How to Leave a Man You Love – But Can’t Live With

Leaving a man you’ve loved for years isn’t just a physical move out of the house…it’s a painful emotional break. These tips on how to leave a man you love but can’t live with will help you decide if it’s time to say good-bye.

How to Leave a Man You Love – But Can’t Live WithDeal Breakers: When to Work On a Relationship and When to Walk Away by Dr. Bethany Marshall can help you decide if you want to leave this man you’ve loved for years. Knowing if it’s time to go is a difficult decision, even in the most toxic relationships. This book will help you decide what’s a deal breaker – things you can’t live with – and what you can live with because you don’t want to leave the man you love.

Before reading the tips, remember what Gloria Steinem said: “If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?” If your relationship doesn’t suit you, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to change! Sometimes the only thing you need to change is your circumstances. It’s hard to leave a man you’ve loved forever, but it is possible.

How to Leave a Man You Love

Here are some suggestions for leaving a relationship that’s been over for years or months, motivated by a reader’s question on my article about surviving a marriage crisis.

Face the fear that you’ll never be loved again

I’ve been stuck in bad relationships because I was scared nobody else would love me. I didn’t realize that there are plenty of good men who would love to love me, and who would be good for me! My self-esteem and self-confidence was rock bottom, and it held me back from moving on to bigger and better men. To leave your bad boyfriend, you need to build self-confidence.

Get rid of guilty feelings for leaving the man you’ve loved for years

leaving a man you love

How to Leave a Man You Love

Sometimes, women stay in bad relationships because they feel guilty, or don’t want to leave their boyfriends or husbands in a bad financial, emotional, or social situation. This is misplaced guilt and faulty reasoning! Don’t let negative emotions like fear of what people will think, fear of criticism, or guilt and shame keep you chained to a bad relationship. If you feel like you can’t leave your husband, read How to Survive a Loveless Marriage.

Picture yourself a year from now

Where do you want to be living? What do you want to be doing? Who do you want to be loving – and who do you want loving you? Often, focusing on our goals – our wish list – can give us motivation and strength to do what we need to do…even if it involves letting go of someone we love.

Accept the help you need to leave the man you’ve loved for years

Here’s a sobering thought from Gloria Steinem: “If women have young children, they are one man away from welfare.” But, accepting financial help from the government is far more preferable than staying in a bad relationship! When I was a kid, we were on welfare for most of my childhood – and my mom was single, free, and independent (well, as independent as you can be when you rely on the government for support).

Start asking questions

“God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions,” said Steinem. “Once we begin to ask them, there’s no turning back.” Asking questions opens up new possibilities, new ways of thinking, new ways of being in the world. Also, I recently learned that women respond to love in different ways than men, which makes it even more difficult to find the strength to leave a man you’ve loved forever. Is it possible that you can figure out how to leave a man you love but can’t live with by learning how he gives and receives love?

Questions to ask yourself about your life:

How to Leave a Man You Love

How to Leave a Man You Love – But Can’t Live With

  • Who am I now…and who do I want to become?
  • If not now, when?
  • Who do I admire?
  • What did I want my life to be like when I was young, naïve, idealistic, passionate?

Questions to ask yourself about leaving men who aren’t good for you:

  • What am I getting out of this relationship, which I know is bad for me?
  • Who is watching me in this relationship – my kids, nieces, neighbors, family members, friends? What are they learning about me, about life?
  • What would I do about this relationship if I knew I would not fail?

You don’t need to know the answers to these questions right now. Just sit with them, let them simmer in the back of your mind. One day, you’ll be ready to make a decision to be strong and leave your partner…or be strong in a different way, and stay.

Are you struggling to find the strength to leave a man you’ve loved for years? I encourage you to listen to your gut and your brain, and do what it takes to create a life that makes you happy and fulfilled.

For more tips on leaving a man you love, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.

Fix Your Marriage

I welcome your thoughts on how to leave a man you’ve loved for years, but I can’t offer personal advice or counseling. It might help to write how you feel about leaving a relationship, though, and perhaps get feedback from others.

Article Name
How to Leave a Man You Love - But Can't Live With
Tips on how to leave a man you love but can’t live with, to help women decide if it’s time to say good-bye.

Before You Go...

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Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
I'm a full-time freelance writer and blogger in Vancouver, BC. I created the "Quips and Tips" blog series; my degrees are in Education, Psychology, and Social Work. I welcome your comments below, but I don't give advice. I can offer you a prayer and a blessing, though! You'd be surprised how helpful a prayer can be....

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82 Responses

  1. Sydney says:

    Ok, so I have been with my boyfriend for almost 4 years and I love him with all my heart. He’s loyal to me, tells me how much he loves me, works as much as I do to financially support ourselves. My problem is he can’t do anything without me telling him. He can’t make a decision On his own. He can’t do his own laundry, wash his own dishes, take a shower voluntarily, nothing. I don’t know if this is just a guy being a guy or is he really incapable of living his life. At first I didn’t mind making decisions for him, or catering to him sometimes because I am a control freak so it was a bit of a relief. But now it’s gotten to the point where I can’t take it anymore. I have to find him his jobs, remind him to shower and brush his teeth, beg him to take his dog out. He can’t even go grocery shopping on his own. I literally have to go either with him or by myself or we won’t have groceries for a month. The reason I’m even looking up ways to be strong and just end it with him is because I really do love this man but I can’t see myself having a family with him. I can’t see him making any big decisions on how to raise our children, where to live, what house to buy, what schools our children will go to, how to raise them. It makes me sick to my stomach knowing he might never change and I’ll end up having to do this on my own. I don’t even think he’ll ever make his own decision to buy me a ring and propose unless I stable the idea in his brain and plan it out myself. I truly don’t know what to do anymore. I see myself growing old with him some days and truly being happy. He is seriously the best thing that has ever stepped into my life. He cares so much about me and is respectful, loyal, loves my family, but I don’t know if Im settling for this nice side of him. I’d rather have a man by my side that respects and loves me for who I am then cheats, lies, or abuses me physically or emotionally than to have someone who wears the pants in the relationship and is independent but cheats on me and lies. I feel like you can’t have both in this lifetime. It’s not real.

  2. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Just Me,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how difficult it is to leave a man you love even when he’s lying and cheating. It’s not about the money, is it? It’s hard to walk away from a relationship because you don’t know what the future holds. The hell we know is easier to bear than the unknown.

    I pray for strength and power in your life. May you take time to stop, be still, connect with God. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and listen to what your soul is saying to you. Heed the still small voice that wants you to live a healthy life — and that wants your child to be surrounded by peace, hope, strength, faith, love, and honor. I pray for wisdom in your life, and for a strength that surpasses all fear. I’m remember how the words “Fear not” are said over and over in Scripture, and I pray that you hear those words as if God is speaking them to your very soul. Amen.


  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Dear Janae,

    My prayer is for strength and courage. May you follow the convictions of your heart, and find the strength to stay true to yourself. You know what you want to do and how you want to live your life. You know that whatever decision you make now will affect the rest of your life. I pray that you take time to make the right decision for you, and that you make peace with the decision you make. May you take time to connect with God, solidify your faith, and follow your heart and soul.

    I also pray for the right people to come into your life, to walk with you through whatever your decision is. Take heart. Be weak when you need to be weak, but find the right people to lean on. Follow your heart. Take care of your body, mind, and soul…for this is the only life you get to live.


  4. Just Me says:

    I revisited a prior realtionship that I was once engaged to this man and we both went our seperate ways. I was not ready back then to get married and move and start all over. My two children we in their last years of school and i just did not want what he wanted. I then dated someone who did nothing but lie and cheat on me. It was a complete mind control and i was able to hold onto God and break free. I ran so fast and far from that bad realtionsship that I ended up back in this mans arms again. He broke off an engagement to be back with me and i thought things were wonderful. i relocated to his home moved in with him, sold my house and transfered to a different department to work and live in his area. I also put 68 thousand dollars into HIS home and bought a joint vacation property with him. I found out that he was cheating on me the entire time with the ex that he broke it off with. I also became pregnant and considered abortion but very quickly realised that on a moral level it was something i could never do. He cheated on me a total of ten times all through my pregnancy and now the baby is 8 months old and I found out that 3 weeks ago he is still out telling peoplethat his ex knows that he is still in love with her and he will never love anyone like he loved her. Here I am and I am alot stronger than i was while i was pregnant. I don’t have to rely on him from a money stand point. I am the bread winner but for some odd reason I am scared to leave?? WHY??

  5. Janae says:

    I have been knowing this guy since 3rd grade we lost contact and found teach other last year in May. We had been unbreakable. I love this man so much and he tells me he loves me too. I moved to where he is from and we have a house together but he never moved his stuff in the house. Before I moved here he was roommates with his bm. She know about me and i know about her. We have met in person as well. So recently I found I was pregnant and everything changed. He has been pressuring me to have a abortion. However my beliefs want let me wrap my mind around it. It has came to the point where he had become verbal abusive and now he telling me to kill the baby or he is leaving me. I’m so lost and confused because I know that all the mean things come from me not following what he want but I can wrap my mind on having a abortion. I’m so confused and hurt. I just never knew love was like this.

    • Jmet says:

      Love isn’t like that. True love is never abusive. If you feel you should keep the baby, then do what you want. It is YOUR body. IF he decides at the end of the day not to be in you or your child’s life then that’s his loss. As hard as it may seem now to go through this without him, know that you can. As a woman you were made to handle childbirth and childrearing. If he was living with his bm, that might indicate that he is a person that will take care of his responsibilites. Not giving him excuses, but that might be why he wants you to get an avortion so bad because he knows if he has another child he will have to be responsible. I know it hurts to be in love with a man who isn’t everything you thought he was. If you just make your own decisions and be the strong woman you are, then he will come around, That’s what attracted him to you in the first place right? If not, then it’s better you know now than after you’ve been married for 10 years with 2 kids that he’s not who you thought he was. You can’t control what he does. You can only control what you do, so do what you feel is right. A child is a blessing and there are so many avenues of help and support out there. Enjoy your pregnancy, take care of the baby and don’t stress about that man.

  6. Laurie PK says:

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience. I know other readers feel not so alone when they read your comments and learn that other women are struggling with the idea of leaving a man they love.

    My prayer is that you find peace, love, strength, and courage. May you connect with people who can help you decide what to do with your life. May you connect with God, who loves you and wants to comfort you. And may you connect with yourself, and learn how to practice self-care and self-compassion. I will keep you in my prayers.


  7. Amy says:

    I have been married to my husband 6 years, we have 4 children together. Recently he left and hasn’t been in contact and his friends say he can’t cope with family anymore. When he was living here it was like I wanted him to go as he was always moody and would never talk to me. He was always out and when he was in it was like walking on egg shells. He would never be loving or show any affection towards me and used to say nasty things to me. ( god it’s sounds bad actually writing it out) but now he gone I feel empty like I just waiting for him to walk back in the door. But his friends have made it quite clear he’s not coming back. I know people would say run a mile but I love him and I’m really not coping. Every day is a challenge, keep thinking where he is and who he’s with. It’s driving me mad. I just can’t let go.

    • tarsha says:

      Draw near to God & he will draw near to you. I promise u that’s where you will find strength ,faith ,and hope. The situation seem hopeless & that there’s more pain than your able to bear. Even if it feels that way you have to see God’s love for you & it that far out weighs any love. Jeremiah 29:11 says
      For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. God want to give you an expected end. So think or the great things God as for your future. Peace be with you

  8. rene says:

    I’ve been talking with this dude FA about 10 months now.Idk weather he using me or not,the past months I never meant none of his ppl and when I ask him he doesn’t respond back to me.We don’t go out to placed or do anything as a couple.The only time he comes around is she GE wants sum sex..And he early answer his phone or my text messages..I think he has secrets or another woman.

  9. monica says:

    I’ve been married for 11 years. At the time my husband was very young… he is 7 years younger then me. I supported him in everything and followed him in the United States. We went trough difficult times but always be able to face them together. We were very poor but very happy. 4 Years ago, I received a lot of money and I bought an apartment. I bought him a car, computer… everything. I wanted him to be part of this common project of making our house our home. But he never tried to help me in anything focusing only in his career.Probably I did too much.He was always very kind with me, but I think that he started to feel guilty.. this feeling was coming from the fact that he didn’t love me anymore but he didn’t have the guts to tell me because he saw how I was in love with him and how I was fighting to make things better. We didn’t have a “normal life” for years because I was going in and out for the last 4 years.In part was because I was organizing concerts for him and in part for family issue.Before the new year I came back angry because he was never calling or answering and I felt not loved. He told me that he was not sure if he loved me. It was such a shock… my bag was full of gift that I bought for him..I took another international flight and went back and spent the new year alone.When I came back he made me hope again knowing that he already had his answer.He saw how i was suffering and he told me that he was going to help in anything… that I was not alone. Because I was moving constantly because of his job I never had the chance to have friends and he was the only person I could count on.I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive the fact that he didn’t want to face what he was feeling knowing that I would have effect my life soo much. Now I am 40 years old, with nothing left.We avoided to have children because he was dying that we didn’t have financial stability. Maybe is better that we didn’t. I will go back to my family for some time. I’ve been flying all over the world in the last 4 months. When I come back, I know that will have to deal with moving somewhere. But where?Currently I can’t even work because I am on his visa status. In all this caos. We are doing project together.We are buying together one small apartment. You think “Are you crazy?” You are basically closed to divorce and you do an investment with your soon to be ex husband??Well.. I really don’t know why. But we wanted to help each other somehow. We called “bsusiness” relation.I can’t ask for a mortgage because I don’t work. He offered to do it together. This time we will share everything.This is how much we trust each other.He signed that the apartment I bought before it will be mine in case of divorce and we signed an agreement for what we will invest in the future.We are separated but we are facing what it is best for both of us so we don’t feel that one is doing more then the other. Is very strange how we are dealing about it now, and we didn’t do in the past. I know that we will never get back together. But because of our history we still consider each other family. Maybe because we still care at each other.I said that I will have hard time to forgive him, but I also understand why he could not tell me in a very little way. I know that he loves me. not the love of seeing the future together as a married person. But I know that he is a person who I can count on.I feel very sad for how it ended and sometimes I can’t breathe and I can only cry. But I have to move on. I decided to give myself some month to try to heal my mind and my heart.He wanted me to stay with him but it is impossible to be in the same house. Because I love him, hate him,and all possible feelings when my mind is not clear like now. It is a long story sorry… but I needed to write it down… I can’t call my friend in my country because is 4 am for them… so.

  10. Ally says:

    I’ve been living with my boyfriend for 4 years, over the last for years we have had our ups and downs, but one thing has always stood out…he has never supported me, he’s never taken control. He earns more than me but is always broke and asking to borrow money…he’s also a really miserable lazy person who never helps around the house and stops me from going out..

    I joined a church and on the evening of attending the church service he went bonkers and threatened to throw all my stuff out the window of I didn’t come home this instance…I had made some good friends at church who had invited me to a meal with them, in tears I attended the meal as I felt isolated at home & went I arrived home he kicked off and kept me awake all evening knowing full well I had work the next day!! Ever since I’ve tried going to church he has kicked off and made things very diffocult for me, his reasoning is apparently he does t know the ppl at church and single Christian men might speak to me whih is why I can’t go, or if I do go I have to come back straight away and can’t stay to talk to others after the service..

    I’m very confused, scared and frightened about telling him I don’t want to move with him!! He’s a very bitter angry negative person and constantly goes on about how he hates everyone and everything and is biter about the past, he has hated his job for 10yers but has done nothing about it! I don’t see him as a father figure for my children, I feel asthough if I say with him it’ll be me ‘keeping him’ with very little help or support in return!! There is no equal balance in the relationship!! And he doesn’t plan for the future, he wouldn’t be able to put half the money to a mortgage or wedding! Also I really can’t stand his fanily…i come from a loving family where we spend time together and go on walks/holidays/days out! His family are bitter negative, constantly fighting they don’t spend time with each other! His dad is a psycho still bitter over his divorce with my boyfriends mom which happened over 25 years ago, his dad is sexist and dislikes me because I’m educated and a strong independant woman!! Also my boyfriend blames his whole life on his mom and dads divorce!!

    Im confused scared and don’t know what to do.

    I really want time away from him, to complete me final exams and go to church and make my own life and new friends, but he threatens me and says he will destroy me and never speak to me again if I move to live separate. Please help

    • tarsha says:

      I’m not at all licensed to give relationship advise, but I was courageous enough to leave a 20 year relationship 10yrs married. I will say this from experience seek God & the answers will come ask for his will to be done in your life. Just know what ever his plan is for your life it’s not to harm you ,but proper you.

    • GothMom says:


      There are many kinds of abuse, and a woman doesn’t have to be physically harmed to be abused. I learned about these things from living in an abusive relationship.

      It may look like he loves you a lot to be so protective and to crave your time so intensely, but men who limit their partner’s ability to worship, socialize with friends, and their comings and goings are isolating their partner. This is NOT showing love — it is controlling, and that is obsession, not love.

      Keeping a partner up all night on a work night (or any other night, for that matter) arguing or fighting is abuse as well. Threats are abusive as well. If you feel you’re walking on eggshells, you probably are (see the book by this title: Stop Walking on Eggshells).

      Everyone wants to be loved. Most of us want to give love in return. My way out of an abusive relationship was learning to love and to care for myself the way I used to shower love on a partner (and hope it would be returned).

      Your own “wise self” is within you, and from your post it sounds like you know what you need — time, working on your education, trusted friends from the church you’ve been attending. May you find the strength to love yourself enough to give yourself what you know you need and treat yourself the way that you want to be treated by others and walk away.

  11. wendy says:

    Seeking advice : I have been dating a married man off and on for 12 years now. Him and his wife have been seperated for 2 years . She moved out and has her own home . She is also dating someone else . As for him he has been staying with me due to financial circumstances. I have been taking care of him the whole 9 yards until a month ago he found a job. He has been telling me since August of last year that his wife said she was coming back home he just dont know when, per him. To make a long story short he leaves his phone and of course I go through and read his messages to his wife . He goes on to talk about her with another man and he hopes he is good to her and makes her happy and begging her to come back to him that he loves her and she is the only one he wants to be with. Wants to take her shopping but she hasnt responded to any of his messages in about 2 – 3 weeks. His wife does know about me . He said she knows i am with somebody and he know she has a man. At this point I dont know what to do . I do know I am so in love with this man but I am confused . Does he even love me and care like he says or am have I wasted my time even trying or caring ? Please give me some advice !!!!!!

    • Shun says:

      Wendy…really…12 years of dating someone else’s man. I am judging and have no respect for women like you. So you get what you deserve, nothing. He will never want you, because he already has you without commitment. Get your own life and move on.

  12. daisy says:

    i think sharing these here will help me ,i meet my boyfriend its naw one year ad i do love him so much ad i believe he do the same coz he cares so much for me he does all a lady wld need or shows love but these comes he is married to another woman like 10yrs naw ad they dnt hav a kid ad he is much older than me he is naw 38 ad am 21 yrs we do love each ither ad wen we together we get intimate so wel i love him so much that i cant stay without him i accepted his situation ad so naw am very worried coz am pregnant for him so i dnt knw to tel himor jst break up with him coz al need to b with him wen our kid is growing inside me wich i knw aint possible ad al b so lonely ad we again distance naw he is anither country ad am in another but he visits me that he does plz advice if am doing the ryt thing

    • tarsha says:

      If he’s married nothing good will come of it. I really don’t aim to offend or judge, but fact is you can’t convert another woman’s husband.

  13. Jen says:

    I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 4 years now. He is quite a bit older than me. Im 32 and he is 47. He has 3 kids. 15 and 12 year old boys and a 10 year old daughter. His 15 year old son just moved here to go to school as he was having issues with school where he was living. The 12 and 10 year olds live with their mother here in the same town we live in. We have them whenever we can which is at least 50% of the time. My boyfriend mostly works out of town. So that leaves me with the 15 year old and doing all the caring, school stuff, wrestling practice, etc, etc. I love the kids and get along with them great. The 15 year old is a bit much but it has been about 7 months and we are adjusting. I haven’t had any kids of my own, and it is something I used to want very badly, but now I really don’t care, most of the time. He has been fixed so he can’t have anymore, nor does he want any more. Our relationship has been rocky from the get go. He has been married twice before. I get along great with the mothers of his children. The things I have issues with are his wandering mind, texts, facebook messages, girls telling me they slept with my boyfriend. I make the most money and I am the only one paying the bills. He makes money but rarely is it spent on things we need, I need or anything like that. I feel like this relationship is breaking me. I make about $44,000/year and have nothing really to show for that. He says he loves me more than anything, always denies the cheating, except the one incident I caught him in. There have been 2 incidents that I know of. I am pretty good at “knowing” and finding out what he is up to. The last incident he denies, I believe the girl 100%. Its killing me staying with him knowing he betrayed me the way he did but I absolutely love him and his kids. Please HELP!!!

    • Mickey says:

      He’ using you and will do so till you put a stop to it. You take care of his kids and the bills. He has no cares. He’ll take your money and your self respect. I know, I was there. 14 years of loving someone who really only loved and cared about himself. Walk away, you’ll be o.k. You are worth more and deserve a man who will never make you feel stupid and used.

  14. Kim says:

    I have been married for a little over a year and dated for three years and thought I knew my husband well. I just recently caught him emotionally cheating on me with multiple women on a chat site and by phone. While working through the cheating we have figured out why the cheating happened. My husband has a fettish for smelly sweaty feet which I don’t have. Before we got married he said it wasn’t an issue but realized he missed it badly and so he started talking to other women about their feet. Now he says he loves me so much and wants to stay with me but that a part of him will never be completely happy because I can’t give him his fettish. I want to be with him everything else is perfect but can I deny this thing that makes him so happy for the rest of his life? Will he eventually cheat again? He says he will miss it but will miss me more if we got divorced and that he can’t imagine his life without me. But I’m also afraid he is playing the martyr because he doesn’t want me to go through a divorce.

  15. Michelle says:


    I’m in my mid- late 20’s and have been with the same man for 9 years. A very loving and caring man. Has also been there for me and cared for me. But within the last year we have been through rocky problems. We were very young when we meet and feel that we have changed and along the way have changed our views on relationships. I feel loved but want more attention and affection from him. He wants more time to focus on work and building his company. I feel selfish in asking for more time from him but i have been feeling so alone and unwanted. He says he would like more time apart but wants to stay together. I also want that but am Afraid that I might stay for him and things might not work out. I don’t feel secured and confident in the relationship as I use to.

  16. Hey laurie! Im writing dis to seek an advice frm you.Im not sure if i hav taken a wise decision regaurding my relationship.Its been 1year dat we are in relationship.We both hav a grt bonding n luv to be together infact a gud relationship.But we Indian hav prob regaurding caste and religious diffrences. My bf hav no gutts to fight with against his parents or argue with dem regaurding our relationship.He is not able to gimme a hope dat he’l marry me. But he loves me alot i can trust his love . He wants to talk about our relationship to his parents but he is not sure dat he can argue abt it . So i thougjt to break up wid him bcoz he not giving me any hope abt our future. Please can u tell me if i hav taken a ryt decision. Plzz plzz plzz do rply im seriously in need of help pleaseeee

  17. Laurie says:

    Dear Randi,

    You have taken such a big, important step in your life! You have left a man you loved for years, and that is HUGE. I’m very proud of you, and I hope you know what a big thing you have done for yourself.

    My prayer for you is that you find the strength, courage, and hope you need to move forward in your life. It’s never too late to be what you might have been — I pray you find a transition house, shelter, or home to live in while you plan your future. You CAN do this, I believe in you. May you find faith and strength and comfort in people and resources. May you rely on God, and see how He is moving in your life. May you trust Him that your life has purposes and meaning, and that He will take care of you if you accept and surrender to Him. Amen.

    Blessings – I’ll keep you in my prayers –

  18. Laurie says:


    Have you talked to a counselor about your marriage? You and your husband don’t necessarily need to go to marriage counseling together to get help – and you don’t necessarily need to leave this man you’ve loved for years!

    But you want to be happy and healthy. Can you find ways to be happy in your marriage? I don’t know…and sometimes the best way to find out how happy you can be is to get support from a professional, to sort through your thoughts and emotions. My prayer for you is that you find the help and support you need, and that you figure out how you want to live for the next few decades of your life.


  19. mr. morgan lee says:

    I’m a therapist who counsels men after divorce. The most important thing to know about leaving a man you love but can’t live with is that he may not be aware of his own issues. Facing our problems is very difficult, and love is not the answer. If you love a man but have to leave him, do it with forgiveness and compassion.

  20. randi says:

    Im ashamed to say i have been with the same man for 30 years and never married or had children he bought a home and i just lived there until five years ago after one more fight over trying to get him to take me seriously i reliesd im wasting my time and at midnight i took my little chihuahua and enough money for a hotel and left. Never moved back it was had and depressing and just wanted to never think again just empty my mind and go on automatic pilot. I managed to put enough money together to rent a house i still dont know how i come up with enough money to keep a roof over my head each month but I’ve been doing it for five years never a day late im 59 no siblings my parents have died long with the aunts and uncle’s. And his parents are also gone i cared for my parents until there last breath in their home with hospice and did the same for my boyfriends parents so he could keep his job. Then after a few years i guess so much pain lowered my resistance and i had to battle cancer myself but i did it took its toll on me but im still here and blessed with good genes i still look like in 20 years younger than i am and very pretty but pretty on the outside doesn’t matter when you feel 60 on the inside. My boyfriend sees me more since i moved out and calls at least four times a day comes over my house after work no matter how tiered he is hes so happy he has his cake and eats mine too. He’s got 3 homes all paid for 4 cars about 50 watchs Rolexs all epensive while im driving a car that’s 14 years old one watch because i pawned all my jewelry to get me started living on my own and work from home transcribingwhen i need a loan he give me what i need which i always pay back within a week or two im so miserable i too tired to go out and meet someone else and even if im not i don’t even want to spend the gas money i may need it for food or the electric bill Florida is a no Pala money state ladies don’t do what I’ve done toy life don’t give what you cannot afford to give of yourself or you’re going to find yourself with a very empty tank and even more an empty life. All i can do now is try never to think and go on from day to day like a robot. If i do allow my mind to have clarity it hurts too much and there’s no time to waste on that if i want to keep a roof over my head.

  21. Laurie says:

    Dear Monique,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your struggles with your marriage and in-laws. It takes alot of courage to write about leaving a man you’ve loved for years, and the thought of starting over can feel overwhelming and scary!

    Your husband and is family sound very controlling, and it’s important to find people who can help you see your husband objectively. If you haven’t made friends you can talk to, I encourage you to join a support group for new moms or even a book club — anything that connects you with women who are strong, supportive, and encouraging. You need to build bridges to the outside world, so you can be strong enough to leave your marriage if that’s the best option.

    One of the best ways to get help is to start learning what resources are in your area. Are there any homes for women who are leaving their husbands, such as a transition house? Call Social Services or any community help line, and learn what is available in your area. There are support services out there, but it’s up to you to reach out to them.

    Another thing to consider is your family. Have you been in touch with them at all? Maybe it’s time to start thinking about reconnecting with them. If you call or write them, they’ll probably welcome you back with open arms!! Or they may reject you…..but at least you know where you stand. If you don’t try to contact them, you’ll never know how they feel.

    My prayer for you is that you find the right people and resources. May you gain strength and clarity, and learn what supports are in your area. I pray for wisdom, strength, and energy as you make plans for your future. I also pray you find in-person supports and resources to help you move forward with confidence and hope! Amen.


    • leigh says:

      Please can someone please help me! 23years old married to a wonderful man. He’s such a great person. But he lacks one thing . being affectionate emotional intimate. He provides and gives me and our daughter the best of the best. I love him for that. That’s something I didn’t have growing up nor what I see now. He’s always trying to avoid a conversation about us. Never shows affection. We barely have sex. I feel like I’m his friend more than his wife. I don’t know what to do. I love him but I’m craving that attention and affection from him. He seems so immature sometimes I feel like he has alot of growing up to do and a lot to learn yet. I’m tired of being ignored and almost feeling embarrassed for myself.

      • danny says:

        You show him what you need and want from him. since you have a found a wonderfull man you are blessed and should work with him. You are both young and have lots if time. He will come around. BE A TEACHER


  22. monique says:

    Hi. Its my first time on a website writing about my problems. I been in a crazy realationship,i been with
    My boyfriend for 9 years lived with him for 3. We have two boys and one on the way. Oldest one is four youngest is two. At the begining of our relationship evrything was great and i turned on my family to be with him after fighting so much to be with him my family gave in. After 4years of dating i got pregant with my first son , and he became different cheating on me lieng and dening me we left each other for a while got back together but things were not the same no confidence. He became very insecure and controling over evrything i did who i talked to what i wore where i went n who i was with. After geting pregnant from my second son things just got worse ,yea we had our good times but mayority of the time was arguments over evrything and anything . he became furtheraway from me he stoped completly kissing me. Till this day i cant get him to kiss me. We finaly moved in together after my youngest son was born and he made me become distant with my family. I wasnt aloud togo unless i had to work and my mom was goin to watch my boys. If iwas aloud togo i had to be home with in an hour or asoon as my phone was ringing. One of our biggest isues has been money and my mother in law! My mother in law is a tuff women who went threw alot so she thinks shes wise n noes evrything. So she has built her self in our relationship. She handles all of our fincial bills, takes care of our money because he takes my checks away and he controls the money or his mom as well. If i ever need money i go asking her or my boyfriends for money and most of the time its a no. If we go grocery shoping he will always get what he craves or he wants. Know that im pregnant i get lots of cravings but i never get one . if i just want me and him to take trip with the kids its a no because his family always has to tag along ,or he rather stay home.. He never goes around my family and if thers a get together with my family i have only one hour togo but i cant talk to any of my brother inlaws .ive tryd leaving him in the past a couple of time but he always promises that things are goin to be different and nothing changes. Im tyrd of dealing with this over and over . or even dealing with his mother .! Every time i try and make a move to leav i get scared to leav him because he always has something todo or say. He takes my car away or leavs me with no money or says other things to keep me from leaving. When ive tryd to kick him out he tells me im free togo he isnt ting me down. But i really do feel tide down.. Sometimes we finally get over it after two or three days i feel like i cant leav n wekend down , but in reality i cant take it nomore i have so much presure on me im only 22 n i have a hole life ahead of me and i want to change it i just dont noe how!!! Im desperate for help(sorry for my spelling)

  23. Laurie says:

    Dear Lost,

    Thank you for being here, and for your courage in reaching out for help. It’s so difficult to live with a man who isn’t happy or healthy — especially when you love him so much and don’t want to leave.

    My two suggestions are:

    1) Work on your own emotional health, without trying to find ways to heal or change him. I don’t know what he’s struggling with, but he’s not healthy right now. He is taking out his stress and frustration on you, and you’re trying to solve his problems. You can’t solve his problems or change him….but you can get emotionally strong and healthy.

    2) Put your son before your boyfriend. It worries me that you said you love your boyfriend more than anything in the world. This is dangerous, because your first allegiance should be to your child and to yourself. You need to take care of your son and your self first! Your love for your boyfriend should be the lowest priority. Love for a boyfriend is icing on the cake: the real source of joy, peace, and meaning in your life should not be a man.

    I encourage you to join new moms’ support groups. You may not have a job or anywhere to go, but you can connect with strong, healthy, happy mothers who can offer you in-person support! Do not isolate yourself or rely on the internet for help. Get out there, take your son to mommy and me groups, walk with other new mothers — I know you can connect with other new mothers. They may even be dealing with the same type of relationship problems. Maybe they’re single, and need your unique energy, personality, and insight. You have a lot to offer — don’t hide in your house.

    My prayer for you is that you find strength and peace. May you connect with God, who loves you more than anything. He wants you and your son to be happy, safe, and healthy — and He will provide ways for you to live peacefully and joyfully. May you find courage to reach out and take actions that are in your best interests, and that will put your son and your own health first. Amen.


  24. Lost. says:

    i have been in a relationship with my bf for 4 years. We are in our 20s with a 6 month old son. We have always had a somewhat rocky relationship but have always fought for one another and have come out stronger in the end.
    Since my son was born, he has been too tired from work to help me with him. I dont ask for much, he get home about 5 and i simply ask him to rock him to sleep at 730 and wake upthe first time our son wakes up at night. (He still wakes up about 3-4 times a night) so i feel asking himto take one shift is compromising. Everynight that iswhere we run into problems.
    He will lash out, roar in my face, say he doesnt love me orgive a shit about me, and as of late he has thrown me across the room tothe point that i have bruises on my armsfrom his embrace. He later snaps out of it and begs for my.forgiveness, says hedoesnt know why hes like this. And then when i forgive him, he just goes back to being himself, no being nice, making it up to me, just pretends as though everything is ok, until i bring up that i feel asthough he doesnt care for me when he does these things. That you cant hurt someone emotionally and physically without trying to repair the damage that was done. If i bring this up, no matter how nice i Bout it, hes starts all over again.
    I love him more than anything in the world, and i want to be with a man that would do anything for me. But i want that man to me him, not someone else.
    Please help, i have no job, noplace to go, and a baby. I really do noy want to leave. But i feel like im becoming a pushover, someone who i DEFINITELY am not.

  25. Laurie says:

    Dear Karyna,

    I don’t think it’s pathetic that you’re turning to online resources for love and relationships! Sometimes our friends and family can’t give us the support and help we need, so we look elsewhere. I think that’s the beauty of the internet :-)

    As much as I’d love to give you the answers you’re looking for, I can’t. I don’t know what the best thing for you to do is, or if you should leave this man you’ve loved for so long.

    The bottom line is finding peace with your decision. It will be painful and difficult to leave him – for both you and your son – but if you have an underlying sense that this is the right thing, then you know you’re doing the right thing.

    I encourage you to talk to a counselor in person about whether this is the move you want to make. Sometimes we have unrealistic expectations of love and marriage – we have ideals that can’t possibly be reached. Before you decide for sure that you want to leave, consider the reasons you’re making this decision. Learn what mature, committed love is and how it plays out in a strong, healthy, long-term relationship.

    My prayer for you is that you find peace, and that you meet the right people to help you through this. May you connect with a counselor or wise person to help you determine your best options, and your reasons for leaving. And my you move forward with whatever you decide to do with a sense of confidence and purpose. Amen.


  26. Karyna says:

    I have been in a 5 yr relationship with one of the greatest people I’ve ever met. He’s loving, takes good care of my son and is selfless when it comes to anything i might need.
    All of those beautiful qualities come with HUGE baggage from his past relationships. He’s turned me into someone i don’t recognize anymore. I don’t laugh, i don’t smile i have no friends.
    5 yrs! I know, how could i not see who he truly was, for 5 yrs?!
    Well, for a long time i was hoping that if I changed who i was , to accommodate who he wants me to be, things would be better. In the end, i only lost myself…i completely let myself go in the relationship. I let him call all the shots and it screwed me up even worse. I wasn’t allowed to have friends of the opposite sex. I had so many friends both male and female before my relationship with him. Little by little they all disappeared out of my life because of the simple fact that i wasn’t able to keep my plans with them or even make any plans. I sometimes would see them in the streets ( my male friends ) and had to completely ignore them or my bf would have a fit that i was ” too nice ” to these guys? they are my friends…but i let it go. After a while i grew some touch skin with him and started demanding that we go out with our circle of acquaintances, but that too failed because my word-rope would become an issue…so all of those activities where canceled out of my life too. Soon, it was just me and him, doing everything together all the time. If i visited my sisters on the weekends, he would call me every hr. ask me who was all in the house with us, asking me if my sisters ” friends ” where guys , and God forbid there was a male specious in my sisters homes when i would visit! oh lord that would start a huge argument between us. While all of this is going on, I’m still trying to hang on to the “good times” so that i don’t run out the door screaming at the world. But those good days aren’t enough anymore. And i’ve come to the point that i KNOW i can’t change him. He won’t even consider changing himself because to him, there’s nothing wrong with his views on life. He understands that he’s insecure, but i don’t think he understands what it does to our relationship.

    What do I do? How do I explain to my 11 year old son ( who loves his step dad ) that it’s time for us to move on? how do i disrupt our lives and not feel guilty for it??
    I love him…i truly do. He’s taught me so much…but im not IN LOVE with him anymore. And no, it’s not just because i can’t wear what i want around him….it’s because i can’t be myself around him. I can’t be my true, happy, open, optimistic self around him. I have to hide when it comes to him…i have to hide my feelings, hide my wants, hide my needs so that he doesn’t get upset and think im cheating on him. ugh it’s to much. I’m 29 years old. How long do i deserve to be miserable ? I’m about to start a new chapter in my life and it can’t be the same from last years…not anymore. I just need positive reinforcement that what im doing is Ok. It’s ok to leave a man you still love…it’s ok to feel bad for wanting to leave and it’s ok to want to be happy….
    sometimes i think about happiness and the first thing to pop into my mind his HIM. He is my happiness..but then all the old gloomy stuff creeps in and my heart falls from disappointment that after all this time, he hasn’t changed…and then i convince myself all over again to leave him…..

    Any advice would be helpful…am i being selfish? My family is tired of hearing me talk about him…and so are my friends…i have no other means of an outlet here besides…that’s pathetic

  27. Ams says:

    Hi I am in same position wether to leave or stay with the man I love..I am married for 8years but we lived together for 4yrs and have no kids . We are both professional and have a good job. I have my own friends but I don’t opened my problems for fears of ruining rather than being helpful. My husband has no friends, he has before but does not communicate with them anymore because they have own family. He likes being alone. No extra activities like sports. Doesn’t drink or smoke. His faithful though sometimes talks about other single woman he works with that I’m insecure. His quite idealistic in raising children because he has dysfunctional family background that I think his worried about when he starts his own. We’re both on our 40’s by the way.

    the first five years was fine coz we travel and both family side has no problems that my husband did not brought the topic of having kids soon.Though those years I have told him I wanted to have children because I know and felt that there is something missing between us.
    Then things went upside down from both sides of our family like parents get sick, financial problems on our extended family then my in-laws died last year.
    I have taken all these accounts as what he told me causing stress and not ideal to begin with though I have explained to him that we can not tell what our future going to be like of when both of us are stress free.
    Recently about two months ago I brought the topic again while on holiday but it all ended into tears and frustrations on my side.He still explained that how possible could it be to have kids when I don’t know how to deal with stress. I have explained to him that I have been through so many worst situations battling my own stress and have never been into medications or seek professional help because I know I’m not alone. By the way I’m a catholic. Prayers helped most of the time when I feel so alone.
    We always ended up fighting on this issue and not compromising though I always said to him I truly understand his opinions. He even brought topics that are irrelevant like family problems etc..
    What shall I do.
    I am on the very end of the rope and could possibly give in..I mean, leave him but I’m very confused..

  28. Laurie says:

    Leaving a man you’ve loved for years or even decades might be the hardest decision you ever make…and also the most liberating. Your relationship won’t change, and unless you want to stay feeling trapped, insecure, unhappy, and unloved…you need to be the one to change.

  29. Darcy Bowen says:

    I have read numerous responses on this site. I feel for all of you. At this time, Most of my issues are similar with the man I love. I just wanted to put this out there for many of you woman who have men who lie, don’t keep promises, and don’t share intimacy or communication. I have just researched and read a few books on “Passive Aggressive Disorder.” These men who are elusive, never take responsibility for their actions and never fulfill your emotional needs…are passive aggressive. Read about it. You may discover you’re not crazy after all and that your husband or boyfriend have a real problem.

    • n says:

      I couldn’t believe it when I read your post…In the past month, I have researched the traits my partner has and pretty convinced he is passive aggressive. I don’t think we can overcome it and I still care for him but sort of feel sorry for him because I don’t think he can help being a pain in the neck.

  30. Laurie says:

    Dear Carla,

    Thank you for your comments – I’m glad to hear from you. I agree, my ideas for leaving a man you’ve loved for years are quite general.

    Here’s an article I just wrote for you, offering more specific tips:

    Somehow, I get the feeling that even that article is too general! What sort of specific tips are you looking for? Do you think it’s possible to get the answers before living through the breakup? I’m not 100% sure I know what you’re looking for….and I believe that it may be impossible to line everything up perfectly before taking the leap into a breakup.

    Breakups are messy, life is messy, and sometimes the only way through is to take one step at a time in the dark.

    That said, however….I wonder if I should write an article on setting up a home after years of living with someone. A list of all the things that need to be taken care of, from electricity to internet to insurance. Would that help, do you think?


  31. Carla says:

    I read your article, but find that it is rather general in it’s language. I have been in a relationship for 11 years, good and bad with the same man – but as I look around, I find that I can no longer handle the bad. I can no longer be lied to, be betrayed. We live together, are finances are mixed. I was hoping that the good would last and grow, but instead it cycles. I am not high maintenance in regards to belongings but I ask for fidelity, loyalty, honesty, and respect – all which I give willingly and lovingly, until lately. I am tired. I am ready, but how! How do I walk away from 11 years, how do I prepare to move my things and sort a home and at the same time deal with the barage of emotion that will come from him and within. I feel trapped in the prison of my own making and I almost think he knows this and takes full advantage of it. The roses of sweet love have wilted, tears now only take their place. I can’t live like this, brokenhearted and disrespected.

    • Confused says:

      I’m in the same situation! I just want to feel secure! I can’t even talk to him about my feelings bcuz he blows up on me! I feel like I have to deal with it or just move on! He doesn’t even take the time to console me! I found 2 msgs that he replied to 2 whores on craiglist n I’m supposed to just take it was a big mistake at heart n never ever question it again! He is his own boss n runs around all day and not one phone call! If I bring it up he yells and gets mad that we already discussed it!! I’m supposed to just accept that my man wanted sum whores pictures!!! I want to just walk away!!! But I love him! I feel so insecure that it’s killing me inside yet I can’t talk to him abt it! I am fighting with myself internally! I need to move on! I need help to do this. I feel stuck between love and insecurity! ;((

      • stupid for far too long says:

        I’m going through the same thing right now. I four d my husband has been looking at escorts on craigslist, making stupid inapropriate coments to slutty girls on Facebook and some other things of a similar nature. He has in fact cheated on me in the past about a year after we moved in together. I now think he has probably cheated more than I know about. Men that have free access to porn don’t need to look at escorts just to see there pictures. That is the excuse he gives me, that its just to look. Like I said, that’s what porn is for. So I don’t believe a word of it. I this k one of the worst parts is the fa ebook girls. The fact that he has so little respect for me that he would comment on a social site that all our friends also can see and that these girls that sent him these friend requests k now he is married is just gross. What a disloyal disrespectful husband I have. But like your man mine says the same thing. He thinks i should just take him at his word and not bring it up again. He married the wrong bitch then lol

  32. Laurie says:

    Dear Danielle,

    Thank you for being here, and for sharing this part of your life!

    It sounds like you’d really like to have a relationship with your boyfriend’s sister, but she isn’t interested. In fact, she doesn’t seem to be a nice person to anyone. She has her own issues that prevent her from forming relationships and attachments to people.

    Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to change her or your boyfriend. He doesn’t see a problem, and thus won’t do anything about his sister.

    It’s up to you to decide if you can stay with your boyfriend in this relationship, exactly the way it is. Unless something unusual (a miracle!) happens, his sister will continue to treat you the way she has been. The only person you can change is yourself — your expectations of your boyfriend. I’m not saying you SHOULD expect more from him…I’m just saying that the only person you have any control over is you.

    Your comments inspired me to write this article:

    I hope it helps you a little, and invite you to come back and let me know what you think.


  33. Danielle says:

    Hi Laurie,

    I’m new to this site but was wondering if you have any articles on how to deal with a lover that never stands up for you? I am having issues with my boyfriend having my back when it comes to his sister…

    My bf and I are in our mid-20s and I have been with him for a little over two years – for most of our relationship his sister has always been very cold to me; she usually makes very judgmental comments to me when he isn’t around and ignores me if I ever text/call her to try and create a relationship with her or invite her to get-togethers that he and I are having. This always leads to a call from his mom or stepdad the next day wondering why I didn’t extend an invitation to his sister, which is untrue. She has also told me that I am the direct reason that she and her brother never spend time together anymore (which is untrue, she moved to a different state after she graduated college) and says that the one thing she misses most is being the number one girl in his life.

    Family is so important to the both of us and I really want to have a relationship with her but I’m afraid that will never be possible – the last thing I ever want to do is put a wedge between my bf and one of his family members but i just feel like her affection for him is becoming a little too much to handle lately.

    He has told me that she has acted like this with his previous GFs, and currently treats his brother’s GF the same way – a woman that she hasn’t even met yet. I also noticed she was very nice to her stepsister to her face but once she left my BFs stepdad’s house she started saying EXTREMELY inappropriate things and making wild accusations about her – and she is only 13. His brother is very nice to me but he let it slip one night that my BFs sister makes discouraging remarks about me to my BF when I’m not around. When I tried to talk to him about it, he said that it never happened. At first, I wanted to believe him but I witnessed her saying disrespectful things about me to our friends this last weekend when she thought I wasn’t around.

    I love him very much but he claims that he has never done anything about it because he hasn’t “witnessed” it. I’ve tried talking to him about it on several occasions but this usually ends up with me giving in because I feel so defeated. Her jealousy is very discomforting and is starting to seem very inappropriate. I realize siblings should adore each other – I know I love and respect my siblings beyond belief and have very good friendships with them, but my BFs sister is very physically affectionate with him – something that he does not reciprocate but also doesn’t ignore. For instance, if he and are holding hands, she tries to hold his hand (he always ignores it and she pouts and walks away), she rests her head on his shoulders in public areas when I’m around and inappropriately pokes his nose with her fingers the same way an affectionate couple would. Needless to say, I and his friends who are around find her behavior a bit disturbing and have actually said something to me about it.

    I know I’m not ready to give up on our relationship – I know he loves me and I love him more than anything. My friends have told me not to care about what his sister thinks of me but I am afraid that this could possibly never rectify itself and in the end family prevails. I am also afraid that if he won’t stand up to his sister for me, then he will never stand up for me to anyone. I get along famously with his family and adore his mother and grandmother – I just feel very defeated and like “I’m not good enough” for him whenever his sister is around.

    Do you have any advice? Do you think there is anything I can say/do that could help the situation? Thanks so much in advance, your website has been helpful beyond belief.

  34. Laurie says:

    Dear Christy,

    How did it go – did you leave him? I am praying for you, that things are going well as you settle into your new life and that you make friends who support and love you.


  35. christy says:

    Me to lady’s…I’ve been cheated on.lied to,robed,he abused me in every way hecould . I have a 8 yr old he has been mean to all of this in 4 yrs an I left him a yr ago an went back after 6months. I loved him so much I be leaved him when he said he would never treat me like that again. It was nice for a month but after that it got worse he just got a job an now it worse .I just got done with College an he is paying the bills last night he went to the store for a beer an came home four hours later I can see the store from my house!!! I packed his stuff in a hour I’m going to get him from work an tell him to hit the road even if I lose my house.I’m so sad I have no friends becuz of him I just have to do it…. pray for me plz

    • Confused says:

      Christy u broke my heart reading this! How are u today? I too have been secluded from everybody bcuz I gave him my whole life! I don’t know how to live without him! But I’m going to have to make a change! I too will lose my house n my vehicle n my world but I need to start from scratch bcuz living like this is unbearable!

  36. Laurie says:

    Dear Sherry,

    Sometimes a woman’s love isn’t enough to build a healthy, happy relationship. In fact — I’d say a woman’s love is more or less NEVER enough. Her man has to step forward, or she has to learn how to be content with half a boyfriend.

    I wrote this article for you:

    If love was enough, you wouldn’t be here. Your love is strong and true, but it’s not the foundation of a healthy relationship. The foundation has to be both of you making sacrifices and expending energy on your relationship.

    I can’t help you understand why he’s emotionally distant. I also don’t really think his reasons matter, because it won’t change anything.

    Let me know what you think of what I said in the article.


  37. Sherry W says:

    Hi – I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend of almost 4 years. When we’re together, it’s good, some people have actually thought we were married that’s how well we complment each other. Our relationship started off strong, he is 48 and I am 45, we both have kids from our previous marriage, but our kids all love each other. We do not live together, we each have our own homes. The problem is he is very close off, he’s never said that he loves me in 4 years. If I say it – it scares him away. So, many of you may wounder – why do I stay with him? Because I fell in love with him. When we are together its great, sex is great, but he can’t communicate his feelings. If I bring up us and where our relationship is headed, he says “I need some space” or “I don’t want to talk about it right now” or he’ll go MIA for a few days to a week and what I mean by that is NO phone calls, NO text, NO emails – however you get a few beers in him and he’s all over me. I don’t understand him, one moment he wants me there all the time and the next he disappears. His own mother has told me that she tought he maybe suffers from depression, but I don’t know – I firmly believe he just doesn’t know how to love or show it. I love him with all my heart & soul, I would die for this man, but to him I’m nothing besides someone he can call for a good time. I want to end the relationship becauce I don’t feel that we are growing together, but I fear that if he does suffer from depression and end things that – that just might send him over the edge. I want to be in a happy-healthy relationship with him and he’s the man I want to grow old with, but I don’t think that he feels the same way. I feel like I’m a relationship that doesn’t even exisit, and I hurt. I want to be loved and care for by him, but I have nothing left to give.
    Please help me to understand the man I love – Why he can’t love…

  38. verging on a breakdown! says:

    Angie on November 1st. It’s like reading about myself. I’ve been with my husband 7 years though. He has made life so hard. Yet i stay. I don’t know why because i know i deserve better and so do my children. When we are good he can be my bestfriend. But its a very rare thing these days. I’m hurt all the time. I have no trust in him. He lies and makes all the wrong decisions. In and out of jail and has had drug problems. When i read this back i think “you mug. Leave.” but i can’t. Its not like i can’t manage on my own because when he was inside i struggled but i managed it. Its the thought of him making someone Happy when he can’t me. When he’s promised not to break my heart but has. I’m an idiot for listening to his crap. He will never change. I need to find the strength to get him out my life. No more ideal threats. But when he’s gone i can’t think straight. I’m on the phone ringing him screaming at him cos i want him to come home. I want him to want me. To put my feelings first. But it never happens. Then were back to “normal” for a few hours or a day Maybe afew. But constantly I feel gloom. When will he mess up again. Where’s he going. I need help. I feel like I’m cracking up! Scratching my own face and pulling on my hair is not normal behaviour but i Just feel rage when he walks out and acts cold. I’m sorry for the long msg. On my phone so can’t even scroll up to see my babbling! You know. Life was so much easier when he was inside. :(

  39. Laurie says:

    Dear Ann,

    It sounds like you’re in a very painful relationship. Your partner has issues with love, doesn’t he? He can’t give or receive it. That’s very sad for him, you, and your child.

    Maybe it’s good that you live apart, because he is so toxic and unloving. Are you thinking about getting out of this relationship?

  40. Ann says:

    I have been in this relationship for 7 years. Im not allowed to say I love you. He hates my guts and tells me every time he’s mad that he doesn’t want to be with me. Then there’s days he treats me really good but he insist never to say I love you even during good times. We have a 17 month old and we live apart. I wouldn’t wish my life on anyone. If someone told me 7 years ago this is where I would be I wouldn’t believe them. I don’t know myself at all . I’m lost in my sad world.

  41. Laurie says:

    If you feel freaked out and scared by your man, then you need to look at your relationship. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve loved him; what matters is how happy you are and how healthy your relationship is.

    What would you tell your best friend, if she was in a relationship like yours? What advice would you give her?

  42. penelope says:

    Ive been with my boyfriend for 5 years now and were supposed to be getting married but the closer we get to signing the papers the more freaked out i get… I love him to death but i dont think im in love with him anymore. I dont know what to and cant handle the bills on my own.. Im sooo lost. What do i do!?

  43. mariajoset says:

    Im going through a tough time as well rigt now ive been in a relationship for over 5 years im currently 24 years old hes 2 years yunger and there for verry immature i had so much dedication and love for him but i feel like im worn out i want a better economical situation cause i work but he only works certain months of the year and even though he makes good money on those months he spends it faster than he makes it and thats where i have to put in all of my hard earned money to the point i have no clothes cause its all reggety and i want to studdy and i cant due to this.
    i just feel drained but i feel so guilty for giving up on everything weve worked so hard on hes a great boyfriend when it comes to expressions hes verry sweet and caring but its just not enough im living a verry medeocre life with him and i want more for my self and i still have no children so i know im on the right time to get my life back but im afraid of hurting his feelings.
    im afraid that this might be a mistake and i might regret leaving him latter but im really trying to think with my head and keep focused on my life goals so i want to leave on may 2013th.
    I would apreciate some advice…

  44. Angie says:

    This really hit home with me. I find myself extremely torn. My husband and I have three children and have been together over 12 years. During this time, we have split up multiple times. This last time, I already had the papers drawn up even but low and behold he is home and I am miserable. Despite loving him, it is simply not enough. My biggest issue is that my middle child became so distraught with him gone, repeatedly telling me that he knew his dad was going to change this time. Our relationship is beyond dysfunctional! Although he has never physically abused me, there is the emotional abuse, lying and just a feeling of gloom I feel when he is around. We were young, only 19 when we got together and if I knew then what I knew now, I would have ran then. Over the last twelve years his problems have done everything but destroy me and our lives. Addiction, multiple arrests, inability to keep a job, you name it. Now, here I am in my early thirties with nothing despite a professional degree. Sorry this post is so long but I just never realized that there were other women in this same predicament. I just wish there were an easy solution that wouldn’t hurt my children.

  45. Marie says:

    I have never read anything like this before. I didn’t realize there were so many others out there in bad relationships like mine.
    I can not really talk to anyone because they wouldn’t understand the drama nor would they even care…. I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years now. It has been hell. He’s lied, had a very ugly violent drinking problem, verbally abused me, snuck around behind my back. A few years ago, he tried to change. He stopped drinking, and stopped going out all the time. He says I should be grateful that he changed, but I am not. I am miserable with him. He is not affectionate, doesn’t appreciate everything I do for him, I respect and support him, yet he has never supported me, never understood me, never listens or completely ignores me. He says he loves me through text, but can’t show it. Ever. He ridicules my religion. He is jealous of my 8 year old son. He constantly reminds me of what’s wrong with me, why I make him so angry. He laughs when I am expressing loneliness, he says I am crazy when I tell him his behavior is distant and cold, he says he doesn’t have to say or show love more then once a year or whenever he feels it!!! I love him. I care so much about his feelings. I respect him and I want him to be happy. But why doesn’t he care if I am happy? I am so miserable with him, why can’t I just leave? I am shocked to see there are so many other people out there in such unhappy relationships. I thought I was the freak.

  46. heartbroken says:

    I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years we have 2 children and are expecting our 3rd. I love this man with everything but I am no longer in love with him. He constantly lies and goes behind my back but I havent the courage to leave because of my children. I dont want to have to “share” them or for them to be used to hurt one another and I never want him to try to take them away I would literally die without my children. Please someone help!

  47. Sharon says:

    I have been married for 20 years. I don’t like to have sex with him at all. I really don’t see myself growing old with him. I see myself growing by myself and being happy. I am broke and need a job. I am so sick of doing things his way. Im tired of the compromise. I dont want to have to explain why I want out. I just want out. I just wish he would find someone else and relieve me of this misery.

  48. Karen says:

    Hello, i I too am in a dilemma. I have been with my boyfriend for six years. Like four months into the relationship it turned into a long distance one because he moved away with his family. I was still in high school so I could not relocate. It went well except for a period in which he became distant but we ended up getting back together. The next years were difficult because being apart just made him loose hope at times. I finally made the move and came to live with him a little over a year ago. It went well in the beginning, and then I found out that in that period where he became distant he had cheated on me. It is difficult to forget. Ever since it has been just o but I have come to know him and realize there are things about him that I just cannot live with. He does not keep promises or go through with that he says he will do. He lies a lot, whether its something big or small. His marijuana habit is just unnecessary to me, he is unable to stop and I feel like he should be man enough to realize he has to grow up and it’s just not ok anymore. His priorities are out of order. He has become so boring and predictable in bed and does not care to please me. He is not affectionate like he was when we would see each other. I am just not content and cannot see myself being happy with someone like him for the rest of my life. I want to move away but feel bad because I do love him dearly, I can no longer even sleep without him by my side. He does love me and says nothing has changed about the way he feels about me. I want to leave at times, actually more often than not. He makes me upset on a daily basis. He says I have a temper and attitude problem and I nag. Which is true, but it always is because of him showing immaturity and lack of interest in bettering himself or trying to better our relationship. I have throughout tears come close to making the decision to leave, but I am scared. Scared it might not work out for me on my own, or that I might not find someone to love me or accepts me with my flaws and medical condition. I also think about small details such as leaving and taking my bed and him not having something to sleep on. It hurts me because i love him with all my heart, but here recently I am unhappy, and he says he loves me and still wants to be with me for the rest of our lives. I just want changes to be made and nothing is happening. I do not know what to do. This is tearing me to shreds, so painful.

  49. fran says:

    Hi, i have some simularities to some of you. I been with my boyfriend for 8 years but for the past almost year i find myself unhappy. He has a problem with drinking and sometimes he gets violent. He is the sweetest person when he is sober but when he gets drunk he is an asshole, not just to me but to everyone. We have two beautiful kids together 4 yrs and 2 months but he fights with me in front of them and they cry. I dont want to leave him because of the children, but i want to because im not happy. I dont want my kids to grow up like i did with no father in their life.. What should i do??

  50. Tina says:

    I have been with my husband for over 12 years married for 10. I tried to break up with him when we first strated dating, then after 1 year, then came the first baby. Second baby soon after and I tried to leave again when they were 4 and 5. I just wasnt happy, and felt like I would b leaving him alone if I left. Now its been over 12 years, we have 3 children now, still in the same place, broke, fighting, and I just cant make the choice to go. I work full time, and he stays home because the youngest is almost 3 and when our first 2 were little, I stayed home. So I work full time, sometime over 50 hours in the week, and i am just so unappriciated. All of the kids are fighting all the time cause thats what they see, and I just don’t know how to leve!!?? HELP!!!

  51. Laurie says:

    Janell, I wrote this article for you:

    You Love Him, But You’re Not In Love With Him…Should You Break Up?

    I’ll try to answer the other comments, but am a bit behind!

  52. Janell says:

    I’m 30 and I’ve been in a relationship for 6 years, I have 3 children, 2 of which are my boyfriends’. For the most part he is a good person, we were brought up differently with different values and beliefs.. Our biggest issue is our parenting styles. My oldest child (who is not his) doesn’t like him. We don’t have much in common and our communication is almost non-existing. I have talked with him several times asking for compassion, compliments and the need to compromise with parenting and right after the conversation I will get text messages with a compliment but he can’t even be personal enough to do it in person. I don’t feel like he supports me. I just finished school which was difficult having three children and he never thought it was important or felt the need for me to do this.. His lack of motivation drives me crazy.. I have thought for the last 3 years about leaving and 2 kids later I just feel guilty! I love him, but I’m not “in love” with him. The kids love him and visa versa.. Is it selfish of me to take them away from their daddy, the home the know just because I’m done? I could keep on trucking through the relationship, but I know that If we didn’t have kids I would have been gone a long time ago. I know the relationship could be muh worse, but it could also be so much better. I just don’t see anything changing. My biggest fear is 5 years from now still feeling this same way.

  53. Lesley says:

    I recently left my husband of 3.5 years(together 7.5 years). We were together from my 18th birthday approx. It was an unhealthy relationship for quite some time but for many reasons I stayed. In the beginning I was young and naive. He was my first relationship, and he likely exploited my inexperience. He had a child around 1 year old when we met and he of course told me he was single. I’m sure he lied to his ex since they ended up having a second child, conceived 8 or 9 months after we started dating, and just before he moved in with me. At the time his actions matched his stories so I believed him. The cheating changed a lot. For some reason I stayed!
    To keep this from getting too long, over the next 6-7 years he has lied daily, cheating consistently, and belittled me for it. The most recent and damaging affair began just before we married (didn’t know it then). He never respected my needs (once I confronted him and he confessed) as far as cutting her out of his life. To this day he is in touch with her!
    We have a 10month old and upon learning I was pregnant I’d told myself id try again, thinking if he was ever going to grow up and change, now is the time. Well he didn’t. He’d be out whenever he wanted, with whomever. He’d be gone days at a time, and took a vacation while I was 8+ months pregnant. I was in labor almost 24 hours and had an emergency c section which required general anesthesia. I was in the hospital 4 more days and he visited once, for an hour. My daughter was in NiCU a week, and he only came with me to visit if I got on his case. He has no license so I had to get rides to the hospital. Throughout the pregnancy i was so excited and happy, but he was always ashamed and depressed. He literally ruined this experience for me, although I’m eternally optimistic and ignored his negativity. After his 8day vacation I mentioned, he told me he’d thought about not coming back at all! Shortly after, week or so, he admitted to still talking to his mistress. He doesn’t understand (he claims)why he can’t be friends with her because he cares for her. He says it isn’t her fault what happened, but she met me, and the affair happened in my home. She was there daily while i worked and supported my husband and step kids.
    Anyway! So I left him, finally. I feel very guilty, not that I did anything, just that his life sucks. He doesn’t tell me where he lives, and works for a low wage. He didn’t go to college, although I did while working and raising his kids. He has 0 excuses… I’m just way too kind hearted and understanding. I now moved in with my mom, since I have debt he created (although I didn’t stop it) to pay and the only provider for my daughter. The latter I don’t mind except it hurts he pays $800 to his ex girlfriend for his older 2 kids but nothing to me. In the divorce papers (soon to be court order) he owes $375 a month – childcare is $1100 and health insurance $150 alone). He also has his share of the debt to pay but I won’t see a penny, he has no money. He “tries” to pay but “can’t.” And of course he still “loves me” which makes the emotional side so much harder. He did agree to me having sole custody which is my #1 priority so that I am thankful for. So many details throughout the years would clarify why that is so important to me but it’d take a novel!

    Any insights as to if he really means what he says? I have no plans to return to him just curious if he is as miserable as he makes it seem. He’s a very social creature so the bitterness in me doesn’t believe him.

    Any advice for ridding myself of this guilt?

  54. erica says:

    i have a boyfriend and we have been together for 3yrs now..about a month ago i noticed a big change in him..hes goin out more and texting alot on his time i went thru his phone and found text messages between him and some girl..wen i askd bout it ofcourse he said he didnt knw wat i was talkn bout..but ever since then it hasnt now i have this gut feeling ive never had before..and it wnt go away…i swear hes cheating!! HELP!!

  55. tamara says:

    I am a bisexual female. For the first time I am in a relationship with a woman.
    Its not going well. I sometimes feel like killing myself, but I wont.
    She complains about me constantly. She even said she would help me get
    my own apt. because our relationship isnt working.
    However, I am not working. I am afraid I may not find work just at the time she decides to stop helping me financially.
    I really adore her, but; know its time for us to move on.
    How can I find the courage to leave her?
    I imagine myself all alone in a cold dark apt. that I worry about keeping.
    I imagine myself alone for many years to come, struggling.

  56. jaya says:

    it was very dificult for me to live my boy friend but i know he was cheated me for very long time last septembur i know he was doing ryt because i am not belong to his religion i know he was engaged with some one else i know her name also but i don’t know anything about that i told hundred time pls tell me the truth but he will not saying me the truth you don’t know how i feel when i heard herfriend calling him bhabhi when i called him then he said not bhabhi jaya it was really killing me inside i know every thing about him but then also i am with him what should i do pls tell me pls i have to come over all the things so pls help me i love him alot:(pls help me what should i do should i tell all the thing with her friends or not what should i do…???

  57. Laurie says:

    Hi Joe,

    I wrote this article for you, and for everyone who wants to leave a man they’ve loved for years, but fear being alone:

    You’re Scared to Be Alone, But Know You Need to End Your Relationship

    I hope it helps you move forward! Leaving a man you love is so difficult, but sometimes you just know that it’s over. The tricky part is gathering the courage and strength to actually leave.


  58. Joe says:

    I guess I’m the only guy on here, but I hope I am welcome. I’m gay, & in a monogamous relationship. Unfortunately, I’m the only one in it. I am in bad financial shape because I’m disabled. I love my partner with all my heart, but I can relate to the empty look in his eyes, never hearing I love you unless I say it first, & really am made to feel unwanted. I am honest, good- hearted, and faithful. I would go to the ends of the earth for him, but I just feel like I’m an inconvenience. I’m not physically abused, but emotionally. Not just a little, but A LOT. I have been lied to, cheated on, yelled at often. I’ve NEVER betrayed him whatsoever, nor have I ever had the desire to do so. I confide in family/friends, pray constantly, but things seem to stay the same or get worse. It’s been so bad, I’ve contemplated suicide, but that’s not what I want. I just want some peace & tranquility in my life. We’ve been back together 5 1/2 yrs. after splitting up in 1990. He always has been, & always will be the one true love of my life. I have a tremendous fear of being alone, but even with us living under the same roof, I’m as lonely as anyone can possibly be. I realize it’s over, & I can’t end the relationship & stay as a roommate watching him run around. I can see he’s unhappy, which makes me unhappy. I’d be doing him a favor by leaving, because at least he would have the freedom I know he wants. I’ll be unhappy until I can find a new “groove” to my life, which I pray I can. Please offer ANY suggestions! Thank you kindly!

    God bless,

  59. Renee says:


    I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost five years now, and he is very good to me. He spoils me in every way he knows how, and I truly love him for everything. But what he gives me and what I want are not the same. I feel pressured to fit in this mold he and his family hav created for me. I feel never good enough, even if he says I am.
    But this biggest issues come in out core values. We are different religions and have opposing life goals. My dreams and plans have always come second to his. Despite the fact that I live him with all my heart, I have decided that leaving is my only choice. I hare myself and feel so guilty for leaving him, but I know staying is even worse. It’s devastating to leave the man you love knowing that you will never see him again once you walk out the door. For me, leaving means moving back home, to the other side of the country where I have family and support. It will be like hitting the reset button- and I’m completely terrified.

  60. Tracey says:

    I believe there is no hope left for my relationship. I look into his eyes and I see a distant vague look other than a stoned look. His friends seem to know more about him than I do but unfortunately that has always been our problem, mates and drugs. 14yrs and 4 beautiful children and that doesn’t even seem to interest him. His father was not there growing up and so he thinks that JUST being there is enough? I believe that “any person can have a baby, but it takes a REAL person to raise one!”
    I feel like he sees me more as a mother than a partner due to his mother, well , he’s got parent issues. He wasn’t the only one. His were not abusive as much as mine were. Its taken me years to re-cooperate and I still have nightmares. Anyway, He can take off and drop us like it’s hot and leave me to deal with the kids and the chores and paying the bills. I get no social life. There are get togethers but I hate having my kids around drunks, as we live in a small community, I grew up around this and it was not good. So I will go home and he stays.
    When I need him to do important matters concerning our family, he makes excuses or says no, as soon as a mate rocks up – gone like the wind.
    I have exhausted every avenue and cried until my well went dry. I honestly can’t stand the sight of him. All I see are lies and this stupid vacant look that makes me get this horrible ache in my throat and gut and then I just want to beat him stupid to realize that what he is doing is wrong!
    He is soo lazy!!! Drops and runs. I teach the kids to pick up after themselves and he teaches them to pick up after him. Your house is allowed to be a little chaotic with children but I hate picking up after fully grown adults. He brings them around, they make a mess and take off and he leaves me to deal with the mess. He says he has to work, I did too until we had a son with a condition now I a full time Mum, which is cool. I was glad to stop work, due to working and going home to the kids and cleaning, because he did nothing back then too except what he’s still doing now.
    I am a strong woman but he makes me weak. I am very independent but feel I need him. I am an honest, reliable, devoted and loving woman who loves and adores her family with every beat of her heart – So, Why am I last on his list?
    I think it’s emotional blackmail he is putting me through. In previous relationship it was physical abuse and I know no one should have to endure any abuse but I would rather be beaten, for those scars go away. I hardly even think about or see myself with bruises but I remember EVERY emotional aspect of it. Abuse is Abuse though!!!
    He has no spontaneity and passion and family days are ruined due to his habits. I’m bored of same ol’ same ol’. He’s unwilling to change as I have given years of time too. I believe Me and Our children deserve better. They’re used to not seeing him so it could be ok? Yeah right, believe me I’m not that gullible.
    There is only one thing worse than loneliness and that is being in a relationship and feeling alone! It’s a sad and unfortunate reality and I never wanted it to be like this but it’s unhealthy for everyone concerned. I usually bottle everything in because I’m to embarrassed to allow anyone to see how stupid and pathetic I look.There are so many other factors involved but this is just the short version. So thank you for allowing me to unburden my soul as it has been so weary and draining.

  61. Sherry says:

    Well, I’ve been on my own for three months now, but it’s really hard. I keep telling myself every day that I made the right decision. I struggle every day, because there’s always something reminding me of him, although every day it becomes less and less. But I’m really afraid of the holidays coming up; I don’t want to be alone. My oldest son is still not talking with me and I’m devastated, my kids are my life. So I’m counting on my family very heavily to help me get through this time.
    All I can say at the moment is I take everything with a grain of salt and trying not to let anyone make me feel guilty, for taking care of myself. My therapist keeps telling me I have to learn to love me and I have to stop saying negative things to myself too. How do you love yourself?
    I’m going to keep going along and see what happens, I hope happiness is out there for me.

  62. Sherry says:

    Well, I’ve finally made the decision to leave, my move out date is 8/19/11 and I’m feeling so scared. I think I have all my ducks in a row, but still I have this incredible guilt for leaving him. My two boys who still live at home are really not talking to me, because I’m leaving. They are 24 and 21, old enough to understand, but still struggling with me leaving. I don’t think they remember, I am the one who always was there for them, and my husband chose to do his own thing. I’m going to therapy and it has helped tremendously. I hope this all works out and I’m making the right choice.

  63. Dear Jennifer, Sherry, and JE,

    Thank you for sharing your lives here! Jennifer and Sherry, your situations are so similar, I wrote this article for both of you:

    When Guilt Keeps You in a Marriage That You Wish Was Over

    I included some of JE’s advice, because it was so good.

    The biggest point in my article about leaving a man you’ve loved for years is that your guilt may be misplaced or inappropriate. I explain it in the article…but the crux of it is, Why do you feel guilty for leaving a relationship that makes you unhappy?

    I guess you have to make a choice between hurting him or continuing to hurt yourself. And truthfully, staying with a man out of guilt isn’t NOT hurting him. You may be doing him a disservice, because he’s not moving on or growing, either.

    I hope the article helps, and welcome your thoughts. Let me know what happens – what you decide to do!


  64. JE says:

    Sherry- I dont know if anyone has responded to you yet- but I know how you feel. I realize that you have been married for MUCH longer than I have, but I have been with my husband for 6 years and married 3. Before we got married, he had drug addictions, bad financial problems and irresponsibility, and issues with attention/ emailing/ texting other women (which I caught him doing). Then we got married. The finances continued to be terrible…and then I recently caught him in a WAY too close sexually charged and possibly physically intimate “friendship” with a girl from his school while I was working my butt off to support him since he was in school full time AND right after I had a miscarriage for our first pregnancy. Now we are in terrible debt and my emotional and physical health is seriously at risk from all the stress. His behavior has remained the same over the years regardless of how many talks we have had about it all. I even tried therapy. At this point, I just realized that this is not how I want to live my life and none of this is OK. Even if he were to ACTUALLY be able to change, he has already taken so many years from me…and I am taking the rest of my years for myself. I too still feel immense guilt for “doing this to him.” I sometimes forget what it is that HE did to ME. We are now separated and it is still really hard. But everyday I wake up telling myself that I am worth it. I deserve to be respected and loved. Writing in a journal, getting family/ friend support, and a good therapist are the keys.

    I own the condo where we live, and my lawyer basically told me to ask him to leave, and then change the locks. If you want to leave this relationship, make sure you talk to someone you trust about this first and if you can, get a lawyer. Don’t try to do it alone. Reach out. I wish you good luck and prayers!

  65. Sherry says:

    I understand how you feel, I’ve been married for 25yrs and my marriage has been over for many years. Don’t get me wrong I do love this man but I not in love with him anymore. Our relationship has been one sided and I was always trying to please him. He never talks to me or wants to know how I’m doing. I’ve been living with him but yet I’m so alone. My husband only thinks about himself and what make him happy. I told him I want to leave, but he keeps saying he’ll change and never does.
    I’ve been trying to leave but he makes me feel so guilty. He keeps telling me to wait until after the holidays and it will be easier for him, but what about me? I know I deserve to be happy, but I can’t shake the guilt. How do you leave? Do you leave while he’s at work, or leave while he’s at home? I’m so confused.

  66. Jennifer says:

    Hi, your column helped me…but I am still struggling what to do…
    My relationship was over for three years..but I kept
    plugging along cause I didn’t want to hurt him and
    also it’s hard to leave after a 8 year relationship.
    So we just kept being miserable (putting on a good show
    for friends) and just plugging along…I was hurting inside
    and was really resenting my fiancée for how we were,
    how I felt unloved…kept wanting it over…
    So I found comfort in online chat rooms…met
    someone and had an online relationship for a year…
    And still kept wanting it to be over with my fiancée…
    Now he has found out and I feel so guilty for not
    dealing with things sooner….
    Now I feel guilty for what I did and feel responsible for my
    fiancees feelings cause I hurt him…I have still pain
    From how we used to be…how sad I was, but now he’s saying
    We are going to work it out… I see how he is affected
    and I can’t stomach how I hurt him…but how could we
    ever get over it…we were over a long time ago…plus
    I still resent him for the years of misery…but
    my guilt keeps me back…keeps me staying cause
    I don’t want to hurt him more…plus I do care about him still…
    I don’t want to hurt anyone….please offer me some advice…

  67. Dear Bianca,

    I’m sorry to hear that your husband is so distant from you. Maybe he’s dealing with military stress, and is shutting down emotionally because of that. Regardless of why he’s behaving like that, it must be so painful to be in a marriage without love or connection.

    It must be difficult – not just to leave a man you’ve loved for years, but to have two young daughters. I hope you can find the strength and courage to leave your marriage, and be happy again.


  68. Bianca says:

    My husband is currently deployed 3 months on his deployment he emotionally shut down on me.. no ilove yous no i miss yous and just really impersonal emails… the rare chance he would skype – he would just catalog all my faults.. really negative about everything.. he said nothing is fixable.. I thought it was just the stress of deployment.. then he came home for two weeks mid-tour leave.. he was cold and detached, no sex no affection or anything then told me he doesn’t love me anymore and in fact was rewriting history.. he said he never loved me anymore and that we were never happy.. I mean we had the usual fights but nothing drastic..We have a 3.5 yr old daughter and a 22 month old daughter. He is now back overseas fighting the war. I also started detaching.. I don’t email or skype. Unless he initiates contact. The rare times we do talk to each other we just end up fighting.. I am so heartbroken. I love him but I can’t force him to love me and stay in this marriage. I am taking it one day at a time.. and praying for enough courage to walk out of this marriage with my dignity, pride and self-respect intact.

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