Home > Abusive relationships, Marriage, relationships > 12 Signs You Should Break Up With Your Girlfriend or Boyfriend or Spouse

12 Signs You Should Break Up With Your Girlfriend or Boyfriend or Spouse

Breaking up is never easy (especially if it’s not your decision), but oftentimes it is necessary. Perhaps it’s a matter of growing apart or falling out of love. Perhaps one or both of you just aren’t into each other anymore. In extreme cases, perhaps the relationship has become emotionally and/or physically abusive, alternating between cold, sullen resentment and overt hostility.

People stay in unsatisfying and/or toxic relationships for a variety of reasons: fear of being alone, fear of change, the comfort of forked-heartthe familiar vs. the fear of the unknown, financial reasons, children, religious beliefs, etc. We tell ourselves it’s not that bad or things will get better as a reason (i.e., excuse) not to make a difficult, but positive change. Unhappiness in your primary relationship affects every area of your life—physical and mental health, career and other relationships.

Below are some strong signs that it’s time to end your current relationship:

1.    If you’ve been hurt physically.
Ignore excuses and apologies; if violence has surfaced, it will surface again. Get out at the very first strike. This goes for men, too. If your partner, pushes, kicks, shoves or slaps you and/or throw things at you; GET OUT. Physical violence isn’t acceptable from either sex.

2.    When you’re totally incompatible.
If your partner’s dream is to travel the road as a wandering musician and you’re a city person with ambitions, one or both of you will probably be unhappy if you stay together. Relationships have a better chance at being successful with people whom we share similar values and goals.

3.    When he or she isn’t even close to your fantasy.
You may be tempted to stay with someone just because they’re available and willing, but this is generally a bad idea. There should be some chemistry in order to have a successful future.

4.    When he or she just can’t say I love you.
Even if there’s chemistry, if someone can’t express their love for you with affectionate gestures, nurturing, and the words “I love you,” you’ll never really feel satisfied with them.

5.    When he or she just isn’t there for you.
If you’ve been together a while and can’t count on him or her to come get you if your car breaks down, or to attend family or work events, then you don’t have a solid relationship.

6.    When you’re afraid to express yourself.
Being in love should bring out the best in you. It should help you to be less self-conscious and make you more open and alive. If you feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time because your partner is emotionally volatile and verbally abusive, it’s probably a sign that this is not the right relationship for you.

7.    When your self-esteem is suffering.
If your relationship is demeaning, makes you feel bad about yourself, leaves you feeling like you’re not heard, and you’re getting more criticism than praise, then it’s time to end it. A good relationship makes you feel respected and loved, worthwhile and good about yourself.

8.    When he or she is a philanderer.
Serial philanderers usually have a pattern of behavior. If you discover your mate has that kind of history, don’t believe “never again.” The heartache and torment will never end.

9.    When he or she commits an unforgivable act.
There are single acts so horrid that they should mean the END. If he or she sleeps with your best friend, is disrespectful to your family, consistently criticizes and undermines you, stands you up at the altar, or commits murder, end the relationship with no second chances.

10.    When the same problems recur again and again.
Loving someone doesn’t always guarantee you can spend the rest of your lives together. If you’ve broken up and reunited and you’re still having the same fights, the same problems or different versions of the same problem, especially if you’ve tried relationship counseling, it’s probably best to end the relationship. Saying, “things will be better” and actually making things better by changing attitudes and behaviors aren’t the same thing. The former is lip service and mollification; the latter is growth.

11.    When he or she says, “I need some space.”
The relationship seems to have stalled and your partner says something like, “I want time,” or “I want space,” or “I think we should see other people,” or “I need to devote myself to my career.” Almost always, what he or she means is “I want out.” These things happen, don’t drag it out. You might say, “Sounds like you want to break up. I’m sorry you feel that way, but I understand. I hope we can remain friends.”

12.    When the relationship just doesn’t progress.
Relationships have a natural progression. If you’re not progressing and you can’t pinpoint the cause, you might want to try couple’s counseling. However, if he or she won’t go, or goes but doesn’t think there’s a problem or can’t see his or her role in the problem, and/or uses counseling to blame and trash you while exonerating him- or herself, the relationship is coming to an end.

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Private Consultation and Coaching

I provide confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. My practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit Services and Products for professional inquiries.


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Forked Heart by Barsho on flickr.

  1. Free at Last
    May 4, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Bill, you described three important things here: [1] the violence, rage, jealousy and control are not good for you, [2] you seem to be sacrificing your own life and happiness for her sake, and [3] she is clearly not fit for motherhood. I think you’ll soon find that her “bad” side will become more frequent and her “good” side will fade away (which is what happened with my previous 18-month relationship). Since marriage and a family is hopeless with her, I would strongly suggest ending the relationship quickly. Try to get her into therapy first so that she does not have to depend on you for emotional support, and the therapist will help her stay out of depression. That’s not your job.

    You have to learn to “open yourself up” if you ever want to really love someone. You have to trust and allow yourself to be vulnerable – which you cannot do if you’re always worrying about triggering an episode of violent rage. In my previous relationship, I found myself “closing up” more and more as the months went by, and guess what: my desire for sex with her dropped to basically zero (which, of course, causes more problems). That’s what happens when you have a crazy girlfriend.

    Get over this relationship; you’re worrying about finding a “soul mate” but you’re stuck at the opposite end of the spectrum right now!

  2. Bill
    May 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Dear Shrink4men,

    I have been in a relationship with this girl for a little over a year. She is kind, giving, a wonderful person, who is supportive, trustworthy, devoted, and an all around great person. The problem is that she is extremely insecure with our relationship, she is insanely jealous, and tries to be controlling. She gets into these fits of rage where she threatens to kill herself, she has hit me on numerous occasions, destroyed my personal property as well as her own in her fits of rage. I know she has some issues from her past that are likely the root of her rage, so I try to help her by being understanding and helping her come to her senses. My biggest problem is that I have never really felt “in love.” In the beginning I feel like i got myself into this mode of the protector where I felt like she didn’t deserve to be hurt anymore, so I would stay with her because she has all of these other fantastic qualities. I thought just because I didn’t feel this passion for her, made me shallow and that I would be throwing away a good thing. We don’t match up sexually because I just don’t have that strong of a desire to have sex with her, but she has a huge sex drive and that often leads us into fights. My biggest fear is to leave her and then she hurts herself or falls into a deep depression. She is a very fragile person and she is at that stage where she wants to be married and start a family and she feels like her biological clock is ticking. I don’t know if I could ever marry her and I don’t know if I just don’t open myself up to be in love with someone. I had similar issues with my last relationship which lasted for 4 years. Maybe I am the problem. I have no idea what to do, I think in my heart I want to break up, but I can’t stand the thought of breaking her heart and I also feel like there would be a big loss in my life to no longer have her apart of my life. I was never sure if I was “in love” in my last relationship. I don’t know how to know if you are “in love” and I don’t want to be that lonely person who spends the rest of their life searching for my “soul mate” that doesn’t even exist. Please help me.

  3. Krystel
    April 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    What about if he has a daughter with another woman but they broke up before i came in the picture..his exgf beats him up when she realized that he has a new relationship… But he really wants to be there for the baby..is it okay to get back with his exgf just for the sake of their kid?

  4. Free at Last
    • Tay
      May 1, 2011 at 9:57 am

      Hey Free at Last,

      It actually turned out to her leaving because she couldn’t “deal” with me spending time with friends and myself. So I guess i’m indeed free at last ^_^
      Still feel horrible though, this loneliness is rather energy draining really. But thank you so much for the supportive words and help, really means alot! Hope everything is okay with you as well.

      Thanks again, you’re a star!


      • Free at Last
        May 1, 2011 at 11:16 pm

        Hi Tay… congratulations upon finally getting out of that sick relationship. I’m not at all surprised about “her leaving you” — even though I moved out of my own volition, my ex told everyone that she kicked me out of her house. These people are often control freaks, and need to make it look like they’re always in control. It’s just great that you got out of it in the early stages.

        I understand how horrible you feel — for me, it’s been over two months since I left, and I still have incredibly low energy. It’s not only the loneliness, it’s also knowing that you’ve done your very, very best to make someone happy and got screwed for it instead of appreciated. The other day, I went through my receipts for 2010 and concluded that I had spent $22,000 trying to make my ex happy. No wonder I’m broke.

        Tay, be kind to yourself for the next couple of months, and always remember that a relationship has to work well for both of you. It has to be a win-win situation, where both of you are better off by being together. You and I have both recently been in win-lose relationships where we were the losers. Let’s make sure that we both learn from that, and never again get involved in such a painful relationship. Myself, I’ve memorized all of Dr T’s warning signs, and I have pledged to eject anyone who displays them from my life, no matter how attractive they might seem to be.

        I do have some good news for you. After two months of no contact, last night I picked up my guitar, and to my utter amazement, found that I could play effortlessly again. After seven years of music lessons as a child, I finally learned that music flows from the soul to the fingers and the instrument. My ex managed to destroy my soul, and thus I lost the ability to play. But it’s finally come back, and I think I’m really back on the road to healing. I sincerely hope that you will heal quickly also.

        I’ve subscribed to this thread, so please post if you’re having any difficulties, and I’ll be more than happy to help guide you based on my own experiences. Take good care my friend, and plan something nice for your mom for Mother’s Day next weekend. My very best wishes to you.

        • Tay
          May 17, 2011 at 9:15 am

          She contacted me through mail the other day.. saying that she went to her ex’s house and talked about everything about me and stuff like that and i just dont know how to deal with that, it feels like my life just got shattered even more without any reason.. why do i feel so insanely alone all of a sudden and why this fear of never finding anyone else? I just dont know what to do :(

  5. Free at Last
    April 20, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Tay :
    How do you breakup and leave someone like this when you know everything she does is wrong and it makes you hurt, but yet you’re an idiot and stays for some reason i cant even say…
    How do i leave… I dont think im strong enough or something, as i just cant get myself to just go. So my questions is, how did you do it? how did you manage to leave?

    Tay, I left the day before Valentine’s Day. I just couldn’t stand my own hypocrisy any more. To the outside world, we were the perfect suburban couple, but privately my life was pure hell. And I was supposed to do something nice for her the next day and show my love and appreciation and gratitude? I just couldn’t do it, so I left.

    The other important thing is that she very slowly put the screws to me after I moved in. I kept brushing it off (“she’s just having a bad day” or “just being emotional”). I kept thinking that her fits of rage were just a on-time thing or that I must have triggered it by doing something to offend her. I kept hoping that the woman I met would return. But after a whole year, the tantrums always became worse and more frequent and I finally realized that the woman I had fallen in love with was not the woman I was living with.

    After discovering Dr T’s site a month later, I understood that the woman I had fallen in love with was just a fake image that she had invented for herself to lure people like us into an abusive relationship. So don’t feel like an idiot; these women are Olympic-class experts at fooling smart people. My ex’s previous husband was a high-ranking executive with a six-figure salary; definitely not an idiot, and he got roped in just like you and I did.

    Tay, I think if you come to these realizations yourself, you’ll see that you’re in a bad relationship by your own choice. You’re young, you’re not married, you don’t have children, you don’t have a house and a mortgage together… you may find that it’s actually quite easy to leave. For me, it was simply the only thing I could do to preserve what little was left of my sanity.

    I also recommend a couple of Dr T’s articles that are highly relevant to your situation, <a href="https://shrink4men.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/how-emotionally-abusive-women-control-you-the-fear-of-loss-and-the-need-for-approval/&quot; How Emotionally Abusive Women Control You: The Fear of Loss and the Need for Approval (July 27, 2009), and href=”https://shrink4men.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/10-lies-men-tell-themselves-in-order-to-stay-in-emotionally-abusive-relationships-with-their-wives-or-girlfriends/” 10 Lies Men Tell Themselves In Order to Stay in Emotionally Abusive Relationships with their Wives or Girlfriends (August 10, 2009). These might help you understand why you don’t want to “make the jump.” One of the most inspiring things Dr T says in the latter article is “If you have the strength to survive in this relationship, you also have the strength to end it, whether you realize it or not.”

  6. Free at Last
    April 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    A few hours ago, I posted a response to Tay’s predicament above, in which I stated that “Love is about intense mutual respect and the joy of having found someone with which everything is easy.” When I wrote that, it just came from my heart, and while preparing supper I found myself wondering why I had written those words. This comment posting is an attempt to explain what I wrote.

    I’m an engineer, and ten years ago, the company I was working for sent me to New Orleans to prepare a product demo for an upcoming trade show. For those of you unfamiliar with industry trade shows, let’s just say that there’s a specific date at which 20,000 people will arrive to see your stuff, so failure is not an option and excuses are completely irrelevant. It’s not a Cluster B environment.

    Well, I got 90% of the stuff working, but five days before the show, the last 10% was just beyond me. I urgently needed help, someone with specific expertise in the area that I couldn’t get to work. I called back to the head office and asked them to send an expert which I knew could handle the job. Two days later, my help arrived. It wasn’t the guy I had asked for, but instead a young (and rather attractive) woman who I wasn’t familiar with.

    We both worked 14-hour days; she worked diligently to solve the problems that I couldn’t handle, while I worked on cleaning up and testing the stuff that I could handle. The night before 20,000 people were arriving for our demo, we finally got everything working, at the very last minute.

    She was engaged to be married to someone in another country, and I was in a committed relationship with someone else, and we both knew each other’s situations. On that last night when we got everything working properly, I called my girlfriend to give her an update on what was happening in New Orleans. When I hung up, I noticed my last-minute assistant, just as exhausted as I was, sitting on the floor underneath a pay phone, talking to her fiancé a continent away.

    When she hung up, I went over to her and sat down on the floor beside her and simply said “thank you” – from the bottom of my heart, of course, as I knew that we couldn’t have succeeded without her diligent efforts. She responded by putting her arms around me and laying her head upon my shoulder. We just sat there like that for several minutes, and then got up and called taxis to take us to our respective hotels.

    The three-day trade show was a resounding success, and on the last night, we decided to treat ourselves to a fancy dinner together. We chose a romantic restaurant in New Orleans (Le Bizou, I highly recommend it!) and had an absolutely wonderful time. After our meal. the waiter brought us a small chocolate cake with sparklers “for the newlyweds.” Can you believe that? We were both in committed relationships with other people, and the waiter thought we were newlyweds! We left the restaurant with a kiss on the cheek and a heartfelt warm hug.

    It gets better. The following morning, we were both invited to a brunch held by the company and its key customers to honour our contributions to the trade show. Midway through he brunch, a vice-president of one of our customers companies pointed to us and asked, “You have been working together all week, under the most adverse conditions imaginable. How could you have possibly managed that without becoming romantically involved?” We just looked at each other and smiled.

    Dr T, I’d like to respectfully suggest that you write a post on what real love looks like. There are lots of posts regarding what narcissistic/bipolar bullshit looks like, but none regarding what a mutually respectful relationship looks like,

    Thank you, and my best regards.

    • TheGirlInside
      April 18, 2011 at 2:24 am

      I just wanted to add that when watching some stupid daytime talk show years ago, the topic was on waaayy older men with waaaay younger girls. On the show was a 40 year old man dating a 16 year old girl (ew, from both sides). But what struck me was how he kept saying how much he loved her, yet he wanted to get married right away (red flag) and he didn’t encourage her to finish school first.

      I thought, “If you love someone you encourage them to do what’s best for them, even if it means putting your wants aside for a little while.” He didn’t love her, of that I’m certain. He only wanted what he wanted, in the moment; her future be damned. That, my friend, is NOT love.

      While working on my own codependency issues, I also learned the following:
      “Love is sacrificing my wants for your needs.
      Codependence is sacrificing my needs for your wants.”

      The second of which is usually what abusive partners demand.

  7. maZubica
    April 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    another great read Dr T,

    i can relate my recent breakup to a number of your points.

    but the one that really hit home was number 11. “i want time/space”
    “need to be by myself”…which then turned to everything was my fault for her feeling like that……..

  8. Amy
    April 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I have a question which I think I know the answer to. However – – here I go. I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 2 years now, we have both been married and divorced before. He is emotionally broken and he doesn’t even TRY to fix himself. In 2 years, he hasn’t told me he loves me. He says I should know he does based on his actions – I tell him I need to hear it from him. I need to hear those words. The unavailability is for all emotinal aspects. He doesn’t show any! He doesn’t tell me I look nice, smell nice, NOTHING. NO NICETIES! I used to be a very confident woman and to be honest, this has eaten away at my self-esteem. I feel unattractive and my spirit is gone.
    Second major problem. He doesn’t want to get married. He said it’s not me – it’s him. He says he doesnt want to remarry EVER. Ok – so I don’t NEED to get married but after 2 years I would like to see some kind of progression into something more stable. Perhaps moving in together. Nope. He won’t have it. HOWEVER, I will mention that he stays at my house 6 out of 7 nights a week – sometimes more.

    I know what I need to do I think I’m just looking for someone to tell me that I’m not over-reacting. I love him. I love him a lot – but I feel as if I’m compromising my needs while he’s not budging on his.

    I’m open to hear it all! :)

    • Free at Last
      April 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      Amy, I think you know the answer to your question. You could try couples counselling (and the therapist would probably suggest individual counselling for him), but if that doesn’t work, well, you seem to be in a thoroughly lopsided relationship that doesn’t work for you at all. He seems to have serious commitment phobia, as moving in together is nowhere as big a commitment as marriage. Your relationship seems to be totally stuck (for quite awhile, I’m guessing) and he’s the one holding you back from a full and happy life. I’d say it’s time to leave.

  9. shay
    April 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I think the girl you have been with for 3 years loves you and is scared you are gonna leave her for someone els this is why the 20 question game comes up. I wouldn’t call it quits hard to find a girl that is true. Try saying nice things to her girls love it try to make it sound as if she is the only girl in your life.

  10. Ikawowow
    April 12, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Aloha, I have been with my GF for about 3 years already, and when we first got together she was very fun and outgoing. Now she has seemed to change very drasticly, meaning she is beginning to be sort of controlling. Seems like I am losing alot of my friends who been there for me throughout my life. I cant go out at all seems like and if I do I have the 20 question quiz ie: Who’s going?, Who gonna be there?, what time you coming home?, why you gotta go there?…. thats too much for me. When she goes out or even asks, I dont even trip. She even goes as far as blows up my phone with texts and leaves disturbing messages with alot of profanity. She will even blow up my friends phones to see if I am there…..straight crazy stuff. I want to know if its time to call it quits already?

  11. Tay
    April 6, 2011 at 1:37 am


    I’m usually not to motivated to write about my personal things since it usually makes me feel even worse, but i feel like i’m running out of time. My will to exist is deminishing and I would love to get some feedback/oppinions on my perticular matter.

    So I’m 23 years old, never had a girlfriend in my life untill 2 years ago, whereby I met a totally amazing girl that magicly showed interest me, blind and happy as i was, she and I got together although we live 800km apart in a distance relationship. Everything went find for a start, I had the most amazing time I ever had in my life, but that drasticly changed after 6 months of our relationship. Whereby, I had to stop my hobbies, everything I enjoy doing, cut my ties with every friend I had, move to her as soon as possible no questions asked or she would leave me otherwise she would leave me or say that i didnt love her. I of course stupid as I was went along with it because some part of me was happy. Then she started to verbally abuse me, trash talk me, say bad things about my family, how they destroyed me and if I dont change this and that she’d yet again leave me. Well, here I am, 2 years later.. I failed University because I had to be at her command to talk with her whenever she was there, My money drained in presents, flighttickets and ways to make her happy, and if i didnt have money she expected me to fix it either by selling things or loans. I’ve lost track of how many times i’ve felt completely useless and worthless so my selfasteem is trashed.. And she leaving me is getting a daily routine.. The few people I still talk to say they cant understand why I didnt leave the first time this happened after 6 months. But I’m so scared that I will end up alone, that I endured it for 2 years. I’m reaching a limit whereby I barely dont even know who I am, what I live for.. Whereto she still complains, still fights with me every day for various reasons, take today for example, she said that she can’t deal with me talking to friends or other people and heaven forbid if i even look at a girl on the street. So my questions to everyone here if anyone will even read it is:
    Is love really all about pain and is it really so bad to have friends? The last month or so I’ve been demanding to have friends in my life, whereby she said thats fine, untill 2 days ago where she claimed i spend more time with my friends than with her, which is totally untrue as i spend maybe max 8 hours a week talking to friends in which she can still also talk to me through msn, so she yet again said she can’t deal with me giving “so” much attention to friends and that she needs me so so so much that i aint allowed to have friends, my mom says she branwashed me into doing her bidding and following her every command. What ow what should I do when i’m to weak to walk away, to scared to end up alone, to fragile to trust anyone again.. Is it better to vanish and leave everything unsolved?

    Please share your oppinions on the matter even though I imagine it’s hard to grasp the full picture but, some things i’ve been called is, twat, worthless trashcan, useless worm, pathethic sick person, idiot and she called me a retard because of pretty much everythinh i liked and enjoyed. I’m to messed up in my head to see things clearly so please help..

    Thanks in advance.

    • Free at Last
      April 16, 2011 at 8:05 pm

      Hi Tay — The second most important thing I can say is that love is definitely not about pain (it’s about intense mutual respect and the joy of having found someone with which everything is easy), and that family and good friends are incredibly important; these are the people you can fall back on in times of trouble and distress. Anyone who is causing you pain and distancing you from your friends and family is not acting in your best interests, and this is definitely not love. The most important thing I can set is get out of there now!

      I can understand and appreciate your situation, as I have recently been there. The only difference is that it took only five months before things started to go sour. For the first five months, everything was amazing and I thought I had found “the one.” It was the day I moved in with her that everything started to go downhill. A year later, I found myself profoundly unhappy, exhausted, unappreciated and totally broke. I finally gathered the courage to leave, and I’ve never looked back.

      Tay, you might be penniless and depressed, but you have the advantage of 800 km separating you and your tormentor. Anyone who calls you a retard and expects you to sacrifice your education and sell things or take loans to make her happy is not good for you. Get out of there NOW! Stop calling, don’t answer her calls, and never go back to visit her again. This woman is pure poison. No further contact is the only way to go.

      Now that I’m gone, I can truthfully tell you that being alone is infinitely better than being in a toxic relationship. Don’t be afraid of being alone! It’s difficult at first, but you’ll get over it in a few weeks. I suggest that you focus on your university studies, reconnect with your family and friends and join a club to meet others and socialize – photography, hiking, poetry, whatever suits your fancy – these things will do wonders to fill the gaping hole in your heart, and you won’t feel so alone any more.

      I’m very concerned that you’ve encountered an emotional predator at such a young age; this can have lasting negative effects on your future relationships. I suggest that you take the time to study Dr T’s postings on this site. Go to http://www.shrink4men.com/index/ and starting at the bottom, read everything that you feel applies to you. There’s quite a lot.

      Get out of there right away, Tay. Post a comment here if you need help. You have your entire life ahead of you; don’t blow it over a poisonous woman.

      • Tay
        April 19, 2011 at 11:21 pm

        Thanks for the reply Free,

        I appriciate the time you took in replying to what i wrote. I have a question for you or anyone for that matter, how do you breakup and leave someone like this when you know everything she does is wrong and it makes you hurt, but yet you’re an idiot and stays for some reason i cant even say…

        How do i leave… I dont think im strong enough or something, as i just cant get myself to just go. So my questions is, how did you do it? how did you manage to leave?

        Thanks again free at last, means so much you have no idea.


  12. Jenn
    March 28, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Me and my boyfriend have been together for almost 4months now. We are both in love with each other. We are actually on a break but still loving and caring for each other cause there is no one else we want but each other. Before me and him hooked up like 5 or 4 months before he dated this girl for 3yrs and she basically messed with his emotions and his head. Well he is scared to commit to me because he was hurt in the end with her but he don’t want that to happen with us. I never thought It would come to me asking strangers but it bugs me cause there is no one else I want other then him. We have been through a lot and been there for each other through thick and thin. I told him that love and life is about taking chances. You love someone take the chance and trust and hope they won’t hurt you.

  13. Gary
    March 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Hi :)
    My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship since last two and a half years. He is caring and sweet and he loves me a lot. When I first met him I was terribly heartbroken(he had no idea about it).He used to make me laugh and we soon became very good frenz and eventually got into a relationship. I was always unsure about our relationship and have always thought that it has an expiry date but somehow we never ended it and now we both are very much attached to each other.He loves me and perhaps I love him too,though I hardly ever say this to him . (A part of me is still holding on to the heart-breaker guy)

    Off late, I have started to realize that we want different things from life (i am not really sure of what i want but, still). I also feel that the romance is missing.We are sexually incompatible too. I don’t feel like making love to him.(I have a fluctuating sex drive)and at times I get annoyed over petty matters like him being overweight and how he at times he is rude to others.

    I have also noticed that we have no influence on each other. We have loads of fun when we are together but till now we have completely failed to learn anything good from each other. If i ask him to loose weight, he agrees but, takes no step; I ask him to be polite to waiters, he ignores. If we discuss all this later he agrees and at times also say that “I am such a looser, you seriously deserve someone better” and he means it but, no step is taken towards improvement. His inability to improvise or to learn and keep growing is a big issue for me. For me helping each other grow in every possible way is the most important thing in a relationship. He doesn’t stop me but I am unable to help him change,not even when he wants to.

    He is pretty unhappy with the way his life is right now. His job sucks, he is away from friends and family and I am the only friend he has.I think he is too dejected to try to change it.

    I on the other hand am popular and influential.Friends respect me a lot and more often than not I am the ‘agony aunt’ for them.Friends swear to the fact that I am a very motivating personality. However, I have changed a lot now.I am going through a big ‘Quaterlife crisis’ and I feel that everything has to be decided right now. I always feel irritated and annoyed.At times I think that I actually deserve someone better (that includes being ‘physically fitter’ too) but I also know that I have the tendency to ‘over-analyze’ matters.I also feel guilty about wanting to leav my boyfriend like this.

    If I discuss the option of breaking up with him, he becomes sad,gives no inputs and leaves it on me to decide.He believes I want to break up with him because he is not worthy of me, which is not true.

    I don’t know if all these issues are worth pondering over but I have been thinking about it since a long time now.

    Please help

  14. Peter
    March 16, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Dr Tara,

    I’ve been having a difficult problem of my home lately especially for a few months. Me and my fiancce drink alcohol like two-four times sometimes in a week and other times not nearly as much. Well, my fiance says that 30% of the time that I verbally abuse her, however, I have proposed alternatives or of compromise solutions. For example, I d=could drink alone or something, but she says that “She is an enabler” and is “Weak” to not protect herself from the abuse of alcohol. Bottomline since our relationship has been going that way too much alcohol has been drunk, however, when we don’t drink we are perfectly fine for the most part.

    On another similar note, we have issues with my broher who is schizophrinic and its hard dealing with him. He is part of the reason why we drink along with my copin mechanism of the rigor of college and self-inferiority complex due to my blindness. There are other things like my fiance’s nagging on somethings that really make me want to blow up cause of I cannot due anything about like my brother or certain things she doesn’t allow me to due cause of my blindness. Also, religion and politics is a very heated topic as she is an independant and I’m a moderate democrat and she hats talking abobut it. I’m a poli science major and just have a strong passion for it. Anothr thing is that we use alchol as a crutch and just get depression going with our temporary ailment of alchol.

    Ibn conclusion, thanks for any comments from anybody. No physical abuse has really occured. We just call it alchol rages of yelling, houting or cutting down one another on a quarter of the times, but other than that it is ffine. She threatens to leave like once or two a month sometimes over small pityful things. She likes things around the condo the way she wants them regardless of me like I get no input into things around here. Its hard relating to her family as they treat me as an outsider till we marry if we marry that is anyways. She always talks negative about my family and yet her double standard isn’t mentioned much, so I mention it to cause the fihting to happen more. Perhaps I’m crazy just keep blaming myself 100% even though we cnnot remember how the arguments begin or what sparks them in the first place. By the way, my fiance has thrown things and shattered glass with other things like shouting at the op of her lungs wen visitors were over cause of them not being announced. She is also very overtly against my brother cause of opening his mouth of a past interest in the sick act of chidld molestation thought in his head. By the way, my broher was taken out of the group home. Thanks for any information and I’m looking into conseling cause I cannot keep this up mentally anymore.
    note: I love her a lot in this three year and a half relationship and have a strong desire to work this out just unsure of what to do.

    • shrink4men
      March 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Peter,

      Based on what you’ve written this does not sound like a healthy relationship—and your mutual alcohol consumption is not helping either of you. I encourage you both to seek support at your university counseling center for your relationship, for dealing with a mentally ill family member and for potential problem alcohol use. If you have to negotiate when you’re going to drink, who you’re going to drink with and how much you’re going to drink, there’s probably a problem with your drinking.

      By the way, throwing things and breaking things, like your girlfriend does, is domestic violence. It’s abuse and it’s wrong. Period. Talk to a college counselor about this. If she/he minimizes her behavior; find another counselor. If your girlfriend refuses to get help and won’t take responsibility for her abusive behavior and problem drinking; you probably need to end this relationship.

      Dr Tara

  15. jim
    February 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    ive been with my girlfriend for a little over a year now and ive never once stood her up or turned down seeing her when i can. she however tells me she doesnt want to because she doesnt feel pretty or doesnt think shes good company right now. i dont understand it. am i making her feel insufficient? i really dont mean to but it definitely hurts me when she insults herself.

  16. shane
    February 20, 2011 at 9:20 am

    The only time she gets in the mood is when she has been drinking, approximately once ever cupel months.
    Otherwise she is quite content without the sexual side to the relationship. This is however having an effect on me as this aspect of a relationship is important to me.We are very close and spend a lot of time together. I love her more than anything but, without the sex, it feels more like a brother-sister/friend relationship than a relationship between two lovers.
    This worries me as I am beginning to get more tempted by offers from other women, knowing that they can give me what I want.
    This makes me feel terrible as I really love my girlfriend and were it not for these cupel things like hugs without asking or kiss without asking I would be the happiest man on earth
    Sex is important to me she thinks its all i want but i wish she could see that thats not all i want sex to me makes me feel that we are in a relation ship but without it i feel thier is someone els and she just dont see what i mean but I don’t know if I could finish what we have together just because it is not there!
    However I am concerned that if this goes on much longer that I may be tempted to stray outside of our relationship i have done this to her before becuz sex was not thier i feel not wanted so i was doing this to feel wanted and i onlly love her not any other girl i really have not cheated in like 3 to 4 years i think its just been to long to remeber i lover this girl way to much and dont know what i would do without her but i just need to feel loved like i used to from her i dont wanna be with other girls just her as i said before if it wernt for these cupel things i would be the happyst guy in the world i love her she is fun smart smart ass at times but sexy to me and every way and when i comment her she says im fat oh strech marks and i really lover her for who she is not what her body looks like to her but to me on a 1 to 10 scale my babe is a 16.

    I am therefore very confused about what I should do.

    • TheGirlInside
      April 18, 2011 at 2:17 am

      If a female friend of yours was putting up with that from a guy, what would you advise her to do?

  17. shane
    February 20, 2011 at 8:33 am

    my girlfriend and I have been with each other for 7 years and lately i dont know what to do. i feel lost its almost as if she is not into me any more i have to ask for a kiss a hug. the onlly time i here i love you is when she leaves for work or if i say it first. and the sex thing went down the drain it seems i mean we do still do it but not the same i have to ask and i will get im tyered i dont feel good i got i head each or i guess and i feel its rong that i have to ask it never was this way and i guess you could say it makes you feel as if thier is someone els could you pls let me know what i should do or what i could say to find out why?

  18. Anonymous
    February 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I’m a 28 year old male who made the mistake of rushing into a marriage. I wish I would have read this 2 years ago; I would have been much wiser–and much happier. Luckily, no kids are involved. Not mine, anyway. She has one from a previous marriage who she all but abandoned. No dad in the picture either.

    It all started in 2007. I was fresh out of basic (I’m in the military), and fresh on the rebound from a relationship that didn’t end well for me due to my prolonged absence. So I roomed up with a buddy of mine. It was going to be the ultimate bachelor pad. That all changed when what would end up being my future wife found me on MySpace in December 2007 (I’m guessing that should have been red flag #1). We would talk here and there, and then in March 2008, we decided that she should come up for a visit for a week (she was from a different state). I should mention that since that time, she has never been home.

    To this day, I have never met anyone from her family in person (red flag #2?), although I have spoke to her mother on the phone once, and communicated with her sister via e-mail. They didn’t really have anything nice to say (red flag #3?). She is extremely guarded and secretive about them (red flags #4), and claims that they are all liars (and 5). We even visited her neighborhood once, and drove by her house. I wanted to stop, but she insisted that we keep driving, saying that her parents would call the police on her for trespassing (#6). Her mother has refuted this claim during our phone call, however, since I don’t really know either of them, how can I really tell who’s telling the truth?

    Needless to say, when she hacked into my e-mail, she was very upset to learn that I had communicated with them. That’s another thing–e-mail, social networking sites, bank accounts, even my cell phone–you name it, she’s hacked into all of them (#7). I’m all for transparency, but how can I trust her when she’s hacking into my accounts behind my back?

    From what I’ve gathered, her parents have disowned her and have taken custody of her child (I’m done with red flags). And I married her. Go figure. Needless to say, just about everything I thought I knew about her turned out to be a lie. Everything. She has even lied about her nationality, education, income, debts, etc.

    She can be emotionally abusive. And it seems like she never wants me to hang out with my friends. Not that I have many left who aren’t completely alienated at his point. Long-time friends say that I’m not even the same person anymore. She has punched holes in the wall and destroyed appliances. She even told me once that if I ever tried to leave her, that she would harm herself, and then call the police and tell them I did it. Once, she ran out of the apartment with one of our kitchen knives, and I chased her. I flagged down a police officer for help, and I ended up being handled and questioned like a suspect. I can understand what it must have looked like from the officers’ point of view, but it still doesn’t rectify the situation. I have too much to lose for that type of nonsense.

    Even as I type this, I can think of a million more reasons to leave her. But I can’t seem to bring myself to do it. It’s as if she has found a way to get inside my head and manipulate me. I’m not even in love with her. I care for her, and I don’t want anything to happen to her. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but I know I’m dying inside a little more each and every day. I could write a book about my experiences in the past 3 years. I’m at the end of my rope and I feel like I’m stuck.

    What do you think I should do? Please help!

    • Mellaril
      February 18, 2011 at 2:02 am

      I’d say welcome to the club but it’s a club none of us would have chosen to join. My recommendation is to read the blogs and join the forum. There’s a lot of experience there. I think once you’ve spent some time here, you’ll probably develop a pretty good and, very likely an uncannily accurate, picture of what you’re dealing with. Once you have a handle on that, my guess is your options will become obvious.

      Good luck!

Comment pages
  1. February 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm
  2. February 16, 2011 at 8:33 pm

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