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.

Here’s how one woman describes her struggle: “My husband and I were married for 17 years when we separated,” says Shannon on Does He Love You? 7 Signs Your Marriage is Over. “This year I filed for divorce but he reached out to me and told me he wants to save our marriage. When we were married there were no issues relating to abuse or infidelity, but there were issues relating to commitment to family and putting family first. When we were married I felt like I was both the man and the woman of the home, I felt alone, single most of the time, and very unhappy. I worked from home, so I would stay on my computer much later past the end of the work day. In many ways I blamed myself, as I let some of the issues go on for much longer and allowed my husband to make excuses for him not pulling his weight in the home. He wants to work on our marriage now, but I feel like it’s too late. I’m exhausted. How do I leave this man after all these years?”

I don’t have any answers, but I do have a few thoughts to share. Below are my questions and ideas for women who are considering leaving their husbands, plus more of Shannon’s story…

“My husband and I took vacations at different times during the year,” she says, “because I planned mine around the kids’ schedule and he did not. I hated my life after a while, I would get upset when he came home, and I just wanted to be alone, since this was how I felt in the relationship. We tried marriage counseling, but the therapist was inconsistent and so was my husband. My husband would not move out of our rented home, so I took the kids and left.”

Before reading my tips, remember what Gloria Steinem said: “If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?”

If your marriage doesn’t suit you, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have no choice but to change yourself or leave the relationship. For example, you may need to change how you think about your circumstances. How? By going to a different relationship therapist, or exploring marriage coaching instead of counseling. Perhaps you need to try on a few different pairs of shoes before you make any decisions about separation or divorce.

Or, maybe you just need to leave.

How to Leave a Man You’ve Loved for Years

How to Leave a Man You Love

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

Here are some suggestions for leaving a relationship that’s been over for years, inspired by Shannon’s experience with her husband.

“After months of silence and being separated, we are in communication because of our three year old,” she says. “We have been open about dating other people during the time that we were apart, as I felt there was definitely someone out there who could be a better man to me. At present we are no longer dating other people, and I feel like I owe it to my husband to see how he has changed and to see if there is a chance for us.”

Face the fear of not finding love again – but don’t let fear control you

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. Before you can leave a man you’ve loved for years, you need to face your fears of being alone.

Maybe you’ll find happiness in another relationship…and maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll spend a few years as a single woman, or maybe you’ll find that you prefer to remain single for longer than that. Use this time to reconnect with yourself, to learn who you are, and to grow into a healthy, strong, joyful woman of God.

If you’re anxious about not finding another man, read How to Deal With Your Fear of Being Alone.

Deal with guilty feelings for leaving the man you’ve loved for years

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 such as fear of what people will think, fear of criticism, or guilt and shame keep you trapped in a bad relationship.

If you do struggle with guilt, find ways to work through it. Write about how you feel. Talk to a counselor. Share your thoughts with your wisest, most trustworthy friends and family members. Give it to God. Take time to be alone with yourself, and listen to your still small voice. Who are you, where are you going, and how do you want to live? These are all valid thoughts that need to be explored if you’re thinking about leaving a man you’ve loved for years or decades.

What decision brings you alive?

When you’re thinking about leaving a man you’ve loved for years, you may be focusing on the negatives and fears. Give yourself time to focus on the answers that bring life, joy, peace, and healing to your existence.

I don’t have any answers for you – I can’t tell you exactly how to leave the man you’ve loved for years – but I do have a few questions to help you work through the process. You’ll find that finding your own answers has a much greater effect than asking for advice – especially since I really don’t know enough about you or your marriage to tell you what to do.

Clarifying questions about your relationship:

  • How is your relationship affecting your behavior, thoughts and emotions?
  • How does staying in this relationship keep you safe?
  • How does this relationship give you power and control?
  • What would you experience if you gave this relationship up – if you left this man?
  • What would it take to make this relationship painful enough that you’re ready to leave today?
  • Which path – staying in this relationship or dealing with the loss and grief of a breakup – leads to more life, possibilities, and purpose?

Go where the life is. Find ways to clear noise and clutter of unhealthy attachments, bad relationships, unhappy people. Listen to the still small voice of God – of divine wisdom and power! Be quiet so you can hear.

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.”

You may need to apply for social assistance or accept financial help from the government – but that is better than staying in a bad, unhealthy, or abusive relationship. When I was a child, my mother and I were on welfare for most of my childhood – but my mom was single, free, and independent (well, as independent as you can be when you rely on the government for support). I’d much rather have grown up on welfare than with her in an unhappy marriage.

Own up to the choices you’ve made and aren’t making. Don’t let past decisions ruin your future, or affect your decision on whether you should leave this man you’ve loved for years. You will grieve the losses that accompany the pain of emotionally detaching from someone you care about, but you will be alive and growing a healthier future. You will be Blossoming.

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.”

How to Leave a Man You Love - But Can't Live With

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

Where do you want to be living in a year from now? 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.

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:

  • 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 leaving a man who isn’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. Write your thoughts in your private journal. 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 heart and your instincts, and do what it takes to create a life that makes you happy and fulfilled.

Back to Shannon’s story:

“I know sometimes it is said that we should not stay in a marriage for the kids, but I feel like I have an obligation to try,” she says. “I want to see if we can reconcile to make our family whole. We live separately, and I do not feel that this should change at this point. He has asked me out, and he comes to spend a few hours with us. We plan on starting counseling. I want to take things slow, I feel really confused about everything and the reconciliation process, I am just taking baby steps at this point. I don’t think this is just because I don’t know how to leave a man I’ve loved for years…I really think I’m doing this for our family as a whole.”

How to Know When to Leave a Man

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.

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 your marriage, though, and perhaps get feedback from others. Writing is an excellent way to figure out how you feel, and to process your emotions.

If you struggle with your emotional connection but know you need to leave him, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.


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253 thoughts on “How to Leave a Man You Love – But Can’t Live With”

  1. I’ve been with the same man for 9yrs 5mo, we have a 4yr 10mo old son together- almost 5yrs old, crazy! He works as a driller in the oilfield and we recently moved out of state one year ago. He employed his best buddy underneath him and things between us has went south since then… he recognizes it but still continues to make poor decisions and does not put calling our son and myself first-instead- goes out with the guys… or is on facebook constantly… never blames his buddy for speaking badly about me or insisting they go out, instead calls me a dumbass for even getting upset. Help

  2. my husband cheated on me for 3 and half yrs with the same woman he would spend the weekend with her and also he say he going to work and go to her house and don’t go to work loose his job by been at her house and not going to work she told him don’t come over if he don’t have no money.He paid bills at home then she spend the rest of his money he has until he get paid again and he kept going over her house he loose two jobs behinds her the last job he lost was in OCT of 2018 that when she said he will be back when he get a job.He started back to work the end of April 2019 but he not working now do to an injury she text me on my free phone the day after Christmas and told me to tell him he don’t have to answer his his phone are come over and give her some money for Christmas and he don’t have to come over no more he won’t answer his phone. I said he won’t have a phone because he can’t pay the bill without a job and i’m not paying it every time he called her she will call me and when he came over she would let me no that i can’t stop him from coming to her house and that he will always be her man and one day they will have a child together she told her friend that she mad at him because he hasn’t call her are came over to see her. I was there when her friend told my husband but her friend don’t no that I was his wife he said I was his cousin and I gave another name the woman that in love with my husband live in glad stone missouri and my husband don;t go no where unless my mom are my aunt call my phone for him and they pay him gas money are his son come and get him car don’t run on air and she won’t put gas in it and he don’t have no money.

  3. Hi I’ve been with a man for 3 and a half years and have a 4 month old baby with him. In the beginning things were amazing and I was more in love than I had ever been after about a year he stopped trying, he spends all his time playing computer games and working and even before baby was born our relationship was lacking physical intimacy. This is a 38 year old man not a teenage boy, I resent him for making me feel so alone throughout pregnancy and now. I’m not sure if I still love him though he says he loves me. He’s said he’ll work on us a hundred times but nothing changes. If I leave him I’ll move in with my mum for a while until I can get my own place but that move will make it hard for him to see his son as he works nights and it will also add financial pressure on him as hell have to pay more rent. I’d feel guilty about these things. Should I stay and try and work on it?

  4. Hello I’ve been in a Relationship for 2 years with the man I love so much but the way he treat me is not good at all..just yesterday we were talking about marriages and Divorce.. He then said to me if I wanna leave when we married he’ll point a gun at me of which is not the first time he says that.. I’ve been scared since.. Today morning I tried to express my feeling about the gun thing..told him he scared..He just said I’m being dramatic..I just want out can’t live with a man who threatens my life..

    1. Run as fast as you can and get away before he kills you start trying to make your escape plan and don’t tell anyone who would tell him were you are please leave before its to late he will kill you he means that I’m telling you this because this happen to my cusion

    2. So he thinks threatening you with a firearm is no big deal? Does he think the LAW would see it that way? Maybe he could try that kind of threat with a police officer, or someone carrying a firearm. No? Why, because it might be TAKEN SERIOUSLY by any normal, rational human being, and he’d either stop that stupidity and backtrack immediately, or find himself faced with a real firearm! Yet, you’re somehow okay to threaten in the same way, and he dismisses your completely normal reaction as “dramatic,” as though you’re overreacting, so that he feels like the “reasonable” one. But he’s not. Reasonable people don’t threaten to pull a gun, even when faced with a breakup, or even a divorce!

      Your feelings are absolutely correct. You are not being selfish or unloving or unreasonable or overreacting by leaving him. You’re smart to get out now! Do what you must to survive, but make a plan and do quietly get out of there. Don’t warn him or tell him you’re planning to leave, as he could just take that threat up a notch. If he’d only done it once, in the heat of an argument, and then apologized as soon as you brought it up (or before you did), then I could maybe see giving him one more chance, depending on the situation. But more than once, AND dismissing you like it’s no big deal? Yikes!

      There is absolutely NO justification for those kinds of threats. You know it, I know it, and he should know it. Being scared when someone says something like that is NOT being dramatic; that is being a normal human being, responding just as most people would. If he really doesn’t mean it, wouldn’t ever really pull a gun on you, and if there’s no reason to fear what he says… then there’s also NO REASON for him to make such a meaningless threat and, at BEST, he’s lying to control you! As I stated before, any NORMAL, rational human being would feel fear and take it seriously when someone threatens to point a gun at them. Especially when they say it more than once!

      That is not just him “being dramatic” when he makes a threat to keep you in line, either; it’s manipulative, verbally and emotionally abusive, irresponsible, and dismissive of your feelings (which is another red flag)! It’s not at all “cute” or excusable in any way. It’s toxic. And if he can’t see how WRONG it is to make threats like that to control you, it will NOT get better. As soon as you stop taking that threat seriously, he’ll likely have to step it up to the next level (like threatening to kill himself, or threatening you with a gun in his hand), so that he can get that control back, scaring you into submission again. That’s not love, that’s not a relationship–that’s tyranny. And it’s certainly not a good foundation for a marriage!

      I’m sure you already know all of this, but sometimes it helps to hear someone else confirm it.

      Especially when the guy you’re supposed to be able to trust, who is supposed to love you and protect you, is telling you that your feelings are invalid, and that questioning his bad behavior is wrong. How is THAT reasonable or respectful? Of course you care about him, and you want him to love and trust and protect you, too. But it’s in conflict with what he’s saying, and that’s hard to accept. And it hurts.

      If someone else asked about it, he’d likely say he “didn’t really mean it,” that he “would never really do it,” maybe even that “you should know” that he wasn’t serious. Then WHY threaten it in the first place? Because it works, because he knows in the moment you WILL think he’s serious, you’ll be afraid of him and back down, and then he “wins.” Because he wants to shut down the conversation because it makes him feel vulnerable or afraid or whatever, and he doesn’t like that feeling, and he wants to feel strong and in control, and that threat makes him feel like he could keep you from leaving, even if you’re a prisoner or slave instead of an equal.

      You should never have to live with someone who threatens you OR dismisses your reasonable concerns like that. You should be able to feel safe in your home and in your relationship. He should treat you as an equal, not someone to control and dominate with fear. You are NOT the one who’s being irrational or unreasonable here.

      But you know that already. Trust yourself.

  5. Im not sure exactly how I am going to get this done because my boyfriend has been my friend for 30 years and my live in boyfriend for 8. I am just not in love with him anymore. I love him only as a friend. There is nothing else there. I have outgrown him. He stays being on the same level and I have moved ahead. He lives in my house so I can’t move out. I think Im going to have to stay with my daughter for a week so he can know Im serious. Its the only answer I have. I know for a fact Im done though because I dont even want to argue anymore, I mean Im just over it all. I want to end this peacefully. I know its going to hurt him because I know Im the best thing that has ever happened to him, I dont say this out of conceit. I say it because its the truth. I tried my hardest to help him become a better man but its never going to happen, He is an alcoholic, who barely works and is an asshole to everyone. I tried to leave him once and he got sober for 2 1/2 months and that was it. Nothing since then and keeps getting worse. I just cant do it anymore.

  6. I have been in a abusive relationship (verbal) and unfaithful for 5 years. I just recently left and got my own place, but i still go and spend the weekend with him because i love him and i feel like i cant live without him and because he wont let me go.
    He still controls me even though im not there anymore. I cant go out any where by my self, he calls me 2-3 times at night to make sure im home. I know its all bad and i have found things at his house that indicate he has other women over when I’m not there, but i love him and he says he loves me and i just cannot let go. I’m NOT happy, I’m MISERABLE , WHY WHY am I still with him, why cant i let go!!??

    1. Wait, why can’t you go out anywhere by yourself? Are you disabled? Does he stalk you or something? Is it actually dangerous to go alone to the store or work or whatever? Or did you mean, “I FEEL as though I can’t…”?

      That might be a good place to start: maybe add, “I feel as though…” before those, “I can’t” statements, to help you break free of the idea that it’s not even worth trying, because it’s just impossible. “I can’t” is a LIE we tell ourselves often when we know it will be hard, so we avoid starting.

      Maybe question why you use such self-defeating language to emphasize your feelings of conflict and desperation… because “can’t” is not really the truth, it’s deceptive thinking. I think you need to challenge those passionate but inaccurate thoughts with reality.

      For instance, why do you feel like you “can’t live without him?” Is he just so entrenched in your life that it’s exhausting trying to remove him? (If that’s the issue, take it one thing at a time, in bite-sized pieces.) In reality, you were born without him, you CAN live without him. The question is, why are you choosing not to (at least partially)? What is it you get out of the relationship with him? What do you feel you need that he gives you?

      He “still” controls you, implying that he controlled you when you lived together, too. So ask yourself why you are *allowing* him to control you? Is it easier than making your own choices? Is it just what you’re used to, so you’re comfortable with it? Is it something else? What do you think would happen if you stayed out, and let the phone ring unanswered at night? If you do want freedom from him, delete him from your social media and phone, email, etc., change your number, and/or block his if he keeps calling. Relax in the peace, meditate, read, dance, rearrange the furniture, have a friend over and order pizza, or whatever gives you peace of mind and a feeling of satisfaction in making your own choices. Then DISTRACT yourself by doing something YOU enjoy, or something that takes focus and concentration, so you can’t let your mind wander back to him.

      You might try telling yourself you don’t WANT to go over to his place just to end up miserable on Monday (not “I shouldn’t,” but, “Ugh, I don’t want to feel miserable later,”), and plan an enjoyable, fun weekend–and don’t tell him where you are, either. Can you make plans for the weekend with someone else you won’t cancel on (a new friend, if necessary, or volunteer where you’re needed, or maybe ask for overtime at work, etc.)? Can you take a weekend trip to see out-of-town family, or take a Girl’s Weekend with a friend? Heck, if you’re anywhere near me, I’d go, assuming I don’t already have plans…… 😉

      “Love is patient, love is kind…” Do you know that Bible verse? I read something a while back that I found helpful. It suggested taking that verse, and replacing every instance of “love” with the person’s name. “Joe is patient, Joe is kind…” etc. (You can do it with your own name, as well, and see how well you love, too.) I can tell you, just from what you’ve written here, that he doesn’t love you. He might be passionate about you, he might like spending time with you, he might miss you when you’re gone… but he’s not willing to make the kinds of sacrifices for you that love requires.

      Give yourself a chance to get to know YOU, without his influence. Who are you, what do you want from yourself, from a relationship, from life? Do you like yourself? If so, remind yourself why, and it may be easier to let go of this guy who doesn’t love you. If you don’t like yourself, then maybe you’ve figured out why you run back to him, and maybe taking the steps to be your own woman would be a good beginning. And you can work on becoming the best version of yourself, a person you do like and can be happy being.

      You’re already out; you did the hard part. The only real way to know if you truly “can’t” live without him… is to actually TRY living (and here I mean truly LIVING, not just surviving) without him for a while and see what happens (just make sure you give it enough time to grieve the relationship, and work on doing things you enjoy, not dwelling on the past). One day at a time. You CAN do this. 🙂

  7. Hi my husband and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We have 4 children aged 10 to 20. I recently discovered that he had a 6 year affair with his secretary when our children were younger. I have been trying hard to reconcile with him over the last 10 months as he wants to save the marriage but I’m not sure that I can forgive him. I love him but can’t let go of what he did. How he lied and neglected me throughout our marriage. He’s trying very hard now but I think it may be too late.

  8. Hi,

    I was reading this article with a mindset of sending it to a friend, by a friend I mean someone I have become to have strong feelings for. She is 10 years younger than me, she has a 3 yr old daughter and a boyfriend of 10 years. I am writing this in hope of finding answers maybe?

    She loves him for being the father of her child but is no longer in love with him. We talk about her leaving him, but she keeps saying that she can’t leave him at the moment because of her daughter or that she doesn’t want to hurt him while he feels low. Their relationship seems to be all about the daughter and they no longer have anything in common or chat about anything other than their daughter or argue about silly things (her words).

    So, should I stick it out and give her more time or cut my losses and walk off into the sunset before it’s too late?

    1. I believe you should cut your losses and move on.

      It doesn’t sound like you’re encouraging her to talk to him about it, or get couples counseling, or giving her suggestions for reconnecting with him. But she’s kind of using you as a therapist, anyway.

      They have a child together, and it’s likely this guy will be in your friend’s life, to some extent, for *at least* the next 15 years, and likely for a lifetime. Think about that for a second. IF she’s actually going to leave him, you probably want it to be because they couldn’t work things out between them… not because you got in the way.

      1. Hi, thanks for the reply, I have suggested talking to him or get outside help, but she seems to not want to do any of that. I think you are right about me being the therapist, although she doesn’t like talking about him that much and changes the subject.

      2. I have been married for 8 years no and dated my husband 2 years before that but I feel Like his been hiding his true self while dating. Being married to him so exhausting I can’t take it anymore am so depressed and so sad all the time. We have 4 kids age 2-7 very young. He treats us so bad. About 4 months ago I found out about him having another family and used all our savings on paying back his depth and his family. While I have been struggling with kids, school and working while pregnant I feel so betrayed by him and his abusing me financially and verbally and emotionally. I been trying to move out but I have no money and job me and the kids are struggling so much while his over planning on going to vacation to visit his other family. I just want a divorce but he won’t I feel like this marriage is not good for me his never home talks shiit about me to everyone including his family. His family they are all disrespectful to me and he never says anything to them. He never helps with the kids all he does is go to work from 1pm to 5am and when he comes goes straight to his room and locks his door like me and my kids are invisible to him even on his days off he spends time with his friends and never comes come unless he wants to sleep. Am so over this marriage I don’t know why his treating me like this I cut him on lies and cheating on me so many times. I have kids with no job so moving out is hard for me I don’t know what to do anymore:

    2. Cut your losses. She’s telling you the things she wants you to hear, but you’re not hearing the whole story. Im not sure if you have kids, but it’s common that once a child arrives there is stress placed on the relationship. It’s normal that they are only focusing on the child right now, but it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t truly love him. She’s just a bit frustrated right now with her situation. I guarantee that their relationship is not how she’s having you view it. You’re her person to vent to, you’re hearing the negatives, but she’s not sharing the positives and happy moments that they share together with you…
      Also, if she did tell him she didn’t want to be w him… there’s still a process for her to go through w the breakup. Most likely she’ll miss him and realize his good traits once away from him a few days or weeks and want the relationship back. What they are going thru is common and very repairable. If you want to be a true friend, listen to her and support her thoughts, but don’t suggest she leave him. Suggest that she go to counseling. You’d want her to break it off only after going through counseling and fully processing all her feelings first. If she left him for you, she’s going to feel regrets, guilt, and it will stress the relationship you’re hoping to have. You would be a temporary rebound, and as someone mentioned – this man will always be in her life and very involved. You would have to accept him and be on friendly terms. She will also become resentful toward you for pushing a breakup w him. Your relationship doesn’t stand a chance if it happens the way you’re hoping right now.
      Best to walk away. She’s with a man right now and you’re not being a true friend by pulling her away from the man she is with. You should be helping her repair her relationship or not be involved at all.
      If done the road she and him split on their own, it would then be ok to step back into her life. Sorry.

  9. I been married for 46 years, I dearly love my husband, but 40 years of that marriage has been with his father. The first couple years were ok, a good baby sitter and other little things. But as the years wear on he started to be annoying with where he knows it all. Telling us adults stupid things we already knew. So I let it go, but these last 5 years have been hell. His father been through cancer treatments, radiation, and in & out of hospitals. Now he has a dementia a little the doctors say, hematomas on the brain, forgets a lot , and getting very annoying with stupid things, that he think is important. (They are not) I put up with this and last time I ask my husband when will it be our time? He never said, in fact he brought up something I did wrong to him. (yes I did) So gave up our time for his father and let him back in our house. I so want to leave and write a letter telling him why. But he is always defending his father due to his age 89. My advise to those who want to take in their parent. Think it out!!! Talk to spouse about this because you are giving up a lot to have this parent in your house. My last vacation 10 years ago, not a happy camper.

  10. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 years. We’ve lived together five and a half and started dating when I was 18 and he was 20. We rushed into it because we loved eachother and it just seemed right. The last few years we have struggled. He is an amazing man in most ways. He is sweet and kind and sensitive hes not afriad to cry and tell me how much he loves me and he takes care of me especially when I’m sick. He works hard in his job and works hard to keep our home clean. I love him with all my heart. But i have doubts about our future. There has been many years now that I have felt unhappy or alone and just that it isn’t right. He talks down to me with a tone that is so disrespectful that embarasses me when he does it in front of my friends or family. A lot of times its because I haven’t helped enough in the house which is wrong of me but doesnt excuse the way he speaks to me. I have major trust issues with him. We fight anytime we go out together because he flirts with girls right in front of me even my own friends. I have found a secret email account he has that he sends photos of girls he works with to in order to pleasure himself to. He knows I’ve suffered from self esteem issues and that knowing he looks at pictures of girls he works with or my friends devastates me and always promises he will stop but in reality he just gets better at hiding it. For the longest time he told me he didnt flirt and I was crazy it wasn’t until recently he has admitted thats “just who he is” and that it doesnt mean anything. To me it means a lot. I felt like he wasnt attracted to me and that he was cheating because if he was willing to flirt in front of me what did he do when I’m not around and him lying about what I witnessed multiple times just made me more convinced he was cheating. Even when I would pull my weight and clean the house he would manage to find something I didnt do to criticise me. It made me shut down. I felt alone even when we were together. Eventually our sex life basically stopped and it made me more convinced he didnt want me. I became stupid and madeout with a friend a few times because he would flirt and make me feel attractive again. After that it got worse. I turned to my best friend one night when we were drunk and we had sex. I don’t have feelings for him. I just really needed to feel someone hold me so i just wouldn’t feel so alone. It tore me apart because while my bf does have some flaes he truky is a wonderful man. This happened about 3 years into our relationship but only came out on our 6 year anniversary because my bestfriend told people. I wish I had the courage to tell mt bf myself but I do love him with all my heart and I thought i would lose him so I was selfish and didnt. My bf is a sweet man even if sometimes he isnt overall he is an amazing man and he loves me so much he has decided to try and forgive me and move on. For a while things were pretty good. I had a new hope for the relationship now that my awful secret was out and tried harder to meet him halfway and help more i also realized that he never actualky cheated physically but only with photos and thoughts and flirting which makes me feel even worse for what I did to him. I still have my doubts about whether we can stay together with the way we are. I don’t spend enough time doing things that would make him happy and I can’t stand him flirting with girls and the way he speaks to me and these are things I’m realizing will never change. He has no doubts he wants to be with me but I do and after 6 years I feel like there shouldn’t be doubts of whether or not we can last and whether this is right. He has his flaws and so do I. We have hurt eachother a lot but also love eachother deeply. I don’t want to waste more of his time if I am having doubts. We have “broken up” a million times for a day but it never sticks because no matter what the other person does we still want to be with them. I feel like there are certain ways we each deserve better and that love isn’t supposed to feel the way it often does in our relationship. In a lot of ways we make eachother happy and sometimes we are really great but sometimes we aren’t. Right now I’ve told him i have doubts and its not fair to him and I don’t want to waste more of his time especially because he is already si ready to start a family. So we are “breaking up” this time I really do want to take the time to think. If I love him and he loves me why isnt that enough? Am I making the right choice in leaving? Do people in good relationships have doubts or is that only bad relationships. How do I know when to leave when we love eachother so much? I don’t want to hurt him more with my back and forth, i love him he is the only person I rven truly have loved and I dont want to lose him but I also don’t know if I should stay. Is it normal to be how we are should we try again to work on issues weve never been able to fix or should I give up on the man I love?

    1. Doubts, arguments, being distant at times, having rough patches… all these things are normal in relationships. That being “in love” feeling, when the other person is your focus, doesn’t last, naturally. It takes effort and both people being committed, faithful, and willing to sacrifice. Conflict is normal, but so is kindness and respect.
      That said, your relationship situation might be common, but it is not normal, and is not a good relationship, in my opinion. Feelings are never enough to hold a relationship together because emotions can change on a whim. Love requires sacrifice and effort.
      Flirting around is a choice, not an unchangeable trait. It sounds like he wants you to be faithful without the same commitment from him. And maybe that he wants the illusion of marriage and family without the sacrifice, responsibility, or emotional commitment needed for a real relationship. If he truly wants to be with you, he needs to give up other women. That’s how it works. Don’t allow him to have both. It’s not good for either of you.
      Anyone who doesn’t have enough self-control to reasonably try to avoid hurting the person they claim to love isn’t really being loving. They’re putting themselves first. That won’t get better unless he takes you seriously and takes action to restore trust. I think he will SAY he will, but won’t follow through. It will probably get worse. And that he puts you down is also a big red flag! You both should be able to make mistakes without being belittled for it.
      The fact that you were willing to put yourself in a situation where you could (and did) cheat, also is a strong indication that you are no longer committed to him. Why?
      You probably should have left before that point, but at least you regret what you did, sought forgiveness, and aren’t making excuses. That is mature of you. Still, you must figure out what you need to change in yourself to be faithful and avoid temptation in the future. And you cannot completely put the burden on him to keep you happy and self-confident.
      However, his getting sexual pleasure from someone else (even pictures) is also cheating. It alters the way he views you and sex. It’s a damaging behavior and it needs to stop if there’s going to be a romantic relationship between you two.
      The reason you feel a bond with him is because of the sex, time, and effort you have gone through for this long. Sex physically bonds us (via chemicals in the brain), and sharing ourselves with someone also does (emotionally). So who’s he bonding with when he looks at other women’s pictures for sexual pleasure? Hint: it’s not you. (As a side note, wth is up with your so-called “friends” who would give your bf pictures like that!? Get some better friends, girl!)
      If you were already single and had your confidence back, and he treated you this way, and you felt these doubts, would you even date him?
      Or go back and read your post. What would you tell a friend in your shoes? What kind of example do you want to give to your future kids?
      Change can be scary, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the best choice is what’s familiar. Love should encourage you to be a better person, not belittle you into submission. And trust is required.
      I don’t think he loves you, even if he thinks he does, because his unwillingness to make a small change for your benefit speaks loudly that he doesn’t. What happens when you need him to make a bigger change for you?
      There are plenty of good guys out there, but you can’t marry all of them. That means you might have to let go of some good guys to find one that you can truly be committed to. Leaving him, if that’s what you choose, doesn’t mean you think he is a bad guy, or that you don’t care about him, or even that he can’t change. It just sounds like you believe you two are not a good fit to build a future together from this point.

  11. I also dont know how to tell my feancee i want to leave him.we have two kidz together n it is being five yrs sins he lost his job n i have bein struggling alone wit my kidz n house hold staff,i also pay rent evrything is on my shoulders i have lost hope nw.i feel like he used me,he didnt think of our future how can he just relax n not hunting fo a job,knowing he has a family to support.iv never injoyed mt salary each and evry months im getting a lot of my contract at wrk has ended im jobless n his also jobless nd he knew that soon my contract will end nd he just kept on staying at home no job ill b paying rent with my first child’s money from maintanance,i have a onother child besides thise other two kidz wich i have with him,so her father is depositing money for her each month,that is what in surviving with

  12. I’m 57 years old. I’m married to the fairy tale hubby. I’d been married 3 times prior and this one was actually my high school sweet heart who reconnected with me Nov. 2004. This is 2018 and I’ve been through a lot physically. We have been through a lot together. We still love each other. I am cold most of the time. He is one year younger than I and works at least 60 to 70 hours a week. I don’t have a paying job. I care for the house details. He does heavy lifting, outdoor stuff, and more. When we married, he said he would always keep a smile on my face. He told everyone that. I have severe arthritis. I’m willing to give up our cattery. (we have 8 indoor cats…I do most of the care) When we married, I was living in Fl. Later, after some moves, we lived in Fl. again for 9 years. I love the brightness of Fl. and warmth. When it’s cool there, a light coat will do. (perhaps even with a stylish scarf/hat) As we live in Ohio, he’s still warm. He has a great metabolism. He was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. This could work in my favor, right? He can work till he decides to retire in about 5 years. Breadwinner. I’m so cold all the time, I’m willing to go back to Fl. and start life alone till hubby can join me as a snowbird situation or permanently. He says he lived in Fl before with me and isn’t willing to go back, to live, ANY time soon. I figure, if I’m already alone, I could be alone where I want to be. Thoughts? We have discussed divorce, but love each other…… (we also live separate lives: time, bedrooms, etc…)

  13. I just left the man of my dreams, he owns my heart, and I will always love him. I left him because I am not good enough for him. I don’t say this because I have low self-esteem; I say this because I know that I do not have the patience for young children and I understand the importance of raising children. I understand the sacrifice it takes to raise children the right way in today’s world. Our lives just do not align at this time. I am finishing grad school and starting a career, and he works a 9-5 construction job. He goes to all his kids’ practices and games – he’s a wonderful loving man and father. I know that I am not ready to center my life around his children. I know I do not have the enthusiasm needed for this. I love him so much that I needed to step away so he can put all his focus and center his world around his children. My heart is so broken.

    1. As painful as this must have been for you, I think that doing what you did not only demonstrates how deeply you understand yourself, but also that you show that rare integrity to what true love entails – that I find very, very admirable, and hope for the best in your future.

      1. Thank you for your kind words. 7 months later and it still hurts the same, he still owns my heart, and enters my mind throughout the day, every day.
        I know I did the right thing, even though he begged me not to go. That’s what was really hard, that I was honest about how I felt but he still wanted me to stay anyway.
        For now, I just try to distract myself when he enters my mind and keep as busy as possible.

  14. Hi I have been in my relationship for 11 years now. We were only married 3 years ago. The sad thing is I don’t know why I did that. I have two children from a previous marriage and he has no children. I had a miscarriage a couple of years ago and it was very hard on our marriage. It’s not that that makes it hard it’s that he is a compulsive gambler and even though he is a hard worker working two jobs sometimes a third, all of that money goes to his gambling and things to meet his needs never mine or my children. Don’t be mistakee, I work full time and I myself have taken a second job from time to time because he doesn’t keep his end of the bargain up. I am tired and emotionally exhausted we have a mortgage to pay every month that is almost $800 of which he only gives me 300 and sometimes not even that. I pay all of the bills in our home. I am responsible to buy everything that is needed in our home from toiletries food anything else including repairs when they are needed in our home. I’ve been miserable for a very long time and I feel like recent health issues were brought on because of me being so miserable. He is a good person he is not abusive to me in any way but I am just growing tired of being unappreciated and I feel like he is not taking responsibility the way he should. Am I Wrong to feel this way please help I know that I shouldn’t be in this relationship that I just don’t know how to get out. Every time I do try to get out he blames it on me turns things around he just has a very good way with words and always seems to make me feel guilty that I don’t appreciate him. My children will support me 100% whatever decision I make. He has never been a father to them he has never been to any of their school functions games graduations even when they have been hospitalized he has never been there so for them it will be easy if he were to leave. I was alone for several years before I met him I had already established with my house to start buying it furnished at myself and did so many things on my own and he just basically walked in and had a house waiting for him. I don’t want to sound arrogant when I say this I say it because I know that I am okay to be alone and I know that I don’t need a man in my life to get by so why is it that I cannot leave him or at least make him leave because after all this is my house.

    1. Wow, this sounds exactly what I am going through! Only difference is he was an alcoholic and I have asked him to leave 2 weeks ago. He never got close to my kids, paid very little towards bills and was always in his own world. I kicked him out hundreds of times, knowing how terrible he is for me. I enabled him! I took care of him right from the start. I feel we are both co dependent. Even as being single mothers. We are co dependent in “relationships”. I feel your pain as I’m still crying daily. He has moved out, has a roommate, having fun, no family or responsibilty of us anymore. Not that he engaged in any of that in the 2 years being together. But I held onto a dream, a vision of how I hoped he would be and in the end, I’m the one still sad. Hang in there, go with your gut feeling. And know your not alone! We have to teach our children these relationships are not ok!

  15. She fed me with her very own hands. The very first time. Not me. That was when we had gone to Domino’s for the Valentines day after the movie, the card.

    She let me sleep on her lap in the bus.

    She cared for me when I was sick, Everytime.

    She was there for me when I was hurt.

    She brought such a wonderful cake for me on my birthday when everyone had left because she was my only true friend and I always saw her as one.

    She was the one to hold my hand first during that day at resonance when I was feeling cold.

    She was the one to first tangle our legs under the desk.

    She was the first to ask for taking a selfie together.

    She knew my number before I even asked her’s.

    She blurted out about Christian Gray. I know I should have laughed but I didn’t, which I still regret.

    She was the one to first introduce me to her friends and not the other way round.

    She was the one who told me how arrogant and over confident I always am.

    She was the first girl who I love I have danced with. A couple dance.

    She was the one who showed me how to have fun at a party.

    She was the one who taught me how to dance even when we both didn’t know.

    She was the who was with me when no one was.

    And I hurt her. And she left me. Guess I wasn’t the guy she expected me to be.

    A dream come true it was till the very last moment when she broke up with me. It was like heaven for me and now it has become a nightmare after she is gone. I know she will never forgive me making her cry at our anniversary day and forgetting it everytime.

  16. Hi i have bin separated from my husband for. 5 months has bin hard we have 3 girls together and it was a abusve relationship on both sides. He has mental health issues and i could not live like that eny more so i left. Now in now in my own places he want to. Make it work but i am confused it feel like i want him and i dont. He saids he making the changes .but i dont want hurt him enymore i am exsosted in this. I dont now what to do.

  17. Reading this article on the brink of a nervous breakdown. I have been married for almost 29 years to a wonderful man. The problem is that I am not in love with him. I started an affair with an old friend almost a year ago and we have fallen deeply in love. He wants me to leave my husband and I have tried several times. Hubby keeps wanting to work on our marriage. He knows about the affair, how much I love this other man but he doesn’t care. He loves me and forgives me. I am filled with so much guilt and anxiety. I have plans to leave him in 2 days to spend the rest of my life with my soulmate but it is tearing me up inside! I feel so obligated to continue being with my husband even when I know that I can never truly be happy with him. I wish I could because he isn’t abusive or mean. He does have a hard time showing his emotions and tends to shut me out once in awhile but this does not make him a bad man. I have spent my life sacrificing myself for others’ happiness and I am afraid that once again I will do so…….

    1. Just wanted to know how this went for you? I’ve been with my husband for 12 years and only married two. I have an affair about 6 months into our marriage and haven’t really achieved much in the year and half since it started. My husband is a wonderful man any women would be lucky enough to have him, he’s just a genuinely a nice guy. Since my affair I couldn’t stop getting this man out of my head or life. When we separate I ache to talk to him and think of him constantly. So much so that I’ve got into a situation where I’m thinking of leaving my husband for him, but can’t let go of my husband. I honestly don’t know how to leave a live without him, he’s been my everything my rock. We don’t have that all consuming love, passion. I can’t explain it, it’s just different with my husband, he rarely shows his emotion or love just feel disconnected. However with my the other guy it’s like I’ve found my soulmate, keep getting drawn back to on another despite our efforts to stay away! I feel disappointed in myself and disappointed in my marriage. I know why the affair started. I was living with my husband parents, financial issues, in the process of buying a house and I was shown no love, affection or attention by my husband. My closest friend at work for around 2 years I began to see in a different light and before I know it, things all happened! And I guess the rest is history. I know what I should do is 100% give up and walk away from this other guy and try to rebuild my marriage, but I think I’ve found the love of my life and don’t know how to walk away.

      I’m at my breaking point and feeling physically sickened at the thought of life without either of them. So I’m just suck in limbo. The story is a lot more complicated than is written but this is how I feel at present. Any help or advice?

      1. Im going through the exact same thing… kinda. I’ve been with my husband for 10 years, so have much to say but will try to make it short. Met husband at 21 and right away we were everything to eachother. He just got me for the first time I felt understood. (Issues with my Sicilian father all through teenage years and mother whom was my everything was extremely ill and later placed in nursing home). Anyway I met my husband and we had fun! Lots of partying and drug abuse over the years. This of course had led financial ruin never any serious serious addiction on my end but definitely alot of masking real emotions. Pretty much our whole relationship dude can’t keep a job and I am the breadwinner. We have our daughter six years ago and I stay home he develops a crack habit and where are his paychecks? Yea… So the jobs later on his part and couple legal issues later also on his part I do what I always eventually do and get. a job and try to hold us down. Geez as I write this no wonder in so such of him in his mother and I’ve totally allowed myself! Years of picking up after him figuratively and literally. So fast forward a couple years he gets a good job like a real good job like we might actually be okay for once good job still have a couple addiction issues so the money is not all there ever I am still covering the majority of all the bills but they’re starting to be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel done what happens if he gets caught using at work gets drug tested immediately fired so I being the mom that I am I guess go and get a job the very next day enter my Affair partner I meet him and I think at first I just like the attention you know all the years of my husband not having a job and not doing anything around the house and our daughter being messy and how can I be at work all day and when I come home it’s even worse than when I left how do you just sit there and do nothing to help me I don’t understand that so I make my Affair partner was nice that’s what Jeremy and originally and then I started hanging out with him I started realizing that I’m not this person that I’ve become over the years sober and I’m happy I don’t need drugs to keep me happy or energetic or anything I just need myself so I left my husband a couple months ago to be with my Affair partner and took our daughter with us things were really Rocky because I could not fully let go of my husband or his family whom I’m extremely close with and that created a lot of issues with me and my Affair partner he wanted me to put them in their place I guess and I could not do that so I eventually very immaturely really thought that that was sign I was being foolish and I moved back home with my husband but things are not good with my husband I don’t think that they ever will be. He’s drinking a lot ( a nice little habit he picked up “bc he was so alone”) and there’s literally no money he works and gets paid weekly but I don’t even have money for toilet paper toothpaste it’s just ridiculous like what what is that. yes what we had was wonderful but it was also young and naive and not real life… my real issue is that I know that he has nothing without me no money no drive the house will be filthy and even more so and Its so stupid when I say it out loud but I really care about what his mom thinks and I hate to disappoint her!! I just need somebody to tell me what to do I’m also at a Crossroads where it’s now or never and I know in my heart that I want to go but for some reason I’m just so scared of what everyone else thinks… why???? I also want to add that my Affair partner is little bit older than me mature knows how to take care of himself and a house and financially I would be more secure although I would keep a job and it’s just seems like real life or is it possibly only because it’s the exact opposite of what I’m living in now what do you do stay out of guilt and because you feel like you owe people or go and just try and I think I’d be okay if I had to be alone and things didn’t work out I don’t know if anybody made it this far I really just need to get this off my chest so any feedback whatsoever would be awesome thanks for reading if you did

    2. WOW!!! This sounds EXACTLY like my story! I too feel like on on the brink of a nervous breakdown.I’ve been married 13 years to a great man. I had a 2yr affair and lived with the guilt and shame throughout the relationship,the affair was recently exposed which actually brought my husband and i closer.But for several months now i’ve been having feelings of leaving.I feel so overwhelmed with life which has caused me to reevaluate my entire married.Ive come to the realization im unhappy,unfulfilled and am eager to find myself. it tears me apart!! i love my husband and he loves me!! i don’t want to hurt him but i wanna chose me this time!

  18. Shelby. March 2017.
    I love my husband of 7 nearing 8 years but i am exhausted, sad & lonely. He is controlling, angry, consistently negative an alcoholic & compulsive gambler. I have 2 kids from previous relationship & 1 to my husband. I am a good person i work in community circles, have done mwntal health first aid training and am often exhausted emotionally after work , one of my kids is adhd & suffer anxiety, oldest is having health issues that is stressful, youngest is angry like dad. I have previously seperated due to dv but gave him another chance. Kids love him but are fearful, his friends are depleted due to his behavior. Of course he blames everyone else, but everything is about how it affects him. Due to his gambling habits & several months off work we owe money to family & some of his friends now5i find debt collectors after us for more thsn $ 20k GST debts. So tired of walking on eggshells & not being me but no money to go anywhere. Just sad because when in his right mind he is fun , generous & loving BUT he finds no joy in anything anymore & is taking everyone around him down too. Dv helpline etc are awesome but realisticly there is too much of this going on & nowhere for enough people to go. Govt needs to get their crap together & provide mentsl , dental & general health to the population. It is a sad state of affairs when people have to make do instead of being able to access services needed. Look at dv related deaths most preventable with proper treatment. Pooh to the miserable, selfish living in denial of reality world. 😥

  19. I’ve been married for 8 years now. My life has had more drama than the Springer Show. I love my husband but he very closed minded and lacks intelligence.
    Since a week ago I’ve been in an affair with my landlord, and we have are great together. We come up with businesses ideas and have so much in common. I also have found out that he is a millionaire and has asked me to leave my husband and marry him. This man is offering me a life that is so hard to get turn down. He has also tried helping my husband get successful in life, just to make me happy. I had to explain to him that I’m not happy with the man my husband is.
    As he waits for me to make the decision. He is working on opening a business for me and teaching me how to make money fast.

  20. I’ve been with my husband for 15 years. We have two kids – 10 & 12. The last decade has been a struggle financially for us and it appeared many times, as though we had weathered each storm that would have broken most other couples. But, also during that decade, I have been searching for “something else” for me. I had a brief affair which ended and was terribly hard to untangle from. My husband didn’t know about this. After that, I began meditating and looking inside for who I really was and what I wanted. Things seemed great for us for a while but overall, for me, there was always a lingering sense of dissatisfaction which I kept sweeping under the rug.
    Things came to a head for me a few weeks ago when I realized that our financial struggles were not going to get better soon. Worse, I had lost respect for the man I loved, and although I love him, I had fallen out of love with him. I want more for me. I told him yesterday that I was unhappy and had been for a long time. I have cried so hard, I thought I’d puke. He wants me to stay and fix things, he needs me to find a way though. But what about my needs? I said I’m not sure I want to work on things; I’m afraid to really bite the bullet and say no. Sigh. I’m going to see a counselor on thursday.

      1. Amanda, I’m not sure if it was my post or Bree’s, but in short, changes, none, HE has changed none, I still continue to be the SOLE provider for our family, this past weekend he bought himself a new (I say new, it’s a used truck with 50K miles, something I’ll never own, even in my dreams) vehicle, knowing mine is on the brink of dying. I’ve had my same vehicle for the 12+ years that we’ve been together, this makes his 8th vehicle purchase that he just “had to have because it was such a good deal”, yet I struggle each day with mine and it leaves me on foot at least once a month. What changes? Nothing yet on my part……YET. I have however decided to leave, I am not sure when, it all depends on when I can rack up enough money for a deposit on an apartment. My boys are ok with it, we’v discussed it in private and they are keeping it amongst us 3 and no one else. They are ok with living in a “less” than comfortable home than what we are in right now (they each have their own room), they would be ok with sharing a bedroom, and I’d sleep on a couch, if I could just come up with a one bedroom even. So if you believe in prayer, keep me in prayer, I will need it. I will need it to stay strong and not let him talk me into staying, coming back, etc. My plan is to leave when he is gone all day one day, like on his casino days, I am going to cut my phone # off, and I am only taking what is in the boys rooms and our clothes, EVEN if everything in this house is technically mine, I have proof of how I’ve purchased it on credit, or a loan, etc. But I’m done, I’ve started new once with nothing, I can do it again. As long as I have my boys and their approval, I will be ok. Wish you the best in your situation, I hope it was my update you were asking, if not, sorry to ramble on. This is probably the only place I have to come to vent, I don’t share any of my private life with anyone, not even friends, or family , they have NO CLUE…..

  21. I’m 26 year old and want to put an end to a relationship which went long since 5 and a half years. We loved each other and every other person knows about us. Family relatives friends colleagues parish and everyone whom we have met. I have always been a hard working person and prioritised him and his family always. Always thought for them. Did so many deeds for them when we were on a long distance relationship, I was the one who did things for his family. From needs to wants to gifts. Now I realise that I was taken for granted all these years. My needs were never taken care by him. My likes were always not heard. No support at all. Since 2 years he’s made me feel helpless due to his job. And with great difficulty he came out of that mess. But now he is jobless and never tired on anything till I thought of ending this up. But frankly I’m not ending this because he’s jobless but because I find him not responsible enough to meet things. My family is after to get it sort out but I don’t have anything left from my side to try on this relationship. I just wanna end it up and later also in life I’ll be the one who will have to do everything from household chores to managing bills loans rents etc. But with this I’ve also fallen for a person who is presently ongoing an internship as a hotelier. A distance relationship but he spares time speaking with me after his 12 hours of work. He loves me a lot and sees my future. He is ready to accept me knowing my past. He asks me and encourages me in spending on my own self saving and to think about myself a little. I just want help to make sure that I’m not being carried away by anything and thats why I want to end up with my 5 years old relationship or really there is nothinG this relationship would reward me in the coming years and I would have to act and be always like a man to mine and his family.

  22. To all of you who struggle. I have been married for 18 years, with my “husband” 23 years. We have two amazing kids 18 and 11, had very stable financial situation, my dream house great cars, vacations and of course the opinion of perfect family. Yes, I got married at 19 to the man I loved and love and will love forever but forgot about one “tiny ” aspect my husband doesn’t love me or our kids. My husband is a great man, amazing businessman, but “not present” husband and father. Work, money, great impression, expensive gifts and vacation. Those are his priorities. I raised my kids alone because my “husband” was running a very successful business, I worked full time, raised my great children and ran the house: appointments, Brocken hearts, constructions, parties, everyday stuff, etc. I did it all he ran the financies and he did a fantastic job. I know he is a great man but not for me. I felt so alone every day waiting for this 8 pm for my perfect hard working husband to come home, until one night when I asked myself “why am I with him”. He respects me, he supports us (I’m still working full time making very good money) but I don’t need a sponsor I don’t need a fat wallet I want a partner. I share all my problems with my amazing sister she know everything my husband doesn’t as he is too tired to listen or to talk. He is too tired to play or talk to kids he just comes back to his 5 stars hotel everyday to sleep. Omg I realized I am his obligation. My kids are his chores. I don’t want to live like that. I want to be loved. I want to feel like a woman. The evening of realization. I ask my “husband”what he see when he looks at me, his answer ” u r a great mother, u ran this house beautifully, u r a great wife, u take care of our family af our parents, u cook u clean u sleep with me. I am the luckiest man in earth”. I am all that to him but one I am not his woman and honestly I don’t feel like that.
    Shortly after my realization I met a guy. Divorced with two kids, we became friends and got closer and closer. I have never physically cheated on my husband and decided to leave. My kids are shocked he is heartbroken, my family devastated but I know I have to do this to save me. Once in my life I have put my needs first. Right or wrong I don’t know but want to find out. I want to feel alive again.

    Two years after the separation. Still with the man I love, kids found some peace, my ex husband have stolen every penny we earned all our live savings to ” punish me” to ” teach me a lesson”. Lesson learned I spend 23 years with greedy, selfish man who would do anything to keep his money. I took him to court to teach him a lesson. I love and hate the same man. Thank you my dearest ex husband to show me your true colours.

    Leaving is never easy, leaving this “great man” was the hardest thing I did in my life , but as god is my witness it was worth it. I will love him forever, but he keeps killing this feeling with his moves.

    I’m happy now. I’m free. I’m loved as never before.

  23. I’ve been married 8 years. My husband works overseas. The agreement was he would only work 3 years overseas. We want for nothing. But I can’t handle this distance any more. We are separate people. He was supposed to save or dump the money into a retirement account. All I see is him spending like crazy when he comes home every 4 months. We went to marriage boot camp a year ago because I was leaving him because I caught him flirting online and found email exchanges between him and some old flame. We worked it out supposedly. And, the agreement was he would come home no matter what in January 2016. When January came, he was told the contract would end in June. So, I agreed to ride out the contract. Now it’s October and he pushed it to January 2017. I agreed, thinking he would pay off his credit cards, etc., save more to have a cushion while job hunting. Nothing! No saving just spending. So I knew something was wrong. I asked if he was definitely coming home in January. He says there might be changes. I feel like a fool. What a con. He says there are no jobs here etc. I make good money and we can make it. Our kids are grown. Anyway…I need to leave him and find peace from this emotional rollercoaster. But I feel guilty for enjoying the trips, the jewelry, etc. Then again, I handle everything because he’s over there. I’m exhausted. I want a man that’s by my side…holding my hand…not saying goodbye every quarter…who puts me first without question… there’s gotta be a better way. I just can’t move myself. Man…writing this really helped me. I will find courage. He’s really full of it. I can do better. Thanks for letting me vent. This is going to be hard.

  24. It’s early morning now and I’m awake breast feeding our second daughter while he sleeps next to me.

    We’ve been together for almost 9 years, have a house, two kids, three dogs and got married earlier this year. Lately it seems I just can’t stand him. It’s like nothing he does is ever right, or he doesn’t anticipate my needs. I’m not sure if it’s hormones from just having a baby or if this is just how it is now.

    He isn’t mean or abusive, I get to stay at home with our two girls. He is away a lot with work. I feel isolated from the world most days, some family is close but I’m not particularly interested in socializing with them.

    I constantly think of leaving or divorcing him and just living on my own with the girls without his daily annoyances. The thing is, I cannot afford to leave as I don’t have the means to do so and even if I did, would I still want to leave?

    I just don’t know how to make things better or if they can be made better.

    1. Please first speak with your doctor to rule out post-partum depression. Hormones can really mess things up emotionally, even up to a year later. Our youngest is 5 weeks old, and I am trying to keep this in mind for myself, as well.
      Your husband can’t read your mind, and men are generally not as good as women at picking up on what others need, so do you think it’s fair that you’re expecting him to anticipate your needs or know what annoys you without you talking about it?
      You likely do need to have more contact with others, as it sounds like because you’re isolated, you’re expecting him to meet all your emotional and social needs. If he’s not actually doing things that harm your relationship, or avoiding doing things that he’s aware you need, then you probably need to shift your focus to doing things for yourself that make you happy, help you feel good about yourself, and give you some outlet for stress and negative feelings.
      But definitely talk to your doctor about your unhappiness–it’s likely that it’s hormonal (plus maybe some sleep deprivation, which tends to make emotional struggles worse).
      If things were better before, then they can be better again! 🙂

  25. It sounds like you know you should end this relationship, Keisha, but you don’t feel strong enough to leave this man because you’ve loved him for years! I understand it, I get it, I’ve been there…and I know that after you go through it, you will find healing and peace.

    The peace you will find when this relationship ends will be comforting, healthy, and good.

    You know what you need to do. How will you find the strength to do it?

  26. Please i need a serioux advice on this….. Ive been dating this guy for two years now… knowing that he will be a priest after 3months we started dating and am so much in love with him, i dont know how to leave him….ive tried so many tyms to quit, but my love still keeps me back,…. It pains me more that he will be a priest and i know am doing wrong, but he promised to quit but am not seeing that…. Please should quit or continue?

  27. Yes, Leah, there are men who can and will eagerly love a child who isn’t biologically theirs! Don’t give up hope of being part of a loving, comforting, secure family. Biological ties aren’t what hold people together, and biological ties don’t always equate to love and commitment is there.

    Love and commitment is a choice. If you’re holding on to a man you’ve loved for years even though you know he doesn’t love you or your child, then you are doing more damage to yourself and your child.

    Don’t let fear of the unknown get in your way. You know in your heart what you should do; my prayer is that you don’t let your own insecurities and fears stop you from taking action to create a better life for yourself.

    Here’s an article that may help:

    How to Make a Decision by Looking Forwards

    I wish you all the best as you learn how to trust your self, listen to the still small voice, and move forward with courage and hope.


  28. I’m in my 2nd marriage that’s doomed at this point. I came in with a child from a previous marriage and he had 2 from his previous marriage. Things have been rocky from the start but we kept trying to make it work. My ex is no where in the picture and I didn’t want her growing up without a father. My (current) husband isn’t a bad guy but as time went on it became more apprent that he has no interest in being a father to my my child and his kids are his life. I don’t know how I can be in a relationship anymore while knowing this. I know the right thing to do is to move on with my life but I’m afraid….are there mem out there that can love a child that isn’t biologically theirs?

  29. Chery,

    You’re right – it would be difficult to really be there for the guy you love when you don’t live in the same city! And, if he gets stressed out for various reasons…it would be difficult to console and comfort him.

    I’m curious how why you left your comment on this article, which is about leaving a man you’ve loved for years. Are you thinking about breaking up with him?

    If you want to save your relationship, you might want to consider moving to NYC to be close to him. Or, talk to him about moving to LA. If neither of you can move, you may find this article helpful:

    How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work

    Also…what would it feel like to let go of the feeling that you have to do something to make him feel better? Maybe you can’t do anything, and he just has to cope with his stress on his own. What would it be like, to just let go of the need to help him deal with his problems? You can still love and support him…you just wouldn’t be responsible for trying to help him.

    What do you think?

  30. i love a man who has severe stress. he gets angry and weird when the weather gets so hot. he said he feels very unrelaxed and annoyed. i love him and care for him so much but i cannot do nothing because i am in LA and he is in nyc. What should i do?

    1. Hi Chery! If his stress is effecting you, let the relationship go. It’s hard and thanks to this website I got through it. His stress shouldn’t come down on you especially if you’re that far away from him. Sometimes we have to focus on our stresses and learn to get rid of them. My ex gave me nothing but stress and when I left him it was heartbreaking but at the same time is was a big weight lifted off my shoulders not having to worry him and his problems anymore!

  31. Dear Elke,

    Thank you for writing about your experience – it takes wisdom and strength to share what you’re going through!

    I wish I had good advice to give you about leaving a man you love but can’t live with – or that I had a magic wand that would change everything – but I don’t. If I were you, I might learn how to be more assertive in my relationship. I’d get in-person counseling or support so I could learn the best ways to deal with an angry, controlling man.

    Here’s a good place to start:

    How to Stand Up for Yourself – and Blossom

    I will keep you in my prayers, for strength and healing and comfort. May you reach out and find support and love in your friends and family.

    You might be encouraged by my free weekly newsletter, called SheBlossoms. I help women look upwards to grow healthy and strong, emotionally and spiritually. You may find it helpful, and you can sign up here:

    Take care of yourself, and stay open to God’s love, healing, power, and freedom.


    1. Hi my names valerie i have been married 11 years my husband is on madication and sometimes does drugs we have 2 kids i love him but i cant take his using and him blaming me for using drugs he says i nag to much so thsts why he uses my kids our bring affected but at the same time love there dad i want to divorce him but my kids dont want to lose there dad im lonly he keeps saying he loves me because he provides for me financialy but thats not love we our distant we dont make love very often and when we do its not love i feel lonly all the time he is disabled and i am too so his back disabity is not the problem im ready to be alone and raise my kids but my 10 year old is affected and sad i know it will be hard for me financialy but im not worried i know i can make it but its a hard desition because i feel im hurting my kids

  32. I have been in a 10 year relationship and I need some advice to figure out what I should do. My name is Elke and I just turned 31 and I believe in the saying “do what you want done to you.” That’s how I was raised and it seemed to change when I meet him. My family owned and run the family hotel and restaurant the both of us lived and worked up star’s in the hotel and my 2 Brothers and sister ran the restaurant down stairs and after my oldest brother John how past away at 28 I was unable to come to terms with my brother’s death and wanted to get out of town so we did.
    But that only lead him to start hating me. He was very controlling on how I could contact my family, and after some time away we came back and jumped right back in to running the hotel. Losing my brother was still very heavy in my every day life as I saw him every single day when I went downstairs into the restaurant. so I finally said I can’t do this any more to myself.
    My family understood so we move only 30 miles away and his son just moved back as well to the same town so he was finally happy.
    Well thing’s have been very hard on me he won’t stop blaming every thing on me. Everything is my fault and I can’t get a word in so I just have to take it. He’s the sweetest person to everyone else around him, but to me he becomes angry unhappy very controlling. He tells me “why can’t you be like the girls I work? They have it all and they are truly happy with themselves.”
    I’m not really sure how or what to do cuz I do love him for all he’s done for me. Somebody could help me or give me some advice how to go about all that I’ve written. sincerely Elke

  33. I been in a relationship 15 hard year ….abuse he drink and abuse drug off and on he haven’t used sense Dec..have 3 kids together..I want to be happy for only…I want to leave it’s like I feel bad for him I go

    1. Drug abusers need constant help to stay clean its a hard road and he will need other peoples help.
      You need to leave you need to be strong for yr children they deserve a good healthy and loving life..he wont ever change until he gets proper help..ask his family to help him tell them you need to leave its for your own good if you are hurting its hurting your children they need a happy mum not a perfect mum a happy mum..Visits can be arranged to see their can do it set yourself goals and boundries dont let your childrens Dad walk all over you 🙂 I hope things work out for you ♡♡♡

  34. I met my boyfriend in Feb a years back, we started by casually talking and having deep conversations and he told me he liked me about 3 months later, he was so nice to me so I thought maybe he might be the one for me (now I’ve never been in a relationship before so I guess I was naive to think that). We started hanging out more, getting to know each other more and we celebrated everything together exchanging gifts and telling each other everything. Everything went well for 4 months then he started to change, he started controlling me, making me feel inferior telling me what to, how I should dress, how I should behave when he introduces me to his family, (he has 2 younger sisters that he adores and I have to be equally as affectionate towards them, like a mother apparently). I thought a relationship had is flaws so I reluctantly accept. Later we got slightly physical (no sex or anything … second base I guess) and because of that he is dead set on marrying me, at first I didn’t mind a little intimacy but then every time he saw me whether we were alone or with friends he found the need to inappropriately touch me and if I didn’t let him he would just become all mopey until I let him. A while later I couldn’t take it anymore so I said I was breaking up with him and he emotionally blackmailed me to get back together and I thought I’d give him another chance and we made it to one year. Everything went great for 5 months after that he went back to the nice guy I liked and now he’s starting to hint and the controlling side of him so I wanted to break up before he started forcing me into intimacy again so I tried but he talked his best friend into making me stay. I am sick and tired of this relationship, I think I’m starting to hate him more than I love him, I want out but its like there’s no way out for me anymore and I just have to pretend to be happy for the rest of my life. I feel like the only way I could possible get him to leave is if he broke up with me (the chances of that occurring are -infinity) or if he cheated on me then I would have a reasonable excuse to leave. I actually have contemplated suicide a few times because of him.
    If anyone has any advice for me please help.

    1. Don’t contemplate in suicide. You should respect yourself and love this life you’ve been blessed to have. In terms of your relationship, you have stated way more cons than pros. You need to leave him. There is a way out. Leave him and open yourself to new opportunities whether that be career, relationship, etc. The reasonable excuse to leave is because you are not happy. I hope that helps girl!

    2. Yikes I have been in a relationship like that before. It is emotional abuse- the controlling, smothering, constant criticism. Please read the book, Why Does He Do That. It will give you insight into controlling men. Also find a therapist or call the domestic violence hotline. I hope things get better. Take care of yourself.

  35. I am in a very emotionally draining relationship. He was physically abusive in the beginning and then recently went to emotional. He has had domestics on him and the justice system just let’s him go! He has boys who treat me exactly how he does and when I try to correct the boys they yell and scream and in the end don’t listen to me. The one boy has domestics on me as well and his father hasnt done a thing but comlain how I put his kid in jail for no reason. I have friends who have handed me all the tools I need to leave but for some ungodly reason I am scared to leave…please help with me some advise!!

    1. Wow leave him n never look back no matter why or whatever just leave him. Give yourself space slowly but surely just let it all go

  36. I need advice or encouragement or condemnation or something!!

    I’ve been with my “Husband” (not actually married but refer to each other as such) for eight years. We have three children together which makes this really sticky, they are 7, 4 and 4. We got pregnant after being together for only 2 months. We’ve been through a lot together- becoming parents, buying a house, renting said house to move back to my hometown, jobs, illness, legal stuff, we’ve moved 6 times. When we first got together, we were both volatile young idiots. We fought, a lot, we drank, a lot. I hit him and he hit me (kids never witnessed physical abuse, but they have certainly heard yelling). After three years of this craziness, I realized that I would never win and stopped getting physical with him, although he continued occasionally (most recently being 4 months ago when he physically forced me out of our house in the middle of the night in my underwear). Obviously, not the picture-book relationship. But I haven’t been innocent either. I’ve cheated on him a handful of times (all were drunken and actual sex twice), he knows about most of these instances, but not all. He abandoned me for 6 months with our newborn twins and moved in with a woman that he met at a music festival. After we reconciled and got back together (mostly because I had to move in with my father because I couldn’t support myself and wanted desperately out of my dad’s house), is when I started cheating. Most recently, I confessed to him in January that I had been talking to an old friend online for a few weeks and it was getting pretty steamy. We decided to work through it and he told me he would change and we could move forward and fix our relationship. Things have gotten better and he is dealing with probation from two DUI’s and we haven’t been drinking for awhile which is helping our relationship. This is the happiest we’ve been, but I’m still not happy. Know I need to know if I should continue pushing forward and TRY to make it work, or somehow get out. The other problem is that it would have been much easier to leave after one of those dramatic fights rather than now when things seem much better…..

    1. He wont change until you make him respect you as the beautiful person you are and he wont see that until you make positive and healthy changes and start respecting yourself..leave and give yourself time to heal and focus on what you truly want for cant do that in his presence seperate for at least a month and see how it goes ♡♡♡

  37. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I spend a lot of time alone, too — and I definitely know it’s harder to make friends as we get older! I’m 45, and my friends all have kids and aging parents and busy lives…it’s not the same as when I was in my teens and twenties 🙂

    Maybe a counsellor isn’t the answer. Maybe finding friends isn’t the answer, either. Maybe the answer is simply deciding that you are leaving this relationship, and deciding what your first step will be.

    I’m not saying I think you should leave, because I don’t know if that’s the right decision for you. But if you think it’s the right decision, then maybe you don’t need a counsellor or friends to verify it.

    Maybe you just need to separate from your boyfriend for awhile. Untangle your life, start pursuing things that will get you out of the house and interacting with others. Volunteer! Do things that will force you to serve others, to see how fortunate you are, and to bring LIFE into your life.

    Do something new tomorrow. Look into a volunteer job. Give your time, energy, and talents. You will feel so much better about yourself, and this will help you get unstuck emotionally.

  38. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hmmm… have no close friends, and several counsellors have not been able to help you leave this man you love, but can’t live with.

    What do you think is holding you back from forming friendships with people, or from receiving help from the counselors? There might be something there that can give you a clue about the disconnection you’re experiencing.

    1. I really don’t know. Every time I think I’ve found a good close girlfriend, things just don’t work out. People that are my friends say that I am nice. I spend a lot of time alone. Trying to find a new therapist that can help me get unstuck. It’s really hard to stay positive…

  39. I’m really not sure if this is the right platform…I need input. Summary of my situation – I don’t have any close friends so I have no one to talk to. Ive been with my boyfriend for almost eight years and I am well aware that he uses me (he jokingly calls me his “sugar mamma”) and he is very selfish. My logical intellectual side knows that I need to ask him to leave, but there’s a disconnect with taking action. I just can’t get myself to do it, let alone even talk to him about the issues ( I sound so pathetic). I’ve been to several counselors, but they haven’t been able to help me. Its pretty frustrating.
    Hoping to find some virtual insight…

    1. Did you ever stop and think maybe he is the reason you have no friends, its hard to connect with other people especially when you cant confide in them because your embarrassed or ashamed. I know i lost my friends because they got tired of hearing about it. But you cant make friends while you’re in a bad relationship .

    2. When i read about yr life I wonder if you noticed after all the yrs you have been threw. ..When you said (WE) got pregnant made me think that there is still some of the (old)love. ,.Believe yr gut. .It’s always right! And the reason you have no fteinds is. .I think because yr embarrassed about it and you really don’t want to hear from someone. .,exactly what you are saying.Good luck with the one life we get live

  40. I feel for you! The side effects of anti-anxiety medications are difficult to deal with…but the side effects of living with anxiety might be worse. But, only you can decide which you’d rather live with.

    I don’t think a relationship will stop you from feeling depressed. Our happiness and health has to come from within us. We need an internal source of strength, power, and joy; we can’t rely on circumstances, relationships, or people to give that to us.

    That said, however…relationships can definitely make us feel worse! It doesn’t sound like your boyfriend is very supportive or understanding. He’s not there for you when you need him, which is a difficult thing to accept.

    What other ways might there be of coping with your anxiety? It’s possible that if you get those feelings under control, you’ll be better able to make a good decision about whether you need to leave your boyfriend.

  41. I’m struggling to stay with my boyfriend of 4 years. I don’t feel like he has every actually taken the time to understand me and my needs. I recently got diagnosed with severe anxiety and opted to try medications the side effects were awful so I quit taking them. My boyfriend made me feel awful. He called me names said I was crazy and should keep taking the meds and never once asked why I stopped or seemed to care how much of a struggle it was for me. He just wanted me to “get better” so I wouldn’t “be so emotional all the time” He recently went out of town to visit family for the holidays and I couldn’t go because of work. Since he’s been gone my anxiety and depression have been through the roof and I tried calling him the past few days and he’s “too busy with family” to take my calls or text me back. I feel so pathetic. I’m struggling with depression and anxiety and missing him terribly and when I turn to him for help he gives me the cold shoulder and tells me to figure it out on my own. I loved him I still might but I hate knowing he isn’t there for me when I need him. I have my own apartment and am tempted to just move out while he’s gone…how could I stay knowing that when times get rough I can never count on him to be there for me? I’m scared I won’t get up the courage to go though. I always end up apologizing saying he’s right maybe I have problems and need to go back on the medications…but maybe I just need to be in a healthier happier relationship and I wouldn’t be so depressed all the time. I’m 26 and I’m afraid I’m wasting my youth away on a guy who will never truly love me like I deserve to be loved.

    1. Hi Nikki, I understand your pain and feel the very same way. I have been in my relationship from the age of 24, and I am now 31. Can I tell you that waiting around will never fix the problem and it only gets worst. In my humble opinion as women we need to strong for ourselves and not for the men we are with. If he does not show up in your time of need or cares enough to help you through this moment of weakness, when is he gonna come through? Can you imagine being married to a man that ignores you? After 4 years you should know that he will be there when you need him, you should not have to apologize for calling on him, if he loves you he would take time out to get to know you. But if all you get is criticism and the feeling of being belittled then you are encouraging his bad behaviour by staying and accepting it. For once in the relationship do something good for you and the choice will be easy from there. Wish you all the best in your endeavours.

  42. I have been with the same man for 7 years. He “chose” me and asked me out when I was 20, and he was 52. I obliged because I knew he was wealthy and would take care of me. I was living a night life at the time, and he rescued me from the gutter and brought me up a proper lady. I now have a few degrees under my belt, and work in the language services industry. I have a comfortable home in a decent neighborhood that is full of my own furniture and belongings. I used to be proud to be with him. Proud of our unique relationship.

    I am scared to leave him because I am financially dependent on him. I don’t like how needy he is and how I have no friends and no life with him. He works all the time and when he’s home, he’s in a bad mood. He never wants to do anything fun with me (does that sound immature?) and constantly whines about the state of our nation and how money doesn’t go anywhere. He blames his unhappiness on me (and my family, who he HATES) and acts like I’m a selfish person who doesn’t see to his needs well enough. I’m expected to perform as a demure little house wife who never complains, and I can’t play that role anymore.

    I’m tired of him criticizing me, holding stuff over my head from years past and making me feel guilty for indulging myself in basic pleasures like family visits, outings with a friend and even out of town conferences. I imagine this perfect life with him, but in reality we can’t stand each other because he doesn’t truly like me for me. He tells me I am lazy and inadequate, all the time, usually in relation to housework. He tells me it’s the least I can do, to keep the house clean and meals on the table. I keep waiting for him to leave or kick me out when I act like a brat, and he never does. I am scared to take that step because I know I will have to rely on friends and family to get on my feet. And I KNOW there will be hell to pay from this man who gave me everything, bent over backwards for me and gets mistreated and his heart hurt in return. I keep thinking it would all be ok if he would just retire and remove the stress from his life. We are stuck in this state of limbo all the time and I have nearly given up my dream of marrying him and traveling the world, and being financially secure.

    1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

      You’re a brave, strong, smart woman! I believe you will get out of this limbo state, and find the strength and courage you need to live the life of your dreams. It may not be with him, but you may find yourself happier than you’ve ever been if you follow your heart and soul.

  43. Its strange…I never thought I would find myself in this position, but after 15 yrs of a loveless, emotional and verbally abusive relationship, its time to get out! I met him when we were both going through divorces, he is a much younger guy. I protested the relationship for the first 9 months, but he kept pursuing me. I got weak and gave in. Within the first year, I noticed this little digs he would make towards me like flirting with my friends in front of me, or when I would dress up he would never compliment me. I thought, uh, well I have great self esteem so I just blew it off. It never really bothered me but after awhile it becomes pretty pathetic. Then it got to be he would compete with me for attention when we were out, both in conversation or in other ways like playing pool or cards. Weird, almost like a jealous girlfriend would be. Honestly, I didn’t really let it get to me I just treated him like a “boytoy” and kept saying to myself when I got fed up I would boot him out and that’s that. Well here we are 2015 and I am stuck with a narcissistic passive aggressive cold as ice closet “woman hater” and have no idea how to get out of this! Its gotten so bad that we sleep in separate bedrooms, have not had sex in well over a year, and our fights are getting close to blows. Part of the issue is financial. I just had a second back surgery and am now on a fixed income. His behavior suddenly turned super nasty after my last surgery, now that he knows I depend on him and his income. Funny how that works right? Now don’t get me wrong, I still bring in plenty of money {medical retirement} & we have some good days too but typically its because I relent to watching hour after hour of cartoons and talk about NOTHING of consequence and cook him dinner. I have a plan to save up $10,000 in the next 3 months, offer him $2000 cash to move out. He says he will not leave. However, if I have a lump sum to pay him off to go that may help. Our state doesn’t recognize those common law marriages, thank god! Or my other option is to move away for a “job”….I tried that before he followed me there. OMG…for those of you younger folks on here, take heed….a man who flirts with your friends in front of you is a prick. If he gives you back handed compliments then says just kidding, he is a prick. If he doesn’t offer comfort when you are sick and holds crap over your head, he is prick. That will NOT change but only get worse!!! GET OUT!!!

    1. He sounds like my first husband- except he wasn’t younger. They pursue you then slowly they start chipping away at your self esteem.
      He flirted with my friends, controlled who I talked to, where I went. We could never do anything I liked there was always an excuse.
      The best thing I ever did was leave. Sure it cost me loads of money, hassle and embarrassment but nothing compared to the freedom I feel when I think about the fact that I could be a shell of myself and stuck with that awful man instead. So glad I never had kids with that man- he would’ve ruined all our lives. Save up and get out before you become depressed.

  44. Hey it is amazing , all of the women on here gives so much support. I am in similar situations to you all but yet have a different story. I am stuck as well and have no idea what to do. Anyway it all started when I was 17 I got kicked out of high school and got with someone with no job and no license and I had both so this was not so good for me. He abused me all the time and even got charged for it. I was so depressed so I was just numb to it all really. . . Time just went. . . He took courses and programs whatever all and he is a much better person. Anyway I am damaged and hurt and even though he is a different person now I know what he was and possibly could be again and I am sick to my stomach walking out with him and stuff because alot of people know what happened. I don’t know what to do . I need advice ladies. . . .

    1. Leila,
      That sick feeling you get knowing what he was and can be again, will probably not go away. You’re just making yourself sick- if you are young theres other guys who will treat you better. you deserve better. Whether he is a better person now you have probably just opened your eyes and see what he has done to you. If you choose or feel you can forgive him for every wrong hes done to you then try to forget. If you leave, it will be hard but you will feel better in the end. i just feel that once a man mistreats a woman he doesnt deserve a second chance. good luck to you.

  45. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Courtney,

    I’m sorry for what you’re going through, and that you’re having such as struggle. It’s never easy to leave a man you’ve loved for years.

    It sounds to me like he’s trying to control you. He is forcing you to make a decision, and he is gambling that you will choose to stay with him and not break up.

    For how much longer will you go along with his manipulations?

  46. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a little over 4 years now, we got together at age 19. Crazy as it sounds we started living together immediately. I had just graduated high school so I really wanted out of my parents house as quick as possible. Of course before thinking to save up and get a place / get my parent’s support to start renting while in college, I fell in love. And it was just more convenient, since we were like inseperable at the time, and I never wanted to be at home. Our views on life are so different, and he likes to argue about everything any chance he gets, while I hate confrontation and would rather just have a civil conversation. He can be very ignorant/degrading and there have been times where I don’t feel proud to be with him, especially in front of friends and family. He drinks a lot and we have gotten into major fights, I’ve wanted to leave and have told him that but never actually did it. Usually we never come to an agreement and the fights just escalate and then we don’t sleep in the same room, the next day nothing’s different, nothing real is ever discussed. He can be very controlling, I have felt like I can’t have as many friends because he wants to know where I am all the time, since we live together and all.. ugh, my friends also don’t really like him so don’t necessarily wanna come over. There have been many instances where I’ve felt my feelings were completely ignored by him, he can be extremely selfish. From there I ignored my feelings holding onto the hope that the relationship would eventually work itself out.

    Thinking back on it I should have got out when we had a big fight or after the end of a lease but I was still ignoring my feelings at the time, just going along numb to everything. Recently his parents bought him / us a house because we had been renting together for so long, but we aren’t married and have not ever seriously talked about that.

    I can’t live a lie anymore, he tells me he loves me and wants to be with me forever, also talks about kids a lot. Which I hate because I feel so smothered by him, I have a lot I want to accomplish in life outside of a relationship and family. I truly do love him and can’t help but care about him and appreciate some part of our life together, but overall I’m starting to think we’re not compatible.. I’m just such a passive person and I’ve been controlled by him so long that now I feel I have to make a major decision and it’s very confusing/hard to know if I’m doing the right thing. So I recently told him I wanted my own place, but didn’t want to break up, and he freaked out. Gave me an ultimatum of breaking up if I leave or staying, and he would try to give me the upstairs room for space as a ‘compromise’. In my mind I had made the decision, but he tried so hard to manipulate that. Didn;t understand one bit why I would ever want my own place, he started sobbing and saying I was leaving him all alone which killed me. We’re basically at a stand still while some of my stuff is at my parents house and he has agreed I can stay there some nights but that I can’t officially move out unless I want to break up. I’m dying inside and any advice is appreciated.

    1. dear courtney,
      As always I say, once you leave you will feel better you’ll feel free and able to breath. If you recognize his manipulation then it should make you a bit stronger to leave- I know its hard and you put his feeling into consideration but has he put yours first ? We as woman know what we want in a relationship, so why not go out and get it? why put up with some one who gives you the complete opposite. If chose to leave him im sure he’ll be ok. it also give him something to think about make him realize what he will be missing if you leave. but by staying he is never going to see that. Dont worry about him worry about yourself first.
      good luck to you.

  47. Dear Jamie,

    I don’t give advice, but as I was reading your comments it occurred to me that your boyfriend is leaning on you to provide more than what is reasonably expected in a relationship. You should not be any man’s source of shelter, food, or security! He is an adult who is able-bodied and who can take care of himself.

    My advice – even though I say I never give it! – is to give him one month’s notice. Tell him you love him, but you can’t support him emotionally or financially anymore.

    Learn about boundaries. Learn what you are responsible for, and what your boyfriend is responsible for. Take care of what is yours, and give the people you love the respect and honor they deserve by trusting that they will take care of what is theirs.

  48. I’m dealing with this now. I left last night and I’ve struggled all day, trying to get my feelings in order. I love him… But being with him…. It’s become too much for me to handle. I’m scared. Lonely. Sad. This isn’t what I wanted my life to be like at this point. It’s truly heart wrenching.

    1. I’m going through the same thing. I can’t handle the stress, emotions, and heartbreak anymore. The only thing is I’m in a situation where I feel too bad to leave. He has nothing. We rent a room and split rent, his family isn’t there for him, and he just lost his job. How can I leave him? Someone I care so much about in the first place which is why I came into his life and helped. I see him cry and I try to leave and end up giving him more chances and it’s a repeating thing. I’m going crazy in my head and don’t know what to do. I’m no longer myself, so depressed and miserable and all I do is want to force to make things how I want them. I blame him for how I’m acting and it’s messing with us both emotionally. How do I leave when he has nothing? Did anyone experience this? I really need advice I don’t have anyone else to ask for help

        1. I agree with Jessie, just grab your bags and leave. If you don’t do it now, it will last forever, because now he knows that you will feel sorry for him and will stay no matter what. He is a big boy, he will find a way. If the tables were turned, he would leave you in a heartbeat, because guys do that and can be very cold.

  49. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for sharing – it sounds like you’ve been thinking about your marriage – and the possibilities of leaving a man you’ve loved for years – for a long time. You have a good grasp on the difficulties, and the obstacles standing in your way.

    Grieving is a process that takes a long time. In fact, some grief counselors say that grieving is never “finished.” My prayer is that you dedicate your time and energy – whatever you can spare as you take care of what you need to do – to renewing yourself.

    Can you get back in touch with who you were before you lost touch with yourself? What’s your purpose and passion in life? Where do you want to be in one year, two years, five years?

    It’s time to start rebuilding yourself emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally. Where will you start?

    1. Thank you! I have started spiritually. I have created a nurturing environment with friends that help me emotionally. I love my church and they help keep me grounded, helps me feel like me, I feel alive there. The next step is mentally, that is a work in progress! Some days are better than others. Physically : I am doing much better, I have lost weight and feel great about myself.

      I do volunteer work for the SPCA and this is also a passion of mine. I also enjoy healing others and enjoy helping others. My husband scoffs at church and doesn’t like people, I on the other hand will talk to a tree!! I have been accepted on the Board of Directors at church and just love helping with fundraisers. I have been at my job for 18 years and I have started my own business on the side as a back up plan job wise.

      Thank you for creating this site full of information, it is helpful to read other stories to know I am not alone with this difficult time.

    2. My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years. In the beginning I played games like having friends flirt with him to see what he would do and once we had this huge fight cause he fell for it and then I did it to him all the time so right there off the bat I was scared to trust him. We had a lot of good times he told me he loved me. I believed him like he was family. Then one time during our relationship he cheated on me with my arch enemy at the time. It made me really question if I could trust him. Then it took me months to let him back in. Then all of a sudden he started being this awesome boyfriend. I stayed. .. then one day I decided to cheat on him… he was pissed. I didn’t do it to get back it just was something that happened. Then he was really distant. .. it took him time to forgive me…. he forgave me quicker then I thought. But then after that o started having trust issues like crap. We hung out with my bff all the time. I stated thinking he liked her. Then after a long time we quit hanging out. He suggested it. So I did it. But they rarely talk she calls his phone to reach me from time to time they talk. But not that much .. at least I don’t know . But anyway that happened. .. then all of sudden I decided years after that to cheat on him.. I was really unhappy. Then a couplccouple months ago I started hanging out with my Co worker and talking to him about my relationship. … he didn’t get in my pants he tried to but. I felt uncomfortable waited a whole year to tell him … so now I feel like crap .. but I also feel no body deserves to me treated bad ..he’s just being mean ..He doesn’t even bother to tell me he lovloves me everyday. He just distances himself and expects me to love him unconditionally. I do but he can’t run me away by not being there for me. Not being attentive of how I feel. … what am I supposed to do make him care? Make him love me? I want him to do what he says he’s gonna do… now I feel like I’m just on a journey to get my heart broken… what if he really gave up and doesn’t want me anymore

  50. Hi,

    Here is my story of being a victim of emotional and manipulative abuse. I am just learning that I am not crazy and I am a victim. Thanks to my beautiful daughter who tells me I am !(she’s a Psychology major) she has always seen it and wants to make sure I know it’s not my fault. When did this happen? Guess what? It happened 25 years ago. I am just dealing with the reality and fact right now and grieving for the loss of my life and happiness.

    I have been married 25 years. I have 2 kids, 19 and 26. They are both very supportive of me. I had an abusive childhood and then at the age of 18 met my husband and moved to another state with him. I loved him deeply and couldn’t imagine life without him. I remember thinking when I was younger something wasn’t right, no one else would want me, or I wasn’t worthy of anyone else. When we would have an argument, I would always back down, apologize and run to store to cook his favorite meal amongst other things. I didn’t want him to be mad at me or give me the silent treatment for days on end.

    Throughout the years I knew something wasn’t right and just focused on keeping everyone else happy instead of me. My love has turned into resentment. I don’t even want him to touch me.

    I did get the nerve to leave him about 5 years ago and came back after a month. I began to worry about how he felt and what would he do with his future? Again, I didn’t think of me just him. He made promises that “he would change and show his love by saying it more often,” he said he realized I was the most important thing to him, I was beautiful, and that we could live happily ever after. He knew exactly what to say and how to manipulate me into coming back. Deep inside I knew I was making a mistake and was paralyzed to change it, because he was relentless in begging and showed a false side to get what he wanted. I didn’t have any friends or family within the same state, he and my kids were my full focus. Sounds unhealthy?

    I need counseling. I have researched emotional abuse and can now say I AM A VICTIM. I feel now, that I can see a counselor to properly get the tools I need to help me leave this situation. 25 years is a lot of time and it shouldn’t have take me this long, but, it did.

    I will get a storage unit in secret. My goal is to start 2016 making a better me without him. I cringe when he touches me and don’t even want to be in the same room with him. I am only myself and happy whenever I am out of the house or he is out doing something. He is selfish and very manipulative. It is so easy for me to give others advice but not take it. FEAR is what I feel, Paralzying FEAR. I was 18 and now 42. Scared. My heart beats fast, I get anxiety. When I think of the life I could live, I get so excited. Whenever I think of someone loving me for me, I get excited. Whenever I think of the life I still have to live and the possibilities , I get excited.

    This is the very first time I have ever put anything out of my head and for others to see. It feels therapeutic. I hope others can see my story and relate. Wish me luck! The hardest part is “Ripping the band aid off”. Any and all advice is appreciated.

      I know what you might have been through. i myself just realized that I am a victim. Ive been through the emotional abuse, have been given the silent treatment for days, apoligized when he was the one who was wrong, resented myself for allowing him to mistreat me. Like you , I give advice but cant seem to follow myself. I know what you mean when you get excited at the thought of someone loving you, and getting excited about life. because there is still alot of life left. I want to love and be loved..I know and feel that i will be happy when all is done. I know you will too, I wish you luck, happiness and strength.

    2. Dawn,
      I’m in the same boat. I’m slowly pulling away too. I’ve made the emotional disconnect. You have to focus on the bad and keep moving forward!

  51. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience. There are no easy answers, and I can’t tell you if it’s time to leave this man you’ve loved for so long.

    I do have a few questions for you, though:

    What are your biggest fears about leaving him?

    How are you allowing yourself to be the victim in this relationship?

    How can you take your power back?

    Take time to think about these questions – and even write down your thoughts. It’s possible that all the answers you seek are already inside you.


  52. Me and my boyfriend have been together for four years. I love him but he won’t communicate with me. Whenever we have a problem and i need to talk to work things out he just back up. Ithough i just needed to be patient and tell him how bad that is for a relationship, and eventually he will change that behavior but is getting worst. I’m not gonna lie, he is very supportive when i have a problem or need to talk but when something is wrong about our relationship he just rather to step aside. Sometimes he even stop calling me, he says he doesn’t like talking on the phone but none of us is working right now and is hard to see each other so frequently, but he just doesn’t want to talk on the phone. I guess he is not lying because every time we meet he is so loving and nice with me, but on the phone is cold and distant. I tell him that i am afraid of us moving together or having children because he may just step back whenever is needed to make a decision or to talk about a problem in the house or with the kids. Me heart literally hurts when he does that, when he just stay away acting as things just solve themselves. I love him and beside that he is just perfect for me, but i can’t stop thinking that if he hasn’t change in four years maybe he never will, and that scares me cause is really painful to me to deal with this situation. I don’t know if this is a fair reason to break up with him.

    Please help me, i don’t know what to do.

  53. Hi- I have been married just over 3 years and our marriage is over for me. My husband is a Peter Pan type who has turned me into his surrogate mother. I am not interested in nagging him to go to the dentist or get his car repaired on top of everything else I do. Which is practically everything.
    Our marriage has been over basically since it started, and even though I am pregnant I cannot wait for the next part of my life which does not include him.
    During our marriage I have felt used, sad, abandoned, depressed, suicidal, betrayed and just downright hurt. Now, he tries to revive our relationship by telling me everyday that he loves me.
    I don’t care. I just look at him like… that’s not going to work.
    When I was younger I used to think the worst thing would be being a single mum.
    I fully intend to have him involved in parenting, but I am through being second, third or fourth to his interests, parents, job, friends…. Thanks but no thanks.
    Its funny, it was the smallest thing that just made everything in my head go ‘click’ 3 days ago. It was a ….. Here we go again moment and I just thought, this man is never going to change… So I need to change my circumstances.

    1. Lianne,

      Good for you! Please don’t be scared of being a single mom, because it is not as bad as it seems. We find that courage in us to fight and be strong, and we can be stronger than men when it comes to raising children. I believe you have made the right choice, because my boyfriend acts the same way, and I have had enough!
      Good luch

  54. I’ve know my husband for 20 years. We’ve been married for 11 and have 2 kids. I’m just at my wits end and don’t know what else to do. The marriage is a complete sham. Everyone thinks we are this great couple, but on the inside we hate each other. We have no relationship outside of our kids and just the daily running a household stuff. We don’t sleep in the same bed, there’s just nothing between us. We have moments where things are ok, but those are few and far in between. I feel like I am trapped in a living hell, and have no idea how to get out of it. I am grateful that I have a good job and supportive family, so I wouldn’t be destitute if I left. However, for some reason, I am terrified of leaving and starting over at 40. I feel paralyzed by my fear, so I just stay in this crap marriage! I hate it. I don’t know why I am so scared. Part of me can’t imagine my life without him. He’s been around in some capacity for half of my life. Maybe it’s just comfortable and familiar so that’s why I stay. I’m not in love with him and I really don’t even like him that much. We have ZERO in common. I feel like we are the typical story of a relationship just falling apart. There’s no cheating, or abuse or anything like that, we’ve just changed and drifted apart. Those changes has made us very angry with each other. We don’t agree on anything–NOTHING! We couldn’t be more different, It wasn’t always like this, at one time we were madly in love. I don’t when that stopped. It’s quite sad, honestly. How do you walk away? I struggle with that question every day of my life . I want to leave but I don’t know how. I feel tormented. I know my life should be better than this. I should be happy, but instead I feel so depressed by the weight of this situation. Maybe that’s why I can’t leave, maybe I am truly depressed and that is keeping me in this stagnant place. He’s not a bad man, and I know I could have it so much worse. What if I leave and it’s not any better on the other side? The thought of starting over makes me want to throw up, but this can’t be it for me. This can’t be my life for 40 more. years. I just feel like I am going to look back on my life and regret that I stayed in this horrible marriage for so long. I’m thinking about going to counseling. Maybe if I can find some clarity within myself I will feel strong enough to end this bad situation I’m in. I know he feels the same way that I do. I often pray that he will just leave, but he won’t. He stays just like I do. I hate myself for staying and being so miserable. I hate myself for not being strong. What am I teaching my daughter?

    1. I was compelled to answer you. I hope you will listen. We are the same in that me and my husband were married in our mid 20’s and now we are now hitting our forties. Growing and changing is apart of the marriage process. You are not to think marriage is about how you feel about him today. There will always be highs and lows. As long as there is no abuse or cheating you must absolutely fight for your marriage. Begin bychanging your outlook on your husband. Happiness comes from inside you and NOT through him. Become vulnerable again, talk to him with your heart and slowly find your way back to him and for God sakes lay your body down with that man. Sex is one of the most important ways to keep a bond. Finally, Your character is determined by what you do in adversity. Change your perspective. I promise things will change. If there is love and at least some respect, all can be worked out. Marriage is selfless, forgiving and timeless. Please try and rekindle your love for him. Don’t leave a man that has not harmed you.

  55. I need some advice on how to leave a man you can’t live wtih. My husband and I have been together for a little over 6 years.. We’ve been married a little over 4. To start, he never bought me a ring, he broke up with me during our engagement, and we never actually got to plan out a wedding. We got married quickly at my parents house with plans on having a “real” wedding when we could afford it. At the time I didn’t mind because I thought he truly did love me. My husband is a musician and when we got married he was signed to a major record label. The label had him traveling constantly and, once we got married, the label refused to pay my husband enough to support me. My husband made a choice to leave the record label for the sake of our marriage which Is a decision I honor and respect. The label also wouldn’t allow my husband to be open about his faith, which was another reason why my husband felt it was time to stop working with them. Since then (it’s been almost 4 years) my husband and I have been moving around the country from place to place, either living with complete strangers who take us in or in our van. I have never lived in a home of my own with my husband. Whenever I bring it up, he always says I’m too needy and that I can’t ever appreciate the good things in my life. He refuses to let me work (I have a pr degree) because he says he doesn’t trust other men around his wife all day. He doesn’t work because he feels as though if he works anywhere he won’t have enough time to do music, which is his passion. When I ask him what he plans to achieve with his music he says he doesn’t want to be signed and he doesn’t want to go on tours, he just wants to write music and sell it from “home”. It sucks because every time we meet someone new, they immediately fall in love with my husbands singing and always convince him that he should be focusing on music and that its okay if he doesn’t work and then we end up living with these random people for months at a time, with little to no money, while my husband attempts to get his new music out.
    I just don’t understand how this man, who claims to love me, refuses to provide and support me as his wife and as a human being with my own needs and interests. I’ve tried really hard to support him and follow his lead but I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I don’t have any friends, I barely see my family, and I have basically have nothing. Even though things are seemingly crazy in our relationship, I do love my husband and wish that things could be different. I’ve spoken to him about having kids and settling down in our own home somewhere and he always says one day he would like that too.. But he also always says that I need to stop daydreaming about the future. He says he doesn’t understand why I am never happy with our situation. My question is what women would ever be happy with my situation? I feel so conflicted because I love my husband, but I don’t think our relationship is healthy. I’ve only touched on a few things that we’ve been going through… I don’t know what to do.

    1. I hope that you feel better since you wrote this.
      No woman would be happy not seeing her friends and family AND not having any money.
      You went to college to get a degree for a future, to free yourself. Instead you are following a man around and living in the houses of strangers. This doesn’t sound safe to me- not for your health, sanity or privacy.
      Your man tells you to stop daydreaming about wanting what a lot of women want- a place of their own and kids. That shoots up a red flag for me!

  56. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience. It’s never easy to leave a man you’ve loved for years – but I know your comments are helping other readers cope.

    You’re not alone. Believe in yourself. Trust God. Know that all things are working together for your good. You are smart, strong, brave, and beautiful.

    Here’s another article that may help – How to Know When to Give Up on a Relationship

    May you find strength, courage, and faith to leave a man who isn’t good for you.


    1. I desperately need advice on what I should do. I have been in a relationship for almost 4 years, we are not married, but do live together. In the first couple years, I had developed a serious drug addiction, first to prescription pain killers, then it escalated to heroin. He stuck by me the entire time, and he didn’t and doesn’t abuse drugs. I put him through hell for close to 2 years, worrying him, stealing from him, I lost my job due to my addiction, so he has supported me financially ever since, but he never gave up in me and tried to get me help throughout the whole ordeal. I became pregnant with our daughter in June of 2014, and I was still using heroin. I told him I was pregnant right away and tried to quit abusing the drugs. He beleived I had quit by 8 weeks along, but truthfully I hadn’t. I was still using, just didn’t tell a single soul for a few weeks longer. I felt extremely guilty and tried quitting but just couldn’t. At around 12 weeks along I knew I needed help, having a child was my dream, I was told in the past that I would not be able to conceive, so I had to do something.

      The first step was coming clean to my boyfriend, he was mad as hell, almost kicked me out, but regrouped and gave me one more chance to get hell and clean up my act. So I started a local methadone program the very next day, and have been 100% heroin free since that day. I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, 8lb 1oz baby girl on March 13th of this year. She is my everything and has changed my life for the better, in so many ways. I have changed so dramatically, in nothing but positive ways, which is what he has always asked, but now that I’m on the straight and narrow, our relationship has made a turn for the worse.

      I am currently a stay at home mom and he provides for us financially, I do literally everything he asks of me, yet he is so mean to me. He controls what I do, where I go, who I talk to, what I watch on TV, I can’t take my car anywhere unless he is with me, he calls me names on a daily basis, and starts arguing with me from the moment he wakes up. He doesn’t help with our daughter whatsoever, tells me I’m a worthless mother, and seriously, my life is devoted to taking care of my 7month old, and has been since the day she was born. He argues with me in front of her, which he knows kills me, because I grew up with a mother and father who argued every single day of my life, and it affected my child hood and way of life severely.

      I’ve done everything possible to fix things, I’ve expressed my feelings to him, ect… yet there is no change. How can he care about our daughter and myself, which he says he does, yet he makes every single day for me miserable and our daughter has to witness it all. That is what I refuse to continue dealing with. She will not grow up as I did, for I know how painful it is and how long, if ever it can take to recover from it. I know this is long, but please, if somebody happens to read it and has any type of advice or recommendation, please tell me. I feel trapped and I am very unhappy and manically depressed. I have got to figure out a solution before it seriously affects my little girl, permanently and negatively. I’m not perfect, but I am completely drug free for over a year now, 100% devoted to my daughter, and want the best life for her, for both of us.

      1. It sounds like you already know what’s best for your daughter. Growing up with parents who fight is emotionally scaring and can lead to some scary things for your kids. Nothing you do can change the way he acts or feels so either learn to deal with it and stay with him for the sake of your child or leave and take your child with you. You owe this man nothing trust me. but try to see it from his perspective, your whole relationship has been defined by him taking care of you and watching over you, and now that he is losing that control and you are becoming less dependent on him, that must be scary for him too. You have changed for the better and that is amazing, but your relationship with this man has been formed on a care taker dynamic where he had constantly had to look out for you.

  57. I’m leaving my husband as soon as I get my plan worked out. I wish I could say he’s a bad person but he’s not. He is an amazingly sweet giving person but a horrible husband. I feel horribly guilty and I know it will destroy him. I have tried and tried to fix things but he refused to follow through with any changes. I have talked to him about all our problems and have begged him to change and he does for a week at most. I have left before and always come back when he cries and promises things will be different. He did make a huge change a year ago for me and thinks it trumps everything else wrong. If I ask him to change now he just says I did change, I quit drinking. Its so much more then that and I know it won’t change. I can’t figure out how to emotionally prepare for the crying and promises when I know I’m not coming back this time.

  58. This month my husband and I make 3 years married, but we have been together for 11 years now. He’s always demanding respect but he calls me names in front of my children (we have non together). I’m not clean enough so he down graded our housing situation to a shack and still says it’s not clean enough. He tells me I don’t know what is a hard day at work, my jobs aren’t nothing. I’ve been a cashier, a waitress, office clerk, I’ve done renovations on homes and held two jobs at one or more times since we’ve been together. Every time I try to leave he tells me I’m running away from my problems or taking the easy route out. Even his mother tells me till death do us part, isn’t that what the kahu said. But my mother in law only knows his side of what’s going on. I can’t do nothing, I can’t cut my hair short or do my nails because I have no job. We live in a shack on a farm, I have some health issues but he doesn’t care. He’s always telling me what’s wrong with me and how bad of a mother I am. His kids don’t even talk to him. I have left him three or four times before but he keeps begging for me to come back. The last fight we had he told me he doesn’t even know why I came back into his life, he cried for me to come back and I told him that and he denies it. I just want a simple life. My youngest will be 17 soon and when he move put of the house I’m afraid what will happen. My husband has told me he wishes he could punch my face take me down to the river slit my throat and bury me there. That’s the way he talks to me because I shut down whenever we argue. I pray for courage everyday to leave this one sided marriage. He tells me how unhappy we make him but yet won’t let me leave. It’s putting a huge toll on me mentally and emotionally. My own kids don’t respect me because of him. I feel so lost…:(

    1. Get out as fast as you can. Never come back. Why do you think you deserve this type of treatment? Leave before it’s too late.

      Stay strong and sober for yourself and your daughter. I think it’s time for counseling or moving on if that doesn’t work.

      I think he is lost, don’t follow him. He also seams very controlling. Too jealous and can’t be trusted. Live your life. He’s living his. It’s time you become a little selfish too. It’s time to take control of your life to live for you.

  59. I read these comments and i feel so connected to you all. The society in which we live tells us what we should and should not be accepting of as females…and I’m just sick and tired of it. Females are so degraded and so disrespected that we become immune to it all. We are all beautiful and all deserving of respect…no matter what we’ve been lead to believe..or how we’ve been treated. I wish we could all get together to vent and just hug eachother! I’m stuck in a dead end relationship with 3 kids and a dead beat boyfriend (of almost 8 years) i have no one to turn to and am stressed to the max! I wish i had friends like you to meet with to help encourage me. Even though i cant help myself at the moment..if i can at least encourage ONE other person itd give me some relief. We don’t have to TOLERATE anything…we dont have to SETTLE ..we are worth a LOVING companion…we are worth LOVE. i love all of you of you already..just for understanding what I’m going through! Females unite! We need eachother…for strength…encouragement..and wisdom. God bless you all. Thanks for one night of comfort. One less night of crying myself to sleep.

    1. Once again I’m up at 1:49 am at home alone with the kids! I used to get really mad when he would stay out late ,but at this point in my life I’m null and void to all his shenanigans! So, I decided to google how to leave my life partner and stumbled across this article on leaving a man you love but can’t live with! I was touched by reading the article but what really caught my eye and made my heart skipped a beat. When I saw all these women pouring there hearts out commenting! Expressing thereselves .. I felt connected to all of you!! I finally found some people who I can relate to.. To be honest when your going through this you feel so lonely even with your kids! So its relieving to know that there is someone who cares ! Like some of you I’m also alone no family (judgmental) no friends!

      Im 28/yrs old I have been with my partner since I was 19 we have four amazing children together! My partner is a great father when he is around which is almost never! He supports us financially, he tells me I provide a roof over your head and pay the bills thats all you will get out of me! Meanwhile he pays childsupport to three different women!!But I can’t get nothing extra!! I’m a home maker not by choice tho! My kids are my life! My whole world surrounds around them they are the center of my everything! The kids is what keep us together nothing else! We love each other cause of all the time we put in together and he is the father of my kids!! I can admit we both did things to hurt each other. But he did way more than me but we both are wrong in our ordeals. He even had a baby with another women! I took him back.. We both decided to change ! That lasted almost a year but he is back to his old ways! Saying out late always having an excuse for everything !! Treating me like I’m worthless cursing me constantly !! When the house is always clean! Food cooked ,kids clean and all on honor roll. I’m always down and depressed!


  61. Hey I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost 4 years now and over the years everything has change. He no longer spends any time with me, he is always on his phone and is never home, he basically comes home 12am every night. I have been through so much with him and every time I leave I find myself going back to him. I feel so broken , all I do is sit and cry . I keep asking myself if am d reason our relationship is like this. He cheats, he stays on his phone late hours, he comes home when ever he wanted. And no matter how much I express the way he makes me feel to him nothing changes . he continues to do the same thing. I just need to find to strength to leave but its so hard. I feel like dirt

    1. I know your pain. We have to start taking our own self worth in to consideration. When you love someone its hard to let go. If you’ve done all you can and he puts forth no effort you mist remember that you are worth more. You are worth being loved, being appreciated, feeling secure, being happy, and a partner who honors and puts forth just as much effort as you do. I’m stuggling with the reality of it all, but I know I can’t heal staying with a tool like my ex. He cheated, neglected me, lied to me, never really acknowledged me on special days or even just because days. I’m worth more. You are worth more. Please remember that. I pray you heal from this and develop the strenght not to go back. Its almost like Stockholm Syndrome. We go back because we think we can’t do better, but we totally can. They have us believng they’re the end all be all of love and they are not. Love yourself honey. Things will get better. (((Hugs))) to you ?.

  62. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience. It takes courage to talk about how to leave a man you’ve loved for years. Your comments will help other women who are going through the same thing.

    May you find hope and wisdom as you move forward in your life. You’re facing a challenge, but you CAN survive happily if you focus on the right things! Hope, faith, courage, love, freedom, and joy are waiting for you. Reach upwards to God, and grasp hold of His hand. He will help you through this. He is waiting for you. May you find the courage and strength you need to let go of your past, and move forward into your future.

    1. I’ve been with the same guy for 4 yrs but the last year me and him just don’t connect at all we don’t sleep in the same bed we don’t go out together nothing no affection at all i take care of our daughter all day by myself . I’m so sick of being miserable and alone. I don’t have any family or friends anymore so leaving is so hard because then I really have no one anymore. But I want to leave I don’t love him like i did due to him ignoring me for yrs and taking everything out in me now I finally am giving up but I can’t take the final step , maybe I feel bad kicking him out when he doesn’t have anywhere to go

      1. I understand how you feel but kicking him out will be what’s best. It will wake him up its a point and time when you have to stand up and make the rules for once. If he doesn’t want to change, and is not willing to change do what you have to do to be happy. To make you and your daughters lives easier and more peaceful. God bless

  63. I have nothing to say other than this is so sad that I even googled “how to leave the man you love”. I have been married for almost 8 years, and I find myself not knowing what is best for me or my daughter. I will pray and affirm for the power of strength and resilience.

  64. I have been married for two years and I have a husband who lies all the time. It has become so bad that I am wanting to leave but every time I attempt to he makes me feel guilty by telling me all the things his done for me the past few years. He moved out 4 months ago and refused to tell me where. A week later I received my divorce papers. The day he left we were still fine he even said love you after he dropped me at work. Yesterday I phoned him and his ex wife picked up his ph when I eventually got a hold of him he said he forgot his ph there whilst visiting the kids. Ps I didn’t even know he was going to pop in there when I confronted him he said its because I perform and go on that’s why he lies to me. I’m not allowed to go with him to pick up the kids. When I attempt to leave the marriage he says I’m financially sorted and leaving him now with all the debt. I’m so unhappy I dnt know what to do please help

  65. I got married at 19, stayed married for almost 9. I was so lonely and needy that i jumped into a relationship only 4 months after my divorce. Its been almost 2 years now… Was a huge mistake i made… He spends his money drinking, when we argue, he treats me like garbage, breaks things at home and ends up hitting me. He is not the type to just come home drunk and hits me for no reason. But if we argue, he gets violent… Lately i discoved he is like addicted to porn, i got so mad at him, and he got mad at me. Im so tired of it… But i love him só much and cant picture myself without him. Although i do know im better off alone. I feel stuck and embarrassed to tell my mother. Had a failed marriage and now a failed relationship? I feel miserable……

    1. Hope you find the strength to leave him. Mines addicted to porn. Doesn’t pay the bills so we end up cut off. Have two under two year olds. One is six months old. I want to leave and i can’t cope with his nonsense. He drinks too much and is also a liar. It’s been four years together and im scared about breaking up but i don’t want to waste my life with someone who takes me for granted. And also admits they’re no good for me.

    2. Do NOT feel embarrassed. I rebounded my last relationship and got sucked into a bad situation by believing a thief. I don’t even want to think about how he stole from my father. My mother was also abused by her disgusting boyfriend that my sister and I had to witness… it’s a sick cycle, especially if you have kids. This is not a healthy relationship and there are soooo many good guys out there. Believe me, I know it takes courage to leave but from what you explain, it really wouldn’t be a good choice to stay. So much life out there. I wouldn’t suggest to walk away, I would suggest to RUN away. And I’d start by telling your mother. ASAP You need to start saying I CAN PICTURE MY LIFE WITHOUT HIM. I CAN LIVE A NEW HAPPY LIFE. I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY. YOU deserve to BE HAPPY.

  66. I am so happy I read this article. I have been in a relationship with my man for 12 years. He has had a constant financial problem throughout our relationship. I stayed. I have grown in my finances, thoughts/actions, I feel he has remained were we began. Yes, I stay. He has not married me yet and still considers me his, “baby momma.” I don’t like that, but I stay. We have 1 child. I stay for her. He has put me through some really rough times…yet I stayed. Finally, I feel it is time to go…but I am so scared. Scared to be alone, scared no other man will love me (tears now). Scared to be a single parent…just plain old scared. But I am also so unhappy and yet, I still love him on some levels. what do I do ladies…how did you deal? Is there a group I can join to help me in this process. I am so scared and already so hurt b/c I wanted and worked toward a lasting relationship that just isn’t panning out. Oh…btw…our sex life has been over since 2009. Now how about that.

    1. Hi ive never done anything like this before but feel i need some help now. I was in a relationship for 6 years and we have a 10 month old daughter he left 5 weeks ago, the relationahip was terrible (mental and physical abuse) but i have always loved him very much i dont know why, i clung to him like a lost puppy, its been 5 weeks since we split and i feel so lost without him, he sees our daughter but very nasty and heartless to me. I cry nearly everynight when my daughter is in bed and dont know what to do u try n stay strong for her but sometimes its very hard to keep a happy face on constantly when all i feel is sadness,

      1. Sometimes you need to really think about what it is that you are crying about. Are you crying because you really miss him or are you crying because you have to start over? You mentioned that your relationship had mental and physical abuse; is that the type of relationship you want your daughter to have in her life? Witnessing that type of abuse is cyclical. You need to rebuild your confidence as an independant woman and realize that a relationship is suppose to enhance your life not give you a life. If someone treats you poorly it should confirm that not being with them is the best thing for you. You can’t find happiness and TRUE love is you are looking in the rear view mirror missing what you never really had. Think about all your future could be if you could turn your tears to smiles and begin living the life you actually miss. Good luck to you.

    2. I feel like you are telling my story right now its crazy I am going through the exact same thing!!! I have been in a relationship with my only sons father since 2008 we have split up multiple times he has always had a hard time keeping a job and I just simply feel he is not doing his part for our family, and yes it gets old VERY OLD. over the past year I have been getting more and more fed up with the situation and I know in my heart that I would be better off by myself and I would have plenty of support from my parents with raising my son but I feel like he is going to down talk me and make me feel bad about leaving and I want him to continue to have a relationship with our son. I feel like im stuck between a rock and a hard place. it is very hard and I still have not been able to say I am leaving but I am working on it. I hope you are able to do what you know is best for your and your child.

    3. Omg I’m in the same boat. No baby tho, but we are living in the house I grew up in so leaving isn’t really an option….help!!!

    4. TP – your situation sounds very similar to my own. I have been with my partner for 16 years (half of my life) and we tick along like flatmates. He too has gone through many dramas, which in itself is not an issue as what relationship is ever completely smooth right? But he fails to redeem himself in any other factor. I would love to have the courage to leave, but the guilt I feel for my kids is overwhelming. I also keep thinking, ‘things aren’t that bad’. So I stay. If I left I know I wouldn’t want another man in my life and can envisage a life of being single…. I would love to know where you are now??

  67. I am 55 years old been married for 35 years , almost died and almost lost both of my legs 5 years ago . I have severe c.o.p.d , sever p.a.d. , I only have 33 percent of my lungs left I am on oxygen #4 for the rest of my life since I got sick my husband was wonderful for about the first 3 months then after that decided to get a Facebook and do nothing all day but Skype woman in the Philippines he has another one now that they act like they are madley in love and they honestly think they are going to be together. He has no money and has not worked since 1999 . we live off of my disability. We fight so much because of this . he has yelled at me to stay out of his life, and he screamed in my face that he wishes I should die, he wakes me up at 5 a.m. with his mouth talking to this girl when he knows I need my sleep and he has been told by my lung doctor and heart doctor that stress is making me worse but he sits there on the computer in front off me and tells this girl that oh you look so tired ,you need some sleep , are you OK, blows kisses at her he even has her kids calling him daddy. Anyway I feel so alone he won’t even sleep with me . and he even told me I make him sick and he can’t stand looking at my oxygen I don’t know what to do I feel stuck I can’t walk out I can not breath hardly to even go to the bathroom 10 feet from me I don’t know what to do I’m crushed I never thought he would ever do this to me and every time I get a little bit of money he wants half I’m so sick I don’t know any more some one please talk to me.

    1. Diana my heart breaks for you. You do not deserve the treatment that he is giving. Where is your family. Do you have kids? Does your state have active nursing homes that could accommodate you? You are brave enough to reach out. Be brave enough to leave. What state are u in?

    2. Diana,
      Your husband is a piece of s**t. you can try to let the Philipine woman to see what kind of your husband is. Leave him, and go with your family or take a nurse to take good care of you.
      I feel heart breaking for you.
      Hope you are better soon.

    3. Hi Ms. Diana,

      I am so sorry that you are going through this. I want to tell you a story similar to yours. My mother passed away from COPD… She had a tracheostomy and also got put on a resporator machine to breathe for her. My step dad, who never married her but they were together for over 20 years, had beat and degraded her their whole time together. She was put in a nurse home and we visited her often. I think she stayed alive for us. She was in the home and my step dad would come visit but we found out he was cheating. We didn’t know with who tho. My mother had known but by this time she was at peace because life was ending for her and she didn’t want to die miserable. My mother couldn’t talk before she passed she just wrote on things. She passed away in the nurse home and my step dad was there when it happened. They said it was cardiac arrest but the story of how she died was different than the nurses. Come to find out later, he was dating my mother’s nurse named anna. The weekend after my mom was buried, Anna moved into my stepdads house. It hurt us because we never ever met this nurse that supposed to have been my mothers. We met the other nurse but never anna. My step dad and anna married and he cut us off. Even tho he was a mean man we loved him. He died a couple of years later from colon cancer and he died a very very painful death I heard from his neice. It was sad.. Anna didn’t even attend his funeral. We think he and anna had something to do with my mom passing and also we think anna used him for his house. Now she has his house, the one we grew up in and she has gone about her life.

      The moral of this story, life is short. With copd, it doesn’t get better. You may live longer than me and I am healthy and in decent shape but you have to find peace before you leave this earth. God will deal with him. My mom knew about anna she wrote some stuff in her papers. She didn’t care anymore because she was dying. But I know it was painful for her as a woman. To see the man you love cheat on you on your death bed with the nurse!

      She left him mentally and found peace. She read the bible a lot. She was not a very religious person, she never took us to church. But she found peace in God. At this point in your life your health is bad. You deserve peace because you are sick. Sticking around wont stop him from doing what he wants to do. Let him do it and you have to move on. My mother passed away and he married this woman he was cheating on her with. He was with my mother for 20 years and never married her. I think that’s very sad and mother deserved better. Her heart kept her with him and I guess his heart kept him there but he didn’t respect her or honor her enough to marry her.

      Chose happiness…life is short. He is going to do what he wants if you’re there or not. There is help and programs to take care of you. I bet you would be stress free although surrounded by strangers if you find a nice home. I wish I was there I would come help you. I am in Germany right now in the Army. Just think about my mom….She loved that man. She loved him more than her daughters to be honest…she always put him first..but in the end she let him go. She had to in order to get peace in her heart before she left this world. And she also made peace with her daughters.. I use to resent my mommy because she always put that man first but in the end i felt nothing but love towards her. I saw her beauty!

      God bless you and I love you. Yes I do! 🙂

      1. Hi Maya, thank you so much for sharing your story.
        Reading your story made me have tears in my eyes.
        I love your insights and kind hearts.
        God bless you and thank you again.

    4. Diana, my heart too, breaks for you! I too, have many medical issues. I was with men who treated me bad for many years, until I finally realized… it is MY social security, etc… that “we” are trying to live off of, and that, it is far cheaper to support 1 person than it is 2 people… I got myself an RV, (because it is cheaper to pay the bills at an RV park anymore, than it is an apartment, or a house), and I lived alone for several years, and found out that I LOOOOVED BEING SINGLE!!!!! I didn’t have anyone treating me bad, putting their hands on me in anger, cheating on me, ..I ate when I wanted to, what I wanted to… and if I wanted to go to IHOP at 4 in the am to read the paper and have breakfast, I didn’t have anyone yelling at me, when I got home, “bi**@h I KNOW what you’ve REALLY been doing!!!”. after several years of praying that one day, I would run into my ex… the one that I kicked to the curb and it was the biggest mistake of my life, but I knew he had gotten married, and I hated that I made that mistake. and now, I am sooo thankful that I was single, because eventually, “that guy” showed up at my moms house looking for me!!!! he saw cancer thru w his wife, to the very end, and then he came looking for me!!! now, he has made all of my dreams come true! I no longer live in an RV… although he did buy me a much bigger, and better RV, than the one I had… he gave me a house for my birthday, last year! he treats me so good!! if I cant walk, he will carry me. if I cannot get out of bed, its okay, he will bring me my food, coffee, etc… he hasn’t tired of taking care of me, and he wont… BECAUSE HE LOVES ME!!! and that sorry piece of @hit you are with, is what gives men in general, a bad name. get away from him, and do better for yourself! you will have twice as much money, if you don’t have to raise him! …that’s basically what he has you doing, caring for him like he is your child, because he isn’t treating you like a real man should!!
      im glad I was single when my Mr Right came calling, because I would have hated if I missed my Mr Right, while I was busy w Mr Wrong.
      Sugar, please, please please, love yourself enough to not be afraid to leave him!! if ur in Texas, tell me where, and if I can, I will come get you and take you somewhere SAFE, myself!!! you deserve to be treated like a queen, not a trick!!

      1. Dear Terri, I loved what you had to say to Diana. You are a wonderful human and to offer to help her leave is the greatest gift ever. You have served as a source of strength in reading your post.

    5. Dear Diana, Your story finds me sobbing (and Maya’s too). I am wanting my live-in boyfriend to leave because life is just plain miserable with him, but he has no place to go and no money (unemployed). He has burned bridges with his family and I’m his only security blanket in the world. At first I thought I had it bad but as I hear your story I realize you are worse off than me. I urge you to do what others suggested and that is to leave immediately. Call the police for help and move into a nursing home or assisted living and never look back. You will have a fresh start and bless the lady who said she’d come get you (I forgot her name) but what an angel. I believe in karma and that freak will get what’s coming to him, but save yourself and leave him today.

  68. I am a 19 year old college student, and have been dating my boyfriend for 3+ years now. At first it was heaven (arent they all) and for a long time I was very very happy in ways I never was before. However, that was when we had no responsibilities and still very much relied on our parents for all contact and other needs. Now, with me entering my sophmore year of college with a job and other responsibilities, it has been tearing me apart that he continues to do nothing. He puts off the most important of responsibilities to the longest time he possibly can (months) and does nothing but complain about the simplest of them. He is still stuck where we were over a year ago now, jobless, transportation-less, and responsibility-less….and says he wants to change, but his actions speak otherwise. My brain tells me I have waited too long, but my heart still wants to give him another year. Other than by love, I have no financial commitment to him, however I feel that if i stay, and he doesnt change…I will end up with children + an adult child ( a life that would be torture).

    What can I do to maybe incentivize him to act on his words…..or is it better to cut the strings?

    1. He won’t change. You’re so young. I know it doesn’t feel like it to you, but trust me you are better off splitting. In fact, you’d probably be doing him a favor. Maybe he would realize he needs to grow up. Even though it’s painful, it’s such a normal part of becoming an adult. Loving, growing, evolving, moving on.

  69. I am a 21 year old woman and I dated my man for 3 years now..i am so hurt at what he had done his going to be a father with this crazy girl. He loves me I know that a stupid thing to do. I love him but it hurts every time I c him…I love him so much but it hurts I do not know what to do

  70. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I can only imagine how difficult it is to struggle with the decision of whether or not you should leave a man you’ve loved for years. It’s never an easy thing to decide – it’s such a life-changing event, and not easy to just do. There are so many consequences and ramifications to leaving a man, especially if you have children.

    I can’t give advice, but my prayer is that you take time to be still before God. Give your relationship to Him, and allow His peace and wisdom to flow into you. May you hear His voice clearly, and may you have confidence about the steps you should take with your partner. I pray for clarity, guidance, and peace in your life. I pray that you find the right people to talk to and the best resources to guide you as you make decisions that will affect your life and the lives of the people you love.


  71. I have been with my boyfriend for 10 years. We have 2 children together and I have 4 from previous relationships. I have no job. No money. No place to go but the emotional abuse from him is killing me. Just in the last few months I have been suffering from bad anxiety and panic attacks. Only reason I can think of why is him. I want to leave but I’m scared. I think I love him though. How do I know for sure it’s time to leave and if I really do love him

    1. Wow… I really feel like I wrote this, thou- I only have 2 kids. I ask these questions everyday night…
      Maybe a good idea to see a councillor. I am it’s helped
      But I think we both know our own answers … It’s scary … Scared too. But what are we afraid of? I feel every bit of your pain. I wish these didn’t exists.

  72. I am a Christian who has found myself facing a difficult decision. I am struggling to find the right words to even describe where my life is at the moment. I guess Ill start by saying I am with a man whom I was married to for 15 months, divorced and got back together with, and have been in a relationship with him for 6 years. I am so confused… I sometimes want so much to start over and make better choices, (I am almost 30), he was raised in the foster care system and was put on SSI at a young age and has continued with that as his source of income into adulthood. I was raised in a hard working family and have always in the 11 total years we have been together held at least one job if not more to make ends meet within our household. We have no children but most of the time we are in a parent child relationship as I am always left to feel like the “head” of household which is against my traditional Christian home should be ran. Truth is I feel guilty because I want so much more from this out of life but I feel like such a horrible person for this because I know what his life would be like without me. When we split before the guilt almost killed me, literally not figuratively, as I felt like I would never be forgiven for my selfishness. I have been holding these feelings hostage within my heart, not allowing myself to even speak them aloud, as I try to tell myself all kinds of reasons for why I stay. It is just hard to be unequal with your partner, that probably comes across as conceited but the truth is I know within my heart I could do so much better. Not that he is a bad person, he loves me with all of his heart and I know this, he just simply sees the world differently than I do. My family learned to accept the situation years ago and for the most part I can too, I guess I manipulate myself into thinking the Lord will bless me someday for all of the sacrifices I have made over the years to provide for my family. There are times I beg him to find me a way out that doesnt involve leaving him helpless but I have searched every avenue along the way and have never been able to find a solution that does not leave me wrecked with guilt. How I pushed myself to leave the last time was to distance myself from God as I truly felt that I didnt want to serve a God that would want me to live with such misery and that hurt me more than anyone could ever know. My whole life went to shambles and the Lord somehow enabled my heart to soften again and I decided I couldnt take the guilt so I would return to the situation again. And now for six years I have been secretly kicking myself for ever doing it.. not everyday.. but enough to tug at my heart. I was only 18 when we met and now I feel like the rest of my life is over in a sense because Im stuck doing the right thing for the remainder of my days.. all while secretly hoping God will resolve it in one of two ways.. Either find a way out for me or destroy the part of me that feels like I deserve better. I try and I try to get rid of that feeling and simply accept what it is but no matter how hard I try I am unable to do so. Please if there is anyone who has ever dealt with a similar situation reach out to me.. I am in desperate need of advice.. Thank you.. God Bless!!

    1. Dear Uncertain,

      I know EXACTLY how you feel and I’m currently doing the SAME thing as you. I’ve been with a man for the last 10 years, but met him when I was 20. He had 4 kids and has been split from the kids mother for a year when we met. I was not raised in a big family and loved the fact that he was close knit with his and was a great father to his children. I thought, if a man can love and take care of his children he’d be capable to show me love too. Well I was jumping the gun. My situation isn’t right and I left him about 2 years ago (at that time we’d been dating/living together, etc. for about 7-8 years). I had to leave and I did it so fast because I knew my heart would try to stop me from leaving a situation I knew had no future. He consistently accused me of everything when come to find out he was doing all the things he said he thought I was, so I left got an apartment and picked up his kids when eh allowed me to. After being apart for 3 months MY guilt overwhelmed me and I went back, moved in, found someone to take over my apt and went back to the situation worse off. He was more accusing when I returned and more jealous of what I might have done. After I moved back in things were hell. He did everything he felt he could do to “get me back” for leaving him. Going out of the state and telling me he was in town while I’m home taking care of the kids. Going out with his friends while I was getting ready to go to sleep so I could go to work the next day. He too relies on the government to help support his children, and me. I recently found out (from his daughter who’s just 17 and a couple years younger than me) that “my” boyfriend has been seeing this married woman that he met when we were broken up 2 years ago. So I realized that all my efforts weren’t working because he had moved on, but still kept me around I guess to get me back even more. (Like literally found this out a week ago). The crappy part about this all is I’m still terrified to leave him, even when I KNOW there is better out there for me, shoot I can be miserable and sad by myself as long as I have hope that I’ll move on and get to my happy place. Right now I have no hope that my relationship will ever be a good one, and have now realized that it never was. So I’m looking for apartments now to move out and at this point I hope the kids I raised for 10 years will still want to see me, but I know the whole situation is hard. I think we both know what we have to do and as hard as it sounds we have to put ourselves first. We’re enabling them to do nothing because we take care of everything. Once we remove our safety net I bet you they’ll survive. I’m just tired of sacrificing myself and my happiness for people who don’t appreciate it. Did I mention that he’s brought this other woman around the kids (who has 3 kids of her own and a husband). I don’t have any of my own yet b/c we were waiting for his kids to grown up before we started – what a joke that was. He played me for 10 years, and I allowed it. I kept pushing the signs to the side because I “knew” I could make it work. And I thought that I could live being unhappy if I made my man and kids happy. But I had an epiphany, my “daughter” told me I deserve better and that she love me and her dad but she didn’t think what he was doing was right, then she told me that her dad (my BF) was with the other woman just 1 month ago… right before my 30th birthday. Another thing that made things more clear was that the boys (ages 11, 12, 13) copy him to a T, especially with the way he treats girls/woman opposed to men. He’s borderline male chauvinist and that’s being nice. The boys hear us arguing after I found out he still talks to this woman and they said “she is stupid, dad should have as many girlfriends as he wants.” So everyone in my home knew about this other woman and I’m walking around like a fool. Pouring everything I have into trying to make it work. All while being the source of income, the maid, the babysitter, the girlfriend the stand in mother. I don’t’ have anything more to give and I need to get out. I thought I didn’t’;t have anyone left by my side but you’ll be surprised at who come out the woodworks when you make the decision to leave a bad situation. You, me, we cannot change other people no matter how hard we try.

      Thank you to the writer for reminding me of things I need to focus on to continue my journey to happiness. Step one. Leave. This time I can’t go back because 2 years later my relationship is in a worse place and now I’m 2 years older!

    2. I too feel the same way. I feel guilty and I feel like if I do leave him, God will punish me in some kind of way either through my child or my life will result misery because of such a selfish decision. It’s so easy for some to say just leave, he’s no good, if your not happy then leave, but it’s hard to do. He loves me he just doesn’t do anything to further our lives. He has no motivation to be better or do better, go that extra mile for our family financially or emotionally. As long as I’m not “mad” the things go on in our home like everything is fine when clearly they are not. I used to be passionate about life and love and our relationship but over the course of six years, many lies, false hopes, and too many broken promises to count I feel burnt out, betrayed, cheated, and honestly just dumb for staying. Everyone says I should leave I could do better but I know that’s wrong to think that way. It’s conceited. He can’t offer a future, stability, or security at least not for me. Maybe to someone else he would be amazing and give it his all like he used too. But at this point, four years later, he has become the trigger for all my frustrations and I’m so angry at him for telling me and promising me when we met that he would provide me with the life I told him I wanted and instead he’s made everything worse. He takes me for granted and I work so hard for our family. I don’t know what to do and I don’t want to feel the wrath of gods displeasure in my choice to leave and be punished anymore. I’m already unhappy I don’t want to make things worse.

    3. Oh uncertain…..isn’t life difficult sometimes. I’m currently going through the same situation. What frustrates me most in mine though is that, it’s been almost two years that I have considered leaving. Meaning If I eventually leave someday, I would have wasted more of my time with him. He promised to marry me 10 years ago, even today he hasn’t because he can’t afford to. I have tried enrolling him for different courses to improve his life so that he could be employable atleast, but he just didn’t take it sertiously. I am scared for the future of our daughter, I dnt want her to ever need a thing in life, but I can’t do it alone. What frustrates me the most is that whenever I ask him about bettering his life, he just tell me to put my trust in God, but he isn’t even a prayerful or spiritual person. I don’t want to be poor my whole life. Im writing this now, im working in a different town, almost 200ks away from him, 400ks from my daughter who is with my mother, but this doesn’t even seem to bother him. When a woman resorts to such drastic measures to make means to provide for her child and you as a man are not bothered, then something is really wrong. My dream was to be a house wife, educated of course, take care of the house and wait for my kid and him at home, but I dnt see that happening with him carrying on like this, no way. I want to leave him real bad, but the problem is I myt still love him, and the guilt is immeasurable. But at the same time I feel like Im wasting my time with him as he has no intention of providing for us financially. I have talked to him about it a million times, calmly so. But sometimes I just get so frustrated from him doing nothing about our talks I end up shouting. Whenever we talk about it he promises to do something about it, to act on it, but a week, a month, 3 months or even 6 months down the line, there’s no development whatsoever. We talk about it again, but 6 months down the line, same story. Im really confused. I guess the difficulty of my decision stems from the fact that he’s a good person, he adores me, he’s a great father, he’s so close to his(our) daughter, he loves her dearly. He’s the sweetest man ‘i’ve ever come across, ever. But then again sweetness doesn’t pay bills, it doesn’t pay school fees. I am grown up now, I cant settle for a good sex life and some beautiful memories. I need more, I need financial stability, I need future security. I have developed so much jealousy over the years. His younger brother has and are still doing great things, they’ve built mansions, bought nice expensive cars, had beautiful lavish weddings, while I still hold onto hope. He gets so excited when one of his brothers achieves something, he would call me all so excited and jumpy, and i would ask him, “What about yours?”, He’s 44, but only recently bought his first car which is under 15grand, which we struggled to raise, which a large amount coming from my salary nogal. I’m so hopeless really. I beat myself everyday for the choices I made with him, and the time I’ve spent asking my self, Should I leave? or should I stay? But it is so damn difficult. One day I decide that im gonna leave him once and for all, oh boy!, the hurt I felt that night, I cant even explain it. I literally cried for 8 hours straight, with what felt like a lump stuck on my throat, it hurt so much. The following weekend I went back to him.
      Óh growing up!!! I was 17 when we met, now im 27. Please let me know how you resolved your situation.

    4. Pray to God and give your relationship to Him, and allow His peace and wisdom to flow into you. May you hear His voice clearly, and may you have confidence about the steps you should take with your partner. I pray for clarity, guidance, and peace in your life. I pray that you find the right people to talk to and the best resources to guide you as you make decisions that will affect your life and the lives of the people you love.

  73. I am in love with a man since past 10 months who who is getting separated from his wife. This was his second marriage. He told me that both the times it was his wives fault which had led him to file for a divorce. He is rude by behavior but I still love him. He has used me in every possible way – financially, physically and mentally. But he has promised to marry me once he gets separated. My parents and friends don’t agree to my decision of marrying him but I still want to marry him because of the intense love that I have for him. Recently he confessed to me that he is in touch with his very first love, with whom he was engaged to get married but could not get married. This woman is now a widow and she has asked him for his support as she feels insecure living alone. He wants to marry me but also wants to bring her home. He promises that he will give me all my rights and will love me, but wants to help this woman by bringing her home. He obviously loves her more than me. I am totally disturbed by this decision of his and I don’t understand what to do. I cannot discuss about this situation of mine with anyone in my family or any friend of mine. I have lost my inner peace. Please help me in making the right decision.

    1. Nicole all I can say is run my dear as fast as you can. You have already given him the surety that you will be there for him whilst his still married. And now expecting you to accept another women into your life? He is disrespecting you and it will not end there. I’m speaking from experience your 1st mistake is when you allow him to do something when you know in your heart of heart it is not right but you allow it because you love him. His not going to marry you. You deserve someone who is going to love and respect you and you only. If I could turn back time I’d do it in an instant. Please please don’t allow this to be your life.

  74. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    May you learn to trust yourself, trust God, and have faith that you CAN leave this man you’ve loved for years. You are more than this relationship. You may have invested years and sex and money in this relationship with this man, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay where you are!

    Such an amazing life of freedom, joy, and peace awaits! You wouldn’t believe how happy you could be if you freed yourself, if you took a risk to leave a man you’re not happy with. You deserve to give yourself a chance at life, at a new love, and at reconnecting with yourself.

    I pray for strength, hope, and faith. I pray you find your way back to God, back to yourself, and back to a life that you love.


  75. I am a 20 years old woman. i have been in a relationship with this man for about 5 years. before that, you may say that im still young and imatured. but please, i need help. back to the story. i have been with him for five years and we already sleep together. the things is, he promised that he’ll marry me. but last year on november, he confessed to me that he had been cheating. and one day the girl that he cheated with contacted me. we have a series of conversation and to be honest, i broke into pieces. but what i did that time is, i try giving motivational advice to her and pretend that i was strong but actually im not. the man seems like not taking any responsible. then he tell me that he had been sleeping with many girl, he cheated. i know, im young. but this is too much for me. he decide not to take any action because he said he still loves me and at the same time he still love her. but deep inside, i was hoping that he will choose me and leave that girl. but he didn’t. until one time, he call me while crying and said he choose me and want to be with me. dont know why, i believe him. he just ask me to give him time. so i wait and wait and wait. but he is still in a good relationship with the girl and at the same time with me. i cant take it anymore, i want to leave him. but i felt guilty, i felt like i need to fight. but im not strong anymore. i want to give up. but im afraid to give him to somebody else because he’s mine to have. everybody tell me to leave him, but i choose not to. my brains say leave him but my heart says dont. im tired of crying and thinking the same things everyday. i cant bear it anymore. PLEASE HELP ME. im thinking of killing myself, because there are too many issues that i cant handle anymore. im too afraid to let go. HELP!

    1. You can leave him. You are deserving of a happy relationship that you don’t have to share with another women. you should look into a women’s group near your house to talk to someone about rhis.

  76. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 2yrs now and I’ve caught him cheating more than twice, social media is the worst and he has two kids different mothers that were born during our relationship, we’ve broke up so many times and the last time was the hardest because just when I thought I was getting over him he came back and I forgave him, he showed he has changed but recently I have found out he is cheating again, he never stopped, with more than 4 girls and don’t know when he gets to see them cause he is with me all the time. I love him but I think I deserve better and would like to leave him for good

  77. I live with my partner we have a child we fight often he get agressive sometimes he even hit me without even knowing , then he always say he is sorry but he do thesame damn thing over and over again. i love him but i can not waiste my life with someone who does not respect me and love me please advice

  78. I have been with my boyfriend for two years. I am a Christian and he is a Muslim so I guess I should have known not to get into the relationship in the first place. After I did, I really felt like I had found the best man for me. He was so sweet and had almost none of the problems men have had in other relationships I’ve been in like cheating and drinking and addiction to hard drugs (he was and is very addicted to smoking marijuana though). He was also more religious than any Christians I have dated, so I was thinking maybe this was from God.

    I have recently quit smoking weed myself (10 days sober) and went to a revival at my church to try to strengthen my connection with God. It seems every time I get closer to God, something serious happens (abuse from my boyfriend). The first time was the worst and I can’t honestly remember where I was spiritually and even though I got injured (just slightly) by striking my head and ear in multiple places (countertop, wooden couch arm corner, and the floor), I blamed myself and forgave him instantly. The next time was minor but because it was right after I prayed to God to show me if I belonged there or not, I left him but just for a day because my loneliness and I get depressed and I really do love being with him 99 percent of the time.

    This time after the revival, I also prayed to God to show me if I should be here. We’ve been under stress with me quitting weed, his finals coming up, and stress at my job and today he got mad because he thought I was checking out a guy in a truck that I honestly hadnt noticed at all because we had been in deep conversation. Hours later he told me he was mad, I raised my voice at him and he choked me against the wall (again, minor injury but right after prayer!) I wonder if God is giving me a sign and I told him I was leaving after I help him finish his finals.

    I’m worried, however, that I won’t be able to stay away like last time. I have no idea how to start a new life after a relationship. (the last time I did was my divorce from my husband of four years because he was getting crazy from doing meth (which I didnt even know he was doing))

    When that happened I got back into weed (that I had quit for almost 2 years), and drinking heavily, and having sex a lot with many men (terrible! I’m truly ashamed!!)

    I obviously don’t want to repeat that mistake this time, I don’t want to repeat the mistake of going back to him and starting the cycle over, I also don’t want to leave him helpless (almost everything he does he really needs my help with because his English isn’t that good and he has nobody in this country he is even close to).

    I wonder how to do the right thing for myself and him because to do the right thing for me would be to run and never talk to him again so I don’t accidentally come back but that would leave someone who has truly taken care of me and loved me completely stranded and alone in a foreign country.

    I really am worried and have no idea what to do besides pray pray pray and try to stay out of trouble when I’m alone (I know God will be there but the past has made me quite fearful and doubt myself in these situations)

    Helpless and scared and hate hurting people 🙁

    (PS also have Asperger’s, though I don’t really understand how or when it affects my life or decisions or if it even does?…)

    1. You do know he is using you because you are nothing but sub-animal to him? You are nothing but a piece of dirt to him. His religion teaches him that. You are a dog to him. Less than. You are there for the only reason of him being able to get what he wants. When he is done with you you will be cast aside. LEAVE HIM! Report him to the police for domestic abuse! Why are you not loving yourself?!!

  79. I am a grandmother and a mother to my daughter who has gone through so much during her lifetime with a man who one would call a sociopath or psychopath – people who lie or cheat or have no moral standing or manipulate, live in the dramas of others or create their own. They have no reality and often families are caught up and are suffering through the action of a loved one whose mask has dropped and showed their true selves. It is awful and very disturbing. There is no way to help these people. Sometimes we need to know what we are dealing with and I hope those that posted will realise this and know that they are not to blame…it is not about them at all. God Bless xxx

  80. I divorced my husband after 13 years of marriage, we tried to reconcile but it didn’t work. On my daughter 18th birthday we fooled around casually which became more frequent. A month later he showed up on my doorstep saying his girlfriend kicked him out because she found out we were messing around. We decided to try again and it’s been 1.5 years and I hate it. I miss being alone, happy and content. He’s still trying to hold on the further i pull away but recognizes the signs. I’m so desperate I’ve thought about relocating to get away! Help I want my single life back I don’t want to play married again. My daughter is almost 20 i want to be alone, free and happy, how do i get out of this mess. I love him but I don’t want to be with him again.

  81. Hi
    I m34 married for 12 yrs wid two kids 4 and 11. Everything is ok ok in my marriage. I had been in love wid my college class mate 14yrs back but cudnt trust him and myself as I thought we were too young to really understand love. Even though he was always very sure tht this was his true love for any gal. He was a year younger than me but very matured and intelligent, more than me actually. He was always followed by gals on the campus but he expressed his love for me only. I loved him but was scared of heartbreak so i told him all this. He cudnt help me but he let me go trusting I would cone back. I met a decent guy after 2 yrs n got married. We never kept any contact nor did we try to know how the other was doing. Least we kept a track was wether he or me got married or not. After two yrs of marriage I suddenly come across him at a common frendz place. He hadnt got married yet and i was very surprised. We were simply happy to see eachother happy. Slowly we started meeting and confessed tht we still love eachother inspite of time and distance. But one day again i tell him this is wrong and I shouldn’t be seeing him like this. Again he lets me go. Then after 6years i found him on fb saw his wife and kids pics and was very happy that he is settled. I contact him and wish him all good. Soon again we confess we still love eachother and this time we realised that howmuch ever we run far we cant run away forever. We live in different countries and meet possibly once or twice in a year. Other times we hardly speak on phone or chat. I repeatedly feel that I should not even do this but i go back and contact him. He always turns out to be waiting lovingly for me. Both of us have two kids and gud family and career. We both fear tht if we cross lines our families wud be destroyed, so we dont cross it. But there’s always a constant fear tht one day we wud b caught. I have this fear more coz its me who always can’t resist his love i feel.
    I have tried to leave this man but he doesn’t leave me. I fail to leave him forever. I sumwhere feel tht we were not destined t live together so I should not b even thinking about him. However i think of him every day as sumthing or the other reminds me of him and brings smile on my face. Even though we hardly talk. I think i m going mad or am i into a real true love relationship without any demands?
    Can I leave him ever? Wen i talk to my god it says do wat is right! Problem is i m not sure wats right!!
    Can i leave this man i love,yes i agree i love him coz jus knowing he is happy makes my heart full of joy i dnt want anything from him. So does he!
    And now i think i know this is love.
    But is it right to love someone outside marriage?

  82. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Kimberly,

    It is a very hard thing, to decide if you should leave a man you’ve loved for a long time! It’s probably one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make, especially if you have children.

    My prayer is for wisdom and guidance. May you take your time in considering if you should leave your man, and may you weigh what’s best for your children when you think through the pros and cons. I pray for clarity and insight, peace and faith as you think about your relationship. May you seek the wise counsel of others, and strive to make the decision that isn’t the easiest one….but is the best one for you and your family. May you know without a doubt what the right decision is, and may you find support as you follow it through.


  83. Hello,
    well I have been with my boyfriend for fuve years. I have a three year old and 7 month old duaghter. I love this man but I dont feel loved by him. due to hil coversating with many girls on fb and texts I found I left him when my oldest was 6 months old. Fast forward some time I ended up hooking up with him one day . But month later decided I just couldnt give in no more. And said a goodbye for good. Cut off all connection. Had a middle person deal with him picking up my duaghter for the weekends. Well I met a gentleman I started dating and I was at point in life where I was happy. I worked full time . Took care of my duaghter. Found a man who truly cared. Four months passed by I noticed clothes were not fitting anymore. People started asking if I was pregnant. So I went got a dollar tree test and it was positive. I vouldnt believe it. The only person I ever had sex with was my ex. But that meant I was almost 6 months pregnant! . Fast forward I ended up moving in to get back with. Wanted to start over for the girls. BUT I feel like he doesnt want to change. He has changed in certain things . He only spends time at home when not working. But he still on fb. Mind you im not his friend and he has me blocked. I feel I should just leave. He constantly talking to girls. And he might not be cheating physically but emotionally I feel he is. I just dont know what to do. I have no job at the moment as I breastfeed full time. I try pumping but she just wont take a bottle. Shes 7 months. I feel bad to break up our family but I cant be with a man who doesnt love me. but at the same time its such a hard decision

  84. Dear Maria,

    When you pray about whether or not you should leave this man that you’ve loved for years, what does God say? Take 10 minutes to be still, be silent, and be quiet before God. Take a deep breath, and ask Him for guidance, wisdom, and help. Ask for clarity as you decide what to do about your relationship, and thank God for His presence and the blessings He’s given you.

    God loves you very much, and only wants what’s best for you. I don’t know what the right thing to do is, but He does. He will lead you in the right direction, if you take time to listen to Him and if you pray for courage and strength to follow His guidance.


  85. I am in love with a man, he means the world to me, we have been together for 5 years, and we have a 2 year old daughter together. I am a Christian, so to me it is very important to get married. Everytime I bring up the word marriage he flees, I have mentioned it every so often to him since our daughter was born. He never says a word, just leaves. Once he left till 4 am, we have never argued about this, I always gently bring up the subject because this is very important to me. He has asked me for another baby ever since I talked about getting married and he had told me, after I give him a son. Seriously do I need to just move out and on, or do I live in sin, as I feel I am doing. Please help.

  86. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    My prayer is that you find peace with whatever decision you make about your relationship – whether you decide to leave the man you’ve loved for years, or whether you stay and accept him the way he is. I pray for strength, faith, joy, and hope. I also pray that you find wisdom, clarity, and guidance in your life. May you see clearly what you need to do, and move forward with confidence.

    I also pray that you find the balance between action and contemplation. We can’t impulsively make decisions that are so important, such as if you should leave a relationship. We also can’t stay stuck for years! May you find the balance between careful consideration, and assertive action that will bring your life forward in new and exciting ways.


  87. Okay so I have been with my boyfriend a little over two years now. We have been pretty serious from the beginning. We met in Cali during a volunteer program we were both in. We ended up falling in love. I left my other boyfriend from back home for him. I thought he was the one. I’m from the west coast and my boyfriend is from the east coast. After the volunteer program ended I went to his home town to stay for about a month than we drove his car across the country to my home town. We lived at my parents for about three months. He ended up hating it along with my family. So we moved to his home town again…. I moved my whole life for him I left ALL of my family yo come live here. We have now lived here together a little over a year. We lived with his parents for a year. We just recently moved to our own place. It’s great I love our home and I love him. I just really miss my family. Every time I bring up my family he is there saying something terrible about them. I’m very close with my family so moving 3,000 miles away was a crazy step for me. I don’t think it was the right step. I keep asking him if we can move back to were I am from. But he doesn’t even want to talk about it. He apparently hates it that much. So here is the thing about a month ago we both quit our job because we were not being treated fair and other reasons. So during that time I went home to see my family and my sister was having her son. So I was there to meet him. I feel in love with my nephew in a second. First time I laid eyes on him. I love him! So when I got back here to the east coast with my boyfriend he still hasn’t found a job and we have rent to pay. I don’t know what the hell to do. I love him with all my heart but I almost think he is bad for me. I don’t think we are good for each other. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. But Im not sure he Is worth missing my family moments and my family is growing. He is keeping me here when all I want to do is be with my family and see my nephew grow. He says I can go home as much as possible. But how are we gonna do that if we don’t have jobs and when I get a job what if it’s time demanding… I just am so confused and need some advicez. Please help me!

  88. 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.

    1. OH MY GOODNESS… I am living the very same life, only I have a 10 month old with him and i feel borderline crazy from all there is to do. Yes he’s loyal, I know he wouldn’t cheat, would never physically hurt me. But does this mean I have to settle for taking care and mothering another child (him)? Im not going to go into too much detail except that I cant imagine how on earth he could care for a baby when he can’t care for himself. I’m trying to find any responses that correlate to our lives.
      Frankly I would rather be on my own but I am so tired right now from doing EVERYTHING That I don’t even have the strength to leave. Please help, a suggestion or two on how to leave.
      Tired and exhausted.

  89. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    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.


  90. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    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.


  91. 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??

  92. 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.

    1. 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.

  93. 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.


  94. 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.

    1. 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

  95. 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.

  96. 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.

  97. Advice!!
    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

    1. 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.

    2. Ally,

      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.

  98. 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 !!!!!!

    1. 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.

    2. Wendy, I couldn’t have said anything more spot on than Shun did. PLEASE REREAD EVERY SINGLE WORD SHE SAID; TAKE IT ALL TO HEART AND PUT IT INTO ACTION. If not you will continue to imprison yourself.

    3. wendy,
      He will never be yours, he is already committed to someone else. 12years is a long time to wait for some one who is already involved and i am sorry to say but You are the one causing problems in his marriage, can you imagine what his wife might feel like? if you are hurting over a man that is married to some one else, how do you think his wife feels -betrayed by her husband the man who promised his life to her. PLEASE LEAVE HIM ALONE and find another SINGLE man who will love and respect you.

  99. 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

    1. 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.

  100. 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!!!

    1. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. Hello!

    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.

  103. 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

  104. 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 –

  105. Leigh,

    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.


  106. 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.

  107. 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.

  108. 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.


    1. 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.

      1. 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


      2. Dear Leigh, I know exactly how empty you feel. My boyfriend is either impotent, asexual, or suffers from such emotional issues so that we pretty much don’t have sex – well, if you call once every four months a sexual relationship? I could live without the sex, but I need the affection and emotional intimacy nonetheless. He won’t kiss or cuddle because that might provide me the opportunity to “make a move” towards sex, which he can’t or won’t deliver. We are in the stages of trying Viagra but everything I’ve read suggests it’s nether a pleasing/satisfying sexual experience; more of a band-aid. Yes, I feel I am the “friend,” not his lover, and because of the age difference, i.e., I’m older; I feel the age thing” might be part of his mental block, although he assures me it is not. Avoiding conversations, never showing “genuine” affection, immaturity, constantly complaining about everyone and anything, surges of negativity on a daily basis – it’s all I can do to make it though one day. Things should be better because we no longer have alcohol and weed in our lives (his life) thank “goodness, but he doesn’t work, except around on the property and so I pay all our expenses. Whenever I request he refrain from an onslaught of negative comments, a fight emerges and we go for days resenting one another and sleeping in separate bedrooms. At least you have “the best of the best.” I am supporting us both and he is perfectly healthy and capable of getting a job. I have used up all my savings supporting us both. I have tried to get him to move out and on, but he won’t because he has burned all bridges with family etc. He is a parasite who needs to insult me on a frequent basis and if I dare try to defend myself, he lashes back with his filthy street talk. You have it way better than half of the women who have posted to this site, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to voice your pain. Can’t you grab him and scream in his face, “I’m tired of this fake life we are living. We either get intensive marriage counseling or I’m leaving your sorry ass.” At least you have the money to pursue therapy. Have you read about these poor women who have given every dime they’ve earned over 20 years to these horrible, parasitic relationships. You are entitled to “crack up” and demand something either be done to improve your relationship or else face the consequences of playing the part of the neglected house wife. Yes, I’m tired of being ignored and certainly do feel embarrassed for allowing myself to be in such a sad relationship too!

  109. 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)

  110. 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.


  111. Laurie,
    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 crap 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.

  112. 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.


  113. 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

  114. 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..

  115. 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.

  116. 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.

    1. 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.

  117. 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?


  118. 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.

    1. 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! ;((

      1. stupid for far too long

        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

  119. 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.


  120. 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.

  121. 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.


  122. 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

    1. 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!

  123. 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.


  124. 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…

  125. verging on a breakdown!

    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. 🙁

  126. 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?

  127. 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.

  128. 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?

  129. 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!?

  130. 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…

  131. 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.

  132. 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.

  133. 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!

  134. 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.

    1. Sharon this is exactly how I feel. I would like to know where you two are today with your relationship if you don’t mind sharing.

  135. 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.

  136. 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??

  137. 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!!!

  138. 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!

  139. 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.

  140. 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?

  141. hi,
    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!!

  142. 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.

  143. 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…???

  144. 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.


  145. Hi,
    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,

  146. Hello,

    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.

  147. 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.

  148. 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.

  149. 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.

  150. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    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!


  151. 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!

  152. 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.

  153. 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…

  154. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    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.


  155. 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.