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Ending a Relationship: How Do You Know When Enough Is Enough?

When deciding on ending a relationship, the first question we ask ourself is: How do I know when enough is enough? Someone very special and beautiful asked me this this week.

In our culture, we are faced with all kinds of messages about relationships: see the good in people, relationships take work, rise above, and don’t have too many expectations. Then, don’t put up with anyone’s disrespect, take care of yourself, set limits, leave abuse. These messages convolute all our decisions on how to set boundaries in relationships or know when it is right for us to leave them. We don’t know who to blame, us or them.  Add to it worry and fear about being alone, or being abandoned, or about other people judging you, and it becomes a maze to wade through.

Effect of Relationship Decisions

Ending a Relationship Problems in significant relationships effect our anxiety and depression more than any other factor in our life because our relationships and their success define us. These are huge decisions. The heaviness of making the right one, can be immobilizing. One can neither open to reconnecting , nor can they step away to relieve themselves. Above all, they lose all trust in themselves, staying in misery and passing it back and forth between them.

We think we are supposed to have unconditional love for our partners and mistake this for having an unconditional relationship. Relationships have conditions! All relationship arrangements are negotiable, and there is usually aspects that for one or both partners that are not negotiable.

It is not easy to chose to leave a relationship and I do not have a prescription answer. Sometimes it is best and other times it is not, and these both can depend. One thing I do understand is that if you make a decision, you make that your decision. Whichever you decide, you live that decision with your best self. Look deep inside you, beyond all fear and all guilt and there you’ll find the answer. Ask your higher self what is the best for everyone involved. Step back from the situation and see yourself and your partner from a distance. This intention and perspective can help you get clarity.

The Right Relationship Decision

There is no right decision. Decisions are like everything else, relative. It doesn’t matter if it is “right” or not, you make a decision and then make it right for you.

You might decide to postpone your decision, but even that is a decision to be lived instead of lamented. Don’t beat yourself up for “not deciding,” postpone consciously. But before making a decision about whether to stay in or leave a relationship, think about this:

  • Know you are exactly where you are supposed to be. You are perfect and awesome.
  • There is nothing to be afraid of, you cannot chose wrong.
  • Get people that love you around you.
  • Find your worth and know who you are and your purpose.

Then, and only then, the preferable choice will be as clear as day.

How have you decided to stay or leave a relationship? Let my friend know how you did it.

Comment below!

By Jodi Lobozzo Aman

I blog here: Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace
and here: Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog,
share here: Twitter@JodiAmanGoogle+
inspire here: Facebook: Heal Now and Forever Be in Peace,
Get my free E-book: What Is UP In Your DOWN? Being Grateful in 7 Easy Steps.

This entry was posted in Anxiety Causes, Anxiety Treatments and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

173 Responses to Ending a Relationship: How Do You Know When Enough Is Enough?

  1. Lorraine says:

    Thank you to whom ever asked you this question, and thank you Jodi for taking the time to consider this question and to answer with such grace, love, and insight. I really appriciate your posts.

    • Thank you Lorraine. I could have written a book, there is so much to consider! I really appreciate the comment!

    • Elaine says:

      Help Please,

      I’m sure I will be judged for this, I have carried tremendous amount of guilt.I have been in a 30 plus year marriage with now grown children. I have never been settled nor fulfilled. I married very young and don’t think that at the age I married I had developed my personality or who I am today.my husband is basically a good man..minus some alcohol episodes and a few physically abusive times but has a good heart.I raised my children like I promised myself and once they were gone, I felt a larger void.I decided to leave, very ashamed of .this but I had multiple affairs and have a live in boyfriend. My husband wants me back and has now given me a deadline or he is filing for divorce. I really don’t blame him but I feel very torn.a part of me doesn’t want the divorce and a part of me doesn’t want to go back either.I feel very selfish too because I’m also with my boyfriend that I need to decide.I love my boyfriends personality but he has a temper and we argue alot but he makes me feel like a woman.i am not as sexually attracted to my husband but I do love him too.

      • Elaine says:

        To add
        my husband has given me a deadline that is soon approaching..I don’t know how to ask for more time because He won’t hear of it.how do I decide.please help me.I am very worried. I dont know what to do.

        • Gabe Howard says:

          Dear Elaine – I understand this is a big issue for you and I certainly don’t envy your situation. I can say that this is a situation where you need to decide. I wish I could advise you on what to do — but it is not something I, or anyone, can decide for you. Please be well and thank you for reading and commenting. ~Gabe

  2. john hitchcock says:

    I had to make this exact decision in November last year.

    I decided, (after breaking my leg in the August and spending all day everyday at home getting depressed) that I wasnt where I wanted to be in my life. I split with my girlfriend of two years which came as a big surprise to her and broke her heart. and despite being really upset myself and doubting my decision on numerous occasions I reasoned that overall to avoid me hurting her in the long run she should be shot of me. I stand by that decision. I did not wish to marry her and although that was the only difference (she still loves me and I her) it meant that I was being stuck in a relationship where I didnt feel comfortable. this would have led to me doing increasingly horrible things to distract myself so to be fair to her I ended it there and then.

    I still maintain it wwas the right decision. and as for the point about making the decision right for you afterwards? im still working on that. my depression spiralled and has gotten very much worse, with thanks to a very unhelpful relationship in the middle. I have my good days. I have a lot of days I dont even want to move. I havent missed a days work through this yet (despite sometimes not being here mentally even if I am physically) and I have begun to write poetry which is a totally new thing for me.

    Thanks you for this question. I wouldnt normally comment on this kind of thing. indeed I dont even read the blog, I was linked here through a friend on google+

    J

    • John,
      Thanks so much for stopping by. It sounds like you stand by your decision! On the other hand depression is there, maybe not related to that decision, but depression clouds our view of everything. I am glad to hear about your poetry. I am putting together a ebook about writing to heal and am interviewing folks. Here’s the questions:

      1. When did you start writing and why? 
      2. How did it help you? (Be as specific as possible.) 
      3. What kind of writing do you do? 
      4. Have you let people read it? Why or why not? 
      5. (Optional) Would you like to share a short excerpt? (<100 words) 

      If you are interested, send answers to writingtohealbook@gmail.com

      Love,
      Jodi

    • john hitchcock says:

      I would like to add that by saying I love her I mean that I still care for her. we dont speak as it hurt her a lot, but ill always be here for her should she need me.

      J

    • jenny says:

      I was in a similar position and dealing with the consequences of ending a relationship which was great on paper but something felt wrong – working with a therapist to get over my issues. I still love him and he says he loves me. If it was a decision I felt I had to make then why did I enter a depressed cycle similar to the one that you mention here? Why were we not happy afterwards?
      Especially when relatively speaking staying in the relationship I would have been happier than the last 7 months where I have never felt such pain and misery.It would be nice to hear some happy or good endings from people who made the decision to leave a relationship they were unsure about?

      • Have you still worked with the therapist about what has caused the pain in the last 7 months? Is it loss or uncertainty or doubt or something else. Would you have felt miserable in the relationship, too? Your feelings could be separate from the break up even though connected in a way. It sounds like you are stuck-but since I don’t know you, I don’t know what that would be-but once you get unstuck, things may turn around. I have seen so many people get through this and finally be happy. Talk to a trust friend or counselor! Love,
        Jodi

        • jillian says:

          I have been seperated 6months. Divorced was final 3 weeks ago. I questioned my therapist today why I hurt so bad. I love him even after the abuse and his fb romances. I know I can’t be with him I’m lonely feel abandoned he cheated on me and hurt me emotionally and physically. I know what needs to be done I can’t forgive or let go.

    • ashwaria says:

      Hi all, I am currently in a two year relationship and find that things are a bit rocky. I find my bf flirting with women on instant messaging , and find it hard to belive that he would never do such things, lately he has been spending more time with friends and going out drinking and partying rather than making time for us, its hard to know that I have invested a lot of time and money into this relationship! I get frustrated of the fact that his friends are his priority and that he never wants to commit to Marriage and I’m slowly loosing my patience! He has been abusive on a couple of occasions but I really feel I’m in a loveless relationship! Someone please help!!

      • Caitlin says:

        Hi,
        I completly understand where your coming from. I was in a relationship for a little over a year and the beggining and up to 7 months was great and we were so in love with no issues, well i thought no issues. A little after that his friends and drinking became the new “cool” and also his roommate got divorced so it was always about his roommate. I started feeling like a burden, he never made time for “us” it was always with friends and I felt really lonely and kinda felt like he quit trying. He also became very lazy, disrespectful(to my family and me), drinker, gambler…. etc. I felt like he didn’t want me and I started feeling not right about something. I also didn’t want to realize he was abusive at times verbally and physically. I would just slide it under the rug like nothing had happened. Things basically went way downhill a little after a year and I just got fed up and me getting mad at him and expressing i didn’t like something led to him breaking things off, and he said I was causing to much stress. Which by stress this was me telling him I don’t like something he’s doing and asking him to have us work on it together. He was very much all about him and so together wasn’t in his frame of mind. He also relys on his friends to basically tell him what he should do and every single one of his friends are single and consider relatioships relationshits… so I was basially sunk and I knew it, but i never brought myself to end things. I now wish I would have acted on what I felt when I felt like things wernt right and this relationship wasnt going to make me happy. I even now after the breakup want the relationship back, but not because I want him back because I dont, but because its hard to feel alone and also miss all the qualities you do love very much about that person and don’t want to loose. My suggestion would be if you don’t feel right, do something now verses later.. I know its going to hurt, but its going to hurt a lot more if you keep making things okay and prolong whats already going to happen. I am really sorry to hear about that though, I know how hard it can be. I thought this last bf was the “one” and I was never going to have to date again. Its never easy.

        • Caitlin says:

          I also want to add in.. I do still love him unconditionally and care for him more than I probably should, and we still talk as friends. It is hard, but I guess now from this side I see how many things were wrong and how I wanted us to be a team, and he just wanted to be his own person and wasn’t interseted in sharing a life together. Yes I would love for him to change his mind, but I honsetly don’t think I would get back together in the long run after having the step back that ive had.

  3. I thought this was brilliant: “We think we are supposed to have unconditional love for our partners and mistake this for having an unconditional relationship. Relationships have conditions!”

    I have had two divorces, both very different. In the first, I was physically and verbally abused. Fortunately, I had access to a therapist at work (for free!) and found the strength to leave. I shudder when I think about what might have happened. After that I remained single for ten years, with lots of therapy, and my relationships became progressively healthier.

    With my second husband, it took a long time to get to that decision, and we were separated for a while before I decided to get a divorce. With each step, I waited until it felt exactly right. It was hard because we were good friends, but it was the right thing to do. Our divorce, when I felt ready, was done with love and respect for our 12 years together. People tried to rush me through the decision, but I feel as though we ended it in a beautiful way that left no hard feelings.

    • Nadine,
      Oh, yes, very different. So funny, I have been reading you for about a year and don’t know these things about you. Thanks so much for sharing and giving your two cents. I am glad you like that quote. This is very helpful for her to hear. It is important to know there is not just one prescription for how to handle these things.
      Love,
      Jodi

  4. nikky44 says:

    I loved this article! Thank you Jodi <3
    All the reasons you gave that made me want to stay are true: fear of loneliness, fear of change, fear of people's judgement. I can also add fear of failure. The longer we stay, the harder it is to take the decision to leave. The hardest question I am asked is: why now? why all that wasn't a problem before? why did you wait that long? If you waited 20 years, then you can stay some more. Why now? because now enough is enough. You are right. I think we have a certain capacity of adaptation and patience, but it has limits, and it's limits don't depend only on us, but on others depending on us like children.
    The hardest part is taking the decision. Once that is done, the rest will get easier as long as we believe we've done what is right. I totally agree with you that any decision we take is the right one as long as we stick to it.
    What helps in taking the decision to leave when there is no more hope of making the relationship successful is to find love whether it is in friendship, in a new relationship, a new job we love, anything, any new purpose or passion. It is also when we have a certain responsibility towards others happiness and safety. Children depend on us to keep them safe.

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  6. Kristen says:

    I have recently detached myself from a significant close friendship that was causing me pain. I am still reeling from it. Knowing I did the right thing, but sometimes still regretting it. The hard thing for me is wanting very much to see things from his point of view, but he refuses to see things from mine. We also both suffer from depression and I felt like I was committed to be there for him and help him and empathize with him. But then I found that I needed to protect myself even more than that. I find myself rationalizing his behaviour in terms of his mental health problems. But then I know that it is still no excuse for how he was treating me. But then still, he feels he is the mistreated one and that I am the one that needed to make the changes for our friendship to continue.

    I guess that’s when something finally snapped in me. When he insisted he was right, and I was wrong. That I needed to change, and that there was nothing he needed to do. I finally heard what he was saying and knew nothing would ever get better. That was it. And I couldn’t accept it. All relationships require 2 people working and wanting it to work. I knew this without a doubt. It hurts so much to realize the other person really doesn’t care enough about you to compromise.

    Anyway – I am still working through this, obviously. In answer to the question, how do you know when enough is enough? I think the answer for me was just when I felt something in me break. I was finally able to step back, like you say, and I saw things clearly at last. I simply did not have it in me to continue the way he would have wanted it.

    • Kristen
      It is hard to be with someone who has a victim mentality. When they hurt you and feel offended if you tell them that. It may not be him not caring, just right now he thinks he is the victim and this blocks his view of caring. He feels like he has to protect himself even though he doesn’t. I am sorry something in you had to break before you stepped away. Perhaps you’ll like this post where I write about it.http://healnowandforever.net/2011/08/06/how-do-we-know-when-we-are-done-healing/ It is about our responsibility to help others heal who aren’t available to it.
      Thanks so much for your comment. It is very helpful to everyone who reads!
      Love,
      Jodi

    • rachu says:

      I am in the middle of making this decision myself I am not so sure what I should do. I am confused. I love my partner but he makes me cry more than he does smile. He spends all his time at work and makes very little time for me available and when I express my feelings to him he is always getting sick of it. Im not so sure what I should do

  7. tirihashi says:

    I’m in the decision making stage myself and had to make the hard choice to give my gf an ultimatum due to my depression. Her constant promises to move in only to have that move in not happen last minute due to one thing or another(more often than not her lack of self worth and self confidence and controlling parents as well as fears of the move and what it will do to us and what would happen when we do break up as well as other things.I talked to her about them and explained things about how I feel and how things work in our apartment). But due to my fragile mindset I had to tell her that if it happened a 6th time than I would have no choice but to end our relationship either until she got things sorted out or I managed to move on. Which ever happened first…I love her with all my heart so I pray it doesn’t come to that, but it needed to be done and I don’t regret the decision to do so even if my anxiety and stress has been way higher than normal because of it…I’m not sure I’ll ever have the strength to leave her otherwise. She is such an amazing woman even if she doesn’t realize it and I don’t mind let our relationship move as slow as it needs to as long as we’re together. Thanks for writing this. It helped ease some things I had on my mind as well as helped ease the negative talk in my mind of “maybe everyone is right and we were doomed to fail from the start”.

    • Tirihashi,
      Thanks so much for your comment. Sometimes the act of writing it give us the perspective of audience to our life and we can gain confidence that our decision were right for us, in the larger picture. Setting limits in a relationship is allowed. Knowing the extent to what you can handle is insightful. She needs some motivation to get above her anxiety. Or else the anxiety will always take over. She needs something that is more important than it. Hopefully loving you will do that and this story will have a happy ending. This is my hope for you!
      Love,
      Jodi

  8. Dr Musli Ferati says:

    Above all, the question to ending a relationship is big one: it implicates many doubtful matter on our global life functioning and determines overall personal, professional and social statement of anybody. Even your observation to relationship are important, it remains yet many unspeakable issues that deserve further elaboration. For instance, how to manage the risky situation with any that you ending the relationship with the blessing: enough is enough. The life is somewhat more than our personal decision, either it is impulsive or after longtime bad experiences. My remark is very concrete: what do you do if “persona non grata” is in circumstance to deliver your lover person from any danger situation? In Consequence, the decision to ending a relation with any unpleasant person is very rude and empirical, because the real life from us require infinitive needs and deeds as well.

  9. You can’t leave and you can’t stay. That’s the sad point to which most relationships descend prior to the final curtain.

    Before you break free give it a whole lot of thought. Make damn sure you want it to be over—not a little over, not mostly over—but over, over.

    Make your decision in private. This is not the time for honesty or forthrightness or soul bearing with your mate. They’ll find out soon enough. Is this deceptive? Exactly.

    But remember, you’re considering leaving for a reason, not because you’re with Ms. or Mister perfect. Somewhere in this relationship your mate hasn’t exactly been the most honest, the most compassionate, the most understanding with you, either.

    And the one thing you don’t owe anybody is to spend your life miserable and unhappy.

    If your decision is to end this thing then know this: It’s going to be painful. It might even be excruciating.

    But also know “this too shall pass.”

    And once it does and you find yourself in a better place emotionally—oh, boy. World watch out!

    Hopefully, you’ll bump into your ex one day in the future. If you’re lucky they’ll be pushing one of those a homeless shopping cart down the alley, rummaging through garbage bins for aluminum cans: or maybe they’ll be standing by the freeway entrance pan handling. You’ll drop a few coins in their cup from your air conditioned Benz and speed away with a squeal of tires, wondering what in the hell did you see in that jerk, anyway.

    • “And the one thing you don’t owe anybody is to spend your life miserable and unhappy.” Love it! Thanks, Adam!

    • Mitzi says:

      Adam,
      As I’m feeling very sad and depressed over my decision to end my relationship, I know in my mind I made the right decision, even though my heart knew what kind of pain it would be in. I couldn’t stay and I couldn’t leave. I finally left. I could never trust his mind, because he would always change whatever decisions he would make, in regard to us. I could never get happy about anything, because I knew he would change his mind and I would be disappointed. It was the biggest roller coaster ride I had ever been on. He is a man of 62 years old. He is settled, secure,very set in his ways, and is chronically depressed and has anxiety. I cannot compete any longer with his thinking pattern. So, I knew without a shadow of a doubt, enough was enough. I am broken hearted but I felt, if I had stayed, I would have lost all of my self worth. There were no boundaries in our relationship. Why that was, I’ll never know.

      There is no turning back this time, as I have done many times before. This relationship is OVER.

      I feel like a fool because I, gave him hope, gave him love, gave him strength in himself, made him laugh, shared my friends and family with him. I opened up a new world for him, and his depression/anxiety ruled all.

      Thank you for your wonderful message, Adam. It confirmed what I already knew.

      Best,
      Mitzi

      • Mitzi,
        You did the right thing. Losing yourself to someone else depression and anxiety–when they are not making effort is not worth it. in the end he had the make the choice to join the living. Here’s to much blessing coming from your choice!

    • Poppy says:

      Why would you EVER want to see anyone homeless, asking for change and pushing a shopping cart? You are not a whole or healthy person if you recovering from pain from either side of the breakup leaves you ‘hoping’ to see you ex, and wishing others the sane good fortune, of wishing to see someone you were involved with be a caltive victim to your sick revenge fantasy! You disgust me! I had an abusive ex. All I hope for is to never see him again! My last ex is an avoidance addict and he broke my heart in a brutal, cruel, deceptive and cowardly way. But that comes from the well of his own pain. Even though I have my own and he didnt take me or my kindness into consideration when he went through his cycle, I still cried when I realized what he had done before and continues to do to his own life. I cry for me too. But I will NEVER be a dead inside person. And btw, your joke is repulsive. I have a family member who was homeless. She was also terribly abusive from a mental illness. But NOTHING she did merited what her life was like. So grow up lest your sick joke turns out to be your own reality one day. Project bitterness, negativity and revenge into the world? Reap it back.

    • denise bueno says:

      I loved your comment. I have been in living hell for the past month or so. He said if he moves out, he isn’t helping me. I let him go anyway. I couldn’t live with myself letting his exwife cheat with him, and not know. I had no clue for so long. But, it was time for me to know, because I was becoming self destructive. I know my angels helped me go through this. I am so lost. I have no money, no phone, and three daughters. I have rent, finish this semester, and put up with him being on drugs and sleeping with her even to this day. He stopped all communication. is she pregnant? what could be worse?

    • Jacki says:

      Adam,

      Love it! You are absolutely right! The decision is one’s own. Chances are if a person is considering leaving there is a pretty high chance that their partner is a selfish one who won’t have their best interest at heart. I say, work it out in your own head and do what’s best for you.

      As far as “homeless and pushing a shopping cart,” the person who became so outraged needs to learn to laugh. Obviously, you were joking and depending on how bad the relationship is/was, that mental image might get you through. Besides, you kindly dropped some money at your ex; you’re practically saintly. :)

  10. good article, jody. i was actually going thru a stay-or-leave decision before, during, and after the august 2012 john perkins omega workshops you helped (so well!) to facilitate. it was a very tough decision, our having been together for 5 years and 5 months. here’s how i did it.

    i stepped back and took an objective look at T’s and my actions. this helped me see that T was pretty much putting just about everything in her life ahead of me, and i was primarily something to be worked into her higher priorities, on her terms.

    in contrast, for me, most often, T and the relationship were my top priority, my passion. thus, there was a great imbalance.

    if there were some significant give and take, we could have made it work. however, by stepping back, i could see that, most often, it was i who was the one giving, and she the one taking. at the end, when it came time to negotiate a key development, she was not willing to do for me what i was willing to do for her (work at/endure for the other’s benefit).

    thus, from your article above, what resonates best with me is: “Look deep inside you, beyond all fear and all guilt and there you’ll find the answer…Step back from the situation and see yourself and your partner from a distance. This…perspective can help you get clarity.” this is indeed the approach i used and helped me to decide that it would be best for T and me to split–and we did, each agreeing that the time was right, and that the relationship–on which we had worked very hard for over five years–had finally run its course.

    hope this helps your friend,
    –d

    • Thanks Dennis, i am sure it will help her and the many other readers! When we share from our heart we always touch others and help them seeks what they are looking for. Thanks so much for coming by and going generously of yourself. I did not know you were going through all of this. Such an intense time! Even if it feels right, it is still a challenge to untangle lives since it had been so long. Good luck to you both!
      love,
      Jodi

    • Tori says:

      I’m currently trying to make the hardest decision of my life – leaving my partner of 14 (husband of 1.5) years.

      We are both 32. I feel like I am at a different stage in my life to him. I want children which he has known for years and he has made it quite clear since the wedding that he does not want them. Initially, 6 months after the wedding he actually suggested we start trying and then took it back almost immediately. He ‘jokes’ all the time about how he doesn’t want them. Every time I try and talk to him about it he goes into shutdown and we end up arguing. He has said he knows he will have to have children with me at some point but will not have a serious conversation about when this will be. I am not getting any younger and I am worried we could have problems conceiving.

      Perhaps, more importantly, I am worried about having children with someone who does not really want them. I am worried he will end up resenting me for it. Is it unrealistic to want my husband to want children as much as I do?

      On top of this my husband has been in and out of work for the last few years. He quit his office job he hated about 9 months ago and hasn’t found another one since. He had the opportunity to work for his parents company which would have given us some additional income in the short term while he was looking for his dream job but he refuses to do it because of his anxiety issues (related to his Dad). I have tried being the supportive wife and have not pushed him to do anything he doesn’t want to do but I feel like enough is enough now. I work really hard and earn a decent wage yet do not a) get to enjoy it or b) manage to save any for future as I am supporting both of us.

      These are 2 major issues yet it’s still difficult to make he decision to leave someone after so long together, especially when we only got married last year. I wish I could look into the future and know I was making the right decision.

      I might have already left it too late to find love with someone else and have a chance of having a family. I know that’s not a reason to stay though.

      Sorry for the long post.

      • It seems that you have a logical approach to a difficult situation. Decisions such as this aren’t easy, but you appear to be focusing on what is important to you and comparing it to what is important to your husband. This is an excellent approach, and even though it’s not easy, your approach will help you be confident in your ultimate decision.

  11. Amber says:

    Just a week and a half ago, I ended my 10 year relationship. This was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I knew in my heart that it was what I needed to do in order to find true happiness. It’s weird, I just woke up one day and felt like something was missing in my relationship. Don’t get me wrong, issues have been brought up to him SEVERAL times before, but nothing ever changed. The major thing- marriage. When I took him back 3 years ago and told him that I needed certain things to make it work, he agreed to work on it (example: Do more things as a couple, future marriage & having children). Well, I didn’t realize that it had already been 3 years since he told me that and like the above comments, I had to step back and take a look at the situation. So, I brought it to his attention Labor Day weekend. I asked him if he saw me in 5 years as his wife and mother of his child. He told me no because he doesn’t think about the future and just lives in the moment! Said that he thought his feelings would eventually change about marriage and that he was being selfish because he wanted me in his life. I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t make sense to me! Needless to say, that’s really all I needed to hear and I knew then it was over for good this time. I hate that it took so long to realize that this wasn’t going anywhere and that I was just holding on to hope. A person that doesn’t think about the future is not the right person for me, and I know that now- I deserve better. Anyway, sorry for the long story, but like others have said…it really does just hit you out of nowhere and you can finally say “Enough is enough” and move on.

  12. judith says:

    how about 39 yrs and he is so old! feel i would be a rat deserting a sinking ship. he acts as if he don’t need me but he is fibbing! hanging on for the sake of the great passion that was in the past. still love him more than he will ever love me. holidays point this up with all the get-togethers.

  13. Kim says:

    I’m in a difficult place right now, deciding whether or not to stay or leave. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 8 years and this is probably one of the hardest choices in my life to date. I don’t see my life without him, but at this point I feel like he’s not happy. I don’t know what I am except confused. Thank you for this blog, I’m hoping for some clarity soon.

  14. whitney says:

    I read through all these comments and they are great. I can relate to some of the stories. Mine is somewhat alike, in a weird twisted way. I fell in love with a drug addict whom says he isn’t an addict but when we end up breaking up he runs to them for xo

  15. whitney says:

    Comfort, instead of breaking the cycle and fixing us right away
    Not only is that an issue, but he is stuck in both of our pasts which makes it hard for me to forget it aswell so it’s just us playing in a ping pong match hitting back and fourth an emotional ball. Seems like I made the right decision sometimes and other times I feel I am going to die of a brpken heart. So alone and lost, but like the comment above, “this too shall pass”… I honestly can’t wait for it to.

    Thanks for the post, glad I came across all these stories, too.

    Whitney

  16. Jacki says:

    It was so funny-and a bit sad-to look at these posts and see parts of me in most of them…
    I have a saying about myself; I have a ‘line in the sand’. I might get close to that line, and I’ll take & take & take… but rarely do I cross it. If I DO cross that line, it means that I’ve finally had enough and it’s almost impossible for me to cross back over.
    I’m in a 5-year relationship. Keep in mind that neither of us are brand new to relationships — both of us have been married before. A year ago, after several broken promises and my trust being shattered, I crossed my line. However, because I believe in love and wanted to be absolutely sure, I talked myself into crossing back over my line, learned to forgive, slowly learned to trust again, and put my heart out there again.
    Unfortunately, a week ago my heart was broken again, and my trust disingrated. A promise he made to me (a HUGE, deeply meaningful promise to help in our relationship mending) was broken. To make things worse, I found out from friends of ours. I crossed my line again.
    We hadn’t moved in together (that was supposed to happen this spring), but I had things at his house. After many hours of tearful, heart-wrenching conversations, I told him that I didn’t think it was a good idea to move forward in our plans of moving in together, and that I thought we both needed to step back and have time to think. I took most of my things from his house, and left.
    Now, after having time to evaluate the relationship, I have come to the conclusion that things need to end between us. We’re in different places as far as what we want/need in the relationship, and after 5 years nothing has changed.
    I’ll always love him (in that caring, once-upon-a-time way), but sometimes, love just isn’t enough.

  17. Dorothy says:

    I’ve recently decided to leave my husband. He has a drinking problem and doesn’t see it. It’s not my goal to convince him. I know what is right for me and this isn’t. It doesn’t make it easy at all. We have a son with special needs but I realized I worried more about my husband than my son. His happiness became my goal and when I understood that there was nothing I could do I knew it was over. I made a huge emotional investment and I feel defeated and drained. I love life too much to continue this. Wish him all the best.

    • Dorothy, Good for you! Alcohol stops people from connection in relationships. It is so difficult to live with since it makes family members feel so unworthy. I am glad you are embracing your life and chosing to live it!
      Love to you, my dear! xox Jodi

    • Erin says:

      Thanks for sharing your story Dorothy. I needed to hear from someone else in the situation that it will be okay if you leave. My husband of 6 years also has a drinking problem but won’t admit it even though all of our known down, drag out fights occur when he has been drinking. We have a 3 1/2 year old and a baby that just turned 1. After reading a journal I started when we met, I realized all of the same problems that I wrote about 6 years ago are still there today but I am afraid to leave because of the kids and their attachment to him and vice versa. He is a great father just not a great husband-verbally abusive with anger management problems. I have been considering leaving for the past month and now feel I know the answer is to put myself first but having kids makes the decision so much harder.
      Thanks again, nice to know others out there share my pain.

  18. Pingback: 5 Important Marriage Builders: Constructing Your Relationship Outside Fear | Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog

  19. S.S. says:

    This helps validate my actions last week, when I decided I could no longer work with an abusive colleague. I don’t know why, but she despises me – that word is not an overstatement, unfortunately. What made matters worse was that her attitude toward me was also reflected in her attitude toward students in her classroom. Verbal abuse, bullying, and – the final straw that occurred Friday – physical abuse (excessive/undue force). Just unreal. I wondered why I’d been so depressed all year and why I also have been feeling physically low – upset stomach, irritable intestines, nausea. Over the weekend, everything just clicked into place. Yes, the principal has been informed. I told him I can no longer be in that classroom as I believe it’s better for the students and I don’t wish to be accused of being an accessory to abuse. Today, I feel so much better.

  20. I have been in a relationship with a man (75) and I am 73. We dated 2 years ago and then he just dropped out of site. Now 2 months, he called and I took him back and asked him what he had been doing for 2 years and he said “Trying to get my head on straight) 2 years? So now after 2 months, he has dropped out of site again. Of course, I am hurt and confused but really know I really deserve better. What is your advice? Thanks!!

    • Beverly,
      He doesn’t have his head on straight. This is more about how he feels about himself than you. Move on. Find a nice man, have fun with your girlfriends, do things you enjoy! Never for a minute allow yourself to think it is you.
      Love,
      Jodi

  21. rene says:

    Hi all,

    My sister, not me, is currently going through a break-up. I’ve been there for her but sometimes i don’t know how to comfort her when she feels sad and down, especially because since she broke up with him, he has not given any sign of life, and that hurts her because he said he loved her so much. I know the kind of guy he’s but I don’t want to say too much to my sister for my goal is to support her.

    thanks
    Rene

  22. Rene,
    Ooo! You are between a rock and a hard place. Just listen and try to distract her as much as you can! A clean break can sometimes be easier, but anything can be an excuse to feel worse.
    Just love her. She is lucky to have you!
    xo
    Jodi

  23. Niki says:

    Thank you for this post and all the replies. I have found some comfort and reduced my own feelings of isolation as I sit on the decision fence about my own 7 year relationship. I am borrowing the idea for a temporary break in our relationship from and suggested it to my partner. At first he thought it was a good idea so I talked to my mom about staying at her place while she is away on vacation. When I brought it up again my partner said “whatever YOU want to do”. Well we both agreed to this but now it’s being laid at my doorstep. This is a common behaviour – I suggest something to get our relationship on track and he goes along half heartedly. I don’t know what to suggest anymore – I’m out of ideas. But I like the idea of a temporary break so that I can think and get a new perspective, where I can have mental space to examine where I want my life to go and how my partner fits in/doesn’t fit in with that. I do know that his dragging his feet on having/adopting children is beyond disappointing to me. I went off the Pill 2 years ago and that killed his sex drive. Even as I type this I realize what message he is sending me -no kids. And that is one of my non-negotiables. So why have I kept trying to pull this relationship together? Million dollar question. I look forward to next week when the temp break starts but I may not like what I come up with! Regards, Niki

  24. Fuzzy says:

    I’m in the early stages of ending a long term relationship.
    We’ve gone back and forth thinking we can fix things.

    He is a long term cannabis user, doesn’t drink a lot but when he does it always causes problems.

    There has been emotional abuse and physical aggression fr many years.
    The trust was broken many times.

    Why did i Stay ?
    Tried to talk myself into staying but a voice in me s screaming No No No.

    I feel guilt for him, I feel like the jerk who had to make a decision.

    Please help

    • Dear Fuzzy,
      You are not a jerk. Substance abuse often trumps relationships. He has chosen that. I am glad that voice screamed No No No! It sounds like the voice of your inner wisdom. You will not be free to create and love yourself or others caught in this relationship. Build a community around yourself to help reflect back to you the good in you. Don’t stay isolated, guilt will breed and you will feel lost. I appreciate the steps you took for yourself. The world thanks you for coming back to it. Here, you can do great things!
      Love,
      Jodi

      Check my facebook page for comments from the community Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace..

  25. confused says:

    I could probably write a book..I don’t know what to do . This is my 2nd marriage n aslo his I have 2 kids from my first marriage n 1 with my husband now. We have had problems from the beginning. He is a awesome man a great provider our sexual life is good when we are not at each other heads. My husband works with computers networking so he knows every little thing there is .. I have never cheated disrespect him in any way to hurt him. Maybe not give him much attention but how can I . I only work part time but as the woman with all boys cleaning cooking washing food shopping organization is all me. He comes home n bam on couch n the laptop or phone or tv do not leave his site. It is very hard to deal with . We argue now n then . It used to get bad not physical but broken things n verbal abuse to me is normal I don’t even listen anymore I block it out . Well in my gut I felt he was cheating never had evidence but week ago found porn being sent tohis friends from his email n in spam and trash alot of stuff but not open to what I saw. I am so lost n hurt. Things are so different . Yes I’m scared he is the provider. . I would have to go to my moms and at 40 that’s a hard choice. We have a house which was mine when we met I lived here 6 years with 2 children n was doing ok. I opened my heart again after 5 years of si gle life . Now I get I can get out leave so on. I can not afford this. I did leave twice n both times talk me in coming back. I know he loves me but there is so much confusing hurt sadness does this ever stop. I do not trust him. He has went to talk to someonen they did put him on meds. But this was about the time with the sites n stuff. Also we have account together which I have no mac card do not know what goes in n out but my names are on the checks .this seems so messed up ! What do I do ~
    E

    • Dear Confused,
      Is there someone you can talk to, a sister, a girlfriend. It sounds like you need to talk out some feelings and get some feedback. When we get ready to leave relationship (or decide to stay in them) it is always best to have built up a community around yourself. You need to have yourself reflected back by good people who love you so you have a sense of yourself outside the abusive relationship. It helps you see more clearly what to do. Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself! I am with you honey, and sending you a bug hug!
      Lots of love,
      Jodi

  26. Jane says:

    Thank you for your post – it’s the most helpful I have come across in some time.
    I am struggling with the decision to end my year long relationship – our anniversary is actually today, and it has made me particularly reflective.

    He has generalized anxiety disorder – which I knew from the outset. He has been in therapy for over 20 years and did a successful run of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy several years ago. He seemed quite well adjusted when I met him. He fell in love with me extremely quickly, and I followed suit soon after. A series of unfortunate events occurred for him soon after our relationship blossomed though – he lost his high profile job, his best friend died suddenly, he was displaced to another country for a job (being displaced is what causes most of his anxiety) for 6 weeks, and soonafter I was displaced for 6 weeks (which made things even worse). Then we moved in together, which I’m realizing was a big mistake.

    Every time another stressful event occurred, and he acted out (constant panic attacks, social isolation, suicidal talk), it was clear his problem was in no way solved, but I reasoned that what he was going through was just because of current events, and things would get better. Well, it’s been 4 months now without a ‘bad’ incident, and he only seems to get worse. I try to be fully supportive and help him through his depression and anxiety, but I am exhausted. I am a very strong, stable person, and I know that’s a big reason why he fell for me, but I’m exhausted and annoyed with him. But I’m wracked with guilt when I think of leaving him.

    Since he’s so anxious, he is sensitive and senses me pulling away emotionally. In those moments he reverts to a child like state and says things like, ‘You hate me’ and ‘Don’t leave me. I can’t live without you.’ I can’t respond to these things with mature conversation. Soothing and reassuring him are the only things that calm him. He also constantly ‘jokes’ about wanting to die and says he has suicidal thoughts all the time. When I said I found that disturbing he countered that his therapist (he has been seeing the same one for 20 years…which makes me think that he’s just an enabler at this point) says that it’s ‘normal’.

    I’m pretty sure I know that I have to end this for both of our sakes – I’m striving to continue to live my busy and social life, while he mostly stays at home isolating himself from everything. I’m constantly biting my tongue and swallowing my annoyance and disappointment in him, but he’s a skilled manipulator (arguments with him always leave me in tears because he just emotionally attacks until I break) and I’m finding it really really hard to get to a strong enough place to tell it like it is, whether it destroys him or not.

    The thought of me leaving him while he’s in such a bad state makes me feel awful…I know it will take years for him to get over some of the things he’s been through…but I guess it’s not fair to merely stay with somebody out of guilt.
    I anticipate that leaving him might be the hardest thing i will ever do. I hope I find the strength to do it soon.

    • Dear Jane,
      It’s normal to want to escape bad feelings when they come, but not joke about or think about suicide constantly. Think about it this way… He may need to be desparate enough to take the steps he needs to heal. Your break up may be the catalyst he needs.
      Good luck!

  27. Katie says:

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 years now.He has had massive debts from a difficult time in his life before he met me and he spent years whilst we were together paying them off and he has many regrets. He still has a lot to pay off. Over the last few years I’ve tried talking to him about the future and what I want and whether he wants the same. I was faced with an angry brick wall and it’s been difficult! He has felt he can’t afford marriage etc and so just cut off from thinking about the future and cut himself off from me. He lives in the moment. He loves me very much but I’ve got to the point now I’m not sure I love him like I used to after all the emotional hurt I’ve been through. He recently starting talking to me about the future after I was saying that I might have to leave but I’m worried it’s too late! I need to decide what to do very soon because I’ve agreed to pay off his debt and help us move forward in our relationship which is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I feel i will break him if i leave, he doesn’t have a strong bond with his family and has little friends. I hope time will tell and give me strength to know what to do! I’m scared deep down I know.

    Thankyou for your blog post, it’s been helpful to read! x

    • Katie,
      Don’t stay with someone bc you might break them. Don’t prevent him from having an experience he needs to have. I’m sure you didnt tell us the whole story of his emotional baggage. Talk to some girlfriends, get some feedback. Not always, but lots of times, a good friend will reflect back to you what you aleady know and this will be an affirmation. Good luck!

      • Marie says:

        Well my story starts like this. I thought I met the most wonderful man one day on my way to work. We would see each other everyday for about 2wksthe and then we exchanged numbers. We dated for about 2 1/2 months and things moved very fast. All of the above happened in this relationship 6 breakups, long heart to heart talks and he even mentioned me one day being his wife. But something never quite seem right or honest with him. We told each other we loved each, but I just didn’t believe him. He would not act the words he talked. Although he was a very affectionate man, he just appeared to be a liar. And always accused me of seeing other men, which was not true. I spent everyday with him and devote most of my time to this relationship.
        Well a few days ago I decided to breakup for the last time. It hurts because I thought I loved him. But I guess not enough to stay though the emotional abuse. Im confused, hurt, I want to call him. Because I did the childest thing he hung up on me and I broke the relationship off in a text. I know not a good move but I was hurt by his actions.
        I know I will be fine but it scary being alone again!

  28. Christie says:

    I also would like to thank you for this post. I don’t know what to do. I have been with my fiancee for almost seven years and I am becoming exhausted and tired of making it work. I am not a saint and I realize that I don’t prioritize or relationship as much as he needs (although he has NO friends outside of our relationship and I feel so smothered) and he gets very frustrated with some of my basic behaviors (hygiene, driving, eating habits, short term memory issues). Since we became engaged (which I basically proposed to him, he doesn’t believe in marriage) he has become increasingly more incessant that I change every little thing that he has a problem with. I feel like this is very one sided. He has serious anger issues, that while he isn’t physically abusive it does cross the verbal line. For a while it seemed he was working on things, but after many years it seems we have the same old arguments! He hates all of my friends, family and thinks the things I like are stupid. He claims to love me, but I don’t understand it.

    All these things are things that he will sometimes acknowledge are issues and we will agree to work on them and say the right things and try and compromise. I am just not seeing the results on his side. Last night I told him my sister was pregnant and he went into a rage about how people shouldn’t have kids and how society is going to hell and that is my kid I want because he won’t bring another innocent life into this world. I was not surprised, but I realized that this engagement and our timeline to have kids is all my doing. He doesn’t want it, but we are determined to make things work. I’m not sure I am willing to bring a child into a relationship that as I right this can tell isn’t healthy.

    On the other hand I feel like these are normal problems and issues that every longterm relationship has and that I need to open communication and work things out. This is what I loved about your article, trying to differenciate between when to tough it out and when to throw in the towel and that there isn’t SHAME in doing so.

    With all this rolling through my mind I feel like I can’t involve him in the decision to end things. I don’t know how to bring it up and the consequences will be staggering, but I feel like I have made up my mind. I don’t think I have the guts to do anything though. This man made me give up my cat of 11 years because he hated him. (my cat was scared of him, which made my fiancee angry).

    Sorry to ramble this is all very fresh and the beginning of the thinking process. I want to treat this relationship with respect and not make a rash decision.

  29. Meagan says:

    Great article. I have been in a very tumultuous relationship for 4 years with a guy who has serious trouble expressing his love. He grew up in a house without a father, and a mother who became a workaholic in order to support the family. He has always held me at arms length, until I threaten to leave. Then all the walls come down and I fall in love with him all over again. I see a side that I believe will become more prevalent in our relationship, but things always end up back to cold, shut off, unaffectionate, neglectful after a few months. He never suggests we take the next step – it’s always me prodding and pushing to move in/ have the talk about marriage, kids etc. I never even hear “i love you” unless I say it first.

    This has taken a serious toll on me emotionally, but I have always told myself that I don’t need a man to validate me, so i’ve condoned the neglect the whole time. Whenever we have our deep talks about our relationship, breaking up is always an option, but for some reason we figure out ways that we are going to work on it and make it better – well it’s still the same old stuff. He says he can’t say he sees a future with me because we haven’t been consistently happy enough for him to picture the rest of his life with someone who considers leaving every two months.

    I am more interested in sex than he, which he justifies as “being in a long term relationship, the sex dies off a bit” or that “he’s 35 and not 25 anymore”. His drive in life is quite minimal, and mine is pretty well through the roof, which I fear will cause a greater imbalance down the road if I stay.

    Perhaps I will read this back over and feel insane for still questioning things, but I love him. I have anxiety when I think about leaving. I have left, and always go back because he appears to be the man I have always wanted in these situations.

    Any advice?

  30. vicky says:

    I am at the stage on deciding on whether to stay or go. I have been with him for seven years now and he is also a long term cannabis user! This only occurred once we got together though him meeting new people. I cannot stand the stuff and all the lies and betrayl I get from him because of it. He often promises he will change but only ever does for a week or two at most. I don’t trust him with money and I’m constantly paranoid incase he’s going behind my back or lying to me. We have often spoke about this but he’s not very understanding of my feelings or of the fact of how unhappy this is making me. I have already left twice because of this and have threatened to again but it does not stop him. In general other than this we get on ok. Can anyone help me?

  31. Brooke says:

    I am approaching the three year mark with my boyfriend, and am currently seeing a therapist for depression. I do not feel my relationship meets my needs and I’ve been told [by peers] that my bf is using me. I have struggled every day for 6 months with leaving or staying, and have walked away briefly a few times. I am then greeted with the “I’m sorry we can work this out” speech, then all is fine for a short time, then the rut comes back. We basically live like roommates, and I promised myself [in lieu of antidepressants] that I would not let his behavior upset me anymore. I am working on making myself happy [or happier] and have somewhat settled into an existence that is tolerable — but still unhealthy. I stopped investing in “couple maintenance” and we rarely spend time together, outside family functions. What really sucks however, is the game that is played at those functions. Everyone telling us we’re so perfect together, and he plays the game all too well. I think it’s because his parents are sick and he wants them to be proud that he has a good person in his life. The act gets turned off like a switch right after and I’m back to being a roommate. I also get good behavior just before a function — especially with his family. They love me dearly, and I truly love them, so I give in. I don’t want to be the bad guy and walk away, and I don’t want to hurt him, either. Honestly speaking, he does not deserve me in his life and no one will love him like I have. I just keep thinking that neither of us will get what we need with each other.

  32. Revolving Door says:

    I really appreciate reading what everyone has written. It makes me feel less alone. I recently ended a tumultuous relationship. It was filled with broken/empty promises to change behavior and actions that were hurtful and destructive to me and to the relationship. I am not sure if what I experienced was emotional abuse or just a man who has serious communication issues. If I tried to tell him that something upset me or hurt my feelings, I would be shut down or dismissed; ignored; left; or broken up with. Days would pass and suddenly he is begging to get me back and his words are filled with remorse, regret, and apologies. I would feel sorry for him and open my heart again and take him back. After all, he said he did not mean it. This scenario has happened over and over. I am tired of being blindsided by a break up and the frequency has escalated from monthly to weekly. He kept promising to stop. He bought me a ring as proof; he swore on his daughter’s life; he started therapy. But he still kept breaking up with me and ignoring me and playing mind games. There are many good qualities that I truly enjoy about him but his behavior is too painful and disrespectful for me. I finally ended things. I am questioning if I did the right thing. Did I give him enough of a chance to change? Was I compassionate enough with whatever his issues are that cause him to act like this? Can he ever change? I realize how pathetic I sound and I am not proud of that. I also realize that I am responsible for taking him back; I am not trying to be a victim. I just started feeling punished and like I was a doormat or a revolving door for him to come and go as he pleases. Any advice?

    • I am questioning if I did the right thing. Yes. Did I give him enough of a chance to change? Yes. Was I compassionate enough with whatever his issues are that cause him to act like this? Absolutely. Can he ever change? Only if he choses it, there is nothing you can do. I realize how pathetic I sound and I am not proud of that. Not at all pathetic, just human and loving. I also realize that I am responsible for taking him back; I am not trying to be a victim. I just started feeling punished and like I was a doormat or a revolving door for him to come and go as he pleases. Any advice? Treat yourself like the queen you are and then soon someone will come along and do the same.
      Love,
      Jodi

  33. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year now. We live together and my son lives with us. -he is not the father. However he treats him like his own and they share that love. My boyfriend had always had a stubborn attitude, mostly when we argue. He almost never tries to fix things when we are arguing. We usually argue over small issues and he gets so mad it lasts for days. he’s distant and won’t talk to me until I basically beg for him or kiss his butt to make things better. I do love him so much, and when things are good we are so happy. We have our futures planned together and we are basically a family, but I’m so hurt constantly by his lack of trying. lately he is distant and doesn’t show affection unless I make him. I’ve told him all of this and poured my heart out to him and nothing seems to change. I don’t want to give up on him because I do love him and I believe you should never give up on someone you love. but I also don’t want to keep hurting each time we argue. my son is only 3 and I don’t want him growing up into a broken relationship. I feel like he does truly love me, but lets his anger take over because of his past relationships. We’re both pretty much alone in the world. All we have Is each other and my son. which is why I don’t understand why he can’t change and be good to me all the time. maybe I’m doing something wrong? I have separation anxiety and don’t know how to walk away or ask him to leave. I feel like I will go crazy alone. I’m so scared and I don’t know what to do. I have no friends or family
    to help me through it just God generally. help :(

    • It’s usually just scary until you do it. In the guise of protecting us from what is scary, our fear sometimes keeps us suffering. You won’t go crazy alone. I don’t know why he is choosing not to change, maybe because he doesn’t have to-you are staying and fixing things.

      “I don’t want to give up on him because I do love him and I believe you should never give up on someone you love.” Why is taking care of yourself giving up on him? You can love someone forever (from a distance) and still wish them well, still believe there is goodness in their heart, forgive them fully AND not be available to the hurt any more. Good luck, my dear, follow your gut.

      Lots of love,
      Jodi

  34. Kerry says:

    Last October, after a lot of thought and circumstance of the relationship I was in (separated and estranged from husband but in an intense relationship with another separated man) I took the very difficult but clearly thought out decision of ending the relationship of 8 months. For me it was the ‘right’ thing to do, I was depressed, felt that I deserved more of a commitment and in some way used and living a lie yet he had enriched my life so much I still loved him. He cried, apologied and turned around and said you’re stuck with me in your life whether you like it or not -friends. The pain was as described by many excruciating, tears, I stopped eating, a mutual friend of ours took me under his wing (I’d known him 10years vs the 5yrs I knew mr frog shall we call him). He was very concerned and kept a close eye on me, needless to say he did tell me a few things after the break up and so after about 3 weeks of self pity I then made another decision move on, move up and find yourself. December 1st that’s what I did. I reconnected with old and new friends, went to the gym, days out, then all of a sudden mr frog starts contacting me, I ignore him because I was finding myself in a better more comfortable place. More contact, I thought I am ready to reply so I did kept it short and meaningless. I return to work after 5 weeks sick and I find out we are on the same shifts, it was difficult but I stayed strong how? I chose to. More contact, coffee invitations, I declined but said thanks.

    Christmas party was my gotten over it realisation, for mr frogs think word got back about how everyone was impressed with my legs. Anyways, I’m told I have a present and whether he could see Christmas Day, not a good idea. Come Christmas Day I’m asked would I come in early so he could speak to me, I did and there he lets the bombshell. Even though I dumped him and ended the relationship he was still in love with me (to be truthful as I were with him) I was taken aback due to thinking all his contact was stalking or harassing me instead he had never wanted to let me go but didn’t realise how strongly he felt or the impact I had on his life until I was no longer there. I chose not to make a decision on this. I’m glad because I end up in hospital over new year seriously ill, nearly died of pneumonia. He visited and brought me stuff and told me that he wanted me back and regrets not fighting the hiatus.

    During my illness I reflected on the reasons why I ended the relationship and how getting back together would be – the same? Or could it be different? What has changed? What hasn’t? I’m happier without him and do not need him but I still wanted him by choice. I took the decision to rekindle and start the relationship afresh why? because he fought for me, no one ever has until now, i wanted to, my attitude had changed because it had to for myself and i accept him with his imperfections, faults and baggage, a man who admittedly is not good at relationships yet gives the relationship and you a second chance and wants it work as do I -wow.

    -Fast forward 5 months and we are steady, communicate better and are committed to our happiness as well as the welfare of each other.

    Jodi thank you for a thought provoking piece and I hope we all have the courage to do right by ourselves and be strong x

  35. Diane says:

    My feelings go out to those people who know enough is enough,but are paralyzed with fear. This fear of the unknown is holding them back from taking the steps needed to break free from their miserable relationship.

    They accept the situation they are in is intolerable, but see no way out.

  36. lady xara says:

    It is good to find this. I struggle to find relationship forums that don’t revolve around 20 year old lamenting their 1 year college/uni relationship (but I don’t mean any malice by that). I am contemplating finally leaving a 15 yr relationship. No kids, a ring (11 yrs ago) but no marriage. I am 31. Oh god, I don’t even know where to start ,it’s so complicated… OK… we were both exposed to domestic abuse growing up…he more mental/verbal towards his mother, mine more physical. He has always had serious communication issues – resorts to name callings, serious criticisms & personal attacks at this slightest perception of insult followed by days of silent treatment. He very, very rarely apologises & when it’s important enough for me to return to the topic it just reangers him & all of the nastues reiterated, no remorse. Over past 4 years he continually threatens to break up with me after fights but nothing is ever followed thru. I feel beyond pathetic that I have allowed this to happen. He finally sort of officially broke it off after strtching finances to buy a house we can barely afford requiring a lot of work…changed fb status, secretly signed up to si gles dating sites etc but then says we have to finidh the work, that I need to prove to myself & maybe him that I have motivation (um, I may as well br a tradie I work that hard on the physical stuff). So we haven’t slept in same bed since last Nov, except when parent or friends stay & he suggests ‘maintaining the illusion’, not had sex for this time either. Maybe a hug or 2 during a nasty argument (tho this is new…). My friends are all starting families & I wanted this too ( as I know he eventually wanted). Through miscommunication & carelessness on his part I fell pregnant. When I told him, it was ugly. He indicated that to keep it would be to ruin everything we had worked for etc. Asked if it was even his. Got very angry. Left me on side of road, then when finally returning, drove me to where we were temporarily staying with a friend & told me to pack bags & go. After agonising & absolutely no support I made an awful decision. To this day he maintains that somehow we were not together & I would have f***ed evrything. He does want kids, even alluded once recently after an extreme upset( where he said he can’t wait toget the f** away from me) that life is over if I wasn’t going to be the mother of his child… it’s so… as I write this it sounds insane…both what he says & does, and the fact that I am still here for some reason, all love withdrawn but a vague promise that if we finush the hous without all the emotional drama that maybe then we can put the required effort in to maybe fix the relationship…but i am so broken, ths cabln’t be right. I don’t know who I am, what is right, how to make any decisions at alo…just round & round in useless, painful circles. I know I should go, all the boundaries ilof a healthy relationship are destroyed…but….why can’t I find the clarity & certainty that I need to go, that there may still be hope to have a happy healthy relationship & family.

    • “just round & round in useless, painful circles. I know I should go, all the boundaries ilof a healthy relationship are destroyed.” Sounds clear and certain to me, ask yourself what is stopping you?
      xo
      Jodi

  37. Danielle says:

    I just broke off my engagement about a month ago and keep flip flopping on whether I am making the right decision. We had been together for 8 years and have a 2 year old child together. I also have a 13 year old to whom he has been a step-father. Looking back at our relationship I have realized that I allowed him to treat me less than I deserve. I always felt as if I was chasing him and craving his love and affection. He not only has cheated on me several times but while I was pregnant with our child so why am I still feeling as if I am not sure I made the right choice. He tells me he knows what he did wrong and that he didn’t appreciate me the way he should’ve. If I just give him one last chance he can PROVE that he will change. I feel like I have nothing left to give. I gave my entire heart throughout this relationship and wasn’t getting it back. Why do I still feel as though I owe it to him to prove he can be different? Can he change now that he says he recognizes all the wrong he did? I am also seeking a counselor to help understand why I chose a man like this and how to heal myself so that I don’t fall into this pattern again. Please help I don’t know where to turn to.

    • I hope your counseling in helping, but if not I am available! <3 You don't owe it to him to prove he can be different, he just wants you to think that. He has manipulated you to think that. I am sorry! let me know if I can help! xo Jodi

  38. Poppy says:

    This was so sad to me to read. I have been in a wonderful relationship with a guy who had commitment issues in the past. I walked away then, knowing I’d done nothing wrong, though I’d given him two second chances after he was cold. I knew he’d been through a lot and had no desire to retaliate because I knew I would take more away than he had to give. A long time went by. He contacted me again, and pursued me. He commited to therapy and promised to go to couple’s counseling in the future. He promised he would be committed to me and love me, show love in the way I receive it.
    I gave him a chance, he followed through. We fell in love and adored each other, it was a cherishing, committed and wonderful relationship. He worked on hus temper and had a few outbursts (cold, defensive, raised voice) and I held onto his promises. I cant take emotional volatility. I didn’t stop to ask why he was angry, I just shut down. He was not abusive, I just cant take it. I failed to acknowledge his progress and wanted couples counseling. He refused. It had been humiliating to him in the past. I didnt know what to do. He is an amazing person who has been hurt so many times and is closed off, but he’d been feeling better about life, us, his issues. We felt newly in love except I have problem expressing my needs as far as communication.
    He had given me the impression he was sure of me all along but when marriage came up he wanted us to get to know each other better. After a year I wanted to check in and he freaked out, ran. When he tried to make amends in a really sweet meaningful way, I lashed out this time. He immediately broke it off with me, no explanation, no communication, nothing. No grace or second chances for me. I feel stunned, devastated, confused. I loved us, so did he. I feel sorrow for hurting him. I think he made a foolish choice for both of us, but I have no say. I had no say at all, he wont speak to me at all. It was cruel and degrading. I dont know what to think. Maybe he was checking out the whole time.
    What makes me sad is, if at some point he realizes he made the wrong decision and regrets it, even though he’s returned so many times, now that this was real and not shallow dating, now will be the time he does not return. Maybe one day I will get angry but I guess I just loved him more. I dont know. It feels like a death and I could move on if not for the fact I think I hurt him. I am harder on myself than anyone in the world could ever be. :(

  39. Poppy says:

    Lady Xara, hugs. Hugs to you. You have been through so much life at only 31. I hope you will untangle yourself and run. I believe if you could be aline with yourself you would see you are far better and more loving company than what you have had for 15, or actually 31 years. You can only go up from here.

  40. JAMES says:

    I have been looking for a love spell to bring back my wife after been separated for 2years,I have tried 3 different spell caster which I paid them money and non of them was able to get my wife back and this make me look frustrated until a friend of mine direct me to Mr Ibadan who did what I called black magic I was in contact with Mr IBADAN and after 48hours my wife call me and said she want us to be together and now we are back again with my 12 years old son and there is more romance in our relationship.

  41. Lara says:

    I have been with my bf since 2004 so it’s been 9 years now. We broke up in 2008, after a horrible argument and got back together a year later. We were friends for a while before we started to dating and due to the financial situation we moved in together quickly. We spent a lot of time together. We would have arguments about things because he does not like to negotiate, if he doesn’t wanna do things then he would say you can do that but I don’t want to and I’m still gonna go do it on my own. Over time I found it easier to just let him have things way and I got used to not making much decisions. In 2008, I had to go on a business trip overseas for few days, when I was out there, I called him to check in. He had been out with his friends -he loves drinking , and binge drinks often- and he said he had meet this girl who is really cool and I should meet her sometime. Later I I found out that she came back to our place and hung out and according to my bf nothing had happened. I thought it was really disrespectful to do that while I was out of town, and I felt like he told me because there were other friends that new about the incident. Despite of “nothing happened”, I was very disappointed, and was also not happy with how our relationship was going at the time. And after few months we broke up. Since I was the one who made the decision, it was hard but I could move on. We were intertwined with our work situation so we had to see each other very often, but I could handle it ok. He started dating other girls, and even brought her to our gatherings but I was surprisingly ok. After about a year, we still saw each other with mutual friends, he could not date girls more than few weeks, and came back to me. He asked me to give it a other try, and I have realized that I still loved him, so we got back together in 2009. Since then things seemed to be a lot better, seemed like we have learned how much we love each other through this experience. But over time I still see the core issues are still there, his non-compromising, self centered perspective, communication issue and etc. we have different cultural background, my parents don’t speak English. Every year I spent holidays at his parents place. My bf does not wanna visit my family and when he does-like once a year- he sits and stars at his iPhone entire time. My parents are very understanding and say that they understand why he would be uncomfortable but it still hurts their feelings. He doesn’t even try to engage. He is not interested in my career, and passion, never remembers my big moments. When I was graduating after long years of study, he complained about having to come to the ceremony on a weekday morning, and left right afterward because he did not wanna have lunch with my family. When we got back together, we sort of had a new anniversary, but he complains that it is not even a real anniversary and it’s stupid that I care so much. So This year I did not mention anything, and he went out with his friends all weekend coming home at 4 in the morning. He thinks marriage is stupid and something that society forces people into, he had mentioned that we would marry once he is settled financially, after he buys a house, but it all seems like excuses. I started to feel like this isnt really going anywhere and I’m not really happy lately. It is really confusing because I feel that I still do love him but I’m not satisfied. When I read your blog, I resonated with ‘enough is enough’ but I still can’t decide what I wanna do. I’m turning 30 soon and I feel like I need to think about my future… Am I just having a entering 30 crisis? I’m so confused!!!

    • No, this is your intuition telling you to move onto to someone you deserve. Listen to your inner voice. He is not changing anytime soon. Better to move on now than to divorce later when things ar more complicated. xo Jodi

  42. abbii says:

    i have been reading there comments all morning and have inspired me greatly.
    i came on this looking for inspiration to help my decision on ending my 6yr relationship.
    we have three beautiful children under 6 but im far from happy and they keep me grounded. i suffer from anxiety and mental health . and he has acontrolling and manipulative attitude . which has destroyed me. i have wanted to leave for so long but i can’t bare to hurt him or take kids away from him. last night he accused me of an affair even though i don’t leave house. he says he trusts me yet turns on me in a second. i knew enough is enough. im petrified of becoming a single mum but im sure its alto better than the. situation i am in now

  43. Fuzzy says:

    I have written here twice.
    It’s been four months since I left an 8 year relationship.
    The house is sold, he’s gone – I’ve been aimlessly moving around.

    Now, I’m so stuck I can’t get up.
    Can hardly breathe.
    He’s in my thoughts late at night wondering if him and our dogs are ok.
    In the mornings, I wonder if he’s ok.

    This was all on me to make the decision and the guilt is crippling.
    Why couldn’t he leave !?

  44. Anna says:

    I kinder got someting out of reading your article – I have been in a relationship for nearly 6 months and it was good in the begining ut now im not happy and i feel sad & weepy all the time. He is depressed and almost wallows in self pity and his dragging me down – he shuts me out and i feel as thou i am banging my head against a brick wall. My heart says work it out but my head says you dont need someone who makes you unhappy – wish i knew what to do!!!

    • Listen to your head. Your heart is speaking from fear, not love. Fear that you can’t find anyone better or that you might have done something to cause him to be like this. Anna find someone else! Love yourself enough to. xo

    • Irina says:

      I’ve been through a similar situation and I broke the relationship 2 weeks ago. We have been together for 7 months, and I felt exactly the way you are feeling. I couldn’t breathe right, I couldn’t eat well, I was always sad and unsatisfied, among other things. It was really hard (still is), but was for the best :D ! You better get out of that situation while you still love and respect yourself. Best of luck!!

  45. JaT says:

    I really needed to read this post. Just two days ago I found out that while me and my boyfriend were broken up/going through a rough patch in the beginning of the year he went out, got drunk, & got his ex pregnant and the baby will be here in about two months. We’ve been together for over four years & we’ve had our share of problems that we always manage to get through. He hid this from me & his family, we all just found out. I know how much we love each other, more than anything, & we want to marry each other when we’ll be ready to take that step financially & career-wise. Deep down inside I feel like I don’t have anything to think about, I want to stay with him without a doubt, I love him purely and unconditionally. We call each other our soul mate/other half, but I don’t know if later on down the line I stay but I can’t handle this. In my heart I’ve already accepted his baby. I just can’t get over that somebody else has his child growing inside of them, somebody else forever has a piece of him, forever. I’m so hurt, so lost. Every time I wake up all I do is cry because reality comes rushing right back to me. & all I wanna do is sleep so that I can forget about all of this for a little while.

    • Jat,
      I am so sorry about all this that you are going through. Give yourself some time to get your mind around this. Don’t judge yourself. Time will help you know what to do. You don’t have to decide right now. There will be time.
      Jodi

      • JaT says:

        Jodi,
        Thanks so much for your response. Is there anything you recommend I do while I’m taking this time out to think. Should I seek professional help? I just started graduate school less than one week ago & yet I feel like the life has been sucked out of me. Even though I’m a spiritual person & I draw much strength from my spirituality I feel that my spirit has been broken in some way. I could barely bring myself to read my bible once I opened it. I am in so much pain & don’t know where to turn.

        JaT

  46. Irina says:

    I broke up my relationship 2 weeks ago. I have been thinking about it for about 2 months. And, even though I was already decided to make that move, I gave him 3 more chances. My relationship was good and then we move in together. Things started to fall apart. I’ve talked and talked with him, but things didn’t change :( . Until 2 weeks ago. I still have feelings for him, he says that he has feelings for me also, but… Too much damage has been made in my heart and my mind. I miss him, my heart is really tight, but my mind is always telling me that I made what was right. If I continued in that relationship, @ this moment, I would be crazy. I feel sad, but I feel good. What will happen in the future?? Only God can tell. Thank you for your article, it helped me very much!

  47. Irina says:

    Thank you Jodi! I will need luck… Yesterday we talked and he was so, but so down and really, really sad :( . I think he is depressed, but he doesn’t what to get professional help. He tried to come back, but I kept my word and my decision. I was his safe place, but he didn’t value that when we were together, he mistreated me, my feeling and actions. I can’t forget that, but I really do feel sorry for him… It’s hard to handle, but I will succeed!

  48. Mila says:

    I never comment on sites; somehow the vibe in here seems real warm and genuine, so I wanted to share my story. I truly love my bf of 2 years, but I wonder if that love is just friendship love now. It started out with him wanting to be with me and me not liking him, but eventually I gave in, and now we’re engaged. He’s been good to me, the supportive type, but to be honest we have very little to talk about, have opposing views on practically everything (except family and the future), and a really lame sex life. Yep, I’m in a sexless relationship and it sucks (He is *always* at home so he’s not seeing anyone elsel. This isn’t something new, that hasn’t been discussed in everyway possible: he knows full well what’s up.

    I consider myself to be strong and independent. My relationships aren’t usually like this, normally the men I see are more bohemian-type, you know, “living the moment”, have deep conversation, and so on. I’ve learned to let them come and go. But my current relationship really catches me off guard, as it seems like the “right” guy but is completely unfulfilling. I mean, it’s like we’re roomates. For a long time now, my gut has been telling me to end this, but my impulsiveness has betrayed me before… At this point, we are emotionally and financially codependent, and although I’ve asked him to leave several times in the heat of arguments, he never leaves. My family and friends are all over him so asking them for help is out of the question – he is extremely manipulative.

    I don’t know how to go about ending this as he’s locked on like a leech and it’s *my* apartment. About 8 months back I was laid off and haven’t been able to get a decent job since, so I’ve recently ventured into starting my own business. I’m stuck at that point: he supoorts me financially(borderline) and emotionally, but I just can’t stand the guy anymore. It’s hard when he’s so manipulative, passive-aggressive, possibly homosexual, and friend and family-less to boot. *sigh* What to do? I’m not evil, I don’t hate him, actually I wish him the best but I just can’t seem to get past this ugly situation.

  49. Jamie says:

    I have been with my boyfriend for about 3 years. Recently I have anxiety that he isn’t right for me. I am also unsure sometimes if I love him. This is my first serious relationship so are these doubts normal? I’m 25 and he’s 28. We have several things we both like to do but he had many interests that I’ll listen to him talk about but I’m not interested in.

    I have previously been mostly attracted to guys who are more outgoing than me since I’m shy, but he is not. He is very introverted and just has a couple friends. He treats me well, is kind, loving, smart, hardworking, and fun. He dresses sloppily which has started to bug me more recently. A lot of the anxiety had gotten worse due to living 1.5 hrs apart due to his phd program but this would just be for 8 more months… He wants to get married and I am honestly unsure at this point. Sometimes I can see us getting married and other times I think I should break up with him due to my uncertainty. In general, I am not a confident person and I have anxiety. Any advice? Is it saying something about the relationship if I’m not sure about marriage after 3 years? Or does it sometimes take a while to feel sure especially with nothing to compare it to? He knows about these doubts and is very patient with me. I just feel filthy about not knowing if I want to spend my life with him after a few years together.

  50. Laura Dane says:

    Hi,

    I stumbled across this blog when i was looking for some inspiration to go on in life. It’s an amazing effort.
    Relationships these days are so fake. I am a 22 year old and i’m already tired of all the drama. I was in a relationship with a guy for a year, who i loved dearly and thought was my soulmate. Initially he did too, until one day he just STOPPED loving me. And then everything was a downhill spiral, he kept up with lies, cheating, physical abuse and putting me down infront of my family and friends. We finally broke off a year ago. However i still cant seem to take my mind off him, it seems he is still my soulmate and i am afraid of living a life in which he does not exist even though he only hurts me.

    • I understand that feeling. Sometimes people are divinely supposed to come in our lives for us to learn something and when they go, we feel this way. Just because your souls are connected, doesn’t mean you are supposed to be together in this physical life. There will be another and your souls will also be connected and you will be meant for each other in this life.

  51. Desiree says:

    I picked up the phone and called the police because he would not leave after disrespecting me. He had moved out 9 months prior at my prompting (8 years living together) and we had gotten back together but not living together. I told him I had a zero tolerance policy for anyone disrespecting me in my home and they would be asked to leave. Whenever I attempted to set this boundary he would not leave (probably his fear of abandonment). Our relationship ended. We had many deep wonderful times together but the lack of responsibility and harmful expression of anger wore me down. Some months later, in April 2013, an event occurred that triggered my own unknown abandonment issues. I went into a deep painful traumatic episode that led me to a week long abandonment workshop in August. Just as I was beginning to understand my own abandonment issues and how they contributed to the problems in my relationship I heard the devastating news that my Former had gotten married after only 7 months of knowing his wife. I have been in terrible pain for 3 1/2 months, second guessing myself. After my workshop, I realized that my own Outer child needed taming and had I had the opportunity to practice this, the dynamics of my relationship may have changed greatly.
    But now there in zero chance to try again from a new way of living. I do have tools for recovery but the pain just continues. To make matters worse, this happened at 56 years old. My life feels bleak. I keep hanging on having Faith because that is the only thing I have left. I miss him terribly and feel that I abandoned myself. I know that this huge wound is a replica of my primal abandonment. Though I know help is not on the way from without – only from within – I still feel helpless and so sad. I don’t see any future for me. I did not see him for who he was when we were together because my Outer child was always complaining. It’s very very difficult for me to accept the finality of his marriage. We were very very close. I sent him a letter of amends and we were able to have a beautiful reconciliation in person wherein we both expressed our love for the other. I asked him for no contact for at least 3 weeks which is recommended to get over someone. It has been about 6 weeks and the pain is even worse – I do believe the holidays are triggering it. I’ve seen him twice at music clubs as we both are in that world. It is terribly difficult. Though I have the necessary tools I still feel such deep pain that I don’t see an end in sight. Thank you for reading.

  52. natalie says:

    I just left my boyfriend of 7 years because he doesnt appreciate me. I am a great mother to our 18 month old daughter I cook I clean im a vegetarian so I cook extra for him and my daughter everyday. I work weekends because during tbe week i have no sitter so i can only work several days a week…and Im going to be a full time student soon. Ive realized having a baby puts things to the side for a while but not forever and im a strong woman im not lazy…and he doesnt appreciate me or anything I do for my family or for him. I am venting because today was the last straw I cant put up with him anymore. Im not only a great mother and great girlfriend who supports him in everything and cares for him im a lover….he is in no doubt a great father the best to say the least but he doesnt pay any attention to my needs or what I want because hes so caught up in work and I cant complain about that but what am I just here waiting until he has time to be with me..and on top of not showing me love he yells because I didnt cook dinner today…idk what else to do…he tells me all these things to make me feel better but actions speak louder than words and hes not doing any action…ugh!!!! I love him unconditionally and he claims the same things but its hard to believe. .im honestly not asking for much just one day a week of alone time to be alone but I guess that is too much :(

  53. Jonathan says:

    Hi, I have been with my girlfriend for 5 months now. I month ago I got into a bad car accident and got a bad concussion and haven’t been able to see her for a month which really makes her upset. All she wants to do is see me. The doctors do not want me doing anything for another week now and I’m not allowed to drive. My mom has offered many of times to pick my girlfriend up from her house and bring her to our house to hang out or do something. My mom still hasn’t been able to really get to know her much at all she met her twice but just for a quick hi and bye. When I ask my girlfriend if she wants to hang out with me at my house for one she completely refuses and stands strong with her position but personally I still don’t understand why she doesn’t want to get to know my mom for I do not have a dad.. I have been to her house a lot and her parents know me quite well but she doesn’t want to meet my mg and uses anxiety as an excuss not to meet her..I’m lost and confused as of what to do I just want her to meet my mom so my mom is more comfortable with me hanging out with her and being with her and my mom is eager to meet her…it makes me depressed and makes me think that she doesn’t really care enough about me to meet my mom and I don’t want to feel that way at all

    • I’m sorry to hear about your car accident and concussion, and I sincerely hope you are doing better now. You mentioned that you wonder if your girlfriend is using anxiety as an excuse not to come to your house and meet your mom. A way to determine that is to observe whether or not she experiences anxiety in other situations. If so, perhaps anxiety is getting in her way here. If not, perhaps there’s something else going on. Either way, an open talk with her is important. If it’s anxiety, you can support her as she takes steps to overcome it. If it isn’t, you decide what you want a relationship to be like and whether you and she can build it.

  54. lisa says:

    I googled relationship advice and ended up on this feed, and it was an inspiring read, thank you..

    I have been in a relationship for just over 5 years, with a very private person. I run into a lot of trust issues with how private he can be..although I’m also sure he’s not hiding anything suss, he’s just very bad at sharing himself. So I’ve whinged about a few things to my close friends and family over an extended amount of time, and now everyone is on the band wagon that I’d be better off without him. I’m sure they’re sick of hearing it like Im sick of saying it… and I go from believing them and thinking I should leave.. to thinking how good he is in so many other ways.

    It’s much easier to tell your friends the bad bits, coz you need to vent… it’s harder to sit there and say how nice it is to curl up on the couch with him etc…

    Clearly I’m still in the confused stage…hoping for some clarity soon.
    I loved where you wrote “We don’t know who to blame, us or them. Add to it worry and fear about being alone, or being abandoned, or about other people judging you, and it becomes a maze to wade through.”

    • Hello, Lisa. Jodi is no longer writing the Anxiety-Schamanxiety blog, but I’m sure she’d be very pleased to know that you were inspired by her article. Relationships are complex and can be confusing. Keep paying attention to what you think and what you feel, and you’ll lead yourself where you need to go.

  55. Joan says:

    Hi, I have been in a relationship fpr almost 4 year. Pretty early on in our relationship I made it clear that my goal was for us to eventually move in together. My boyfriend and I live one hour apart and mainly see eachother on the weekends. I have 2 children one in college and a 15 year old son in college. My boyfriend have a 11 year old son who lives with him part time as well as his 83 year old mother loving with him. We have seen a therapist because he appear reluctent to moving in together. The therapist suspect that my boyfriend is struggling with an anxiety disorder of some kind. Recently my boyfriend chose to stop our therapy sessions temporarily which was very upsetting to me. The therapist states that he worries about what potentially could go wrong of we live together. We are very compatible and love eachother very much but staying in a long distance relationship is very difficult for me. I have offered that my son and I relocate to live with my boyfriend this coming summer. I feel it would be a good desiscions for everybody involved. My son and I would obiously need to adjust to loving in a new city. My questions is should I encourage the my boyfriend begin anxiety medication as suggested by the therapist or should I end the relationship. I am very torn but I do not want to be to pushy. How do you know how much to encourage someone to begin medication or when to let go if the appear reluctant to begin medication? The therapist believe that his anxiety is something he is born with so this is all he knows.

    • It sounds like you care about your boyfriend a great deal. Helping a loved one through anxiety is challenging, but it’s important for both of you individually as well as the quality of the relationship. You wonder about pushing him to take medication. Often times, forcing treatment on someone living with anxiety isn’t helpful and can even worsen the anxiety. Simply listening, and it can take patience and support to help someone open up, can help you both understand the anxiety and the way to work through it positively.

  56. Darlene says:

    I am in a relationsship with a man who is the most unhappiest man I have ever met. He wasn’t always that way but it is starting to affect my life very much. He is so miserable. He self medicates him self with alcohol. I feel as though I can’t stay with this man any more. I am a strong and positive woman,, I have had to deal with some terrible things in my life and I fought it to stay positive and to not get sick. does anyone have a comment about this. It’s hard to hurt some one and hard to leave but I deserve better.

  57. julie says:

    hi i have been with my boyfriend for 6 years, i was 18 when we first got together. i have noticed that recently he isms as caring anymore, he would still call me and talk to me but not really asking about my day or show any interset at all. this isn’t the 1st time we have this problem but he normally apologies and promise to fix things but this time he told me that he doesn’t not see a furture in us anymore! i want to tryeeverything before we give up but i’m not sure if this is the right thing to do

  58. Sharon says:

    I have recently ended a relationship that I kept putting off thinking things would change. It was a tough decision as I knew that there would be no way of going back. Reading this article I can see that I was accepting conditions in the relationship that I should never have accepted. Unconditional love is one thing but having to compromise on your values to give someone else all that they want is not how to have a happy and healthy relationship. I have made this mistake in both my previous relationships learning to love and respect myself first. I know now to make my boundaries clear at the beginning of a relationship and have them respected. I have a tendency to want to be liked and by doing so have let people walk all over me. But this is changing with the next relationship, I have made that promise to myself.

    • Hi Sharon,
      It sounds like you are doing a lot of reflection and making changes to work toward the person you want to be and to create the types of relationships you want to have. This can be a difficult process because change can be hard, but it’s very possible to grow into what you want to become. Keep at it!

  59. marie-rae says:

    10 months ago my partner started feel deppressed. We had a joint benefits claim, although both in study. Partner studying computer animation from home, me in college. I have 10 yr old twin girls from a previous relationship and my partner and my self have a 1 yr old boy. We’ve been together just over 4 years . Like i said, 10 months ago he started feeling down, he started sleeping more on sofa, on the pc all night and going out to his friends a lot… communications broke down n we argued all the time, in the first moth of all this he’d broken up with me, he was struggling. sleeping and we he did he wouldn’t get up, he started staying out a lot, he had a mental breakdown, they stopped his benefits, so i started claiming alone, still going college. About a month later I foubd out he’d been cheating, all those night on pc he’d been chatting to her. even tho we had split I confronted him, he admitted everything but refused t stop seeing her. I put up with this for a month… then told him he couldn’t stay if her kept seeing her, he refused, i kicked him out, he stayed at his mums one night but returned next day saying he wanted t stay here… he looks really low and ashamed so I let him…. o made him go docs t get treatment, he was pescribed antidepressants. So living on my single persons benefits, while at college and with 3 kids I let him stay. He stopped his meds 2 weeks after starting them…. he also stopped doing his course n just sat round the house:…8 months after everything went wrong we started t fix our relationship and start the forgiving proccess… which I found really hard, he gave up his moblie phone to make me feel more secure n he hardly leaves house….10 months later … all he does is sit round house, says I’m nagging wen im tryin t motivate him and I’m still supporting him on my single benefit, while tryin to study for exams coming up at college. I’m 31 yrs old n feel bogged down by all this, he won’t go doctors n says he’ll deal with this his own way… I’m struggling as it is with money … is this just his deppression… i resent him for putting me in this position…. don’t know wht t do for best…. can I turn him around or do I walk away….. before all this he has always been a well motivated person and full of life. He says he’s thoughly ashamed of how he’s hurt me n loves me so much… he’s my everything…. its 3:45am, all this keeps me up most nights, its a situation I thort we’d never be in….we were so close :(

    • Hi Marie-Rae,

      Jodi (the author of this post) is no longer writing the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog so she is unable to answer comments. I’m Tanya, one of the new writers of the column. It’s difficult to answer your question about whether your partner’s behavior is just his depression without knowing him. It does sound like depression is definitely a factor. It is important to consider his mental health, but it is vital to consider your own mental health as well (and of course that of your children). How would you like to be treated, what relationship style would you like to model for your kids, and what would make a good life for you? The next question is how this man fits into the answers you just gave yourself. Good luck to you as you go forward.

  60. Zrt says:

    Hi, I’ve read through some of the posts, and I must say it is really hard to make a decision to leave.

    Last night I devised to end my relationship. We have not been together for long, but our personalities are soo strong that it is impossible to enjoy each other’s company. Well, I know it was the right decision, but I am overwhelmingly sad today cause I realized that I also do not have any close friends. He was my friend for this time, and I guess if it wasn’t for him I would have been utterly lonely… But now I have to face the music

    • Hi Zrt,
      Making a decision like this is, as you know, very difficult. Good for you for having the courage to consider what is right for you and to see it through. You can now start reaching out and developing new friendships. While daunting at first, you can slowly seek out people similar to you and form new connections. Good luck to you.

  61. Mo says:

    jodi, your message has given me a small chink of hope in a very dark place. we don’t deserve to be miserable and unhappy, but what if we are the cause ofthatmisery and unhappiness. if you are useless and worthless. I have felt lonely most of my life and am currently in a second damaging marriage, but can see no way out. I w ish I could find the clarity you speak of, but at this time I see myself as having made my bed I have to lie in it, miserable or not.
    M

    • Gabe Howard says:

      Hello, Mo – There is a thin line between taking responsibility for your situation and suffering needlessly. Where you are on the spectrum is for you to decide. I do know that we get one shot at this life and we all, no matter what decisions we’ve made in the past, deserve a healthy, hopeful, and happy future. I sincerely wish the best for you and thank you for reading and commenting. ~Gabe

  62. TheWomanWhoHasHadEnough says:

    I write this with the upmost respect toward my ex even though I truly doubt he will see this, but I’m a college senior who has been through HELL and High water with a guy. I mean if you knew us you would’ve thought we were married. I met him when I was 17 and we worked together at a town store. He pursued me for a few years before I gave him a chance and when I finally did it felt right. We dated and I knew he was meant for me, even to this day I still know it in my heart. I just know that God is real and when you play with fire, you eventually get hurt. I (am) was a full time college student working two jobs, taking care of him and I and he was a good man readers, don’t get me wrong, but the world can change a person. When I went off to college he actually got another girl pregnant. Something that truly cut deep, and even then we still found our way back toward one another. We actually ended up being together for close to 4 years. This guy was my best friend. But love doesn’t hurt every day. He couldn’t respect me enough to appreciate that when he had problems with his first car I compensated for the repairs, I gave him love on so many levels, I was there when he lost his job, I was there when he had absolutely nothing to his name, when the child support started increasing thousands of dollars and he couldn’t afford it, he was taken away from me on several accounts, NEVER UNDERSTANDING how he made me feel, being a student, working way too many hours just to make sure I could hold on to everything we had once built and it felt like it all was getting taken away from us. Imagine being the one to hold everything down for so long and now you’re slowly losing it all and you have nothing left to show for it. Times where I was sick, nose bleeds and severe fevers and pains he would leave me and disrespect me, leaving me in the house to be with other “college girls”. SO MANY TIMES I have had to deal with the disrespect of his family. His mother lying, disrespecting me and him not once being man enough to stand up for me. No I wasnt his wife, but I was his best friend when he had nothing. Even when he was too stupid to believe in himself I believed in him, but one thing I learned, You have to love yourself so much more than others say or tell you that they love you. Youre first! That only changes circumstantially. Some people don’t deserve you. I went back to this man on so many different occasions. He played with my life on 2 occasions where I thank God everyday because he kept me. It’s crazy… because even to this day I love him but I have not one word to say as of now. How dare he belittle me? After I did all I could for him, took care of his children, as well as him, helped his family, strived to go through all of this and more and now I’m so close to graduation, it’s actually 23 days away. I want him to be there because I have a hard time cutting my soul tie, but when I tell you God is awesome… He can deliver you from pain, heart break and depression. It is extremely hard, but it helps to pray and when you pray you need to have faith no matter what you’re asking for. Truthfully you know if a person is meant for you… TRUST ME. Its not rocket science and it’s not hard to figure out. As women we nurture our pain and give ourselves no time to heal because we dwell instead of deal. It’s so much better when we love ourself. I had to look in the mirror and say it’s either life or death, me or him, it’s either tears or laughs and that’s the honest truth. Why waist my life when all I did was do the Godly thing and love? I love(d) him so much, so good, too well. I never deserved it and if you really think about it neither did you. He didn’t physically abuse me, but emotionally he did… he told me no one else wanted me and if they did only because of my body… it’s not a compliment, it’s a hurtful statement because I’m so much more than that and so are you. You have a heart… and as long as you have it you can find love, you can be happy, you can cry, you can rejoice and you definitely can be loved and fall in love. It is great when you stop worrying, it is better when you let things work themselves out. In my situation I still pray for him strongly, but I do not believe in any sense that he is the one any more like I used to believe.. and only he can change that. Please don’t beat yourself up. FAITH OF A MUSTARD SEED CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS. Things change, and change is good. It’s okay to let go and let God and Let yourself as well. Know that you are special, you are special, you are so special! You are the most fantastic woman on this earth and never let anyone or anything make you feel any less. EASIER DONE THAN SAID (because I truly believe in things getting easier when you believe) Just take it day by day and prayer by prayer! IT GETS SO MUCH BETTER. Life is awesome you just gotta get out here and enjoy it, where make up, paint your nails, do your hair, shop, dress up, GO TO CHURCH DRESSED TO IMPRESS, get your nails done, your hair done, love yourself, date yourself, talk to God more than anyone, your purity, your love and your clean heart does come back. It’ll be awesome I PROMISE YOU!

  63. Teresa says:

    Hello I’ve been reading almost every comment here and it is good to know that we are not alone in this kind of decisions. I’m currently in an almost 2 year relationship I changed everything to be able to be with him I moved from my country and came to live to his because everything was great. But that just lasted a few months now he seems not that interested in the relationship anymore. We’ve talked about marriage and future but now he says he doesn’t know anymore. I’m just here for him but I’m really questioning myself if I should leave him and go back to my country. This has been very hard and I’m still in the process of making a decision. My greatest fear is making the wrong decision and I guess that’s why I haven’t done anything. I’m a believer of making things work with love and commitment and he says everything is ok but something inside me tells me that’s not right.

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  65. Johnc900 says:

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  66. Christopher Michael says:

    I can relate.
    I had to figure all this out by myself as well and yes it was a hell unto itself.
    But I AM still here, standing stronger than I was before armed with the knowledge of and deep keen insights into people.
    Liars, all of them, mostly to themselves… and we all do it to ourselves.
    Know your path.
    Dream your dreams and make them real.
    There is somebody out there for everybody.
    Find them.
    Be whole and always come clean – shoot straight.
    They don’t jive = move on.
    Just be careful – diseases kill you dead.
    Trust cautiously.
    Protect your investments – especially your heart.
    Tolerate no trespass – and send a message.
    The Right ‘One” WILL find you eventually – when they are supposed to… don’t force the issue.
    Live your life and live right – we all know the difference.
    Dump the excuses and lies.
    Cheating is cheating.
    Cycles repeat.
    It’s the thrill.
    Move on.
    It’s obviously not right.
    No winners, no losers.
    Just happy shared times and life goes on.
    No rights, no wrongs… just acceptance and New Days EVERY Day.
    The Sun comes up, the moon goes down, life goes on… DON’T BE SCARED – OF BEING SCARED!
    find the thrill in and of living again – think and plot your chances of success.
    One will not succeed unless one tries.

    Best of Luck to ALL of YOU out there in this great big world. It’s hard, I know, please believe me, as you also know.

    The best way to put it is conduct interviews for your mate so that you may better your chances of happiness. We may want somebody that just isn’t right for us in the long haul. Be open, be human, be up front, be real. Don’t lie. Be mature. Know when enough is enough and when it if so comes time… break apart well… but don’t drag it out.

    Move on.
    Live.
    Laugh.
    Find enjoyment in life – there is something you’ve always wanted to do – SO DO IT!
    Do not be fearful – not trying you will fail.
    And don’t worry if they don’t feel the same.
    At least you know and didn’t “waste” your time – as long as you know, and learn.

    Go your own way.

    I AM! ” )

    Saint

  67. Collins says:

    Hi everyone i’m Collins and i need help on getting back my ex.
    We got into a fight few weeks back now and i wish she can see how sorry i am now.
    I love her so much and i know she still loves me and i know she still cares, otherwise she wont be replying my text and knowing how i’m doing. But right now it seems like she is still confuse of her decision to breakup with me or give me a second chance. I need help not until i saw post of how a Dr has help a lot of people having issues like mine, though i have been hearing a lot about this spell caster and I hope that it he would be able to do something about bringing Lily back home cause i’m nobody without her.

  68. storify.com says:

    Remarquable article, pérennise de cette façon

  69. justin_b says:

    I am going through something similar. 6 months ago I was hurt at work and have been off since than. Dealing with depression and the financial stress of my disability being unreliable in when I get my money has definitely made things allot harder on me. I went through a period of 4 years where I abused opiates, and went through allot of ups and downs to get clean which I have a little over 3 years. The problem is my girlfriend is dealing with horrible depression and anxiety she doesn’t want to see a therapist, she doesn’t want to look for a job, or rarely go out and do anything. She is 26 and I’m 30. I am struggling with what I know is right but stuck in so much fear and anxiety of letting go its horrible and it eats me up inside, I’m trying to look at the long run, and knowing that it’s going to be allot of struggle and hard work to deal with the issues she has including my own. I love the girl and we relate so much, but I’m torn between doing what I have to so I don’t end up at the bottom again and struggling with letting this go because I am emotional and feel weak, it’s like one part of me wants to stay and ignores all the truth inside of me, making me feel sorry, lonely, abandoned, and all the other types of emotions that go along w those. I have always been weak and emotional for a guy and it just sucks I cant stick to my true feelings of knowing what the right thing to do is. Thanks for listening

  70. Hola! I’ve been reading your weblog for some time now and
    finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Tx!
    Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!

  71. brown eyes says:

    I am 32 years. I Have been with my husband for almost 12 years. He has cheated on me blatantly 7 years ago by having the affair in our home while I was gone. He is 45 years old. I thought maybe it was a midlife crisis that requires time and patience. I decided to stay with him. Recently I left for almost 6 months and while not having sex I was shown physical contact by another guy. I just wanted to be held as my husband had not shown me any intimacy for atleast 6 months. Now I go and do this. I feel we are done. I think he will never forgive me. Also he has me leave the house for 3-4 hrs. I can’t just go into another room and remain quiet. And he had an affair on his first wife. Is this marriage done. Plus over the phone he said he has lost some love for me. And right before I left for 5 months he said he’s not happy. What should I do. I feel as if I am stifled and I want to make the right decision for both of us. Please help me!

    • Gabe Howard says:

      Hello Brown Eyes – Thank you for reading and commenting. Of course there are no easy answers. We all wish that there were. The decision is yours to make and I truly wish you the best.

  72. A~ says:

    I read most of these posts and silently cheered for everyone taking a positive action in their lives.

    But what if there are kids involved? My marriage was over before it began but I stayed and now we have two young children. My husband takes no interest in them and only ever yells at my toddler. When he’s home, he stays in our room or walks around with headphones on, distracted. He doesn’t help around the house and always has an excuse for why he isn’t. He’s very selfish, irresponsible, spends money on material things before worrying about bills and necessities. He goes out with friends all the time for hours on end and never lets me know what’s going on, even though I’ve asked. I never go out and if I do, he has to be there. If his behavior upsets me and I bring it up he always knows how to spin it to make me feel bad. He won’t seek counseling with me, which was one of the agreements we made when he came back from a few months separation. I feel guilty saying that I was happier apart from him. But I want to do what’s best for my girls and felt bad that they didn’t see him as much so I took him back. My husband is happy settling in this marriage, and why wouldn’t he be when he does whatever he damn well pleases. That and he can’t live without a relationship.

    I just don’t want to compromise the happiness of my children. But in the process, I’m miserable.

    • Gabe Howard says:

      Hello A~

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Children certainly do add another wrinkle to an already complicated situation. In general children are very perceptive and if the parents are miserable, they tend to be miserable. Nothing in life is easy but it is something to consider. Divorced parents that are HAPPY may be better than married parents that are UNHAPPY.

  73. Casey Becker says:

    I am in a similar situation right now. I am with my boyfriend of almost 2 years and quit honestly I am very unhappy. When we first started dating he came across as an extremely nice, and caring person. As the months progressed his true side started to show. He’s insecure, petty, immature, and just all around shitty towards other people. He lacks a lot of compassion for others and he is very, very selfish. Now don’t get me wrong…I am not perfect! I do have flaws but I noticed that all my flaws became a daily thing for me after being with this guy. I find that I have turned into an extremely negative person. The funny thing is….he says that I’m naturally negative and I’m the one that brings him down.

    I do love him but I do not know what to do anymore. Any advise guys? (I haven’t even typed half the story here so if you need more information about my situation to give me some solid advice I’ll be more than happy to post more. I am being as honest as possible because I really do need some sound advice at this point).

  74. C- says:

    My bf and I have been dating for almost 3 years now. He was great when we first started dating but now it’s getting rocky. We didn’t fight at first, but it’s getting more constant. I was into going to the local pubs and bars for the first year with him, then I just seemed to go through a phase. I grew out if drinking but he continued to just hit the liquor. It’s getting to the point where it’s out of control and he is hiding it from me. He stays at a coworkers hour after work, whom drinks too , and then comes home smelling of booze. I’m fed up and wanting to leave everyday. I’m scared because I don’t know what to do once I leave. I saw my dr because I feel like I’m losing control and he told me to take care of the situation. How do I leave?!

    • Gabe Howard says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Choosing to leave and making a plan to leave are very difficult things. I know that it will be hard but if you are miserable in the present, then moving on will allow you a chance at making a happier future. Be well, Gabe

  75. Julie B. says:

    I’m so glad I found this. It has been 2 months since I left my boyfriend of 3 years. We fought constantly, he made me cry a lot (and would just get mad for me crying), he was emotionally abusive and borderline physically abusive. Leaving him was the hardest thing I have ever done. I still miss him so much and want to go back. I thought I was making the right decision at the time, but it just hurts so much that I don’t know anymore. I almost wish I never did leave. (Everyone is glad I did though). It just don’t know if I will ever get over him. It makes me feel better to read other stories though to know I’m not alone.

  76. Sac Lady says:

    I’ve been separated for 4-1/2 years and finalizing my divorce. Had dated a divorced guy for over 2 years when this year he went on 2 vacations with his ex-wife and grown daughters–sharing the same hotel room/bed. He said it was for the sake of the “kids.”
    He also said he hadn’t decided on pursuing a serious relationship.
    I thought we had feelings for each other–but the vacation situation made me very insecure. My intuition says he still has emotional attachments to the ex. What’s more, I never got to meet his extended family or his daughters. I knew it was enough when the hurt feelings bothered me everyday. I decided it’s time to step away & he can figure out his exact ties with his ex-wife–I told him as much.We both experienced sadness but his indecision was itself a decision for both of us.

  77. Krystal says:

    Hi ive been in a relationship with my paryner for almost 4years we have 2 children. Latley i have been feeling so down and angry nd start thinkong things. I dont know what ro do. Wen were happy were happy as but latley we have just been argueing and fighting sooo much he puts me down alot and says im useless and dumb and a cunt a bitchh sorry for my language and it hurts and makes me feel worse i love him and he does.me sometimes hed apologise and says he jst said tht bcoz he was angry. Im usually the happiest person yud ever meet but lately ive been sooo down hes only jst started helping me with our 2yr old and our 4month old. He expects me to have food cooked for him the house spotless clothes washed plus do both of our kids its hard doing things on my own and having no support from family or friends as we live in a new country now so i have no one. Im 21yrs old. He has hit me a few times he has an anger issue due to growing up around his father being this way i dont know what to so coz i do love him but lately it just hurts my heart sooo bad i feel like im starting to close myself off and hoing into a depressed stat ive trief for so long to make things work in our relationship.bt now feel like giving up plz help i dnt know what to do. He hasnt hit me again but still wen angry puts me down

    • Gabe Howard says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Please take care of yourself, and your children. Violence is never OK. He has no right to hit you. Please consider contacting the domestic violence hotline at: 1-800-799-7233.

  78. Jessica Duyag says:

    5 hope sooner or later i can move on and forget the past. Till the day im ready to fall inlove again

  79. Jessica Duyag says:

    i hope i can apply it to myself. till the day i can say that im ready to fall in love again

  80. Ken in CT says:

    I’m a 56 y/o man living in CT, and have been married for 25 years (2 previous marriages – I left both). My wife has always been lazy – not wanting to work for her keep. Over the years things have deteriorated to where she no longer cleans and hardly ever cooks (On-Cor is NOT cooking – I can heat a can of beans myself!) We haven’t had sex in about 5 years. She blames it on her health, but REFUSES to do anything to improve that. (Diagnosed with COPD 6 years ago – still smokes 1-1/2 packs a day.) However, she NEEDS me to buy all kinds of things for her – cigarettes, medication, personal items, etc. We are now in foreclosure because of her financial dependence. Having walked away from 2 previous marriages that we not satisfactory for me, I’m in no rush to do it again. So the question remains…when is enough enough?

  81. sarah says:

    So ive been in my marriage now for 7 years. I have to kids with this man, i have been unfaithful, for reasons of uncertainty. I do love my husband but im not sure if im in love with him. I feel like he menipulates me. I have opened up with him and told him the truth about me cheating. He was more rational than i thought he would have been. There is a 26 year age difference between the two of us. I am 25 and he is now 51. I feel like ive married my father. He treats me like a child and controls every aspect of my life. I have told him i want a divorce and ecery time he begs me not to leave him. He works up tears amd then proceeds to tell my son that i dont love his dad and that i want to take my kids from him. So that makes me feel bad and so i stay. Ive went and got divorce papers and he found them and then he snuck my kids birth certificates so he could take my kids from me. I have a full time job ,i dont make much money but i am able to provide my kids with whatever they need. He doesnt trust me which i dont blame him but when it comes to me leaving the house he always has to go with me. Even if its down the street to the store. I cant go grocery shopping or even walmart with out him. Not even to my own mothers house. Im at my wits end and i can’t take it anymore. What do i do. I need help.

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