Walking away from a Dead End Relationship.

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    Hi everyone! I’ve been reading a lot of the forums and articles on the site.. Finally registered to post because I’m looking for some words of encouragement or people who have made it out of similar situations.

    I’ve been with my fiancé for 3.5 years. We got engaged about six months ago. We moved in together rather quickly after we first initially started dating. There were red flags about our relationship from the get go, but I am such a hopeless romantic, optimist and people pleaser that I was blind to them. I have issues with trying to “fix” or help people.

    To make a long story short, basically we are such incredibly different people.. Our core values are not in line with each other’s. I am very independent, enjoy my career and being successful, both as an artist and from a financial stand point. I make goals for myself and work hard to reach them.. And not just necessarily professionally, but also in life in general, as in more traveling, pursuing new hobbies, volunteer work, etc. I want to live my life to the fullest and enjoy every moment of it. But my fiancé, on the other hand, is almost opposite.

    I feel like we’ve coasted for the last few years because he is fine with being in his comfort zone. He doesn’t like to call the shots in our relationship, make decisions, deal with change, or strive for something greater. This has put me in a position where I feel incredibly complacent. I’ve financially supported both of us for the last few years, as well as create a life for us. I feel very alone in this, without a partner. I’ve had to put a lot of things I’ve wanted to do on the back burner because I’ve had to be our anchor. I’ve neglected myself for a long time because I was so busy taking care of him.

    I’ve had this feeling in my gut for probably about a year that I wasn’t really happy in this and not being true to myself. There’s a slew of other emotions with it, like not feeling respected, not being attracted to him anymore.. I know that I need to break it off and walk away. It’s just really hard because I know deep down, it’s the best thing I could do for myself. But I know he isn’t going to cope with it very well. But I’ve enabled behaviors for so long and ignored my intuitions, that it’s honestly drained my spirit and soul of energy and light. And I’ve come to realize that life is just too short to be doing something or involved with someone that doesn’t fulfill you.

    Does anyone have any words of wisdom, or advice and have gone through this before? I’d really appreciate it.. It’s helpful to know that I’m not the only one who has struggled with this before. Thanks so much.

    John Eric

    My friend, I had to learn the hard way, hopeless romantic is exactly that, hopeless. You however are not going to feel his pain, only yours. He may feel this is the greatest relationship ever with a few bumps in the road while you struggle, suffer and fake your happiness.
    You will find, as most do, that ending a bad relationship is hard for a brief moment in time and upon reflection, prayer and meditation, it is liberating and freeing. Do you really want to drag an anchor?
    On this site, you wont be lonely, we are here for you.

    And YOU are always with YOU and you are amazing and worth true happiness.

    His feelings are his feelings, he will deal with them on his own. Growth for him will come of this also in one way or another. This is not your problem, only your prayers for him are necessary. If you are unhappy and free yourself, you have given both people involved a great service, most important to yourself.
    Be well

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 5 months ago by John Eric.

    Hi I saw your post and I feel like you that I am in a dead end relationship, its been 5 years. My boyfriend is a wonderful person, kind considerate caring tender but like your fiancé he is very content with our lives remaining as they have been for the last 5 years. I want us to buy a house together, perhaps have children and get married but he is quite content carrying on living in my small 1 bedroom flat and he is non-committal about kids and marriage. I like yourself work hard and I got a promotion 6 months ago, I do two further education evening courses as perhaps one day I’d like to pursue an artistic or teaching career.
    I’ve known for two years that the relationship is draining me, he tells me he is afraid of doing new things – such as flying on a plane (I really would like a sunshine holiday), dancing on new years eve with me, buying a property together, (but he doesn’t like the thought of me buying by myself) kids, marriage. I have tried and encouraged him but I get so disheartened, I feel I am missing out on things I could be doing as he is pulling me down into his fearful zone. At the weekend he never wants to do anything, I ask him and he has no desires, I get to do all the choosing and arranging and that was so sweet to begin with but now it feels like a chore.
    I have tried to end it before but he cries and tells me he thinks the world of me and then we come up with plans where I say I’ll have more faith in us and my feelings for him and he says he’ll try and be braver. I feel love for him and also pity and I am somewhat scared of being alone, I look at my past relationships and he is the nicest person I have ever known. I think my fear of being alone is holding me back from saying goodbye for good. I feel like I am pretending we will be ok but deep down I know I’m settling for some love rather than positive love. I don’t feel I should need to be trying to change him; we are all different people and I am convinced we should love each other for exactly how we are today & in the present.
    I can’t contemplate ending the relationship at the moment as his dad is ill (possible terminal)in hospital at the moment. The last time I tried to end it was early March. I woke up one morning and I 100% realised I didn’t want the relationship anymore that we weren’t going anywhere and he wasn’t the man for me so I told him this. Two weeks later we were back together. We break up, we make up, we break up, we make up and all this hurt surely means our love starts to die. I’m 38, no kids & no previous marriages and I have faith that there is a better partner out there for me who has some get up and go and wants some of the same things as me.
    I think its best you leave the relationship, think about your long term future with him – I don’t think marrying will help the relationship. You need to feel respect for him and the relationship and be each others strength when life is hard.


    What a wonderful forum. And what an eye opener. You sort of know, or guess or tell yourself ‘it happens all the time’, but it doesn’t sink in until you see a number of other women posting about a problem that has consumed me for years now (men as well, but it’s you women in this thread who particularly struck a chord with me, my situation). I have physically removed myself from a live-in situation, and yet over a year on, 1500km away, and I still haven’t moved on.

    Perhaps I will find the strength to put it all in writing and share. For now I just want to say hello to everyone out there.

    Love, E


    I wish i could tell you this will be easy..but it won’t’ however, i can reassure you that when u finally do this.. you will be so glad you did. My 3 yr committed relationship also just ended. I was ‘suffering in silence’ for quite some time. When the break up happened.. I was initially quite devastated. No matter how much you know it is not right, u still will mourn a loss. I am 4 1/2 weeks out and here is the path (so far)..** I know this will differ for people.

    To begin, get a journal ready! Whether online in a word doc or a written journal. BUT GET A JOURNAL!
    Start to list all the reasons why u are not happy and why he is not right.
    List what you DO want for ur future.. the kind of life.
    List his traits that drive you nuts.. anything from biting his nails to leaving the door open when he has BM. whatever it takes!
    Read articles and copy the URL in the journal so you can refer back.
    Write in it everytime u have a feeling or emotion that u want to express and remember.

    Gather ur closest buddies..u will need them!

    When u decide to break up.. it may be that he realizes and actually ends the relationship first bc he has a fear of rejection and wants to protect himself from being dumped..but at some point it will end.

    So, here is the process that i went thru and from what i have read (and i have read alot!) this is not atypical.

    Immediately, u are in disbelief… Kinda empowered at first.. like relieved… but shortly thereafter… around a day to 5 days…you just can’t believe it..U are in utter shock… u want to pick up the phone, text.. see him…sleep with him, etc. U will indeed cry and feel like u messed up and start romanticizing…..but will be rotating between sadness, desperation, hopelessness then relief and empowered. These cycles rotate often..sometimes different emotions in as little as a few minutes..U could be laughing and then sobbing uncontrollably.. u may want to recluse in your home… U will crave him like a drug… U may wake in panic… anxious.. etc.. be prepared.. but u have to hold on! WHY? Because after two weeks of this.. u will start to not feel as upset, the panic will be less….. u won’t have the extremes in emotion and as much of a cycling process… U may then feel more normal but u will also start to feel more overall sad feelings..kinda like a real loss.. U will question yourself..what could i have done differently..u will replay scenarios in ur relationship over and over..literally obsess. U will really ‘grieve’ the loss of what you thought was.. the loss of a dream. This is truly sad…u hear songs and u see yourself.. ‘someone i used to know’ was hard for me because seriously..here is this person who knows so much about you..u open ur soul to him and POOF.. done. this is sad. Who would not feel sad? And be prepared, if he does not want this.. he will reach out to you.. and u will either fold and go back.. things will be awesome for a while but then the same issues will surface and u will come back to where you are now.. its inevitable.

    U tend to wonder what he is doing..if he is seeing anyone.. etc. etc. U feel sad, u feel confused, u feel alone..u may suddenly cry get spurts of desperation..etc. emotions run the deepest when u hear about him, see him on social media.. etc.. U simply FREAK with emotion…. but again, HOLD ON! why? Because soon you are at a month.. once u hit this point..i can promise u…if you BELIEVE this is over and U KNOW it is the right decision.. u will feel better..u will think of him often.. may perhaps still try to cyber stalk him from time to time.. but i can promise u it gets easier. Don’t get me wrong.. it is not ‘easy’ at all. but not that hard.

    FOr me, it is far easier now…then the last 1 1/2 yrs where everyday i was battling the TRUTH.. the truth that i was in a deadend relationship. That HURTS and is painful..

    U need to say to yourself..
    This is going to truly suck for a while..but i am going to TRUST the process and have faith that the PAIN i am going thru now will be worth it at the end.. meaning, u will learn about YOU and become a better you… why? Because u need to figure out why u are settling..u need to trust your feelings…

    Trust me. i am working thru this and it is still not at all easy.. i almost married the man.. but i know, in my heart, this was the right decision.. so when i think about him and miss the good times.. i focus on WHY we are not together….

    For me. i fell out of love at least 1 1/2 yrs ago and then held on until now.. i admitted this to myself this past summer..but again held on thinking perhaps it was circumstances in my own life. But it wasn’t. It was the dead end relationship. I Felt hopeless for the future.I cried often to him (i can’t believe he didnt bail on me!) I saw NO future with him …he would indeed question me about this… yet i could not say it to him because i could not admit that to myself at all. He proposed last summer and i told him i was not ready d/t our circumstances… but truth is..after 2 + yrs, it should be YES OR NO…. not ‘im not ready.’

    I need to be clear here.. i fell out of love bc he was not ‘kind’ to me the way he should have been. He was very manipulative and controlling and i felt that i was constantly walking on egg shelves to please him or not get him upset. i could simply say something as a side note or make a comment about a situation in a nonchalant way. if he did not see it the same way, rather than talking to me about it, he would often rage and run out.. often leaving me feel abandoned and alone. Ironically, this is how our relationship ended.
    I believe the many cycles of his rage and controlling behaviors (which elicited my guilt, sense of obligation and often feeling fear) truly exhausted me. I no longer even wanted to be with him. I would find myself making excuses to not be with him, etc. It was wrong of me but i did not understand why i was feeling such feelings. i kept thinking i could ‘fix’ the situation and everything would be fine.

    Here’s a key question u need to ask yourself?
    1. Can u imagine your life without this man?

    If the answer is YES, get out.

    Here is a statement that helps me stay strong:
    ‘U accept the love u believe u deserve’
    Meaning, if u are in the least bit truly settling.. GET OUT.

    I hope this helps you..i only wished i could find a step by step guide to getting thru the pain.. but everyone is different based on so many circumstances.. But i will also end with this.. the only way thru is to GET THRU.. meaning, don’t fight it..feel it. I believe my ‘feeling’ and acknowledging this loss and really feeling it is helping me LET GO and move on.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 5 months ago by Des.

    I’m struggling with this now. Feel like someone punched me in the stomach. Long term relationship but when I sit back I can see that this man was emotionless and selfish. I was always at fault for whatever happened to me. I could see my future with him would be very cold but trying to walk away is killing me emotionally. If I stop thinking about walking away, I feel better. I dread the loneliness but we have had a long distance relationship for 4 years and yes think about it, I have been alone. This struggle with heart and mind is hard.


    I like this forum, it’s helping me keep strong, Des thanks so much for your post about your experiences. Like you for the first few days after our last break up I felt a weight had been lifted; I had so much faith in my future.
    Then I became upset; I’d never find anyone else, I felt so lonely, had I done the right thing, what about all the good times we had. I spoke to a mutual friend and told her about the break up and she was like he thinks the world of you, you are so good together, you shouldn’t feel as you do, everything will work out. This friend and her husband and kids are very close to us.
    So we got back together and here I am 4 weeks on regretting it, tomorrow his dad is going to have a major operation for his advanced cancer.
    When I met him and he told me he still lived at home (at age 42) these huge alarm bells went off in my head, I remember the moment clearly but I liked him, he was a genuine nice guy and I thought I could fix that.
    We took the early days of our relationship very slowly, after a year or so he had moved in and I was very happy with the arrangement. He didn’t move his stuff in (as my flat is tiny) and his mum still wanted to do his washing & ironing, so I had no chores. He didn’t pay any rent bc he is on appalling pay (he works for the family business) and I just rolled with it as he’s such a nice bloke and I loved him.
    The first Christmas, his Mum says ‘are u sure u want to get involved, a close family member has been in prison’. I should of realised way back that his Mum wasn’t prepared to let him go, she was trying to push me away and has been doing so ever since (he’d been single for 20 years before me). Going out with his parents became an emotional ordeal for me due to her name calling but I kept on giving her the benefit of the doubt, it’s her age, her diabetes, just the way she is. Out of respect I hardly ever answered back. One time I invited his parents to my flat for dinner, she sat there and was critical of most things and I decided here and then never again will I have them round. My partner has 4 financial outgoings, his leisure/socialising money, he pays my flat electricity, he now pays a token rent to me and pays half our food costs – everything else is paid via the family business (i.e. car costs, phone bills). He has it so easy why would he want anything to change.
    So I reckon he is non-committal about us bc he doesn’t really need our relationship bc he hasn’t broke the bond with his parents so he doesn’t really need my love. He probably isn’t emotionally available as he has a co-dependency with his parents, actually his co-dependency is to his Mum (he is a only child). Last night I talked to him and told him when he tells me he can’t see his life without me that I don’t believe it as he has done nothing in the last five years to help build US. I told him I had been in love before and I knew that romantic times and cuddles did not build a relationship. I told him that by making no decisions he had actually made a decision that said to me he didn’t care about building US, he was happy with the way things were. I told him if he loved me truly, he must tell me how the future is going to be, he can’t keep on stringing me along.
    I asked my partner will he carry on working for the family business (which is on the same grounds as the family home) being paid peanuts and supporting his parents until the day they are gone, I asked when would our life begin. I said I would not wait around for him; that the only way I could feel his number 1 (which is what I deserve to be) is if he asked them to sell the family home and business, he got a proper job and he moved them to a place where they would be less of a responsibility to him (i.e. near a bus route, near the supermarket, near the doctors & hospital, near other people). The family home is an out of town 4 bed bungalow with an acre of garden, his parents are in their mid 70’s and soon this will be too much for them. I won’t push for an answer to this as he doesn’t need it when his dad is so ill but I need to be told that I am not leaving a relationship where he may put me first.
    I’m writing this and calling myself a fool, I should of not got back with him, I should not have listened to our mutual friend who’s bias was for him to be happy as she is primarily his friend.
    Do I walk away now beating myself up because I was cruel and I couldn’t support him when his dad was ill? Has fate brought us back together bc I need to be there for him at this time? I’m on a road not of my choosing and I feel lost.


    What I am dealing with is my own foiables. I entered into therapy shortly after I met him due to extreme confusion as to what was going on. He was attentive, entertaining, cute, funny and we loved the same music. After seeing him for 3 months, he told me he just couldn’t possibly be in a relationship for all the reasons that people use. I had fallen for him Deeply fell for him. So excited to be with him. He spent a lot of his time with me. Then the weird things began. I wasn’t allowed to call him. If I took his arms to wrap around me then I was just TAKING and not allowing anything to be natural. I got a lecture our first Valentines’ Day together. IN 3 1/2 years he has bought me NOTHING. (I say I’m not even worth a gas station rose to him.) Much research lead me to understand I was dealing with a narcissist. He has been so mean to me. You would think I’d turn and run.
    But NOOOOOoooooo…..my own foiables. I have operated under the delusion that God put us together, and that I was to be there to help and support him, and care for him. I was certainly educated as to what was going on but by then decided I could deal with it…he was still teachable. My foiables. He has not ever been romantic. I kept thinking about the woman on one blog who talked abt. being in a 20 year marriage and being intimate only 5 times. YUK!!! My foiables. My belief because I felt it to my inner core. I so strongly believed I was to be there for him thru all odds. (Needless to say it has not been reciprocated).
    My foiables. My delusion. So I google delusion and to break from it tonite. Not my saying but they said deception is a lie wrapped in the truth. Listen to God’s truth and ACT ON IT. Give permission for one trusted person to hold us accountable…they confront us when they see us living a false belief.
    So, like you, I am trying to get over him. We split and reunite all the time. But what is God’s truth for me? If I really shine a light on that, then I know this is not the right man for me. It would never work. I am going to let go of some of this false thinking TONIGHT!!! Thank you all for listening to my story. One thing I will leave you with that is a solid truth…there ARE plenty of fish in the sea. Break up, start to heal, then go looking again. Don’t grow bitter. You will be lead to a good partner. Make a daily contract to just live. Then do what you have to do to heal. Then start fishing.
    May every blessing be yours


    Thank you for your thoughts about narcissism and your experience and I found comfort. My time is short as I am off to the doctors for a blood test to check for underactive thyroid as I am quite depressed. I think he could be selfish as everything he ever wanted as a child and adult has been delivered freely by his parents, I assume he is expecting the same unconditional love from me but I am not his parent and he probably has very limited ideas about how a male to female relationship should be. Why do I keep making allowances for him?


    I too was in a relationship with a narcissist. I did everything for him financially and feel very stupid. He now has found another “sucker”” to use but for whatever reason still wants to hold on here. He wants multiple relationships.

    One thing I keep trying to tell myself as I try to let go is that “I am the winner.” I’m breaking away and he is going to be someone else’s problem.


    If he has had no psychological assessment, I might recommend it. He sounds clinically depressed, that said…you know your capacity for the pure bullsh..u have to put up with. Above all we need to come first for our own sake. It must include basic hygiene nutrition hydration and brain numbing comedy. Avoid the news. Too negative..and work diligently to counter the critic in your head with mental retort that is positive. Peace


    Esp for Suze. Aha! That is the real question. For me, I am sure I had really screwed up hormonal and chemical stuff in my head after 3major surgeries in 6 weeks. I went over a cliff and sank to the depths of a dark abyss. Lotsa work…better now. It’s only the grace of god that I didn’t make a suicide attempt. After his 39 y.o. Ass hooked up w. A 19 y.o. Daughter of his band mate and friend…as they say, the cheese slipped off the cracker. I have an enduring faith that can only grow stronger. God kept me alive.
    For me the chaos of an abusive past felt familiar. Somewhere I believed I was tainted, less than. What is the TRUTH? That I am human and make mistakes but I am a really good person. Flat. You gotta make yourself believe it too because it is the truth.
    I wish you we’ll as you explore Furthur why you give into him. More to come.

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 5 months ago by rushlady.

    I wasted 3 years of my time with someone who I thought was just avoidant but now realize is Schizoid. I have not heard of this personality disorder but wanted to share so that maybe some of you can be spared the pain I endured. Secrets and boundaries were the basis of this relationship, lack of intimacy and distancing. Being a very caring and loving person, this was a huge issue for me. Clearly, this man was getting his intimacy needs met somewhere. I found where. Online, fantasy, porn. I could not understand why we never had any real discussions, just dates, to concerts and dinners and such. This relationship left me feeling horrible about myself but now I realize it is not my issue. A schizoid person does not really want any close intimate relationship with anyone, usually is introverted, does not show a normal display of emotions and can leave a relationship without normal feelings or residual because in the relationship they play a part which does not interfere with their real personality which they do not reveal. The are sexually apathetic or find their satisfaction by themselves in masturbation, casual non intimate sex or celibacy. Sex to them allows someone to be too close to them. So, if any of this seems familiar, do your homework. You may have gotten in and hopefully out of a relationship with a schizoid.


    perhaps he has avoidant personality or is schizoid. I learned. Good luck.


    Just throwing in my two cents worth here, but I would encourage everybody to stop focusing on “diagnosing” their ex/partners. Was it narcissism, depression, avoidant personality, schizoid, etc? Think about yourself and what your needs are in a relationship. If the relationship is over, or if you have made a decision to end it but have yet to carry through, it’s no longer important what personality deficiencies or mental health conditions your (soon to be) ex has. That is all on your rear view mirror now. Focusing on the other person just perpetuates the idea that they have control over your thoughts and emotions.

    T, I really feel for you as I know from experience how difficult it is to let go of someone you’ve invested so much heart and soul into. Know that you are doing right by you and have the courage to carry through on this difficult journey. Des described a lot of the same feelings I went through when I recently ended my three year relationship. There will be ups and downs to be sure.

    A book I have recommended that helped me really think about how difficult it was for me to leave is “How to Break Your Addiction to a Person” by Howard Halpern. The title and use of the word “addiction” is a little sensational, but the case studies he shares and analysis of “attachment hunger” that leads one to stay in an unfulfilling relationship really resonated with me.

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