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. Elizabeth
    February 4, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Sign #13: He calls himself “The Big Nickster”.

    Learned that one the hard way.

  2. Sissy
    December 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Hi everyone. I’m really caught in a tough situation. My fiance and I have been engaged and are supposed to be eloping in February. I’m freaking out, at first I thought it was just cold feet but now I’m not so sure. One of his children, my future stepson came to live with us in June and I had a hard time accepting that and it hasn’t gotten too much better. I usually just keep my mouth shut about it now. I’ve been going to church, praying to God for some answers. Everytime we fight, I think to myself how if I left I wouldn’t have to go through this anymore. I wouldn’t have to fight or deal with an attitude or leave the house and feel guilty for spending time with my family or friends. My fiance and I have been through a lot. At one point in time I thought it was making our relationship stronger, but it seems on my part every single thing even the small things continue to widdle away at the bond I once had with him. If you asked him he’d say everything was fine, I guess i’m just confused about how everything is so fine and constant for him and he’s still so sure but I’m confused and think about leaving all the time. Can you some offer me some sort of advice or let me know if anyone else has been through a similiar situation?

  3. Tom
    December 13, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Need some advice. I have been with my girlfriend for almost 4 years. I am in my senior year of college so we started dating at the end of high school. There is a lot I like about her and she is really all I have ever known. However, there is also a lot that I’m not really happy with and bothers me. She wants to take this relationship to the next level and constantly talks about marriage and engagement. At this point I am nowhere near being comfortable with that.

    The thing that probably bothers me the most is that we can’t have real conversations. I am very career minded and very interested in politics and current events. She pretends to be but does not put in the work and is clueless on most subjects I would talk about.

    When I talk about personal finance she says things like I don’t have to worry about that because I have you! I am looking for a life partner and an equal not a housewife.

    She has also been known to throw tantrums and has drunkenly whacked me a couple times. I would never dream of hitting anybody, much less my girlfriend and each time this happened I let her know that it was utterly unacceptable and I would not have it at all. The last time was about 6 months ago and I let her know that I couldn’t be with a person who couldn’t talk about problems and responded in immature ways. This has cooled her off and we haven’t had any episodes like that recently.

    Finally, and before I get jumped on for this, let me explain, she has gained at least 30 pounds since we started dating. I am not shallow and still find her attractive but I think it says something about her work ethic. She stopped doing competitive sports a couple years back by saying she wasn’t good enough and now her typical “work out” consists of a 20 minute treadmill or bike session in the gym maybe once a week. None of her family has weight issues so I don’t think this is beyond her control. I fear that long-term this gain will continue and lead to increased stress on the relationship and potential health problems.

    She wants to take this relationship to the next level but there are so many reservations in my mind that I do not know what to do. I do want to be with her but would it be harsh to talk with her about what my concerns?

  4. jaycee
    November 24, 2012 at 2:07 am

    It really makes me mad to read all these stories from men who are with these crazy women. im 37 single, sane, no kids, not fat, not ugly (cute actually)…id give anything to have a good guy. why do you men put up with this? seriously, the only logical conclusion i can come to is that these women are good in bed and are very pretty/beautiful.

    • Jenn
      November 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Jaycee, I have to agree. I also am a woman almost 40. My son is 20, so I am not looking to have children. I own my own home and very independent. I make a good living and I am in great shape also a good looking woman. I was in that relationship for six years and I know it is not us, but in that relationship I had to end it. The only time he was having fun is when he was wasted with his single friends. I wanted a man that would want to have fun with me. I would worry all the time if he was going to make it home safe from the bar. Or if he was drinking at home if I did not hear from him I would worry that he hurt himself from being intoxicated. I needed a break; I did not have to worry that much about my own 20 year old. We also need good advice to avoid bad men just like these men need advice on bad women. Good luck, be safe and true love and friendship do exist we just have not found it yet. Beware of drinkers and drug users and a man that does not own a suit. At some time we all have to grow up. Keep in touch!

  5. David
    November 7, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I have been with my partner over 4 years we have lived together since the first 3 months, things were fantastic, but slowly she has become nagging, nothing I do is good enough, I ever such a lot for her, treat her really well, were rarely apart.

    Thing is, the constant griping at me is getting to the point where I just keep thinking, I would be happier alone in peace. When things are going great, it feels as though she is trying to pick fights with me because things are going well. Were so rarely intimate now not through me not wanting her but there is never a time where she hasn’t had a pop at me for something or other so am never really in the right frame of mind for it.

    Last year I bought her an engagement ring, and I decided that the next time I felt we were really happy, I would ask her…that was 9 months ago :/ I dont know what to think, feeling quite low.

    • Mellaril
      November 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      I thought marriage would demonstrate the commitment my exgf claimed I lacked, she’d finally trust me and she’d come around. So, I asked her to marry me one Xmas morning. Somebody was watching out for and she declined. In fact, she moved across the country a few months later.

      When she later reappeared, I put counselling on as a condition of re-engagement, She declined. I haven’t seen in in 25 years and will be married 24 years to her replacement. From what I heard from a mutual acquaintence, she married shortly after I did. He said that her husband told him that once they were married, it was like somebody flipped a switch and she became an entirely different person. Her marriage lasted ~3 yrs.

      If you think it’s salvageable, see somebody now. If she agrees and it works, you win. If she declines, that tells you something. Check out Dr. T’s blog on finding a good therapist. FInd one that deals with Personality Disorders. The wrong one can make things worse.

      It took me over a year from the time I asked her to marry me until we actually broke up. It took over another year for the body to quit twitching and she disappeared for good.

      It sounds like you know the answer. The hard part will be convincing yourself why it’s the right answer. Check out the Forum. Good luck!

  6. pamela
    November 3, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Im dealing with a drug addict. When he isn’t chasing that high our relationship is amazing but lately he disappears for days at a time. All I do is worry and i dont know what to do. It hurts me so much to deal with his drug problem. He usually ends up in his hometown where he can find drugs easy and a part of me just wants to walk away and never look back because this hurts. The messed up part is Ill call his sister or mother and they pretend they dont know where he is and he will be on their couch. They know Im battling drug his drug problem. That they shouldnt give him money. All I want to know when I call, Is he okay? whats so hard about that. I get so sick with worry that I either sleep to much to escape the thoughts or stay frustrated and cry because I’m so confused. I pray asking for strength on what to do but I get no real answers. I see the guilt on his face but it doesnt stop him from disappearing again. He will follow the money for drugs.

  7. Trina
    November 1, 2012 at 6:34 am

    I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years and i have known him for 6 years. we are high school sweet hearts he is a marine and im a college student. I know him better than he knows himself and that is cliche but it is true. I know his entire family and vice versa, we have been comfortable with each other. But ever since the Marines his first mistake was he cheated on me and started talking to this one girl and hiding his phone and making dates with her and treating me like garbage and putting me down and i let him. Don’t get me wrong i am a strong person and i stand up for myself but i just let him be. Then just before he left for afgahn we got back together and then i broke up with him during afgahn because he was treating me horrible again. Then we got back together because he told me he would change once again. And it is now and he is back to treating me unequal. for instance, when he gets hungry i make sure he gets food so he is no longer angry, so basically i am very considerate. And when i tell him if he needs me to go with him to meet his real father i will go with him for support and he flat out told me “i don’t need you”. its seems like i show him more love and all i get are i love you’s. One more example, when we have sex he is nice in the beginning and then after he is just a complete ass he blames me for attitudes and for fighting when he is the one starting them but blaming me in the end. All my co-workers and family and his family see how badly he treats me but i keep on thinking that it will get better but i don’t know when. Everytime i think about moving on or being without him its like i start feeling hurt and i cry non-stop. i honestly don’t know what to do anymore.
    please give me adivce quick PLEASE

    • Mellaril
      November 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      My father told me that if someone didn’t respect me and treat me well, get rid of them and find someone who does. That’s what I tell my daughter. Only you can decide how much is enough. Another thing I tell my daughter is never think that having someone’s baby will make them love you more. It doesn’t work that way.

      Good luck!

  8. cj
    October 9, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I’ve read a number of other posts including this one but I just can’t figure out a definite solution to my problem (if it is a problem). So i would really appreciate if anyone could propose for me a logically sound solution (if there is one)! It’s rather a simple dilemma, it is that I am in a long term relationship with my gf and I no longer seem to love my gf. And i think its worth pointing out that by love I mean that feeling of “I want to spend the rest of my life with this person”. However, I do like my gf… and hanging out with her and all… And I guess the best way to describe my situation is that she is a good friend to me. As i have said earlier, I have read articles such as “How to fall back in love”, “when to break up with your gf/bf” etc etc and they all sound plausible but seems to suggest contradicting solutions to my problem. So i guess my final question is: “CAN YOU REALLY FALL BACK IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE THAT YOU’VE LOST ATTRACTION TO?” IF NOT, “IS IT JUST THAT I SHOULD BE SATISFIED WITH THE WAY THINGS ARE FOR ME NOW?”

    • Mellaril
      October 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Depends on what you want out of life. Play the “what if?” game? Where do you see yourself down the road and be honest. If you see her as potentially the woman you want to come home to, crawl into bed with every night, make love to and grow old with, go for it. If not, maybe it would be better to do both of you a favor and end it sooner than later.

      Looking at it from her side, I’m sure she’d be flattered knowing your “satisfied with the way things are..” and you settled for her. If you want her to resent you, that’s a good way to make it happen.

      Then again, there’s nothing wrong with being FWBs as long as both of you know that’s what the situation is. My relationship with my exgf started out as FWBs and she was very good in that role. If you want to re-negotiate the terms of the relationship, you can do that. However, be prepared to assume the risks if you do.

  9. down not out
    October 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    oh the link to it has has worked.

  10. down not out
    October 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Hay all I came across this artical not long ago and stright away it rang a bell in my mind, i’m sure you will all understand why. gave me the shivers reading it as did the photo of one of the people in the artical. if you ask me looks like some kind of creature of the night type of vampaire don’t think i need pinpoint to you witch photo i’m refuring too. anyway who ever is the guilty party I thought it to have some relivants to the topic of this website. sorry not to put a direct link but I don’nt know how. other papers have reported on it but I found the daily mail to have the most indepth reveiw on the case that I have found anyway.


  11. rakesh
    October 7, 2012 at 7:49 am

    hi i want break up with a girl who is not good lookimg but i just proposed her because she was available that time and i was free..and I had proposed her that time via phone.Thn we meet and i again proposed her to hav time pass but nw i want break up seriously and that girl is not willing to lt me go…please suggest…

    • rakesh
      October 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      but then she is not beautiful and when i try to ask her to became good looking she denied telling love me like i m now..i didnt luv her anytime .While talking with her once i just propose her just to have fun.But then its nw 3 years and she is now emotional and she is not letting me go..Please suggest me..

  12. Maeg
    October 5, 2012 at 7:26 am

    My boyfriend and I have been together for over 4 years. We met when I was 19, and started dating shortly after. He is 12 years older than I am and has been in a few serious relationships. I know that I was young when we first started dating but I had to grow up fast so I always considered myself a bit more mature than most my age. At the start of our relationship his mother (who was his best friend) suddenly developed cancer and died very suddenly. This had a very serious negative impact on him and understandably he shut down. However we had moved in together at this point and since he had never attended school past high school, he had never really started a career. He quit his job and never went back, fast forward 2 years and he still wasn’t working. At this point I had stopped attending University and was working full time to pay for his weed and tobacco habits, as well as food, rent and all other expenses. Finally I broke down and kicked him out, after 2 months of him begging me to let him come home and him emailing my friends to seek advice on what to do to save our relationship, I reneged and let him move back in. He had finally taken a job (albeit a serving job at a crappy breakfast place where he was barely making any money even to pay for minor expenses) this was a milestone in my books, since he had not worked before. I feel that I should also state that we are incredibly attracted to each other, we have sex at least 4x a week, and we have always easily fell into conversation although he refuses to ever answer any questions about our future or try to diffuse an argument. He is also quick to call me many hurtful names (i.e. cunt, bitch, etc.) and does not like me spending time with girlfriends. He was fired from the breakfast job and did not work again for 12 months, in which he became a pizza delivery driver. Recently I have become close with his sister (ironically closer than he is with her) and she is insistent that I consider what is important to me and my future. I just moved 5000 miles away from where he lives but we have plans for him to move out at the end of the month. He has quit smoking weed and insists that he wants to go to school and build a life with me. But at this point I do not know if I even love him anymore, or if I ever did love him. He promises me that things will be different, and after 4 years he is finally telling me that he loves me. I am so confused and I don`t know what is right for me. I looked up what love is online, and everything it says matches what we have, but is it right for me, or is it time to let this relationship go and find someone more suitable to myself and my age.

  13. BC
    September 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I need advice! I feel like I should break up with my boyfriend but I don’t know if I’m ready to do it yet. When I’m with him or when were spending the day together I feel really good but sometimes I just feel like I’m not happy anymore or I feel like I want to done with him already. We’ve been dating for a year and three months already and five moths ago I found out I was pregnant he was very happy but I wasn’t. At that time I wasn’t sure on what I would do. I did not have an abortion because I don’t support them. So I’m still with my boyfriend and I still feel unhappy at times. But for reasons I don’t want to let go of him and the one that bothers me the most is about my baby I want her to have her father in her life and see her mommy and daddy together. But I just cant picture myself with him in the future. When I tell my boyfriend that I’m not happy and that I don’t love him anymore he thinks I’m saying this for no reason and he dosent listen to me. He gives me everything that I want for me and my baby finically but I’m still not happy. I don’t know if its just me or if my love for him has passed and I should let him go?

    • Maeg
      October 5, 2012 at 7:46 am

      This sounds like you need some space, how did you feel towards him before you found out you were pregnant. And remember, abortion is not the only option, if you are not ready for a child in your life then adoption should be something that you are seriously considering. Being unhappy with pregnancy is just a recipe for disaster, if you are not ready then find someone who is. It is not a bad thing to admit that you are not ready or happy about having a child. You should wait until being pregnant fills you with joy, I believe in one kind of true love and that is it. But if it is just the man who is making you unhappy then break it off, we live in the 21st century, single moms are everywhere and that makes you a strong, independent person who enforces their beliefs. Instead of being unhappy, tell him how you feel by following through. Wait until you are more certain of your emotions, if the two of you are meant to last, it will still work out.

  14. sheva
    September 13, 2012 at 7:29 am

    So many of these comments are about how we want/need to leave our bf/gf’s but CANNOT!! Why is it so hard to leave someone who you know is wrong for you?! Me and my ex have been having this on and off thing now for 4 years. When you are only 23, 4 years seems like a REALLY LONG TIME! And I am frustrated, because YES we DO fall into those categories of when we should end a relationship. Like him being condescending to me, doing things despite repeated requests not to etc. Explaining our history would be very complicated and convaluded, but the point is that we have issues. BUT we also have numerous things that draw us together! I haven’t been in any other serious relationship, and so I know that maybe if I was with someone else, it would be easier to have a more realistic perspective. But, the fact of the matter is that we were apart for 3 yrs, and during that whole time I did not find anyone else that drew me to them as much as him. Therefore, despite all the crap that I put up with him….to the point where sometimes he drives me crazy….or to the point where he makes me feel so insecure( because of history) he is also the only guy who I have love who has made me feel so appreciated, and special. And that sense of reciprocity seems SOOOOOOO hard to find in another man. And there are so many other qualities about him that i can’t find in anyone else. So perpetually i am stuck in this state of cognitive difference. Because for the life of me I CANNOT DECIDE what it is that i really want. And although this seems like a good enough reason to not be commited to someone, it is still not enough to disuade the pull inside of me that draws me to him.

  15. Jake
    September 12, 2012 at 4:12 am

    I need some advice on an issue I’m having internally.

    I’ve been with this girl for about 2 and a half months (its an immature relationship but it’s the longest relationship I’ve ever held with anyone before). She was okay for the first two months, but lately during the last half of the third she’s become extremely dismissive. I don’t know if that’s the right word, but let me explain further. She started out being really nice and accepting and respectful, but then it all turned into a mockery when I mentioned that I was majoring in professional writing in college to become a technical writer. She’s already told me through subtle hints and such that she really doesn’t like that and that my major is impractical and useless. Where this came from, I don’t know, because she knew full well about my ambition for writing when we got together.

    After all that started, she became incredibly passive and rude. She started finding things out about me that she thought were stupid, such as my past with soccer as a kid (I still don’t know why soccer is such a big deal. All she told me was that it was bad and dropped the subject.) and stuff that I think is logical. She is constantly trying to find ways to piss me off, and each thing is getting harder to handle.

    I am a really carefree kind of person and I don’t anger easily. But lately, especially the last few weeks or so, some of the things she says are hurtful. And the real kicker is, she doesn’t seem to care. All she thinks she’s doing is pushing my buttons to see what trips me off.

    I feel like I’m in a box. If I tell her to stop, she pouts and makes sure to make me feel like I hurt her feelings and that I’M the wrong one all along (even though I treat her like a princess). If I respond in kind, she calls me a jerk and pushes away (I only tried this once, never again). If I try being neutral and just shrugging my shoulders, she continues the verbal onslaught. She’s called me stupid multiple times, some of which were just kidders, others were quite serious.

    I make it sound like there’s no redeeming quality about this woman (of which there are numerous), but I’m just completely frustrated with the way she communicates with me and I feel like trying to talk about how I’m feeling will only increase the mockery. I went out on a limb to be with this girl because I thought we were a lot alike, but I’m beginning to think that we’re not at all. I’m humble, she’s arrogant; I’m quiet, she’s obnoxious; I’m reserved, she puts EVERYTHING out there; I admit that I can be wrong sometimes, she admits to being right ALL the time; I understand that I’m not perfect, she thinks she’s totally perfect.

    I feel like I can save our relationship because I love her when she’s NOT like this. She is a really fun person to be around when she’s not poking fun at the things I enjoy doing.

    One thing that I need opinions on right away: Should I let something bother me and let her know about it so she’ll stop trying to piss me off? Or will that only continue? It seems like she’s on a personal vendetta to make me angry.

    And then, am I doing anything wrong that could possibly make her do stuff like this? I’m too poor to go out all the time and spend money, so we do pretty boring things like watch TV all the time. Could that be it? Is she upset that we can’t go out at all?

    And my last question, what things could I do to make her openly respect me or ways to convince her that we’re on equal ground?

    I’m really just an amateur at dealing with women, I only had two other girlfriends and they were just because I could have one. This one I want to make work because we’ve got a spark when we’re in sync with one another; its just that she REALLY likes to throw us out of sync for some reason, and its bugging the HECK out of me. I don’t think breaking up is the right thing to do, not because I’m scared of being single or because I’ll miss the physical side of things, but because I’d miss out on a wonderful lady that is actually not psycho 70% of the time. As a final note to wrap this up, she seems to think that her crazy psycho side is the part that’s attractive, so she shows that whenever she remembers to. Its her good side she shows when she forgets to show her psycho-ness.

    If anyone can read this quickly and respond, I’d greatly appreciate any assistance or advice. (Its a handful, I know. I just needed this vent really badly.)

    • Maeg
      October 5, 2012 at 7:37 am

      Good grief, after 2 months you are calling this a girl a psycho. I think that is your answer right there.

  16. Mel
    August 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Can someone give me advice please?!

    I’m 18, now in my 2nd year of uni and living with my friends in a big city.
    I get on so well with my boyfriend, we’re like best friends (cheesy) and I’m happy with him but there’s just something at the back of my mind; I have never had the single life!
    Before I started going out with him I was with my ex for 2 long years (also longing for something more but too guilty to leave) I only had a couple of months between these relationships and now I have been going out with this guy for almost 10 months!

    I’m happy in my relationship but I feel I need to be young and stupid for a while before it’s too late and settling down! I wish I could go on a break with him and get this stupid phase out the way so I can be happy and be back with him, do you ever think that would be possible or am I dreaming?

    It also doesn’t help that he is in the Merchant Navy and has periods of time away at sea, so far its been 2 months away, 2 weeks back, 2 months away, 1 month back, 6 weeks away and then he’ll be back to college till next May or so and then it will repeat. He is still away on his 6 weeks so I don’t know if i should wait till he’s back or ask for a break while he’s still away?

    I know my stupid want seems bitchy but I only want what he’s had, he’s 20 and had the single life and life experiences, I want that!! Even if it’s a bad experience, I want those memories and to learn from them! I would only consider it ‘settling’ as I would be missing out on this part of life, nothing to do with ‘settling’ for the type of person he is. I do love him and this is why I’m so confused as to why I still feel I need this stupidity

    Please help, this is a complicated situation with a time limit!

    • Maeg
      October 5, 2012 at 7:32 am

      I know how you are feeling, what you need to consider is how important he is to you and how important you`re single life may be. You are young and there is still plenty of time to find someone that fits you, but there is not a limitless number of men who are the good guys and are willing to do what it takes to keep a woman happy. The single life is overrated, and those girls living the single life are only doing it to find the one man who makes them happy. If this guy is not making you happy then it is time to end it, but do not let temporary restless feelings end a great relationship.

  17. Wannabuyamonkey
    August 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Hello – I am confused about what I should do in my relationship and whether to continue with it.

    I am a 30 year old London gent and my girlfriend is 30 too and is South African, and we live in Scotland, with no kids or shared commitments that wouldn’t take longer than a few weeks to get out of. We have been together for over 10 years, lived together for 8, and have been struggling recently in reminding ourselves why we’re together and I know that neither of us are especially happy, but we do still love each other very dearly, though not perhaps so deeply as before.

    We met while I was in London 11 years ago when she was here on a working holiday, and at the time I was with another girlfriend and she with a boyfriend. I went to another country to see my then girlfriend who had just got a job as a tour leader and after a couple of months we broke up and I came back to the same job and my now gf was still there and was still living with her bf but was breaking up with him. We courted for a few weeks before anything happened which heightened the anticipation and eventual passion, and when we started we couldn’t keep our hands and lips off eachother. This went on for a few months until I was supposed to go travelling in Asia before starting Uni in Scotland, but I decided instead to go to South Africa with her for her 21st birthday, which was great and got on swimmingly with her family, even her estranged Dad who is increasingly distant in her life now.

    I then went to Uni and was faithful to her as we were not sure if she was going to come here and until I was sure I was not going to play with fellow fresher girls, even when offered a threesome and quite a few other offers, out of respect for her. Then she surprised me by coming up to Scotland for my 21st and we started again very passionately where we had left off a couple of months earlier.

    Then that Xmas the trouble started.

    I went to a party back in London without her and was planning on staying the night at, got hideously drunk, but the only place to sleep was sharing a bed with someone who happened to be my ex of a few years before while still at school. She made the first move, but as I was drunk I didn’t really stop it from happening and I ended up cheating on my gf in a way that I would never have done had I been sober, and afterwards felt sick to my stomach and very angry at myself for letting that happen. I then called her and told her I had done something really stupid and she was heartbroken. I had to tell her because I detest keeping anything from people I love, even if it hurts them, and am also an aweful liar. She said she would only forgive me if I came back that night to Scotland and miss Xmas with my family to prove I loved her, which I did, assuming in my 21 year old naivety this would be enough. And so began the start of the emotional blackmail that I have been intermittently living with for the last 9 years, and that I put up with because I love her.

    Since then we have been in a constant struggle it would seem lurching from one drama to the next, without the benefit of make-up sex. Here are some character traits of hers:
    • She finds fault in any female in my life, including my mum, either by trying to show that they are being difficult or mean to her, or that they fancy me and trying to split us up. Admittedly, she has been correct once or twice, but it has got to the point where I am terrified of having female friends as the fallout is a nightmare.
    • While I was at Uni she would constantly nag me to come home from being out with friends because she didn’t have any of her own friends and because she would think I would be with other women (which I was not, ever), but if I spent time with female friends, who were just that, I would find myself lying to her about who I was with as I couldn’t be bothered to get yelled at for putting myself in a position I might cheat on her again. This got to the point where friends stopped inviting me to things, and was about the time I started playing computer games to not be out but at least have something to do at home (still play now but a lot less than then)
    • She admits to withholding sex as a means of annoying me and getting at me, which she does quite stoically, to the point where I am watching far more porn than I would like, but it’s the only sexual release I have these days. The last time we had sex was about 2 months ago and the last time she gave me a bj was in 2010 I think.
    • She is quick to ask me why I might be cold or distant, but gets defensive if I suggest it would be nice to get some affection from her without my having to initiate it, and by this I just mean kisses, cuddles or flirting. She does not flirt with me anymore really and says she finds my approaches exaggerated, smothering, cheesy or overly lighthearted, which is how I’ve always been. I am a very affectionate person and I feel a bit starved of affection, which I know sounds really wet, but I am a very warm person with everyone and need this in a relationship and she knows this.

    Then after 6 years of this behaviour she began to become aggressive and finding fault in absolutely everything. She began threatening that she would sleep with someone else who provide her with what she wanted, would say I was useless and couldn’t satisfy her. One day she asked in one of her moods whether I still loved her and I said no. Silence. What do you mean, she said. So I explained how unhappy she made me feel and how frustrated I was and how I missed what we had at the start. Instead of getting angry she started crying and begged me on her knees to keep her and I relented as she promised to change.

    And she did change for a while, and began making new friends of her own, and made an effort to be less mad, to the point where everything was great again, and I asked her to marry me, and she said not yet. Since then it would seem it has reverted back to how it was, but less overt and less dramatic, more of a quiet distance or snipes and makes me somehow feel like she is the one getting the bad treatment. I buy all the groceries, do most of the cooking, pay for holidays, pay more than my half of the bills, give her rubs as she always has something to moan about with her neck and shoulders, and am still as sexually frustrated as ever.

    I have quite clearly outlined the faults here, but there are many amazing qualities to her.
    • She is gorgeous in an unconventional way that means she does not have the same level of vanity and therefore self-esteem that someone with equal but more conventional looks would have.
    • She is willing to admit error and can be very warm and affectionate for short spells, but then something else will happen at work, or back home (she misses her family and South Africa) she will get distant again
    • We have very similar interest when it comes to travel, holidays, food, wine, music, friends & films, and is very excited by new things as am I. She and I still get along really well when we do, but when her dsebemon rises up it becomes harder and harder to chase it away.
    • When she is inclined she is amazing in bed
    • She is smart and charming and genuinely very caring of her friends and family, so she has the capacity to be warm.
    • We share similar views on marriage and kids (as in be nice one day but no rush)
    • We can inspire one another to follow our creative urges and can quite comfortably be away from one another, without feeling the need to be in each other’s pockets
    • We get compliments from people saying we make a great couple.
    • She comes out with random stuff sometimes that makes me laugh hysterically
    • We both had equally rebellious teen years and both mellowed out a lot by the time we met.
    • Our morals and life views are very similar

    As you can see there is a lot keeping us together, but there is a lot trying to keep us apart too, and she often says that I have only stayed out of guilt for the first Xmas to prove I am a good person. There may be an element of truth to that, but mainly it is because we are really good together when we are good and terrible when we are not.

    So I’m asking you to please tell me whether you think we should be together still? If so, how?

  18. Rach
    August 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    How can I make sure I make the right choice when I date again? At first they are nice, and caring, but once the relationship rises so do other problems that where not there. I ask myself what is it that when I choose a man that it ends up being some sort of disaster? If I hold these high standards will it work out better or because the standards of that person be higher too? I have been hurt to much to know what to think of men now. I want a long lasting relationship, but at the same time I am very terrified of what is going to happen in the next one.

  19. Wayan
    August 10, 2012 at 12:34 am

    I can’t remember the last time I was single…When I say single I mean alone, solo not dating and with time to myself for myself. I am a very sexual person and I believe I’m fairly good company I’m not the most unattactive man on the block and I love long walks on the beach. Having said all those incredible things about myself it doesn’t shock me that I have yet another girlfriend in my life. I need a break but it’s too late. I’m a father…not once but twice! My first was with my wife and the second was with my girlfriend…no breaks in between….so besides feeling guilt and pain with a massive shot of conviction…how do I fix myself mentally and become a better man, father friend neighbor….how do I contribute positively and repair the hearts Ive broken. I really want to be a good man from the inside out.

  20. J
    June 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I’ve been with my girlfriend for well over 2 years now and everything’s going downhill, the worst is that she’s a very dear friend to me. It’s reached a point where my self-esteem is near to 0, I constantly think I’m in the wrong that she’s right and that (quote) “I’m a waste of space”, I “don’t know how to treat women”, etc …

    Arguments are quite literally on a day to day basis, the most recent one being not longer than 30 minutes ago.

    Problem is that I’m so deeply in love with her, I can’t help but think of her every second of the day. I read you’re article and 3 key points jumped at me: 6,9 and 11.

    6) She demands me to pin point all the cons about her in detail (i.e “Am I a bad girlfriend”). Whenever I say that she’s kind, generous, appealing or simply a shoulder to rest on she refuses to acknowledge any of these compliments and accuses me of lying and holding secrets back from her.
    She tells me I’m “the best boyfriend she could ever have” but during most of the arguments she argues “You’re not, you don’t treat girls properly”, implying she was lying; this also puts me into tatters because I TRUST her, I know she wouldn’t lie to me.

    9) This might not be relevant because we were going through a transitional period in our relationship: a little over a year back during our GCSE examinations she told me that we needed to take a “break” from each other in order to focus on our studies. I agreed with it because she lter told me we would hook up again after the exams had passed.
    5 days into the “break up” she calls me telling me she still loves me ( I still loved her too so I made my emotions clear to her). However she had met up with my best mate and had a kissing session at his (no intercourse involved … apparently). Bear in mind she only told me about this a few months back this year. I know any acts like this and/or violence can repeat later on the relationship so should I be weary? Has she already done it again?

    11) This point struck me the most. She has been saying “I need time” and “I need (more) space” quite regularly; if it’s just after an argument or just randomly during a phone call.
    She does have “daddy issues” and problems involving her family (This is why I take extra care of not offending her or hurting her).

    Anyway I hope I haven’t bored you with my love life. Thanks again.

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