I fear and the father apart we got. He asked newer how long it’d take for things to go back to normal, two weeks in, I told him I didn’t have a clue. But it made me realize how healthy our relationship had become. How much hurt I was putting him through by making him wait for me to sort out my feelings and try to pull myself together. I was getting mean, I think, and I didn’t like ego I was becoming. It dawned me more and the guilt was eating me alone. He was frustrated that I wouldn’t let him help me, but there wasn’t anything he could do but support me.Which is all I felt I wanted and needed from him.

    In the end I had to end it, I couldn’t change how I felt about how I was treating him, or our relationship, my issues, anything. And how much he loved me. We were at different points in our lives and there’s tons I’ve left out,but the main point is, I want going to stay with someone I was treating poorly, no matter how much I loved them. He basically hates me now and wants nothing to do with me, but I hope he’ll eventually forgive me for ending it. I hope someday he’ll understand.

    I just feel so bad for putting him through almost two months of crap. I know I was stlill sorting out my feelings, butt I wish I had the confidence to do it sooner. Most of the time I’m okay, but other times, the guilt just eats me up. Guilt when we were together, guilt now that we’re apart. The hardest part of this all is that I hurt somebody I love and it sucks that I won’t be able to be around them anymore. He’ll want his space and groom the looks of it will want nothing to do with me ever again. I wish I could asked through time to a point where I don’t feel this way anymore. It’s a bummer, but probably not as bad as what he’s going through. So selfish to worry about him hating me when I’m the one who neglected him and broke his heart. He deserved better.

    • Patrick May 21, 2016 at 4:40 am #

      He didn’t have a job, your parents didn’t like him, he was unmotivated and had no desires to further explore your relationships potential. I think he realizes that he didn’t ever deserve you and once he had you he couldn’t bare the idea of being without you because you were (with no disrespect) the only good thing going for him. By initiating the break up I think that you are giving him a second chance to rethink his life, get his priorities in line and think about what he wants and needs for himself and not what others want or expect from him. I do not think he was ready for a commitment and I believe he was aware of that, resulting in the hesitation he had to admitting he liked you in the first place.
      Just my perception of it though; thank you for sharing!

  2. Mark July 18, 2015 at 9:02 am #

    I am a 49yo guy who married someone out of guilt. My wife once told me that “if you leave me I don’t know what I’ll do to myself” So we continued dating and eventually I popped the question. I recall in the days leading up to proposing that I did not want to do it, but felt had to.

    It wasn’t as if I didn’t care for her. It’s just that I deserved to date more and perhaps find someone I more deeply connected with, rather than having someone manipulate my feelings in this regard.

    Overall my 19 years of marriage have been pretty good and I’m sure we will stay together for the long haul. I am not bitter. It’s just that I rightly feel unfairly guilted into where I am today and wanted to write this to any person perhaps in this predicament to be brave enough to follow what they feel best and not be overrun by another persons feelings

    • Joshua October 16, 2015 at 4:43 am #

      27 yr old guy. Dating a girl for 2 years who says she can’t live without me. I’m not happy, I don’t want to engage, but I feel too guilty to leave. Her family loves me also and have helped me Nd I don’t want to disappoint them either.

      I need advice.

      • Jo October 17, 2015 at 10:14 pm #

        i am 31 f and was with a guy for 3 years and engaged. I basically felt the same as you. I got to the point where I knew I didn’t want to be with him for the rest of my life, but I was so scared to break it off for fear of completely crushing him. I finally did after 3 weeks of internal struggle. That was a month ago. It is still extremely hard and I’m sure it will be for a long while, but I believe I did the right thing. Be strong, you only have one life to live and sometimes we have to do these things – not only for your own future happiness but hers as well. In time everyone will be ok. You aren’t the first person to go through this and come out better on the other end. Good luck and you are in my thoughts

      • Kev November 30, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

        I’m in the exact same boat as Joshua. My girlfriend lives with me and since we’ve been togethor for around 2 years she has done a lot to make my home more of a home for her also. She loves me so much and I can see that she’s obsessed with me. We’ve split up in the past for a few days and she was a mess she stopped eating she didn’t go to work she just went to her mum’s and her brothers told me that alls she did was cry and didn’t want to speak to anyone she was distraught. I’ve been left before by a girl I really loved and I didn’t want to split but I had no choice and I remember what I felt and it’s the worst thing I’ve ever been through so I could relate to what I was putting her through. So I took her back because I felt like a monster I hated myself for what I’d done to her I was asking myself how I could be so heartless to make a girl who was enfatuated with me feel this way. After we got back togethor she is constantly scared to lose me and I have to lie and tell her I am happy and that I love her but I am lying I don’t feel what she feels but I think I am gonna be stuck in this relationship for the rest of my life because I’m to much of a coward to put her through that again I just can’t do it is there a good way to break up with someone ? I’ve told my friends and they just call me a pussy and tell me to finish it and that it’s easy but that’s just the advice you get when you try and talk to the lads.

        • Sad Dad February 16, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

          damn Kev I am in a somewhat similar situation, we only have about 1 yr and 4 months, but its very similar, she moved in with me, she has also helped around the house, brought some of her things, ive told her I think I need space and time, and I feel like a super terrible person, I mean shes awesome, shes great, shes sweet she is down for me, but I am pretty sure im not in love with her

          ive also been left by a girl after 13 yrs, and I feel me and my current gf may have moved too fast.

          Kev would you mind replying or emailing me (tattoo3dcowboy (at) gmail.com) at least to let me know what has progressed or how you handled it?

          I feel like a monster, just the thought of her leaving and knowing that she will be sad/crying somewhere keeps me from telling her to leave 🙁

          • Luana June 23, 2016 at 1:00 am #

            Similar, but not quite similar.
            I’ve been dating my partner for the past six months… Almost a year.
            However, I stopped having feelings for them, but I don’t feel capable of ending the relationship because they claimed that I “make them the happiest person alive” that they “can’t live without me” and similar stuff.
            However, I don’t feel the same, not now. In fact, I believe that I never did.
            wE had our up and downs on where they wouldn’t tell me stuff and I would end up being the last one finding out about their true feelings (as an example, they were depressed and I ended up fionding out days later, they were sick and coughing blood, hide that from me) and several more stuff, made me feel unimportant and distrusted, which hurt my feelings and slowly made me distrust them as well.
            However, they still claim to be deeply in love with me and I don’t know what to do. They have planned to move out with me, live with me, even marry or visit places and I don’t have the heart to tell them that I just don’t visualize myself doing all that stuff with them.
            I feel like a monster and I know that wjat I’m doing is completely wrong, but I already hurt them once (they broke up with me once because their family disaproved it, but came back secretly.) They told me that they would give up everything just for me. And I just… Need help, I wish they could hate me or stop loving me…

        • 100days a year March 1, 2016 at 12:11 am #

          Truth be told I feel for you as I am in a similar boat. You do have one thing that helps. You have friends that will listen even if they call you a pussy. I unfortunately have the same circle of friends as my now 10 year long relationship girlfriend has. I really do feel stuck and guilty. Btw this is the first time I have even let it out even if it is on line and just typing.

          • Susand July 10, 2016 at 2:40 am #

            I have lived and loved the same man for 11 years. In the first 5 years, I felt like I had finally met my soulmate, but things weren’t quite right on many fronts. I had left a marriage of 23 years and started dating too soon after leaving my husband. Also, I had just lost my best friend, brother and soulmate and my wonderful grandmother. He on the other hand had experienced his children being molested by a babysitter and had been living along and lost for years. Trying to pick up the pieces of his broken marriage and children. Fast forward 11 years. I have broken up with him several times. He is hopelessly in love with my, but I have been lost for a long time. A very sick daughter, and stress that no 57 year old woman should have to endure. I major factor of my breakup was his perpetual unemployment. So, no financial security, which I didn’t have in my first marriage. I lost total feeling for him months ago, and every day has been agony. Particularly, because we adopted a beautiful boxer, which I will be leaving with him, to help him heal. I am old enough it say, that life just doesn’t promise you a rose garden. Moving on and finally going to have the my freedom to live me life and have no one else to take be responsible for other than little old me. I have hope that my life will get better and I will be in a good place sooner rather than enduring the agony to staying in a dead relationship. I did feel quilt for a long time. But this article clarifies my feelings, and I will eventually be ok with me! There is hope, but you can only move forward, when you help yourself.

        • Eric March 13, 2016 at 11:52 pm #

          Same situation here, buddies dont know how hard it is to do. Easiar said then done. my gf is really needy and clingy to me says im the world to her, doesnt know what she`ll do without me, death will better then life if i left her she says, but i`m not happy and wanna date other women or be just single and free. what ive been doing is slowly distancing myself from her and then plan to let her go. i think slow small of pain vs huge fast of pain is better choice with situations like this. i hope this helps. best of luck

          • mike June 3, 2016 at 2:05 am #

            I have been dating the same girl for two years. I was an alcoholic and a fucking asshole and she stuck with me throughout all of it. Shes a great person, but she has issues. She is incredibly needy and has all sorts of trust issues with me since i became sober. At first, I thought our relationship could last because I thought that my inability to be sexual towards her was just a phase I was going through, but the longer its gone, the more I’ve realised I’m just not physically attracted to her, at all. I feel like I’m stuck. I don’t want to her hurt her due to the amazing things shes done for me in my life, but I don’t want to stay with her because I am just not attracted to her physically. I also don’t want to leave her because she is such a nice person. She does all these wonderful things for me but I feel like an asshole because I can’t man up and tell her how i feel. I eat my true feelings and sit here in absolute fear of making her hurt herself. She is overweight, works as a hairstylist and is a bundle of nerves and anxiety. I am 32 a IT tech and have been working at it for years. The worst part is I think I am in love with her best friend, and I know if I leave her, I will never see her best friend again. In general, I have completely fucked the situation and I have no idea what to do. I hate where I am and sometimes I feel like it is going to lead my back to drinking by all the lies. I have promised her I love her and I want to marry her simply because she refuses to drop those sentiments. I hate my life and I don’t want to be with her because I don’t find her attractive at all, but I am too pussy of a person to be honest with her.

        • Simon August 12, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

          I think were all in the same boat. My Wife cheated on me after 23 years and I immedietly got into another relationship with a woman with kids. I did not want to be alone and grew fond of this woman. She eventially forced her way into the home that me and my ex had together. It started to workout, but now i feel like im in a bad dream. Im feeling horrible about booting this woman and her kids out, because the kids really do not deserve any of this. She has had many failed relationships and is very controlling, but gorgeous and great in bed…. I know that does not mke up for everything, but I was lonely in my marriage for so long and she completed that aspect of it. Since dating this woman i gave up all past friends and she flips out if i do anything alone. She says she does not believe in guys doing anything alone. Im still here and feel stuck…

      • Sad Dad February 16, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

        Hi Joshua how have things progressed? would you mind updating or emailing me (tattoo3dcowboy (at) gmail.com)

        im also trying to break up but having a hard time, just feel like im a monster or a terrible person for hurting someone who loves me

      • Eric March 13, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

        i`m in the same situation except im 24 and been together 3 years. its almost been a year since you posted this comment. hows your situation now if you dont mind me asking?

    • Ford January 25, 2016 at 5:37 am #

      Mind blown, thank you.

    • Don March 24, 2016 at 6:12 pm #

      Thank you Mark. I’ve just ended a 14 year relationship – married for 2 of those years – because I went through exactly what you did and I realised it would be way too late once we had kids soon. I feel guilty for not being honest earlier but I just wanted her to be happy.

      In the end I wasted both of our time. I can’t take it back but we can still get our lives on track I hope.

  3. Taryn August 13, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    I have just broken up with my partner of 9 years. We have been with each other since high school, and I feel such an enormous sense of guilt having known I have broken his heart. Although I have felt like this for quite a while, he really didn’t have a clue that our relationship would come to an end. I love him, but it had come to a point where I felt we were more platonic than anything else. We were planning on going to live abroad for a year and had bought airline tickets and visas, which is when I realised that I wanted to go alone. I want him to meet someone and have the same spark as we had when we first met, and I want the same for myself as well. I don’t know why I’ve but it on here, but it’s very cathartic.

  4. Lily August 30, 2015 at 11:48 pm #

    I just broke up with my boyfriend, 1 year and 9 months together. (Almost 10). I felt like the most horrible person on the entire planet. I knew he would feel bad, but watching him break down was much worse than I ever imagined. All I wanted was to take the pain away, but I knew the only way to do that was going to be getting back together. I wasn’t feeling the same for him for over a month, but I had been so afraid to tell him. So when I broke the news, he was torn apart. He had never imagined our relationship would come to an end. I recommend truth ans honesty always, its so unfair to feel obligated to be with someone just so they wont get hurt. You have to think about yourself as well. It’s never going to be easy, I felt like I wouldn’t ever stop crying. The worst part is when they won’t accept it. But you just have to stay strong…

    • baniah July 23, 2016 at 4:05 am #

      I am living with a guy I don’t love anymore. Maybe never loved him,when we got together I basically started dating him to help him from doing drugs and hanging with the wrong crowd. Later on I found out he had a kid…he wants nothing to do with. He lies about stupid things, destroys my stuff when I tell him I can’t stand him.. Every time I tell him I want my space or need a brake he breaks down,throws a huge tantrum and it really makes me feel so sad and guilty. I can’t leave, i really want to, i wish I could just go without hurting him. We fight too much and it’s due to me not being able to stand his sight. I don’t like him grabbing me or kissing me specially not in public and i am getting depressed. I have noone, nowhere to go,and no way to not hurt him.

  5. Someguy September 15, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

    My girlfriend pretty much saved my life. I was in the gutter with booze. I was going to lose the house. She moved in and we both ended up recovering and even quitting smoking. I really needed her then. I love her but I don’t think I was ever in love with her. I’m afraid she will find this. She finds everything. She invades every shred of my privacy. I feel like I’m in prison. I can’t seem to get out of this.

    • Eric March 13, 2016 at 11:58 pm #

      man i know the feeling. things i think you need. wisdom, courage and truth. if you have these and use them you can be set free. i hope she doesnt see my comment and come looking for me lol

  6. Cold Heart September 27, 2015 at 6:08 am #

    Current relationship of 5 years, daughter is 2.5 years old. He adores me, and her and does any and everything he can to please me……I know, I know.

    I was never attracted to him. I fell for him because of his heart, loyalty and sense of humor. I overlooked his lack of education, financial stability, jealousy and insecurity. He does NOT do it for me in the bedroom, despite countless talks, instructions, books, videos, games etc. ..I believe he tries, but I’m far from satisfied.

    I could ignore just about everything and live a content life, if it weren’t for the jealousy and insecurity. Well, the education is an issue too, he doesn’t have basic grammar or life skills. His jealousy and insecurity makes me despise him.

    I told him 2 weeks ago it was over and he has to leave. I feel awful for him, and for my daughter, but personally I feel so much relief.

  7. Heartbreaker October 27, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    Broke up with a girl of 5 yrs about 2 mo ago, not married but have a 4 yo son together, and she has her own 9 yo son. . I wished I had several years ago. I never had the gut feeling she was the one for me but now I can look back on the relationship and realize the signs of where I should have spoke up sooner. I feel in this relationship I did voice problem areas that had hurt my feelings or made me concerned with how compatible we were. This article really helped with the intense guilt I feel (even now 2 mo later) of having to break it off with her and split up a household. Now we have to deal with separate times with our joint child which is a separate struggle to cope with in itself. I saw things within the first year that I wasn’t sure about with her and maybe should have been more vocal about whether or not this would work out. But for me Atleast guilt again made me stay because her and her son had moved in with me (she lived with her parents). I didn’t want to totally destroy her because I hate making people cry and break their hearts. Also I think, I wanted to give it time, a year or 2 to see if she changed or maybe the relationship would grow into what I needed from it. But it didnt. Most people don’t change. I feel relief from being out of that relationship of being emotionally ignored and taken for granted but I still am dealing with the “normal” emotions of guilt for having put her and her son and now our son through a breakup. I know it gets better with time and everyone will move on and be happy. I want her to be happy again with someone or even just herself at the moment. I wish in noone heartbreak or the guilt of heaving been in a relationship too long because of various reasons. But I will say (also from all the other comments on here), it is better to be honest and open and not stick around for the wrong reasons. You owe to both of you.

  8. Red November 5, 2015 at 8:51 am #

    I ended a 15 year common law relationship recently, and I have fallen in love with someone else. That was purely accidental, and I did not cheat. This has been one of the most painful things I’ve ever dealt with, he had a previous ex from hell, no wsy I’ll put him through that again. No child support, 50/50 custody, no court involvement, just raising our kids together as friends. He was always the one threatening to leave, he controlled most if what I did through whining and pouting and guilting, including my job as manager at a hotel. Even though I am the strong one and can push on no matter what, I worry about him. We were together so long I’m going to be laying there at night wondering what he’s thinking as he’s going to sleep, or what he’s doing after work . why do I feel so guilty for doing this, why do I feel so alone right now. I can’t tell him because this isn’t about me right now. We are still best friends, but suddenly things are awkward to say to each other ya know. Why does it hurt so much? Because it was real😧

  9. Lisa November 24, 2015 at 12:33 am #

    I’m going through this too, I’ve tried breaking up many times but he almost begs that I stay with him, and I can’t bare it so cave. I’ve shown my concerns but he seems pretty happy with the relationship being totally one sided. It doesn’t help its long distance so I do get excited to see him but I care for him, I can’t see us going anywhere. What do I do? We have gone out for 3 years so he knows me too well and always avoids the conversation. Am I really that horrible?

    • Ricky November 25, 2015 at 12:41 am #

      No, you’re not horrible. I’m in the exact same situation. It’s been two years and the past 10 months i’ve realized that it isn’t going to work. I want out but the points brought up in this post are all the reasons I can’t. I feel like I’ll be personally destroying someone else’s feelings….heart. I know i’m only hurting us both. It weighs heavily on me daily…I know what I should do but I’m afraid…she’s a good person.

    • Isabel January 21, 2016 at 8:41 am #

      🙁 I totally understand how you are feeling. Im in a relationship of 2 1/2years and fell for my gfs loyalty, kindness and compassion. Everything was fine for most of the time. However she had been burned in the past cheated on ect…. and that is mirrored by her jealousy, anxiety and controlling ways…. it gets bad. I sometimes feel as if she is making me change into a scared person, closing up with no voice. We have gone through 3 “almost” break ups. When I say “almost” i mean i tried ending it and she refused to accept. Usually saying “you give up too easily” so I cave every time. I feel guilt because every time we have a fight she does something really nice for me (including promosing she will work on things) only for it to stay the same. She is also a few years older and wants different things (eg :children) and ive put so much focus in always trying to “fix” our relationship ive not found any fulfillment for myself. I met someone who ive been having feelings grow for…. but now i feel so guilty its as if i feel i dont deserve to end my current relationship and make myself happy. 🙁 worse thing is she has booked a cruise 2mnths from now paid my deposit and all so more guilt. I know its wrong staying with her with so much uncertainty but i dont feel strong enough yet to break it off.

      • pax January 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

        I agree with you isabel. i am in a similar situation where i have caved several times in the past few weeks when he promises to change and make things better. last week we agreed to take things one day at a time but even that is becoming unbearable. i dont enjoy having sex with him or kissing touching. he used to force me to kiss him even though i said several times that i didnt enjoy it but he didnt care as long as he wanted it. not to mention if i said no or showed displeasure he would withdraw and get passive aggressive about it for a few hours. im emotionally drained by all of this. he has booked a weekend trip away for my birthday in a few weeks and i feel i should stick it through until after that. i am also talking to someone else but i dont want a relationship with anyone, i more want some sexual fulfilment as i feel so unsatisfied at home with him. another issue is we live together so i would have to move out of his house if we split up, something i cant afford right now as i am financially dependent on him. its so stressful

        • le sigh February 27, 2016 at 11:48 pm #

          This situation is quite terrible, but holy shit….tough it out until the weekend cruise for your birthday is over? God help the woman who uses a gift like that and then breaks my heart….I wish you the all best honestly I do, but that made me laugh so hard…

    • Sherry June 25, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

      I am not sure your situation has been resolved however I just found this site and I’m reading this post. I’m responding to the post that you had from 2015. I was exactly where you are when I was married to my first husband. I stayed with him to keep from hurting him. I finally found myself having the courage to divorce him and did so when our son was 10 years old. I immediately got into another relationship with another man who seemed to be wonderful and I stayed in the relationship with the new man for close to four years before we finally married. I had so many reservations with the second man but married him anyway. The marriage failed after eight months because I knew I had made a bad choice. I found myself staying in these relationships because I didn’t want to hurt them, and I was so afraid to be alone myself. Seven years ago I ended another relationship and I have stayed single for the past five at those seven years. I found a destructive pattern with myself and decided to do work to make me stronger so I could enter a new relationship with confidence and stability. My advice to anyone in a situation like this is to rip the Band-Aid off quickly get as far away from the situation as possible and heal. I found that I was the one suffering when trying to make someone else happy. My happiness was at bay until I discovered how to love myself first and put myself first I was miserable. Now I am a very content woman looking forward to a very healthy relationship. I have just started to date again. I know the warning signs of a codependent person and it’s easy to walk away before getting involved. Being a stable person took time however I am emotionally healthy and strong. As far as the two men that I walked away from, both are with loving women and they both seem to be extremely happy.

      • Louise August 16, 2016 at 4:19 am #

        Sherry thank you for your words. I have gotten in a few destructive relationships that tend to keep me there longer than I want to be. I am currently in a relationship with a really good guy but I don’t feel like we’re right for each other. I am hoping that I can and things OK but so far he seems very resistant to ending. It’s very painful

  10. Tye December 3, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

    I have been in a relationship, on & off the past 12 months, for three years. I have left probably on 5 occasions, but I keep coming back because I feel so guilty. He tells me how much he needs me and that he does not know where he would be without me. We are not compatible and it bugs me so much. His goals in life are not realistic and he is so jealous and insecure that it’s not funny. I know it would cause him financial trouble if I left and I just don’t know what to do. This is both our first relationship and I don’t know what to do! I feel like I am crazy because I keep coming back, but I still care for him. I may not be physically or mentally attracted to him, but I still care and worry about his well-being. My best friend probably thinks I am crazy because every time I have left my boyfriend I have gone to stay with him. I do not have any family in this state. I am tearing up now because I feel soooo stuck.

    • Preina April 16, 2016 at 12:28 am #

      You need to end it, I just broke up with my girlfriend of over 3 and a half years last month for similar reasons. I felt stuck, I didn’t feel the connection anymore and tried to leave soany ti.especially but every time I did she would make me feel so bad about leaving that I couldn’t do it. This most recent time I finally went through with it. It’s very hard because I care about her but in our time apart I have realized that I am truly not in love with her. Please break up you will feel so much better and your partner will be better off trust me it’s the right thing to do.

  11. Kat December 15, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    I feel awful right now and I need advice. I am with a guy for almost 7 years. I love him, he is a good person, very sweet and kind, but I don’t know if I’m IN love with him anymore. We do compliment each other in ways (hes introverted I’m an extrovert) and he dose get along with my family good. We started dating when I was 19 years old, and I was fresh outta high school. He is also 10 years older than me. I never has a problem with this ever, and I still dont have an issue with it. I love him as a person. He can act adorable sometimes and we both enjoy the little things. I want whats best for him. And trust me I want this to work between us. i really do.

    Problem is I feel like we don’t connect as well on a lovers level. I know after a while the heat calms down and true love comes out, the kind where you wanna take time to mend and build relationship deeper than just sex and physical affection. However, We fight at least once a week. I feel there are things to be worked on in our relationship, like the lack of intimacy, affection. This has been a battle for years. And we’ve tried to fix things and make things better but they always fall back to being “dry”. I’m all about cuddling, hugging, and kissing, and deep intimacy. Hes not so affectionate and intimate. Woohooo time doesn’t even have foreplay anymore really (sorry if that was a bit personal to some) so its really hard for me to get into it. He just isn’t into that as much. I almost always have to make the first move (he does too but for the most part it is me.) and we hardly ever get to go to eachothers houses and actually be able to have private time. We did have a intimate moment last week, and sadly part of me just didnt want it from him even though part of me wanted it.

    Everytime we tried to work things out I find myself getting more and more frustrated with him when the same conversation came up. My BF doesnt find anything wrong with the relationship at all and really has nothing to say about it, which gets me upset because I feel like there are things to be changed and talked about. I also feel like I’m forcing him to change for me, which i dont want. I want intimacy and affection to be natural, not forced. he claims I’m not forcing him, but I still feel I am.

    Also I have anxiety and a bit of a temper. I feel like its getting worse with the more I feel disconnected to him. I get so angry because of things never changing and he gets so angry with me for being angry at him. We always say things we dont mean, hurtful things too. At this point hes 35 and just wants a steadyness to the relationship. he wants to move in together and wants a family with me. And at some points I want that too, but it frightens me. I don’t wanna be like this to him when we move in or have kids, and I especially wanna be 100% sure of my feelings for him before we do that. I feel like also he’d be better off without me and my anxiety and temper. Trust me i have been trying so damn hard to work on that for me and for him. He forgives me in the end and forgets, but how long will that be before he realizes this isn’t how relationships are suppose to be… he can’t keep wanting me to stay when I hurt him like that and he hurts me with his words. Its always a break up talk on my end until the fight gets so wound up that he finally says he doesn’t care (say it because the fight burns us both out). When I get into panic fits he just doesnt know what to do with me or say to me, and I feel so alone. He says he’s never give up on me.

    I’m afraid though that if we break up for good, I will never see him again. He is not one to stick around after a relationship has ended. i can’t blame him in the least. I just dont know if I can handle loosing him for good. he’d pretty much be dead to me if we broke up…

    2 years ago we went on a break (after a while we were planning on coming back together after we we worked things out on our own), and I met this wonderful friend. We instantly clicked. I felt we had so many connections on different levels. it wasnt forced and it was completely natural. i felt I knew him for years and years. I didn’t develop a crush on him until a few months later, when someone questioned if we were dating. the connection i felt wasn’t puppy dog love either. he understood me like my BF didn’t. Now understand I never cheated on my BF for him. I wanted to go out and give my friend a try but… in the end I was terrified… terrified to start something new and end something that was trying to be fixed and lasted so long…. so out of fear and pure emotion I went back to my BF and he came back to me. My friend also had a crush on me too. BUT My friend just wanted what was best for me though. He cared about our friendship more than a relationship with me. It meant a lot to me. He never forced me to make a choice or anything…. all he told me was that I need to ground myself and find out what will make me truly happy. Dont focus on the past and don’t fear the future. Just focus on the present and what I’m feeling. And unlike my BF, my friend understood my anger problems and my anxiety, because he had them too. he knew exactly what to say and do. He calmed my inner demons the way my BF couldnt (he did a few times but never like my friend did for me)

    I feel like I sound so terrible now. I feel I have a good thing going for me. My BF never cheats on me, he’d never hit me, he’s always tried for me. He loves me with his whole heart, Its just that damn connect i feel we don’t have anymore. I’ve said this before to him, it feels like we are more of good friends than an actual couple. He loves me though. And it hurts me so much to think I may not love him the same way anymore. It scares me that we put so much effort into this and have plans and it may not even be the best thing for us… Sad thing is when we have good days I feel great and feel guilty for even thinking about leaving… but in bad days I just want it over… and that feeling lasts for days even after a fight is over….

    I know love is deeper than just a physical attraction and sex… I feel we have built that kinda love because we worked so hard to mold it, worked so hard to understand one another and keep working at it… its just the DAMN STUPID CONNECTION I FEEL WE DON’T HAVE ANYMORE… It keeps tugging away at me…

    I need some advice… something…. because I’m crying my eyes out typing this and I just need some logical advice… something to grab onto that makes any scene….

    • Gee Lizz December 24, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

      I have never been so touched by someone’s comment. Been in a relationship for 6 years since highschool and I couldn’t relate more… It feels comforting knowing that someone else is going through the same issues. I don’t know what to do. 🙁

    • YS January 5, 2016 at 10:48 am #

      @Kat

      Stumbled upon this post just now while reading up articles on how to deal with guilt. What you wrote is very similar to what I went thru.

      I am a woman who has been in a committed 11 year same sex relationship (we stay together and both families have met.. considering that I am asian and live in Asia, this is a very big thing). Prior to getting together, we knew each other for 9 years and were best friends out of school. Making this 20 years being part of each others’ lives. I am in my mid 30s… so this relationship literally took up more than half of my lifespan.

      Like you (@Kat), physical affection had always been an issue in our relationship. Didnt help that 6 years ago, I took on a high pressure fast pace job requiring alot of travel..

      that was an initial trigger that started a serious of personal and career changes for me… it made me realise certain aspects about myself and through meeting many ppl, interfacing and working with different cultures.

      The distance between us grew… part of the reason was due to the fact that I was evolving in a different pace from her within the relationship. Nothing wrong with it. These are things that just happened.

      A few months ago, i met someone at work. and like you, Kat, it started off innocently, we had great connection (she is straight so I thought nothing about it)…. but the emotional connection became really intense and by the time we realised it, we had already developed feelings for each other. She never asked for anything more from me and never expected anything more from me. All she wanted was for me to be happy and actually advised me to re-look at my primary relationship to find the original spark

      about 1.5months ago, our relationship became physical. A week after it became physical, my partner tried to initiate sex with me but my heart was not there. That was when the reality of everything hit me… and I felt i wanted more.

      I am now in the midst of a break up .. breaking up a long term relationship. I dont know how it will be a few weeks down the road. On good days, I feel like I made the right decision and feel free. On bad days, I ask myself if I made the right decision and have to deal with the guilt and shame of what has happened and for initiating the break up and for wanting more.

      If this is the path that you want to take… be mentally prepared and everyday when I hit a rough patch, I always tell myself the following and I hope it helps you as well.

      1) Have the courage to question your relationship…
      2) Have the courage to aspire more for your happiness
      3) Have the courage to make the decision about your relationship
      4) Lastly, have the courage to stay with the decision and deal with the consequences (financially, emotionally from yourself and with how your friends and family deal with your decision)

      • Davey January 6, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

        I just had a Eureka moment about myself. I am having trouble with my relationship with a wonderful lady because of her ten year old son. I am sixty and raised my children successfully. I realized that since my divorce and including my ex, I am a rescue dog! I have subconsciously rejected women who did not need rescuing and have been attracted to women that needed some form of rescue, emotional, financial, or both. Because of this, I put my needs on the back burner but after a while, that becomes an issue and the relationship becomes sour. Wow! Better late than never!

        • Eddie Corbano January 6, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

          Congrats Davey, that is a major discovery that will impact your future relationships positively. Good job!

        • Ross July 15, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

          Davey,
          Thanks for the comment. I am in my sixties too. 35 years with the second wife. First wife for 9 years. For all these years I have been subjected to victim playing, controlling and manipulative behavior. It seems I attract the same type of women. I am a professional and in the same area for 44 years. Family, friends and a persona of a plow horse pulling and always accommodating. Forgot who or what I want out of life for years. I tried leaving 2 times and actually did have an apartment. Came back out of guilt when she became the super nice does everything wife. Once I am hooked back in my needs and opinions are: do as your told…don’t think. Yes that had been said to me and a lot more verbal insults.
          Today is just a day of guilt creeping in since in 4 weeks I will be leaving. Tried to discuss a month ago with her even sitting in front of her with a nice letter. But was told that is not what I want to do. Veiled threats too of financial ruin. So, now I am covert. Feel good most times but it scares the hell out me some nights in my sleep.
          I know the answer is within us and just felt supported by your note. Thanks.

    • Beth August 17, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

      I can empathise with this entirely. Very moving – hope you figured it out x

  12. Davey December 18, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    What was I thinking? I just turned 60 years old although I’ve been told by many that I look 50. For the past nine months, I’ve been living with a wonderful gal who is 46 and has a 10 year old son. I feel that was a huge mistake. We used to have so much fun when we lived separately. I am pretty much diametrically opposite on raising children. I raised two boys of my own who are very successful in life. She is extremely lenient in my view and I am tired of being the bad guy.
    I don’t necessarily want to break up but I don’t want to live with her. How do I make that happen?

    • Ross July 15, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

      I just read your next post. Wow….what a comparison. I have someone who I have known for 20 years. She is 47 and a co-professional. She is interested and has been my support on many occasions. We are attracted to each other. I realize I need to live alone for a very long time before I ever live with another.
      Just this morning she made me feel pressured because I am still being the nice guy despite my plan to leave. The 47 year old gives me a sense that she feels I am not going to give her enough of my time. Red flag. I am not ending it yet but I am very cautious of not repeating past mistakes. Hang in there. Somehow telling another they have a right to care for themselves instead of bending is making me feel better about my decisions.
      Good luck.

  13. a lost soul December 21, 2015 at 3:53 am #

    I been with my girlfriend for 7years .She is very controlling and it gets on my last damn nerves..lately i have been feeling like its time for a change in my life witout her being apart of it..a new year is approaching and im still young (26)i have goals and things i wanna reach but i feel as if she is holding me bk from alot of things.. i want kids she dont i just think we are not on the same path i love her but i think it is time to let her go on with her life

    • J February 13, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

      Just move out. You’re a 60 year old man. Stand up for what you want!

  14. Eric December 31, 2015 at 6:18 am #

    Wow, it’s some consolation that people are feeling similar to me and its happening right now.

    I have been with my partner for 7 years. We met online and had a long distance relationship for the first year. I probably did not view the relationship as very serious in the beginning as I was seeing someone occasionally from overseas but neglected to share this information with either of them….my bad and something I am not very proud of.

    When this came out I, I stopped all communication with the woman from overseas but I also felt an immense sense of guilt and I think my partner used this to her advantage and contributed to me making some decisions I probably should not have. Basically, I should have been strong enough to have taken some time for myself and not gone straight into this relationship, something I have always regretted.

    After this happened and after the death of my elderly father some 3 months later, my partner moved across the country and moved in with me. I was not comfortable with this but because of grief and guilt I let it happen.

    Since then it has been hard work for me but I have committed to the relationship and made the most of things. For the last 2 years we have been trying to have children. Again, this is something I was not 100% into but because she wanted it I have gone along with it. We are now into our 2nd round of IVF.

    Long story short, I am not happy, I’m not sure I ever have been. We are great friends, get along well and I do love her but for me there has always been something missing and she does not accept me for who I really am, she wont compromise and has to have everything go her way. I am terrified we will have a child and I will still be unhappy but feel the need to stay because of the child.

    I am stressed because I know what I have to do but can’t make the decision…or wont make it. I am going to read more on this through this site and hopefully get the courage to do something about it

  15. Criss January 16, 2016 at 12:57 am #

    I have GF almost 1,5 year. When I met her it was great. Later on things went really fast. We were even planing shared apartment. But at some point I started to feel I can’t imagine to live together and need to go out to know other girls… but I can’t say it to her.. . When we were argueing she said something which i remembered and it can probably show my problem. That I don’t really know what I want. I love my girlfriend but i feel so much hesitantly. That she isn’t this girl Which I want. Honestly we really love and understand eachother but somehow we are also arguing a LOT and we don’t have common hobbies, interests. So i have all this thoughts. What if I had a girl which has some interest same as me, or that do something awsome that inspires me or makes me try this. Or a girl that could spend time with me on our common hobby. What if… I didn’t took first girl from the shore…. And instead, choose a girl which I really like to spend time with. But now I’m trapped. My current girlfriend has some depression issues and she were talking a lot about us and how we will have our home and her dreamed german shepherd. I feel like a total coward and a monster. Even if she asks me(and she does when I can’t hide something) I just can’t say that someting is not right. Once I tried to take a step to just slow down our relationship. But in argue she said that we are together or we breake up completly and never contact eachother. I’ve seen her reacting to some problems. She is VERY sensitive. I know that if I try to end our relationship she will take this very hard. I don’t want to hurt her. And I dont wan’t to lose her completly. I’m too fcked up to break up with her…………….

    • Davey January 17, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

      Dude, either the two of you get counseling from a professional, or you must move on. The other choice is to live with the situation. Do you see yourself ten, twenty years from now wishing you would have left?
      There is no such thing as an easy break up. Been there done that. It hurts. Even though you know it’s the right thing to do, you miss her, you care about her, you wonder if she is okay. But the fact still remains that you are not meant for each other. If that is the case, do yourself and her a favor and move on. Trust me, you are better off with zero contact.
      So, either get professional help or move on. You are a monster if you stay.

  16. Cassy January 24, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

    I have been dating this guy for a few months now, and I feel a little stuck in my emotions right now. I really do love him, he means a lot to me. But I can’t stand how much he talks about his ex. I asked him if he still loved her and he said ¨yes, but I would never be with her again¨ right to my face. It hurt me so bad, and the fact that he still talks to this girl and texts her kills me inside. What do I do? I have met someone else who knows I’m in a relationship, but says that he will wait for me. I am so lost! I care for both of them, but I hate being compared to a guys ex. Someone please help?!

    • Davey January 25, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

      I am more than 50 year old so I have been through a lot in my life. I have learned that respect for each other is far more important than love. You can claim to love someone but if you don’t respect the person, the relationship will never be a satisfying one. In your situation, the fellow does not respect you otherwise he would have stopped. Perhaps you love him but if you are already eyeing someone else, I don’t think you are in love with him. When you are truly in love, you never look for another conquest. For me, when I am in love, Miss Universe could fall all over me but it wouldn’t mean a thing. I think this guy is trouble and you need to move on.

  17. Sad Dad February 16, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

    I am also having a hard time breaking up with my girlfriend, so I just told her we needed to take some time apart, and she starts looking for apartments immediately, on top of that I feel really guilty and bad cuz she will start texting me or posting stuff on fb, and I feel like a terrible person because I know im hurting her 🙁

    I guess im in a place where things are “ok”, just “ok, not “OK!” or “Ok”, but a lowercase plain and simple “ok”, and I don’t know what to do, I mean she will do anything for me, shes a really sweet girl, she likes crafts and stuff like that,

  18. Davey March 1, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

    Sad Dad, we are in the same boat, man. I am still hurting from my breakup. She did some mean things like claiming I cheated on her when I was so totally loyal and dedicated to her it’s not even funny. But I forgive her anyway because I know deep down she was hurting and she is a really good person. I just could not deal with raising another child when mine are grown and out of the house. I felt like I had didn’t have my space in my own home. Anyway, let’s hope for both of our sake the hurt will subside. The funny thing is that she told her family that I cheated on her when at this time I am not even at a point of being comfortable hugging another woman. Isn’t life strange?

  19. James March 4, 2016 at 4:19 am #

    I am like so many others, held back by potential guilt. I was married, but my wife died a few years ago. After some time I met someone new, she helped me realise I still had something to offer.

    My problem is that I have a grown up daughter who was raised to be respectful and polite, my partner has 3 boys under 10 who have never been disciplined. I don’t mean they’re a bit unruly, I mean she refuses to say no to them. Her 5 year old doesn’t go to bed until half past eleven, the other two stay up until whenever they want. Between the 3 of them they eat 9 bags of sweets and 6 bars of chocolate every day. Whatever they want, they get.

    They are greedy, selfish, rude, foul mouthed and spoilt. She expects me to treat them like kings, because she thinks they’re perfect, but I can’t do that. I expect children to have manners and show respect. I can’t be someone I’m not.

    She has had a really hard life, childhood abuse, a husband who treated her like his servant, and she has been shunned by her parents. She had another guy, before me, who cheated on her with her friend and then dumped her in a text message. I know I was just meant to be a way to get over him, a short term fling to make him believe she’s moved on. The thing is I treated her like the lady she is. She told me I was supposed to help her get over her other man, but instead I made her forget him. I showed her real love, and we fell for each other. I have given her confidence and a belief that she’s worth more than that, because she is. She has given me confidence and hope. She’s a loving, generous, funny woman and I do love her, but I can’t face a future with her sons.

    If I leave her she will just have another person who abandoned her. It will crush her and I can’t hurt her like that. She’s spent half her life on anti depressants because her life has been so hard, she’s now free from medication and I can’t bear the thought that I would be the reason she ends up going backwards.

    I have told her I think the boys need discipline and order in their life, but she just tells me they’re perfect and I’m expecting too much from them.

    I’m so unhappy, but I can’t just abandon her.

  20. GuiltyGirl March 5, 2016 at 9:57 am #

    I have been in a relationship with my fiance for 6 years (engaged for 3 years). When our relationship first started, things were fun and light. Before long, feelings grew deeper and we began exclusively seeing each other. Even then, I knew deep down that he was not the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, but I was really enjoying the relationship at that moment and saw no problem with continuing to see each other. We fell in love, him more so than me.

    Long story short, we end up getting engaged 3 years after meeting (even then my gut said don’t do it) and moved into a house together. I didn’t want to hurt him so I agreed to get married. Even though my gut knew marriage was the wrong thing to do, my head hoped that my feelings would change and that I would be able to live out my days with him. I never set a date, I never even looked at dresses…I didn’t feel like there was a need, but I couldn’t leave him and hurt him. I kept these feelings to myself and went along with the program. I kept silent and pretended to be eternally happy (for the most part, I was content). Being silent was not the best thing, but I love him and it breaks my heart when he hurts…especially if it is something that I caused. I didn’t want to abandon or reject him when he’s faced so much of that in his lifetime already. Plus, he is very emotional so when he hurts there is lots of crying and agonizing pain involved – it’s difficult to watch.

    The longer we’re together, the harder it gets to continue the charade. My stress and anxiety is more intense and I know its because I am in this relationship that is not the right fit for me. He is a WONDERFUL person…loving, thoughtful, kind, sweet, caring (yes, I know), but I just don’t feel like we’re on the same path in life.

    It has been 6 years and I am still in this relationship simply because of the guilt I would feel for hurting him. Yes, I love him and care about him very much – but I am only here out of guilt. That’s it.

    He is currently seeing a therapist to help him with some ongoing hurt/pain he’s carried since his childhood. I am very proud of him for that. However, the excavating nature of therapy is really taking a toll on him. Its very painful. Now, he says he needs me more than ever…and all I want to do is get away (I feel like the asshole of the century).

    After a series of events and lots of praying, I recently summoned the courage and decided that I was going to leave this relationship. The immediate feelings of peace, freedom and excitement were exhilarating! I was on cloud nine. It is extremely clear that I need to leave. I put a deposit down on an apartment (lease is currently unsigned) and started making lists of the things I need to accumulate before the move. He knows nothing about the apartment. I’d planned to have a very carefully prepared talk with him this weekend. I wanted to highlight his good qualities and let him know how proud I am of him for going to therapy, but also explain that this relationship is very strained and should not continue. Unfortunately, he initiated the conversation tonight by saying that it seems he’s lost me and that I’m a million miles away…and so I try to ease into my rehearsed speech, BUT ALL HELL FALLS APART!! He starts sobbing uncontrollably and starts asking “why do people always leave me…what’s wrong with me???” Are you kidding?!?!?! How am I supposed to proceed with that out on the table? I tried my best to console him and tell him that there is nothing wrong with him I just feel like we need a break…its probably only temporary (NOT in my original speech). It didn’t work…I’ve hurt him badly. He goes on to say that we made a commitment to each other and that we’re supposed to spend the rest of our lives together which means that you work through the bad times, but you don’t leave! Again…asshole of the year over here (arrow pointing in my direction).

    He finally stopped crying and went on to work. Now I feel like a turd. I actually started thinking to myself “wow, he loves me so very much…maybe I do need to just ride this out.” Interestingly, the stress knot in the pit of my stomach that had finally dissipated when I started making steps to move on with my life is back. Every fiber of my being is telling me that I need to go…so why can’t I leave?

    I’m supposed to sign my apartment lease today. I feel awful.

    • Eloise August 15, 2016 at 12:13 am #

      GuiltyGirl, your post made me laugh and it made me cry. I am going through a similar struggle with my current boyfriend of 18 months.

      When we first started dating, My living situation when he and I met was a bit rocky as I wasn’t able to afford the apartment I was leasing. He was my knight in shining armour and came to my rescue. He allowed me to move in with him, after only a few months of dating and end my last lease. I realized it was very soon to live together and after moving in with him, I planned on finding a more affordable living situation. But then weeks turned into months and things in the relationship were mostly going fine. I noticed some things here and there- like that he seemed to be extremely physically affectionate at times, to the point that the PDA was embarrassing, and I didn’t feel any physical chemistry or spark. But, I thought that those things would come along with time because he was such a good guy. As time passed though, I couldn’t help but feel that I was being suffocated. I felt guilted into staying in bed late every weekend morning to cuddle, even though what I really wanted to do was hop out of bed and go for a jog. I didn’t feel like I was allowed to see friends as often as I wanted. Finally, after a trip abroad in which we spent the majority of the time in the hotel because he wanted to relax but wouldn’t let me wander around by myself “for safety sake” I knew this just wasn’t the relationship I could be in for the rest of my life. I’m 35 and very independent. I just can’t feel like someone is controlling me, even if they are looking out “for my safety”. Also, I just don’t feel the physical chemistry. I’m not sure if it’s because he always does baby talk to me like I’m two or that he wants me to dress like a nun and is constantly buttoning my shirts to the top button. He’s good looking so it’s not his looks. But I just don’t feel turned on with him. I feel prudish and being intimate is very challenging for me. It’s been 18 months together and I don’t think these feelings will change.

      I made an attempt last night to break up. I said we were incompatible and that I just didn’t have a libido or a desire to be sexual and that a relationship without sex is a disaster in the long run. His reply was that we can work on it and we’ll get through it. It took so much nerve for me to even say the words “incompatible” and “break up” that when he wouldn’t consider it, I didn’t have it in me to argue. I feel stuck. And I don’t feel it’s fair to either one of us, but I’m not sure how to end it, spare his feelings, and spare myself of a ton of guilt.

      I never read follow up comments of people who come back and have successfully ended it. If you have, how did you do it? Dealing with the guilt is very, very hard. I don’t want to hurt him or be mean but he doesn’t seem to hear me.

      • Ross August 15, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

        Eloise,
        Since this site seems to be populated with the younger relationship set, here is my two cents from someone that has been trying to leave for the last 25 years. Yes, that is married for 35 and not a typo.
        I am 48 hours away from going to my apartment. This will be my 5th leave. This time I let go of the guilt. They can be the nicest most wonderful person but you are holding him back from finding someone who will love him. She has never listened to me when I approached the subject. Letters, phone calls and face to face. So, this time I gave up trying to discuss. what’s to discuss? Nothing really. You want to leave so find a place and go. Don’t waste his time and yours with the guilt of hurting him. We all get hurt and life isn’t fair. If more people were emotionally mature we would part civilly. But then it took me, probably, longer than you have been on this earth to become emotionally mature.
        What does that mean? To me it means not feeling sorry for another. We are all responsible for our own feelings and emotions. Once we have mastered that fact we avoid or end quickly relationships that just don’t work. We then are happy with ourselves. When we realize that and we don’t have to be another’s source for happiness we attract emotionally mature people. Good Luck. You can do what is best for you.

        • Eloise August 21, 2016 at 8:48 pm #

          Ross, thank you for your thoughtful response. I am battling night and day with the question of when to leave. I have considered packing it all up and leaving without telling him, but then I imagine how abandoned he will feel. I care about him deeply and I am now very clear in my intention to leave but hope to do it in a way that will cause him the least amount of pain. Is there such a way? I doubt it. I will hurt him regardless. He feels that I’m not trying hard enough to save the relationship, but how do I tell him that there is no trying? I don’t feel any physical attraction to him and my intuition tells me we are not right for each other. It doesn’t matter what he works on, nothing will change how I intuitively feel. I’ve told him this once and said we need to break up. I let him talk me into thinking things over. I need to be strong but it is so so hard. Also I haven’t found anywhere to live and my job is incredibly stressful right now. Moving out will be very challenging but I feel so smothered and so stressed trying to “work on things” with him. All I want is space and peace.

          Did you move out? Your relationships ordeal sounds very challenging I agree emotional maturation is a long hard road for most of us. I hope you have been successful in your attempt to leave and in managing your guilt.

  21. Sam March 7, 2016 at 12:20 am #

    I have been in a relationship for fifteen years now. It’s pretty much been unhappy for at least ten years. I found out that the lady I am in a relationship with lied to me several times by faking pregnancies to keep me vested. She knew that having a child ment a lot to me and used this against me. I didn’t leave her because I love her son that I have raised. I am fortyfive now and really don’t see having children this late. The point being is, I hate her. I hate everything about her. I can’t forgive her. I have tried but I just can’t forgive such. Just when I had worked myself up to leaving, she was diagnosed with cancer. I stayed. She survived. I was getting ready to leave again, and I be damn if she didn’t have to have open heart surgery. Yet again she survived. What should I do? Any thoughts?

  22. Anonymous March 7, 2016 at 11:33 am #

    My story is a little bit different than most of yours.. mine is a 5 months relationship. It began “accidentally” in the beginning of college. He’s an overly attached boyfriend, overly jealous and insecure, but also so caring and so romantic and sincere, he’s a very sweet guy. We’re 22 and 23. He’s my classmate, we have common friends which makes things more complicated, especially that since he’ve known me, he refuses to make any friends of him so he just follows me everywhere, I see him everywhere I go, and sometime I just fantasize about being alone, he refuses to go out to any party or anything and tells me that he just wanna be with me in our appartement and cuddle me all day long.. I can’t take it anymore. To be honest I never loved him I went out with him because I was feeling lonely and at my age I just wanted someone to love me and care about me, WORST MISTAKE I’VE EVER DONE, and I feel horrible about it. He loves me so much, cries everytime we fight and I decide to leave (because we live together, also a mistake cause it happened too soon). He can feel that I don’t love him, but I keep telling him that I do out of guilt.. I’m his first love and the very first girl he presented to his parents, meanwhile my mother doesn’t even know he exists.. I don’t feel like I’m the same anymore, never felt a connexion and never felt that he’s really my boyfriend. Believe it or not, ’til now we’ve never had sex, I keep telling him that I’m not ready and everytime make something up to keep him from touching me, he talks about sex almost everyday and we fight almost everyday but he tells me that he loves me and he can wait for me to be ready but I know deep inside that none of that is going to happen, I wanna finish this relationship, I don’t feel happy anymore, this is destroying me, I don’t sleep, I feel lonely especially when he’s around, I care so much for him he’s a great guy but I do have the right to be happy too. I don’t wanna be the cause of his educational failure, ’cause he’s going to see me everyday in front of him in class and that is going to break his heart even more. I’m lost..

  23. Terri April 1, 2016 at 11:35 pm #

    In life we all come to a point where we must make a very difficult decision, but if we never make it how will we know the true outcome. Being honest and true with a person goes along way, and sometimes we forget that. Don’t be afraid to do what is best for you and the situation at hand. Because your insight and courage will help every person involved in the end. Sometimes those we love we must let go because it’s not fair to ourselves or them to continue to lie or prolong a ending situation that’s going to end anyway. No you’re not a bad person, or terrible person but you should be the honest and courageous person. My advice have a true sit down, express your real feelings and hear them out as well but in your in conclusion end it, and set you both free to go and find happiness with the one person that’s right for you both. Love is understanding, so at the end of it all…. they will understand why it had to end if they love you….

  24. Jack April 10, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

    I feel terrible.

    I have been having second thoughts for a month or so, I have been in this relationship for 2 and a half years. We broke up almost a year ago because I cheated. I guess I didn’t know what to do then. We were apart for 4 months and I couldn’t stop thinking about her.

    I randomly called her one day and we started talking about everything. We had both since been in minor relationships with other people, she was still in a relationship. I told her I loved her and I wanted her back and she came back to me.

    Ever since we got back together we would fight about everything. She didn’t trust me (understandably) and I was trying to do everything to make it right. She was anxious about everything I ever did with my phone and what I was doing when I went out with my friends without her. To a point where the anxiety got so bad that I literally couldn’t see my friends anymore. Now don’t get me wrong when things were good and they were, we never felt better. The sex is amazing and we have an amazing emotional connection.

    I decide to start talking to a therapist, when I do all of the bad things I feel towards her start coming out and we end up fighting more and more. I feel that I am responsible for two people’s happiness in this relationship. Mine and hers. We have another final massive fight about this and I feel something in myself just give out.

    The thing is, we give it a week off. In that week I tell her I want to break up with her but she insists she has changed and she has. She decides for herself that I can’t be responsible for her feelings and she decides that it’s not up to me to save this relationship. She literally does a complete about face, the anxiety is gone and she’s making friends at work. This is great for her, I really think so! I’m just not in it.

    Fast forward to tonight, after 8 days of this “new” thing, I am planning on ending it. She comes over and I can’t just do it. We end up going for dinner and have a really great time, then we have sex, great passionate sex. I can’t shake the feeling of breaking up though. We go to bed to sleep and I tell her I can’t do it anymore. She says I’m a terrible asshole for making her think everything was alright. She feels used and rightly so, I feel like a complete load of garbage. I slept on the couch tonight and I’m typing this in the morning. I’m about to wake her up so she can get all of her stuff.

    Am I the world’s shittiest person for wanting to have a nice day and night and not having the balls to just break up with her?

    I think so.

    (Any advice would be great)

    • Jay April 14, 2016 at 6:44 pm #

      I feel like you’re thinking more with your dick than your head, given that you have cheated on her before and described having great sex with her twice in your story. I think you need to sit down and realize that you’re staying with this girl just because you have great sex. I know you wrote, “we have an amazing emotional connection”, but I feel like that’s not the main reason you’re staying – it’s because you like the sex.

      This, of course, would be fine if you were both mutual about the relationship, but from my experience, a girl may take the sex as a “well, maybe this will show him I’m serious and he will stay”. And unfortunately, I think she’s convinced she can change you. But since you want to break it off, this is not the case.

      You need to stop playing with this girl and tell her it’s over. Block her, delete her, leave her alone so you both can live the lives you want to live.

  25. Seeking Answers April 14, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

    I have been in a 2 1/2 year relationship with by bf of whom I really do love. We have had our ups and downs he is a bit controlling, annoying, and needy. In the beginning it was peaches and cream but to be honest the entire relationship was a lie. I feel like he has suckered me into this relationship. I’ve given a lot of passes in this relationship that I haven’t in any other relationship. I know that I should have spoken on them then and not sweep them under the rug or act like it wasn’t bothering me. I started living with him and his sister to be closer to work after he told me it would be fine. As I go to work everyday couldn’t wait to get off to be with my man I was happy as chesire cat. At the same time we are closer as close can be he doesn’t want to be in the house he wants to hang out and come in when it is time to go to sleep. Mind you he wasn’t working acting like he just had it like that. I know that wanting someone to get a job and actually not doing nothing to get one so I just said nothing a kept it moving. He wasn’t asking me for anything so I wanted to do more just cause you wasn’t asking. He has a heart of gold but a mouth I can duck tape so can’t say such hurtful things which makes me say hurtful things. As time progresses he gets a job but can’t keep a job due to his background. That is a challenge in itself he didn’t tell me he was a felon until 9 months into the relationship. I overlooked that huge red flag contiued to give my loyalty, heart, mind, and soul into this troublesome soul. I believe everybody deserves a second and third chance at living a happy life. I’ve had several break ups but this one is quite different maybe because I am older and wiser lol. I just had a birthday and I found myself thinking about me turning the big 40!!! When I met him I didn’t see a thug or a ghetto person I saw past all that. I saw a man who just needed love and support so I gave him that. I want to be able to say I helped you out from the dark and gave you light and possiblily new meaning of hard work and the strong will to take on the world and no one can stop you. That wasn’t good enough. I had to more than I realized. Helping him meant loosing me. Living with his sister became unbearable I was tired of being there this isn’t what I wanted. He isn’t the man I could myself with but he was a soul that didn’t have a strong support system. Common sense should have told me that knowing all of that how was he going to give me anything more than what he knew to do. Sadly I kept pushing on telling myself to give it time I’m always quick to give up when you don’t do or say something I don’t like. I can go on and on about the things I’ve done and he’s done we are not perfect. I’ve lived with him for six months in an apartment I worked he didn’t. I wanted to push him to get a job but didn’t want to treat him like he’s a child but I hated the fact I worked he did absolutely nothing to make it easier he did the opposite. I wanted to talk about my day I ended up talking to myself or he was engaged in the phone or social media. All of the things I was doing in the beginning I stopped. I used to be elated to see his warm smile warm hugs to be disgusted when I saw him. I wanted him to leave because he wasn’t doing shit for me like I was doing for him. So I let the apartment go on purpose hoping he would just leave or find someone else nope that didn’t work. He got another job we moved together again I’ve left him three times and all three times I’ve returned to more bullshit more dumb ass arguements about me not caring for him like he’s been for me. We all know that’s bullshit why do I always feel guilty when he should be. I think he’s been unfaithful just can’t prove it. Maybe I do look for ways to get out instead of just facing it and say WE ARE OVER…… I need help bad I’ve told my friends and family I’m done with him but I go back because he don’t have anybody in his corner but me and GOD.. he is not on speaking terms with his mom so he doesn’t have anything place to live he says. He expects me to take on wifely duties when I am not his wife. Instead of me going home I got to make sure you straight food changing clothes etc.. mind you I live on the other side of Atlanta traffic is horrible. I’ve told him I need a break he ignored it due to his living situation I got to be on call 24hrs a day I supposed to answer every call give give give when it was I time all I wanted was to be around you. I fell back completely I think he know’s that’s why he tells me I’m cheating because I don’t answer my phone or I’m cheating. Why can’t I just need a break from your nagging ass or so you won’t ask me for something. He says he is a man but don’t act like it….this is what is I am tired of putting my self on hold because my man is less fortunate. Tell me am I being selfish and petty? I just want to be with someone who is for me

  26. Maggi April 17, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

    I am in a similar situation guiltygirl. The pretending is driving me crazy. I just have to do it and go on, if he wanted to breakup with me he wouldn’t hesitate. I did love him in the beginning, however he has a really bad temper and on a few occasions I experienced it, which killedost all of the love I had for him yet I still feel guilty about leaving. Its April 17 today and I am wondering how you are and if you broke up. I leaving h this Friday and looking forward to being happy again.

  27. Vladimir April 18, 2016 at 9:27 pm #

    I’m gonna first of say that I have an extremely bad problem. I’ve been dating this girl for a little over 9 months and she is the first girlfriend that I’ve ever had. But ever since we stopped seeing each other, things have gotten really bad. She’s cheated on my I think thrice. And she thinks it’s ok to tell 2 guys that she loves them. She never sees me even though we live pretty close to each other. And every time I try to break up with her, she guilts me back. I’m not happy anymore and I haven’t been for a long time. I keep lying and saying that I love her but I don’t think I really do. And she threatens to kill herself if I try and break up with her. And I am worried she will because she cuts herself and has attempted suicide before. I haven’t seen her since December and we haven’t hung out or even kissed since September and she constantly makes me feel like a terrible person. All our relationship is, is texting and sometimes skyping. I want to leave her but I’m not sure how. Please give me an answer if you have one.

  28. Bryan Schneider April 24, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

    I am a 29 year old male, have been dateing my girlfrind for about 6 months. My girlfriend and i are constantly arguing and i want to leave her. I am, soon actually. I feel terrible though because she has breast cancer .she guilt trips me about it all the time. I think she would try to kill herself if i left her. Bt i cannot continue. I work so much and this isnt fair to me. I come home to a hormonal ccranky, crazy lady after a long day of work. If i dont leave things wont end up well. I feel bad but i have to be happy too.

  29. Uptowngirl69 April 29, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

    Well I am a 47 year old woman about to walk out on her 20 year relationship and 16 year marriage, which should have been done long ago. I was originally married at 17 to a guy I had dated since the age of 13, we had a son when I was 20 and at 24 he left me for another woman. Desperate to get my life back I have made mistake after mistake and after getting together with the man I am married to now, on both sides we have had affairs and then tried to put it behind us and for the last 5 years we have had a reasonably settled life after I got over his affair 10 years ago. The thing is my 2 kids are grown up and the eldest has flown the nest and only have a 21 year old at home. I am back to feeling unsettled and looking for that something to complete my life and just feel that it is not him. I am desperate to move away and by move away I mean 250 miles away on my own where no one knows me to start a brand new life without all the hurt drama and crap that has gone on in my life, this also includes family drama and upset.

    I feel so guilty about doing this but also know I need to do this rather than live with a “what if” for the remaining years of my life. My husband is HGV driver so away all week anyway and has only been home 2 days a week for the last 18 years. My youngest son of 21 just grunts at me 10 mins before he leaves for work and 10 mins when he comes home from work and then withdraws to his room. I have a great circle of friends, who think my husband is a rare bread and the opposite to me, and they all wish me luck in moving away. I have estranged parents who live in the same village and my eldest son is estranged too, but sees his grandparents in the village but doesn’t see his brother whom lives at home with us etc etc and the feud goes on.

    Am I so selfish to want a new life for myself and can I make this new life happen without humping all the guilt away with me. I hope so and I know that one day someone will make me happy and fill that gap that has been missing in my life but for now and for the first time in my life I can say “I want to be on my own”.and just be on my own in a new city and a new job.

    wish me luck

  30. Tye May 23, 2016 at 5:36 am #

    I have been with my girlfriend for 9 months now (not long compared to some) but she fell for me very quickly and I fell in love with the idea of a relationship. I do love her but I am very much not in love, for a few month now it has dawned on me that the relationship is pointless. I have zero strong feelings towards her and I feel like the worlds worst person for continuing the relationship for her benefit. I know if I left she would fall apart, she lives alone and has no real friends to comfort her during times of need. She has reached the point of wanting to move in but I am at the point of wanting to move on.

    I care dearly for her and the last thing I want to do is hurt her. But I can’t keep the relationship running on false love and lies. She is clingy and very needy but due to me being the first real relationship she has had, that wasn’t a week long because some guy wanted to get his leg over… I can kind of see why. She was always unappreciated by family, friends and exs.

    Normally I am more than happy to be brutally honest and say “enough, we aren’t working” but for about 3 months now I have been feeling too much guilt to do it.

    This relationship has been more than just ‘boy and girl like each other and get together’ it has been the first bit of happiness she has felt for well over 3 years, the first person she has been comfortable enough with to open up emotionally and the first person she has truly trusted in a long frickin time. And I feel like a monster for letting it get this far.

    I truly need some suggestions as to what I can do. I don’t want to keep her focused on a non-existent future.

    • AYE June 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

      @Tye, if your problem is not physically attracted to her and it’s because of her overweight, have you thought of convincing her to work out with you together? A body transformation is not that easy but the final result would dazzle you…I’ve seen quite a few women (and guys as well) who look amazing after they drop the extra weight and gain some muscle. It’s like a totally different person before and after. After a woman becomes more attractive appearance-wise, she would also gain much more confidence in herself and receive a lot compliments from other people. This might change her sense of insecurity dramatically as well.

      If you are only dissatisfied with her physique, consider my suggestion. There are a lot programs you can use to achieve the results quickly if you persist, such as T25, P90X etc.

      However, if your problem is not only her appearance, but also her personality, mentality or other intangible issues. You should man up and break up with her. It will hurt her initially but time will heal.

  31. Desperate June 12, 2016 at 10:54 pm #

    I am trying to dump my boyfriend. Whenever we argue whether heated or not I will tell him I want to leave or that I hate him or that I want to break up, etc. We have agreed that we are very different, too different to be compatible maybe.

    Thing is, we had a baby about a year into our relationship. Dumb, i know, but it happens.

    I just can’t stand the guy. I hate being around him. I can’t be myself and it hurts me. All he cares about is smoking pot (and when I told him I don’t tolerate it, he keeps it secret now) and he justs….works dead end jobs. Even though he has a bachelor’s degree he has no potential for advancement because of his pot smoking problem. And he says I’m a drug addict too because I take prescription meds for my depression prescribed by my doctor and I am no better! Really! He acts all high and mighty sometimes like he is better than me even though I am educated too.

    I see no future with this man. He is unintelligent, yet when I try to make an intelligent point, he always gaslights me, makes me feel stupid, etc.

    I keep tell him over and over, just leave. I am not financially dependent on him. I pay the bills. Problem is, we cosigned on our lease. He tells me to leave, but I have nowhere to go (while he was still living with his parents at 28 when he met me) and he couldn’t pay the rent without me.

    I have no idea what this man wants. Or boy. I have given him a free pass to walk away. But he won’t. He has expressed concern he wouldn’t get to see his son. I have reassured him it wouldn’t be the case. Is he trying to save face for his parents? I AM SUFFERiNG SO MUCH. I hate this man. I gave him a free pass to walk a2ay and have things his way but he still won’t leave. I do not love him. He is destroying my self-esteem. I just want myself back and I just want it to be over but I have a kid I don’t know what to do anymore

    • Tye June 15, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

      @Desperate In this situation my honest suggestion would be to seek legal advice on the house, if you can get him to sign the house fully to you then that would be 1 problem solved. People who smoke pot get paranoia as a side effect, so even though you have reassured him his brain could be set. To solve this you may wish to see a lawyer about a joint-custody rule or a legal binding contract signed by a barrister or judge. You seem more than happy to just run for the hills (if you had somewhere to live) so if you can perhaps get legal right to the house and his reassurance in the form of a legal custody agreement then the rest shouldn’t be to difficult.

      I wish you the best.

  32. MA25 June 14, 2016 at 10:58 am #

    Without trying to sound too harsh……it’s good to find out that others are going through the same struggle as me so I can maybe pick up some advice.

    I have been with my girlfriend for almost 3 years, we live together but are not engaged and do not have kids. The guilt is tearing me apart as I just cannot find the strength to end things even though I know its what I want. I still have a deep sense of care for her and do not wish to upset her but things just arent right.

    She has always had anxiety problems however we moved house 18months ago and since then her mental health deteriorated rapidly to the extent where she quit her job. It appears that since we moved a few miles further away from her family, this had increased her struggles, particularly as she does not drive so does not have the freedom to come and go easily. She says buses are too much for her struggles etc etc.

    This however has put all the stress and strain onto me, i have to support us financially, I am running about driving everywhere all the time for her, she is messy, has no ambition, lazy, cant cook……..I could go on and on.

    It’s changed me a lot too, I used to be a happy, energetic, sociable bloke but now I am a shell of my former self.

    Most people reading this would probably just think “end it” but I just dont seem to be able to as causing someone pain just terrifies me as I know she loves me and wants to spend her life with me, ending it would crush her even though I know in my heart of hearts it cannot continue, I dont want it to go on and want my life back!!!

    i feel so conflicted daily, my emotions are all over the place and I even think its making me ill, the stress and strain is taking such a toll I feel exhausted all the time!!

    I could probably sit writing for hours on this just getting everything out there but i’m sure people wont wnat to listen to me whine on and on!

    Anyway if anyone has advice please do respond!

    • Tye June 15, 2016 at 11:52 am #

      @MA25 About 6 years ago I went through almost the same deal (I do pick them) The relationship lasted just over 2 years. She was lazy, wouldn’t cook, wouldn’t work and at the time I was on benefits trying to support us both. I did have a job but because she was convinced that I was cheating on her, she decided to call my work and say I was quitting… I found out when I got there and my boss said “Why are you here?”
      Any way… She was difficult and after I threatened to end it she promised to change and be a better girlfriend, that lasted 3 days, proving that people can’t actually change. I am not an expert on ending a relationship but judging by what you wrote I can say something has to give.

      My advice would be to sit her down and say exactly what you’re feeling, explain how her problems are creating ripples and causing your problems to become less manageable. It is easy to end a relationship during a fight but that is far from the best option, during bursts of rage, the last thing anyone needs is depression thrown on top. So try to make it clear as day YOU DO NOT WANT TO FIGHT, if she battles you refuse to take it, go for a drive or walk away. I don’t know if she is the argumentative type but if she is… refuse to fight at all cost even if you have to threaten her with a break up (that’s where this is heading anyway but still) “Stop fighting me now or it ends now” Something like that any way.

      Now I don’t know if you love her enough to continue the relationship if she makes a promise of getting back into work or becoming more independent. The worst thing that can happen is you break up after you and her get your feeling in the air, the best outcome is up to you, but do not compromise because you feel bad and want her to stop crying. You need to be a bit of an A-hole and stay focused on what would actually be the best move to make

      Most time when these talks happen there are 2 outcomes
      1. “It ends now, I think it’s best we go our separate ways”
      2. “we can stay together but these things need to change:…”

      I know it is very easy to write this and read it but the hard part is getting enough courage to actually do it.

      Before you do, ask yourself 3 questions.
      1. Do I love her?
      2. Do I need her?
      3. Do I see us happy in the future?

      If you answer no to 1 of these there is an issue in the relationship
      but 2 or more no’s then it’s time to move along.

      I have already asked myself those 3 questions and it’s no to all 3. But I am still caught in a rut, every time I think it is time to do this, she gets bad news or something triggers her depression, so picking the right time may also be a factor for you.

      Just remember stay focused, be honest and don’t fight her. Do it face to face too, nothing stings or is more pathetic than a breakup by text or facebook.

      Anyway I hope this helped in some way, best of luck.

  33. Cindy June 24, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

    Seeing advice. I’m in my 50s. I have been in a 13 year relationship. We live together and it is my house. He loves our house and our life and is in love with me but I haven’t been in love with him for years. Most the time I don’t even like him and can’t stand him. We are so different and he has OCD tendencies. I feel like I am his whole life. My family doesn’t care for him and just want more for me. He is a good guy he does everything for me he tells me I’m beautiful and continuously tells me he loves me, but I don’t love him. I fantasize about having a life with love with someone I love. Sometimes I think I don’t even care as long as I can just leave on myself again. My problem is I don’t know how to and it crush his world. Any advice?

  34. Renee June 26, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

    I know that this is going to sound so juvenile in comparison to everyone else , i’m 19 and he’s 20, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I accidentally got into a relationship. It started off with a one night stand, and then we were friends with benefits and thats all I wanted. But gradually he got more and more emotionally invested (he said we were boyfriend and girlfriend after 3 weeks of on and off sex); to be honest, I think it was because I was his first… even his first kiss. I did initiate the topic of “are we moving too fast?” But he convinced me that we were not and I even started to believe it. He is an amazing guy, he understands me, he knows when to give me my space, which is a big thing for me and he’s just lovely. But i’m the type of person who doesn’t do commitment. I’m not saying never just not now, I want my freedom and I don’t want to commit to one person yet, he’s just not the one. I’ve been trying to convince my self to like him and to keep it going, but it’s not fair on either of us. I enjoy spending time with him, but I just see him in a friends with benefits way. I don’t know how to tell him that I want to, at the very least, pursue a polyamorous relationship, but I know that I have to do it soon because things are getting too serious (he’s started to introduce me to his friends and told his mum about me- she added me on Facebook.) I don’t want to hurt him, I care about his feelings too much. Any advice?

    • Sherry June 30, 2016 at 8:38 pm #

      It doesn’t matter what age we are, it is a very common thing among anyone in the game. I hate to call it a game but it does feel like one to me. In my experience, I lost a lot of precious time trying to spare someone else’s feelings while placing my own happiness on hold. It’s not fair to either of you to not speak your truth. As harsh as that sounds, it is the best way to handle it. Being true to ones self is truly a gift we should give ourselves daily. Hope that helps.

  35. Fergie July 24, 2016 at 3:29 am #

    When I met my boyfriend online 3 n half years ago I was in a bad place mentally. He was a breath of fresh air for me. He wasn’t the most romantic guy but I could tell he was caring and committed and I needed stability in my life so we fell in love. I had little doubts in the beginning that we were different but I did fall for him. He stayed with his parents he was 26, I was 29, after a year he moved in. I noticed quite quickly that we had very different personalities but I loved him and even tho he didn’t always show it I knew he loved me very much and would do anything for me. As time went on I had nigling feelings that someone would make me happier, someone who was more affectionate, had the same passions as he doesn’t have any passion, we have similar interests but not the big ones. He gives me security but deep down I know I don’t love him enough or surely I wouldn’t think of someone else. I thought to myself once il just get through another couple years then end it as I can’t deal with how much il hurt him. I met someone else online who is everything I’ve wanted even tho we chat n flirt abit. He noticed I was acting distant so when he said about it I saw an opportunity to say I don’t know how I feel anymore, he got angry, he was devastated, he told he will do anything in the world to make me happy, I’m the love of his life, his best friend, his everything n he has nothing without me so I felt soooo guilty I took him back n now I’m pretending, it’s sooo hard but I can’t put him through that again. I fantasise about what it would be like to be with this new guy who seems like my perfect match. I am in a good place mentally and grown as person over the last few years. I also have an 11 year old son who he has bonded with so this plays a factor as he says he will miss him to much to. I know I want out but I don’t think I can ever do it n am destined of a life of unhappiness or what if I never find what I’m looking for, it’s just a fairytale. I’m so confused :(. Reading this page and seeing people in simalar situations makes me feel a little better I’m not alone.

  36. Unsure August 8, 2016 at 1:41 am #

    I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for just over 3 years. We live about 2,500 miles apart, in different countries. We entered the relationship knowing it would be complicated. We are both artistically-minded people, and we have some very specific things in common that I don’t often find in other people. However, we are about as different as people can get. Not only are we long-distance, but I am MUCH younger than him (more than 10 years). We’re also an interracial couple, and raised in different cultures and faiths. Despite our differences though, somehow we click really well.

    I was in a failing relationship when I became friends with my current bf. I was attracted to the confidence in his abilities and his sense of humour. I often feel like an outcast everywhere I go, and deal with social anxiety, but with him I could just be myself. So I broke it off with my ex, and started dating my bf.

    I am his first serious gf. I wasn’t worried about the age difference because I am actually much more experienced in relationships than he is. Because of his inexperience though, he makes emotional blunders that really turn me off. Sometimes these blunders border on manipulative, and even abusive. He doesn’t mean to hurt me, he just doesn’t realize why the things he does are hurtful. I hate to say it, but he’s not very emotionally intelligent. I tell him when he’s done something that hurts me, and his initial reaction is usually to take it personally and to try to turn the issue to himself. However, he does eventually apologize and own up to his mistake, so I forgive him every time.

    I have no doubt in my mind that he loves me. He loves every part of me, and that’s part of the reason why I’ve stayed with him this long. I know he genuinely loves me with all his heart. I also fear that if I were to break up with him, he would never seek another relationship again. It kills me to think of him being alone and missing the time we were together. Please try to believe that I’m not being conceited here. I didn’t have this fear with my ex, I knew he was capable of finding other people to connect with.

    My bf swears he would want to stay friends with me if we didn’t work out as a couple, but I have a hard time believing that. I honestly think we worked better as friends, there was a distinct difference in our communication the day we became a couple, and I miss that dynamic. We also work well together. We have some artistic projects we started together, and I truly do care about where it ends up. I want him to be successful. However, I know leaving him would hurt our work together.

    So I’m in a massive predicament. There’s a lot that’s making me stay. But deep down I know that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with him. It hurts so much, I hate myself for feeling this way. I don’t know what to do.

  37. TMR August 8, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    Thank you for your comment Mark. Hopefully it will push me to do what I dread most in this world and end my relationship with my gf of 5 years and mother of my 1 and a half year old daughter who I love more than anything in the world. She’s form Latin America, I’m from the UK, we met in Spain and we’ve just moved back to my country to start a new life together. She knows nobody here, she’s living with my family. If we separate she’ll go back to Latin america with my daughter. I can hardly think of worse circumstances to have to end a relationship but it’s eating me up inside.

    I’ve been struggling with this for years. Tried to end it many times but we’d breakup for about 5 minutes and it would be so traumatic seeing her crying and distraught that I felt great love for her in the moment and we would end up having sex and getting back together instantly, my doubts would then return within a couple of days or weeks. My head has been screwed with (possibly my poor interpretations of ) spiritual mumbo-jumbo, thinking that you can love anyone if you find the love inside yourself and “love is a verb, not a feeling”. These are the thoughts that kept me going but I can’t fool myself anymore. We just not a fit and it’ll never really work.

    I love her so much as a person, friend, mother, but I just don’t think I can ever love her the way she deserves as a partner. I proposed to her a few months back out of guilt. The thought of having the wedding terrifies me, I could never do it.

    So now it’s up to me to end it and send her back home to South America with my baby (I’ll have to move there too because I couldn’t stand not being with my daughter). She’s got nobody to comfort her here. F*ck my life.

    Thank you for this article.

  38. Aaron August 19, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

    Im 21 and my partner’s 23..we’ve been together for 2 years and a month and we’ve had a world of good times with each other..for a long time we’ve whole heartedly believed we were each other’s soul mates. Everything was going great until my parents got divorced and because of the foundation at home being broken so too did my confidence in everything i did and i feel like that slipped its way into the relationship for about a year now. Since late april of this year we’ve been having problems because as my insecurities grew so too did her impatience. This is because at this stage in her life she needs a guy to have the know-how and ability to be able to provide for her and she hasnt been confident that I posses those qualities. However, we still continued to have the best time of our lives ..the sex was awesome until april where one day she wanted to bail on our plans ..and me being insecure made her feel bad about it and we argued until she just did what she wanted that day. The next day we talked it out and I understood where i went wrong but then that very week her parents gave her the idea to go abroad to study a masters..this put a huge strain on the relationship when she brought it up because i just wasnt ready to handle that sort of change ..this hurt her and she almost broke up with me the night she told me this because she felt that i was still to immature to accept change ..following that she had her finals then she had to wait about 2 months to find out if she would be able to get into the school and even though i initially scowled at the idea I ended up helping her write a letter to the school in order to receive some sort of funding. So I ended up becoming supportive of her decision. Then last month she opted not to go even though she got accepted saying that she’d miss me too much and because of financial reasons as well. but during those 3 months were the hardest for our relationship because of her negative feelings of anxiety about whats going to happen next. We went to a trip at the beginning of this month hoping that it would make her feel better ..we had sex the first night but i felt like she wasnt asa into it as in the past and I got upset (bad move) and then we ended up arguing the entire night ..and although we did do it in the morning ..i think my actions on this night had some bad effects because on the 3rd day we tried to do it again and she literally couldnt get wet ..and i thought that it was the medications she took (because she wanted to delay her period) but apparently it was my actions as well that turned her off..now this was oonly 2 weeks ago..but last week i woke up to a message she sent me saying that shes losing sexual attraction to me and theres a whole bunch of other issues she has with me but just kept repressing because she knew how much i went through in the past year but she feels that now she has to be open and she suggested that we took a week away from each other so she can have time to miss me ..and now today..she called me and says shes been thinking about it and that shes seriously contemplating breaking up because she realised that she cant expect me to make a drastic change of being the adult man she needs and that she still loves me very much but shes just too worreid about the future and if shes making the right decision to stay..I understood where she was coming from and I had already known to myself that I would acquire these life skills as fast as I can because im finishin college this year as well and by next year I want to start putting my own life in order but everything that ive done up to now was for the hope of building a life with her ..and she says that she wouldnt go with anyone else but she jus feels like she wont be happy without me but shes not as happy as she wants to be with me . so i just want to make a drastic change for her because there is no other person on this earth that can replace her ..and she feels that she doesnt have a choice but t stay with me ..and i can understand that she’d feel guilty for wanting to break up but ..I know i can be a better person if she really gives me the time and the chance ..but i also would like for things to go in her favour a little bit so that way she wouldnt be so stressed out in the relatinship because the rest of her life would be in order..Im just so confused and sad..and I just want to make things better for her..I dont mind giving her space now and then but i dont want her to break up with me ..and our families are so supportive of us as well as our friends so it wud be a great shame if we were to break up now ..I just want everything to work out between us ..somebody please help :/

  39. Ryah August 26, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    Hi Im ryah and recently my bf was kicked out by his mom. He now stays with his grandmother. He has been trying to find a job so he can get his own place. I am a college student and go to school alot. Hi has bipolar and anger. He got put out because of his angry ways. I been with him for over a year. Things were not easy he used to call me names bad names and lash out for things I would wear. They would be as simple as a t-shirt and pants. We have broken up like 3 times. I really havent been able to spend time with my friends because he would get mad and think I’m cheating. I told him that something I would never do. He does have trust Issues. I have tried to comfort him and always be there for him. Even when he has does me wrong I try to get over it because I think its what he has. We spend a lot of time together like everyday. His family doesnt talk to him much or like him. But recently I been feeling like I want to go away and do things on my own. But I dont want him to feel like im abandon him because i feel that way now. He has no phone his grandmother works long hours and he;s just bored. When I leave he looks very sad. He never hit but his words hurt me very bad. Sometimes I catch myself crying because I feel so bad for him. But I dont know if this is what I want I love him.

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