Break Up and Divorce Too Guilty To Leave: Are You Delaying A Breakup Out Of Guilt?

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

Too Guilty To Leave

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 primary 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.

Still thinking about your Ex? Click here to take the test to learn how long it takes to heal... and how you can speed up the process.

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 resent your partner unfairly.

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.


  • I’ve been with my boyfriend for over 5 years, met eachother when we were both 18. I was fresh out of highschool, was a very sheltered child and never had a relationship before. Once I was an adult and on my own and men would show interest in me I just instantly settled because I never experienced it before. We have been through so much together. Partying faces, to getting our own place, to parenting together. I was feeling distant and strained and ended things with him in 2020. I had a one night stand and got pregnant. The guy was terrible, abusive and rude and controlling. And I just missed what I use to have. So I went back to my other relationship. And he took me back, even pregnant with someone else’s baby. He was there through pregnancy and now my son is almost 3 and he has raised him with me. He loves him so much. Like the love is so beautiful and pure and they adore eachother. Yet I feel detached and distant. And it truly is like a mental warfare. I absolutely hate myself. I’ve hurt him so much.. he has always loved me, took me back even when I hurt him the most, loved me through a 50 pound weight gain. Always encourages me, my goals. He calls me every day when he gets off work just to make sure I need anything. He is such a good person. He has had a terrible up bringing. His parents were addicts, he’s been on his one since he was 14. He has had to navigate through life on his own. And he has changed and grown so much since I’ve met him. He use to be an addict, didn’t drive, struggled to make it to work. Now he works hard, is sober, is present. I truly feel like a piece of shit for feeling this way. And I’ve felt this way for years. We have good times, we laugh together, we go to new places, we have been a constant in each other’s lives for years. He’s my comfort, I know he loves and would never hurt me.
    So I constantly say to myself “why do I feel this way? I’m the problem, I have issues, I need to work on myself. I’m crazy.” But then I have my gut just telling me I’ve fallen out of love. But I truly feel stuck. Like even reading through all your comments and relating SO much. I know I will never act on this. This feeling of guilt has had me chained and bound for years. I can not hurt him again. And it’s just getting harder cause my son is getting older, and their bond is growing bigger. I don’t want to take my son from him. I truly love and care for him. I want nothing but the best for him. I want him to be happy, I don’t want him to be alone. He deserves happiness, he is an amazing person. And I just feel like a piece of shit for feeling this way. Or even the thought of hurting him and not only leaving a 5 year relationship. But him not getting to see my son everyday would destroy him. I wish he was the biological father so this would be easier. I even thought about having a child with him so it would be easier to leave cause if we have a child then he could see my son if I did leave. Like I know that’s so irrational and cruel. That’s how stuck I feel. It’s taking a toll on me keeping this feelings in and pretending everything is okay. I’m irritable, isolated, depressed, anxious, I overthink all day everyday. But I can’t help but feel like the bad guy. He’s a good man. I hurt him, cheated on him. Got pregnant with someone else. And he STILL loves me and wants a future. Yet here I am still feeling detached and fantasizing about another life. It’s hard not to hate yourself for that. I hope someone can relate, cause damn do I feel alone

  • I been living with my girlfriend for the last 6 months. At the beginning I felt that she was the one for me but as we lived to together I realized that our values are very different. She likes buying branded stuff and is a very messy person, never done any housework before.
    She is constantly asking me for financial help for her business and it’s not only making me stressed out but it makes the relationship feel like a business transaction.
    We don’t have sex anymore and we both broke up many times but still got back together.
    Every time we break up she will blame me for “tricking” her to move in together and that she has no place to stay, it makes me feel bad and take her back.
    She is divorced and 36 and she is constantly pressuring me to marry her, I told her I am not ready.
    I don’t have anyone to talk to about this just glad to be about to let this out somewhere.

  • I’ve been with my partner for ten years. I use to be so happy but for the past few years I haven’t. As time goes on I find it harder to be happy. My partner knows that I’m unhappy and she cried and said she would let me go if that is what I wanted. That crushed my heart and I told her I would never leave….I tried reminding myself just how much I love her, and I do love her. But when she becomes this angry person it only pushes me further away and I become the angry one and I wind up hurting her feelings by being so distant. I went into this dark place of guilt and even considered suicide. Not only because of the guilt but because I was so confused by what was happening to me…I’ve fallen out of love ? How ? How could I have fallen out of love after being happy for so long. There were things that have happened through the years that made me question if we were ment to be together but I always brushed them off. Even though we were in love I knew how much anger she had in her heart with her parents and life in general but I tried pushing her to be a happier person. She told me I’m the only happiness she has left so hurting her isn’t an option. I don’t like feeling like this. I’ve been so distant and I feel better when I’m alone. She sees anger but she has no idea how much sadness is in my heart.

  • My name is Jeanette. Several months ago I became involved with a married man, Carlton. We both decided to divorce our spouses and be together. We fell in love in a beautiful place, the setting was perfect. I have discovered that I do not want to leave my husband, Bill. Bill and I have been married for so many years that he is comfortable to me. Besides, Bill would never cheat on me or hurt me in any manner. I miss Bill. Bill is not in good health and I want to spend our remaining time together. I do not want to hurt Carlton. I appreciate all the time and attention Carlton has shown me but I do not love Carlton. Carlton and I got caught up in this affair. Please help me to know how to tell Carlton I want out of this relationship. I don’t want to talk with Carlton about the problem. I want to end our affair. I am close to my sister, Judy and cannot bring myself to tell even her. Judy and Carlton are best friends. I want Carlton to realize how much he misses his wife and return to her. I know he still loves her. I want a clean break. I want for the breakup to be Carlton’s idea. I will put on a heartbroken act and beg for him to stay with me. But I DO NOT want to stay with Carlton. Help me. Neither of us could ever trust each other since we are both cheaters. Bill wants me back, unconditionally. I know Bill loves me and I want to be with him. I have talked to Bill alot lately. I am sorry Carlton and I hurt people. It was not right for us to hurt others. I will never and could NEVER trust Carlton. I want Carlton to go away. What can I do? Please tell me how to let this be Carlton’s idea, so he saves face. I WANT OUT. I absolutely believe Carlton wishes to return to his wife. I do not know how Carlton’s wife feels about him now and I do not care. Just get him away from me. And I WANT TO GO BACK TO BILL. Help me. I feel terrible guilt for hurting Bill. My heart breaks for Bill. It is my hope Carlton will see one of my postings and get the message before I hate him. Yes, I am a coward! I DO NOT want to discuss this with Carlton, and I DO NOT want my sister to know. I want Carlton to pick up and go away as fast as he can.

  • It's Complicated says:

    I know this article is old, but i just don’t know what to do. I’ve been with this guy for 2 and a half years. I loved him so much in the beginning, but these days i think that “spark” is gone. He’s such an incredible person – kind, funny, thoughtful, respectful. But I don’t love him like i used to. I just don’t want to hurt him, I don’t know how I’d handle seeing him hurt. Plus we’re in our final year of highschool and still have classes and projects together, so I can’t even do anything without making things awkward, at least not for a few months.

  • I am 60 years old and i have been in an affair relationship with my first love for 4 years. We were engaged when i was 18 and he was 21. I broke up with him as i felt i was too young and needed to experience life. I married someone else when i was in my early 20s as i fell pregnant. I didn’t really love him, but felt it was the best thing to do. We divorced 9 years later. I had a couple of long term relationships after my divorce, but never really felt i had found the one! Fast forward 40 years and my first love and i found each other again.
    We talked online for a whike then met up for coffee. It was obvious that we had wonderful chemistry, and felt so comfortable with each other. He was still in a relationship of over 30 years, but we couldn’t help but fall in love. Was it all just fantasy and lust? I questioned alot and we split a few times over the guilt we both felt, but our need to be with each other was like a magnet.
    We adore each others company and felt lost without each other. 4 years in, we adore each other but he is racked with guilt.
    He doesn’t have a physical relationship with his partner anymore. After constantly talking about leaving her and wanting only to be with me, the guilt of leaving his partner alone, and how she would manage financially has taken its toll on him.
    I love this man with all my heart. I feel our reunion was fate and we would walk and talk, laugh and love each other, agree and disagree, and just revel in each others presence.
    I have now walked away, because being the other woman, is also very painful. I never get to spend evenings with him, or experience the normality of day to day life. I want to cook and clean and experience holidays together, sharing bills and ups and downs, but because i deeply love him, i had to let him go.
    His guilt was too much for him and although he living a lie with hisnpartner, i had to give him space to deal with this. If we are truly meant for each other, no amount of feeling guilty will keep him away. We will figure it out together.
    People remain in unhappy relationships for many reasons. It’s not my place to force someone to leave it. All tgat does is cause resentment in the end.
    Life is a journey with so many decisions to make. Going forward, at 60 years old, i want my remaining journey to be happy, but i wang ghd person i adore to ne happy too. It hurts my heart and my head deeply, but he needs peace of mind. The price i pay to give him this is to walk away.

    • you are an amazing person . you did the correct thing

  • I have been in a relationship with my fiancée for over 7 years, and we each are single parents of an only child, I have a 12 year-old daughter and she has a 15 year-old son, so they have grown up together. I was in a relationship for over a year before this one and in a 5 year relationship with my daughters mom just before that one. I ended up breaking off the previous relationship, despite the fact that I didn’t want to, and I was in love, and went directly into the relationship I am in now.

    My fiancée has had very few relationships in her life, and I know that she needs to have more visceral experiences of her own, so it would be good for both of us in the long run, but I know that she will not take breaking up well at all. Not only is it about how she will feel, but her son has autism, and him and my daughter have grown up together for most of their lives, so this will be detrimental to both of them as well.

    When we started dating, things got off to a good start between the two of us, but not so much with my family… it’s a long story, but my mom and her never got along, but she does well with most of the other family members, and the other side of my family. It’s definitely a problem on my mom’s side of things, but that’s another story altogether. She also had a hard time with accepting that my daughter is the most important person in my life, and had always questioned where she fits in the ‘hierarchy of my love’. It took a lot of work to get where we are now. I was living in a different city and it was a long process to get to the point where we saw each other every day, almost 5 years. We have now lived together for a year and a half, and it took me a lot of convincing for her to fully trust that I was here for the long haul. She was just recently able to be more trusting and let her guard down, but ironically it was around the time I started to feel like this isn’t where I want to be in life. I don’t necessarily have a desire to be with someone else, I honestly just feel that I need to be alone, however I know that my previous relationship has played a part in all of this. I never got closure, and I still have feelings for her. I didn’t give myself time to heal, and recently I realized that I haven’t been truly single for over 15 years, I’ve always gone from one relationship into another. I have decided that I need time to focus on myself and realize what I truly want. I thought this is what I wanted, and I worked so hard at it, but I realize now that it’s not.

    After about 2 years into the relationship, I realized that there might be problems, but I didn’t want to hurt her. She has only had crappy relationships (2 altogether and one of those she was married for 12 years), but when she met me she felt that we were perfect for each other, and we are in many ways, but it’s still not what I want… I know that now. We spent a lot of time doing stuff with just us two, since we are both single parents we have every other weekend open to do what we want. We went on a lot of trips and lived life with no regrets, which made it very difficult to bring up the topic of separating, I never found the right time to do it as we were always doing things and looking forward to the next adventure… but in the back of my mind I knew it wouldn’t last. However, after about 4 years together I started thinking otherwise, and the thought of breaking up never entered my mind again until about 6 months ago. I have put a lot of thought into everything, I weighed all of the options, all of the outcomes, the detriment that will be bestowed upon my fiancée and our children, but I haven’t waivered from the thought, which I know is a sign.

    About a month ago I had a sort of mental breakdown. I felt very guilty about the thoughts and feelings I have been harboring and I broke down and told her I am not where I want to be, and I am not happy in this life. It was a very rough day. She was really worried that meant I was going to break up with her, but I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t ready… but I know deep down that I have been laying the ground work for our inevitable demise. I have been very depressed and once I told her all of this I felt a great weight lifted off of me. I told her this as well. Since then, things have gotten better, and she thought that meant I was good again, but I’m not…and I don’t want her to hurt because of how I feel. Though, I know it is necessary. She believes that because I don’t want to be in this relationship any longer that everything we did together was a lie, and that I was never vested in it, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I would not have moved here and worked so hard at keeping us together if that was the case. She had even tried to end it previously because she felt that who I was and what I wanted was ‘not what she signed up for’. To be completely honest if I could split into two it would be so much easier, part of me could stay because we go together so well, but the other part of me could go and do what I feel is necessary… I know I won’t be fully happy unless I have the opportunity to grow myself and focus on me for a while.

    How do you break off a good relationship when you know it’s necessary, but can’t fully explain why? How can I break off a relationship that I spent so much time trying to build and earn her trust, just to do what she feared I would do in the first place? I know that we have both grown so much, and learned so much from each other, that we are both better for having known each other, and as much as I would like to remain friends afterwards, I don’t think she can handle that.

  • Hi All, seems a lot of us are in a similar situation. I recently went through this and there are two really challenging parts to this process:
    1) Getting the courage to actually have the conversation and breakup with them. It took me so many tries but once I did it there was a massive weight off my shoulders.
    2) After you do this, maybe 1-4 days later, you’re gonna possibly feel absolutely terrible. You’re gonna miss them and you’re gonna start to wonder whether they actually were right for you and you just weren’t thinking straight. This is where you need to be seriously strong. Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this and look at how much better off you’re gonna be in the long run. If you slide back with them then the same issues are likely to arise within a few days and you’ll regret it.
    All the best. This is never easy but deep down you know what is right.

  • This thread really is giving me hope that I can do what it seems we’re all trying to do…. break it off.

    I’ve been with my girlfriend for 2.5 years and we’ve been living together for the last year. When we initially moved in together I was hesitant to do it, but went with it anyway as I felt like there was no other option at the time. In hindsight this probably wasn’t the best idea.

    The thing is that there’s nothing specifically wrong with the relationship. She’s a brilliant, caring, loyal, loving girl. it’s just that the spark isn’t there for me anymore, hasn’t been there for the last year. I’ve lost sexual attraction. Like a lot of other people on here, I tried to break it off once and the guilt and seeing her cry absolutely killed me, so we stayed together.

    I have actually lost hair in the past few months thinking about this. It just kills me on the inside.

    Reading this thread is giving me the courage to go into the storm and ride it out…. I plan on gathering the courage to do it tonight. I appreciate everyone sharing their stories. Fingers crossed!

    • Well I did it. It was hard but I felt a huge weight come off my chest afterwards. She didn’t take it well but I think she’s accepted it. This article and comments really helped me to realise that I just had to get the TRUTH off my chest.

      For anyone looking to end a relationship, I recommend going somewhere quiet and think. Make sure you’re certain of the decision. If you’ve gone over it 100 times in your head then I’d say you’re sure. Then before you break it off, read this forum to give yourself the courage to do it. There are others out there doing it tough and you need to stand up for YOURSELF to be happy.

    • any updates!? im going through the same thing 🙁

      • Well this was 3 or so years ago now and it turns out it was a great decision. Took me about 8 months to actually become comfortable with the decision and now I haven’t looked back. In a much better situation now.

  • This article is about a year old, so who knows if anyone will reply to me, I just need some feedback, and probably to vent. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a little over 2 years. Actually around this time last year, I broke up with him because I was having feelings for a classmate at my college, along with feelings of doubt about our relationship anyway. Anyway, after being apart for 3 months and being with this other guy, I got back with my now boyfriend. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to, he was just so depressed.. and I was so full of guilt. So I got back together with him, and now I’m back feeling those exact same doubts, except this time there’s not another guy. We started dating when I was still in high school, and he’s older than me, so our sex life used to be beautiful to me. But now I’m at least a little more experienced, and I’m extremely bored with our sex life. I’ve tried to fix it; I’ve told him about things I’d like to try, and we try it, but if someone has no interest in what you do, it feels ingenuine. I used to think, at least we have fun and I enjoy his presence. Lately though, everything he does annoys me. I hear myself snap at him all the time, and it boggles my mind. I used to be so enamoured with everything he said and did. I can’t end it with him though. After the hell I put him through last year, with taking a break, then breaking up with him for real to be with someone else.. I told him I’d never hurt him again. I just can’t do it. I can’t hurt him. What do I do now? I’m trapped.

    • I can understand. It’s tough. Read all the experiences in this forum and do what you need to do for YOU. Can you see yourself being happy with him in 5 years time? What about in 6months time?

    • It’s a gut wrenching situation. I feel trapped in my marriage that I have been struggling with ending. I’ve stayed for all the wrong reasons ,it’s still so difficult to follow my heart. You know you have to hurt him if you don’t want to be trapped in the relationship anymore. So much easier said and indescribably hard to do. (At least for me it is.)

  • SimpleLove says:

    I have been in a relationship with this amazing guy since 4 months, and I recently started feeling he has borderline personality. There are other difficulties too. We love each other. But I think I should leave the relationship, but seeing him so excited about the future with me breaks my heart. But what needs to be done , needs to be done.

    • I feel the same way. I am guilty for planning to leave this guy I used to love. It’s only 6 months and I have no feelings for him. What should I do? We are in ldr and haven’t met yet but his personality what captures me. I am planning to leave tonight but I don’t know how. I’m gonna hurt his heart.

  • This article describes my situation, but its “Just do it” advice simply does not work for me. I CAN’T “just do it.” That’s why I’m stuck. I’ve been with the same person for 18 years, and I knew he wasn’t the “one” about two years in. For the last 16 years, I’ve kept trying to find a way to break up, but never could (the closest I came was right after we got engaged, when I told him “I wasn’t sure about the relationship,” but he said he loved me and didn’t want to lose me, and I couldn’t go any further). He’s a great guy, kind, caring, intelligent, self-sufficient. We get along very well. But still, I’ve long known he wasn’t right for me. I have stayed out of guilt, and I have no idea how to leave. So now, in our late 40s with our younger years gone, it seems like I’ll have stolen too much time if I leave him now. I feel like I’d rather kill myself than hurt him so badly, so I stay. It’s impossible, and I empathize so strongly with everyone that’s stuck in the same horrible situation.

    • I can’t tell you how hard your situation hit home for me. I’ve been dating an incredible woman for the past 2 years. When we started dating, I already had some reservations but I put those down to defense mechanisms from a previous failed relationship. We broke up briefly a few months in because I didn’t feel that “in love” feeling but got back together soon after because I genuinely couldn’t stand seeing her hurt. These break ups/crises every few months characterised the rest of our relationship. There was something in me that was shouting to me that this wasn’t for me. But I had been suppressing this feeling for so long that I couldn’t tell anymore if that was my intuition or my anxiety about relationships (ego death, and so on). I also couldn’t accept that I had found the perfect woman – beautiful, intelligent, empathic, sensual, spiritual, culturally relative – but just not perfect for me. I didn’t want to accept that. The longer I stayed with her, the more I loved who she was. And she loved me in the most respectful, beautiful way. Her spirit is truly remarkable. I wanted to spend forever with her despite the gnawing feeling that this wasn’t truly for me. We ended up moving in together and about 4/5 months in, I moved out because I was starting to become morbidly depressed. I didn’t feel that strong sexual attraction anymore that I used to and that scared me because I’ve always been a very sexual being. When she told me she loved me, I would tell her I loved her too but the words didn’t feel like honey as they escaped my lips. Rather, they felt forced and empty. I can’t tell you the guilt that riddled my body and spirit because of this. After moving out, we tried again but the same thing happened. I am here tonight because we just ended things. I had begun to identify with this state of depression, as if it is part of me. The love I felt and still feel for her has become conditional. I can’t control when I am intensely present with her and when I am overcome by anxiety that renders me devoid of any feeling whatsoever. I am alarmed to say that I even had thoughts of harming myself just so I can feel something that will tell me I am not losing my mind. In the end, the very thing happened that I had been trying to prevent from the first day – I hurt her. I am heartbroken too because I love her with all my heart and I can envision a happy future with her but it doesn’t seem that that is how things will be. Anyway, I truly wish you the best as you navigate your situation. I wish I had some advice for you but I think only you can make sense of where you are. Bless.

      • Oh wow, you have literally DESCRIBED how i feel at the moment except I’m a girl here and my boyfriend is the one who is more devastated than me. We are currently on a break. The feeling of guilt has begun months ago, but I delayed this talk because he moved all the way here from America to Europe for me, and I felt like I rather kill myself than hurt him. But you guys are right; there’s no point of faking the feelings. I felt happier when I told him how I was feeling, but I asked for a break instead of a breakup because I may still love him purely but because we live together it makes things really intense way too fast.

        • Samantha im literally in the same situation and I need an update!

      • Holy shit. Can I ask you how your doing now? I’m literally in the same situation and need help.

      • How did you end up going with your situation? I was in a similar situation and the things you are saying are similar to the way I was feeling. I broke up with my girlfriend 3 months ago and still have doubts creep in from time to time. Just have to remember the way I was feeling at the time and remind myself of the reasons I did it. Wish you all the best

    • This is how i feel at the moment

  • My girlfriend is very emotional unstable and I feel completely unable to pull the trigger on the breakup. I fear for her as she has said from time to time things such has ‘I don’t know how I could live without you’
    And even as far as saying she would harm/kill herself without me.

    I have also recently moved into a flat with her and I now feel that leaving her would leave her with financial issues as we both work to pay the bills.

    Im quite lucky as I have a great group of friends that know how i feel and all have offered me a place to stay while I find my feet again but my girlfriend has pushed all of her friends away to be close to me.
    I’ve told her many times that her friends should be more important to her but she seems to have an obsession to being as close to me as possible.

    I’m coming into some money soon and I’m planning to leave but to leave her with enough money to pay the rent to 6 months and then after that she has to stand on her own two feet.

    Does this sound fair to other people as I feel nothing but pure guilt.

    • I’m in the same exact situation. But I know I have to go. I feel held back but I feel guilty because she’s been there in my bad times. However, the feelings just aren’t the same no matter how hard I try. Man, it’s HEAVY but something I see as necessary for both our sakes.

    • I’m in the completely same situation mate, been with my girlfriend for over a year now and we were/are so close, we’ve lived together for the last 6/7 months and she often says sometimes jokingly but not so jokingly that if I left her she’d kill herself. I don’t want to be with her anymore I want and crave the single life I used to have/ the freedoms I used to enjoy. If I left her now she would struggle financially too and she owes me money to make matters worse.

      If I was you, the leaving her with money for rent sounds good, I was just planning to pay for her to move out/ forget about what she owes me.

      I’ll keep you updated if anything changes, this is my first outreach but I’ve been looking t stuff like this and yours is the first one that matches my situation

  • I’ve known the guy I’m with since we were about 15. We’re now 39. We’ve been in a relationship for almost 4 years now. He has 2 young children (the girl I have a very hard time getting along with), and I have 3 children but they don’t live with us and they’re older anyway.
    After lots of drama and messed up events, it is just the 4 of us now. But anytime something comes up where I need to spend money on my own kids or go a state over to visit my mom, he always has a problem and starts b**ching. But when it comes to his own kids and expenses in the household there’s no issue.
    I’ve been feeling very angry and depressed awhile now and it seems to be increasing. I’ve already made plans to move out but I cant help but cry n feel guilty about leaving.
    Whenever we’ve come to this conversation, we somehow work it out and he convinces me to keep working at it. This time I’ve gone behind his back and made plans to pack my stuff up while everyone isn’t home and go back to my moms. I can’t help but think about how great it was in the beginning. I know he loves me but I don’t feel like everything is fair and the issue with his daughter and me I feel are going to get worse as she gets older.
    I guess I just need some reassuring words or advice from an outsider.
    Thanks so much.

  • I have been married for over 30 years. I have not been happy throughout that time, but I have not been miserable either. Mid life crisis has taken hold of me. i have met someone who fills all the gaps that my wife has never been able to. I am burdened with guilt, shame and fear. All I ever wanted throughout my marriage was someone who I could share things with. For all sorts of reasons I have never been able to do this. Yes I should have sorted this out, but trust me, it wasn’t for want of trying. There needs to be a two way flow to do that and this has never existed.
    I want to go, but am finding it almost impossible to make that call. The indecision is killing me. If i dont do it I will regret it for the rest of my life, I know. But if I do do it I fear I shall walk with a heavy burden for the rest of my life.
    Sorting things out just seems not an option. I dont want to exist anymore, I want to live a fulfilling life.
    Can someone help?

    • Going through something similar (though you’ve been with your wife a long time!), I can say reading your situation you should go be happy. I certainly don’t enjoy feeling this way. It’s not fun. And I know it’s not good for us either.

  • Hello so I’ve been in this relation ship with this girl over 4 months but i don’t feel freedom anymore, i don’t have time for myself anymore at all and i am getting tired of this relation ship to be honest. She makes from a small problem a big problem is always negative about things and every time i feel pain or i’m hurt in someway she turns it around and its all about her again and then i help her and calm her down and tell her i’m beside her and she calms down but i still am hurt she does not pay attention to that what so ever. i want to break up but i’m scared of doing it because i promised her from the start i would not break up i would not hurt her but here i am unhappy in this relation ship and going insane because i don’t have my freedom like i used to when i started the relationship i really thought she was the one but i don’t know how to handle this can someone please give me advice. Thank you very much…

    • Hi Jim!

      It sounds like your gf likes to play the victim in your relationship. This does not make her a bad person, and she may not even realize she is doing it; however, this is unfair to you. Usually, people play the victim to gain control of the situation. When you feel hurt by her, it may make her feel insecure or not in control, so she turns the situation around.

      If you still care about her and would like to make the relationship work, the best thing you can do is to tell her that you feel hurt when she ignores your pain. Tell her how it feels like she always makes it about her. Try not to place blame, but simply express what you are going through. If she doesn’t try to understand or if she becomes defensive and still chooses to ignore your pain, then maybe she isn’t the girl for you.

      If this helps, and she realizes what she is doing, this may take a lot of the burden off of you, and you may feel a lot better and more free in the relationship. You deserve to have someone who pays attention and cares about your pain, just like you would for them.

      You did make a promise to her, so I would at least try to work it out. However, if you feel like there is no hope for things to get better, then it makes no sense to stay. It is not fair to you to stay in a relationship that makes you miserable, even if there was a promise involved. No one can predict the future and what a relationship will look like four months down the road. Making a promise to never break-up is not in the best interest of either of you. You cannot stay with someone you are not compatible with simply because someone is afraid of getting hurt. Getting hurt is a part of life! But it is not the end of life and she will recover and find someone else.

      If you do choose to break up, again, make sure not to place blame, but simply share your side and your feelings and what made you come to the decision.

      Good luck!

  • I have been in a relationship for almost 2 years now. we met in highschool, he just graduated but I haven’t yet. we are very different people and disagree on way too many things. he is a social butterfly while im more of an introvert. I am his first serious girlfriend, I took his virginity but he didn’t take mine, this has caused several problems. he is very jealous and controlling about what I wear, what I do, and is clingy. I feel drowned sometimes and he doesnt understand that sometimes I need some alone time. he takes this personally and feels like I don’t want him. he is impatient and needy but he does everything for me since I don’t have a car or job yet. if I have a problem with something he does, somehow he turns it into something I did and I am the one who ends up apologizing.. I have lost most of my friends and recently caught back uo with a childhood friend but he doesn’t want me hanging around her because shes a bad influence and calls her a whore all the time. there have been problems about me lying so he has trust issues and constantly goes through my phone. he has all my passwords and everything. he constantly wants to be together 24/7 but I dont, which causes a problem. we argue over the littlest things, we do not communicate well which is the main problem. we have different beliefs and values which makes it very hard to get along. when we first started dating everything was perfect but as time has gone by I seem to be losing interest. I love him and don’t want to hurt him.. but I dont feel in love with him anymore. he has said several times before that he will never break up with me ilunless i cheat so otherwise I’ll have to break up with him but If I do that in afraid he will just go downhill. his mother is an alcoholic and kicked him out, his father is dead, he doesn’t have a job but is looking, he basically has no life besides me and I dont want him to hurt or be alone because I care for him but I don’t know what to do anymore.. please help

    • Hello Liz!

      I can understand your dilemma. You know that the relationship is not healthy and that you are unhappy; however, you feel that breaking may not be in the best interest of your bf’s well-being. You care about your bf, and don’t want to hurt him.

      But will there ever be a better time break up, and if so, when? Will you make yourself wait until he gets a job or until his mom stops being an alcoholic? Holding onto a relationship that is hurting you and hurting your ability to spend time with the other people you care about is not fair to you!

      Your bf sounds very insecure and you are probably his only constant and stable person in his life right now, which is why he holds onto you so tightly. He’s afraid if you leave, he won’t have anyone – and that is a very scary thought!

      If you choose to break up, I would recommend to do it in a public place so he doesn’t do anything irrational out of pain and fear. I would also suggest you be as supportive as you can to him. Try to think if there is anyone you know or that he knows that can help get him through it and offer support. If he has at least one person to be there for him during the breakup, it would help him a lot.

      Sorry I couldn’t offer better advice, but I wish you the best of luck.

  • I have a dilemma. I have been dating my gf for over two years now and living together for 8 months. After 6 months of being together I was already getting tired of her major insecurities and negative attitude. After 1 year I decided to end the relationship but I could not take her being so emotional, so I took her back. I guess I just felt really bad when she told me “please don’t ever stop loving me” and crying uncontrollably. So after I moved to a different city, she ended up following me and moving in with me. I didn’t really like the idea of moving in together but did it anyways. She continues to be negative on a daily basis, judges me for everything I do, and continues to nag me about proposing to her. Everytime I want to hang out with friends, she gets so defensive and upset, I basically feel like I cannot breathe. My family and friends tell me I can do a lot better and I should just leave her. I feel like I’m just stuck and I don’t know how to end it, especially that she lives with me now. Although she does have family here in town.

    • Dude she sounds horrible. Just do it.

  • This article made me feel a little lighter but I’m still in a horrible situation right now and could need some assurance or advice.
    I’m afraid this will be a little long, sorry for that.
    Me and my boyfriend have been together for 3 years now. We met when he was 26 and I was 18 and finishing school. I actually never wanted a relationship. Not only with him, with no one.
    I didn’t feel ready for that kind of commitment and wanted to stay open to anything that was coming my way. We started dating for some time and suddenly he asked if we were a couple now. I didn’t know what to say, I hadn’t thought about this but I said yes. He was extremely happy about my answer and I was happy to see him so lucky but still felt uncomfortable because it didn’t really align with what I wanted. Time passed and I really fell in love with him. He showed me new things, helped me to grow, we spend a beautiful time together and he made me realise what I really looked for in a guy, made me feel loved. We haven’t had a single situation in our relationship of 3 years that could be called a fight. And even the few moments where him or I got pissed ended with a good talk and cuddles. We spend most of our time together, constantly in a honeymoon phase as it seemed. He is very emphatic, loving, heart-warmingly cute, honest, loyal and so much more! He is good looking, intelligent and loves to cuddle, the perfect mix between responsible and unconventional. When I had hard times or problems, he always talked me through it, lifted me up, helped and supported me in every way possible. He’s the man so many women search for! But still, and I never thought something like this was possible, still it somehow didn’t feel right! :(It starts with a completely different taste in music, different political opinions and different hobbies, and goes to a different opinion over the direction our relationship should go. Because he is 8 years older he also never had much to talk about with my friends. It always felt like he was bored when he met them. But I also wanted to spend time with him and he wanted to spend as much time with me as possible and eventually I stopped seeing my friends as much without even realizing. After school I didn’t know what to do, so I kind of threw myself in that relationship because it worked out so well and he always seemed to know what to do next. But over the time it felt like I was losing myself, completely adapting to his way of living and his social circle, although this wasn’t his fault!
    If it was just that it would not be that big of a problem but:
    His first relationship when he was 20 didn’t end up well. The woman was very short-tempered and self centered, completely wrong for a sensitive man like him. He always tried to please her but it was never enough and they where constantly fighting. She found herself wanting a child and got pregnant on purpose without talking to him. He became an undesired dad at age 21 and after he had tried everything to rescue the already horrible relationship for the sake of the child, she cheated on him many times and left him for another man from one day to the other. Over the course of our relationship I always felt like he never really got over this. He got over her romantically, yes, but the way she had treated him, denied him any right to have a say in this important life decision and all the other things she did, still make him bitter. He says she was the biggest mistake he ever made and how he wishes he had never met her.
    And now I feel so, so sorry for him! He is such a good person and such a remarcable, intelligent, unconventional man! He didn’t deserve to be treated that way. He said to me he feels as if he had spend half his 20’s on playgrounds, instead of doing age appropriate stuff and as if he had been trapped in a cage for the past 8 years. I don’t think it has to be this way but I can’t talk him out of that perspective and he doesn’t want to do therapy. So naturally I feel very helpless in this situation. I once told him I wished I could give him back some of the “lost” experiences and time and he said:”You can’t but you can make sure that it’s going to be better with the next child”
    And now everytime I start talking about journeys I’d like to go on, partys I’d like to have or a year abroad, he just gets this really sad and bitter expression on his face and says:”Yeah I would have loved to do that too but I wasn’t able to…” and I start feeling like I’m neglecting him or being unfair or adding to the pain he already had to endure when I try to pursue my wishes.
    He really loves to spend all his time with me, we’re always together, his daughter loves me and more or less jokingly calls me stepmother. He says he loves coming home to me every evening. He sometimes gives hints about wanting to have kids with me in the future (the distant future though, because he’s had enough of children for now and can’t wait for his daughter to grow up to regain his freedom) and said “one day I’m going to marry you”.
    Everytime I go out in the evening when he has to stay at home I feel guilty for leaving him alone, because I’m afraid he’d rather have me stay, although he says it is okay. I’m afraid of living the free college student life I wish for, because it will only show him what he wasn’t always able to do.
    On top of that, one year ago many things changed and he had so much to do(he stopped studying and started working fulltime, moved to another flat, etc.) that he was constantly tired, exhausted and easily frustrated. I tried to compensate this and as a result slipped into a depression that lasted nearly a year.
    So long story short: I love him, he loves me, we are really close and a little (well let’s say whole lot) too dependent on each other, I’m the love of his life, only his second girlfriend ever, and still my feeling of not wanting to settle down yet, not having seen enough, not having spend enough time just on my own won’t dissapear and it breaks my heart.
    Yesterday I read this article for the first time and nearly made a decision. When he came home in the evening unexpectedly finding me there, he behaved like he already knew what was going on in my mind. He was happy as a sandboy to see me although we only had been seperated for 10 hours. He told me how happy he was to be able to call me his woman, how it was a hard piece of work to find me, how he had to go out many times and meet many women, to finally find the one he loved more than anyone else and he wanted to stay with. How it was hard for him to find a woman who was ok with him having a daughter. How he was happy not having to be single anymore and when we laid in bed cuddling he said: “isn’t it sad how many people don’t have this? How many people are alone and single and still have to search for the right one? How lucky that we’ve got each other!”
    I’m devastated. It feels so wonderful when he tells me things like that. It feels wonderful loving someone and being loved back in that unconditional way. But still, after 3 years, there’s this part of me that feels guilty, feels unable to show the same kind of devotion and reliability, that feels like I can’t breathe and it breaks my heart because I would do anything to be the woman he deserves.
    But I still feel like it would have been better for us to meet 5 years later, so I would have had the time he had, to figure out what I wanted and where I wanted to go with my life.
    Phew, that had to get out, sorry! Now I’m still living with him but anyway wanted to move out into a shared apartment to live more of a life on my own and I’m still hoping he will go to therapy to work on his past wounds. He says he thinks living in a shared appartment with other students would be good for me but is afraid it will drift us apart. Is it sensible to wait with any further actions until these things have happened, so that either the problems can resolve or the situation of break up would be much easier for both of us?
    thanks to anbody taking the time to read and answer all this! I know it’s a lot! 😛 I’m just searching for a way to feel more free and independent, without reanimating his fear of getting ditched or even hurting him in a way he simply doesn’t deserve.
    any encouragement is appreciated 🙂

    • I think he is manipulating you into staying with him. Be careful!

  • El Hombre extranjero says:

    My Story is very similar and I am glad to see the thread is still open. To make it short: We met in our first year at uni, when she was 19 and I was 20. We are together now for almost 3 years. She is a great person, very smart, attractive, loving, compassionate, caring and has great sense of humor. Technically she is a girl nobody would ever be willing to let go. Also I liked our relationship since it was very honest and we care for each other.
    So here is the problem: She is my first girlfriend and started to be interested in meeting other girls, too. I actually had a ONS, which she never found out about, yet I regret it deeply.
    In the last couple of weeks I realised that my problem was a different one. I am convinced know that I do not love her. I still care about her a lot. She loves me to death. Since my realisation I suffer whenever she tells me that she loves me and I am not ccapable of responding the some to her truthfully. I feel like I am pretending to love her, which does not seem fair to her. Because I am studying abroad right now we have not seen each other in 4 months (and have another 6 weeks to go). Shockingly, I realised that I did not miss her and I am not looking forward to see her again in the summer. I feel very bad about this.
    I understand that my lack of strong feelings towards her is a clear idnicator that I should end it.
    But I feel extremely guilty about this. Especially because I am telling her I love her sometimes (and similar stuff) and I do not know how to break it down in not so harsh way. How do I solve this problem when I am already pretending so much that it will be very hard for her when she finds out the truth? Anyway, I am glad that realised (like many other posters here) that I do not love her like she deserves it and only guilt is holding me back from breaking up.

    It is very helpful to here that others have similar problems. Nowadays it seems to be only about the dumpee and not the person that has to dump (which is painful too).

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