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How do you end a relationship?

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 month ago.

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  • #313041

    Ivey
    Participant

    I have been with my boyfriend for just over 2 years now. Over the past year there have been a couple of times where I have entered a conversation with the intention of breaking up, but both times went back on it because in the moment I couldn’t come to terms with it.

    We started off as best friends and initially I wasn’t romantically drawn to him, but over 6 months the attraction developed and I realised there were definitely feelings there. The first year of our relationship was amazing! We were so close and in love and spent every moment we could together. I was a lot more sexual than him in the beginning, wanting to kiss him all the time and be intimate. After about a year I began to lose my libido and our sexual encounters became a lot more spread out. We would go months without sex and I would find myself getting extremely anxious when I felt pressured to, making the situation a lot worse. We have pretty good communication so I spoke to him about how I was feeling and he was always very understanding. He is the best person I know in every possible way and loves me more than I could ever imagine anyone else loving me. That is why this is so difficult for me.

    The first time I tried to end it, I told him everything on my mind and that I thought I needed to be on my own for a while. I had never seen him cry before and I was not prepared for the amount of pain we both experienced that night. Both of our hearts shattered into a million pieces and it felt like we were dying. The pain is something I’d never experienced and it really shocked me. I thought that if ending things was going to cause so much pain then it clearly isn’t what I want and that is what I told him, so we didn’t go through with it. That experience brought us closer together and I felt so much more love for him than I recently had, and we were very happy afterwards. He and I both know that I am attracted to girls, probably more so than guys, but it wasn’t an issue because I loved him and something he quite often joked about. It is however something that constantly came into my mind and it almost felt like I was trying to ignore it because I knew I was also attracted to guys. The second time I tried to end things I felt like I was entirely attracted to girls and needed to explore my sexuality more. He was amazingly understanding about it and wasn’t at all angry with me, but I lay next to him holding him in my arms for 4 hours while he sobbed. I couldn’t cope knowing that I was causing someone so much pain and it was literally killing me so I couldn’t do it. I told him I wanted to try work at it and see if things change and that I wanted to work that out with him. I was genuinely happy with my decision and we were really good again. I was happy when we were intimate and I really did want to spend all my time with him.

    He literally adores me, does everything for me, loves me more than anything and says he could never love anyone else. Having spent almost every day together, it feels as though we have been in a relationship for a lot longer than we have. We have planned out our life, spoken about getting married and have 2 dogs together. A lot of the time I am happy, but I know I can’t give him everything he deserves. He has told me he doesn’t care about sex and that he would rather spend his life without it as long as he is with me. I know deep down that this isn’t what I want and I’ve been pushing it to the back of my mind. I wish I wanted to do everything for him and love him as much as he does, but I don’t. I know that listening to my heart is going to break someone else’s and I don’t know if Im capable of it. I’m really scared and I don’t know how to go through with it or if I will hate myself for it.

    #313107

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ivey:

    Are you certain that you want to end the relationship, and the only thing you are struggling with is “How to” end it, not if to end it?

    You mentioned being attracted to girls and to guys, maybe more to girls. Thing is, any woman who is in a committed, monogamous relationship gives up on potential other-relationships, with other-people, women and men. In other words, a sexual preference does not exclude having a committed, monogamous relationship.

    It is definitely unhealthy for him to be exposed to an on-again-off-again relationship with you. So it does need to be either on or off.

    Back to my initial question..?

    anita

    #313119

    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Ivey,

    I was on the other side of this.

    The guy said that he was bi and wanted to have the experience of other men, so we obviously couldn’t be in an exclusive relationship.

    Later he tried to come back after having had his fill of “experiences” as he put it. (No, I didn’t take him back.)

    Tell him you want to date girls now and that hopefully he would have you back one day, but that you’d understand if he wants to move on.

    Best,

    Inky

    #313171

    Grenada
    Participant

    Hi Ivey,

    finally a lgbt question! Lol im a woman who dates women so I totally understand what you’re going through.

    Break ups are hard no matter what. But staying in a relationship because you don’t want the other to be sad will do long term damage. It sacrifices your own happiness and it makes things harder to let go further down the line.

    It seems you definitely want to explore & that’s an important part of life & development, exploring. He can either support it or not, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing what you need to do for your individual growth.

    Have you considered an open relationship? Or polyamory? Or are you just like, ready to move on completely and date a woman?

    #313531

    Ivey
    Participant

    Thanks for your responses! Anita, I understand what you’re saying and I completely agree. I haven’t decided that I want to end the relationship because I necessarily want to explore with women, It was more something I kept thinking about along the way. I have struggled with your question for so long! Is this really what I want? And it isn’t an easy question to answer. At the end of the day I’ve realised that you need to listen to your gut and mine is telling me that it doesn’t feel right, regardless of sexual preference.

    Inky, I don’t think it’s a situation where I want to explore and have him take me back afterwards. If he told me he wanted to be with another person I think I would feel relieved, and that’s how I know I need to end it.

    Grenada, I really needed to be told that and I completely agree with you. I’ve accepted that I need to do it, but I’m still really struggling with the idea of hurting him. I know that I don’t want to enter another relationship for a while unless it’s an open one, but that is something I know he isn’t interested in.

    #313541

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ivey:

    I read your recent post and re-read your original post: no indication that you mistreated him at any time during your friendship and relationship with him; no indication that you were dishonest with him at any time.

    “He is the best person I know in every possible way… He was amazingly understanding about it (the second time you broke up with him) and wasn’t at all angry with me, but I lay next to him holding him in my arms for 4 hours while he sobbed. I couldn’t cope knowing that I was causing someone so much pain and it was literally killing me so I couldn’t do it… He literally adores me, does everything for me, loves me more than anything and says he could never love anyone else”-

    – it doesn’t read to me that he loves you “more than anything”, as long as you stay with him, he loves you more than anything. He cried the first time you broke up with you and it worked. So he cried the second time and it is working, somewhat.

    “causing someone so much pain.. was literally killing me”- this is guilt, a form of suffering. He may be okay with you suffering this way as long as you stay with him.

    He may be “the best person (you) know” but maybe not “in every possible way”- a good person does not keep another good person in their lives by inducing guilt in that  person.

    Nothing wrong with a man crying. But four hours of it leads me to think that at some time in those four hours, a thought likely occurred to him- that you may be feeling guilty and that he doesn’t want guilt to be the reason you stay with him.

    anita

    #313567

    Grenada
    Participant

    I definitely understand you not wanting to jump into another relationship. I definitely think you should explore & see what’s out there. And then if you meet someone you really like treat that situation appropriately.

    In terms of the guilt trips etc. I’m not going to judge your boyfriend so harshly for it. We are all selfish, naturally. I’ve had my share of manipulative moments and guilt tripping too. It always bit me in the butt in the end, but that was something I needed to learn with maturity. To let go of control , if we are having to manipulate or force situations to satisfy our own needs, in the long run it gets out of control & leads us to more discomfort & satisfaction.

    changes are hard in general. Whether it be a positive or negative change. We are habitual beings. So I think psychological we try to keep changes from happening and it takes extra conscious effort and awareness to go through with it and stand strong in it.

    It seems you have your mind made up so in my opinion , as long as you have everything you need, a clear plan out, you should just part ways as soon as possible instead of dragging it on which makes it harder.

    Do you have any friends who can support you through the break up?

    Are you already dating or interested in dating a particular person? Are they supportive ?

    #313569

    Grenada
    Participant

    Dissatisfaction *

    psychologically *

    #313635

    Ivey
    Participant

    I don’t think he was at all trying to guilt me into staying with him. He was just extremely sad. I understand how it may appear that way, but knowing him, I just really don’t see that. I have a couple friends to help me through, but I just feel so sick about the whole situation. No I’m not interested in anyone else at the moment.

    #313807

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ivey:

    I am guessing that as “extremely sad” as he is over the possibility of a breakup with you, and you being “so sick about the whole situation”, the two of you will be very motivated to pay for quality couple counseling for a few sessions over a few weeks or a couple of months,  so to figure out where to go from here- what is best for the two of you to do and how to do it.

    anita

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