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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.


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

  1. Jonte July 31, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    True… I delayed my leaving time for almost 1 whole month, dragging me into my revision crisis for the upcoming examination….It was like living in hell… Agree, I would say i thought that way, i knew i can’t fake a relationship, but somehow, I can’t do it, I still stay, trying to fix, struggle, pleading, being pleaded, problems…. only a few people can withstand the guilty such as “i don’t want to hurt her” etc…

    Now I’m glad I’m moved on, I find happiness when I’m alone again… Thanks to this site, best appreciation!! I’m in recovery process currently, and I feel somehow, some good feeling is coming my way, it was fun ^.^

    • Bradd March 2, 2015 at 4:07 am #

      A month, I delayed for a year. It’s not worth it, you owe more to yourself then anything. odds are if the roles were reversed they would of left in a moments notice.

    • miranda March 23, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

      So I’m really late but I need help. I’m 16 and I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 3 years (he’s 17) I don’t know what happened but my feelings changed, I want to make this work because he really means a lot to me. I just don’t know how to start it. He knows I’ve been acting weird he told me, I just don’t want to hurt him. And this will crush him. Please help me, I need advice.

      • Paul April 21, 2015 at 10:29 am #


        Try everything that you can to come around to loving him again. But just accept that sometimes these things aren’t meant to last. Breaking up will hurt both of you unimaginably. For many weeks you’ll wake up with a crushing sense of guilt, but this will all fade over time.

        And if he truly cares about you, he’ll accept that you don’t want to be with him, and respect that you’re telling him the truth.

        Also, you’re both young, and completely capable of finding love later on down the line. I know it seems like your worlds will come crashing down, but you have so much time ahead of you.

        You’re going to be fine!

  2. Susan July 31, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    This is a long post.
    I am finding this site so helpful with this stressful situation I’m in. I’ve been in a relationship for 16yrs, and it is at its end. We are staying together right now because I do feel a great deal of guilt about my feelings, and because he’s said that I’m responsible for his life.

    I’ve been thinking and reading a lot in the past several months (nearly a year), trying to find out how to make things bearable and keep the relationship going. I spent a whole weekend just crying a few months ago, I told him we were broken and I don’t know how to fix us, and he promissed he’d change.

    I should mention he’s not a bad person. He’s never been abusive toward me, he is a considerate lover, and he’s just basically a decent guy. The only thing I consider a serious flaw in him is a little bit of racial intolerance. We aren’t compatible in how we deal with conflict, we don’t share parenting philosophies, and we have different life goals.

    I feel like I’ve compromised everything for this relationship, and I just can’t do it anymore. This site is helping me to see how to deal with the emotional fallout when the relationship has been officially broken off, and the section that deals with the 7 steps to “doing the deed” (sorry if that sounds trite, it’s not meant to) is invaluable. However, I’ve not found anything that deals with the “dumpee” saying their life will be over. I have read other places that this kind of talk is just “emotional blackmail”, and that it should be ignored. But what if it’s not just an idle threat?

    I would feel devastated if he took his own life because I’d ended ours together. But my biggest concern is the impact that would have on my son, who is 18 and has known this man for most of his life. He’s a young man himself who is going through all the angsty stuff teens go through, has Asperger’s, and has expressed suicidal ideas himself over the years. I just worry about that a lot.

    Any feedback on this would be helpful.

    • Jackie April 5, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

      Unfortunately, I don’t think I’d be much help here, however your situation is pretty similar to mine. My boyfriend of 4 years (I know, not even close to your 16yrs, WOW) has epilepsy and I’ve always been his motivator for going to classes throughout the semester and I’ve improved his life so drastically since he was just living at his parents house. I’m afraid that if we broke up he’d be helpless, and I’d be responsible. He can’t drive because he has seizures and he has no reliable support system.

      What keeps me around is the though that we might break up, and I might see him slight regress into what his life was before me, day by day. I do love him very much, but I feel like every time he talks I just get so annoyed. We were so similar when we were friends and then when we started dating, but I feel like our desires and what each of us finds important are so different now.

      I feel completely stuck, I don’t think I can live with potentially ruining his life, he’s a great man, romantic and caring, it would kill me to see his academic and life-long desires suppressed because of the environment he’d be going back to.

      • Helen August 7, 2014 at 6:39 am #

        I am in the same boat. I have been dating my boyfriend for six years now and feel trapped by the fear of him regressing to his previous self. He has severe POTS (Postural Orthastatic Tachycardia Syndrome) which prevents him from driving, working, and many other activities. If I left he would be stuck with his parents again and would get very depressed. His symptoms drastically change based on the weather, fitness level, sleep cycles, diet, and effectiveness of his medications. He also has chronic migraines and is pretty introverted, which prevent him from partaking of many things, especially if they are social in nature. I love him and his whole personality, but have started to resent the fact that I can’t share my active lifestyle with him. It also hurts because I know he wants to join me when I go hike up a mountain or spend all night hanging out with friends, but he just can’t. It’s like his disability is a prison and I can help him gain some freedom, but then I’m partially in his prison as well. Also due to the effort it takes for him to meet other people, he will likely not find another relationship easily. My friends are all friends with him, but I’m afraid of how hard it would be on him losing his girlfriend and basically everyone he does associate with all at once. I’m so confused about whether to choose the person I love and give up the lifestyle I want or the other way around.

    • Annie January 20, 2015 at 12:16 am #

      I am completely devastated that I have to end a 2 year relationship with my boyfriend , ( I have actually know him in passing for over 20 years.) he is a wonderful guy, caring, but his life can become chaotic, no organization, 1/2 way done is good enough with many things. $$ responsibility gives me anxiety. As well as a recent revealing private part of his life ( a fetish ) he has hid all of his life. Ihave PTSD and depression, so this has caused a roller coaster of emotions. I love him, I don’t want to break his heart, but I can not deal with the secrecy that was involved , I thought we had a non disclosure relationship. This has thrown me for a loop a few times over, I just can’t deal with it. The “fetish” is not for me. I want to say I love him unconditionally , but I guess I can’t if I do not accept this secret part of his life. He is a Strong man , but emotionally vulnerable , and for that my Guilt is so heavy on my heart. BUT … If I stay , I am not completely “All In”.and I am just starting to rebuild my life from being in the otherwise of the fence, I was the “Dumped” wife from a husband who cheated with people I knew, he lied so well I believe he believed his own lies.
      So here I sit with this guilt of doing this for Me- something I would never of done if I was not already in therapy.
      — any feedback Welcome!
      Annie from NY

  3. Michael Freeman August 3, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    Thanks for the feedback above.

    Susan, I sympathize with your situation. It’s very difficult to overcome the momentum of a 16-year relationship. It’s good that you’ve been informing yourself about these issues.

    You’re right: This is the very definition of emotional blackmail. You’re no longer a partner in this relationship; you’re a hostage.

    Threatening suicide is an especially violent form of emotional abuse. I’m not saying that your partner is a bad person, but for whatever reason he’s learned an especially harmful way to cope with the situation.

    I’m very familiar with Asperger’s, and I’m sure you have separate challenges involving raising your son. You certainly don’t need this toxic relationship spoiling your life.

    Because of the length of your relationship, you may need the help of a mental health professional to help you get the courage to leave. Be clear with the counselor on what you want; otherwise he/she may assume you’re looking to reconcile. If you don’t have money for a counselor, hopefully you can find free or “sliding scale” resources near you.

  4. Amy September 1, 2009 at 12:48 am #

    Me and my boyfriend of 2 months broke up a month ago. Last 2 weeks of our relationship, he’d act distant, hot one day and cold the next day.I knew something had to be up. He does become distant at times, but when I would ask what’s wrong, he wouldn’t really say,and make it seem as everything is ok. And I thought it was because I had no reason to not believe or not to trust him. Last time we planned to hang out, he tried to blow off our plans to go see someone he’s met once, for some “fun” while we are dating!! He didn’t because I found out about this all in the same day. It made me feel very sick inside, confused and shaky. Our relationship seemed so great in many ways and most of the time we coulnd’t keep off each other. We had strong attraction. I confronted him and we talked for a really, really long time about everything. He’s made it clear to me that it’s not the time for him to be in a relationship, and that he wanted to tell me for a while but didn’t know how to do so(which I think is BS excuse, because if I’d ask him what’s wrong, he wouldn’t tell me)he said he wants to be friends for now, and that “he could see us dating in the future again.”( Those exact words leave me hanging with my hopes up, everytime I try to move on.) It was tough to accept but I did, and I admit I didn’t want to loose him whether we are lovers or friends, I love him very much so, and would’t trade him for the world, he is different than many guys I have been with, it’s a whole another story to explain, but I wasn’t going to force a relationship on him if he didn’t want to be in one anymore.

    I backed off completely decided to leave him alone, not talk to him, as well as keep my distance to try and get over him. I was really hurt.I started to kind of move on, but not even 4 days pass after our break up he talks to me again, telling me he was scared he lost me completely, and since talks to me almost every day on AIM, wondering how I am doing, what am I up to, etc.Talking to him seems like we are in a relationship again, because we talk about the usual things, I’d tell him I miss him, he tells me he misses me more, or vise versa, then tells me to come over ( since he knows I feel very strong for him, he’s told me no one has ever liked him this much before ). He tells me how beautifull I am and how sexy my body is, how bad he wants me but when I tell him how I feel about him, and how much he means to me (which I have no problem doing so), he’d respond with things like “no one has ever told me this before” or smile, or be like “woow, really?!”, or he would just ask me to come over to his place.

    All this non-sence make me wonder is he trying to use me? because there is no doubt he is sexually attracted to me and knows how much I like him! Or does he just want me around with no strings attached to mingle whenever he feels like it? Maybe keep me untill someone better comes along? We broke up because of him, after few weeks he admited to me he really really screwed up, but said it is too soon to be in a relationship again, and we continue to talk and tell each other we miss one another, etc.Why is he confusing me like this? I am giving him another chance to be with me just like that! I forgave him completely, told him how I completely feel and if he admits he screwed up, talks to me almost every other day ( about nothing important ), tries to tell me to come over every chance he can, says he misses me, etc. but why doesn’t he make much more effort to tell me how he feels about me? Why doesn’t return my feelings? I try not to talk to him, but I give in everytime and we end up having pointless conversations like we used to, which is great but it doesn’t help me to get over him AT ALL, ( if he is not willing to be feeling as strong for me as I feel for him) neither is being intimate with him while we aren’t dating, since it hurts me allot more because I am confused of whether he really likes me. (We haven’t seen each other since we broke up, because I work allot, but he does ask me to hang out allot after work which is later in the evening, and I know when we see each other, it’s hard to resist for both of us not to be all over each other).

    What should I do??? He means allot to me, and I’d hate to just loose him like that. How many of you have been in this situation? Or currently are? and how are you dealing with all of this? Anyone who had to deal with this, what was the outcome? Was it worth it? Is it worth to wait for him or should I move on completely?NEED HELP ASAP! Please and Thank you very much in advance!

    (No silly answers please!!! )

  5. Cat September 13, 2009 at 12:36 am #

    I was once in a relationship that sucked, but I was so gripped by fear and guilt that I didn’t do anything about it for 3-4 months. People would ask me why I didn’t just leave, and to tell you the truth, I’m not sure. But I know guilt was part of the reason…

  6. JohnWalker October 6, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    Amy, I really think this man is using you, even if it wasn’t his intention in the beginning. He seems to have a strong fear of commitment and this is not an easy thing to deal with. I recommend you the book of Steven Carter “Men Who Can’t Love”. I’m sure you’ll found out why this guy is behaving the way he is. I think you need to move out and quickly. Take good care of yourself,

  7. Myiuki October 16, 2009 at 5:58 am #

    I have been dating this very devoted man for a year and a half. For the last month or two I have had an overwhelming crush on someone. I know how badly this will hurt and still don’t know where to stand, but this article hit the spot

  8. Zazie October 26, 2009 at 2:42 am #

    I have been with the same man for nearly 10 years. We’ve had our ups and downs.

    He is authentically a good person. But lately all I do is dream about how it would be to be with another man. Perhaps it is because I’ve changed throughout my twenties and I want different things(?)

    Or maybe it’s that I want to start thinking about having a future and family and I want to be sure that my man can take “care” financially.

    Whatever it is though it frightens me to leave him and I tried but he refused and begged me to not leave. So I failed in doing so.

    My problem is also that I think about how it would be to be no longer together and I can’t bear the thought of him being with another woman. Our sex life is absolutely fantastic. But I’m not 100% happy.

    I’m stuck. Feeling helpless.

  9. Chief October 26, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    @Zazie – zazie dear, most the time if you ever find yourself in that type of situation you already the answer. It is very hard, the amount of fear and anxiety your suffering is very understandable, but if i may i didnt have nearly the same length of a relationship as you currently have but i had similar circumstances. and the worst of all was the sex bit. my three year relationship ended sep’09, but it seemed more mutual even though i kinda had to initiate the breakup-we just kept having the same arguments over and over, i think i just realized one moment that it finally had to end. anyway, i miss her terribly at times, it hurts badly. She was also my friend and companion, a lover and confidant. By far the best sexual partner ive ever had…no lie. and that still hurts alot thinking about the loss of physicallity with her. she was a good fit in that regard.
    Its hard lady, very hard, i am by no means healed, but ive followed no contact and try everyday to find the positive. Im not even sure i had any advice for you, i just know that we have similar thoughts about the sexual part-i found it very hard to give up and let go, ive never had a lover so great (but it also dawned on me this very important thought) initially she wasnt a great lover, and it took time and coaching (i was a little more experienced) i’m saying that part of her being such a good lover was because of the amount of time i put into that part of us, and thankfully she was very receptive. Of couse she brought her own talents to the table but it was after we established such good comfort with each other. For you zazie im sure you can find that again, and i hope to be blessed to find it again as well. Because admittedly im a very physical person, i like close proximity often, naturally i dont think it would work out with someone who isnt the same.
    keep the faith-listen to your heart and all the brave souls here who have taken that step willingly or not. I wish you peace and everyone here, it is very hard to lose someone you love. But often we stare so long at the door that closes instead of the one that opens.
    Ive bought some self help books off the net, amazon and what not. they go with me wherever i travel, and i find them very helpful and comforting. maybe you should consider the same.
    My best,

  10. john November 23, 2009 at 1:30 am #

    My girlfriend and I had been together for a little over two years. We excitedly moved in together about four months ago, and broke up three days ago.

    Shortly after we moved in together i started feeling like we weren’t compatible: we are different people, different personalities, and have different interests. But on the other hand, we really do complement each other well: she’s very patient and tolerant, supporting and uplifting, and very cuddly. We had stopped connecting so well over the past few months. I thought it was because of our differences in personality. Last night we talked a lot about our relationship, and analyzed the elements that could have contributed to our communication going downhill: me not talking enough, not being interested in each others’ interests, or not even being inquisitive about them.

    So it started with me thinking that we were just different, and that maybe someone similar to me would make me happier (I was not sad or miserable in this relationship. I was actually happy. But the thought that maybe I would be better off with someone else festered inside of me.) I felt that I needed to explore more people and find what was really compatible with me.

    From our talk last night, I feel that there IS something to fix in our relationship: our communication with each other. It kills me to think that maybe I ended a good thing that “simply” needed to be talked out. and worked on. We have both been incredibly devastated these past few days. I did not think that I would feel like this. Is this a sign that maybe we should not have broken up, that I actually did needlessly end a good thing?

    • Chasek8 November 10, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

      I think that only you can figue that out, but I also think people make mistakes, and though you are VERY different you can find common ground to grow from, maybe the differences only come from mis communication….. of course there are times when people should be together and just are unsure for a bit right????

  11. Tany December 15, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    I have recently had a breakup from a long distance relationship. I met him on a social networking site and had an instant liking for him. When we became friends within a day or two he expressed his love to me, which was mostly an impulsive action. But then as we continued talking we realised the strong mutual attraction we had for each other. With days becoming week and week turning months, this feeling only got stronger. Everything was fine but I had a secret. Something which would show him the new me. Since the things happened unexpectedly I had no idea how to reveal it to him. And then wen we got involved it got tougher, as he seemed to be the best thing that happened to me all my life.I delayed it to 5-6 months and then one day it got unearthed by him. I accepted and hoped he could forgive. But sadly that dint happen. He changed his ways and said we cant go on now. I would cling on to him, hoping he would return. Sadly am still in the same phase now. It been about 2 weeks now and i am surprised how different n difficult life is without him. He seems to have moved on. He also said if i had told him the reason before, things would have been good between us. So its a shut door to me. In a week i will meet him as it was a planned visit to him. I havent canceled the visit but I am dead scared of my own reaction. This would be the first time we would be meeting after our months of talking and I dun want to miss on it. If anybody could then please suggest me if I should meet him..

  12. Yuu December 15, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    What if you’ve already told the other person your feelings, but they refuse to accept that you no longer feel the same towards them? What if they insist on pretending everything is okay?

    What do you do if your partner is in denial and refuses to let go?

    • Luke July 11, 2010 at 2:57 am #

      Tough love

  13. Kelsey December 17, 2009 at 7:32 am #

    well, I notice most of these post are for the “dumpee” healing, but what should the heartbroken “dumper” do? I once ended a relationship due to confusion, misery, and sugnificantly less happiness than before. I felt what i was doing was for the best in the long run. Imediatly after the break up i regreted what i did considerably and tried to convice the boy to give us a second chance. he didn’t. I was thrown into a severe depression but is now on the mend after much hard work and attmepted positive thinking. So, what is a person like me to do when confronted with leaving the person they love on there own accord? What can a person do to get over a first love? Is there a way to find closure when you were the one who provoked the whole situation?

  14. Daniel December 29, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    Kelsey has a point… Sometimes the person who is doing the dumping is still dealing with a lot of pain as well as all the internal conflict that comes from being the one who had to make the decision in the first place…

  15. john December 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm #


    My post is about three above yours, written 11/23. I am in the same boat. Immediately I wanted to get back together with my girlfriend, and about four days after the breakup I tried to tell her we should fix things, but she didn’t want to, said it was too late. After Thanksgiving break I kept trying, and it seemed like it was going somewhere, but then she said that she needed a few weeks without contact from me, so that she could figure out what was good for her. That was very hard but I gave her space to think.

    The day of reckoning came yesterday. We met up and talked for a long time, but she had pretty much made up her mind that it wasn’t going to work out between us. The main problem for her is that she doesn’t feel she can trust my feelings anymore, that this might happen again and she doesn’t want to go through the heartbreak again. I don’t know what your situation is, Kelsey, if your guy still loves you but is scared or what. But for me, I feel like I can’t stop fighting because she is still in love with me. So I have to decide if I want to hold onto her and the pain of not being with her, the idea of maybe getting her back but keep trying, or if I should just try to move on and heal.

    Best to you, Kelsey. Keep us posted.

  16. Anhelica December 30, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    @john – I feel exactly like you do. I just ended my relationship of almost 2 years because I felt like I just wasn’t happy. I will not say he was good or bad, he is just a person, with faults and virtues, and of coursr there were good things and bad things in our relationship, but in the end, I just didn’t feel like I could be myself, I felt emotionally distant from him, like what you described: like we’re too different, we want different things and we are not compatible. Also, that he didn’t take much interest in what I do.

    But like Kelsey above mentioned, I immediately felt like I made a huge mistake by letting this guy go. I honestly believe he is my soulmate, I love him with all my heart and soul and now I have this nagging feeling that this could have been discussed, instead of cut so suddenly. To be honest, we had not been fighting or anything. I just got to the point where I was too unhappy and I felt I needed to leave, and stop wasting both his and my time. I basically lost all hope for the relationship.

    I should mention that we’re in a long distance relationship since 9 months ago and there seemed to be no end in sight…

    but he did make a plan to come see me in the spring. Now I think, I wasn’t patient enough. I am drying to try to talk him back, but I think thats more a mistake than not. I don’t know what to do. Maybe I was too impulsive and this has a chance. If anyone has any advice, I’d greatly appreciate it :(

  17. Elina January 1, 2010 at 1:12 am #

    when we do whatever that may even sem as a sudden move at first, has, I am sure, been dugested throughoutly in your mind first… so the decision to split was not a sudden one. It is a hard time the first few weeks or the first few days, and it may look like a mistake and if it is you will know later, but do not jump back into it now… heal an dlet yourself reflect on what has happened.

  18. Anhelica January 8, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    Thanks you…I agree, I also feel that although I can’t pinpoint al my reasons, I know I was unhappy and miserable. Like you said, this had been “digesting” inside me for a long time before. However, the thought that I made have been rash, or too hard assaults me from time to time. It’s only been 10 days, and I’m in a rollercoaster of emotions: one day I feel good, the next I’m crushed, and so on…but overall I felt I needed to leave. I still don’t feel my partner did anything particularly horrible, or is a bad person at all. I just was not happy there (and I have a feeling neither was he, but he went along…) I just couldn’t do it anymore.

    I still can’t shake the feelings of guilt though…that I wasn’t strong enough to see this relationship through, that I didn’t have enough patience, that I “bailed” when a problem arose… it’s like I can’t see my efforts anymore and I just look at what I left and I feel like a monster for having left this man who I thought would be the one I’d spend my life with.

    But then, there are times when I think of what I lost and it feels like I lost nothing, because in truth, I had nothing to begin with. At least, nothing substantial to really build a future on. Not even a promise to be together, just thoughts here and there.

    I don’t want to be a “thought” or an “option” to the one I love. I want to be his priority. Is that too much to ask?

    Sorry if this is long. I just needed to vent. Thank you for your kind words~

  19. annie April 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    Been thinking a lot about the break up… you said I should write down my thought… let see how this works even though I know its not going to be good…
    Let be realistic when it will happen… maybe his company situation may have this prolonged a few weeks
    It has to come to end in may there is no way I can maintain this after May 27th when my school ends… I am graduating on May 27th. My studies life will be ending there is no class and no class excuse to meet up with frank…
    So where do we go from there… in may once we end this relationship… how do we end I see him for one last time and do the usual maybe dinner and talk perhaps sex in car… and then what its 9:30 time for me to go home and he kiss me hugs me and then I get in car .. Do I call him like always do the second I get in car… even if I call what will I say …….would that be last phone call I will ever make to him
    What do me when I want to talk to him?
    What do I do when I want to see him be touched by him…? Where do I go from here… while tying this right now my heart feels like its going to jump out of my chest and my eyes are getting teary and I am having hard time breaking I can’t allow anyone see me crying because there are million question will arise… part of my want to yell out loud that frank u are not leaving me I will not let u ever walk away from me.. U cannot walk away from e… wants to beg him please do not leave me… when he hugs me for one last time I want the time to stop there forever… i want a never ending hug
    Why does it feel like I will not be able to live without you frank… why I can’t see life without you… and whenever I imagine a life with you why do happiness and smile on my face seems so blurry and so far away from me… the thought of you not being part of my life is so scary and overwhelming..
    I need to be able to come with coping strategies to survive this… and I know I will be find and I know I can handle myself but I also know that I need to finds ways to do that.. Last break u buried me under school and work… wut do I do now…
    Watch more TV have organized shows time finds ways to occupy my times… make schedule events to fill time slots where I am not alone at all…Make sure I am surrounded by people at all times finds way to distract myself and keep myself busy..
    Prob start painting and drawing again help dad with gardening … once the basement is done help mom set up everyone new bed room…
    Set up time aside with my books to study for exam… maybe one hour every night… I like routine and I can create routine… and fine routine where there is no free moment where I think about him… at least not until where I can think about him and smile and snap out of my thought and not have the urge to call him or want to see him… I need to be able to control my thinking until I am capable of controlling my emotions and feeling for him…
    Maybe I can set up schedule with him and I know he can understand that being with someone is like an addiction and you cannot turn off addiction you have to finds ways to vein off the addiction. I am not exactly sure staying in contact with him effect him but I think if we have schedule contact it will prob will help me… I have to discuss it with him to find out what are his thoughts… however, do I bring it up now or do I leave as it and wait for the right time …. What is the right time who decides when is t the right time… ok….
    I think if we come up two days where we talk o each other for lets 10 mines just to find out how we are doing in our lives with each other and just try to keep the conversation general.. Try not to stay on the phone more than 10 minutes… and maybe in time like after few weeks change that into once a week and than once every two week and than once a month every two months and just go from there on…
    I think this work better for me if ever get desperate desire where I just ant to talk to him I think I can tell myself that I have to wait for our set time… I think will allow me to be able to control my desire and need to talk to him… I know this will work for me but I have a feeling when I share this with him he is going to think I am childish or crazy he would really think I am a crazy woman… who have set date ofr the break up and even a break up plan on how she is planning to handle herself after the break up.. Maybe I am a control freak maybe I am only thinking about myself and not him… what if he really does not want to talk to me for a while to just to deal with himself..w hat if he needs time to deal with his feelings for a while what if he needs space and distance at least in the beginning., what if he does not want to hear form in a long while.. What if he starts to think I am being just as annoying as his ex wife…?
    What if he just wants to be able to move on and leave past in the past… why do I keep holding on to him…
    What if he ask me what exactly a 10 minutes conversation will give me twice a week… what kind of place is it fulfilling in my life
    Why am I asking him to do this for me… please do not ask and just do as I say… No question please

  20. Chloe. May 2, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    On the very first day of high school, I fell for this guy. Mikey. I had the biggest crush on him, day and day, I'd hope that he'd notice me. He told others he had a girlfriend and it seemed like she was the love of his life. I wished over and over what it would be like to be in her shoes. In her position, how I'd love every bone in him. He was different from me, he had the popularity, the looks, the friends. I had my brains and my future ahead of me. We were almost separated three times by randomness, he was suppose to be transferred out of the only two classes I had with him, but wasn't. Then one day, my teacher took a random count of her students to pick their video project partners, my best friend sneezed right before she was counted and he was then my partner. We worked on the project together and I hoped and hoped he'd notice me, but he didn't. The way he talked about his ex, it was beautiful. How he thought he loved her but realized he didn't. Then, as I moved on. As i began to look away, he fell for me. My childhood crush was then coming into the picture, Bryan. Mikey took a leap. He had no idea I had liked him for so long. We went out for five months. I loved him and still do. We broke up because of college. I was only a junior in high school and I worried about my future. He was of a different ethnicity, a different background. My parents would have never accepted him, and all my life, I was meant to be with someone else. I was named even to be with my childhood crush. They raised me to love this childhood crush of mine. Mikey loved me, every bone in me he put up with, everything about me. He'd do anything I ask, anything I needed. He loved me like no other. My first love. The truest. There wasn't anything he wouldn't do. I could never love him to the fullest, because I feared that I would burn in my own emotions someday when I would have to let him go. I feared I'd make my decisions about my future based on him. I'd give up so much for him. I found out that he never had this girlfriend, he told me about her, so that he could get my attention. I was his first love. Bryan, his mother is a violinist, his father a professional guitarist for a band. His parents and mine have know each other since they were in their early 20's. Bryan is extremely attractive and isn't allowed to date. I over heard the parents talking about how they'd have Bryan wait for me to finish school. I have so much planned for me, for my future. I plan to go to school to be a doctor. I love Mikey and always will be love only takes one so far. Bryan, well, he could love and care but he could never cherish me the way Mikey does. Maybe I'll find the love Mikey has given me again in someone else. Yesterday, I was at Bryan's house and he played “Rivers Follows in You” on the piano and the sound was so beautiful throughout the house. It made me realize the life I could have in the future. The possibilities of what is to come. Mikey, I could only live a life of simplicity, a life of simple comfort, of simple taste. I am making my decision to let Mikey go. I delayed the break up for so long was that I feared he'd think I was just trying to keep my options open, but it's true. I have to do this, I have to let go. He's hurt but I'll have to learn to be okay with that. Maybe I'll regret this decision for the rest of my life, or be proud of it. Who knows. I can't be tied down during these years, during this time, one day, he'll love me for what I'm doing. For setting him free to love who could love him back to the fullest.

    -High School Junior I am.

  21. Crystal January 8, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    This is so very difficult. It feels like the major tribulation of my life as it has been my stumbling block for so long already. I grew up in an abusive, semi-nomadic and very isolated type of family, so I got used to not being social. We always lived in rural areas as well. In my mid-teens, we finally moved to a large town and though I was still restricted to having to stay around the house most of the time, I discovered the internet. Four years into it, I met the most amazing person. You could not get us off the phone with each other. We talked for hours and hours..and developed feelings for each other. Long story short, we briefly met, had a whirlwind romance, moved in with each other and endured the hell of basically being two kids who got way in over their heads. He sexually and emotionally abused me, so through a bit of a twisted truth (I was too intimidated to be direct with him) I convinced him to go back home. We broke up over the internet within the next year. Through my early 20s, I had short lived interests with other people and lived with another man again for about a year and a half, who was emotionally abusive and also did not contribute to the household at all (causing me to have to ask him to leave as well). During this same year, I was also raped by a friend. Distraught, I fell back into contact with my first boyfriend and (stupidly?) went back to see him because I didn’t want to tell anyone what happened and just wanted to go somewhere..anywhere but where I was. The first boyfriend and I developed a relationship again, though as soon as I got on the plane to go back home, I already felt regret because it was more of his idea and once again I just gave in because at the time it was comforting. Over the next two years, his initial sweetness gave way back to the old perverted, rude and controlling/possessive behaviors (as well as he likes to lie about things that don’t even need to be lied about and loves to make things up so I never know what to believe) and we have already broken 3 times within the last two years. I cannot talk to him about our problems because he says I’m a weak minded person who is giving in to negative feelings again, or I’m “not acting like myself” or just any way he can invalidate my feelings and not have to listen to me, so nothing ever gets solved. He overrides me, makes me feel stupid and crazy and that I’m hurting him. Once when I did leave, he created a fake page for me on a social networking site and masqueraded that person as me. He does not like my family. My family doesn’t like him. He tells me how our future will be, like he’s going to be the one to decide everything and one time when I told him I was considering not having children, he berated me for it and basically told me I was going to and that was it. He constantly checks up on me and even when we lived together, he would secretly follow me everywhere. I’m starting to think the best way is to just disappear from this guy without a trace because I had done it before and was living well before what happened to me put me into an emotional tailspin. I have recovered, am at a much better point in my life and now am looking towards moving out of my parents house (again) and going back to college. I don’t even live with this guy anymore, but I hate how intimidated I am of him and yet at the same time, how I somehow feel like the bad guy in all of this who is plotting to hurt him yet again by leaving? All I want is to live my own life without being controlled or coerced by anyone anymore :(.

  22. Pimafoxx December 30, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    I just broke up with my fiance after two years of drinking, drugs and physical, mental and emotional abuse. I admit my side and I know  I haven’t been the best girlfriend. We tried and tried, broke up and got back together again and again. We both stopped drinking and really tried but I guess it came a little too late. The physical abuse was only when we drank and it stopped until i tried to leave and he grabbed me and shook me so hard I had a bruise on my arm. After that I still went back and he apologized and was sincerely sorry but I felt afraid of him. I got so tired of trying and feeling unhappy. I love him still and even though I broke up with him I don’t understand why I feel so sad. I feel like I should have tried harder and been stronger and I keep second guessing myself and wondering if I had made the right decision. I feel so confused

    • Bdmcelro March 30, 2015 at 1:17 am #

      I am literally going through the exact same thing right now with the exact same kind of person. I feel sad and guilty and I am plagued with an unbearable aching and anxiety in my heart. Please tell me things get better!

  23. Celine October 29, 2012 at 1:49 am #

    First of all : English is not my native language, so pardon me for eventual grammar or spelling mistakes.

    I first came to this website a few months ago, during my relationship. It wasn’t going too well, and i was wondering if i should break up with my boyfriend. We were great together, our relationship was a fairytale. We were convinced we were going to be together until one of us died.
    And still, here I am. We were living together since half a year, and when my boyfriend was breaking of his university studies he felt very useless. he turned from very social and funny to a very indoorsy, moody person. We lost our connection. When he decided to go back to his hometown, 150 kilometers away (which is the other side of the country, since i live in Belgium) I was very happy for him. He was going back to university, back to his friends. He had a goal in life again.
    Yet, I couldn’t help but feeling left behind. I decided to give it a try. One month later, i was totally heartbroken. i was left behind by the love of my life. I decided to stay with him, hoping everything would be back to normal once i was able to move to his town. 3 months later, it still wasn’t going well. I felt very lonely, i still couldn’t fell asleep alone. I decided to break up with him, to ‘release’ myself. I deserved better than someone who would leave me alone. Now, 2 months later, i think it’s the biggest mistake i have made in my life so far. (and i have made quite a few). the first weeks i was happy, felt as there had a weight fallen of my shoulders. Now, more and more, i regret my decision. I still miss him, everyday, have the feeling we could have been so much more if we held through. I still talk to him, and he tells me from time to time he misses me too, that he still hopes everything will get allright again. He also tells me that he’s heartbroken, and that he’s partying a lot just not to be alone. But that he can’t keep doing that, that he’s breaking down piece by piece. I feel so heartbroken every time he says things like that, and SO GUILTY.

    So I don’t know, I can only speak for myself when i say i wouldn’t do it again. I hope i can find some ‘peace’ some day, and be happy with my decision. For now, i just hope this feeling will pass away. And i hope he will be happy some day soon, he deserves it. i’m in tears every time i think what i’ve done to him.

  24. t January 3, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    My girlfrien is in school and works full-time and i watch her daughter when i say we shouldn’t b together she gets upset and says im the reason she will have to quit her school and job and have to move in with parents she says she will never forgive me and that i need to stay around and babysit and let her use my car until she gets done with Schiller and then i can leave if i want… i don’t want to do that obviously so what should i do…?

  25. sleepless in Manhattan April 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    I found this post a few days ago and it resonated with me more than most “checklists” I found online. I have been in a relationship for over 2 years, most of that time spent living together. I have always been sort of unhappy and even expressed feelings that we were not right for each other pretty early on, but retracted those sentiments when I saw her cry. I vacillated in many commitment decisions and have often thought of ending it, though I never told her out of fear of making her cry. The trouble is that she loves me so much and I love her. Or at the very least, I am deeply emotionally invested in her and our relationship.

    I have made promises continually of never leaving her. I have reassured her countless times that everything is OK between us, even when she senses that it’s really not. We’ve been through therapy and we’ve had countless talks and fights, all of which came to some mutual resolution. Nonetheless, I feel like nothing has changed and that maybe I just prolonged something that I knew was not right for us from the start.

    I have avoided these feelings of discontent for so long, and now that I’m finally facing them, I can’t live with the ambivalence anymore. When I’m away from her, I realize clearly that despite all the pain, guilt and tears, I need to end this, for both of our sakes. When I come home though, our beautifully peaceful and comfortable rapport erases all my conviction. I came home yesterday, after crying at the office and on the subway, to find her happy to see me, consoling me about my difficulties and taking genuine interest in my life. She tells me how much she loves me, how lucky she is that she has me, and how well we are recovering from our longstanding relationship troubles. I can’t return those sentiments, so I tear up and tell her quietly that I love her too. I can’t connect with her honestly; I can’t find the courage to tell her the truth. I’m stuck in a quiet hell and slowly dragging her into it too.

    She seems so happy. She makes plans for dates, for hobby outings and even occasionally hints at how happy she would be to have a family with me. If I really saw a future with us, these things would make me ecstatic, but they just fill me with dread and guilt. Every time I think about her when she’s not around, I well up because I realize that I have already withdrawn from this relationship. It’s almost as though I’ve already let her go.

    Emotionally, I am confused by how unhappy I am despite our mutual affection for one another. We do share interests. We have a pretty good sex life. We are mostly nice to one another, except for fights, which can get a little violent, physically and verbally.

    I truly love her but I don’t see a future together. It’s not fair to either one of us for me to fake it. In my heart, it is clear that the most loving thing I can do for her is to let her go and let her find someone with whom she can truly be happy.

    It seems like I am not the only one in this boat, and it is never a good time to initiate a breakup. This will be ugly and painful no matter what, but it is the only humane thing to do and every minute I drag it out will hurt her even more.

    • lolo July 4, 2013 at 2:03 am #

      Sleepless in Manhattan, what happened? Are you still trapped with the same feelings? They sound exactly like mine. Exactly. I was certain from the start that my girlfriend and I wouldn’t be serious, that it would just be some fun dating, since we had so many incompatibilities. I remember our first date I thought “I don’t really like this person.” But the attraction was strong. Somehow, it became 2 years and living together. I look back and see all the times I should have made the break, and I am consumed with guilt for leading her on. I also am afraid no one will ever love me as much as she does. I feel like a bad person. It’s torture. I keep hoping I’ll just have a change of heart so i don’t have to do this to her. What did you do?

    • Eve July 18, 2013 at 3:15 am #

      Sleepless in Manhattan, I am dealing with the exact same thing except my BF has 3 children who are horrors to add to the mix. Did you get break up with your GF?? How did things go? I just broke up a week ago but I feel so hurt, guilty and sad that he’s hurting so badly.


    • Chainedsoul December 3, 2013 at 10:09 am #

      Sleepless in manhattan, lolo and Eve,

      I am now having the exactly same problem. I started dating my girlfriend 6 months ago and didn’t expect it to be a serious, long-term commitment. However, things went so fast that it was out of my control. My girlfriend fell for me so rapidly that I was shocked when she said she loves me after only 1 month dating. Due to my weakness to see her hurt, I said I love her too in return even though I knew I haven’t fallen for her yet. I did like her a lot but I just did not think my affection to her has reached to the love stage yet. She has the nicest personality that I have ever seen in a person. We never had any fights and she would do whatever I asked her to do. Also, she is very physically attractive. There are tons of guys chasing after her (her phone and facebook messages from guys never stop), but she is very loyal to me and never try to hide her conversations with those guys from me. However, I am just not really jealous about that. I don’t understand why i am just not crazy about her as she is about me. Sometimes I even think if I am the stupidest guy in the world that doesn’t know how to cherish a gem like her. But I know my feeling. Deep down in my heart, I don’t see the future with her. I analyze the reasons and i think there might be a few affecting my emotion for her such as she is kinda messy whereas I am very organized; she does not want kids whereas I definitely want to have my own kids in the future; she is too attached but I need my space from time to time etc. But it also seems to me none of those cannot be changed since she is willing to do whatever for me. Being so confused, I cannot get the idea of ending the relationship out of my head. Recently, I accepted a job in another city which is really far from my current city. She was really upset at first and cried several times in front of me and asked me to stay in the current city with her. I couldn’t because I do not have a choice due to my status issues(I am a foreigner in this country and employment is the only way to keep my status legal). She asked me to marry her then I can obtain citizenship fast that way and stay, but I refused to do so because I know I can’t marry her, definitely not now. I think this might be a good chance to end our relationship. Yesterday, she told me she started looking for jobs in the city where I will relocate to. She wants to move with me to that city and live with me. I was shocked and deeply touched at the same time. However, one voice in my head keeps saying that I do not want this. At the same time, the overwhelming feel of guilt makes me unable to concentrate on my work during the day. Now I just want to tear up and kill myself when I see her so happily envisioning our future together. I don’t know how to deal with this. I don’t have the courage to initiate the breakup with her since she is a wonderful girl that is so in love with me and she does not do anything wrong. I am so afraid of shattering her heart, although I know the longer i wait, the more damage I will do to her eventually. I wish my heart can change soon. I am hating myself.

      • Lolo December 4, 2013 at 9:31 am #


        Six months is not enough time to truly know someone. She may be nice, attractive, and everything wonderful, but your alarm bells are going off because she is moving so fast. There’s something really unbalanced about your relationship. There is something off and immature about wanting to marry after 6 months. You don’t have the chance for your feelings to develop on your timeline, so you’re forced into an “all or nothing” situation. That resistance you feel, the thoughts of breaking up, will not change by just going on and hoping. You will find things to justify your feelings, try to find fault with her. But your feelings are there and you must face them. You have to be honest. It’s ok to say “this is how I feel and I don’t know why.” It will be terrible and painful but not nearly as bad as the continuing disconnect you’re creating now. I’m sorry for your suffering.

        • Chainedsoul January 9, 2014 at 12:07 am #

          Thank you for your nice words. I think I just need to man up and talk to her with honesty.

          • Shattered February 5, 2014 at 5:19 pm #


            I am almost EXACTLY in your same situation. February made it six months for me and I do not understand why I am so hesitant to be in this relationship if he is so perfect on paper. I ask myself if I’m crazy. I’ve tried to be honest with him, but he breaks down and makes me feel like the worst person on earth.

            My question to you is, how are you doing now? Have you found any peace with yourself? Are you still in your relationship or did you find the strength to let go and move? I ask only to seek some kind of peace of mind for myself as well as I have no idea how to deal with this situation and I wish God would just speak to me as to what to do.

          • Chainedsoul February 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

            Hi, Shattered,

            I just told her how I felt last week and she broke down so hard. I felt awful and kinda gave in. This is really bad. But as least now we decide to separate apart for a few days. I hope she will cool down so we can end it peacefully. If you really feel like getting out of this relationship, you should follow your gut. I know it’s cruel to the other person but that’s how it is. I guess you will have to bring this up to him again and be firm. If you really can’t, try to talk to him to separate for a short time and see if he can cools down. There’s no way around it. I wish you could find the peace of mind soon.


  26. emma June 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Hi, so I have been with my partner for 5 years and we have a beautiful 2 year old daughter together. Our relationship has been on the rocks for a while now and we have been having more bad times than good, I blame us both for the fighting it seems as if everything we do annoys the other. Anyway for a while now I have been having doubts about us as a couple and the definition of the word love. I truly do love him but I question whether I am IN love with him. I think I resent him for things in the past and he has never made me really feel special, call me materialistic but a card on my birthday or a random bunch of flowers on the way home from work that show a bit of thought is something I crave, i find myself fantasizing about being single etc andit isn’t fair on either of us for me to be feeling this way yet staying and hoping we will rekindle our spark. A week ago I told him its over and I moved to my mums, the problem is, I do see him often as I take our daughter to see him as he does not drive and he begs me stay he tells me our daughter and I are all that he has (he does not have the best family) he tells me he will do anything to keep me and we are his only purpose in life. My problem is the guilt, I hate myself for wanting to leave and I feel as if i may come back just so I’m not tearing his family away from him. Why do I have to hurt him so badly just so I can be happy. I’m scared I am going to go back and continue our life together when deep down i know it is not what I really want nor where I want to be. How do I deal with this tremendous amount of guilt, I feel like the worst person in the world leaving him but I’m sick of putting everyone before me. How can I love someone so much that I would rather hold the misery but at the same time not love them enough to want to spend my life with them. I’ve never felt so lost and confused

  27. Rose July 6, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Thank you, I’ve been feeling guilty for sometime now, but your article inspired me to open up to my boyfriend.

  28. Sticky Wicket July 14, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    Well here I am, I read close to every post written above. I guess that qualifies my unrest and uneasiness as all-consuming. My problem is based on needing to break up with my boyfriend because of our lack if compatibility, but struggling to know how to do it because of his determination to keep us together. To Sleepless in Manhattan, I can relate to your situation, but as the girl in the relationship. My relationship is about 5 months old. It started out with a bang- so much love and romance- he discussed buying a house for the two of us, he wanted marriage and the works, but he went about it way too fast.

    Reality set in after 2 months, and our differences became blatantly obvious. One month after that, it was pretty unbearable. I’m consistently a happy and friendly girl, and he is moody and reserved. I finally sat down with him and expressed my feelings and problems. He responded with a million apologies and wanted to work on getting back to how we once were. I accepted and he really stepped up to the plate and demonstrated an effort to be the happy person I first met. Kudos to him!

    That being said, my discontentment with him in other ways would still consume me, but my guilt because of his efforts kept me in it. We’ve had 2 more talks since then, each ending with me saying that I think it would be best if we ended things. But his responses are always the same, “I want to work on this, I want to have you in my life. I’ll be more aware of (my moodiness, drinking too much on weekends, making time for romance, etc).”

    Ideally, he says everything I would want my boyfriend to say. I will give him credit, once again, for following through and working on those things. I have a guilt for needing him to change, but then again, I’m not the one forcing the relationship to continue. I’m in a sticky situation now though where he demonstrates an interest to improve in areas that have been making me unhappy, but I still ultimately struggle with our compatibility. It’s amazing to find someone who wants the relationship this badly and is willing to work on it despite all the problems that I confront him with. I can’t imagine that this is fun for him, it surprises me that he keeps fighting to hold onto something that is clearly problematic. I regret letting him talk me out of breaking up, again, last week. It was a weak decision on my behalf. Since my feeling of wanting to break-up are not based on hatred or a big bad event, I lost my conviction when faced with his response, yet again. But while I’ve dwelled on his manner to fix things, let it not be understated that he can be a moody jerk, we have issues understanding each other, and seem to lack having things in common with one another. Regardless, a week after taking him back after trying to break-up, I’m at the end of my rope. Oh boy, I feel guilty for needing this to end after just accepting him back. The heartache that comes with each of these break up talks hits both of us hard each time. I don’t want to inflict more pain on him, nor am I interested in dating someone who has to change so much for us to work. It’s a miserable feeling. I wish I could just put this off, but alas, I’m too stressed in this relationship to want it to keep going. How do I end it with someone who wants it to work so badly???

  29. Tammy July 19, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    I just got out of an 18 month relationship that I’d wanted out of for over a year. I was too afraid of his temper and guilt over hurting him, and the fact that he has a strong connection with my cat.

    It sucks, but I know that it was for the best.

  30. Tara July 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    I have been with my partner for 18 years and we have an adorable little boy together, who is 3 and a half. For the last few months I have wanted to seperate from him but just don’t know if I can do it. I’ve got some really good friends and my Mum is my best friend, but she’s got a lot on her plate with my brother being depressed due to diabetes and having had an operation in January, so I feel guilty if I talk to her about this, although she does know I’m not happy.

    Before my little boy was born we had an OK relationship, but looking back I think that was because I let my partner do what he wanted and just got on with things myself. We would rarely do things together, he would play football, go to the gym or go into the city for a coffee, paper and doing some studying and I rarely made demands on his time. Having our son has been fantastic and we both love him dearly, but it has shone a light on our relationship problems. My partner is very kind and a really good person, which is almost harder to deal with as there’s not such a clear cut reason to end the relationship, I feel very selfish about that as can’t bear to think of my son being upset by it, and how can it not affect him greatly, he loves his Daddy.

    Since my son was born we haven’t been intimate, but more importantly I don’t feel that we look after one another anymore, do nice things for one another and support one another. I snipe at him and he irrates me, even when he’s in a good mood. I often know exactly what he’s going to say and get fed up with it!! I guess that’s because we’ve been together for so long. My friend left her husband about 6 months ago and I can see how she’s blossoming and am quite envious of her dating. I’ve only ever been in a relationship with my partner and I’m now 38, I know if I don’t act now I never will! My partner wants to have another baby, but I’m stalling. On a recent visit to relations I got asked 3 times if we’d like another baby and I just joked about it, saying ‘when my son’s 18!! ha ha!! My partner has called my selfish as I’m not sure about having another child, but since then he doesn’t even mention it and it’s always me that has to talk about issues. I love my son to bits, but haven’t found motherhood very easy! We’ve talked several times of the last months about how we’re not getting on. I have thought about councelling, but that feels like a lie as in my heart I know that I don’t really want to stay with him.

    I feel very depressed about this issue and wonder why I can’t ever seem to put myself first, I’m over eating and I’m going to eat myself into diabetes if I’m not careful, I’m not young anymore and need to start taking better care of myself, but I use food so much to regulate my mood and have something to look forward to every diet I try fails as I just don’t have the motivation to change. I get so depressed when I think of giving up food, I’m using it to get through the day and I know that’s got to change. I did lose weight and feel so much happier once, when my partner was working down South and I came back here to study and be nearer my family. I almost broke up with him then, but didn’t have the bravery to do it. It’s really not about being with anyone else, but I’ve got to the point where I’d be happier being alone and a bit lonely than being with someone I’m not happy with. I feel like I do all the housework and am even made to feel guilty for working at the weekends as then my partner has to look after my son and he wants to study towards his chartered status. I supported him whilst I worked and he was in Uni and he even did a course recently, for which he paid £5,000 plus travel fees to London, and didn’t complain, but I’m getting fed up of this. I know he resents me only working part time and critisises my job constantly. I know it’s not the best money and maybe I could do so much more, but with raising a son too and keeping a home it’s not always easy to start a new job. Especially as my confidence is so low and I’m so depressed and feel very self conscious about the way I look. He often mentions my eating habits (which aren’t good I know!) but shouldn’t he support me instead of forcing me into losing weight? I can’t blame him for it, I know I’m responsible for it, but I feel no motivation to change. I always have to nag him to do things as he forgets and then I’m made to feel like a horrible nag and I’m sick of that. If he does forget things he even blames me for not reminding him of it, I can’t win! We differ in child care, he thinks I’m too soft, which I probably am, but the more he pushes me the less I want to change that too!

    He isn’t spontaneous at all and never treats me, I’m sick of him writing birthday and Christmas cards on the day and not remembering to buy one before, so many birthdays we’ve had to go into the City so he can buy me my card/present! I don’t want much, just a token, but a bit of thought would be nice. He didn’t even buy me a card/present from my son to me for the last two Mother’s Days, which upset me a lot. My Mum and Sister-in-law weren’t very impressed by that one either! Please understand that I know I’m not very easy to live with too, I’m fully aware that we all have our faults. His Dad left him when he was small, his Mum died 3 years ago and he hasn’t been in touch with his brother for years, so I don’t feel he’s got any support network if we break up, my family have taken him in and any friends we have is through my friendship with people. I think because of his Dad abandonment issues he finds it very hard to admit when he’s wrong and hates feeling rejected and I hate to hurt someone I still like, he’s basically a very decent person, we’re just not laughing together anymore. We spend our evenings with my watching TV and him on his ipad, we don’t communicate and it always seems to be me making an effort and instigating the conversation. I don’t know why I bother sometimes! I’m only 38, not 68 and want to feel alive again and free. We never hold hands, usually when we’re walking he’ll walk off in front of me or me and my son, which my son hates as he says ‘wait for us Daddy!’ We never kiss or cuddle and I can’t really stand the thought of being intimate in bed with him again, even though I love children and feel broody sometimes for another baby. I think I’ve simply fallen out of love with him. Another big thing for me has been us never getting married, I’m not really that bothered as such, but it does sometimes hurt that he’s never asked me, I wonder why I’m not worth it, showing his love to me and spending money on a ring and a wedding.

    We also disagree about the house and how to decorate, which bugs me as I’m usually the one to pay for things, don’t most women choose the majority of things? My taste and sense of style feels threatened when he critisises so many things. He doesn’t really do a lot of jobs in the house or the garden, usually I have to prod him into cutting our tiny lawn! Then he says he feels emasculated when I ask my Dad or brother to help with things!! If he does do something it’s such a chore as he complains and swears to much. He always wants to use a weekend day to do his studying, won’t do it in the evening like some Dads with a lot on their plates do. He doesn’t work excessively and manages to go to the gym, football and badminton in the evenings! He often does the shopping, which is lovely, but he never asks me what we need, it’s as if I don’t get a say. I hate asking him for money and on my part time hours of £214.00 per week, plus £81.00 child support, overtime when I can get it and a bit of extra money cleaning for my Mum I pay the following; Council Tax, TV Licence, £80 Sky bill (inc. TV, phone and internet), gas, water and elec and my phone. I think I do pretty damn well on my small wages, I don’t even have a car as we can’t afford to run one and I’m fine with that even though it negates my freedom somewhat! But when I very occassionally ask to borrow our car he makes a bit thing of it! He doesn’t really appreciate how much my Mum and Dad do for us, he’s only every bought my son some wellies (£10) and one pair of shoes in his whole life and me and my Mum buy them all, and he never buys him any clothes. For the last couple of Chistmases we’ve even bought different presents for our son, that’s how seperate we are. He never discusses holiday dates with me, like we’re not a family and we’ve never even had a joint bank account!

    So sorry for such a very very long rant, but I truly don’t know who to talk to, my friends are all in happy relationships, I don’t want to worry my wonderful Mum and my sister-in-law is having problems with my brothers diabetes worries.

    I want to feel free and loved and desired again, I want to eat well and exercise and go out occasionally. I want to feel happy again. When he comes in the door at night it’s not a pleasure to have him home again anymore.

    Thanks for listening, you can tell how much is going round in my head at the moment, I think I’m going to explode!!! xxx

  31. robyn July 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    He hasn’t worked in 4months, he stays home and looks after our 2 year old son that should be in svhool but instead sits in a flat with his depressed dad. The connection is gone not to mention the resentment that’s formed.. Me working continuesly trying to keep us a float and barely making it every month.. I’m angry cause he won’t even try.. He says I’m horrible to him, and treat him badly but I might as well not be here, he has very little interest in me or my day.. His a good dad.. But till I threatened to kick him out resently he wouldn’t even do the house work.. He watches me drowning under the stress but just pretends its not happening.. Is this love? Is this how some who loves you behaves.. I can’t even imagine not working.. What about college and medical aid where is this going?? There doesn’t seem to be any plans from his side.. He told me he will leave and takae my son to his mother who lives more than a half a days drive away.. I feel terrible I feel like a bad parent I feel like I’m in a relationship with someone who will never give me the emotional support I need.. There’s just no connection or effort.. I’ve spoken about it so maany times nothing changes.. I’m left feeling like an emotional abuser because this is what he says I’m like.. I’m tired I’m lonely and afraid this is all I will ever know.. Has my child hood ttotally tainted me into never being satisfied.. I would rather be alone than feel this continues dissapointment from nott getting the support I need but on the other hand I’m petrified of being alone I have no support structure and can’t see myself throwing someone out who is the father of my child and who I knwo will have no where to go close by.. Is this unfair to my child as well?? Alll this guilt all this uncertainty..

  32. Ashley August 13, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    I need some advice on how I go about breaking up with my boyfriend of 5 years. I’ve been with him since I was 16 and like every relationship we have had our ups and downs. He moved down from where he used to live to where I live for a new start and new job. But he hasn’t acheived much in the last 5 years such as getting a better job (I know its hard for jobs at the minute but he has no motivation whats so ever to try and get out there and look). He hasnt learned to drive when he’s had plenty of opportunity to- once he can drive he could of had a job anywhere around the county which would of been a wider range of options. After 4 years of living in his friends house and in my family’s house we have had to move into a shared accomodation as I felt like I had to support him. Im a student and work part time which means I have very little money as I also now have to pay rent and utilities. In the past I also found him messaging his ex behind my back and I only got back with him as we both was going through a difficult time- his mum passing away. I feel guilty that when I will break up with him that he hasn’t got his mum to go home to only his step dad and grandparents, he has emotionally blackmailed me before by saying there is no point living of he doesnt have me. Which isnt fair on me is it? Whats the best way to do this as we live together, he will be around a while before he will go back to where he used to live im sure. Whens the best time to do it?


  33. lolo August 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Ashley, I just broke up with my partner of two years. It was excruciating. But I feel like the weight of the world is lifted off of my shoulders. There is no good time. You just have to do it. I suggest trying to find some free or low-cost counseling in your area, because you are going to need support creating boundaries. You have to decide, and then stick to it. Find a friend to stay with, since it may be hard to get him to leave. Give him a timeline. You may have to move out altogether and end your contract where you live. You already have one foot out the door. You want to end it. Guilt is not a good reason to stay with a person. If you really think he is suicidal, call a hotline or something and find out what resources you can connect him with, but do not accept responsibility for this person’s life. His threats are emotional abuse. Be prepared for a very difficult experience, but when you are free, believe me, you will be poud of your strength and commitment to your own well-being. You only have one life. Don’t waste more years of it out of guilt.

  34. AmICrazy? August 14, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    I met and quickly fell in love with a girl about 6 months ago. We raced through the normal progression so fast… talking about love, soul mates, moved in together within a month or two.. i’m still paying rent at my old apartment – but am fully moved in to her house.

    Over the last 4-6 weeks, we’ve realized there are some serious compatibility issues. I’m a binge drinker, she hates that about me. She likes to have one or two drinks and call it a night, i’m just getting started at that point. This has caused a few fights, mainly because i decide to hang out with other folks who like to cut-loose once a week or so.

    She also has a 13 year old son, the three of us live in an incredibly small house. There’s almost no privacy at all, and her son is very, very close to her. They snuggle in bed a lot, if she and I embrace anywhere (at home, in public) he will run to her and squeeze us apart and say things like, “my mommy”.. yes he’s 13. We’ve talked about this, but i still feel like its something that makes me very uncomfortable.

    Add to that the fact that i’ve lived most of my life alone, i really miss having my own space.

    We’ve been seemingly so happy up until recently, making all sorts of long term plans. Unfortunately now i can’t get the idea out of my head that i need to move into my own place. I brought this up last week, she cried her eyes out all night long and i gave in – saying we’ll figure it out. 2 days later i said i couldn’t get over these feelings and wanted to get my own place, but that we can still try to work it out – i just need my own place. More tears, and i folded again.

    One week later, i’m just not happy.. and she knows it. She mentions how i never smile anymore etc. I feel like i’m giving up on something amazing, but something is telling me to do it anyhow.. and deal with the tears.

    I feel like in a month i’ll hate myself, wondering how i could have let someone so amazing go.

    Maybe i’m crazy, but i want to be happy again.

    • lolo August 15, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      Oh, boy, crazy. You’re not crazy. But six months is NOT enough time to actually discover whether you are compatible with someone for a long-term/permanent relationship. You guys were operating totally on infatuation, and now that you’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of whether you’re right for eachother, it’s complicated by the fact that you made a bunch of plans and promises in the flush of new romance. That was a huge mistake. In my opinion, you can’t really give this a chance without space. You already feel stuck. Move out so you can try this relationship from a place of two people with their own lives, not a pseudo-family who has to force it to work because you already said it would. I wish I hadn’t learned this the hard way. If you break up, you will definitely go through loss and miss that intimacy and magic you had. But that’s not coming back anyway. That was just infatuation. For the sake of all 3 of you, get out back to your own place. You may or may not be able to try dating from a bit more distance, but what you are doing now is doomed. That “something” telling you to do it is you. Believe me, if you try to ignore that truth, it will come out in ugly ways and you will wish you had done it sooner. Stay strong. Good luck!

  35. brooke August 18, 2013 at 3:26 am #

    ok. so me and my boyfriend have been dating for 5 months. and for the 5th anniversary he got me tickets for my favorite artist. and before he did this I had been acting very distant so I think he purchased those to buy more time with me since the concert is in November and its august.
    any ways
    I need some serious advice
    I started dating him for the wrong reasons but in the end started to grow strong feelings for him and now I love him. I wasnever fully attracted to him but he saw something in me that I didn’t and I thought why not heres a guy who cares about you more than you do yourself. But now schools about to start and I feel like I can do better. we have never once had an argument and we get along. I feel so guilty for wanting to end things but we want two different things in life I want to go to college and he well lets just say no college. But money doesn’t bother me he could be a janitor for all I care but if he wakes up eveymorning doing what he loves then im happy too.
    one night in the heat of the moment he told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and then in the morning as we were giggling over a funny conversation he jokingly proposed to me and said he wanted to marry me. doing this made me really scared and shocked and kinda turned me away. I felt like it was too much . but to both I agreed knowing that if I said no it would make him upset.

    What I want to know is if ishould breakup with him even if everything is peachy?? and am I bad person for not being 100 percent attracted to him but he does everything right for me? am I using him??

    • Mary R. August 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

      Hi Brooke,
      Your situation is not that uncommon. Unfortunately, many people have found themselves in a relationship at one point in their life that was purely established off selfish or wrong reasons. They needed an ego boost, the sex was good, they were lonely, or they wanted to get revenge on an ex by looking like they had a new “guy”. Regardless of your reasons for starting it, it was what you felt like doing at the time. Yes, you were using him, but that doesn’t make you bad, that makes you human. I’ve had a similar story happen to me. Fortunately, I don’t have to delve into my story too much, because I ended it about a year ago. I remember running to online forums like this to seek advice at the time. SO- just to recap your story- despite your reasons for seeing the guy in the beginning, you seemed to have spend enough time with him that you started to appreciate or enjoy his company and personality enough to let it become a deeper relationship than you had initially intended. When you start a relationship based on a selfish need (ie: you just liked how he made you feel because you were needing a temporary self-confidence boost), you’re not caring if he fits the bill for a reasonable boyfriend. “Who cares if he comes from a different background or doesn’t have plans for further education, it’s not like I’m vaguely considering a future with him”- words out of my own mouth, once upon a time. The problem is, however, that to him, you are the best thing that ever happened to him. He probably never thought in a million years that he’d have a chance with someone like you- smart, ambitious, and pursuing a college career (because you want to get a job). You seem to be well aware of the differences in how you two perceive the relationship. I’m sure he has no idea why you entered it in the first place. But you need to stop letting your guilty conscious run the show. Believe it or not, the cards are in your hands. Always have been. If you are truely in love with him and want to make this work with your guy, you probably wouldnt be writting on this forum. If you know in your heart that you two are going very different places in life, and that you can do much better, than I expect that you definitely can. You need to break up with him. I know you just accepted his proposal. Again, you need to break up with him.
      I’m not belittling him as a person, let me just be clear. Even if they are different than yours, he still has life goals and feelings, and loves you. But you can’t keep letting his feelings be the only consideration! You have big plans girlfriend, time to keep pursuing them!

      My advice for breaking up with him is just one way to go about it. It’s the way I broke up with my boyfriend after 7 months, and him telling me he was completely in love with me. I’m coming to you from the glorious other side- that one ended, and life has been great from there! I’ve graduated, had another bf after that, and now- graduate school guys- HOT. And Smart. And have cool ambitions. I don’t regret that guy in my past because I learned a lot about my self worth and not letting myself ever get in a situation like that again.
      So- here’s how I went about it:
      I procrastinated until college started at the end if the summer. I then went to classes for a week and made myself very busy. I hung out with my college friends, went to our parties, and got all of my homework done. I reminded myself of everything I was good at and who I wanted to surround myself with. I also was flaky with contacting him that week. I felt rude. It was rude, but I wanted to give him hints that something was up. I’d occasionally send him a text, “ah, so sorry I missed your call. I’m SO busy. Already have a project due next week, sorority stuff, and catching up with friends.” Also, “wow, Im going to have so much work this year, already realizing that ill have to work in the library almost every night of the week.” It started to bug him after a week and a half of me not finding time to hang out or only seeing him for coffee. It made him look at our differences too, and made him consider how different our lives would become. I then called him one day. Said to him very friendly, “hey, I’m sorry I’ve been so busy with my work and friends. This year seems big, and Im going to be swamped all semester with work. Also my sorority…etc etc etc. I’ve also been thinking about us. I didn’t foresee myself being this busy, but it’s affecting my ability to see you. I don’t think it’s fair for you to be waiting around, and I hate feeling bad about it. I think I need to reconsider our relationship (or accepting your proposal), because I don’t know if I can realistically handle it right now. I’m so sorry. I need a day to think it over.” It was a perfect set up. Then I had a day to get the rest if my thoughts together and meet with him in person the following day. He had the heads up of what might be coming, and I didn’t have to feel like a heartless person. I said largely the same things the next day, but i replaced all of the “I think I can’t..” With “I definitely can’t.” I didn’t budge. Even when he said he would wait for me. I didn’t want to make him wait, I didn’t feel it was fair, and I also didn’t know how many semesters it would be before I had time for a relationship again. Yeah, I totally exaggerated. I was only taking 8 credits. But it worked. I stayed busy with friends and social events to keep myself feeling happy, during the break up, and it helped enormously.
      Best of luck to you, both with this relationship and college! Sorry this was so long, but I hope I’ve helped you!!

  36. Laura September 4, 2013 at 5:51 am #

    Having a long distance relationship is just another dash of confusion to add to an already messed up situation.

    I see him twice a year, about two weeks per visit. Sometimes it is hard to remember what being with him is truly like.

    I love him and care about him. He knows my worst side and I know his. I have never trusted anyone more than I trust him. We have talked seriously about getting married and starting a family. He would be an amazing father. But I am miserable and I think I should leave. I have tried 2 other times. It ended in both of us being a crying ball of emotions over Skype.

    Our relationship started out rough and one sided. As an awkward introvert with trust issues, I ended up exploring my new found sexuality on the internet (dangerous). He fell in love with me, I was uninterested really, but I pursued it half heartedly along with many other people. That entire period of my life was like a daydream. He said he loved me. He asked if he could come see me. My promiscuity continued into our ‘relationship’ until I confessed and crushed him to pieces. It’s like I was living an alternate life, My mind was blocking out so much, I still have problems remembering all the crazy shit that happened. I consider that confession the real beginning of our relationship. It’s like he broke through to my reality.

    Clearly I have my own issues. Some fairly severe ones. It makes it hard to trust my decisions. My feelings. We have come so far. 2 years later. We are each other’s entire life, and I know that’s dangerous. Leaving him seems so scary and painful I cannot even fathom it. But these feelings are not going away.

    I’ve missed out on developing relationships the old fashioned way. I’ve missed out on developing my confidence enough so that I don’t have to use the internet as a crutch. There is so much that I want to do that is selfish. I am only 18.

    I love him so much. What is wrong with me.

  37. Rob September 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    I’m 44 have been married for 22 years. I married for the wrong reasons. I had suspected I made a terrible mistake about a year into our marriage. I was brought up in a Christian household and had, and still have, strong Christian beliefs. Because of these beliefs I had no option but to stay in my marriage as divorce was a sin. After 4 years of marriage, after considerable depression, guilt and shame I was ready to get a divorce. However, shortly before actually asking for a divorce my wife became pregnant. Due to my Christian beliefs and coming from a divorced home myself, there was no way I could end our marriage. That brings me to the present…still married with a 17 year old daughter and a 14 year old son. I have been staying in a marriage for 22 years with a loving wife that I’ve never been in love with but have stayed because of guilt and my children. The guilt it KILLING ME! My wife deserves someone who is in love with her. She knows my feelings for her, it was inevitable at some point, but telling her my true feelings makes me want to throw up because me hurting her anymore is unbearable for me. As I said I come from a broken home myself and have prayed and carried guilt for so long I have forgotten what happiness is. I can’t imagine hurting my children, they mean EVERTHING to me and knowing that my wife knows how I feel about our marriage is guilt beyond measure. I would live in a box the rest of my life if I knew my wife and children would have happy lives. I just can’t manufacture feelings that I’ve never had and that she deserves.

    • Hurting December 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      Hi Rob,
      I realise your post is old and you will probably not read this, but maybe it will help someone, even me.
      It’s Christmas. I’ve been married 26 years with two children one left home building a new life and one at university.
      My wife does not work and does not want to, yet we struggle for money. She controls it all.
      I work very very hard and own my own business.
      We have no friends at all and she has no interest whatsoever in doing anything outside of the house. All she has are her parents close by.
      She is totally dependent on me, yet blissfully happy with her life.

      I feel so trapped.
      Yes I have had affairs to fill the void, but ended them when the time came to do the right thing for me.

      I’ve thought long and hard about taking my life as an escape from the dilemma but that’s a cowards way out and would leave her in an even worse mess.

      We have talked about changing our lifestyle so many times so we can do things together, but she never actually does anything.
      I’m such a positive energetic person outside of the home, but when back here I just want to curl up and sleep. Her negativity and guilt trips have made me so depressed.

      I’ve read books, been to counselling and trawled websites. I just don’t know who to talk to to give me the strength to do the right thing. Whatever that is. Try again or move on.

      It hurts like hell and is making me ill. She can have the house and everything if that’s what she wants.
      I love her for being such a caring mother but now it’s just a business arrangement.

      Rob, how did it turn out.
      Anybody. Please help.

  38. Brett September 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    I am overcome with feelings of confusion, conflict and sadness. I have been with my girlfriend on and off again for about 8 years (mostly off). Two years ago, I moved in with my girlfriend as she was struggling financially, and me with my own non-economic issues. During the past two years, we were pretty happy for the most part. I loved her, and she loved me. BUT, we did and do have strong opinions/values that clash. There have been arguments that have gotten very heated with both of us saying things we probably didn’t mean, but as a partner in this relationship, I do wonder what was meant and not meant. While she is very focused on obtaining her degree after a number of setbacks over the years (she’s a single parent of two grown boys- one of whom still lives at home at the age of 19, has no family support, and a poor salary), she has a tough time making ends meet.

    A few months ago while I was out to dinner with my girlfriend, I met an old flame in passing. Because I did at times feel at times at odds with my feelings for my girlfriend, I did reach out to this individual to catch up, and feelings came back to me for this person. It confused me further that this person and I shared a lot of commong values, beliefs, and life goals. Not to mention I am still very much attracted to this woman sexually.

    Fast forward to now, I have had several discussions (all of them very emotional and tear-filled on both sides) with my girlfriend over the past few weeks as it relates to whether this is working, and whether I should move out for a break (a 6 month lease is the shortest lease length I can find). During these conversations, my girlfriend has been angry with me for focusiong on the events that has brought us here, and at the same time regret for perhaps not doing enough to help make things better for the both of us. I am struggling with whether or not I should move at this point (within the next week or so), to give us some room to think, and for me to determine whether or not my girlfriend is someone I can soften or keep my beliefs to myself for as she has said she will do for me. While this would be a break, I should mention that I would of course be responsible for paying rent at this new place, while I have agreed to pay my half of the rent at the place we share at the moment while she finished school over the next several months, which will be a major burden financially. I have also still maintained lines of communication with the old flame, and that would likely persist during our “break” and time away from my girlfriend.

    I am so confused as to what I should do, and have never been in such a situation. I do love my girlfriend, and am still attracted to her physically as well as emotionally and as a person, but am more sexually attracted to this other person who I may have in common with, but no real history.

    Does anyone have advice they could share? I’m at a loss right now, and my brain as well as my heart are growing tired and overwhelmed.

    • lol September 17, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

      First of all, you need to stop talking to the old flame until you make a clear decision to leave your current partner. This should be a no-brainer. You absolutely can not make clear, responsible decisions if you are trying to keep both options open. It’s selfish and selling all three of you short. If this “old flame” has any self-respect, she will not stand for such a messy beginning to a relationship, nor should she. If you get involved with her now, it will almost certainly fail. Your head is not on straight and you would basically be using her to soften the suffering you’re going through with your other relationship.

      After 8 years, you need to either need to make the decision that you are “all in,” commit to do the hard work of a relationship between two vey different people, or stop half-assing it and leave for good. This is very, very hard. If you stay, you will probably need to find some low-cost counseling to help you communicate better. If you leave, you will need to find some counseling for yourself to sort out why you put up with something unsatisfying for so long and what you can do differently.

      It will never be perfect. There will always be people out there that seem more compatible, more attractive, more exciting, because they are fresh and new with no baggage between you. The fact that you are shopping around simply means that you have one foot out the door. Your current relationship will NEVER work if you have one foot out the door. Believe me.

      My partner of two years and I separated 2 months ago and are going to counseling together and alone. We are considering whether our differences are too much, or if we are willing to do the work to keep all that is wonderful and special between us. In the meantime, we have agreed to absolutely not encourage or start any connection with other people. The separation and this agreement have allowed a level of clarity that I could not have imagined before. I am not disctracted by new possibilities (of course they are always there, but it’s about where you put your mental energy) and I am not terrified of the prospect of breaking up, because we are already living seperately and we are okay. I feel like we can actually make choices, not just act out of fear.

      If you can’t make the decision to be “all in” then I suggest you separate. Do the work to try to get some clarity. And that doesn’t mean take “a break” so you can hang out with this other woman. If you want to get involved with her, you need to have a true clean break from your current partner. Not “a break.” You need to end it for real. Man up. Do you really want to add all of the anger and guilt of that decision into your boiling mess? Is that the kind of person you want to be? Is there any reality where that isn’t going to blow up in your face, and also make you look like a jerk? Breaking up is going to suck no matter what. You are going to cause pain. That’s what happens when relationships don’t work. No way to avoid it. But at least keep it honorable.

      I was so, so confused and overwhelmed a few months ago. This is hard work, but it feels really important. If you don’t figure out your issues, and you just make this about a new person, you will find yourself in this exact same place years down the road. It’s painful and hard, but let me tell you, it’s not nearly as bad as the hell you are in right now, full of guilt, confusion, and fear.

      My (very long) two cents.

  39. Jeff June 30, 2014 at 2:23 am #

    The list of thoughts that you gave that go through one’s head when rationalizing staying together literally made me cry with a sense of relief. I’ve been with this woman for more than eight years, and thought off and on about breaking it off for several years now.

    Those examples are exactly what I’ve been thinking for so long!

    Now I feel like an asshole for holding off for so long.

    Can’t win.

    Thank you for this article. I’ve been doing tons of reading, but this one had what I needed to get over the hump.

    I’m going to be an adult and an end it. Tonight.

  40. Struggle August 19, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    I am going through some of the same tough times as everybody else here. I moved to Northeast Ohio for a project that was suppose to last for a while and ended up lasting for a year and a half. I am from New Mexico and also have family in Arkansas. In the mean time I met a girl from Pennsylvania, we started dating and got serious very quickly. After about seven months we moved in together at my apartment with huge ambitions that she would move with me and everything was going so good. I was serious about her and we were looking at moving forward. One day though as we got serious my mind shifted and made me question if this is really what I want and the right relationship for me. Its hard to pinpoint what caused the shift and why. I fell into depression and started getting treatment for it. Now that I am out of the depression I still don’t feel the same about her and can’t seem to commit to moving her with me onto the next project. Its like we moved to fast and moving in together didn’t help our relationship. We have had consistent hurt and there has been a lot of tears. Its hard moving on when the girl really cares about you and is willing to do anything to make it work. My project is coming to an end and looks like I have an opportunity back west in which she will stay here and get a job. We are still struggling and the last few months have been extremely rough on trying to decided what is best and a lot of emotions happening, we are still friends though. Any suggestions? I know you all have been through some of the same tough situations. Sometimes I remind myself of the guy off of the Zac Brown Band called “Colder Weather” lol

    • Piteus August 20, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      @Struggle – I feel for you brother. Went through the same dilemma. I ultimately ended the relationship … but I feel like I’m taking the brunt of the emotional pain. I, too, went through a depression during our relationship. I had questions about her initially … but she stuck by me and I attached to her emotionally. My question … did I really love her OR was I using her as an emotional crutch? She wanted so much to get married … but I needed some space to figure myself out. She took it the wrong way … and now she thinks I used her. I don’t know … maybe I did. But what I did lover her at that time … at that moment. That was real.

      But now she’s called me every name in the book. Made me feel like a terrible person. The guilt I feel can be overbearing at times.

      My suggestions … only you know what is right. Trust your instinct. Perhaps get away for a couple of weeks to a month. Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

  41. Jon October 13, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    I’ve been in a relationship for the past 7months now and I’ve been a little unhappy for the past 2months. I feel like I don’t have the same types of feelings I did when we first started dating and I’ve been thinking about a break up. I just feel like it’s the healthy thing to do for myself. The problem is that she still likes me and well she says it all the time so I assume she genuinely loves me. I don’t have the heart to just break up wit her because I know it’ll absolutely hurt her. She’s even told me one time we were arguing that it would tear her world apart if I ever left. So now I feel a little trapped at the same time and I’m only with her because I’m too much of a nice guy to break her heart. I’ve had my heart broken and it completely sucks and I don’t wish that on her. So what I really need to know is if anyone has any advice for me on how to break up with her on a good note.

  42. lance October 22, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    i just broke up with my girl friend of 6 yrs last night, we been through so much together, along the way, i helped her with her emitions when she had her family problems. Her dad left her, her mom always argue wit her. helped her through the most difficult time of her times. I thought i would be with her forever, However, the recent couple of yrs, im started to have doubt. Half a yr ago, i met somoneo else. I first broke out the news to her 2 months ago. We kinda seperated. We saw each other for a couple of times after that becuase she wanted to give some stuff back to me. Everytime i see her, it seems like shes waiting for me to go back to her. Last night, she came to find me again, giving back my home keys. she cried so hard, refused to leave, she was saying why is it that everytime i have to hurt her. i feel so bad for her. shes such a sweet girl. she said she would forgive me on everything and would do anything to be with me. I dun understand why ive changed into a man like this…i feel so bad for her

  43. ChasTrell70 November 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    As someone on the other side. Even if you are not sure if you are ready to leave or not at least talk to your partner about if. Hardest part for me was learning that I was laying in bed night after night wanting someone that doesn’t want me. And wondering for how long, I could have been somewhere else working towards something real. And we would probably be good friend still.

  44. Tracie November 17, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    I met my boyfriend 16 years ago. I was a divorced mom with a 3 year old at the time, and he was a good guy and I felt lots of sparks of “first love”. Within 6 months I asked him to move in with us. Things were okay – we had our differences, but overall were pretty happy for the first year.

    We had met at work, and were still working together. We both got laid off on the same day. So here we were, neither of us with an income, and a 3 year old child. I’m a graphic designer, so I was doing some work on the side, and he was trying to sell my services, so we could have our own business and try to make it that way. It became obvious very quickly for me that that wasn’t going to work, so I went out and got a job I hated, but at least we had an income.

    I won’t belabor the point, but over the last 15 years, he has worked very little. When my son was little, it was actually a blessing, as he was child care that didn’t cost us anything. He cooked, he cleaned, always did his part around the house. However, financially, things were never very good, and I began to really resent him for his lack of outside employment. He tried to get a job, but was very picky and just seldom worked, or if he did, didn’t work for long.

    My son is now 18 and away at school. About a year ago, I had a talk with my boyfriend that I didn’t think I was in love with him any more. The resentment of years of him not helping financially had built up to a level that I just couldn’t deal with any more. I had stayed with him for so long because I was so afraid of the hurt and pain it would cause both of us – not to mention I didn’t know how on earth he would support himself. He was very taken aback by my admission to him, and begged me to let us try to work on things. Because of the pain I was causing all of us, I agreed to work on things.

    It’s been almost a year since that conversation. I knew in my heart as soon as I agreed to give things another try it was a mistake. But the guilt of breaking up our family and hurting us all made me try. The fact of the matter was that I just wasn’t in love with him any more. I’ll always love him as part of my family, but I don’t have any physical attraction to him, and haven’t in years.

    I finally got the courage last night to end things for good. He was so hurt and truly surprised. He thought everything had been going great with us – and that’s my fault, because I’ve continued to put on my act like I have for 16 years. I just finally realized that I could no longer cheat myself, or him, of what we both deserved. I think he would rather I would have stayed and continued the lie than to leave him. I feel so heartbroken that I’ve hurt him this way, and myself for that matter. I haven’t stopped crying, and not sure if I will. I thought I’d feel this weight lifted for finally being honest with him, but the weight of guilt is far heavier.

    He does have a job, at least makes enough to get by on his own. We haven’t talked any specifics about him moving out, or anything like that yet. He has said he won’t take anything we have together in our house – I want him to take everything, or at least split things fairly. I think he just is lashing out and wants to hurt me for hurting him. He wants me to imagine him living on the street with nothing.

    He doesn’t have much of a support system either. He has a very large family, but is only semi-close to one sister, and doesn’t tend to share personal issues with her. He has no friends. Literally, I have been the sole person of support in his life for 16 years and I’ve now taken that away. I don’t know how I can live with this guilt. When I imagine him alone, trying to get through things like holidays with out me I just start crying all over again.

  45. Squiggly December 3, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    I am in a pickle, I really don’t know how to move forward. I have been in a relationship for 3 years, and we live together. I’m in my early 20s and he’s about to turn 30. I love him, he’s honestly my best friend and our life together is good. But I just feel like I’m not having any fun, like I’m missing out on something. We don’t go out much anymore and although we stay active and go to the gym, I’ve put on weight. I can’t stop thinking about being with other men, and I feel no guilt whatsoever. My bf is a really great guy, and we see eye to eye on most things, but somehow that’s not what I want? I’m so confused, at myself and at the situation. He’s ready to settle down and I’ve heard him saying to a friend that if anything happened to me he probably wouldn’t ever be with anyone else.. He didn’t say it in a threatening way, he just said that it wouldn’t be fair on what we’ve had. But of course that makes the prospect of ending it so bad, I don’t want him to be alone or unhappy. Anyone, please! Help!!

    • Frederick December 4, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

      You still want to try different men and you’ve lost attraction to your boyfriend. That’s what it is. Do you still get the passion of having sex with him? If not, it is a very good sign. I am not saying this is bad. We are all human beings. I am in a similar situation expect that I am a guy. My gf and I have been together for less than 2 years but I feel I want to date other people because I am not fully satisfied in this relationship. I know this is very unfair to our gf/bf, but sometimes feelings are feelings. They cannot be controlled by rationality. You said you don’t want him to be alone or unhappy. He will be unhappy for a while if you guys split up but eventually he will find another girl that he wants to be with forever. That being said, do not think that we ourselves are irreplaceable to our partners. I don’t know about you but I feel it’s extremely hard for me to break up with my gf since I don’t want to hurt her. However, I know this is something I need to do because it is not fair to her. My suggestion to you is take your time and find a right opportunity to bring this up to him. It might not be that easy to break up since you two live together and he loves you so much. You have to toughen up and be a little cold-hearted to do this. I think that’s what I will do when the time is right. Yes, it will make us look like bad people but staying with our partners while thinking of being with other people are even more awful and disrespectful. Hope this helps.

  46. Juice December 20, 2014 at 8:03 am #

    Ive starting dating this girl almost 2 years ago. She is my first girlfriend, Im 22. At first we were both crazy about each other. As our relationship grew we naturally learned more and more about eachother.
    She comes from a very dysfunctional family and i come from a very stable and tightly knit family. I had come to believe that she is bipolar, but no medical tests have been taken. She very often complains to me about her family problems, problems with friends, and how she hates her job that she has had for 4 years..
    Apart from that she is so cool! And we are very compatible in alot of ways! We have a lot of fun together.
    she has had multiple boyfriends, but she is my first girlfriend. She tells me she loves me so much and i can tell she thinks well be together forever..
    Up until about 3-4 months ago we had a good healthy relationship never fought always just had a good time. But her problems with her life still persist and she treats me like a psychiatrist.
    I have been wanting to break up with her for the last 3-4 months, but im scared of her becoming extremely depressed, and i fear she will have no one if i left.
    within the past few weeks i have been consciously avoiding her, not telling her i love her because i dont want to say it and then break up and she would be all confused about that too! Recently she confronted me about my behaviour and i still didnt have the balls to say how i truly felt because i was afraid of making her sad..She asked me again if i truly loved her and i said yes. But now the guilt is killing me.
    I dont know what to do..
    i know the right move is to just talk to her.
    has anyone else been in a similar situation!? Please help

  47. jel April 24, 2015 at 1:06 am #

    Hi..i would like to know what’s my situation now because I am confused and really keep me thinking too much..I am 26y/o and my boyfriend is 27y/o…we are together for 5 years and suddenly told me on a petty fight yesterday that he want’s to be single again but cant tell me the word “break up”..i dared him because we’re both angry that time and when he told me that we are break already..i cried hard over the phone but he changed he’s mind and told me he love me and don’t want to see or hear me crying..i asked for reasons why he want to be single again because i think our relationship is ok.. we are not in much contact like other bf/gf that check up each other through texts and calls every hour..we still have our own life as individual..i asked for his reasons why he want’s to be single and told me he just want to fix himself (had history on our 2nd year that he cheated (not sexually) but we still push our relationship like nothing happened) and that the problem is in him…i asked if there’s a girl again or he wants to date someone but insisting that there’s no one and just miss his single life..please i would like to understand him if he really mean it and what’s happening to him? I love him and i really to work things out..

    • Chainedsoul April 24, 2015 at 9:09 pm #


      Sorry to hear that. I am a guy. I totally understand how your bf thinks. Let me just tell you the truth – he is not ready to settle with one girl and wants to experience more women. He might not realize that is what he wants but that is what the single life would entail afterwards. However, that’s not all about why he wants a single life. Being single can also mean that he can do whatever he wants and does not need to discuss with the girlfriend beforehand – for example, going out and having fun until morning, playing video games day and night with other guys etc. I know this sounds very terrible and unfair to you because you love him so much and want to be with him all the time. But men are designed in a different way than women. There is nothing right or wrong about both of you. It may sound that I am defending him. I am not. You both are still young. Men tend to reach mental maturity at a much later time than women with most men mentally mature after 30. My suggestion is that have a nice talk with him and find out if he is really willing to be single again while risking losing you for good (don’t use this as a threat but rather discuss about it as a possibility; because you will and should not wait for him at the same time). If he thinks he still wants to have single life again, be strong and let him go. I know it hurts to let go of someone that you really love, but if one does not want to be with you, he’s not worth of your time. You may find a more compatible lover soon. Perhaps one day after he has experienced what he wants, he wants to come back to you. If at that time you’re still available and still have feelings for him, you two can try it again. A more likely situation would be that you have found your Mr.Right and moved on. That’s his loss and he will grow from this and become a real man.

  48. Wolfdog April 24, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

    I’ve been with my fiance for almost 3 years, but the relationship has been going south for at least a year. I’ve tried taking to her and trying to fix it, but she doesn’t listen, and she’s definitely not the person I fell in love with anymore. She has two kids from a previous marriage that I love as if they were my own. I may have some guilt of breaking her heart and theirs, but I’m more concerned with protecting those kids. If I left before when I knew things weren’t working anymore, she would not of been capable of supporting herself much less the kids, and they might of gone back to their father’s custody. I wanted to wait for her to get her business together, and now that it finally is, I still doubt she is capable of full independence.

  49. sean April 29, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    Im very late with this but in 4 months it will be a year since my forced break up. Aug 25 me and my ex gf were forced apart by her parents im 23 shes 21 words cant Explane how i feel about her or how long my story is but after months of crying everyday Which was the hardest part for me Which her cry and Not been able to do anything about it,she moved replaced me with a guy for the once time ever her parents approved of and even let her go on dates with she has the freedom she all Ways wanted now so i gave up on her few months later we talk and she break down in tears crying and Said she missing me and i did nothing wrong that her parents forbid her from speaking too me the next day she just pushed me away so told her too block me 3 months later shower up at her house and asked her too marry me sadly she wouldnt even look at me so i Just Walked away she seemed very angery yet upset yes i made mistake but my sister was dying from cáncer at the same time dealing with a crying gf Not doing anything too help herself i cracked in two feeling 100 diffent things all at once hurt angery fear everything lashed out on my girl took everything out on her i felt lied too she crying helping me she been forcing into yet when i talk too her dad he Said its Not true yet when i told him il get my phone and prove to him what im Being told is true he tried flaging down a police car and getting me locked up but i Should belive his Word over hers??? I have never Had so much hate n anger towides anyone in my life i have no respected our love for her parents at all, i been waiting and hoping she message me agin but unsure If she ever will.her parents turned love into hate and they are Not Sorry for it i bet i know Why they did it and understand it but they Had no right but what else can i do? In July 30th i get my cna doing my Best too 1 day Drive and get a car but i have no one no help i do everything by myself the reason Why im so far behind in life is i was joining the marines before i Met my girl i Just cant let this go i Just cant move on because i love her and we never made the choice ourselfs too break up Just sucks Being so angery all of the too the point i want wish karma bites her parents in the ass bad for me the Best kArma would be me and her dating agin.

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