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Hi Lauren, A child does complicate matters. Do you live together? Does he want to stay together? Is he interested in growing and getting a handle on the anger? Whether you stay together or not, I feel it’s really important for your child and for both of you to continue to be loving and communicate honestly and don’t leave him until he’s ready to have a different yet loving relationship of a different nature (friends and co-parents.) Unless his anger is truly problematic. Setting boundaries is really important too, when one party has unhealthy habits or behavior (like displays of anger.) I’m sure you will figure this all out. Just the fact that you’re asking the right questions means you’ll find the answers. Love, Jarl
Lauren, I love your question and honesty. In my article above ‘Love is a verb’ I tell the story about the sage suggesting to the man who feels the love is gone to reignite it by being loving. That’s a different scenario than the one you are describing. You feel you are not a fit anymore because your values have changed, you’ve grown in different ways and you want different things out of life. That is common among couples who get together early in life before you have even defined what you want out of life. There is no use in trying to fit a square poll in a round hole.
I would definitely leave a relationship that was no longer serving either of us in a joyful or healthy way. Of course, relationships have their discomforts and I wouldn’t recommend bolting just because the going gets tough, but if you’re not feeling like you’re on the same page anymore and don’t feel that you are growing together, it seems better to move on.
But that doesn’t mean you stop loving the person who no longer fits into the role they’ve been in. My husband and I divorced 15 years ago, after 18 years of marriage because we truly did want different things out of life. However, we did so lovingly and only when each was ready. We are still very close friends. We have a daughter who is 32. I’m remarried and so is my ex-husband, but we all get together and have dinners together and holidays. We still talk on the phone occasionally. I still love him. He has a new place in my life, one that fits who he is and who I am. We didn’t stop loving one another, we just took different rolls in each others lives.
I’m not sure that would be the case with you and your boyfriend since you are still young and don’t have children. But, I recommend with everyone who is considering leaving a relationship to do it with love and kindness and when both are ready. Just unilaterally leaving a relationship causes wounds. (Unless one needs to do so because of abuse.) When it’s done with love and care and consideration, it’s healing.
If I were you, I’d start a conversation with him letting him know your concerns and your desire for each of you to be in relationships that are perfectly suited for you both. And stay tuned-in to his feelings until he gets that you aren’t rejecting him, you are just wanting the best for each of you.
I hope that clarifies things a bit more for you. I’m happy to keep this conversation going if you have anymore questions. 🙂 Love, Jarl
I think you definitely hit upon the truth! I’ve found that every time I’m angry at someone, it’s really me that I’m angry at for not setting limits or honoring my truth at the time. Great to discover this, it puts you in the drivers seat rather than feeling like a victim of circumstances. Empowering! Good catch. 🙂